Thursday, May 19, 2016

Croatia Airlines begins summer expansion


Croatia Airlines will start its summer expansion tomorrow morning with the first of four new routes to be launched out of Zagreb. The carrier has described the move as "one of the biggest and most important developments in Croatia Airlines' history". The airline will inaugurate services to Lisbon tomorrow morning, while flights to Milan will be launched in the afternoon. They will be followed by Prague on Friday and St. Petersburg on June 2. It marks Croatia Airlines' first major network expansion in over four years. The carrier's CEO, Krešimir Kučko, said, "This is a natural progression following the successful completion of the restructuring process, which has enabled us to expand our network. Of course, our hopes are that numerous tourists from Portugal, the Czech Republic, Russia and Italy will make use of these new travel opportunities to visit Croatia".

The Croatian carrier faces direct competition only on flights to Prague. It has concluded a codeshare agreement with Star Alliance partner TAP on its Lisbon service in order to bolster its operations to the Portuguese capital. TAP suspended services between the two cities this March. On the other hand, the Croatian carrier will maintain four weekly flights to the Czech capital and will compete directly against Czech Airlines, which itself introduced the service only recently. The two will operate flights on the same days twice per week. However, unlike its Czech rival, Croatia Airlines offers an extensive domestic network which will appeal to tourists heading to the Croatian coast. Meanwhile, over 21.000 passengers flew between St. Petersburg and Zagreb between 2010 and 2014 by transferring through other airports. “It is our strong belief that the new Croatia Airlines service to St Petersburg will be in demand both among Russian and Croatian tourists. Every year many Russians choose Croatia as their holiday destination. With the new route opening, travellers will now be able to visit other points in Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina using convenient connecting flights via Zagreb", Evgeniy Ilyin, St. Petersburg Airport's Chief Commercial Officer said. Croatia Airlines' CEO has noted that the carrier is considering introducing services to Moscow next year.

All of Croatia Airlines' new services will operate on a seasonal summer basis. According to Mr Kučko, the new routes will not be maintained throughout the year due to a lack of aircraft, however, this could change in 2017 with the purchase of new regional jets. Croatia Airlines has wet-leased a Trade Air Fokker 100 to accommodate its network growth this year. Later this summer it will also introduce seasonal summer flights from Dubrovnik to Pula and from Pula to Zurich. Croatia Airlines anticipates handling some 1.97 million travellers by the end of 2016 and recording a 6% jump in figures.

100 comments:

  1. Milan will probably perform best from these.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a shame that all the routes are seasonal. Don't they have an issue during the winter that many of their aircraft are idle?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Travellers will now be able to visit other points in Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina using convenient connecting flights via Zagreb"

    Unfortunately I think this option disappeared the moment Air Serbia announced flights to Saint Petersburg. JU offers more competitive prices for transfers. But I am interested to see how it will turn out for them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. OU can easily beat OK on Prague route. Issue is that it will run just 4 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. They are not competing on most routes so it's not that much of an issue but for example your competitive edge on Prague route is diminished by the fact you are only offering flights for a few months.

      Delete
    2. Do you have any numbers how Czech Airlines is doing on PRG-ZAG-PRG flights?

      Delete
    3. ČSA ima odlično punjenje na liniji za ZAG, trebali su letjeti u kombinaciji AT45 i AT72 ali skoro svi letovi se obavljaju s AT72, bussines class je cesto sold out a i ekonomska klasa ide jako dobro.

      Delete
  5. Moscow seems an interesting choice for next year... But tey will have to compete with Aeroflot...

    ReplyDelete
  6. If they get 4 CRJ 900's will they replace Dash planes or be an addition to the fleet? If so we can expect a few new routes in 2017.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think they will replace Q400. For sure Q400 will stay in fleet.

      Delete
    2. Ok, then there will definitely be a big expansion. That's very good.

      Delete
    3. Apart from Moscow which news destinations could we see? My assumption is something in Scandinavia finally.

      Delete
    4. I know it's not possible with CRJ but I think Croatia Airlines really missed an opportunity to launch Dubai around the time Jat Airways was flying there. By now the route would have been developed, they could have offered connections to the Croatian coast and tried to feed EK's flights to Australia and New Zealand through a similar agreement Jat had with Emirates. I think it would have been a successful route and would make it more competitive now a days against Turkish Airlines and even Air Serbia.

      Delete
    5. +1 last anonymous

      Delete
    6. @ AnonymousMay 19, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      Sofia, Bucharest, Dublin, Madrid, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tirana, Podgoirca... These are some I think should be considered.

