Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Zagreb gears up for Qatar launch

The countdown begins
Qatar Airways will launch daily services from Doha to the Croatian capital on May 9, with flights to operate via Budapest using the Airbus A320. Zagreb Airport is marking Qatar Airways’ arrival as an important occasion as it will become the first non European airline to operate scheduled flights to the city on a yearly basis after many years. “We are becoming an important destination on the global stage”, the airport says, commenting on Qatar’s imminent arrival. Malaysia Airlines was the last big non European carrier to operate scheduled flights to the city with two weekly services from Kuala Lumpur via Vienna.

The Doha based carrier says it has good reason to introduce the new flights. “We enter new markets only if they fit our business model. A corporate team has been working hard, exploring the local Croatian market because Qatar Airways supports connecting underserved markets with the rest of the world. That’s why we are introducing flights to Zagreb”. On the other hand a Qatari analyst says, “Everything Qatar does it does so with a reason. Introducing flights to Croatia is part of a wider interest in the region”. The airline also plans to launch flights to Belgrade via Ankara in September. Over the past few months it has been rumoured that the airline might be interested in purchasing Adria Airways.

Zagreb Airport is not immune to more exotic airlines which are not present elsewhere in the region. They include Japan Airlines and Korean Air, however these only operate flights as charters during the summer. Zagreb will be Qatar Airways’ 114th destination. Flight details for the upcoming service can be viewed here.

22 comments:

  1. Nice. According to my source, the summer flights are selling incredibly well.
    Traffic seems to be picking up at LDZA, i.e. Aeroflot has been sending A321s more often this April. Also, EeasyJet and Lufthansa also seemed to have increased their loads: switched from using A319s and B733s to A320s. Supposedly QA will often be using A321s on this route.

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    1. Well it is May today so let's wait for a couple of days to see how well it did in April. All in all Zagreb has left a lot to be desired in 2012.

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    2. And according to my source all westbound A320 flights (DOH to ZAG) are already completely SOLD OUT till september.
      However, it is nice to see Qatar Airways A320's, ELAL B757's and Korean Air B777's in Zagreb this summer. And let's hope for even more bigger birds, soon...

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    3. God you talk rubbish, why not check your facts before posting such nonsense.

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    4. My source works for Qatar Airways in Zagreb. If he speaks rubbish, I humbly bag their Highnesses for forgiveness.
      Concerning the airlines mentioned, you can check ZAG airport webpage actual arrivals/departures, today, and every next tuesday for ELAL, as well as saturdays for KoreanAir. I presume Qatar is not included in this "rubbish&nonsense" stuff.
      So, dear friend, you better check your facts, or even better, your prejudices about the center of the Universe.

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    5. If you check any gds or online you will see plentiful seats available, please dont believe this balkan propaganda, some things never change.

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  2. Nah ^^^^ BEG going very good

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  3. OU is gonna stop daily flights to Amsterdam? I cant book direct tickets for the summer atm?

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    1. No way. 8th weekly frequency is introduced to AMS from ZAG on A320, plus twice weekly from PUY and once from SPU. So it's eleven return flights per week. AMS is one of OU's most profitable flights with very good LF's. More likely some flights for summer are already fully booked, then AMS services to be suspended.

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    2. Could we see Transavia or KLM open up the route if there is so much demand?

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    3. KL codeshares on two AF's daily flights ZAG-CDG. Transavia has 2 weekly scheduled flights Split-Rotterdam and 2 weekly charters Pula-Amsterdam. In addition to OU's 11 flights it's just about enough for existing demand.

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  4. Transavia fly's to Split & Pula in the summer month's every year :)

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  5. It is good to mention that Qatar Airways also received rights to fly between Zagreb and Budapest what makes Zagreb only ex Yu capital with direct line to Hungarian capital.

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    1. That is a really good move, regarding ZAG-BUD link. I really do not know why none of the airlines started flight from BUD to any coastal airport (PUY, SPU, RJK, ZAD, TIV,....) doesn't matter, Hungarinas love Adriatic and the flights would be very popular (Wizz could easily do that - 6 aircrafts based in BUD, Ryanair now too). Also Wizz could without any problems link BEG and BUD.

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    2. The only 2 east-side Adriatic coast airports which maybie could have link with BUD are DBV and/or TIV. Northern Adriatic is 4-5 hours drive by car (or even bus), and Central some 5-6 hours from BUD, complete lenght on modern highways.
      As mostly families travel for hollidays, it's cheaper to go by car then by plane from BUD to Northern and Central Adriatic, even with LCC prices. If you add 2 town-airport transfers + cca 90 minutes before the flight + possible delays, there is no significant difference in travel time as well.
      In addition to that, once at your destination, you have more options if you are with your own car.
      And the last, but not the least, economic crisis in Hungary is at the moment definitely not in favour of new air links to such geographically close markets.

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  6. New QR press release on exact dates for new route launch, but BEG, HEL and Zanzibar are still TBC. Details here: http://www.qatarairways.com/english_global/press-release.page?pr_id=pressrelease_pressrelease_20120501.

    Concerning rumors that DOH-ZAG flights are sold out, almost every day is still bookable via QR website. I do hope they get sold out fast, though, as they would act fast and unlink ZAG from BUD and/or send larger equipment, as they do to FCO.

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    1. I guess Belgrade depends on the outcome of negotiations between Doha and Ankara.

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  7. This is an exciting development for ZAG and I wish them every success.

    MAs demise and QRs acute narrow-body fleet shortage though does make the case for direct flights to BUD that much further away.

    QR is charging outrageous fares just to do the short 55min hop BUD-ZAG as they have monopoly on market: there's no direct bus between the two capitals (~5hrs using motorways), and one daily return train was taken off the schedule in December. Is there enough market or demand (or incentives from BUD) for OU to start the route?

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    1. Two pairs of year-round trains connect Zagreb with Budapest, plus some seasonal summer service.

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    2. Ah, No problem, that is what I refer to.

      There were 3 pairs running until this present railway timetable went into effect a few months back, Treitalia redeployed their carriages elsewhere across their respective network, cancelling the run Venice-Zagreb-Budapest all together.

      So we've seen one daily return train-set (guess 300 seats daily) plus up to 3 daily MA flights (between 30 and 72 seats per flight) of seats suddenly disappear between Zg and Budapest - thats an awful lot of daily seats to disappear.

      There is a growing unserved market between the two cities, and just two (quite slow compared with rest of Europe) trains between these cities allow QR to milk this one for all it is worth...

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    3. I understood you just fine:). My little clarification was aimed at the people who are not well informed.

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  8. Any special offers (ex-Zagreb) for the Qatar launch in May?
    Anyone more info about it?

    Can't find something "really special" especially if compared with other Qatar destinations launches.

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