Monday, December 26, 2016

Croatia Airlines eyes three types for fleet expansion


Croatia Airlines is considering three different aircraft manufacturers for its regional fleet expansion in 2017, including types manufactured by Embraer, Bombardier, as well as Russia's Sukhoi. Speaking in an interview to "Ch-aviation", Croatia Airlines' CEO, Krešimir Kučko, said, "We are considering the Bombardier CRJ, Superjet SSJ100 and Embraer E-Jet. While you would think the CRJ would be a better fit for the fleet given our existing Bombardier operations, that isn’t the case. Manufacturer commonality isn’t such a huge advantage when you operate turboprops but want to introduce jets". The Croatian carrier plans to add new aircraft to its fleet next year to bridge the gap between its current CRJ turboprops and jet-engine Airbuses.

Mr Kučko also noted, "For us, it’s about cost effectiveness. The CRJ and SSJ100 can take a maximum of 100 seats while the Embraer can take more. So, if your other variables are taken care of, the Embraer’s unit cost can actually work out less than Bombardier’s CRJ. But while the Embraer E-Jet has a slightly better operational performance, its heavier weight means it is more expensive to operate given its higher handling fees and air navigation charges". Earlier this year, Croatia Airlines said it was eyeing four to six 100-seaters and considered wet-leasing an Adria Airways CRJ900 for the winter, however, the latter never materialised.

The aircraft will be deployed across Croatia Airlines' network on a year-round basis and will primarily replace Airbus jets on some rotations during the winter, while upgrading flights currently operated by the Dash 8 equipment during the summer. This will help offset losses generated during the first and fourth quarters. While additional aircraft will allow for the airline to launch new flights from Zagreb and open up bases in Southeastern Europe next summer, it will also lead to overcapacity during the slow winter months. However, Croatia Airlines' CEO explained that the carrier would wetlease some its jets during the winter. "We want to maintain our current winter flight volumes while offering our surplus summer capacity to the ACMI market (aircraft, crew maintenance and insurance lease). We will offer ACMI/wetlease capability to wherever there is demand in the world", Mr Kučko concluded.

106 comments:

  1. wow they are thinking about Sukhoi. Quite an interesting development.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah and they just grounded all SSJ100s in Russia. What a great plane...

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    2. Russian aviation authorities have grounded the country's fleet of the Sukhoi Superjet 100. The ruling by Russian regulator Rosaviatsia comes after metal fatigue was discovered in the tail section of a new Sukhoi plane. That is a problem usually associated with older airplanes.

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    3. Whatever they do I hope they don't choose those Russian tins. I can't believe they are even contemplating them and what's worse from the interview it looks as if it is the favorite.

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    4. Russian build quality and reliability...

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    5. Anon 9:25 have you ever flown the SSJ100? Aeroflot has about 20 of them. I flew 4x this aircraft so far and they look excellent. Can't say one negative about the design, functionality and by the way they have more leg room than JU planes. Your comment is idiotic!

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    6. Actually more than 50% of its components come from the west.

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    7. Why would anyone in EU order Russian aircraft in current political situation, especially when you have much better alternatives (CSeries, E-Jet)?

      Btw, leg room has nothing to do with aircraft type, but rather airline configuration. You can put a single first class seat with shower and all the goodies in an A320 and will be much more comfortable than Wizz...

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    8. Airlines which are properly run buy aircraft based on their needs, not based on political decisions made by a group of disillusioned, privileged bureaucrats residing in Brussels.

      Interjet has been more than happy with their SSJ and I am sure CityJet will find them equally reliable.

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    9. And that's why a lot of western properly-run airlines opted for SSJ? Oh wait, it's only two companies...

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    10. SSJ is still a relatively new aircraft on the market and it takes time for it to find customers. What matters is that those who operate it are happy with its performance. After all, Interjet said that reliability is well over 90% and they even decided to get some more.

      After all, if you trust the Brazilians to make aircraft why wouldn't you trust the Russians?

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    11. I just checked and a total of 96 aircraft were delivered out of 215 orders

      Some of the operators are:

      Aeroflot 30 (50 ordered)
      Interjet 22 (30)
      Gazpromavia 10 (10)
      Yamal 3 (25)
      CityJet 3 (16)

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    12. Russians: first in space, make mach 2+ capable intercontinental bombers, make ICBMs with 2 dozen separate detachable warheads, make surface to air missiles with 400km range, and are currently the only way for humans to even leave this planet, but people will still question their engineering.

