Monday, October 24, 2016

Zagreb Airport close to US flight deal


Zagreb Airport is close to securing flights to the United States, which, if launched, would mark the resumption of services between the two countries after 22 years. A European carrier is currently in talks with Zagreb Airport over possible seasonal services to New York, which would run during the 2017 summer season. However, a final agreement is yet to be reached. The General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Jacques Feron, previously said it would be "fantastic" for the Croatian capital to offer direct flights to the United States. "In the US, New York would be an excellent destination, although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports", Mr Feron said. His words echoed that of Sani Sener, the CEO and founder of TAV Airports Holding and TAV Construction, which forms part of the consortium running Zagreb Airport. He recently noted that the most desired route from the Croatian capital would be New York.

Earlier this year, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States announced that the Embassy had resumed discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the establishment of direct flights to Croatia. "We will do all we can to spearhead and facilitate this effort, and achieve direct flights as soon as it is economically possible", the Ambassador said. The last time Croatia had scheduled flights to the United States was during the summer of 1991, when Pan Am maintained four weekly nonstop roundtrips from New York to Zagreb with its Airbus A310 aircraft. Prior to that, JAT Yugoslav Airlines maintained services from Zagreb to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Any European Union registered carrier can operate services from any point in the block to the United States if it holds a valid foreign air carrier permit with the United States Department of Transportation. Zagreb Airport attempted to initiate flights to the Big Apple five years ago, prior to the concession. The then Managing Director, Tonči Peović, held talks with North American Airlines over a potential two weekly service from JFK Airport to the Croatian capital starting May 2011. Mr Peović intended to waive landing and handling fees for North American over a five year period and for the flights to operate with a Boeing 757 or Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The aim of the service was to turn Zagreb into a regional transit hub, but talks between the two sides collapsed and the flights never materialised. Mr Peović noted that an average cabin load factor of 65% would have made the service profitable. North American Airlines has since ceased operations.

91 comments:

  1. From what I heard it's probably going to be XL Airways.

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    1. Would make sense seeing as there is a French connection with the airport.

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    2. Is XL French?

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    3. Yes. There used to be XL UK and XL Germany but they are not related and both of those went bankrupt. Also XL France flies to JFK.

      This is just a rumor I heard. It might not be them.

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    4. Could be Norwegian? They have JFK base

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    5. That crossed by mind too.

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    6. without any inside info, I believe that XL Airways is the only viable option here (as I said before). I highly doubt Norwegian would do that for what 1 or 2 flights per week

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    7. Somehow I do not get a strong sense of confidence from XL Airways.

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  2. Someone mentioned yesterday that 'they' have to reach 5 million or they havw to pay penalties. Is it OU or ZAG that has to reach it?

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    1. Zagreb Airport under the concession agreement. But I'm not sure what the time frame is.

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    2. Until 2020 but would be interesting to know how high are the penalties.

      I wonder if ther is a clause protecting them if OU goes bankrupt.

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    3. If they sell the slots at London I doubt they will go belly up and time soon.

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    4. Cyprus was also supposed to secure its mid-term future by selling LHR slots and barely a year later...

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  3. So would this be a charter service?

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    1. Probably scheduled seasonal flights. Like Air Transat.

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  4. Great but wouldn't it make more sense to fly seasonally to Dubrovnik.

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    1. It's probably the same reasoning as Air Transat. By flying to Zagreb you get diaspora traffic and leisure traffic. By flying only to Dubrovnik you can only count on leisure.

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    2. Or they could fly Nyc-Dubrovnik-Zagreb-Nyc

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    3. Makes you wonder why Dubrovnik has never attempted to get some seasonal long hauls.

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    4. Didn't they say they also wanted to establish flights to JFK next summer?

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    5. It would be as if someone lands in Nis in place in Belgrade.

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    6. Not quite the same.

