Monday, September 24, 2012

Croatia Airlines to lease Embraer jet

New fleet member for Croatia Airlines this winter

Croatia Airlines will take delivery of an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia jet soon which is to be exclusively used on services from Osijek to Zagreb and Split. The thirty seat turboprop commuter aircraft will be taken on lease from Budapest Air Services. The aircraft features a 2+1 seat configuration and has low operating costs. The lease of the aircraft was first announced in August when Osijek Airport held talks with Croatia Airlines for flights to operate between Osijek, Zagreb and Split over the coming winter season.

The new service will give a boost to Osijek Airport which is deserted during the winter months. The flights from Osijek to Zagreb will operate on a daily basis while the service to Split will run twice per week. Both will launch on October 29. Services are scheduled so as to connect on to the airline’s flights to Western Europe. A return ticket from Osijek to Zagreb will set passengers back approximately eighty euros. Flights will be bookable from October 1, only through the airline’s website. Up until now, Croatia Airlines has operated a seasonal service from Split to Osijek. On the 24 flights which were performed over the 2012 summer season, the national carrier welcomed 1.389 passengers on the route, with an average cabin load factor of 76%.

The addition of the Brasilia brings Croatia Airlines’ fleet number to a total of fourteen. The airline has a further four Airbus A319s on order, though their delivery has been delayed by the carrier until 2015. Consultancy firms have advised Croatia Airlines to downsize on its fleet in an attempt to save costs. They have suggested the airline should retire two Airbus A320s this winter.


  1. "The flights from Osijek to Zagreb and Split are set to begin on October 29 and operate twice per week."
    That is not true. Line Osijek-Split will operate twice per week

    1---5-- OSI 16.15 - 17.10 SPU 17.40 - 18.35 OSI

    but line Osijek-Zagreb will fly ever day

    1234567 OSI 06.45 - 07.25 ZAG 15.00 - 15.40 OSI

  2. The reasons why this plane is so cheap to operate:
    - PAINFULLY SLOW AND CRAMPED! While it uses very little fuel, there is no in-flight catering and the seats aren't overly comfortable. The Osijek-Zagreb fast train would take almost as long from city centre to city centre and provide a high quality of service for similar costing...
    - Budapest Air Service has had very little work since MA went belly-up, they can offer very good rates given Hungary's terrible economic situation

    Most important to the success of this new venture is the utilisation of the aircraft: will it connect only with the morning wave of flights, or do a double-daily service which would provide the maximum flexibility for passengers from OSI, even to do a day's business in ZAG? If the plane is only offering 2 flights each day (ZAG and SPU), what does it do for the other ~20hrs?

    As for the advice for OU to scrap the two A320s, it is wrong and extremely short-sighted: there is a hidden agenda involved, perhaps from a *A overlord?? When the 319s arrive is a good time to get rid of them...

    1. @frequentflyer

      There a few discrepancies in your arguments as follows:
      (i) this aircraft model is made for very short services like OSI-ZAG and, by definition, it's not meant to be supersonic;
      (ii) it will not be flying to DME for passengers to be stuck in it for 7-8 hours, it's a short hop to ZAG which should be shorter than an hour;
      (iii) in-flight catering for flights that should be shorter than an hour is absolutely not necessary, totally not an issue;
      (iv) you're not flying to SYD, so comfort in such short flights is quite a relative term and, therefore, in my opinion not a major issue;
      (v) the service is meant for passengers catching onwards flights out of ZAG, not your average student travelling from Osijek city centre to Zagreb city centre. This a problem with a lot of aviation "experts" that somehow fool themselves that the majority of travellers out of an airport travel from city centres when completely the opposite is the true;
      (vi) you seem to complain that OU is able to take advantage of "very good rates" from Budapest Air Service, seriously?
      (vii) then you seem to suggest a double daily service would make more sense when the service is not meant for O&D traffic. Seriously? I think you can do better than that @frequentflyer, I really do.

  3. I would say this is a great move by OU.

    Total cost of a person taking a trip by their own car would be something like 100 EURO(16 EURO of road toll x 2 directions) + (at least 1 full tank of gas: average 68 EURO/per tank.

    The total time with car (by google maps) by using highway is 3 hours 11 minutes. Let's say one can do it in 2:45 min.

    This airline return ticket is 80 EURO and you get to your destination within 1:45 hours (1 hour of flight + additional 30 min. at airport in Osijek - TOPS, and 15 min. in LDZA - TOPS).

    If one is connecting another European flight - it's even more convenient as most would not bother using their own car and worrying about parking it etc.

    Overall - superb move.