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    13. First order for SSJ came back in 2005, hardly "new aircraft on market".

      How is "90% reliability" working for CityJet now that the airplane is grounded?

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    14. They experienced some weight issues with the first aircraft so it took some time to fix it, pretty much the same issue as with the first Dreamliners. Also, Sukhoi has only intensified their marketing activities in recent years.

      You seem to be confusing things, after metal fatigue was discovered on ONE aircraft, airlines are forced to inspect every SSJ before it leaves the base. So they are not grounded but mandatory checks were introduced.

      You can freely check online to see that SSJs are flying normally today, Interjet's included.

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    15. 1. Forget SSJ, this project will be closed in coming months/years.
      2. OU CEO announcement is politically motivated and SSJ was never being in their plans
      3. OU do not have reliable plan for fleet renovation
      4. OU will be transformed in Eurowings in 2017
      5. Fleet policy will be created by Eurowings management
      6. It will be probably CRJ 900 with very week possibility of Embraers

      ATCO

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    16. Why would the announcement be politically motivated? I doubt Kucko has any times to Russia or the Croatian government for that matter.

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    17. @Anonymous 9:34 AM

      Υou traveled with an airline operating the SSJ as a PASSENGER and liked it? Good!

      What does that have to do with whether the SSJ is a good, reliable, safe, competitive and economic aircraft choice for an airline?
      Nothing!
      So it is clear that the only idiotic comment here is yours.

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    18. Come on guys do you still believe this clown ? Most likely will be nothing or avro RJ100 or fokker 100 , that,s all.

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    19. We saw yesterday the greatness of the Russian engineering - 94 dead.
      There are 1026 planes built from this type (TU-154) and over 70 crashed and lost for good. What a great plane!

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    20. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 26, 2016 at 11:52 AM

      SSJ in Europe? Not brave, but stupid move. Just two western companies (CityJet and Comlux, the last just 2 planes for VIP business charters in Kazahstan) ordered that plane. Other others are in 3rd countries (Mexico including). Even CityJet has problems with companies SSJ should fly for and they don't want it.

      Problem with SSJ is maintenance support and image. People today are ignorant and think all Russian planes are Tupolev. Of course that is stupid, but that is how people fell about it.

      I have business partner from Krško who have several hundreds flights, and last time he was in Skopje he was on Q400. Said "I will never fly Q400, it is dangerous, claustrophobic and noisy. Because of that I will never fly Croatia again but will use LJU-SKP Adria route with CRJ instead". Doesn't meter that CRJ is on same level of "claustrophobic" and is same manufacturer so "danger" is same. Even after I told him that he did not change his subjective opinion. So, it is about potential passenger subjective opinion. And one can not do much to change it. Not even with lower prices and lot of money to put in marketing.

      And to say that SSJ is new plane, is at least not serious. It is on sale for 11 years, and on air for 6 years now.

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    21. Alen Šćuric Purger +1

      Perception is reality. Passengers have formed opinions about Russian manufacturing and especially about passenger aircraft.
      It is very tough to change them and for a commercial airline competing in an open market it is financially suicidal to try and go against the tide.

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    22. AnonymousDecember 26, 2016 at 11:48 AM

      So many TU-154s were lost because of a variety of reasons that have little to do with the actual design of the plane. Out of the 66 accidents/incidents noted on Wiki, only 6 have anything to do with technical failure.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-154#Incidents_and_accidents

      Most accidents are either because of human error (pilot, atc, maintenance, or cargo loader) or because of bad weather.

      The real reason why the TU-154 has had more write-offs compared to western designs isn't because it is inferior, but rather because of more nuanced and complicated reasons which you choose to ignore.

      1. A much weaker safety culture in places which operated the TU-154.

      2. Less maintenance.This plane survived the crazy 90s and flew a lot in Africa and in 2nd and 3rd world countries.

      3. Flying in conditions that are unheard of in the west (unpaved airports, flying in the Russian far north, flying in warzones, flying in third world countries, etc)

      4. The Soviet union had huge areas that were very remote and sparsely inhabited. Navigation equipment infrastructure was not very well developed and this was the time before GPS.

