Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zagreb in talks with ČSA, Air Serbia and Etihad

New airlines and transatlantic flights on the radar for Zagreb Airport

The CEO of Zagreb Airport, Gonzalve de Cordoue, has confirmed the airport is in talks with several airlines to launch flights to the Croatian capital this year including ČSA Czech Airlines, Air Serbia and Etihad Airways. The airport is close to finalising a deal with ČSA for the resumption of its Prague - Zagreb service. The Czech national carrier last operated flights to Zagreb in 2012 after which it vacated the service to its subsidiary Central Connect Airlines (CCA). Following CCA’s demise later that year services between the two cities were suspended.

Mr. Cordoue also confirmed talks are being held with both Air Serbia and Etihad over potential flights from Belgrade, however, the CEO refused to give further details on the talks. In addition, the airport is negotiating with two Canadian based airlines for the launch of transatlantic flights from Toronto in 2015, the first from Canada to Croatia since 2008. Further discussions are being held with airlines from Italy and Poland. Zagreb Airport has already secured two new international customers this year with both Etihad Regional and KLM Cityhopper to launch flights to the Croatian capital from Rome and Amsterdam respectively.

Zagreb Airport’s push to attract new airlines comes against its recent warning to Croatia Airlines that it will give it only six month to get its act together before attempting to attract low cost carriers. Croatia Airlines recorded an 8% drop in passenger numbers on services to and from Zagreb in 2013 on the back of a 10% decrease in the number of operated flights. On the other hand, foreign carriers flying into Zagreb managed to see their numbers improve by 10% on the year before. Croatia Airlines currently holds a 60% share of all flights to and from Zagreb. Mr. Cordoue states that under the concession agreement with the Croatian government, the national carrier enjoys some benefits at Zagreb Airport.

97 comments:

  1. The most important part of this article is that the new management is smart enough to realize how much the Star Alliance domination is hurting their business.
    My guess is that we will not see Air Serbia in Zagreb before the winter season as I really can not see where they will get the Atr from. Unless they use the one that was planned to fly to Warsaw.
    JU can do really well in Zagreb, especially if it works on attracting connecting passengers to eastern Europe and the Balkans. I am just surprised the airport authority is not negotiating with Tarom. There are roughly 40 daily passengers flying between Zagreb and Bucharest.

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    1. I heard rumors that JU might be getting some more ATRs eventually. Is there any truth in that?

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    2. The article says unambiguously: "Mr. Cordoue also confirmed talks are being held with both Air Serbia AND Etihad over potential flights FROM Belgrade", not Abu Dhabi.

      That leaves us with two options: either EY will use their own bird that is sitting in BEG for several hours 3 times per week to fly to Zagreb, or Air Serbia might go daily ATR, the later more likely. I see Zagreb becoming one of the first in the new wave of Air Serbia's launches this year (after Kiev, Beirut etc.), the other one might be Tirana. We could have expected as well Chisinau if the cooperation with Tarom wasn't in place.

      @Aleksandar Stojanovic

      The question is not "if", but "when".

      As Nemjee just pointed-out, one Atr has been freed since WAW is going A319 instead.

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    3. Yeah, it makes complete sense for JU to operate more turboprops, but are there any concrete plans on the solution? I understand that JU and EY want to probably keep this a secret, or the surrounding carriers might try to compete for market share before the new planes can be introduced.

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    4. Kondic did say that Air Serbia needs to have 8 Atrs. My guess is that they will also use some of these new Atrs to add more frequencies on the existing routes which have performed really well. I am sure Ljubljana will be one of them, especially now when Adria withdrew from Belgrade.
      Regarding Zagreb, I am sure it would get the same schedule as Banja Luka, half-morning, half-afternoon.
      Funny how Etihad Regional will feed Etihad's flight in Rome while Air Serbia will feed the Abu Dhabi hub via Belgrade. I wonder what impact this might have on Qatar's operations in Zagreb.

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    5. With 8 ATR 72-600s, JU could completely expand into all the southeast Europe destinations. All that is needed after that is more expansion into mid range, including Iberian peninsula, and then the network is ready for long haul.


      I think that Romania and Croatia offer the biggest markets for JU to expand into. There are 3+ airports in each country that could handle daily ATRs of transit passengers once the network is more developed.

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    6. @Aleksandar Stojanovic

      All your 'analysis' just sucks.

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    7. He just said AirSERBIA might expand, which has been announced since day one, so what problem you have with that?

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    8. OK, let me hold you here guys,

      Talks with Air Serbia are over only few seasonal flights starting in September, sort of testing the waters, we are talking 12-14 flights in 2014 and 18 in 2015 if all goes well.

