Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dubrovnik sees US, Korea flight potential


Dubrovnik Airport has identified the United States and South Korea as two markets which could sustain services to the coastal city but noted that the development of long haul flights is still some way off. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Dubrovnik Airport's Deputy Director General, Frano Luetić, said, "These two far-away markets are the most important for Dubrovnik. According to the city's tourist board, visitors from the US are the second most common, behind those from the United Kingdom, which is specific to the Dubrovnik region. On the other hand, Korean tourists are most plentiful during the winter months". With exception to several summer charters from Japan, operated by All Nippon Airways, Dubrovnik Airport currently has no regular long haul flights. Mr Luetić noted that despite the potential, there are still no concrete announcements concerning the establishment of such services.

In 2016, local authorities said they were seeking a partner for the introduction of a two weekly, year-round, New York - Dubrovnik service. At the time, the now former Mayor, Andro Vlahušić, said, "The number of visitors from the United States to Dubrovnik has tripled over the past five years, which is why we want to establish direct flights between New York and Dubrovnik. A two weekly service from New York would significantly contribute to the tourism industry during the winter months". Earlier this year, the Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Capelli, noted, "We are in serious negotiations over the introduction of year-long flights from Croatia to New York, most likely from Zagreb and Dubrovnik, even from Split. All signs point towards the launch of seasonal flights during the high season in 2018 and year-long services in 2019". During the 1980s, both JAT Yugoslav Airlines and Pan Am operated seasonal flights from the States to Dubrovnik, while TWA ran charters from New York from time to time. On the other hand, the President of Korean Air, Won-Tae Cho, has said the company is looking into expanding its presence in Croatia in the coming years.

Dubrovnik Airport is set for another record year, with some 2.320.000 passengers expected in 2017, which would represent an increase of over 16% on 2016. "Despite working closely with both local and regional authorities, as well as the tourist board, traffic during the five winter months will not be greatly improved. In addition to daily flights to Zagreb, there will also be two weekly services to Split, Rijeka and Osijek (Trade Air), three weekly flights to Frankfurt operated by Croatia Airlines, followed by three to four weekly services to Istanbul by Turkish Airlines, two weekly flights to London by British Airways, and a new two weekly service to Rome and Barcelona operated by Vueling", Mr Luetić said. He added, "Local authorities are not particularly happy with the national carrier's scheduling and talks are underway to improve departure times from Dubrovnik to Zagreb, as well from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, to cater for the needs of our citizens. Currently, the scheduling has been primarily adapted to international passengers transferring through Zagreb. Furthermore, the airline has been requested to move its afternoon departures to Frankfurt to the mornings, as they are inconvenient for passengers catching connections from and to the United States. These passengers are most common on flights to Frankfurt. Ticket prices for locals are also being negotiated".

121 comments:

  1. I think it could work, especially to the US. There is definitely potential.

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    1. Agree, besides Belgrade and Zagreb, Dubrovnik is the only city that has (seasonal) potential for US flights.

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    2. Two weekly year round would have been too much. But during the season it would definitely work.

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  2. Unfortunately an American mainstream carrier wouldn't bother to operate a flight just 2 times per week. A charter or leisure airline could.

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    1. It could be operated by a European airline. Norwegian seems suitable for this sort of service.

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    2. You could always try and get a US airline to extend their Venice flight to Dubrovnik.

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    3. Venice is very close to all Croatian cities plus they can go around with a boat or via very good roads.

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    4. Not true really. Venice is close to Istria, but not to Split or Dubrovnik. Seasonal flights to NY will make sense (hopefully) in the future.

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    5. U Veneciji su sve ugostiteljske usluge za preko 20% posto skuplje nego u Duborvniku. Dubrovnik je dobra alternativa Americkim turistima.

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    6. The only issue is that people go to Venice because it's Venice, not because it's cheap or affordable.

      Venice has no substitute, Dubrovnik is light years behind it. I guess most people on here have never been to the city.

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  3. No American airline would bother 2 weekly flights per week.

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    1. Agree. For a mainstream American airline to launch Dubrovnik they would have to fly daily or at least six weekly. Unfortunately I don't think the demand is that huge to justify so many flights.

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  4. Maybe the cost is still too high to justify such a route.

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  5. I will tend to believe the airport deputy manager rather than the minister.