      5. A very long service life. First flight was in 1969. Out airliners which first flew around that time were the 747-100, 737-100, DC10, and L1011. TU-154 has an unusually long life compared to these other planes.

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    23. The fact remains that airlines such as Interjet have been more than satsfied with the aircraft. I think their experience is more valuable in judging the aircraft than biased speculation of some on here.

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    24. Nemjee 90% reliability is dismal when 737s and A320s are at 99.5% reliability and higher.
      Plus if you are buying the aircraft instead of leasing it you need to take int account its resale value.
      Another area where Russian aircraft make for a very bad investment.

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    25. Well, I didn't say that reliability was 90% but well over 90%. I just did a Google search and I found the following:

      'The airline also has 46 x A320’s with 40 x A320 Neo on order as well as 10 x A321 Neo. The airline says it is happy with its SSJ’s and has a 99% reliability so far.'

      Another source said that their SSJs had a 99.7% reliability.

      Like I said, we can speculate all we want but at the end of the day airlines which operate the aircraft seem happy with it.

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    26. Nemjee +1

      SSJs were grounded until inspection on all planes is conducted. Only 6 planes had cracks in stabilizer attachment points (5 Aeroflot and 1 IrAir as I recall) any they will be grounded for couple of days.

      http://www.superjetinternational.com/media-center/sukhoi-civil-aircraft-comment-on-fulfillment-of-fata/

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    27. SSJ je zavrsio svoju misiju u Evropi !

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    28. TU-154 M had dispatch reliability of 99,7% when operated by Aeroflot or Malev, equal to that of B737 and A320. Ask Hungarian pilots whether it`s a reliable and flyable aircraft.

      There are no facts that undermine SSJ`s potential, moreover, it appears that specific bypass ratio of its engines allow it to be more economic on longer legs than its competitors.

      Mr. Purger, You should`ve come to the conclusion that the most populous nation to fit in the "ex Yu" definition does not give a damn about russophobic hysteria that`s so popular around Zrinjevac and Trešnjevka.

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    29. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 26, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      Well I presume that will not be such a big deal for Serbians, Macedonians, Bosnians, Montenegrins, even Croats, but as we can see, much more Europeans fly to Croatia, than Croats to Europe. So, for that fact one could not risk that they would subjectively refuse to fly Russian plane.

      The main fact:

      Just one western company, and that is tinny unimportant one, fly SSJ. That is for the reason. Croatia should not risk where all others doesn't want to risk. Again for the reason.

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    30. I think you are blowing things out of proportion. Sure, people on this blog can (hopefully) differentiate between a Russian, Brazilian or US aircraft but how many ordinary passengers can? It's not like there would be a sticker on the aircraft stating that it's a Russian airliner or they wouldn't be announcing it right after boarding was completed.

      The aircraft itself looks modern, quite Western. It's not like they would be boarding a Tu-134 for the love of God.

      Passengers want cheap fares and reliable service. They don't care where the aircraft was manufactured.

      At the end of the day, how many people know Embraer is Brazilian or how many people know the difference between a B777 and an A330? I think for most out there what matters is the airline, not the airliner.

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    31. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 26, 2016 at 11:54 PM

      Of course they can not say the difference. But when you get reputation there is no way that you will make it OK. And trust me in a second everyone will know that Croatia is only country in Europe where flag carrier fly Russian airplanes.

      One should thing why just one tinny European carrier has few SSJ. Why non flag carriers have them. Even more why no any carriers have them. And why Air Baltic was instructed not to put them in fleet.

      In that light Croatia would be stupid to be first and only one. That would be more than bad image for company and country.

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    32. Why was Air Baltic instructed not to put them in fleet and by who?

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    33. Sorry nemjee but some ordinary passengers can see the difference between relatively "modern" planes.As I have said before you must see the disappointmet on the passengers faces when they expect an a319 from JU and they get a B733 scrap from Aviolet.

