Tuesday, April 11, 2017

China Southern Airlines eyes Zadar service


The world's fourth busiest airline and the largest Asian carrier by fleet size, China Southern Airlines, has commenced talks with Zadar Airport over the possible introduction of flights from its main base in Guangzhou. It marks Zadar Airport's second attempt at establishing services to China following a failed effort in 2014 with Hainan Airlines. The General Manager of Zadar Airport, Irena Ćosić, the Croatian Ambassador to China, Nebojša Koharović, and the Croatian-based Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA), held talks with both Guangzhou Airport and China Southern over the potential service. "The talks went very well and Guangzhou Airport is extremely interested. China Southern has requested for additional technical details. The inability of larger aircraft to land in Zadar has been identified as a problem. However, Guangzhou Airport will contact other carriers if China Southern decides against launching the service due to the short runway in Zadar", the head of CSEBA, Mario Rendulić, said.

China Southern Airlines boasts a fleet of over 500 aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It serves over 190 destinations, but has a limited presence in Europe, where it operates to Frankfurt, London, Moscow, Paris, St Petersburg and Rome. "They really want to establish flights, but we just have to resolve the technical issues, primarily, the ability for Zadar to handle larger aircraft", Mr Rendulić noted. If all goes to plan, services would start during the fall. Following a failed attempt by Hainan Airlines to establish services from Chongqing, in China’s south-west, to Zadar in September 2015, Ms Ćosić noted, “We are not giving up on our cooperation with the Chinese. We will continue to lobby hard on the Chinese market”. Hainan Airlines' Zadar service was expected to carry some 25.000 passengers per year.

The newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Croatia, Hu Zhaoming, said recently that Croatia needed to do more to present its tourist potential to Chinese travellers. "It is important to establish direct flights, as well as simplify and speed up the issuance of visas. Last year, 100.000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia, which is almost nothing considering the size of the Chinese travel market, however, it was an improvement of 20% compared to 2015", Mr Hu said. He added that the figure could grow to 150.000 this year. "I would really like for Croatia to approach China in a different way and view it from a different angle", Mr Hu concluded. Chinese nationals, who usually visit several countries on a single trip, require a visa to enter Croatia, however, it is not valid for travel within the Schengen Zone. Beijing Capital Airlines, a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, planned to launch services between the Chinese capital and Zagreb this June, however, the flights are unlikely to materialise.

91 comments:

  1. Great news, hope it will materialize this time!

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  2. *flashback to Hainan and Zadar*

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    1. flashback to elections and BEG

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    2. The two have nothing in common since Hainan Airlines has confirmed it not only plan to start flights to BEG but also invest in a whole lot of other things. Offical flight details will be on 15th May. Don't understand what was your point with your post?

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    3. There is no point to his comment, it's just pure bitterness. He can't make peace with the fact we are getting an airlink with China.

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    4. "Offical flight details will be on 15th May. "
      First it was supposed to be at the Belgrade tourism fair, then when Nikolic was in China, now May 15th..... I dont know what to believe anymore.

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    5. Nope. They never planned to announce it during the tourism fair. It was speculation by commentators here in the comments section which you have obviously mistaken as an official statement. What HNA did do is announce that they will fly to Belgrade, invest in MRO in Serbia, pilot school and bid for Belgrade Airport. Sorry that doesn't suit you.

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  3. How long is ZAD's runway? What is the largest plane that an land there?

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    1. 2,500 metres

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    2. Thanks. So with that length what is the largest plane that can land?

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    3. Anything, but the problem would be takeoff since it would require weight restriction. But I think 2500 meters is long enough for A330/767 with full thrust if it's on charter service (no cargo other than baggage).

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    4. Thank you :)

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  4. An A330 or a B767 might have issues landing at ZAD.

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    Replies
    1. landing is not the problem, take off performance is the issue

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  5. But why Zadar? Don't get me wrong, have nothing against it but wouldn't it make more sense for Dubrovnik or Split to get these flights?

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    1. Or Zagreb...

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    2. That's why it's not happening. Looks like it is the ZAD's General Manager and the head of this association called CSEBA, who spread the gossips. The purpose? Well, it can range from being on the media for personal ambition, to forcing authorities to expand the runway. Who knows.

