Friday, January 27, 2017

British, Monarch look to gain from Croatia slot sale


British Airways and Monarch Airlines are hoping to benefit from Croatia Airlines' recent sale of its five of nine weekly slot pairs at London's Heathrow Airport. The carrier has sold all of its morning arrival and departure times, with British and Monarch to target point to point travellers who make up the bulk of Croatia Airlines' passengers on the route. Although low cost Monarch will operate three times per week from Gatwick to Zagreb, British Airways will maintain daily services from Heathrow this summer. On its Zagreb - London service, 43% of Croatia Airlines' passengers travel solely between the two capitals, a further 30% transfer through Zagreb on to London, 14.2% transfer through London to other cities, while the remaining 12.9% transfer through both Zagreb and London to reach their final destination, Sabre data compiled by Routes Online shows.

British Airways also hopes to benefit by capturing a share of passengers who had previously flown Croatia Airlines on the route in order to connect on to other flights through London. The biggest onward flows from Heathrow are across the Atlantic with US cities comprising nine of the ten largest beyond markets on this route. The Croatian carrier will also lose some travellers transferring through Zagreb onto its London service, with the majority of them coming from Sarajevo and Skopje. In a statement, British Airways told EX-YU Aviation News, “We are pleased with the performance of our routes from Croatia to London Heathrow. Our customers on these routes range from passengers travelling point to point to those taking advantage of our extensive international network which serves 199 destinations". Asked whether the carrier is considering additional frequencies on its flights to Zagreb, the airline said, "We constantly review our network to ensure that our routes match our customers’ needs, are economically viable and make a positive financial contribution to our business as a whole". On the other hand, with fewer flights to compete against, Monarch hopes to perform better than its low cost predecessors on the route. Wizz Air previously linked Zagreb with Luton, while easyJet operated between Zagreb and Gatwick from February 2011 until October 2014.

Passenger split on Croatia Airlines flights to London (click to enlarge)

Croatia Airlines is yet to update its Heathrow operations for the 2017 summer season. The five morning flights are set to be discontinued from April 1, with the airline to be left with four afternoon departure and arrival times which have to be divided between Zagreb, Split and Rijeka if the airline is too keep links from all three cities to Britain's busiest airports, as was the case last summer season. Services from Split cater almost exclusively for point to point travellers, while the Rijeka flights are divided almost evenly among all categories of passengers. In addition to the remaining Heathrow flights, Croatia Airlines could also resume services to Gatwick to fill the void. The carrier has come under increasing competition on flights between Croatia and the UK, especially with low cost airlines entering the market. The number of seats on offer between the two countries has grown 75.9% since 2010 and Croatia Airlines has seen its share decrease from 22.9% seven years ago to 11.3% in 2016. The airline has argued that its Zagreb - Heathrow service has been producing multi million euro losses for years. The carrier sold its Heathrow slots to Delta Air Lines for 19.5 million dollars. The US airline recently confirmed the news, saying, "Delta has acquired more slots from Croatia Airlines at Heathrow which supports our commitment to the UK market".

88 comments:

  1. I'm no OU hater and generally support them but I think it is really reckless to still be selling your morning flights to Heathrow even though the company publicly said it was delighted to have sold them. Wasn't it normal to discontinue sales immediately instead of letting people still buy tickets? Not everyone follows aviation news to know that these will be suspended.

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    1. We still don't know how the afternoon flights will look like because they may not all be departing Zagreb although my guess is they will do Zagreb-Split-LHR and Zagreb-Rijeka-LHR.

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  2. Do we know from what date on the slot sale will be effective? It has been rumored that it will only be effective from the winter 17 on.This would explain while the flights are still bookable through OU.

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    1. Didn't they say 1 April?

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    2. OU updates their summer schedule around mid February. That's when we might find out about the new routes they are planning.

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    3. Slots are usually sold effective from the upcoming summer/winter season so April makes sense.

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  3. BA will definitely take a stake in transfer passengers through London. Croatia Airlines will loose passengers from Skopje because only the morning flights work perfectly for connections. 2 afternoon flights can work but the connection is tight.

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    1. OU will lose few passengers, since the majority of the Pax fly to Luton with wizzair.

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    2. It's the same situation with Sarajevo flights.