      Air Serbia might send one atr72 to see how it goes, but indications are that there's little market value for the route, at best fully developed route would generate around 40 000pax, mostly business travelers and some Croatian Serbs, pretty similar passenger profile to JAT's Split flights, in short not financially prudent for any carrier.

      As to Ethiad, this in reference to to regional carrier, not Ethiad that operates out of Belgrade, Rome Zagreb flights that will be in direct competition to OU and future Alitalia flights.

      Although there will be 3 carriers at one point on Rome Zagreb route, it is quite likely OU will retain much of the passenger numbers on that route due to shear volume of flights and plans to increase number of flights and lower prices.

      The big news are arrival of LOT, CSA and few other big carriers, SAS talks should be announced in mid to late March, and Finnair as well, they just started talking and it was SAS who initiated talks, in the past OU would always prevent Zagreb airport management to do any talks with SAS.

      Also Swiss Int is another carrier and Iberia and Vueling, Swiss to start seasonal flights at first from October and full on service after initial results, with 4 weekly flights in 2015 if all goes well, and Iberia and Vueling to start full on service to Zagreb with 3 and 4 weekly flights, so instead of being only seasonal it would be a full on service to Zagreb throughout the year.

      TAP is also looking to increase its frequency to daily flights, they are holding talks on this and possible direct flights out of Lisbon, although Zagreb Bologna route is extremely popular.

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    9. There were some rumors that Etihad ordered 6 ATR 72-600 when they ordered A320s, but it was never confirmed by JU.

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    10. I will repeat myself, if JU launches Zagreb it will be for connecting passengers the same way it launched Varna, Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest...

      Air Serbia does not randomly launch flights to test the waters. If they announce Zagreb then it will a serious, year-round operation and most likely operated daily with the Atr.

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  2. transatlantic service in their dreams.

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    1. I do believe they could pull-out some charters or seasonal flights at best.

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    2. I absolutely agree, many tourists, especially from Canada and USA, big diaspora...

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    3. LH will just dump the fares and bye bye transatlantic service. They did it when skyserviced tried their luck....

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    4. out of Canada yes, talks are being helod with Air Canada and smaller Canadian based operator over seasonal flights to Zagreb with Air Canada's B767 200ER on twice weekly basis from May to October in 2015, is services proves successful a full on service is possible in 2016.

      Zagreb airport in turn if they can agree on Service would buy out certain number of tickets and sell them at discount via Croatian tour operators, number of tickets isn't known yet, but 5 000 tickets could be in play or around 50 tickets per each flight.

      B767 200ER has 224 seats, 200 in economy and 24 in first class.

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  3. All of these new destinations could easily have been flown by OU had it not been for the chronic mismanagement of the airline.

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  4. Hope to see Air Serbia in Zagreb soon, also hope that OU doesn't go bankrupt... Good luck Zagreb!

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  5. Honestly people ... this is how I generally felt several years ago (way before we knew that ZAG would earn a concession deal, and ex Jat get privatised....) and this is how I feel now too...

    Serbia-Croatia, the whole Ex-Yu = relatively small and poor market.

    Sinergy, sinergy is the key. Zagreb and Belgrade must connect, just the way it was prior to 1990 on the same principle. Belgrade starts their west-bound legs with high capacity aircraft (150 and plus saeters), fill them up in Zagreb and continue on to Western Europe. DIrect flights from Zagreb to the West, as well as from Belgrade to the West are not excluded, especially on the most popular routes (London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam).
    This way, both "Ex Yu" hemispheres are able to fill their routes, and that goes especially for the routes where both Serbia and Croatia struggle to fill up their planes on the year-long basis.

    Same goes for traveling to the East. Feeding" Belgrade for some routes that Zagreb can't do by itself is OK by me (Bucharest, Sofia, Kiev...).

    Just like for the West-bound flights, some most popular East-bound flights from Zagreb could stay direct (Moscow, Istanbul).

    Again, this is just a general strategy. Each route must be analized thoroughly.

    ONLY THEN, when those "two hemisheres" get in line, only then can both markets hope for the transatlantic routes, and not just some charters, but rather year-long flights to several cities...

    Just my two cents of thought.

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  6. Petar, great comment! Belgrade and Zagreb should be connected, there's a great interest for the route, especially for business people, and there are also many Croats travelling to Belgrade for vacation! Linking Belgrade/Zagreb with Eastern/Western Europe is a great idea!

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    1. thanks :) Seems logical. I bet that administrative hoops, as well as looking at "the bigger picture" are the toughest to handle. OU nor Jat could have done this themselves.

      EY and ADP sat down on the table, and I am sure they'll come up with some good win-win based solutions...