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  5. I would be more happy if they tried to attract a LCC to base an aircraft. Having flights to New York is nice but the benefits of having an established LCC serving several cities out of ZAG outweigh a few flights per season to New York.

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    1. Regarding LCC I do have some inside info:

      -Ryanair approached Zagreb a couple of years ago and they rejected them because they calculated that with the support they had to give them it was not worth it plus they feared the affect on the airport if Ryanair suddenly decided to pull out.
      - Wizz Air also approached them but were asking for big reductions in handling landing fees and were rejected too.

      At the heart of it I think there is also still a desire to somehow protect Croatia Airlines.

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  6. It isn't bad - most likely New York + Toronto and Beijing next summer. Hopefully they manage to get one of those to fly all year.

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    1. I agree but PEK is still a rumour.

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  7. Excellent news, someone already announced it on another forum, more details in January!

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  8. Zagreb Airport offers quite good support for new routes so it is worth a try at least seasonally for the beginning.

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  9. makes you wonder how big the market was if Pan Am used to fly 4 p/w with A310s.

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    1. True. A lot of people say all of JU's long haul routes were unprofitable and subsidiesed and never reflected actual demand (which I doubt) but Pan Am's flights show there was indeed a market.

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    2. You do remember that Panam collapsed shortly thereafter (years of losses, bad management combined with changes in competitive environment which were not helped by the Lockerbie bombing and the Gulf war)

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    3. I was in PanAm in ZAG 1990-1991, and 310's were quite full. PA had JP as feeder from both DBV and BEG. By the end of august 1991, just before PanAm bankrupted, they started to combine ZAG flight with other airports, so we had some JFK-ZAG-DBV-JFK flights, some via CDG... From september 91 PA was supposed to go back to regular FRA-ZAG-OTP-ZAG-FRA flights with 727's, but it never happened... the rest is history.

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    4. Thanks for the info. Really interesting :)

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  10. idemo svi u veliku jabuku

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  11. Bojim se da Zg ne može imati taj let za SAD jer nisu hab kakav je Beograd. Teško da će taj let biti profitabilan. Ni Beograd ne bi nikad mogao imati let za SAD da nije Etihada koji im dovlači putnike sa bliskog istoka i šire koji onda nastavljaju za SAD.

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    1. Letovi su već dogovoreni, uskoro će bit objavljeno, nije glasina u pitanju!

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    2. Mislim da je struktura putnika poptuno razlicita. Ovde je rec on sezonskim letovima na kojim ce prevashodno biti dijaspora i turisti koji ce posle nastavljati na more. Upalilo je sa Transatom. Tako ce verovatno i na ovoj liniji.

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    3. Zato su u Beogradu i smanjili zimi letove s 5pw na 3pw, zbog isplativosti?

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    4. Ne mogu naći tu info o zimskom smanjenju letova za JFK. Moze li link na izvor vesti, molim?

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    5. http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/10/air-serbia-to-reduce-new-york-operations.html

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  12. I'm sure Dubrovnik will have seasonal flights to New York as well, it's just a matter of time. Congrats to Zagreb, great step forward!

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    1. Do you think Dubrovnik deserves a direct flight from New York? How many tourists from USA visited Dubrovnik last year? Please don't count cruise ships.

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    2. In 2015 there were 88393 pax from the United States in Dubrovnik

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    3. By this logic Santorini had 120,000 visitors from USA ( excluding cruise ships ) , so they also deserve a direct flight from USA!

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    4. Anonymous 10:09, nemoj se pravit pametan. Što ti znaš je li Dubrovnik zaslužuje izravan let za SAD? Ajde poklopi se po ušima botu.

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    5. 95% of Americans in DBV arrive to Europe via VCE. DBV and SPU are just stops along their crusis around the Med.

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  13. Hopefully price will be affordable for us from Croatia too!