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  6. Did JAT used to fly from Dubrovnik to New York or another city in the US?

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    1. Pan Am too but I think it was via Frankfurt, while JU was nonstop.

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    2. :)

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ChfhgTqWLdI/VEP15CnfOQI/AAAAAAAAOVU/njAETwYW7B0/s1600/panam.jpg

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    3. haha cool. What plane model is that?

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    4. I think it's a B707.

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    5. I don't think so. They retired all their 707s by the time they started flying to Dubrovnik.

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    6. And here is a pic of Dubrovnik on the front cover of the pan am Clippers magazine :)

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AF0ZQHMb3sY/VloJwCw_6eI/AAAAAAAAUb4/EVcA0IkCFfM/s1600/panam.png

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    7. Kind of sad that this was normal 30 years ago but would be a massive thing today.

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    8. It was a different time back then.

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    9. Socijalističke osamdesete ostaće zapamćene kao zlatno doba hrvatskog turizma. Najviše turista bilo 1987.

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    10. Kind of sad you can fly for 20 EUR return these days, btu you had to pay couple of months worth of salary to go somewhere 30 years ago.

      Bring back the old days!

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    11. haha! Well said, last anon! Besides, Croatia already surpassed the best pre-war year in terms of tourist numbers, a couple of years back.

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    12. Actually many paramaters have not been overtaken yet. For example number of British tourist overnight stays is still below 1987 level, and there are many other examples too. Many will be overtaken this year though.

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    13. There were scheduled seasonal flights DBV-ORD as well. JAT had flown them on DC-10, and also sometimes with wet-leased L1015 from Alia (royal jordanian), with JAT cabin crew+Jordanian pilots and chief purser

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  7. It would be unlikely for NYC-DBV to launch before flights to Zagreb.

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    1. Someone could always start New York - Zagreb - Dubrovnik - New York.

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    2. A few years ago National Airlines planned to fly New York-Zagreb-Dubrovnik with B757.

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    3. So what happened?

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    4. They ran into financial problems.

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    5. They were not in financial problems back then. They probably realized they would not make any money on this route.

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  8. Concerning the last paragraph, it is unfortunate that Croatia Airlines has reduced its ops from Dubrovnik so much during the winter. No more Rome operated by them either.

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    1. It is the result of low demand.

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    2. Vueling doesn't seem to think so.

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    3. OU has given up on DBV and other airlines are taking more and more of its passenger share, like elsewhere on the coast.

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  9. I'm surprised Air Transat hasn't tried Dubrovnik from Toronto. Seems like a good fit for them.

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    1. That would hurt their route to Zagreb.

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  10. It would have been a cherry on top of the cake for flights to the US to have been launched this year, with the new terminal opening and so many new routes it really would have been the next major step for DBV. Let's hope it happens in 2018.

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  11. How many US visitors to Dubrovnik this year or last year?

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    1. 82.287 arrivals. 254.931 overnights.

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    2. so there is an increasing demand for Croatia in the US. Anyone knows if AS can profit from it?

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    3. They are already profiting from it. This is from JU from two months ago.

      “The flights from the US have captured strong travel demand from countries neighbouring Serbia, with high volumes of connecting traffic from Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Macedonia and Croatia. This has driven the growth of tourism arrivals from America, and we are particularly seeing a large number of holidaymakers who are combining a visit to Belgrade with an onward trip to the Adriatic coast”, Air Serbia said.

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  12. I still don't get that Croatia Airlines hasn't leased one or two A330s. The cost of leasing its quite low at the moment. They could pretty much pick and choose the destinations during the summer - US, Canada, Japan, Korea... You would be earning much more on these tourists that way.

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    1. And with what money do you expect them to lease such a plane? It is not just the cost of leasing it also the cost of training crew, gaining permits etc. The airline does sell and leasebacks of aircraft engines to show profits in their financial report so it wouldn't look as if the restructuring process was unsuccessful, which it was. How on earth do you expect them to start such an expensive venture?

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    2. Or buy an older 777 through lease-and-buy option and serve these routes 9 months a year. I'm sure they would make money.

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    3. LOL Why stop at A330s and B777? Croatia Airlines could buy a B747 or A380 to fly to New York.