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    2. Well, Jat Airways did want to cooperate. It was the Croatian side that was constantly putting hurdles ahead. It was a living nightmare for Jat to get the rights to fly to Pula in 2008 (?) and then we all remember when the Croatian government revoked Jat Airways' permit to fly into Dubrovnik. Thank God politics has been removed from civil aviation in Croatia. Let's hope that we also get year-round flights to Dubrovnik.

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    3. Just a small remark, weekend Croatian tourists that go to Belgrade, would rather use buses and their own cars than planes, as they do today. The main markets are business people (around 100 Croatian companies in Serbia) and transit pax. Thats quite a huge market, and I would not stop at daily flights, I would go 10 per week.

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    4. I think most business people drive between Belgrade and Zagreb, the distance is not that great, same scenario as with Budapest.
      If they launch Zagreb flights it will be for connecting passengers.

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    5. People used to use horse and carriage on mass to get around , do they still do that today?

      Just because they currently drive between the 2 cities doesn't mean that if a decent air link was established it would not be utilised bt these same people.

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    6. Agree with Q400, The fact that business people today go by car, does not mean they won't use a plane if they have money or if it is urgent.

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  7. It would be interesting to see how will Lufthansa & co respond if they have JU and EY in their own yard. I am sure as hell JU would provide some great connections to the East (Moscow, especially) and to Scandinavia. Those routes are underserved too much.

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    1. I think Austrian Airlines will be at a loss here because Vienna's proximity to Belgrade means passengers from Zagreb can use either one of the two hubs without really backtracking. A lot of people from Zagreb use Vienna for Balkan and eastern European flights.

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    2. @AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Uneventfully, Zagreb is too well connected to western Europe for either alliance members to care, there are loads of daily flights to Germany, Austria, the EU .

      JU is no threat to anyone, Lufthansa has a fleet 320 aircraft with 70 weekly flights to Zagreb alone, I don't think there's fear of JU taking any pax from OU or Lufthansa.

      JU could only compliment service to Zagreb with link to Belgrade and that is it.

      JU should really worry about Turkish, who is expanding really aggressively and they're taking ever greater chunk of pax for mid east.

      I think Turkish has around 40 flights to ex Yu on a weekly basis, with this number going up to 60+ in 2014, that is a lot of flights if you ask me, and I indeed welcome any competition that would lower my price of ticket.

      also Qatar Air is doing also a great work in giving alternative to Turkish, Lufthansa and others. I welcome more competition, more the merrier, and better for my and your pocket.



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    3. Well, Air Serbia's entry will impact Austrian Airlines' numbers from Zagreb to both the Balkans and eastern Europe. Yes, Air Serbia is still a small airline but we should not look at what it can do now what it's future potential. With Etihad's backing and constantly increasing passenger numbers soon it will become a more than serious Balkan carrier. Especially when all the Airbuses are delivered.

      This year Air Serbia will surely handle 2 million passengers, up from 1.4 in 2013.

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    4. @Anonymous January 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Well is ZAG connected with the East (Kiev, Sofia, Bucharest, Varna, Moscow) ? It's not.

      Can they connect via Belgrade? Yes.

      Is it smarter for a Zagrepcanin to go to Bucharest via BEG, than diverting direction and going via VIE, MUC, FRA, especially if the prices are competitive? HELL YES!

      So what is your problem? JU is not a threat for anyone bla bla bla.

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    5. Not to mention that Air Serbia can attract a fair share of passengers from Zagreb to places like Athens, Thessaloniki, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Abu Dhabi...

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    6. ... And nobody said that either OU or LH will go bankrupt, I just say JU can take over some passengers going to the north (WAW) and the east. Do not take it personally whoever you are, Serb or Croat...

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    7. @AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Hm, not many Croats travel to Romania or Bulgaria, and I think at this point Kiev is out of any question, only a mad man would want to go to a war zone.

      That being said, in few years time, sure if Air Serbia offers a really decent price on Sofia, Kiev and Bucharest, why not, but I think Austrian is preferred for Ukraine cause Vienna is closer to Zagreb, and most purgeri prefer to drive to Vienna, have friends or relatives in Vienna or can get easy transfer via Vienna to Zagreb with 4-5 daily flights.

      Romania and Bulgaria was I've said not many Croats travel there, perhaps 2-3000 per year if even that, reason why Bulgarian or Croatian airlines never had link between Zagreb and Sofia, and Tarom did consider direct link to Zagreb in 2008, but that never materialized, numbers were just too low, less than 10 000 potential travelers.

      Romania isn't seen as place of great interest in Croatia, we literally have no idea about Romania or their culture other than they're your neighbors and that Iron gate hydroelectric dam. We might as well be on a different continents.