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  14. Od kad sa svakog aJeroporta iz exYu leti u Nevjork poskupeli hoteli i stanovi za iznajmljivanje tamo. JAT je lepo leteo i LA, Chikago, Pitsburg i Detroit. Na Detroit se treba vratiti neka tamo idu i ljudi iz okoline Misuage gde zive.

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    1. o ćemu ti pričaš?

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    2. Da je Detroit bolji od Cikaga, jer pokriva i Toronto i Misuagu. Mislim i Kitcner. He he,

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    3. Detroit nije bolja opcija od Toronta, ko će se voziti 5-6 sati do DET? I gde ti je Misuaga? I valjda misliš na Kičiner.

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    4. Ovde operise covek koji vozi 400km kao "strucnjak" ti ne mozes samo 200 milja.

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    5. Kojih brate 200 milja? odakle?

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    6. Covjek misli Mississauga koja je predgradje Toronta i nije neka velika razlika. Toronto Detroit je 5 sati voznje sa geanicim, Kitchener sat blize, London dva.

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  15. Very good for Zagreb but I wish they could find airlines tgat would serve all year round.

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  16. Terminal looks fantastic by night.

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    1. Agree, are there any new details regarding its opening, some new pics?

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  17. What about connecting flights? Code shares? Interlines? Will there be any of this?

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  18. posle beograda i zagreb bi imao let za USA, to mi lici kao moguce konkurencija. Da li ima dovolno putnika za oba aerodroma?

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    1. Nema ali samo će jedan opstati, pardon jedna avio kompanija a aerodromi će uvek biti na istom mestu

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    2. Zagreb bi se fokusirao na turiste i nesto dijaspore, dok je Beograd drugacije trziste i tu transfer putnici igraju dosta veliku ulogu

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    3. @mmsOctober 24, 2016 at 12:16 PM

      You seem to think Croatia and Serbia are same country or something ???

      The two countries are so apart in socio-economic and political spheres, your question is ridiculous at best.

      Zagreb is connected with most western capitols and hubs, adding additional North American route is just one among many routes.

      Croats do not require visa to travel to Canada and soon to US. I see no issues with the route, should this be a seasonal or year round service, planes will be filled either with American tourists & businessman visiting Zagreb.

      Zagreb is a capitol of an independent country, that is a member of the EU, NATO and other international bodies. I'm sure airlines who set up a shop in Zagreb will look at this as an opportunity.

      On another note, most people of the region no longer fly to one centralized hub as this was in in times of Yugolala, now most regional capitol cities are connected to western hubs, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, London or Amsterdam. Airports that handle tens of millions of passengers each year.

      Belgrade in terms of importance as a hub of some sort does not even equate in these numbers.



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    4. You seem to think Croatia and Serbia are same country or something ???

      Where was this mentioned in the post? The point was that travelers from ex-yu use other ex-yu airports to travel to Europe and beyond. So if you are traveling from say SKP to JFK, you can use BEG, plus many hubs in Europe, or soon via ZAG. So someone from SKP or SJJ now has one more option (via ZAG) which will cut into the market for BEG, as well as other Euro hubs. The pie is getting sliced ever thinner.

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    5. @AnonymousOctober 24, 2016 at 6:22 PM

      What you're proposing is barely a market to cut in to, as I've said, most people these days have direct flights to major European Hubs or Istanbul. The number of combinations out of any of the major cities in the region to any destination in North America is staggering. A flight out of Zagreb for North America is purely one of many options for Croatian passport holders. It would need to be highly competitive price if the airline wishes to make a decent chance out of Zagreb, for most people who fly out of Croatia 99.9999% for North America fly via Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Paris or Brussels.

      The choice of carriers out of Zagreb that connect to major European hubs is very good.

      Zagreb had only 15-20 000 transfer pax from the entire region, there's little risk of Zagreb thriving on transfer pa any time soon.

      The fact most Croats, even in Zagreb metro area don't even fly out of Zagreb, something that needs to change in coming years.

