Strong numbers for Belgrade - Croatia summer flightsLast Monday, Jat Airways touched down at Split Airport for the first time in almost 21 years. Flights were launched without much fanfare and will operate twice per week. The Serbian carrier inaugurated the flights to Split on a strong note with 66 passengers onboard the sold out ATR72. On the return leg Jat welcomed only 18 passengers (on its second flight 65/23). Jat will compete against Croatia Airlines on the route which launched its flights a month ago. Last Monday, Croatia Airlines carried 64 passenger to Belgrade and 73 passengers on the return leg to Split with a total of 76 seats available on the Dash 8. Since launching the service, Croatia Airlines has had an average load factor of almost 80%.
Besides Split, Jat is also operating flights to Dubrovnik and Pula in Croatia this summer with both routes recording strong passenger figures. During last week, Jat carried 65 passengers to Pula while on the return flight it welcomed 35 passengers onboard the ATR72. Similar results were seen on the carrier’s Dubrovnik flights with 54 passengers heading to the Adriatic city while 62 passengers boarded for the return leg to Belgrade.
The strong passenger numbers, which are set to strengthen as the peak summer season approaches, are a further sign that there is interest for air travel between the two countries. Pula Airport believes that there is a big enough market for Jat to continue its flights to the city during the winter season at least once per week. Thanks to a recently signed agreement, the Serbian carrier will operate seasonal flights to Pula until at least the summer of 2015. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines has announced that it will boost frequencies on its flights from Split to Belgrade next summer season and will consider extending the service into the 2013/2014 winter season. The airline is interested in launching flights from the Croatian capital to Belgrade but says it will need to work with Jat in order for the short flight to be successful.