Thursday, January 5, 2012

Croatia to launch Zagreb - Belgrade flights

Zagreb to Belgrade after 21 years
The CEO of Croatia Airlines, Srećko Šimunović, announced at a recent Star Alliance meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Abeba, that the national carrier will launch seasonal flights from Zagreb to Belgrade this summer. It will mark a resumption of services between the two cities after twenty one years. No flight details for the planned service were revealed. Last February, at a meeting between the Serbian and Croatian national carriers, it was initially arranged for Croatia Airlines to operate flights between the two capital cities, although little of the agreements made back then were carried through.

JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated its final service from Zagreb to Belgrade on August 6, 1991. There have been no revenue flights between the two cities since. Most flights were operated with the DC9s although due to the amount of frequencies and connecting services, the flights also saw B727s, B737s and DC10s. During the 1980s, the Belgrade - Zagreb - Belgrade service was the airline’s second busiest, trailing behind the Belgrade - Dubrovnik - Belgrade flights.

If all plans are carried through, Belgrade will be served from four cities in Croatia - Zagreb (Croatia Airlines), Dubrovnik (Jat/Croatia Airlines), Split (Jat) and Pula (Jat) this summer season, all of which will be operated on a seasonal basis. Meanwhile, Croatia Airlines has suspended plans to launch new services from Dubrovnik to Munich. They were scheduled to be launched on April 16, two times per week.

20 comments:

  1. I am kind of getting sick of hearing about this every once in a while, more precisely at the beginning of every summer season - for the past 5/6 yrs.

    It's better that OU shuts up, don't say anything and than once they mean it - publicize the dates, frequencies and do an intensive campaign (april - june) and put the tickets to sales. Hell, they can put in in sales on their web even sooner than that.

    Talk is cheap.

    Although this is in fact good news :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. we had some controversial opinions in regards to this line.... so let s bet on it...

    my bet is that even they are announced as seasonal flights, they will remain all year round

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Petar

    +1. Where's the 'like' button for comments when you need one!? You have nailed it, we need to see publicised frequencies and a commitment that these flights WILL ACTUALLY RUN.

    Many before have mentioned the need for double-daily frequencies from the get go to encourage business travellers. My question, has OU got the slack in the Q400 fleet?? (CAPA article doesn't seem to think so!)

    I still think OU needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat and announce a 7th Q400 to run this city pairing with any form of decent frequency. 4 weekly (as proposed last time) sits somewhere between a joke and an insult... Could Bombardier build it in such a short time, or is there a 2nd-hand which could be refitted?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ova linija nema buducnosti kao sezonska. Ova linija je point-to-point linija prvenstveno za poslovne putnike + konekcije prvenstveno na Jadran. Sve ostalo je propast. Da bi uspjela kao P2P linija mora zadovoljiti slijedece:

    - konektirati se na SPU, DBV, PUY, ZAD, SJJ (nemojmo zaboraviti da sve ove konekcije osim ZAD vec imaju direktnu liniju Jatom, a DBV i CTN-om, te da je jedina prednost broj frekvencija via ZAG)

    - red letenja mora biti (SJJ, SPU, DBV, ZAD, PUY) - ZAG 0830 – 0940 BEG 1200 – 1310 ZAG – (SPU, DBV,PUY, ZAD, SJJ) – ZAG 1745 – 1855 BEG 1930 - 2040 ZAG – (SPU, DBV, ZAD, PUY, SJJ)

    - broj frekvencija mora biti mininalno:

    123456- prije podne
    12345-7 navecer

    mozda, ali samo mozda, bi kruha bilo sa frekvencijama
    123-56-
    1-345-7

    - jedine realne konekcije via BEG su TGD, TIV i OHR, jer za sve ostalo ce potencijalni putnici koristiti konekcije via VIE, FRA, MUC, ZRH, BUD...

    Ima li putnika za 12 tjednih letova sa Q400? Naravno da ima:

    - trenutno (izvan sezone) izmedju ova dva grada prometuje 6 autobusnih linija + 3 kompozicije vlakova

    - ogroman je broj poslovnih ljudi koji redovno putuju izmedju ova dva grada (moj prijatelj vodi beogradsko predstavnistvo hrvatske firme i putuje u BEG svaki utorak, te u petak nazad, on bi ubio za ovu liniju i kaze da bi u startu kupio barem 40 povratnih karata za 2012.)