      Russia and Ukraine on the other hand are interesting but OU never had real agenda for these markets, I think they gave up on Ukraine long time ago, and Austrian has 100% monopoly on that route, Moscow is shared among 4 airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Croatian and Aieroflot with Austrian having best service of the 4 and about 3rd of the market on that route.




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    8. @AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      reason why there are so few airlines from ME in Croatia is cause there's little interest in Croatia to travel to ME, simply put its not financially prudent to have links. Turkish, ElAl, Qatar already doing much of the ME coverage with OU having direct link to Athens, as furthest to the east OU ever went, as OU no longer flies to Istanbul, lost competition to Turkish who now has two daily flights to Zagreb.

      Beirut, Dubai, Sofia and Bucharest might be reasons why Air Serbia might get few transfers from Zagreb, perhaps 20 000 per year, but once route is fully developed in few years time, now route would have significant losses.

      Qatar is far more important for Croats as its NATO's lay over station on return to Europe from Afghanistan. Normally most military transports and civilian airlines go via Qatar or Tbilisi in Georgia.






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    9. Hmm if Air Serbia can fill its Ljubljana flights, despite O&D being limited, then I do not see why they would fail in Zagreb.

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    10. I still think there would be not only Croats, but also people from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Cyprus and UAE that would use the BEG connection. So not only Croats (because you only keep mentioning them) but also people from mentioned countries.

      Croats on this blog keep informing us how they are more and more attractive for the whole world, how tourists are flooding them, but now, when JU can take over some pax, now we are being told that actually there is NO interest in Croatia from the eastern countries, so JU cannot make anything of its ZAG route.

      Pozdrav iz BG-a.

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    11. So if someone says "interesting for the whole world" it doesn't mean every country in the world... Let's be honest, more than 10 million tourists come to Croatia every year, the number is huge for such a small country, of course JU can have its share, but what makes some bloggers think Croatia can't do it on its own? Considering Romania and Bulgaria, there is no interest in Croatia for these countries and vice versa, that's the fact.

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    12. Well, if Croatia Airlines could do it on its own then they would be flying to places like Dubai, Moscow, Stockholm... I think it's for the same reason they are not flying to places like Sofia or even Thessaloniki.

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    13. 12 million tourists, 65 million overnights, more than impressive for country with 4 million citizens.

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    14. OU has a bad management, that's the reason, and is under high influence of LH, but it doesn't mean things can't and won't change... Croatian market has a big potential, even if OU fails, other carriers will show up

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    15. @ 2:20 PM:

      Glad to read that you only hang out with master races and consider everything east as 'here be dragons'. However, being proud to have no clue about a country of 20M people only 500 km away (or even 200, if taken from Ilok) is something civilized people are normally ashamed of. Ignorance is hardly a virtue.

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    16. actually number of tourist is 12.43 million and 73.5 million nights, these statistics aside, Stockholm is very attractive destination for Croatia and OU, why OU isn't flying there is anyone's guess, could be that OU simply doesn't have enough planes to cover so many destinations.

      On a side note, there's little interest in Bulgaria or Romania in Croatia, no business links, no social or cultural links, not eve economic or financial links. I mean in all of 2012 Croatia exported around $9.5 million worth of goods to Bulgaria and Romania combined, Hungary alone imported around $350 million worth of Croatia's goods in 2012.

      Even Stipe Mesic wanted to establish link between Zagreb and Sofia way back in 2007 when he visited Bulgaria or was is vice versa, and Bulgarian President at the time said would be nice to have an air link, this is far it went in terms of stronger economic links between the two countries.

      With Romania things are even worse, we don't even have an embassy in Romania or them in Zagreb, One on Tuskanac has been empty for ages.

      For link between Belgrade and Zagreb to have any benefit for air Serbia, there has to be a great package, I'm sure some Croats would use air Serbia to travel to Beirut or even UAE, but not large numbers.

      Qatar is far more important for Croatia, for NATO/Political stand point but also Qatar offers great deal on flights to Australia, reason why many Croats fly with Qatar.




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  8. I dont think Belgrade will ever feed Zagreb towards their westbound gights. That is like saying Bucharest needs to feed Belgrade to get to the West. That is simply croatian propaganda. Just compare your stats. In 2014 BEG will double up their pax numbrrs over Zagreb. You can tell where the cash is. Also that french company will build much smaller terminal in Zagreb if they build it at all.

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    1. Haha, bitter, aren't you?

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    2. Why not? There's traffic from Belgrade to western Europe via Podgorica. Why not Zagreb?

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    3. Nobody mentioned feeding ZAG, relax :)

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    4. Doot,

      I fear you missed his point. He proposed for flights such as Belgrade-Zagreb-Paris to be operated. There are no such flight via Montenegro, sure there are connections there but that is not what the guy was talking about.