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  6. Great news. Nice to see they are in advanced talks and taking it seriously. I really hope something does come of it this time around. I think think it's good that Zadar is attempting something different and are trying to diversify their offer.

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  7. I don't believe it! Why not Split or Dubrovnik?

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    1. Or Zagreb.
      Split has no room especially since this will be a widebody with a long turnaround time.

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    2. The plan is for Chinese tourists to visit Zagreb and Dubrovnik, as well as Split, Plitvice, Rovinj and Kumrovec during a ten day stay in the country.

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    3. Chinese tourists won't stay ten days in Croatia. Maximum five since they never visit just one country. ;)

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    4. Alibaba distribution centre being planned for Zadar.

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    5. If it was because of Alibaba then Hainan would have stuck around and we would be speaking about cargo, not passenger flights.

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  8. Would these be charters or scheduled flights?

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    Replies
    1. Probably seasonal

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    2. But if they start in the fall...

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    3. Tourists from China are not summer season guests, in general.

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    4. True, same with Koreans and Japanese

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  9. In the past Zadar had few flights from Russia with Il86, mostly Russian Government, it wasn't fully laden aircraft think it was VIP or something. So not sure how these flights will be operated and if CAA will approve them,

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  10. Really hope these happen. Nice way to start the day :)

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  11. Why do I have a feeling it will be like the last time with Hainan. I am sure Zagreb will try to snatch these flights like they did the last time. After all, they need all the cash they can get to pay for that fancy terminal.

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    1. How did Zagreb snatch it? They don't have flights to China (yet at least).

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    2. When talks between Zadar and Hainan dragged on they stepped in and redirected the airline's attention to the capital city. Hainan lost all interest in ZAD and by the looks of it they did the same for ZAG.

      Their BEG flights would have no effect on ZAD like they did on ZAG.

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  12. Nice to see that even the medium sized airports in Croatia are showing some muscle. Even though it is probably only just talk, would be surprised if Zadar gets these flights before Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik

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  13. This should draw passengers from the whole of south east asia, even Australia. Great move.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry that's going to be done by Emirates.

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    2. And already done by QR actually, with EK we can expect that to get additional growth

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    3. Anon 9.47. China southern employ Australian cabin crew for their Australia bound flights so yeah they will pick up traffic and guangzou is a great stopover option

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    4. You are talking about flights that, if they go ahead, won't even be on free sale but will be sold by tour operators for Chinese tourists.

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  14. In 2014 CSEBA said it was also negotiating flights Beijing-Zagreb but nothing happened. I really hope China finally gets linked with Croatia.

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  15. So Zadar, Dubrovnik and Zagreb will all have longhaul flights. Great news.

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    Replies
    1. What's the long haul to Dubrovnik?

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    2. USA next year.

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    3. JAL flies charters to Dubrovnik each year.

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  16. That is really nice to hear. It is also nice to hear that so many airports from ex yu become so open to the world and that we can fly allover the world preatty cheap.

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  17. Tresla se brda, rodio se ZAD.

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  18. The best thing about these flights, if they happen, is that they would make ZAD a year round airport and get passengers during the winter.

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  19. Very intresting, this will be a great move

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  20. I think at this point Croatia should focus on attracting long haul flights to Zagreb which is a good starting point to explore Croatia and the surrounding attractions.

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    Replies
    1. Actually LJU makes more sense. It's cheaper and it's also closer to Vienna or Venice.

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    2. Ljubljana has tried to get flights to China too

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/06/ljubljana-airport-seeking-beijing.html

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  21. Now China flights obsession, after USA flight obsession.

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    1. So no one has the right to have direct flights to USA/China, except for...

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    2. Far from it. It's just interesting that this news comes in waves and always at the same time.

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    3. Greater merit having flights to Croatia then any other Balkan country given the projected tourist numbers. Also China southern much better carrier than hainan Beijing capital airlines. Possibly worth the wait

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    4. In most cases, tourism alone can not make a service sustainable. Hainan Airlines is constantly ranked as one of the best airlines in the world. Is is also a massive conglomerate. Has shares in more things you can think of.

