|SkyGreece expects to handle up to 5.000 passengers on Toronto - Zagreb flights|
SkyGreece Airlines, the Croatian Ministry for Tourism and Zagreb Airport are all confident in the success of the soon to be launched flights between Toronto and the Croatian capital. The one weekly charter service will mark the resumption of flights between the two cities following an seven-year hiatus. Speaking in Toronto last week, the Croatian Minister for Tourism, Darko Lorencin, said, “Croatia has much to offer to Canadian guests. One of our aims is to connect Croatia with new and far away markets”. In 2014 some 80.000 Canadians holidayed in Croatia, an increase of 19% compared to the year before. Mr. Lorencin highlighted the lack of direct flights between his country and other markets as a challenge for the local tourism industry, thus emphasising the importance of SkyGreece’s new service. It is estimated that almost 5.000 passengers will use the flights.
The charter airline will inaugurate services between Toronto and Zagreb on June 22, with the first return flight from the Croatian capital scheduled for June 24. A total of seventeen rotations, up until October 15, are planned with a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which has the capacity to seat 274 passengers. Tickets are to be put on sale during this month. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, tickets will also be available for purchase through a global agency distribution network system, allowing various tour operators to sell tickets for these flights. Furthermore, SkyGreece has been issued all necessary permits for the new service by both Canadian and Croatian authorities. In addition to Zagreb, the airline will also operate flights from Canada to Athens, Thessaloniki and Budapest. It is in the process of acquiring a second B767 jet.
SkyGreece Airlines’ Deputy Commercial Officer, Denis Codere, said last week, “Given its central location within Europe, Croatia will be the go-to European destination for Canadians within the next few years”. However, Mr. Cadare believes the new service will not only cater for tourists, but will also attract Croatian expats living in Canada. “This new direct flight to Toronto will allow families to see each other more often and Croatians can now also discover the beauty and richness of Canada”, Mr. Cadare said. The charter specialist has agreed on a joint marketing approach with the Croatian National Tourism Board in Canada in order to pull even more potential passengers. SkyGreece is a Greek-registered airline, founded by a group of Greek entrepreneurs, with its offices in Toronto, Montreal and Athens.
ZAGREB - TORONTO SERVICE HISTORY
Scheduled flights between Zagreb and Toronto were launched by JAT Yugoslav Airlines in November 1985. In its last year of normal operations within the former Yugoslavia, during the 1990/91 winter season, the carrier maintained two weekly flights between the two cities, each Thursday and Saturday, with a DC-10 aircraft. Services were operated with a stop in Montreal.
|JAT DC-10 at Zagreb Airport|
Air Canada also operated flights between Toronto and Zagreb, both nonstop and via Zurich. In its last year of operations to the city, during the winter of 1990/91, the airline maintained four weekly flights, from Thursday through to Sunday. Two of these services were operated with a Boeing 767, while the other two with a Lockheed L1011 TriStar.
Skyservice Airlines launched a seasonal one weekly flight between Toronto and Zagreb in 2007 and operated the service again in 2008 with a Boeing 757. However, flights were not resumed in 2009 and a year later the airline declared bankruptcy.