      Delete
    7. Dublin, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Bucharest, Sofia, Tirane, Podgorica, Mostar

      That should be considered, but as we all know it is Croatia Airlines, and their experts see world different than us. They will understand that many thousands Croat emigrate to Ireland when 3-4 companies would fly from Dublin. Ryan opens Dublin from Osijek, and will fly it all year from Zadar, but that is not enough for them. I presume, when Ryan and Aer Lingus will fly Dublin-Zagreb, they will understand something and than will cry "we can do nothing, competition is too strong...".

      Delete
    8. If Dublin is such a "hit", why isn't Wizz, Easyjet or Wizz flying the route - or even Aer Lingus ?

      Delete
    9. Ryanair is flying from Zadar (will proceed this to all year route), and will open route from Osijek, Aer Lingus is flying to Pula and Dubrovnik. Unfortunately Ryan is not flying to ZAG like most of LCC, and Aer Dublin for sure will start to fly it soon, and than idiots from Croatia will say "now we don't have chance". EasyJet and Wizzair does not fly to Dublin at all from any airport.

      Delete
    10. Aer Dublin = Aer Lingus

      Delete
  7. Why are these flights only seasonal? So, they have a lack of aircraft during winter but not during summer months? Interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They wet-leased Fokker 100 only for the summer so they can manage all the routes.
      Although, there aren't only these 4 seasonal routes, there are many more, so it is a bit weird that they can't mantain at least one or two of the new routes all year round without a new aircraft. And I think that 3 out of 4 new routes have enough potential for year-round service (all but St.Petersburg).
      I.

      Delete
    2. Despite what Kucko says I think they will keep Milan and Prague all year. We will see

      Delete
    3. ^ I doubt it because during the winter they will launch Dubrovnik-Frankfurt and a winter route from Rijeka is also planned. So planes will be deployed on those.

      Delete
    4. There is at least 3 plane grounded during winter, so it is not true that there is not enough capacity.

      Delete
  8. Anyone know how the loads are so far?

    ReplyDelete
  9. How long does the Trade Air lease go for? It's just for the summer?

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's so funny how the Ceo Kucko is trying to safe his position and of his Management .I don't think new government is that blind to believe in this Management to keep them.Question would be what is he trying to prove .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some "pocket" money at last second... He could not do that till begging of year because of restructuration, so he must do it now.

      Delete
  11. What concerns me is their passenger estimate. 6% passenger growth will come from new routes. Basically they don't expect to see growth on any of their existing services while maintaining the same numbers of flights. Since their LF hovers around 65%, there certainly is enough seats to get more pax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the overall pax growth estimate, while conservative, it's certainly not unrealistic. All of the new routes are by no means that extensive. LED is only 2pw, Milano 3pw (76 seats), PRG 4pw (76 seats) and Lisbon 3pw (105 seats). That's kind of equivalent to like adding daily flight with A321 service...
      This year's expansion is simply setting a foot to proper destinations that are likely to be developed with time...

      Delete
  12. OU will be fine and ZAG will kill in the years to come. Croatia is simply too great of a destination. New infrastructure will help, as the quality of service (easy and pleasant transfers) will drastically improve across the entire country. No more slot restrictions, and certainly no more embarrassments resulting from having a joke of a terminal. Many companies hesitated to come due to the ridiculously horrible service level. in ZAG, arrival area... passport control...when 2x airbus planes arrive at the same time, half of the people are literally "falling out the building" - that's how it's ridiculously small...

    Plans by ZAG, DBV, SPU and OU give me good enough reasons to expect great pax growth in ZAG and Croatia in general in the years to come...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with you. Can't wait for the new terminal to finally open and see the results of upgraded infrastructure. I also think we could see a LCC arrive.

