Monday, September 19, 2016

Czech Airlines to link Zagreb and Skopje


ČSA Czech Airlines has secured local traffic rights between Zagreb and Skopje and revised its planned operations to the two cities for the 2016/17 winter season. As a result, the carrier will maintain flights to the Macedonian capital via Zagreb three times per week and has begun ticket sales on the Zagreb - Skopje sector and vice versa. It will compete directly against Croatia Airlines on the route. Starting October 30, the Czech carrier will operate the service each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (departing Prague), with its Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline resumed services to both the Croatian and Macedonian capital cities this summer following a four year hiatus, however, both were maintained separately during the high season. Czech Airlines initially planned to operate flights to Skopje only during the summer.

The added competition for Croatia Airlines comes in the lead up to the planned opening of its Skopje base some time in 2017. The Croatian carrier will operate daily flights between Zagreb and the Macedonian capital this winter season, while it will end services between Zagreb and Prague, which were operated on a seasonal summer basis. Croatia Airlines handled 46.809 passengers on its flights between Zagreb and Skopje last year. ČSA has timed its operations so as to cater for transfer passengers connecting onto flights to and from Prague, although the red-eye service is unlikely to appeal to a significant numbers of point to point travellers between Zagreb and Skopje. However, the Skyteam carrier has put up competitive fares on the route.

Czech Airlines began its withdrawal from the former Yugoslavia in 2011 when it terminated its double daily flights to Belgrade. It followed suite with the closure of its six weekly Prague - Skopje service in 2012. Shortly after it relegated its flights to Zagreb and Ljubljana to its regional partner Central Connect Airlines (CCA). However, in the summer of 2012, CCA declared bankruptcy and ceased all operations. Zagreb was ČSA’s first international destination, launched back in 1930, with services operating on and off until 2012. Late last year it announced its return to Zagreb, Skopje and Sarajevo, however, plans to operate services to the Bosnian capital were later dropped.

Flight details for the new Zagreb – Skopje sector can be viewed here.

87 comments:

  1. What absolutely wonderful times.

    I guess this will be mostly for people heading to PRG from SKP.

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    1. Why not from SKP-ZAG?

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    2. Because times are horrible and OU offers much better ones.

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  2. How odd. This type of flying in Europe is pretty outdated.

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  3. Interesting new dynamics here. ČSA vs Croatia Airlines, head to head on SKP-ZAG. Croatia is now in the EU, so this is to be expected. Perhaps we will see a foreign carrier on ZAG-SPU route.

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    1. Skyteam vs Star Alliance.

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    2. I see Air Serbia benefiting from this battle in the long term, because Croatia Airlines will be weaker in the end.

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    3. I highly doubt anyone was flying SKP-ZAG via BEG.

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    4. I don't mean in direct competition, but long term, CA will be weakened in their battle with ČSA.

      With PEK and IKA coming next year (plus more destinations) AS is becoming a true true regional airline and BEG it's hub.

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    5. Neither PEK nor IKA are confirmed, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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    6. It will be an interesting battle between CSA and OU.

      Unfortunately, CSA practically already "won" on the PRG-ZAG service because Croatia Airlines is suspending it during the winter, which they shouldn't have in my oppinion. Sets CSA up very nicely for next summer.

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    7. ZAG PRG was always planned as seasonal by OU. In winter there is much less traffic, absolutely no leisure passengers during that time and almost no one heading onwards to Croatian coast with OU.

      I do not agree with OK being in advantage for next summer as they will make lives tougher for them with this night schedule. People from ex yu will have OK in negative memory with these flights times and everyone will try to avoid them as much as possible - unless they really offer a third of OU's fare.

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    8. But why would it be a problem for people in Zagreb? The flight arrives just before midnight and departs back to Prague between four and five in the morning. It's not as disastrous.

      Also, OK will be operating an A319 on this route which is far more comfy than a Q400.

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    9. As a passenger, I do not notice any major comfort differences on short European flights between Q400, A319, or even ATR72. Similar seats, similar service. Flights a little bit longer, but that is all. I find actually comforting that turboprops are considered marginally safer. Why do some people see this as a major issue?

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    10. I don't about you but I feel quite a difference between an Atr and an A319 on flights longer than an hour. A jet aircraft is more spacious on the inside and is more quiet.

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    11. @Nemjee 10h 12.
      The flight times between Zagreb and Prague are bearable - nobody said the opposite. But the other two routes are timed terribly (SKP PRG and SKP ZAG). I as a passenger would need to get paid to take a flight 1:55. With this timing they are no threat for OU on the intra ex yu sector.
      Plus I have no preference between Dash and A319, too. On such short hops it makes no difference, but you are right the jet is a bit quieter which is nice.