      Many prefer to travel with the bus, train or a car, even to a destinations in Scandinavia, Benelux and even Iberia.

      Mentality needs to change, and to change the mentality we need cheap flights, something that has just started to happen in past few years. It'll take many years and great offers for people to start flying in large numbers, perhaps a decade or two.

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    6. "The fact most Croats, even in Zagreb metro area don't even fly out of Zagreb"

      I think you over exaggerate. Who then is fueling the growth at ZAG then?

      For, I would say 80% of people from ex-yu price is the most important factor in buying airline ticket. So even if some one has to connect in ZAG for 6-8 hours and the price is 100€ cheaper then the next airport they will wait. Even if some one has to back track to BEG for a savings most people will.

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    7. True enough. Or at least it would be should some carrier began operating year round flights. This, in my opinion won't affect BEG that much. This, like Air Transat, mostly has to do with direct point-to-point travelers between the USA and Croatia. Maybe it'll be an opportunity to see if there's interest, if some of those passengers will be continuing on from Zag to Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia...etc. and vice versa, but doubt there'll be that many.

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  19. If Toronto worked for Zagreb, then I'm sure New York will too.

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    1. Exactly what I am thinking! If there is demand for 2x weekly Toronto (though flown only 1x weekly), then there is demand for 3x weekly NY.

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  20. If Zagreb is going to have direct flights to New York then I think this is going to affect enough air serbia, they were counting a lot in contribution of croatia market.

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    1. If we are to trust Croats here no one from Croatia flies with Air Serbia and eveyone uses multiple departures to the US via Lifthansa hubs.

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    2. Not sure about that. Small number of pax. on flight Belgrade-New York are from Croatia...

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    3. Indeed, if anyone has to lose then it's Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Croatia Airlines.

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    4. I flew from JFK to BEG and there were dozens of pax who continued onwards to DBV, SPU and ZAG. Some Croats living in the US, others VFR from Croatia, spoke to many of them and they had ZERO issues for traveling on a Serbian airline.

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    5. I'm from Dubrovnik and I'm visiting US in early December with my brother, bought tickets for 1000 euros (2 return tickets) on the route Zagreb-Paris-New York. Not bad, huh? Though, I wouldn't mind flying with Air Serbia in the future!

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    6. Forgot to add we're flying with OU/Air France.

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  21. XL has A330 with 3-3-3 seating like Air Transat. Toronto or New York, it will be very tight!

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  22. Does anyone know anything about the other post that OU is doing charters to Munich? The other day someone mentioned that they should do charters during winter, because of the free planes they have. But now some people there are commenting that its a bad thing...?

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    1. They do that last winter. It was Basel-Pristina, and some other lines.

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  23. OT: Any other ex-YU airline than Adria with Wallet Boarding Pass?

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  24. I am from Ljubljana and decided to fly Emirates in May from MXP to NYC instead of transferring via one of the EU hubs. Last month again. Flights with A380 on time, service great. Both economy tickets for just under 400 EUR. The whole product is way above EU airline standards, not to even compare it to any of the US company. OK, maybe LOT next time, just to check their product with a Dreamliner.

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  25. Moze biti da ce SE da leti ili DY a moze biti i BY i MT .
    A mozda je i LH u igri ako ih CTN uzme na wet lease.
    INN-NS

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    1. Udaviš sa tim slovima i skraćenice, daj bre napiši puno ime avio kompanije.

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    2. Tako dokazuje da je ekspert. A ako ti neznas, sedi i uci. ;-)

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    3. ali' čovek baš udavi da pokaže koliko je pametan.

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  26. Sta mislite koji ljudi ce napuniti avijon new York -Zagreb pa naravno 99% puno Bosanaca sletimo u Zagreb i familija iz Bosne ceka sa autom sjedas i direct Bosnia mi se u Hrvaskoj ne zadrzavamo jeli nemamo potrebe

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