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  4. Just a little bit of interesting info: I just bought my mom a single ticket LHR-ZAG on CA. £18 was the ticket and £47 taxes. Maybe they weren't making much if any profit on this route, but I still think it was a massive, massive mistake to sell the slots.
    Obviously bad management who could not make the transfer pax work in its favor.

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    1. wow that's a very good deal. The ticket price I mean.

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    2. 18 pounds for a single ticket? That's impossible!

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    3. 18+47=65. 65 Pounds is possible.

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    4. Yes, that is exactly what I sad; £65 total price but only 18 goes to CA.
      However, I found it on Gotogate, on the CA'a site it was £90.
      There are still some cheap tickets till April 1 should anyone is interesting to travel.

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  5. Well looking at those statistics, I think OU did the right thing to sell these slots. Most passengers are P2P so they can just fly in the evening.

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    1. Sorry to say but from the stats and the amount of market share they lost, OU seems to have been defeated on the UK market.

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    2. Who cares if OU leaves London? BA could always increase flights to 10 p/w, Monarch might add a few more flights too. Maybe Norwegian considers introducing flights from the UK too.

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    3. Agree with you, Anonymous 10:30, someone will take care of the route. Still a shame for OU!

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  6. My guess is they will open Gatwick. I just can't believe they will settle for 4 weekly flights while competition will operate 10. And who knows maybe BA increases flights as well.

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  7. Still dont get it

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  8. Interesting how many passengers transferred in ZAG on their way to London.
    Given that OU's regional network is rather weak, I suppose most came from SJJ and the coast.

    Basically British airlines will benefit from this not only in Zagreb but at the country's other airports as well.

    All in all, this was a pretty stupid move but I guess Croatia Airlines had no other choice given the circumstances.

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    1. good points. i don't agree with last one though. if it was money-losing then it it makes sense it was cut.
      it would be interesting to see if that was really the case. all we can do is guess.

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  9. the demand between UK-Croatia is kind of crazy. Just looking at the new route launches section I counted 17 new routes from the UK this year
    Zadar - Bristol, Ryanair
    London Gatwick - Zagreb, Monarch,
    Manchester - Zagreb, Monarch
    Manchester - Dubrovnik, Monarch
    London Stansted - Dubrovnik, Jet2
    Glasgow - Dubrovnik, Jet2
    London Stansted - Pula, Jet 2
    Edinburgh - Pula, Thomson
    Doncaster-Sheffield - Dubrovnik, Thomson
    Manchester - Split, Thomas Cook
    Belfast - Dubrovnik, easy jet
    London Southend - Dubrovnik, Flybe
    London Southend - Zadar, Flybe
    Bristol - Pula, easy jet
    Glasgow - Zadar, Ryanair
    London Stansted - Split, Jet2
    Manchester - Dubrovnik, easy jet

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    1. With fewer places to go for a safe holiday people are definitely turning to Croatia. That's an impressive number of new destinations.

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    2. You forgot British Airways London - Pula :)

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    3. The Pula route is interesting in that it will operate from Heathrow. Shows that BA is not just shuttling tourists on this line.

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    4. East Midlands - Split by Jet2.com is also new

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    5. is any of those routes not seasonal? looks like a summer market, which is not OU field.

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    6. All are seasonal but Pula might be extended through the winter. We will see how it performs.

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    7. The number of visitors from the UK to Croatia grew 26% in 2016 to around three million over night stays. It's interesting that it is still lower than during the ex-Yu days in late 1980s. Maybe it's surpassed this year.

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    8. ^ who used to fly UK routes during the 80s? I know there was JAT. Who else?

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    9. Aviogenex's main operations were between Croatian coast and various cities in the UK during the summer.

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  10. When will these OU clowns be publishing their annual report? I'm curious to see the extent of creative accounting that will be used this year. What a farce. lol

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  11. Completely forgot that Wizz and easy both flew this route before. Hope Monarch has better luck.

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    1. what is so specific about this ZAG-LON route that is making OU lose money and lccs have discontinued it?

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    2. Yeah it's odd especially since there seems to be P2P demand.

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  12. btw BA's LHR-SPU all 4 weekly flights will be operated by A321 this summer;
    this route started in 2016.

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    1. Nice. Does BA still have B767s? Would not mid seeing some of those dispatched to coast at least.

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    2. BA has only 7 B763 left compared to 18 A321s.
      I wonder if BA increased capacity and not frequency because of a lack of space at SPU.

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    3. Likely. Even Zadar said recently they hope to get airlines that want to add more flights to SPU but can't because of capacity issues.