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  9. Dubai will feed Zagreb lol

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  10. Air Canada got rid of their 762 birds long time ago. There is no such a thing as first class on AC. Wake up.

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  11. Anyone wrote Wizz will return to ZAG in Sept. - How sure is that and which cities will be linked?

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  12. It is going to be very interesting when Ljubljana airport will be sold. They mention few very serious candidates as SAVE, Vinci Airports, Fraport and even Russians and Chines. Many cards will be mixed in the region and I think that Star Alliance would not just watch how their dominant position in ZAG will fade with a new concessionaire. I assume that there will be pressures on slovenian government to sell LJU to Fraport.

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  13. Everything stands but again I want to say one thing - Low cost is something you bring "only" to pump up the number of passengers, no serious airport can rely on low cost... It's not the passanger that pays the ticket ~50€ that will bring you profit and spend it's money in your shops...

    Pozdrav svim ljudima dobre volje!

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  14. I understand that this comment will trigger a lot of different reactions, but this is how I see the Zagreb Airport in the next 5 years :

    Croatia Airlines will exist, but it fleet will be minimized, just like it's destination network, but it will be there.

    Some low cost carrier will open a base in Zagreb (probably easyJet or Wizz Air) and they 'll be the busiest carrier.

    Because of the CA shrinking, a lot of foreign carriers will start to fly to Zagreb, and most likely that will be Alitalia, Etihad, flyDubai, LOT, Pegasus, Swiss, Ukraine Int etc...
    Also Air Serbia will start to fly to Zagreb, but most of the passengers will be transit heading to the east, and business people.

    There won't be any transatlantic flights launched, except if the airport or the country(most likely) guarantees them for the flight. (That means that they'll pay every empty seat)

    And the new terminal will be built, but the number of passengers in the next 5 years will be from 2.7 to 3.5 million.

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  15. On July 1, 2013 Air Canada formed a subsidiary called Air Canada Rouge to compete the second charter type Canadian airline Air Transat. Rouge’s main focus is Caribbean (with A319/320) and Trans Atlantic. Currently they are flying to Rome and Athens I think with 767-300ER but all along AC’s executives are saying that they have big plans for this airlines and would like to transfer more 767 as soon as they start receiving 787s in Q1 2014. They have a total of 37 t8ts on order, both -8 and -9 variant). Considering this and the fact that Rouge is for sure not going to fly to primary hubs like (MUC, FRA, CDG, LHR etc. – they make killing on these routes, domestic/US market is very competitive). Very soon they are going to start introducing flights to secondary, tourist type locations like VIE, BAR, MAD, VCE etc. where they are targeting O&D traffic (this is all to compete with Air Transat).

    So, taking all of this into account it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise that once they transfer some more 767s to Rouge and once they take care of their main targets they start thinking of ZAG. OU could provide some feed on these flights + diaspora, I guess it could work in high season. Year round I highly doubt it. With that in mind they could easily do DUB couple of times a week as well during summer. I would feel sorry for the people travelling with them. I flew with them to Cuba, worst flight, least leg room ever. Doing 9 hr. flight in something similar would be unbearable. On the other hand, if that would work Air Transat would do it. They tried VIE couple of years ago during summer and gave up on it.

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  16. This development only reinforces what is believed to be continuing Lufthansa management failure in the Central/East/Southeast Europe. While Lufthansa experienced growth in the region since 1990, it failed to recognize and capture opportunities in the region beyond shortsighted goals. Others are growing in the region far better than LH: as Dubai DXB airport grew to over 66 million passengers in 2013, Eastern Europe was globally the fastest growing regional market with 57% growth YoY.

    Germany in general, and Lufthansa in airline sector, had tremendous respect and was considered a friend in the region two decades ago. Admiration of Lufthansa eroded over time as LH continued to push hub feeder approach that drove regional players and even partners to the brink of bankruptcy.

    Instead of investing in and supporting regional airlines, recognizing emerging market needs to have profitable local companies/bases/crew and sustainable regional networks, LH management treated the region in neocolonial fashion and invested significantly in developed countries, even when that approach ended in major failures such as Lufthansa Italia project.

    Region is now rightfully turning away from German dominance and is actively seeking investors with mutual interest and entrepreneurial spirit elsewhere: CSA partnership with Korean Air, Air Serbia deal with Etihad and Zagreb Airport deal with French investors are positive examples. Homegrown LCC successes like Wizz Air point to the better way to treat local markets. Ship has sailed for LH management to be recognized as “friendly” in the region.

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    1. +1 Very well said.

      In my opinion, it is crucial for the region to be better connected, both internally and to the "outside world". We should not be focused on the competition between our regional carriers and airports, but support all positive developments in all countries.