      Delete
    2. Da li vi stvarno mislite da kada se otvori novi terminal da cvjetaju ruže same od sebe? To je uopšta glupost. Novi terminal ne znači ništa, veća je mogućnost da se izgubi broj zainteresovanih kompanija da koriste usluge novih terminala pošto su cijene visoke i nerealne. Ista se stvar desila u u najnovijem istraživanju u Torontu nakon gradnje novog terminala 1, Aviokompanije su jedva čekale da se usele u raskošni terminal ali vrlo brzo su ili prestale da lete ili se preselile na stari terminal 3 gdje su usluge do 30% jeftinije. Mislim da ZAG može više izgubiti nego dobiti novim terminalom pošto francuzi neće davati jeftine usluge na novom terminalu

      Delete
    3. Da li vi stvarno mislite da kada se otvori novi terminal da cvjetaju ruže same od sebe? To je uopšta glupost. Novi terminal ne znači ništa, veća je mogućnost da se izgubi broj zainteresovanih kompanija da koriste usluge novih terminala pošto su cijene visoke i nerealne. Ista se stvar desila u u najnovijem istraživanju u Torontu nakon gradnje novog terminala 1, Aviokompanije su jedva čekale da se usele u raskošni terminal ali vrlo brzo su ili prestale da lete ili se preselile na stari terminal 3 gdje su usluge do 30% jeftinije. Mislim da ZAG može više izgubiti nego dobiti novim terminalom pošto francuzi neće davati jeftine usluge na novom terminalu

      Delete
    4. Lane je malo nervozan :)

      Delete
    5. Jeste, vidim Skopje potpuno propalo otkad se otvorio novi terminal, a i Zagreb i Toronto (btw. Pearson jedan od najskupljih na svetu) su bas uporedivi; to sto rukovodstvo ZAG-a (francuzi, malim slovom) pregovaraju sa desetak kompanija, polovina sa drugih kontinenata, isto nebitno. Dakle : zloba, zloca, zavist, i to ne prvi put kada Lane komentarise bilo sta vezano za HR.

      Delete
    6. Hot Lane, probaj jednom biti objektivan kad komentiraš HR, lijepo te molim.

      Delete
    7. Peter, i think you are talking B.S. Infrastructure is NOT the sole reason why airlines don't fly to ZAG. If it was, why then has Wizz made a go out of flying to a shed in Tuzla or Nis, or the many airlines that fly to Split or Dubrovnik over the season ? Have you seen the images or experienced how poor and bad service levels are on the coast during the season ?

      It is more to do with demand and cost of flying into ZAG airport - that is THE main reason .....

      Delete
    8. Anonymous 4:47, could you, please, quote Peter's sentence where he says that infrastructure is the sole reason why airlines don't fly to ZAG?

      Delete
    9. He didn't address the real reason why they don't fly to ZAG - same as Sarajevo - which is price. Demand is there and terminal infrastructure has little to no impact on an airline's decision whether or not to fly

      Delete
    10. @4:47 - Zagreb has built its network development strategy on business and transfer passengers. Leisure pax come as a 3rd priority. Unlike SPU, DBV, SKP, PRN where LCC take up 50% of a traffic share or higher, in ZAG LCC take up less than 10%, and yet you have some of the leading legacy carriers, otherwise NOT present anywhere else in ExYu (or rarely present). KLM, BA, AF, Brusseles, Iberia, Air Transat, TAP etc. BA is present in DBV and SPU, but only during the season. AF is present in LJU, but only there...and its a small airplane. KLM is only present in ZAG... ZAG as a destination is becoming very popular with tourists and is the MOST visited city in EX Yu (arrivals), so can't say there's a lack of demand. ZAG has purposefully timed its expansion, and coordinated it with OU's plans...LCC will come in later - that's the easy way to go about traffic, it's much harder to build a high quality legacy carrier network.

      Sorry to break all of these facts to you, you will just have to wait and see...

      Delete
    11. Petar, do you think there will be enough demand for all those legacy carriers and a big LCC in the future?

      Delete
    12. Aegean is present in BEG year round but not in ZAG.

      Delete
    13. Peter, you just contradicted your own argument that terminal infrastructure is an impediment to ZAG growth - which it clearly isn't - since all those leading legacy carriers (ps - i loved your inclusion in this list of Air Transat) you mentioned, are already flying to ZAG, despite the crap terminal there....

      So this isn;t the impediment, other factors are ... ergo my point about price

      Delete
    14. It's funny because you're talking like nobody flies to zg.

      Delete
    15. There is no space for expansion in ZAG at this moment. For rush hours you need to pay huge amount of money as prices are like that concerning no space. To base LCC in ZAG there is no chance as there is no free space at all. That is why all discounts for new routes are in low time, no discounts in rush hours.

      With opening of new terminal ZAG can give discounts for LCC.

      Delete
    16. @9:07 - did not contradict myself at all. As @10:39 had said, the lack of space, but also a LOW QUALITY service does not encourage the new airlines to come in, given the price. Price vs. quality is all that it's about. An airport does not have to be super cheap if the passengers love the flying experience and don't mind paying "regular prices". Don't get me wrong, no one like to get ripped off, but seriously flying for 120 to 250 euros is a decent/normal price range for most european flights given the time of the year and how early one has booked...

