Croatia Airlines unaware of its winter flights to Osijek
Croatia Airlines says it is unaware that it is launching flights from Zagreb and Split to Osijek this winter season, just a week after it was announced the airline will be leasing a turboprop specifically for the service. After authorities at Osijek Airport announced the new routes, hopeful passengers have been inquiring the national carrier for tickets only to be met by surprise from staff. Tickets were meant to go on sale on October 1 and were to be sold exclusively via the airline’s website. To date, tickets are still unavailable for booking.
Originally, it was announced that flights from Zagreb to Osijek would operate on a daily basis, while the service to Split would run twice per week. The flights were to be inaugurated on October 29. It was said that a return ticket from Osijek to Zagreb would set passengers back approximately eighty euros. 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 uninformed nature of Croatia Airlines regarding the flights has now put them in doubt. The airline has previously said it would lease an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia from Budapest Aircraft Service for the Zagreb and Split to Osijek route. Osijek Airport is attempting to recover after a dramatic year which saw managerial changes, government cash injections and a passenger plunge of 90% compared to 2011, making the planned flights vital for the airport’s revival.