Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Adria and Croatia Airlines to boost winter operations


Star Alliance members Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines will strengthen their operations this coming winter season, beginning October 29, with additional frequencies and new routes. As previously reported, the Slovenian national carrier plans to add over thirty additional flights each week from its Ljubljana base when compared to last winter. Although some of the frequency upgrades are yet to be listed in global distribution systems, Adria plans to boost services to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Moscow, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich. The biggest increase in operations will be to Zurich, with an additional five weekly services for a total of twenty, followed by Podgorica, Pristina, Copenhagen and Tirana.

In addition to strengthening its network with extra flights on existing routes, the airline will also introduce a new three weekly service to Kiev. "We believe that with this new service not only do our passengers gain better connections to Kiev, but we will also be connecting Ukraine to other European destinations via Ljubljana", Adria Airways' CEO, Arno Schuster, said. He added, "We believe that with the introduction of this new service, which will enable faster and easier travel between Ukraine and Slovenia, our two-way economic cooperation will grow even stronger. Ukraine, the largest country in Europe, is also considered one of Europe's richest and oldest cultures. Its major cities, headed by Kiev, are also becoming increasingly interesting to tourists, thanks to their rich architecture, music, and art".

Croatia Airlines will extend its seasonal flights from Zagreb to Barcelona and Lisbon into the winter months. Services to Barcelona will be maintained twice per week, each Tuesday and Sunday, while Lisbon will operate on Mondays and Fridays, until January 8, after which both will be suspended until the start of the 2018 summer season. The Croatian carrier introduced seasonal flights to Barcelona in 2009, while operations to Lisbon were launched last year. Both have proved solid performers for the airline, which will utilise one of its Airbus A319 aircraft on both routes during the winter months. Furthermore, Croatia Airlines plans to strengthen its service between Zagreb and Copenhagen for a second consecutive year with the addition of another weekly flight for a total of seven. On the other hand, the carrier will reduce its operations to London Heathrow Airport from nine to four per week. It comes following the sale of its five weekly slot pairs at the UK's main airport to Delta Air Lines this January. The airline leased back the slots (free of charge) from Delta over the summer through a Slot Use Agreement.

Croatia Airlines initially planned to offset its sharp seasonality by leasing 100-seater aircraft on a year-round basis, however this is unlikely to materialise with the two wet-leased Bombardier CRJ1000 jets to be returned to their owner in mid-October. The carrier previously noted it would use 100 seat jets during the winter instead of the larger Airbus aircraft on a number of routes and, in turn, this would allow it to offer its surplus Airbus capacity to the ACMI market. The airline has also called on the Croatian National Tourist Board and local authorities to follow Zagreb's lead and help draw in tourists during the winter months, as the airline alone cannot achieve this.

EX-YU Aviation News will bring you detailed network changes for the 2017/18 winter season for each national carrier from the former Yugoslavia in the lead up to October 29, as is the case each year.

123 comments:

  1. Interesting. OU going daily to Copenhagen and Norwegian keeping ZAG-CPH for the winter.

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    1. Norwegian is only at 1 weekly though.

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    2. Still good to see them sticking to the market. They will also fly ARN once per week. Unfortunately, OU not extending seasonal ARN flights.

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    3. Will OU use Q400s to Copenhagen again this winter? It was a nice change during the summer when they put the CRJ1000s. That route is too long for a turboprop.

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  2. It's nice to see Adria actually increasing flights to a lot of places this winter after so many years.

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  3. wow 20 p/w to ZRH! They have added it to the system already.

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    1. 20 weekly yet Swiss failed on this route last year when Adria was much weaker.

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    2. They are flying 21 flights weekly in the Summer so they just extended it to the Winter. Makes sense based on the fact ZRH flights are many times full.

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    3. Does Darwin also have a base in Zurich?

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    4. No, they don't.

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    5. I assume JP flies a lot of transfers to the US via Zurich, seeing as Swiss is in * alliance.

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    6. Those "transfers" works only with Swiss, they never did with Darwin who rarely flew as F7 to ZRH.

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  4. Will Croatia Airlines ever start flying to Moscow? Every single ex-Yu airline does and seems to have found a market there.

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    1. Or they could FINALLY start flying to Rome nonstop. Really surprising that a European airline can make Rome work without an intermediate stop and they have no competition on the route.

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    2. Maybe they have zero pressure to fly non-stop as they have enough pax from/to and via SPU, besides zero pressure again as there is no competition from ZAG to FCO/CIA.

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    3. But Croatia Airlines is no longer flying ZAG-DBV-FCO. Good thing Vueling is launching FCO-ZAG this winter.

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    4. Remember that Aeroflot flies to Zagreb but not to Ljubljana.

