Sunday, May 18, 2014

Airline to link Zagreb with Belgrade and China

New airline plans flights from Zagreb to Belgrade, Central Asia and China

Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA) and its partners have announced plans to create a new airline which will launch direct flights between Zagreb and Belgrade, connecting the two cities for the first time in 23 years. In addition, the airline plans to provide charters between Croatia and China, as well as Central Asia. According to the Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association, “ticket prices are expected to be in the range of low cost airlines”. CSEBA President, Mario Rendulić, said in a statement, “There will be tourist air charters between Croatia and China. Chinese tourists are seeking new destinations, and due to recent initiatives by the Croatian Tourism Ministry, the Chinese are very interested in Croatia”.

Croatia has never had direct air links to China. Far off markets like China hold huge potential for Croatia's tourism industry. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia has seen double digit growth for the past few years. In 2013, 43.000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia and spent 65.000 nights in the country, with numbers expected to rise even further this year. CSEBA is looking to tap into this mostly underserved market. On the other hand, flights between Zagreb and Belgrade would be warmly welcomed by the public. However, both Croatia Airlines and the former Jat Airways maintained that the service would be commercially unviable due to good road connections between the two capitals.

Recently, the Croatian Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has been pitching Croatia Airlines to Chinese investors. The ministry held talks with Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines several months ago in an attempt to interest the carriers in a 49% stake in its national carrier. Furthermore, there have been efforts to lure Chinese airlines to Croatia. Last year, Dubrovnik Airport’s management announced they were in talks with Hainan Airlines in order for it to launch a seasonal service from the resort city of Sanya on Hainan Island in Southern China during the summer. However, the proposed service did not materialise.

40 comments:

  1. There is a huge potential from Chinese market, and it's yet to "discover"

    I have a question about OU sale; I know EU regulates this, so potential buyer outside EU cannot purchase more than 49%, and buying "just" 49% isn't interesting to serious buyers because they cannot control the company or what?
    Can they make a deal in contract, we will buy 49%, but also we will guide the company for its own sake?

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    1. Well, you can't (but in theory that's what you exactly do).

      Latest example is Air Serbia. EU is now investigating how it is possible that Etihad bought 49% of Air Serbia but has (in EU words) "control over company, and over directors board".

      So what is option for OU? Sell the company to, let's say, Chinese and they set their own CEO and everybody else can be from, let's say, old OU board and in that way you are within the law but in reality CEO is the boss of the company and he makes all the decision.

      Pozdrav svim ljudima dobre volje!

      Poplavljeni, držite se!!!!

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    2. Foreign ownership is a problem even for Lufthansa, which is quite ironic given the fact LH is behind EC investigation of Air Serbia foreign ownership. Quote:

      "Lufthansa says it has no intention of buying back any foreign-held shares in the company despite foreign ownership in Lufthansa AG now exceeding the prescribed German legal limit of 40%"

      Source: http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/27492-no-plans-to-buy-back-foreign-held-shares-lufthansa

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    3. On other forum there are some aerial views of new Zagreb terminal, unfortunately it seems they're building a small one!

      P.S. Sending my love to all the people affected with floods in Serbia, BiH and Croatia from Croatia! Hope everything gets better soon!

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    4. Not true. Apparently is the bigger one. Check on google earth and measure the foundations

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    5. I don't have any experience with measuring, honestly, I just wrote what I read this morning. Btw., I'm a Croat and would really love to see the original (big) terminal built, don't get me wrong :))

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    6. 5:48, you still don't understand!!! Even if it's bigger, it HAS to be smaller one here, not because it's really smaller, but because it's in zagreb

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    7. @Anon 4:36

      How can this be? Does Lufthansa want different rules for itself and other airlines? So they want others to follow the law, but not LH?!?

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    8. @AnonymousMay 18, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      this is just Google earth before any major works begun, shot is from early March, actual footprint on that shot is 280m for piers and 57x90m for terminal, actual terminal is 155x165m and actual piers are 700m~, Terminal itsel is 65000sqm, piers another 20 000sqm, for total of around 87500sqm

      A true size won't be apparent before mid to late October, when all the ground works and preparation for terminal construction actually starts.

      If you look at Google earth you'll see some 400m away from the terminal there's another hole approximately 80x85m being dug out, this is where the terminal piers starts, if you look at the edge of taxiway at the end of the runway, this is how far the piers will go when fully expanded, aprox. 1000m, this is what terminal will eventually look like.


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  2. Will the tickets be on sale for Croatians (not part of tour group) travelling to China/Central Asia too?
    It would be great!

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  3. Ah well, this kind of news comes every 2 months somewhere online, HR to USA, SR to China, Balkan to the moon... all crap in the end :)

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  4. Hope this will never materialize.

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  5. Any particular reason why not, Anonymous 2:52 pm? Initiative seems to be rather optimistic; not saying it's serious or genuine, but from customer perspective, why not?

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    1. Cause i don't want us linked with 'Zagreb' in any way in the future, besides Air Serbia feeder flights.