    - uz to ogroman je broj potrencijalnih putnika koji trenutno koriste automobil (oko 4 sata putovanja), docim 9 dnevnih linija javnog prijevoza ne oslikava pravo stanje:

    # politickih (politicari obije zemlje, Europska unija sa predstavnistvima u Zagrebu, Haski sud, diplomatska predstavnistva koja postoje u samo jednom od ta dva grada, politicari koji obavljaju lobiranje sa dvije stanice Zagreb + Beograd, a cega, zbog nedavnog rata, nazalost, jos uvijek ima mnogo)

    # znanstvenih (slican jezik prirodno "motivira" znanstvene institucije na suradnju, ekstremno isprepleteni arhivi)

    # vjerskih (velika pravoslavna zajednica u Hrvatskoj koja ima centralu u Beogradu i biskupije, te redovnicke provincije u Srbiji koje se "naslanjaju" na Zagreb, skolovnaje svecenstva, razmjena vjernika, hodocasnici...)

    # zdravstvenih (nemalo je slucajeva poput Ljubiše Samardzica cije se dijete ljecilo u Zagrebu, "jezicna" suradnja zdravstvenih ustanova, kongresi, razmjena...)

    # obrazovnih (i ponovo jezik)

    # kulturnih (ne samo da je 70-godišnja zajednicka povijest stvorila neraskidive kulturne veze, vec arhive, muzeji i institucije imaju kulturološku gradju onih drugih, te jos uvijek velika istrazivanja na polju pljacke kulturoloskih dobara za vrijeme rata i povrata istog u Hrvatsku)

    # zabavnih (provod u Beogradu, kulturni i zabavni dogadjaji u Zagrebu poput Adventa, koncerata, muzejskih izlozbi, medjusobna gostovanja zvijezda estrade, suradnja na polju glazbe i ostalih vidova zabave koja je ekstremno razvijena)

    # medijskih (ne samo ogroman medijski interes medija sa obije strane za dogadjaje na drugoj strani, vec i medijska suradnja prvenstveno radi jezika)

    # sportskih (ogroman broj regionalnih liga u kojima igraju klubovi ovih dviju zemalja, kupo-prodaja sportaša, sportska suranja, lobiranje, kladionice...)

    # vojnih (jos uvijek postoje zajednicke komisije za monitoring naoruzanja druge strane, vojna suradnja i skolovanje, vojna razmjena, NATO...)

    # obiteljskih (jos uvijek nekoliko stotina tisuca ljudi kojima je dio obitelji raseljen u drugu drzavu, te onih koji imaju nekretnine u drugoj drzavi, poglavito vikendice, da ne spominjemo stotine tisuća prijateljskih odnosa koji su "prezivjeli" rat)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent, excellent news. The first decent form of travel between the two capitals. Many seem to be sceptical about it, but I'm pretty confident that passengers won't be lacking even for P2P traffic - I know tons of people who are desperate because they need to drive for 4 hours between BEG and ZAG on the most boring motorway ever every few days. Furthermore, it's a great way for Miles & More members to connect to the coast - I'd rather fly BEG-ZAG-SPU with OU than BEG-SPU with JU any day of the week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hmmm if they intend on offering any kind of connections then they better concentrate on destinations to the coast. Belgrade has decent connections to the region with which Croatia Airlines can not compete with. Jat Airways offers SJJ for €100, sometimes even less. Flight is 35 minutes whereas via Zagreb it would at least several hours.

    If frequencies are what is needed, then maybe double daily flight during work days.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I see it, I'll beleive it. But operating it on a seasonal basis? The management and Network Planning at this airline needs to be overhauled if they want to survive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I travel about four times per year on ZAG-BEG route with one serbian agency. In the past I payed 70 € rt ticket, today it is 60. But I travel for 5 hours and when I come to Belgrade I have to take a rest for two hours and then start working. So for me it will be much better to use the plane and I would pay 120 €-140 € for rt ticket.