      In ZAG's case, they CLEARLY detected that a market is such that it can withstand normal prices and with the new infrastructure the "traveling experience" will just get better and better.
      ZAG's market is one of the more lucrative if not the most lucrative out of all EX Yu- with new terminal, arrival of more companies the prices will further get competetive... and once LCC arrive, finally the poor can fly too - just like in SKP, PRN etc.

      Delete
    17. Do you really think that only poor people use LFC? On the contrary, I would say that all the people that are not rich and super rich use it. In the case of our reagion, the vast majority. So lot of people from the Balkans use and will use LFC

      Delete
  13. I'm excited by the fact that something is happening. OU has been dead for 4 years and it is finally waking up so I'm happy with anything we get.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A šta će da rade sa ta 4 CRJ-a tokom zime?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Letjet će sa njima, a prizemljit će žednije i prevelike A320 i dio A319.

      Delete
    2. Ili jos bolje, zednije i prevelike 320 iznajmiti u juznu hemisferu, u nihov "spic" sezone. Ili, otvoriti lance cartera za destinacije kao sto su Kenija, Sejseli, Maldivi, Tajland, Brazil, do kojih se moze sa 1 tehnickim stopom, a koji se najbrze i najbolje prodaju u HR i SLO zimi. Ima opcija, naravno, a zasto to nisu uradili do sada, treba pitati njih. A ako su krenuli u sirenje, i trzisnu utakmicu, morace resiti sezonalnost, na ovaj ili neki drugi nacin.

      Delete
  15. Are the CRJs actually confirmed or just a rumor?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mozda ce CRJ uposliti za BRU, MUC iz SPU i DBV.
    A nove destinacije mogu biti SOF mozda jedan Avion bazirati u SJJ.
    Ali ne verujem da ce doci do otvaranja egzoticnih Destinacija.
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slazem se mada mislim ako Wizz dodje u SJJ, prekasno ce biti za OU.

      Delete
    2. Govorilo se za sve te linije vec dugo da ce se sa crj ili emb letiti. Nije to nova ideja.

      Delete
  17. Sorry for the OT

    Slovenia is now officially the only country in the European Union not served by Ryanair after they announced flights from Luxembourg this morning.

    ReplyDelete
  18. OT: Wizzair responed to Ryanair by basing a 6th a/c before Christmas and 3 more routes to DCA,NUE and BSL! Increasing frequencies to many routes include 6 weekly to EIN! Also the A321 in February...the action is getting fiercer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, I guess SOF wil have more pax than BEG in 2017??

      Delete
    2. Considering it's a capital of a EU state, had relative political stability for the past 20 years and has access to the sea it's absolutely shocking that it hasn't so far.

      Delete
    3. I checked that SOF already surpassed BEG so far this year. Not sure if it will reach 5 million this year because BEG also will have new destinations, not that much but still NYC...

      Delete
    4. OTP will receive 9th aircraft!!
      https://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news/wizzen424

      Delete
    5. it will be then the 7th in SOF not the 6th

      Delete
    6. "So, I guess SOF wil have more pax than BEG in 2017??"
      Typical aviation fanboys. Even now SOF has passed BEG in terms of pax numbers. In the coming 3 months BEG will beat SOF, but then a boom will occur from September and BEG will probably stay behind SOF for the next 5 years at least.
      Also I don't want trolls to accuse me of being a hater, since I am Serbian and I dream of Ryaniar coming to BEG and opening 20 destinations.

      Delete
    7. Sofia will definitely surpass BEG this year.
      Also this year OTP will have twice the number of pax as BEG.

      Delete
    8. No surprise about OTP, Romania's economy is booming + all the diaspora...respect

      Delete
    9. The great increase of flights and destinations from INI will also cut some of BEG numbers.
      Until last year BEG it was the only option for Serbian passengers to fly.

      Delete
    10. Yes, 5 new destinations is quite a lot. INI might receive more destinations. Not sure about Užice or Kraljevo though..

      Delete
    11. INI is expecting at least 100.000 passengers this year and a lot more next year.
      So I also think it will have a negative effect on BEG numbers.

      Delete
    12. This is the 7th A/C @SOF not the 6th. 7 A/C....