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    2. You have some serious issues... still living in 90s... must be hard for you
      Good thing is that you cannot decide if this is going to happen or not (I mean ZG-BG connection)

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    3. Very constructive thinking, Anonymous 3:11. Why JU flights wouldn'tt bother you, but some other airlines' would? I mean, you would still be linked with ZAG?

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    4. Cause some idiots will again start bragging about 'Zagreb's "importance"' and all that shit from the 80's.

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    5. Unfortunately Anonymous, it is you that are the idiot and making the rest of us look like idiots. And that is coming from one of your countrymen. Get some help :)

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    6. I dont understand. What does it have to do with you if zag has or has certain services...if u dont use zag why do you care to that extent?

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    7. Anonymous 5:31 PM, this has nothing to do with bragging, it's in our two countries best interest to be better connected, both Belgrade and Zagreb, I think it has so much potential, so why not use it?

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  6. Slightly off topic, today Belgrade-Banja Luka 46 passengers.

    Belgrade-Split, 52 passengers. What's interesting is that 5 passengers connected from Etihad's morning flight, EY 071.

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    1. What about other routes? I saw a photo of 2 Ilyushan 76 at BEG airport today, are they there still?

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    2. Hmm I do not remember the information for all flights but the ones I remember are Etihad arrived and departed almost full, Varna arrived with 26 passengers in the morning while Skopje landed with 52. Paris departed with 138 and Zurich with 109. What was really cool is that in the afternoon, Bucharest returned with 100+ passengers, Prague with 57, Sofia left with 33 and came back with 50+.

      I watched one IL-76 land this morning just before 09.00, it carried 80 tons of humanitarian aid. Maybe the second arrived later on in the afternoon. Belarus is sending its own IL-76 tomorrow but I do not know if it will go to Belgrade or Nis. There were also quite a few foreign helicopters parked at the B position.

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    3. So if I get it right, Air Serbia's loads to Croatia are good and there are transfer passengers? That should put to rest the claims that no one will transfer via Belgrade as many have claimed here.

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    4. I prefer O&D pax as they are usually higher yielding. Any transit pax as long as the route is self sufficient with O&D are welcome.

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  7. OT:

    Today 5 Boeing 737-800 and one ATR on Sarajevo - Istanbul route.

    Today was/is expected to be the most frequent day on this route ever.

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    1. Impressive. Is there such huge demand?

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  8. O.T. Montenegro AIrlines will receive today their fourth Embraer.

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    1. Really!? Because I thought that YM will receive it by the end of the year.

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    2. Here it is:
      http://www.rtcg.me/vijesti/drustvo/52086/merlajns-dobio-novi-avion.html

      (On serbian)

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    3. Some better pictures here:
      http://www.vijesti.me/vijesti/embraer-190-novi-avion-floti-montenegro-airlinesa-clanak-210763

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    4. Great news for Montenegro Airlines, but, from the article:

      " Pored zaista jake konkurencije na trzištu, pogotovo u eri kada se sve više niskobubžetnih avio kompanija pojavljuje na crnogorskom nebu, prateći svjetske trendove, pažljivo biranim inovativnim i razvojnim strategijama, Montenegro Erlajns zadržava poziciju lidera u regionu."

      In English: "Bla, bla, regional leader..."

      Ha?! Are they kidding?

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  9. After reading the headline, I thought one of existing airlines from China is opening this route. Then I read in the article that plans call for "creating a NEW airline" and started laughing!!! ROFL - NEW airline for one route and then charters to Central Asia!!! Seriously, brand new airline just for this would be doomed from the start... but everyone has a right to dream, create business case as they wish and invest their money any way they want, so looking forward to see how will this play out in the long run.

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  10. Dalmatian will start operations on June 30. Announced yesterday on their twitter profile. Everything what's written in this article, is written on their website : plans to operate flights within HR and to connect HR with Europe and CIS countries in the first stage, and introduction of long-haul as second phase, with hybrid model and low cost prices. And if you ask me, it fits perfectly, whether it's DLN itself, or another one, which proves that the model and intentions are right. Concerning Central Asia, there were DBK charter flights to Tehran and Almaty, AZAL operates Baku to Split, and Indian Embassy in Zagreb issues aproximately 50 tourists visas DAILY to HR citizens. So, if you ask me, I think there are much more chances for these Croatia to China flights to materialize, then Air Serbia's flights to Chicago. But I wish them both good luck and success :)

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    1. Does this mean Dalmatian and Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA) airline from the article are the same one?

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  11. No. So far. But it wouldn't surprise me if CSEBA became one of the owners of DLN. Based on what I read, there are so many similarities, and I guess the market is too small for 2 players so DLN actually might be that "new airline" which would, among others, have flights to China. Just my speculation, but seems logical...

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  12. OT: Happy to see some improvements at SPU, they do really need some terminal and taxiway expansion for those crazy and overcrowded summer months... 60mil euros seems quite a big investment!

    More info @ http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/Split-%C5%BEupanija/tabid/76/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/245337/Default.aspx

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