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    4. Here you have a small airline who can't even run 12 aircraft profitably (OK, maybe with the sell of slots & stuff, but look overall for the past 15 years) and you want them to start a complex and risky long-haul business with one aircraft?

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    5. Ive always said before that OU was always the best candidate for widebodies, with the A330 being a nice addition to their fleet. The market is clearly there for all year usage for at least 2 ac. However:

      - Croatian government cant finance the operations through subsidies.
      - LH would probably prefer OU to funnel pax via their hubs.
      - Even if OU did start long haul ops, I doubt LH would support them with funneling pax via ZAG, especially frequent fliers.
      - I don't think ZAG previously was capable of properly supporting such operations, note on the word properly.
      - OU lacks a proper hub to transfer pax for additional feed.

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  13. The issue with Dubrovnik is that it has little outbound traffic. It depends purely on tourists.

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  14. There is one A332 available sitting on the tarmac for 3-4 days of the week so do some out of the box thinking and get it to fly DBV to the US while benefiting all parties involved.

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    1. The problem is that one of the parties involved would never allow something like that.

      Also it is questionable if JU could secure a permit from the FAA to fly from an EU state to the US.

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    2. And also their A330 is on the ground for just a day during the summer. There is no need to fly via Dubrovnik during the summer because the planes are full. Flying via Dubrovnik during the winter would just increase the losses.

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    3. - JU's focus is transferring pax via BEG.
      - During the summer months, the A330 doesn't have a lot of ground time except one day a week for maintenance.
      - This winter, it seems it will be 4 p/w except for November and February.
      - Croatian government hasn't been enthusiastic about JU flying to Croatia. This goes further onto media publishing stories about JU operating illegally in Croatia and stating that pax are not allowed to transit BEG on JU flights. One can only imagine what would be if JU operated flights out of Croatia.

      JU could definitely do some other things with the A330, however from BEG.

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  15. There were some 320,000 US tourists in Croatia in 2016 so there is a market. Most came through as transfers via London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Rome and more and more via Dublin.

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    1. I think the majority are still transferring via Frankfurt.

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  16. It is a pitty that there are no long hauls on the horizon. I'm sure when the airport actually decides to find someone to operate these flights they will be more successful.

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    1. I don't think the airport will have much of a role here. The government is trying to get flights for next year and will probably subsidize them in line with their new policy.

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    1. What for? The airport official seems to be saying that these flights are unlikely in the short term.

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  18. Korean could easily extend its ZAG flights to go to DBV as well.

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  19. Kada može ona ustajala bara od Venecije da ima letove za SAD može i mora da ima i Dubrovnik!

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    1. Mletacka republika je imala desetak ispostava kao Dubrovnik po Mediteranu, sinko ne veruj svemu sto ti pricaju.

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    2. Ustajala bara od Venecije??? Ahahhaahhaha ahmje ljudi kolko ne znanja.

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    3. Ta ustajala bara vam je izgradila tu obalu od koje danas zivite

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    4. Venecija sama ima 28 milijuna tourista. Vise nego cijela Hrvatska. I je talijanska turisticka prijestolnica.

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  20. It seems everyone wants flights to New York after Air Serbia started its flights to New York.

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    1. It's completely normal. They have to become competitive.

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    2. It's got nothing to do with Air Serbia having flights to NY. They've had this ambition since long before Air Serbia even existed. It's about the demand, the actual potential and at this point, it is only a matter of time. Many people from the States fly to Croatia via Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, London...even Belgrade. If they had the option to fly directly at least to Zagreb, they would.

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    3. The market might be there but maybe it's not lucrative enough to warrant a direct flight. Costs of sending a plane two times per week are probably too high for the volume and revenue they can get.

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  21. "Dubrovnik Airport is set for another record year, with some 2.320.000 passengers expected in 2017"

    Impressive!

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    1. That means 3 airports with over 2 million passengers in Croatia this year.

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    2. Dubrovnik is one of the BEST performing airports in Europe. Well done.

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    3. Not really but ok. I think KEF and KBP are performing much better

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  22. Balkan obsession of having flights to America.

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    1. Its not that much of an obsession. Dubrovnik does have visitors from the US. A seasonal 2-3 pw route is probably viable.

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  23. JU will cancel US flights soon so there will be less jealousy in the region and all will be back at square 1.

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    1. Sure it will.