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    5. @AnonymousSeptember 6, 2017 at 9:07 AM

      NO, Moscow is covered by Aeroflot well, with 6 weekly flights if I am not mistaken.


      Aeroflot has good occupancy rate, but Russia has strict visa regime on Croats and all EU nationals, so there's little demand for extra flights beyond Aeroflot.

      Aeroflot's occupancy rate on the route is around 85-90%.

      OU also has no planes to start the route. OU is short of 4 planes to cover 37 routes in winter, and this is when they need to do A, B, C and D checks on scheduled aircraft.

      OU is negotiating with Bombardier in converting some of the Q-400s in to CS-100, or getting a good deal on 4 CS-100. It would be lease to own if the deal can be reached.

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  5. What's with the sudden growth in frequencies between LJU and TGD. They increased it this summer too. They have been flying there for years and haven't increased flights. Now all of a sudden they are adding a lot of capacity on the route.

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    1. Expecting the imminent collapse of Montenegro Airlines?

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    2. On a more serious note it would be very interesting to see how many passengers each have on their flights between TGD and LJU.

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    3. Not sure how many passengers each airline had but in 2016 there was a total of 37,070 passengers on TGD-LJU-TGD flights (both YM and JP). This was increase compared to 31,974 in 2015.

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    4. Clearly, JP is trying to push the weeker YM out of LJU.

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    5. Exactly my thought but for YM is staying put with 3 weekly to LJU during the winter.

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    6. Even more interesting is that JP ended its codeshare agreement with YM on LJU-TGD flights.

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    7. Based on my last 3 LJU-TGD-LJU (4 out of 6 segments with JP) flights in last 2 months JP flights were quite full, twice even fully booked, on the other hand YM flights back to LJU were more than half empty. On the only flight back with JP half of the passengers were connecting. The low number of passengers on YM flight is probably the result of the JP termination of code share agreement with YM.

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    8. ^Interesting. My guess is that Montenegro Airlines will eventually terminate this route. They will be unable to compete with their 3 flight pw.

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    9. @9.34 thanks for the numbers.

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    10. I don't think YM will terminate LJU because it was in their top 3 destinations this summer along with London and Dusseldorf. They had more than 90% LF on theese routes.

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  6. It's interesting that Adria now has more destinations out of Ljubljana, then Croatia Airlines out of Zagreb. Offcourse Croatia Airlines has more flights because it has domestic routes.

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    1. OU simply doesn't have the planes to cover more than 32 routes in winter. OU needs 4 more aircraft to cover all 38 summer destinations, they managed to do some wonders this summer with 14, however by next year summer season they'll need to sort out missing 4 planes. Somehow.

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    2. .... OU is still paying off massive debt they had, shod all be repaid by the end of 2019, in total $85 million. After that OU should have enough money and profits to expand.

      http://www.croatiaairlines.com/About-us/Financial-information/Financial-reports

      Croatian Airlines has been paying off debt of around 489 million kuna from 2011/12 @an rate of around 80 million kuna per year. There's only 47 million kuna left to pay off, all interest. So 2019 Croatian Airlines will have extra 85 million kuna that it can use to buy new planes or lease to own.

      2019 is most likely year when they'll lease to own either CS-100s or some other 100seat aircraft.

      A320 NEOs won't join the fleet before 2021. These are also being purchased on lease to own, Price for all 4 is 960 million kuna.

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  7. Hope Kiev flights will work out for Adria. I'm just not sure if there is a big enough market there.

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    1. The market is there for sure. With good connections they will fill their planes which are perfect for this route. The major question is whether the yields will hold up and I fear they won't.

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    2. It will all just depend on how competitive JP will be for transfer from KIV via LJU

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    3. Air Serbia was very competitive for transfer from Kiev via Belgrade and they had loads of passengers to New York. The problem is they were making no money from it.

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    4. Starting this route in winter might be tricky. They should have waited until next summer.

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    5. Well, the market in Kyiv is becoming highly competitive but the growth so far was amazing, so I am sure Adria will find its place. Btw, KIV is Chisinau in Moldova, KBP and IEV are two airports in Kyiv. Puno pozdrava iz Ukrajine :)

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    6. Sorry - yes, KBP/IEV I meant. But isn't there a general code like LON, PAR or BER (TXL,SXF) also for Kiev?

      Anyway, the expression "competitive" in this (and often other) sense(s) has a lot of meanings. Examples: It refers to a low enough pricing so that pax use JP via LJU, that the transfer times in LJU are attractive (enough), that their cabin/service product is attractive enough (well, JP has nothing to brag about here), but also from the airline's perspective means that prices for whole trip (KBP-LJU-xxx) must not be loss making in average over the whole year, hence negatively effecting yields, etc. However - furthermore, there are always more positive effects when opening a feeder/transfer route on the whole of an airline's network as the new route will create more pax for other routes. The "hub" airport will profit as well with earning more revenue as well do the retail shops at LJU and so on.

