|Zagreb - Mostar flights to resume after nine-year hiatus|
Start-up Air Croatia will launch services between Zagreb and Mostar on May 3, marking the resumption of flights between the two cities for the first time in nine years. The news comes just days after Air Croatia launched operations, inaugurating services from the Croatian capital to Budapest, Prague, Rome and Milan last Thursday and Friday. Flights to Mostar will operate three times per week, each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning. Tickets are already on sale through the company’s website, with return fares starting at 98 euros. All flights will operate with a wet-leased Denim Air ATR 42 aircraft, which has the capacity to seat up to 52 passengers. Spanish airline Aeronova is providing the crew on all services.
Flights between Zagreb and Mostar were last operated in March 2006. B&H Airlines launched the service three times per week with an ATR 72 aircraft on January 17, 2006. The flights were codeshared by Croatia Airlines. However, the route was short-lived and services were suspended at the end of the 2005/06 winter season, after the Croatian carrier pulled out of its arrangement with B&H Airlines. At the time, B&H cited poor loads for the suspension. Mostar Airport sees a range of seasonal and charter flights during the summer, attracting primarily pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje site, as well as tourists. Italy is Mostar’s main market with over a hundred flights each summer. However, the airport is not served by a single airline on a scheduled, year-long, basis. In 2014, Mostar Airport welcomed 67.980 passengers, down 1.4% on the year before.
Air Croatia successfully launched flights last Thursday. The company does not hold an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), using the one held by Denim Air instead. With no direct competition on any of its routes, Air Croatia has seen solid loads on its first flights. Budapest Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Kam Jandu, said on Thursday, “A number of destinations in the Balkan region are still not served from Budapest, so we consider it an important step that Air Croatia will establish a direct air link between Zagreb and Budapest”. In addition to its new flights, Air Croatia recently rolled out a new-look website. Flight details for the new Zagreb - Mostar service can be found here.