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    34. I still think only a small percentage of passengers will know, it's not like major news outlets will report on OU getting a Russian jet. Especially not at a time when more and more EU members are starting to oppose any additional sanctions on Russia. At the end of the day, it will boil down to politics, not the quality of the aircraft. I still don't see why Croatia needs to worry if it's the first or not. Croatia Airlines should get an aircraft that's affordable, readily available and that fits their business model. You know what they say, beggars can't be choosers.

      Anon 12.56

      Because the EU and Latvia's political elite are equally paranoid when it comes to Russia.

      Anon 2.11

      Yes, I agree with you as far as Aviolet goes but don't forget that these aircraft are in such a state because they are old and because JU doesn't want to refurbish them. Take a look at Lufthansa's B737s before they retired them. They were as old as Air Serbia's but their cabin was in an impeccable state. If JU fixed it a little bit then the difference wouldn't be as great.
      Anyway, a friend who works for JAT Tehnika told me that the first B737 will be retired next year due to the number of cycles, my guess is that it will be YU-AND though the other three are probably not too far behind.

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    35. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 27, 2016 at 8:52 AM

      Nemjee, ohhhh you are so wrong. All Europe would know in a second. Unfortunately phobia of Russian planes in Europe is huge. And in a second everyone would know.

      So, it is cheap but very good plane. Why than just ONE small unimportant company fly that plane in Europe? Please answer me that question.

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    36. Because the SSJ came late to the party, their initial aircraft were too heavy so the manufacturer was delayed until they sorted it out. That's why Aeroflot returned their first SSJs.
      Also, we can't rule out that airlines actually wanted to wait out so as to see how the aircraft performs before they commit to it. Let's also not forget that the SSJ came online a few years before the World Economic Crisis which did not help.

      However, the fact that Air France expressed interest in leasing it from CityJet shows that serious airlines are not against it just because it's 'Russian.'

      So if the mainstream media did not pickup the AF story then I don't see why it would do it for a small country like Croatia?

      Also, let me correct you that it's not only one airline in Europe that operates it, there is also Aeroflot and a few other airlines. Europe doesn't end east of Croatia. ;)
      I disagree that the phobia is there. Don't forget that Aeroflot dispatches its SSJ to many, many European destinations, Zagreb included, and I don't remember reading anywhere that people refused to fly on them.
      Let's also not forget that Interjet sends its SSJ to the United States and, just like Aeroflot, no one seemed to mind.

      All this said, I am still not sure if you are implying that the SSJ is a bad aircraft or not.

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    37. Purger the reason why the SSJ has had moderate success is because Sukhoi is new to the airliner game and no serious airliner has come out of Russia in 25 years. The MRJ has the same issue. The MRJ has maybe order for 50 planes which will be delivered. Most of those orders such as Skywest I can 120% guarantee will never happen. Skywest was hoping that scope clause would be relaxed but now that is unlikely to happen.

      Add to that the fact that the SSJ had problems and delays in its development and the fact that it came to market at a terrible time when airlines had a very hard time made it even more difficult,

      Few people are even aware on what airliner they will ride on, and only a portion of those people are Russophobic. And you know that only a handful of people will actually pay money to avoid the SSJ. Same as with ASL to Tirana. People said that it was a waste of money and that nobody will fly an airline called Air Serbia, but now Tirana is a popular route for Air Serbia.

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  2. Pls don't waist your time publishing anything said by this Ceo Kucko it has nothing to do with the truth as he will be leaving the company .
    We are in December it's not 1st of April.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Every news about Croatia airlines sounds like fake news to me...

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    2. It's called Croatovanje. Derived from the word Jatovanje.

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      It is more like Kuckovanje than Croatovanje. But I agree it is same as Jatovanje.

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    4. Alene,

      mogla bi da padne i neka praznicna ekskluziva. Imam info da su ti novosti dostupne pa bi bilo lepo da podelis nesto od toga sa nama.

      Podrav,

      ATCO

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 26, 2016 at 5:27 PM

      ???? Da, a koje to novosti?

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    6. Stvarno, ATCO, podijeli ih ti, ako znaš! Dobre ili loše?

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    7. Purger, o čemu ATCO govori?

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    8. OU will be ordering CS100, 99.999% certain of that, but it won't be before May 2017 for service entry in 2018 summer season.

      Six CS 100 will be ordered on lease to own. A 319s will be retired in 2022/3 and replaced by A320 Neos, however 6 additional CS 100s might be ordered if things go well for OU before A319s are retired.