    I am pretty confident that people will use this route and that OU can expect an average LF of 20 pax (67%) in November-February/per flight and an average of 25 (83%) during the March-October season. On a yearly average that is around 75% which could be a great start for future.

    In future (2014/15) I can see Dash 8 do these routes 5 x a week and achieving at least 70-73% on a yearly basis.

  4. Any idea when these tickets will go on sale? It's a superb option for us who need to travel from BEG to SPU during winter.

  5. It shuld connect Ljubljana - ZAG for those who travel with croatia from zagreb.

  6. Next month i'm going from Eindhoven/NL - Belgrade with Wizz for 90e return ticket, and they are asking 80e for zag-osijek only.. Damn

    1. Did you calculate all the expenses (transportation etc.).
      I haven't used this particular service nor have I used Eindhoven airport, so I can't claim anything for sure.
      However, from my experience every time I used LCC for anything it turned out to be not as great as it initially seemed.
      One time I used Graz airport (2006) to go to London Stansted by Ryanair. Transportation to Graz and from Stansted to London centre added up. So was the case when I used easyJet on a service from LDZA to Gatwick. Gatwick express was something like 20ish pounds each way.

      Last week I booked OU from LDZA to Heathrow for March 2013 (surely planned on time), and got the return ticket for 80 euros. I'll have a normal meal, I'll take one normal bag and one normal carry on, I have my seat and I'll actually land in London. Pretty sweet.

      Had I used easyJet I would have saved 20-30ish euros, but then again I'd loose on transportation to London, and on the level of comfort and service too...

      OU's deal is OK given Osijek doesn't have any other options. And they are certainly not trying to rip people off.

    2. Train ticket from lgw to vic was 3 pounds., now 5 - nearly the same as metro from lhr- price and time.

  7. I will fly from Zagreb to Osijek just for the fun of trying the new service.

    1. Same thinking here :-)

      Greeting from London and I hope my BNX follows similar step(s)

  8. Great move and let us hope this is just the beginning of this type of aircraft size for OU.

    A few months back I posted on this blog that 20 to 30 seat commuter planes should be introduced by OU. Imagine all the possibilities;

    Sarajevo - Split
    Sarajevo - Dubrovnik
    Skopje - Split / Dubrovnik
    Ljubljana - Split / Dubrovnik
    Zagreb - Belgrade
    Belgrade - Split / Dubrovnik / Zadar / Pula / Osijek all year round.
    Mostar - Zagreb
    Osijek - Dubrovnik

    Great way to develop a service which can easily be replaced by a Q400 if the needs warrants this or cancelled with minimal financial loss if need be.

    Excellent aircraft choice to in terms of capacity and operational costs too.

  9. If that is true why on earth everybody sell this aircraft? Even 50-seater turboprops are throwing away for any price, or even to trash with no earning at all. Why no one produces 30-seaters any more if that is so good plane (exempt Let 410 which is produce just for special orders in ratio of 4-5 peaces per year)? Why just ATR produce ATR-42 with just few examples every year?

    Croatia Airlines put this model in fleet just because BAS give them planes for very low price. They don't know what to do with those 3 examples when Malev bankrupt. So they will give that for any price. But if you really want to make this plane commercial it does not have any chance.

    1. Aircraft are being sold at a rate of knots on the international market mainly as a result of the massive downturn in aviation due to the world financial crises, which don't forget was pre seeded by very aggressive expansion of the aviation industry pre world financial crises.

      The Emraer 120 has always been a very popular 30 seat commuter with operators due to it's speed and low operating costs and if it's true what you said that OU is getting the aircraft cheap than even bigger plus for OU!

  10. Yesterday's news:

  11. Oh, by the way, this isn't a jet, it's a turboprop :)

  12. Hey, Jat could use one of these to do 2-daily Belgrade-Nis, Belgrade-Kraljevo and (why the heck not) Belgrade-Zagreb :)

    1. Honestly - can people like you refrain from making such ridiculous suggestions that are so lacking in even basic airline industry logic. This kind of message contains as much worth as spam email from Nigeria.

    2. Bit harsh,

      No reason why any suggestion re' aviation in the Ex Yu should be rejected this way but you should explain to the above Anonymous your reasons why you think it's a bad idea. That is if you have any and share your 'aviation expertise' with us.

    3. I don't understand why it's a bad idea either.

      I think "thinking small" would develop the air travel business nicely in the ex-yu. Why not a few flights a day from Nis? There's a bus every 15 mins, and they're not cheap. You can fly to Milan for 40 euros from Belgrade, why not Nis?


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