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    12. "AnonymousSeptember 19, 2016 at 9:17 AM
      I highly doubt anyone was flying SKP-ZAG via BEG."

      LOL, are you sure about that?!

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    13. @Nemjee
      There is marginally more seat space and indeed less noise, but nowhere near to say that A319 is "far more comfy than a Q400".

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    14. On some days OU flys A319 on ZAG-SKP route.

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  4. Not good news for Croatia Airlines.

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    1. It will probably take away some passengers from them but like the article says not sure how many people would fly at 1.55 from SKP with arrival at 3.10 in ZAG.

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    2. Sve zavisi od cijene! Putovace oni kojima je jeftinije!

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    3. Not good for AirSerbia too. New link SKP-PRG, maybe better than via BEG?

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    4. JU via BEG offers more options and better times.

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    5. JU?? ATR and twice more expensive? No thanks

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    6. In summer its an a319 to SKP. So you prefer to fly in the middle of the night, be woken up at 03.30 because of a 04.00 am stop in ZAG? Yes that's much better than the afternoon departure from SKP via BEG

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    7. you are avoiding to mention the fares. Flying OK will save you 100€. And 99% of Balkan people will be very happy about it

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    8. Well let's wait and see how long this experiment lasts. It is not only JU here but also OS

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    9. I think what Czech Airline is doing is sort of smart, using the cheapest possible route, if it is in middle of the night so what, if people need to transfer at Zagreb, brand new world class terminal I might add, with amenities of any major airport and shopping or eating @ dozen or so restaurants and cafe bars won't be an issue.

      I took late night flights for US via Gatwick or Schiphol many times, last flight to Los Angeles out of Heathrow with KLM was at 3am, but ticket was the right price £575 return. Sold.

      Zagreb's new terminal and planned facilities at new terminal, including 150 room 4* hotel right next to the new terminal should suffice any weary Balkan traveler.

      I'd take the ticket at 1:30 Am if I can save $120-150, why not. Staying in Zagreb for 6-7 hours to get another connection, fine by me.

      As more carriers arrive @Zagreb there'll be more connections and more choice for all concern. Look at positives guys, enough of negativity please.

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    10. People will not connect in ZAG, they will sit for 40 minutes in their seats, in the plane.

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    11. @AnonymousSeptember 19, 2016 at 8:08 PM

      and that is bad cause ???

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    12. What do you mean why is that bad? It's not different than connecting at any other airport. Imagine taking off from SKP at 03.00, falling asleep, being woken up at 04.00 and then being forced to stay awake until the plane takes off again. Then you have to wake up an hour later because you are landing in PRG.

      Yeah, just wonderful.

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    13. Utter rubbish, if someone flies in the middle of the night they won't care about losing sleep for one night, they'll just go to bed early before the flight, sleep for few hours, take bus to airport 90 minutes before the flight, check in, rest and wait for late flight, fly to Zagreb and off to Prague. Arrive at 6ish, hotel - sleep for few more hours till 9ish and do what you need to do in Prague, really see no issues here.

      You're complicating stuff where there's no complication.

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    14. Yeah, if what you wrote was true then OK's flight would be the norm, not the exception. This won't last beyond the winter season.

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  5. Very good price. I found Skopje - Zagreb return for 99EUR.

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  6. Good, because you have a connection between ZAG & SKP. Bad, because it´s like a village bus that stops everywhere in order to collect more people. And what a LONG journey it would be to fly from PRG to SKP for instance which a "technical" stop in ZAG. Very outdated just like one of the guys mentioned above.

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    1. Not just outdated but most likely highly loss making. Particularly with (very) low prices. I doubt they are making themselves a favour with such schedule

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    2. Maybe they calculated that it is better to keep the plane in the air at night then letting it sit at the airport.

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    3. Yes but at times keeping the plane on the ground could cost you less than flying it to another destination.
      This combination is quite bad for passengers flying between SKP and PRG. It actually makes far more sense to fly via BEG on JU or on TK via IST than on this OK flight via ZAG. Times are horrible and imagine being up the whole night. No thanks.

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    4. Wow eksperti tu na okupu. Give us a break pls.

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    5. It´s not a matter of expertise but opinion. Why don´t you fly at 1:55am from SKP and reach PRG sitting until 05:10am - 4 hours non stop in your seat? Not to mention a 3-4h transfer and then continue your journey.
      No thanks, I´d choose JU or OS from SKP for e.g.
      Or LH, OS, AF, OU and so many others from ZAG.

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    6. because nobody will fly from SKP to PRG for 150€ or more and OK is the only offering less

      Have fun with LH

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    7. JU offers double daily departures to both which gives far more flexibility to passengers than OK could ever. OK will carry JU's and OS' leftovers.