      Kucko will be gone by end of February or March, that will be that.

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  3. OT: 26.12. JU371 ZRH-BEG 155/155 overbooked

    Got upgraded to business :)

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    1. Nice, never been so lucky.

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  4. Hope something will happen, Kucko talks a lot, but does absolutely nothing!

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  5. Wouldn't it be more logical just to take the Bombardier if you already have the Dash 8 in the fleet?

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    Replies
    1. Well read what Kucko says. The cost isn't much different plus the Bombardiers that they have a turboprops.

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    2. OT: http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/napuklo-staklo-na-zrakoplovu-croatia-airlinesa-posada-u-zraku-primijetila-napuknuce-avion-morao-sletjeti-u-münchen/5435379/

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    3. This happened days ago. So?

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    4. ...so they had replace it...

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    5. Result of cost cutting?

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    6. In my opinion they should get rid of Dash 8 plane. Has been very unreliable. Tech problems every few weeks.

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  6. Isn't it all a bit too late. I mean 2017 is in 5 days, the summer season is just in three months. I assume these will be leases. They won't actually buy the planes.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think they have the money to buy planes. But they can lease them new from the manufacturer.

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    2. Who is actually buying aircraft in this industry? My guess is less than 5% of the airlines.

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  7. This all reminds a bit like Jat in 2012/2013. A CEO constantly announcing grand plans which never materialise. Weren't 100 seaters planned for 2016? Then we ended up with a 20+ year Fokker which will be flying with OU next year too.

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  8. Didn't someone comment here a few months ago how OU has completed talks with Bombardier to buy new planes and a public announcement of the order was imminent? So much for that.

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    1. Found it

      "CS100s will be bought to add the fleet, however they won't join the fleet before 2018.

      Talks with Bombardier have been going on for ages now, agreement is in hands. Q400s will remain on lease to own and CS100 will also be on lease to own, once the last A319 is retired, additional A320neos will be bought on lease to own and additional four CS100s will be bought. this is what I think it'll happen".

      Someone also claimed they would fly to New York with A321s :D

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  9. Completely agree with the idea of ACMI wetleases. This is something they could have been doing for years. A good idea in my opinion.

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    1. Great idea, but wrong time of the year to do so .... everyone has an excess of planes in the winter and no one needs larger capacity aircraft. Not sure where he has been all this time not realising the same dynamic across all european carriers in the winter

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    2. You could go for wetlease to the southern hemisphere, like some small companies are doing...

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    3. Oh what a brilliant idea .... why didn't so many of these european airlines think about that one ?

      I'm curious to know which "small" companies you talk about and to which southern hemisphere countries you are talking about ?

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    4. Small Planet has 1 airplane in Cambodia, Go2Sky has 1 in Egypt (ok, still up north), Travel Service has 1 in Maldives, 2 in Oman, ....

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    5. And that is why Rynair, Lufthansa, Air France, easyJet, Austrian and others must ground part of their fleet... So you have 10 european planes working in south during winter out of 4.000 planes grounded. For sure Croatia will be company to succeed in that small percentage.

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  10. Given that they are being pushed out of the coast they are becoming increasingly ZAG-centric thus introducing a regional jet makes absolute sense.

    Then again, it's been quite a while since the first time they mentioned this and nothing has become of it.

    Maybe the only way for them to get a new regional jet is if Trade Air gets a few of them. ;)

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  11. I just love this guy... if there was a gold medal at the Olympics for B.S. - this guy would set a new world record every time....

    Last week, he was defending his decision to sell LHR slots, because he needs cash to pay for engine overhauls and to settle old tax liabilities in the US and this week, he is talking about getting new aircraft - for which he has no money to purchase outright, or enough cashflow to pay for leases ...

    He should put on a funny suit and a big red nose - that's usually what clowns wear

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  12. Looks like Mitsubishi planes aee no longer part of thr picture.

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  13. They have been deciding on a 100-seater for 3 years. Why don't they just choose one? What have they been doing during restructuring?

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  14. No matter what people say I'm glad OU is finally waking up and things are moving in the right direction :)

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    Replies
    1. To where and with what money ?

