Friday, February 10, 2012

Croatia Airlines to launch new flights

Croatia Airlines launches new seasonal and summer flights
Croatia Airlines will launch new seasonal flights from Rijeka to Barcelona and Zadar to Frankfurt. The flights from Rijeka to Barcelona will launch on June 5, becoming Croatia Airlines’ second destination from the city. It will accompany the existing seasonal service to London Heathrow Airport. Flights to Barcelona will operate once per week with an Airbus A319 until October 23. Details can be found here. Croatia Airlines will also inaugurate flights from Zadar to Frankfurt on April 27. However, the Croatian carrier will have to compete on the line with Ryanair, although the no frills airline offers flights to the distant Hahn Airport. Flights to Frankfurt will run until the end of the summer season twice per week. All flight information can be found here.

After intense criticism from the airline’s pilots union for suspending summer charters in the past few years, the airline’s management has decided to resume them in 2012. Croatia Airlines plans to operate summer charters from Split to both Kristiansand and Kristiansund in Norway and Erfurt in Germany. Furthermore, the airline will also inaugurate charters from Zagreb and Osijek to Antalya in Turkey.

In 2011, Croatia Airlines saw record passenger numbers and is hoping to maintain the growth in 2012. However, in December the airline saw a surprising slump in passenger numbers. The carrier welcomed 98.800 passengers onboard, down 4.3% on December 2010. January 2012 results are yet to be announced.

13 comments:

  1. Where is OU going to get all the necessary planes for this "expansion"? Any ideas/news/rumors?

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    Replies
    1. the most likely outcome, at least until new planes arrive in 2013, is that the scehdules will get more dense. OU crew will be Bit...g about this :)

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    2. well, wikipedia (I know, it's wikipedia!) claims that deliveries of the new A319s should begin in 2012 ... has OU deferred deliveries or may we actually expect them to get some new planes already this year? (I hope they would have been smart enough to negotiate their delivery before the main summer season!) ... would be nice to see them enlarge their fleet ;-)

      I know that the new A319s were meant to substitute for the larger A320s, but, considering the increase in frequencies/destinations, maybe they could keep both new and old planes for at least some time?

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    3. There is a good chance OU will lease an additional acft for the summer.
      Pilots are happy to work as many hours as necessary, they are only looking for more than 3hrs of sleep between the late night and morning flights. Lufthasa rests their pilots for 10 hours between the flights because they consider it safe. OU tries to copy LH in everything.....but not in rest time.

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    4. MaS - yes you are right. In fact, I believe I have read either here or at Aero Croatia (or Aerosvijet) portals an article on some conference where OU's CEO Srećko Šimunović talked about OU's mid term strategy. This strategy outlined opening up of new destinations (Moscow - 2012, Belgrade - 2012 or 2013, St. Petersburg and Sofia - 2013 and 2014 respectively).
      The same text talked about the schedule under which 3 x A320s would be slowly replaced by 4 x A319s. This change should happen in the next 2 or 3 years.

      So, it seems as if OU won't receive all 3 new A319s in the same year (2012), but rather will end up with 1 extra airplane after 3 years.

      High seasonality is what stands in OU's way of expanding rapidly thus ripping the benefits of high summer loads while minimizing the risk of flying empty planes in winter.

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    5. Yes, I understand that, but what does that mean for 2012? Are we going to see the addition of another airbus this year or not? I just find it a bit weird that there is no public information about these sorts of things - doesn't OU publish any sort of SPECIFIC strategy from time to time - e.g. "this is how we see our fleet development in 2012, 2013, 2014, etc., of course, if no unexpected factors (another major economic crisis, SARS, etc.) occur ... would be very much interested on where OU sees itself in 2 and 5 years ;-)

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    6. There won’t be any jets coming this year

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    7. There is still a little slack in the fleet. Hence how IST became 6 weekly, and new routes have been announced. Remember that OU in previous years also operated numerous charters from the Croatian coast and these have been cut back!

      My prediction is that the few flights to MOW (DME or SVO?) will be 'back of the clock' flights if launched in the summer: operating as the TLV flights do, late evening departure, 5am arrival in ZAG. This also provides connections to/from the coastal cities.

      @ MaS
      As for the additions to the fleet, Šimunović spelt everything out in this article! It seems the two 320s come off lease at the end of a summer season, then two new 319s replace it. Seems excess capacity, but if the 319s are also on lease, it means they also run their lease life to the end of summer.

      http://www.centreforaviation.com/analysis/croatia-airlines-eyes-return-to-profitability-following-fleet-and-network-adjustments-65399

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  2. Excuse me for OT:
    Is Blu Express (Blue Panorama Airlines)
    still flying to SKP?

    In Wikipedia SKP is still listed as a destination.

    But Ex Yu Aviation reported that flights
    were stopped because of low interest?

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    Replies
    1. Yep Blue Panorama no longer flies to SKP. Since early December I think.

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  3. New A319 will come in 2014/15, not 2012/13 by decision of CEO of Croatia Airlines.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for this info! I think it's an unfortunate decision, but I hope he has had good reasons to defer the taking of the aircraft ...

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    2. yeah, well Croatia Airlines needs to make sure it's growing on stable grounds. So, waiting a year or two and missing part of the traffic growth is OK because they are stabilizing (restructuring) the company's finances.
      It's not easy nowdays to stay a "traditional carrier" type of airline. Luckily OU has the competitive advantage in the sole facat that there's always going to be a strong demand for inbound tourists. I am guessing "slowly, but surely" is what those guys are having in mind during these times of crisis.

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