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    2. Keep dreaming

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    3. There are absolutely no plans to cancel New York flight.

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    4. JU cancelling BEG to JFK? Never. That would be too intelligent....!

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    5. You guys just console yourselves, after all it's all you've got :)

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    6. That I believe is a rumour from skyscrapercity forum.

      JU's money problems is not only on the A330 and JFK ops. JU has too many staff for the size that they are, expensive leases on aircraft that don't suit their operations. BEG is their biggest problem and which deters pax the most. Theft from luggage, delayed and damaged baggage, facilities at BEG, while friendliness of border police is when they throw your passport at you (that is, IF they decide to open a booth to serve you in the first place). Not to mention that their operations are drastically altered in the winter, while the on board product I don't believe has ever remained consistent over a full one year period.

      JFK ops is far from their main problem and I doubt, for now, they would end the flights. Better to rid the fleet of 2 x A320's and 2 x A319's in replacement for 5-6 ERJ's.

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  24. Again the US flights obsession lol

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    1. I don't think they are obsessed. They outlined two markets US and Korea, which have the potential for long haul flying, probably since the admin asked a question like this. But they also say that there has been no interest from airline to start these flights.

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  25. I think a priority for DBV should be securing more winter flights. That said I wouldn't say that progress hasn't been made in this respect.

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    1. I also think they are working towards it. Last year they got Turkish Airlines, this year Vueling. Let's hope for some other for the 2018/19 winter season.

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    2. Aer Lingus planned to start winter flights to Dubrovnik last year but in the end decided not to.

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    3. Talking about Aer Lingus, last year they said that they are recording a lot of transfers from the US to DBV.

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    4. Transfer pax who have confused DBV for DUB? lol

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  26. Američko tržište jedno od najvažnijih svjetskih emitivnih tržišta u Dubrovniku, a u korist tome govore i brojke. Tijekom protekle godine gosti iz Sjedinjenih Američkih Država bili su na drugom mjestu s 82.287 dolazaka odnosno 254.931 noćenjem. Odnosno, broj putnika SAD-a u prosjeku se kreće od oko 200 putnika dnevno to jest 1600 tjedno odnosno tijekom vrhunca turističke sezone od oko 500 putnika dnevno to jest 3000 tjedno.

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    1. Iz priložene statistike se vidi da u proseku ostaju 3 noći, što govori da im Dubrovnik nije primarna destinacija, već jedna od nekoliko koliko posećuju na putovanju, što će dalje reći da su im tačke dolaska i odlaska sa evropskog kontinenta drugi, veći aerodromi.

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  27. Would be interesting to see how much these flights would bring in new tourists. Average rate of growth for the US market is 18-19% over the past 5-6 year period. And US travelers do like direct flights.

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  28. Well I do hope flights eventually start.

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  29. Every year the same - maybe next year!

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  30. To me it would make most sense for an airline like United to start flights from the US to Zagreb and then codeshare on Croatia Airlines which is their Star Alliance partner to Dubrovnik and Split.

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    1. US airlines have poor coverage in Europe so I am not counting on any of them starting flights to Croatia.

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    2. Why would they do that when IT far more efficient to funnel them through VIE, FRA, MUC...

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  31. it's just a matter of time.

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    1. Agree, they will happen, at least as seasonal flights, so many Americans during summer in DBV

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  32. I think charters from Dubrovnik to the US would be a great success straight away.

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

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    1. There is no need for that in DBV during the winter. For Zagreb, yes.

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  34. The most viable routes would be DBV-NYC and DBV/LAX or SFO.
    Hollywood stars can come visit DBV as it is getting more famous worldwide. Also the Croatian diaspora in Amerika.

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    1. I think Portland to Split could work just fine because of all the hipsters.

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    2. :D love the way some people think aviation works.

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    3. I hope the last two Anons understood I was sarcastic (Anon 2.20)

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    4. Lord almighty... :susramlje:

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  35. Wouldn't it be more wise to focus on another destination in the US than one already offered nearby?

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    1. There is enough demand for it even if it is offered nearby.

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  36. Replies
    1. DBV-JFK could only work in summer when JU needs the bird in BEG. If it had another A330 then maybe. However, given that a Serbian chocolate created a scandal in Croatia, I doubt their government would allow for a Serbian airline to operate these flights.

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