      On a side note, the days of JAT and BEG-ZAG-Europe flights are long gone, and they will not return. Non-stop flights are what passengers want and the economics of short haul flying are such that an airline can not sustain stopovers on short haul routes (more fuel, double airport fees, handling... ) I am surprised to see OU got away with ZAG-SPU/DBV-FCO flights for so long.

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  17. Why should a airline make a deal with Zagreb airport now,when it could get a better deal in the future?
    Belgrade for example will probably also get a new owner and even could offer something better then Zagreb.
    Because in the end these two airports are competitors and will fight for the same airlines.
    If i was an airline i would wait before making a conclusion as early as now....

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    1. Yes but the difference between the two airports is large enough for them to not be direct competitors.

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    2. I agree, Croatia is richer than Serbia, why should Zagreb feed Belgrade?

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    3. Sorry, last post was a joke, there are diferences, yes, but we should overcome them so that our future could be better, business is business after all... I hope Belgrade and Zagreb airports will cooperate much more in the future!

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    4. AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Because Belgrade has a functioning airline?

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    5. British Airways and Air France skipped Belgrade for Zagreb airport because they could not compete with the lowcosters at Belgrade.
      It is obvious that most airlines can not be successful in Belgrade and Zagreb at the same time.
      Thats why KLM,CSA and SAS are so keen on Zagreb flights but have no interest so far for Belgrade.
      Should LOT fail in direct competition with JU on the Warsaw route i bet we can see them afterwards also popping up in Zagreb.
      Also Cannibalization is a big problem.
      TAP solved the problem by offering direct flights to BEG while they have a stopover on their flights to ZAG.
      Flydubai is torn apart by splitting up between BEG and SKP with the result that they can not really offer decent frequencies to both destinations.

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    6. Well, that's usually what happens when there is a strong local carrier. If Croatia Airlines was any stronger or better at preserving its market-share foreign carriers wouldn't be rushing this fast at launching flights. I would like to see British Airways back in Belgrade but no way I would want AF back. Their service was horrible at best and Air Serbia's onboard product is miles ahead.
      Also, I highly doubt that Skopje and Belgrade are competing at all when it comes to flydubai. I could understand Sofia but not these two.

      By the way, KLM can't launch flights to Belgrade because of the code-share agreement.

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    7. LH and it's boys are doing fine at both airports.

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    8. Anonymous 6:27, Croatia has 9 functioning airports, Serbia only 1 (one)

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    9. Well,when Flydubai announced its flights to Skopje they stated that a lot of Macedonian citizen previously flew on them from Belgrade to Dubai.
      Obviously there were enough to them to make them think they could do offer a direct link.
      But that also means that if there were flights only to Belgrade that they still would get a good amount of passengers from Macedonia.

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    10. Some of you guys are really something, OU is a stronger carrier than Air Serbia, has more money, more revenue, more passengers and larger turnover, and its profitable.

      Why even argue results show themselves.

      OU has 60% of Zagreb airport trafic, that 60%, you can't be more stronger than that at any home base.

      What the problem with the OU is really bad management and really bad utilization of the fleet. Something that should be addressed once airline is privatized in late 2014 or in mid 2015.

      BTW OU is getting 4 brand new A319s on top of 6A320/319s currently in the fleet with 6 Dash 8s, that is a significant fleet regionally speaking, and if OU orders another four brand new aircraft form Bombardier in form of CS100s than OU will be without any doubt be the largest airline by aircraft as well.



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    11. Let's wait and let's compare Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines in a few months from today. If the information from below is true then Air Serbia has had a really strong start in 2014. Also, JU has actually become larger both in terms of offered seats and aircraft number. This year it will surely take over the number one spot. Etihad took over full ownership only 30 days ago and the sixth A319 is scheduled to join the fleet one of these days. Eh ajde, it's ok, I will let you enjoy your last moments of glory. :)

      I never quite understood that argument about functioning airports. So what if Croatia has nine? Serbia has one real and so does Hungary. Are you telling me that Croatia's aviation landscape is more advanced than that of Hungary?! LOOOOL

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    12. By the way, Air Serbia probably handled just a bit less passengers than Zagreb Airport did in January 2014. I can only imagine how massive the difference is with OU.

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    13. So if Serbia and Hungary have one real airport, does it mean that aviation landscapes in Serbia and Hungary are the same, Anonymous 7:39?

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    14. Yes, it means that the basic aviation landscape is the same however the Hungarian one is way more developed than the Serbian one. Serbia will start playing catching-up now when it has Etihad-backed Air Serbia.
      Naturally,let's not forget that Hungary got rid of Communism a decade before Serbia and it did not have to undergo sanctions and illegal NATO bombing. Bearing all this in mind, Serbia is not doing bad at all.