      Obviously, JP believes that the sum of all costs and earnings will (long-term) equal in a benefit. I, personally, am also not so sure about that, but it seems they want to give it a try as their market and route pre-opening (or however you call it) analyses must have proven that there is enough potential.

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    7. Some booking systems use IEV for both airports, including KBP but as far as I know there is no general code.

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    8. 2 out of 3 flights of JP are overlapping with the Austrian Airlines Kiev-Vienna. Why not transit via Vienna? Prices are competitive. Has JP better connecting times? I don't know.

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    9. Adria will bring pax from Air Serbia...just look at the timetable of both at Lju

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  8. Lisbon and Barcelona only 'till 8th January?!? :(( I thought they were making these flights year round.

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  9. Very unfortunate that Croatia Airlines is still dragging its feet with expanding its fleet with 100 seaters on a permanent basis. They have been talking about it for the last 5 years and still nothing.

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    1. +1 leasing 2 CRJ100s during the winter and replacing 2 A319s would be a smart move and increase average LF as well. They could lease 2 A319s during the winter instead of storing them as they do.

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  10. Nice! Good to see more connectivity.

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  11. Boosting capacity out of LJU by 30 pw? That's insane, 4 new flights every day, and genius Arno decided to add these new flights by the start of winter season? Well, I bet more than half of these announced flights would be cancelled by mid December ;)

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    1. They have too much capacity. They will have 2 extra planes compared to last winter. They have to do something with them. There are probably not too many airlines looking for wetleases during the winter.

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    2. They could make nice money by wetleasing 2-3 planes to other airlines during the winter.

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    3. nobody in Europe needs additional aircraft in winter

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    4. There is a world outside of Europe and summer in the southern hemisphere.

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    5. 30 new flights actually equal just 1 additionally used aircraft, if the routes are short (in average 1,5hrs or less).

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  12. OU will suspend LHR by next season completely.

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    1. * I mean by 2019-2020 winter.

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    2. If they do suspend LHR they will go to LGW instead.

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    3. I'm glad Monarch has come because OU and BA are quite expensive on this route even during the lowest of the low season.

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    4. Real disappointment that Croatia Airlines sold its Hethrow slots just to show annual profit for the public. London is a massive market with lots of potential.

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  13. "Ukraine, the largest country in Europe"
    ... and I thought that was Russia- silly me

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    1. Europe does not extend beyond the Urals.

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    2. aww, thanks for the clarification.

      and the large chunk of Russia before the Ural Mountains is on which continent exactly?

      I just hope Arno's business acumen is better than his geography knowledge.

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  14. ZAG W17/18 overview:

    added flights:
    - Monarch 2pw MAN
    - Monarch 3pw LGW
    - OU 2pw LIS (Nov + Dec)
    - OU 2pw BCN (Nov + Dec)
    - OU 1pw CPH
    - DY 1pw ARN
    - DY 1pw CPH
    - LOT 2pw WAW
    - EK 5pw DXB
    - LH 6pw (Nov only)
    - El Al 1pw TLV (Nov only)
    - Charters: 6 x flights to Marrakesh (Nov/Dec)

    still "in the grey":
    - BA 1pw extra LHR (Wednesday, BA 852)
    - Monarch 3pw extra LGW (Nov + Dec)

    Less flights:
    - OU 5pw LHR
    - Czech airlines 2pw PRG (seems like they stopped the winter sales)

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  15. Surprised that there are still no Adria flights to London.

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    1. They ca't compete against Wizz Air and easy jet on this route. They already tried and failed.

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    2. It is the biggest hole in their schedule.

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  16. So OU is not returning to Pristina this winter either?

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  17. I think I know why this article grouped OU and JP together. Next one will be JU and YM reduce winter operations ;)

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    1. And that would make you happy? Don't get it.

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  18. An improvement on before. All the best to Adria.

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  19. CEO Kucko said that all Croatia Airlines routes are unprofitable during the winter.

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    1. Perhaps he should have done something to make them profitable...

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    2. Every route unprofitable???

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    3. And he is probably right about it. The art of winter in exyu and practically whole Europe is to mitigate the winter losses - and to increase the summer revenues.

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    4. this is what MATs director said too back in the days

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    5. of course the routes are not positive in Winter. But this is an accounting thing. In winter most of the checks on the aircraft are done which is credited to the months in which the checks occur. Then the productivity usually drops, because the A/C are not heavily used and "those" costs are then distributed among the routes that are still flown in that period. It is to a large amount an accounting bias.