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    8. Exactly! Besides via PRG there are now fewer connections to the world. People will always prefer via VIE, MUC/FRA, WAW, CDG, AMS, BRU and the list goes on.
      Try and make a search from SKP to XXX and see the duration of the journey, especially the return flights.
      The schedule times are horrible. Full stop.

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  7. OT

    BA will be introducing a BOB service from January 2017. I hope OU doesn't suspend LHR because they will be offering the best product on the market.

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    1. What or who on earth is BOB?

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    2. Legacy adopting LCC characteristics.
      No more sanwiches....

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    3. Or snacks. Or drinks.

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    4. Who cares? Buy your own and fly for less! Legacy short-haul is PAST!

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    5. Speak for yourself. I always fly on legacies and take LCCs only if I must. Especially if you fly for business reasons. Not reliable like legacies, no connections, the airports in the middle of nowhere...

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    6. Exactly, I fly LCC you fly legacy, so no need to keep convincing each other. That´s why it´s called competition and freedom to choose. Voilà, problem solved.

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    7. Yes and I chose legacies.

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    8. "Who cares? Buy your own and fly for less! Legacy short-haul is PAST!"
      The thing is that they will charge the same for less service and that is what people dont understand when it comes to aviation industry. Cut in flight service yet have same pricing!

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  8. Cool. More competition should always be welcomed.

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  9. Since this is Czech Airlines we are talking about people should buy tickets with caution. They are prone to making changes to their scheduling, cancelling routes at the last minute and so on.

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    Replies
    1. True, they have their Jat-like moments.

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    2. hahah airline is falling apart

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  10. Great. I'm glad they will keep Skopje regardless of the form.

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  11. Great news for Macedonia!
    Congrats, brothers, from Sofia!

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  12. This is great for both SKP & ZAG.

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  13. Stupid move. better to fly from zag to sjj then skp

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    Replies
    1. Even if they wanted to they can't. Sarajevo Airport does not want to work during the night.

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  14. OK has degraded so much as an airline. It used to do really well during the last decade. They used to cover most Balkan capitals, excellent connections via PRG to North America and old, but very efficient aircraft. What a pity.

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  15. well done Macedonia....bravo Skopje

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  16. Nece ovaj let nikome da nasteti pa ni CTN , ovaj let je verovatno ovako planiran zbog Konekcija .
    Jedino sta moze to je da smanji sanse KE za year-round letovima za ZAG.
    INN-NS

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    1. Ne znam riskiram li da te pitam kakve točno veze ovaj OK let, bio za ZAG ili SKP remeti ili ne remeti planove ZAG ICN...mislim, znamo da KE ima udjela u OK, ali svjedno...eto riskirao sam da te pitam, da vidimo tok misli...

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    2. Niko nije reko da nece biti ICN-ZAG preko leta ali zimi je KE jeftinija opcija da idu preko PRG nego direktan let.
      INN-NS

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    3. Pa zimi i nema direktan let sa KE. :D

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    4. Pa ja znam da se vi ne razumete ali bas toliko nisam verovao .
      Pa vas zato molim da jos jednom procitate .
      INN-NS

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    5. Macko, to sto si napisao nema nikakve logike.

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    6. Ima logike samo vi ne znate sta je izraz year -round letova.
      INN-NS

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  17. Fares for SKP-PRG very, very low ! At 99 Euros till December 30th. So I don't care about the timing its the cash.

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    Replies
    1. December is low season. What do you expect?

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  18. OT

    Ponovo ispad Q400 na liniji DBV - ATH . OU bi morala ubrzati napore u cilju obnove flote.

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    Replies
    1. dekompresija kabine - opet

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    2. A gde se desilo? Na letu za DBV ili ka ATH?

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    3. Pa nisu oni nesto posebno stari. Nego su losi ocito.

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  19. Czech Airlines once used to fly both ZAG and SKP double daily on some days if I am not mistaken. They ruined the airline, had 2 A310´s, bunch of B735, A319/320/321. They were very reliable and had very good prices. Transfer via PRG was easy and smooth and the service was quite good. Just like Málev, Balkan BG Air, Aerosvít, former Olympic Airways the airline is now just a joke, with a fleet size of 18 a/c, less than JU but JU at least now are much better than before the EY acquisition.

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  20. Znaci li to da plan OU o otvaranju baza van Zagreba vise ne podrazumeva Skoplje i Tiranu, vec u najboljem slucaju Sarajevo i mozda Pristinu ? Purger, ima li novih informacija u vezi obnove flote i novih baza, naravno koje mozete podeliti sa nama.

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    Replies
    1. Ma nema ništa od toga brate.

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