Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Osijek Airport waiting for Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines snubs Osijek

Even though Croatia Airlines has been ordered by the government to launch domestic flights from Osijek Airport this winter, with just over a month left until the season comes to a close, the service is unlikely to materialise. Flights were originally planned to begin in November last year with a leased Embraer EMB120 from Budapest Aircraft Service. In December, the Croatian government ordered its national carrier to launch services from Osijek to Zagreb by the end of 2012. Flights between Osijek and the Croatian capital were to operate five times per week while services to Split were to be inaugurated during the upcoming summer months. It is believed Croatia Airlines is intentionally delaying the lease of the thirty-seat Embraer, to be exclusively used for the route, as the service from Osijek would generate losses.

The Croatian government says it would partially subsidise the flights between Osijek and the capital, adding that such a move would make the service profitable for the national carrier. The Croatian government has the right to order its national carrier to launch flights between cities within the country if the service is deemed vital for socio-economic development. The decision must be respected regardless of whether the route is profitable or not. The CEO of Osijek Airport, Domagoj Marinić, who announced the Croatia Airlines service last summer, now says, “Osijek Airport is ready. In regards to possible launch dates it is up to Croatia Airlines”.

Osijek Airport has been struggling to attract flights since Ryanair gave the airport the flick several years ago. It will see charters to Stuttgart this Easter but lacks any scheduled flights. In 2012 the airport welcomed just over 2.000 passengers, down 90% on 2011. Croatia Airlines has a busy summer ahead as it plans to increase frequencies and add new seasonal and charter flights. However, it plans to operate services this summer with only twelve aircraft.

13 comments:

  1. It is not that easy. CEO Kučko said that by instruction of Antimonopoly agency they must reduce fleet for at least 10% (this is why TF has to go). That means they can not lease plane even for «old routes» and for sure they don't have capacity for new ones. I personally thing that this is bullshit and they have this just for excuse, but for sure it is in same time excuse for not to open OSI routes before top season. In same time it is very hard to say to pilots and others that they will cut 6 pilots and all together 109 staff and than they will employ some Hungarian staff instead (in wet lease).

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  2. And it's no news day again..

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  3. The real bone of contention in today's article is the final sentence. The fact remains that if the airline is to be profitable it must be able to:
    1) meet existing and future demand - and Croatia's coastline is clearly a tourist hotspot
    2) have the right aircraft in its fleet to maximise profit

    Letting go of a 320 (irrespective of its age) is incredibly short-sighted. The Croatian govt must purchase it for its residual value and keep it flying - even if only in the summer schedule. There is a precedent for this - NZ recently purchased two ageing 744s which it had leased for years as it was cheaper than leasing and helped tide over until newer aircraft arrive: which coincidentally sounds strangely similar to the predicament of OU... CTF's residual value would be less than €4m, easily affordable to buy.

    As for the rest of the article, this is simply vested interest. Despite Slavonia's economy desperately needing these flights, the unhelpful announcements from OSI's director and lack of political will for these to happen is clearly evident.

    I see the underlying story in this - perhaps Purger's post above hits the nail on the head. OU doesn't want to let go of the plane as it knows it is needed to turn a profit, but won't take on a wet-lease 30-seater which clearly won't do it.

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  4. BEG is their getaway. End of propaganda.

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    1. Hahahaha... those comments are funnier and funnier every day...

      OSI-ZAG = 2 hours
      270 km, new highway, no border, same country

      OSI-BEG = 3 hours
      247 km with border, and very bed highway on Serbian side, political problems

      OSI-BUD = 3,5 hours
      259 km with border, but much more flights

      So, OSI gateways are ZAG and BUD, not more than 10-20% of passengers travel via BEG

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    2. I didnt know we had bed highway. Is it a french bed, or a single bed?

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    3. Hahha i love when they give such stupid remarks, and then give them percentages so that it would look smart. Usually prices from Belgrade are cheaper than Zagreb to most destinations in Europe, and everywhere else, at least when i checked, besides maybe Frankfurt (and we all know why is that). And I spend less gas, and parking in Belgrade is cheaper if i need to leave my car at the airport..

      Greetings from Osijek

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    4. And for sure prices of Ryanair and Wizzair are cheaper in BEG than in BUD! Jezus....

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    5. OSI-ZAG is 289km, OSI-BUD is 271km, OSI-BEG is 235km only if you take the motorway all the way, otherwise it's 179km and somewhat cheaper because you wouldn't pay any tolls on Croatian side - and while Croatian motorways are sparkling new and really good, "bad motorway" in Serbia is not that bad in reality to prevent anyone from travelling or even to discourage from taking that particular route. You can safely drive 140km/h, which is above the posted speed limit, plus you don't actually have to travel to/through Belgrade, as BEG is on the way to Croatian border.

      Political problems? Yeah, sure, they ask a lot of political questions at check-in, especially if you hold a Croatian passport, then you're probably going to be interrogated by the station manager and get charged for overweight!

      Now seriously, I occasionally see OS plates at BEG parking, but not that many. I would say that 20% of OSI pax is realistic, though, I don't think OSI has that much pax to begin with. If they did, there would be a double daily already to either ZAG or BEG. Perhaps this is something for people at JU to think about if they do get new planes. SJJ, SKP and TGD are great source of both O&D and transit pax, why not OSI as well.

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  5. @ admin, love the blog .. keep up the hard work! I have noticed when I try to open the Belgrade - Beauvais route information, it says "sorry the page is unavailable" .. can you please fix this? thank you

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  6. Any idea what happened with the Zagreb Airport Webcam?

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