      Delete
    15. LH and the "boys" are actually losing market share at BEG and will likely lose share at ZAG in 2014 with new carriers coming in. Their operating profits are also under more pressure. So LH/OS/LX are not doing just fine as you say, and things will get even worse for them.

      Delete
    16. @AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 7:43 PM

      U do understand OU handles 2 million pax per year, has a revenue of $320 million and now decent profits too.

      Zagreb handled around 150 000 pax in jan, or there abouts, are you telling me that Air Serbia is handling these numbers ?

      Croatian airlines handles around 140 000 in Jan, and only at Zag, it handles around 60% so you go and figure out how much that is. Don't forget 2 million per year, JAT in its best year handled 1.33 million.

      Air Serbia hits numbers in 2014, I'd be surprised, for it is down on JAT's best jan figure, down by 6%..

      So lets not brag Air Serbia this and that, and in few months, Air Serbia won't be much in few years, you think getting 10 A319s and 3 Atr72 will make you a world beating fleet with 3 million pax?

      At best Air Serbia can hope to get 2 million pax in few years time and this are words from Air Serbia's own head.

      Predicted numbers for Air Serbia (optimistic estimates)

      1.35 million - 2014
      1.6 million - 2015
      1.8 million - 2016
      2.0 million - 2017


      Croatian airlines (conservative estimates).

      2.05 million - 2014
      2.15 million - 2015
      2.35 million - 2016
      2.55 million 2017 (4 brand new A319 join the fleet)














      Delete
    17. @ anonymous 7:39 pm:

      Is there any official confirmation Etihad took over its 49% or has it been postponed again?


      @ anonymous 7:34 pm:

      If OU is so superior in all aspects of airline business, how come it is for sale and there is no queue of investors?

      Delete
    18. lx

      Yes, Etihad published an official statement regarding the take-over on 01.01. There were also posts on their Facebook page and Twitter account.

      AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Croatia Airlines has yet to publish their statistics for 2013 but their numbers are down when compared to 2012. Even back then they handled 1.9 million.
      Air Serbia handled 1.4 million last year and this January its passenger growth was 30% which means around 111.000 passengers. Zagreb airport handled around 139.000 so you do the maths. The difference is not that great... not at all.

      I would also like to remind you that Air Serbia's future fleet is not made up of 10 A319 and 3 Atr but:

      2 A320
      8 A319
      4 Atr-72

      plus 10 A320 NEO which were ordered and are to be delivered from 2018. Both Kondic and Hogan said that JU will have around 8 Atrs in near future so we can expect their fleet to grow.

      In 2014 Air Serbia's numbers will reach, without a doubt, 2 million. Especially from March when the summer timetable kicks in. I am sorry you refuse to see the reality.

      Like lx said, if Croatia Airlines was that good of a company, how come no one wanted it? Or do you have another lame excuse like: the government wasn't serious enough about the sale.

      Also, don't get too excited about all these new airlines coming into Zagreb. Remember in 2010 when 10 new airlines arrived to Belgrade just after the liberalization of the market. Soon after most of them did not manage to survive. It's always like that when a market opens up. I predict that only 30% of these new airlines will stay in Zagreb.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous January 30, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      So you are saying that OU will expand it's fleet faster without any strategic partner than JU with Etihad?

      This is just a typical nationalistic post?

      Delete
    20. Oh and just yesterday Air Serbia announced that it will be increasing its flights to Stuttgart from five weekly to daily while Croatia Airlines announces cuts. I guess you are right, Air Serbia won't see any big growth.

      Delete
    21. @AnonymousJanuary 30, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Yeah lets make up numbers as you go, JAT manged 1.33 million best year, and numbers are down on JAT's best jan performance.

      Zagreb did 139 in 2013, in 2014 is set for 150k,

      And OU handled 1.95 million, with $320 million revenue.

      @mvd, you're a nationalist troll posting hateful posts and you're on my ignore and pretty much everyone else ignores you on this blog.

      10 A320 Neo was it, they're replacement for 10 A19s you're leasing atm, so fleet will remain the same, and I don't belive any figures unless they're offical, for offten nationalist such as youself would inflate them to make Air Serbia greatest airline since dawn of man, the fact airline is a massive drain on Serbian state with massive subsidies and support to keep the airline flying, and what ever Ethiad does it'll stop once they realize what a waste Air Serbia truly is.

      And any airline annalist outside Balkans would agree with my sentiments, any airline analyst that knows the market and follows airline business,.

      I'll just add, i'll stick to my figures and predictions and in a year's time lets come and revisit this conversation. I have an excellent memory so I'll be more than willing to quote this post even if I am proven wrong, which I won't be.