    Croatia should start with 5 flights per week and then increase frequencies by time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Purger as usual top informator and I almost fully agree. Just not sure if OU would leave their planes seating 2h20 in BEG on the morning rotation.

    When I only see the American investments into their diplomatic representations with their big embassies in Zagreb,Sarajevo,Belgrade,Kosovo and Skopje (Skopje even some kind of regional headquarters for CIA/FBI), I have no doubts that air travel between the individual cities will strongly increase within the next couple years. These are not just embassies with 10 or 20 employees, but must be 100s of employees which are all giving potential for travel between these cities or ex YU to the US.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Last Anonymous

    I use the same agency very frequently and even if they drive considerably fast on the highway it always takes almost 5 hours to get to Novi Sad (in my case), not to mention that I fly into ZAG from SPU and often have to wait for them to pick me up for nearly an hour. Door to door 7 to 8 hours if you're lucky. :(

    Jat's seasonal service to SPU will be great mostly for people who will use it as a fast connection to the central Adriatic area and the islands, but I would really like to see year round possibility to get to BEG via ZAG in little more than 2 hours with connections included. I would be willing to pay up to 150€ for rt ticket, it doesn't cost less this way. SPU-ZAG in economy restricted is around 88€ return + mini van transfer 4 hrs+ 60€ and there you go, almost the same.

    ReplyDelete
  11. JAT will fly BEG-PUY just two days in week (1-3) so Croatia Airlines can introduce direct flights on days 5 and 7 or can offer good connection through ZAG. Flights on line ZAG-PUY always have poor load so it wont be problem to offer reasonable price on flight BEG-ZAG-PUY.

    ReplyDelete
  12. OT :
    Congrats to Belgrade airport for
    3.124.633 pax in 2011 !

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another OT - Etna erupted again, there will be a lot of cancellations again...

    http://www.mondo.rs/s229667/Info/Svet/Proradila_Etna.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am from Belgrade, but have lived and studied in Zagreb for 6 months, and have been frequent on the route.

    I never took a bus or mini-bus (just simply hate them, and 195cm in height) and by far the best way is train.

    Few years ago it took them 5-6 hours on the route (5 from Zagreb, and 6 to Zagreb), and now it's 6.15-7.30.
    If they could lower it under 5 hours (not impossible it's very slow near Zagreb, and from Stara Pazova to Sid, and that is expected to be renovated soon), I find train much superior to plane on Belgrade-Zagreb (for start, there are no long lines on the passport and security check, you just sit in your place, and they come to you, while the train is moving, and it's city center to city center, and it's not affected by bad weather), especially since most of the cars in trains have a/c, and some 220V sockets.

    Nevertheless, during the winter there might have been 5 to 20 passengers per train crossing border, while in summer trains are over-packed.

    Regarding connection flights, few months ago I was listing Belgrade and Zagreb destinations (not seasonal), and I came to this:

    From Zagreb, but not Belgrade:
    Lisabon, Priština, Dubrovnik, Pula, Split, Zadar.

    From Belgrade, but not Zagreb:
    Ajndanhoven, Atina, Barselona, Bern, Bukurešt, Charleroi, Dizeldorf, Dubai, Geteburg, Larnaka, Ljubljana, Malmo, Memmingen, Monastir, Oslo, Soči, Solun, Stokholm, Tel Aviv, Tivat, Tunis, Varšava.

    It has probably changed since, but I don't think much.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think ZAG has direct flights to TEL AVIV!

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Dragan

    yes but JAT has from Beograd with stopover but you do not have to get out of the plane. Which for BEG passengers would make JAT better choice unless they hate the aircraft and want newer OU.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Line will succeed just if politicians give up their fingers into it! Othervise as Purger said in detail there are pax structure to fullfill Dash on daily basis plus connections beyound BEG and ZAG. Congratulations, even I am much more interested in Adriatic destinations from BEG! Ziveli/Zivili/Zivjeli!

    ReplyDelete
  18. 3.124.633 pax flew BEG in 2011 !

    ReplyDelete
  19. ZAG has also flights to BCN and seasonal to MAD

    ReplyDelete
  20. U forgot Bologna and soon Cologne

    ReplyDelete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.