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    4. Zadar will be the biggest benefactor of SPU's incompetence.

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  13. Survival of the fittest. OU managed to outperform Wizz and easy jet between Zagreb and London. When BA started flights it went downhill. I hope they don't suspend London completely.

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    1. They beat W6 when they were getting government subsidies so they cheated.

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    2. then why W6 never reestablish that route?

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    3. Other markets are a higher priority? They do fly out of SPU.

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  14. OT:

    http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/zapelo-izdavanje-uporabne-dozvole-vlada-mijenja-zakon-da-bi-se-novi-aerodrom-mogao-otvoriti/5552163/

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  15. There are rumors Croatia Airlines will sell its remaining slots at Hethrow in 2018.

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    1. with 4 weekly flights in the afternoon they might as well just suspend the flights. The only reason they didn't sell all of the slots straight away was public and state pressure but that was the original plan.

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    2. I think the only reason they didn't sell all the slots is so they can sell something in 2018!

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    3. It could be that Delta was not interested in the afternoon slots at all.

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    4. They handled this entire thing so badly and continue to do so by not updating their oprrations. When Adria sold its slots and moved to Gatwick it was quite seamless reaĺly.

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    5. Because they didn't expect for it to be leaked to the media.

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  16. Busiest UK routes in 2015:
    London Gatwick - Dubrovnik - 199.741 passengers
    London Heathrow - Zagreb - 181.789 passengers
    London Gatwick - Split - 124.661 passangers
    Not sure about 2016 yet.

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    1. Wow, I'm sure 2016 was even better!

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    2. wow it's amazing that LGW-DBV which is seasonal did better than LHR-ZAG where two airlines fly year round.

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  17. This slow demise of OU, caving into all sort of competition, is becoming painful to watch.

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  18. Is there any News about new Management at Croatia Airlines. Because that is the news that the airline needs .Not this monkey business that the current is doing .Croatia Airlines needs a serious and professional management without political ties.

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    1. well if they accepted kučko's plan of selling the slots it is not likely that they will replace him.

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    2. Looks that way

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  19. UK carriers have seen the potential but OU should be the one driving the growth and promoting Croatia as a holiday destination. Such as shame about OU selling its slots at LHR.

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    1. it is so highly seasonal it is ridicilous. only lcc and leaisures can cover this. summer impact.

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  20. It's still surprising that they sold the slots for just $19 million. It seems quite low for morning slots.

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    1. Especially since they were saying they would get 30 million USD.

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    2. OT: Inside info from Zagreb airport, unfortunately, no flights to NYC or Beijing this year!

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    3. Maybe the Chinese decided to fly to BEG instead ? Afterall, 2 flights from Beijing to both ZAG and BEG would be overkill

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  21. Heathrow is very important to any airline! That is why Ryanair, Wizz, EasyJet are so unsuccessful businesses. They do not fly to LHR. IRONY OFF!

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    1. Common to all of them os that they are LCCs with different businesa models.

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  22. What is OU doing? They should have more flights to the UK. Not less.

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  23. Will Monarch be flying seasonally or year round to Zagreb?

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    1. Excellent. I hope the Manchester flights work out too. Interesting choice of destination.

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  24. OT: Inside info from Zagreb airport, unfortunately, no flights to NYC or Beijing this year!

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    1. Downer :( do you have anymore info?

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    2. That's all I know, hope I'll know a bit more in a few days. Just don't get it, a seasonal flight to NYC could really work!

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    3. Thanks. Keep us updated

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    4. There are plenty of options to get to NYC... what's the hangup about direct flights from ZAG ? Same goes for Beijing....

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    5. EK killed the PEK flights. They are selling ZAG-PEK for like 300

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    6. True, but this is good for the pax. QR is also cheap with tickets of around 400 euros in July and August. Few years ago it was almost impossible to find anything below 500 euros during the summer season.

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  25. OT Today's JU315 CDG-BEG STD 10:55 PM, ETD 03:30 AM+1 Wish nice and exiting night to all Guests. Cheers !

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    1. Exciting, of course. Typo...

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    2. And what happened to JU800? Seems to be returning to BEG.

      https://www.flightradar24.com/ASL800/c4a936f

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  26. This is different to what I am being told about a booking I have with Croatia Airlines in April. What is a customer who has booked car parks, accommodation etc to do with this confusion?

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