Croatia Airlines to suspend Dubrovnik - Frankfurt flights
Croatia Airlines has begun planning its network reductions for the 2013/14 winter season as it looks to cut costs as part of its restructuring program. The Croatian carrier has confirmed it will discontinue services from Dubrovnik to Frankfurt starting October 27. “Croatia Airlines is in the process of restructuring which was recently approved by the Croatian Competition Agency. The program foresees, amongst other things, the reduction of our fleet and destination network”, the airline said in a statement. According to several sources, Croatia Airlines was willing to continue the service if it secured subsidies from local tour operators, but ultimately failed to reach an agreement.
The Dubrovnik – Frankfurt service has been producing significant losses for the Croatian carrier these past few years. During the 2012/13 winter season, the airline operated three weekly flights between the two cities but its average cabin load factor was 13% less than the company’s overall network average. For now, the airline plans to continue operating flights from Dubrovnik to Paris, Rome, Zagreb and Zurich this winter. With the suspension of the Frankfurt service, Dubrovnik will no longer have direct flights to Germany during the winter months.
Dubrovnik Airport authorities are less than impressed with the planned suspension. “The loss of flights to the busiest airport in Germany means we will no longer be isolated only from Croatia but the rest of the world as well since Frankfurt represents a transit point to other destinations. After losing the planned highway, ferry and bridge, this is a massive disappointment for Dubrovnik’s transportation network”, Roko Tolić, the airport’s CEO says. The Dubrovnik Tourist Organisation, echoes Mr. Tolić’s comments adding that the Frankfurt suspension will impact on the overall numbers of visitors to the seaside city.