      Croatian was never for sale, government hinted and talked about sale of OU but no investors showed up to show interest, it was more of a testing waters, but also futile gesture as it was well known full ahead that there won't be any buyers in deep recession, and with strict EU criteria to adhere to.

      OU won't be sold before late 2014 but most likely dates are in 2015 and Malaysian is one of the likely candidates to purchase 49% steak, but there are others as well, Cathy, Eva, Korean (yes I know Czech), Singapore, and potentially a merger with Adria is still on a cards, an idea never discounted.


      Delete
    22. You're seriously, seriously dillisional if you actually believe anything you just wrote. Like, seriously.

      Delete
    23. @ anonymous 11:01 pm:

      Are you sure about the announcement? I follow Etihad on 3 social networks and they completely did not mention Serbia in 2014. There were feeds on Air Berlin, and a lot on Darwin, but nothing on JU. Nothing on their website either. And check yesterday's quiz on partner airlines - no JU which is supposed to be one of their largest partners. No press releases in the archive. No recent announcements in Google. I would really like to see any official confirmation the equity partnership has started.

      Or if it is just management outsourcing I am fine with that as well, but it should be labeled as such.

      Delete
    24. Well, maybe they did not want to make a big deal about it since they had all those ceremonies back in September when they officially announced it as a take-over.

      However, Aegean published the take-over of Air Serbia in it's press release.

      'The airline will also acquire 49 per cent of Air Serbia from January 2014'

      http://en.aegeanair.com/all-about-us/press-office/press-releases/press-release/?prid=456

      Don't know if that helps.

      Delete
    25. ^ It was confirmed by James Hogan in an interview several days into 2014.

      Delete
    26. Correct spelling is analyst, clearly you aren't one. According to DOT numbers JU is handling more than half passengers at BEG, airport that's tracking well over four million this year. You do the math.

      Delete
    27. It has been so long since JU handled more than 50% of the traffic at Belgrade airport! If that's true then it's really good!

      Delete
    28. I'm a Croat and most of the things Anonymous 11:35 PM wrote are not true and I don't agree with them, but it's funny how you guys start spitting on everything that has something to do with Croatia (Zagreb in particular), the Croats do it, too, though it makes no sense... So please stop talking about haters on Croatian side, 'cause Serbs spit on Slovenia, Croatia and other Ex-Yu countries... For God sake, why don't you accept the fact that something good can come out of this... The world is not spinning around Serbia, Croatia nor Slovenia, and this is not a poliitcal discussion... Wish only good things for all the Ex-Yu airports and national carriers!

      Delete
  18. Even though this comment has nothing to do with ZAG airport, the ruler of Serbia (so called PPV) has announced that Air Serbia is experiencing 30% pax growth and that it is considering regional purchases in addition to fleet renewal. Maybe after all they decide to acquire Montenegro airlines...

    source: http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/region.php?yyyy=2014&mm=01&dd=30&nav_id=806183

    best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the supreme leader is right then it means Air Serbia handled around 101.000 passengers in January 2014, up from 77.962 last year.

      Delete
    2. It's a shame Belgrade missed the list of 100 busiest European airports. If Novosibirsk did not join it then there might have been a chance for us. Oh well... let's hope for it next year.

      Delete
    3. Next year BEG will have at least 4 million pax, so I dont see it not happening....

      Delete
  19. Adria Airways has announced flights from Germany to Poland. They will be flying 6 times weekly from MUC to LCJ (Łódź), small airport in a big city of Łódź, near WAW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulation to the stupid Slovenian taxpayers for funding the losses Adria will generate on this route.
      But also congratulation to Lufthansa for finding someone stupid enough to cover all the disadvantages and handing all the profits to LH.

      Delete
  20. LOT has had public help and according to EU regulations cannot open ANY new routes until October 2015

    ReplyDelete
  21. Every year new hop. Next year on the way. So lucky. But development and enlargement of terminals lagging. Up- dating technology and comforts, including shopping and bars and facility so far can not compare with any advance airport in Europe or any were. Must keep eye on nearby airports development. Serbia is "famous" to doing in last moments. Critics may be do not help, but intention is honest. To ANT Belgrade is great future with managers who have top capability, responsibility, ethics and personality. Let hop. Belgrade deserve. Serbia moving toward EU. Airports of Serbia must go in same direction! They will.
    Rod Marinkovic, AME. Kraljevo,Sydney-Griffith.

    ReplyDelete
  22. i dont see why they should fly to Brisbane ?
    not so many passangers on that route

    ReplyDelete
  23. I heard some rumours yesterday that Croatia Airlines might be suspending Pristina. Apparently they are not making money on the route. Anyone have more info on this?

    ReplyDelete

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