      Delete
    13. OHD-LTN will stop operating by end of October :(

      Delete
    14. So according to some experts here, if an airline bases for example 300 aircraft in SOF because they want to defeat another airline, it automatically means all these flights will be full and millions of new passengers will simply come on top of what's already there (out of the blue sky presumably). God forbid that many passengers who will now fly Ryanair from SOF will be the same passengers who are already there and who will simply change their preferred carrier?

      Just wait until Wizz iz defeated in SOF and they start cutting their routes. Meanwhile we will enjoy some hilarious loadings there, like, 50% on LCC flights.

      Delete
    15. You are the true expert for sure. Even if W6 cuts the routes, they will be immediately filled by FR or vice versa or any carrier. Besides, 50% of SOF's traffic is dominated only by 2 carriers, meaning that there is room for more. Cappichi? Same applies for Serbia with JU being a monopolist of an almost 4.6 million traffic.

      Delete
    16. @Anonymous May 19, 2016 at 6:12 PM
      I assume you have never been to Sofia. Recently the city is full with foreign tourists and the business is really boosting there since last year. Not to mention that Bulgarian have 2+ mln. diaspora across Europe. Bulgarians are also flying more and more. City breaks within Europe are very popular recently for Bulgarians and especially for Sofia residents whom income is increasing. Also cheaper flights will boos the diaspora to visit there homes more often. Not to mention that 2 days ago O'Leary have announced that over 20% of there tickets (for the period 30 October 'till 01.01.2017) have been already sold. The load-factor for W6 will be around 80% while the LF of FR around 85-90%.

      Delete
    17. Anonymus 6:25, please, don't use american pronunciation to write italian words. It's CAPISCI?, and it means DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

      Delete
    18. Let us hope that we will see such a boost in Beograd soon. We need more LCC. More cheap options.

      Delete
    19. Out of this 100.000 passengers
      - at least 30% was stolen from SOF
      - 20% are new passengers and those stolen from buses and trains

      - but at least 50.000 was stolen from BEG. And that for sure is not small number (it is more than 1% of BEG passengers)

      Delete
    20. Stolen from what? Wizz flies both routes from BEG as well.

      Delete
    21. He means that people that used to go to BEG or SOF to fly to these destinations will fly now from INI. This will take some numbers from both airports.

      Delete
    22. In the next year more and more serbians will be using Sofia as their gateway to Europe. The Competition will bring the prices down. This is a good chance for people from a poor region such as Ponišavlje and Pomoravlje.

      Delete
  19. Tehran would be a good addition. Doubt it will happen though Croatian president is in Iran at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 weekly ZAG-IKA-ZAG (scheduled with 60 min transit times to/from SJJ), and
      3 weekly ZAG-SJJ-KWI-RUH (approved by gvt of bih),
      could work just fine, year-round,
      but ctn mngmt "ne vidi dalje od nosa"

      Delete
    2. I actually think BEG-IKA would be more realistic due to great transfer possibilities

      Delete
    3. Do you guys have any info what is the O&D demand between Croatia and Iran and between Serbija and Iran?

      Delete
    4. I can bet that the one between Iran and Croatia is bigger. After all Croatia is one of the biggest tourist destinations across the world.

      Delete
    5. But Iranians Need visa for EU ...

      Delete
    6. Yes, they need visa, but I don't think this will stop them. They are already going for vacations to the greek and bulgarian seacoast.

      Delete
  20. Pristina

    Sarajevo

    Podgorica

    Have more destinations unserved.

    Pristina: New york, Helsinki, Paris, podgorica, stockholm,rome,amsterdam and others. They have more albanians diaspora.

    Sarajevo : have not more connexion to europa: Paris, bruxelles, london, amsterdam ans others

    Podgorica : not more connexion to europa



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree! SJJ is so underestimated!

      Delete
    2. Pristina and Sarajevo have more potential

      Delete
  21. Pristina
    Sarajevo
    Podgorica

    Wake up wake up

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think that Ryanair, Wizz air or Easyjet will soon launch interesting flights to Pristina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why Pristina, when you have already Skopje 50 miles south.
      Also people from Sarajevo have Tuzla not far away.
      I only see good opportunity in Podgorica - and only if Montenegro Airlines goes bust !

      Delete
  23. Albanian diaspora is large and bosnian diaspora is large. I think in balkans Pristina, Nis,Tuzla,Podgorica and Sarajevo they are they are the the airports with the biggest potential.
    I think in 2020 Pristina and Sarajevo 2 millions passengers in Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarajevo and 2.000.000? Sure, in 2051.

      Delete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.