Monday, April 6, 2015

Air Croatia to launch Zagreb - Mostar flights

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.

28 comments:

  1. Great move, good luck Air Croatia!

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  2. Air Croatia treba da iznajmi veci Avion ovako nemaju nikakve sanse protiv CTN.
    INN-NS

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    1. To the contrary, a single ATR 42 allows them to "fly below the radar" and pick thin routes that Croatia Airlines doesn't fly, in an attempt to avoid competition in the early stages. Certainly a good strategy for a start-up airline.

      No airline has ever gone bankrupt because of too little capacity, yet plent have gone under because they were not disciplined with their capacity, or they grew too quickly.

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    2. Hahha. Pa oni ni ne lete na linijama gde leti CTN. I sad kao nemaju šanse protiv CTN. Jesi
      smešan.

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  3. It's quite smart of them to actually launch routes where there is no competition or where the competition is a joke (as in Rome).

    However, if they manage to survive for about a year then I am sure they will consider launching non-regional routes. However, that means they will need something faster and more comfortable than an Atr-42.

    In my opinion they should go for the Q400 with which they can cover most of central and western Europe.I wish them all the luck of this world... because they will need it.

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  4. Looking over Air Croatia's schedule, they will be flying about 15 round trips per week when factoring in Mostar. This leaves from for a few more destinations if they have enough crew.

    Memmingen (FMM) may be a good option to serve Bavaria without going head to head with Star Alliance.

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  5. Air Croatia operated only 1 (!) flight to/from Budapest on the 2nd of April. All other Zagreb-Budapest flight CANCELLED untill 2nd of June !!!

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    1. Yes it seems like they have cancelled Budapest in April/May. Probably very low loads. But all other flights are operating normally.

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    2. The other routes seem to make sense, but why would they choose BUD - it's just 3 hours by car from ZAG. Unless they offer a double daily, I don't see neither business people nor leisure pax using that service.

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    3. If they operated only 1 flight, then why was Purger saying that that most of pax were paying. Those BUD flight was same as Wand ATH flight :P

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    4. If they will ever try to fly ZAG-BUD again surely no one will want to fly with these muppets. A leased aircraft (looking like shit btw), crew borrowed from a third company and stupid commercial moves. The best recipe of success. Not.

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  6. Does anyone have their loads for today's Rome and Milan flights?

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  7. Unless they are getting some kind of financial support I'm not sure how this will work out. To me this is the same like Banja Luka - Belgrade but there you have some transit passengers too, while Air Croatia can't offer that.

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  8. They should have scheduled the flights so they caould connect on the their Rome or Milan flights. That way you could get pilgrims. This way you only have point to point traffic.

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    1. Banja Luka is a special case because flights are actually cheap, a return fare is €54 so it actually makes sense to fly instead of taking the bus.
      Loads are very good now around the holidays, a few days ago BNX took off with 48 passengers.
      On average loads are around 50%.

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  9. They travel with charters airlines from different Italian airports. I do not think they can capture any of this.

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  10. Sorry for the OT, does someone know did that Etihad freighter land in BEG today?

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    1. it should be ETD 9936, south of the Black Sea at the moment; A6-DDC

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    2. I can't imagine how sexy it will look in the new livery, the 777F <3

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    3. PS: Try to imagine a hybrid "Etihad&friends" Air Serbia livery, with Air Serbia colors + Etihad 'facets of Abu Dhabi' tail <3 <3 <3

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  11. Did the first flights have good loads?

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  12. Good luck to Air Croatia , again! Very interesting model.
    What functions did they keep in-house ?
    Is Aeronova crew by any chance Croatian speaking ?
    How many cabin crew members are there on ATR 42 ? I read somewhere that for every 50 seats there should be one cabin crew member. Is this true?

    I wonder how much would www.aircroatia.com domain cost ?

    LYKV-LCY

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  13. Air Croatia will last 1 season if at all.... nice try but we all know how long it will last..... no sustainable product. Ciao Ciao....

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  14. A surprising move! Made possible by moving the BUD flights to afternoon rotation (maybe that's why there are no flights for 2 months??). The 1-plane schedule has possibility for one additional route to be started M-W-F-- also on evening rotation.

    The two questions for this route's viability are 1) cost and 2) connectivity. That plane arrives too late for any onward connections at ZAG in OUs morning wave, but is timed well for a day of meetings etc. The costs will need to be competitive with driving & parking at SPU and hopping on a domestic flight. It is one of the wealthiest parts of BiH, with a low enough frequency and good advertising the route should do well.

    Interestingly, the break-even load on an AT4 and a Q400 (almost double its size) is about even (~32 pax). So if you can lease an older a/c at v.low rates you are at an advantage.

    nb. Admin, i'm sure the JA flights operated throughout Summer '06 too - codeshared with OU as I flew the route in June of that year. In 2006 OMO also had flights to IST!

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  15. If the Croatian government gave 1.200.000 euros to trade air to operate the five weekly ZAG-OSI service for three years, perhaps they would be willing to offer some money to Air Croatia to offer a domestic network.

    Perhaps connect Split, Dubrovnik, and Pula from Osijek, and Split, Dubrovnik, and Osijek from Pula.

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    1. Whoops, I meant 1.1 million euros...

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2013/10/slow-start-for-trade-airs-scheduled.html

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    2. Croatia is the absolute world leader in number of scheduled domestic routes in comparison to its size. Would be nice to know load factors on routes such as ZAG-ZAD and ZAG-OSI or OSI-DBV especially in winter

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