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    6. Yea but also the pure operational balance in winter is negative and must be so. Did you ever look at LF of a route in Su and Wi? It's alwaya noticeably higher in summer- with usually a lot higher rates in summer! A lot more people fly during summer - just look at airport pax statistics.

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  20. wow Adrid this is not bad at all :)

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  21. So for Adria it means the only destinations they won't be increasing from Ljubljana are Brussels and Munich.

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    1. It might be impressive on paper but we have to wait and see how it will perform in reality and whether the market is big enough to sustain this amount of flights.

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    2. It is impressive but then it is the state from several years ago. They cut a lot only to reach the numbers from few years ago. ZRH for instance was served 21 times a week a few years ago, same as other destinations.

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  22. I think OU should have kept a few seasonal routes from Zagreb including Athens, Prague and possibly Milan.

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  23. Will Croatia Airlines be increasing any frequencies from Dubrovnik and Split?

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    1. No, all frequencies are the same like last year.

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    2. Shame, so just FRA and ZAG flights from Dubrovnik.

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  24. when will croatia get a new CEO? this week?

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    1. It looks like Kucko will be selected for another mandate.

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  25. Looks like Adria will have more international departures than Croatia Airlines during the winter... and they will have the same fleet size.

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  26. At the rate Adria is going it will have an 80% passenger share at Ljubljana Airport.

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    1. haha true. Just like 10 years ago.

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    2. No problem. Even 100% won't be a problem. Large share at the home airport is only a problem if we talk about Air Serbia.

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  27. This is great news for LJU airport. Strong growth will continue in winter.

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  28. Oslo and Stockholm have been selling very well for Croatia Airlines this summer. It's a shame they are not being extended.

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    1. Scandinavia has been generally underserved out of Zagreb for years.

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    2. Yes. Shame they're not being extended, especially since OU had already indicated they would. So much irrational, contradictory decisions being made by OU so often. Don't get it. It's like they're scared of success. They'd had profitable 2016. even without the London slots, which will enter this year's account. They have the largest market in ex yu without competition, now's the time for expansion. At least with sure thing marlets like Scandinavia...and yet - nope. So disappointing.

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  29. I hope Croatia Airlines gives Dublin a try. I think there is a reasonable market there.

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    1. They were considering launching it this summer.

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    2. If they don't Aer Lingus probably will.

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    3. The flew a few charters from Osijek to Dublin last winter. Will they operate them again this year?

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    4. I heard those flights performed quite poorly.

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    5. One would hope, but this is OU we're talking about after all. Meh

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  30. Good news for both airlines.

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  31. Good progress from Adria.

    As for Croatia Airlines, nothing much. They basically are only increasing CPH by one flight. 5 weekly cut from London and 2 seasonal routes just extended for 2 months.

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    1. Good progress from Adria? They have reduced their schedules in the past years extremely only to catch up on 2010 levels. Most routes were already flow in the to be increased frequency. Even Kiev existed before!

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  32. Adria has always had liquidpity issues in the winter. I hope this new and enhanced schedule won't make there losses greater.

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    1. If they haven't discovered oil reserves in their backyard, it will. I repeat it again, these are all moves to increase the company's Ebitda (even if they cost greater losses), which are clear signs of trying to sell the company to someone else (if only they can find more stupid investors to pay for a money losing company).

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  33. I hope from next summer Adria starts adding new routes to destinations that are really needed from LJU.

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    1. Ok, that would be cool, but Aegean tried and stopped quickly, so I guess there just isn't that much of a market.
      And many Greek islands are served by charters in the summer.

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  34. Congratulations to Adria! What Croatia Airlines is doing in this article though, I don't know.

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  35. OT
    Transavia to double its BEG flights from three to six starting from February

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    1. RIP W6 to EIN lol

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    2. Probably JU will be more effected than W6

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    3. Not really, people who fly on JU do that because it's a legacy carrier. Transavia is a lowcost so its clientele is similar to the one carried by Wizz.

      Also, don't forget that ASL has done well in AMS. Despite Transavia and Wizz Air they have kept 10 weekly flights.

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  36. Adria flying in the winter between LJU and Manchester would be much easier for Northern England package holiday skiers, who, at the moment, have to fly to Salzburg to get to Vogel and Kranjska Gora.

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    1. Ali, u SLO je zabranjeno skijati pijan

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  37. OT: Currently 2 Adria Airways Switzerland aircrafts operating from Ljubljana: AT7 HB-ACC (from 04 Sep) and SB2000 HB-IZZ (from yesterday).

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