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    2. Ma pusti ga da uziva, sretan je :-D Nema ni on pojma kamo idu, ali je sretan :-D

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  15. Present issues with the SSJ grounding aside, this just sounds like the same thing that happened at Cityjet - struggling airline is approached by Sukhoi and basically almost offered the SSJ for free. So airline tries to justify accepting offer. Really worked for Cityjet... The plane can't even land at their most prominent destination, LCY.

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    Replies
    1. What happened with Cityjet and the SSJ?

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    2. Anonymous 11:57 AM

      I would like to get couple of SSJs for free. Do you know whit whom I should get in contact in Sukhoi or SSI to close this lucrative business deal?

      Delete
  16. I like their plans. I would LOVE if they actually happened for once

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  17. This makes no sense from a fleet efficiency standpoint. No stand-alone airline should have 3 different types of aircraft.

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  18. A pity Mitsubishi is not in their calculation. So I hope C Series will make it

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  19. Imajuci u vidu Plenkovicev istup u Ukrajini nedavno, i ljutitu reakciju Rusije ne bi me iznenadilo da se Hrvati sada vade. A gde ces bolji gest pomirenja sa velesilom od kupovine njihovih civilnih aviona i to u vreme sankcija. Eto zato je SSJ u igri.

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  20. Words just words Mr Kucko , if you just show me the M O N E Y !!!!!?

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  21. BS. Kucko won't be part of any acquisition, since he's a goner. And buying Russian planes, while we have sanctions against Russia, which have just been prolonged...the only comment to that would be; LOL!!!!

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    1. OU can't afford to buy a second hand Caravelle even less so a regional jet of any sort.

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    2. True. They are talking about a lease. On the other hand where did they come up with the money for the A-320 neos?

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    3. Wasn't the downpayment secured by the government? It was quite a while ago.

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    4. Yes it was! Which is my point. How will they pay that off? Since...you know, now they should function on free market principle, ha ha! Yeah...right. Socialism par excellence!

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  22. Kucko prica gluposti kao po obicaju, cim spominje ovakve avione tipa SSJ100 i slicno vidim da je to neki cudan intervju. Pa tko normalan bi kupovao ruski avijon SSJ100, niti imas servisnu mrezu, niti imas pilote type rating za SSJ100. Ja kada bi recimo bio CEO u CA, ja bi uzeo CRJ900, servis mi je blizu u Adria Tehnici u LJU.

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    1. Type rating will have to be done regardless if the new plane is a SSJ or CRJ. SSJ has a full training center in Venice.

      There are a few MROs in Europe. The main one is also in Venice. And why couldn't Croatia Airlines get set up as an MRO for SSJ?

      And actually the entire spare part warehouse is located in Frankfurt and is managed by Lufthansa. Considering there are like 4 flights per day between FRA and ZAG I don't think it will ever be a problem to have the parts delivered within hours.

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    2. It's 5 per day Zag-Fra-Zag; 2 by LH and 3 by OU

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Mozda ce ako ne nabave nove mozda ce slicno nabaviti RJ kao i OS da preuzmu neke Embraer-eod strane LH .
      INN-NS

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  24. OU will eventually work out some plan with Lufthansa. They can lease some crj's at afordable price.

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    1. OU needs to be given away as a present to a private company and the state should get out of its ownership structure! If they float...good. If not,they deserve to go belly up. Who cares...to an average Croatian citizen, OU means nothing.

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  25. ZAG has surpassed 2,7 million pax yesterday!

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    1. Hopefully 2.9 by the end!

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    2. So it means that Zagreb had 120000 pax in December this year? 50000 pax less than last year in December?

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    3. It surpassed it, I didn't say it reached 2,7 million. And December isn't over yet. :)
      It'll probably end on 2,77 - 2,78 million.

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    4. @anon at 7:09PM Doubt it. If we end on 2,8 million, that'll be amazing!

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    5. @michael -thanks for the info, this means onlyapprox 4.600 pax a day on average in December...? Oh boy... :( that sounds weak. It will be worse than December in 2015...and ZAG won' t even reach 2.75 mil...

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    6. Peter...it was more like 5000 - 5,300. We will reach 2,75 mill for sure. My estimate...2,77 mill.

      Delete
  26. Croatians would never buy Russian planes...

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