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    5. Not sure where you have read that hainan is ranked as one of the best airlines in the world Anon 12.17 PM however going on my last long haul flight 5 weeks ago I found the experience underwhelming. Wouldn't go out of my way and choose this airline again

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    6. http://www.airlinequality.com/ratings/hainan-airlines-star-rating/

      http://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/33039/20170105/safest-airlines-last-2016-cathay-air-new-zealand-hainan-top.htm

      Hainan Airlines secured the top awards for Best Airline in China, in addition to the Best Airline Staff Service in China. Other notable success for Hainan Airlines was their No 12 global rating.

      http://www.airlinequality.com/news/2016-world-airline-awards-announced/

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    7. Hmm I don't remember such comments when it was Hainan which was interested in launching these flights. ;)

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    8. Hainan Airlines is is the only chinese 5 star airline.

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  22. Better if they started Zagreb. Would be great to have a B787 flying this route.

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  23. Fantastic stuff!

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  24. Zadar has been doing great this year. Triple digit growth in March too. This would the cherry on the cake.

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    1. What happened. Why the growth?

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    2. Growth is growth, but triple digit with a monthly base of say 5000 passagners is not making headlines exactly :)
      That being said, good for ZAD, step by step, too bad the initial base is so low, let's hope it comes to some higher nuumbers in the future, so that it doesn't need 260% growth to make 3000 pax. That would be more of the cherry, Maraska one actually :)

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    3. Not to take anything away from Zadar, but a couple of years ago it had more passengers in March then it did this time around despite growth on last year.

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  25. China based Alibaba looking to make a massive distribution centre for Europe next to Zemunik Zadar, there will be massive cargo potential to Zadar from China too.

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    Replies
    1. Eventually expanding from ZAD to ZAG,SPU or DBV

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    2. I think most of those goods will be shipped by sea, using Rijeka/Fiume as the entry point.

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    3. O.T. The French are converting old terminal at Zagreb airport in to a large cargo center, work should start in October, be completed by late 2018 early 2019. 10 000sqm cargo center and offices on first floor will ensure the old terminal is still used.

      Maximum capacity of the new cargo terminal should be in the region of 250 000 tons per year. With initial cargo volume estimated at 20-25000 tons per year in 2020.

      20 new jobs will be created at new Cargo center initially, with as many as 50 more once new cargo terminal is fully operational.

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    4. Where can we find more details about cargo center? That's great news!

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  26. Na kraju ce leteti za BEG, a exYu ce tesiti svoje citatelje ovakvim pricicama.

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    1. Pa s obzirom na to koliko vam se premijer/predsjednik trudi oko letova za Kinu, bilo bi smiješno da ih BEG ne dobije prvi! Svakako, bit će to super vijest za BEG!

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    2. To nije samo do premijera... vec do dugogodisnje politike Srbije da produbi svoje privredno-politicke odnose sa Kinom. Ovaj premijer se samo kiti tudjim perjem.

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  27. This is outstanding news for Zadar and Croatia in general. Hope it happens.

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  28. I'm surprised that there are for example so many Korean and Japanese tourists in Cro but not that many Chinese. Why?

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  29. They obviously can't fly to Zadar, so what's the point of this story? If they are so interested and the number of Chinese tourists is growing at tge rate of 50% each year, they'll fly to Zagreb, or Split (more likely Zagreb) and since the Chinese tend to move around, you can shuttle them with buses, from Zagreb. With Croatian highways and the rapidly growing new bus service - FlixBus, which has just made Zagreb their HQ for central and southeastern Europe that could easiltly work. They can be in Zadar in 2 hours via bus. In Split in 3 hours.

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    1. Agree, Michael!

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    2. Split and Zadar runway length are the same.

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    3. ...but Split is more fabulous.

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    4. Pula is bigger ;-)

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    5. Split might be more fabulous but Istra is more beautiful. <3

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    6. Didn't know that Split and Zadar have the same runway length. Oh well, then fly to Zagreb. Which is more likely anyway.
      I'm assuming they'll extend the Split airport runway during this expansion project, since it is kinda bizarre for an airport fastly approaching 2,5 million passengers to have a 2,500 meter runway.

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