Saturday, September 2, 2017

Croatia Airlines considering Mostar flights


The governments of Croatia and the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Croatia Airlines, anticipate for flights between Zagreb and Mostar to resume next summer following a twelve years hiatus. The Mayor of Mostar, Ljubo Beslić, discussed the resumption of services with the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, and Croatia Airlines' CEO, Krešimir Kučko, earlier this week. Mr Beslić noted that both the city and Mostar Airport are prepared to support the new route, which should operate at least twice per week. All sides agreed that the service should be established from June 1, 2018. A new round of talks regarding the matter is planned for next month. "In the coming period a feasibility study and technical analysis will be undertaken with the aim of showing that the new route would be profitable for Croatia Airlines. The potential launch of this new service is very important and we hope to realise it in the given timeframe", Mr Butković said.

Flights between Zagreb and Mostar were last operated in the summer of 2006. The now defunct B&H Airlines launched the service three times per week with an ATR 72 aircraft on January 2006. The flights were codeshared by Croatia Airlines. However, the route was short-lived and the service was terminated at the end of the 2006 summer season, after the Croatian carrier pulled out of its arrangement with B&H Airlines. At the time, B&H cited poor loads for the suspension. In 2015, start-up Air Croatia announced plans for the resumption of flights between the two cities and put tickets on sales. However, the airline terminated all operations prior to the planned launch. The carrier was to run the service three times per week with a 52-seat ATR 42 turboprop.

Mostar Airport sees a range of seasonal and charter flights during the summer, attracting primarily pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje site, as well as tourists. Italy is Mostar’s main market with over a hundred flights each summer. According to Mostar Airport, low cost carrier Eurowings is considering introducing services between Stuttgart and Mostar at the start of the 2017/18 winter season and is now evaluating the financial aspect of the proposed two weekly flights. Furthermore, Mostar Airport noted that it is in talks with Wizz Air over the introduction of services from Sweden, which could potentially launch as early as this winter.

67 comments:

  1. They already made such an announcement two years ago and nothing became of it. I am not holding my breath this time.

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    1. Well elections in 2018 so this could me another empty announcement

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  2. It would be a welcome move. LCCs can cover main destinations, but due to the size of the planes (180+ seats) they can't serve thinner routes. Frequency and range of destinations are the key value proposition vs LCCs.

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  3. Replies
    1. We will probably know in a few days. Kucko's term ended yesterday.

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    2. Kucko is favorite. It was written in papers, which for me is idiotic. Guy managed to destroy every relationship inside company and sold almost all property.

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    3. I'm sure his mandate was to make the company profitable .. that being the case, you do it any way you can - which he certainly did and deserves full credit for doing so

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    4. By selling the family jewellery? I'm sure the government can't be THAT stupid...

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    5. Well, if the govt gives him another mandate, that should shut up all the naysayers ...

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  4. hope that all of these plans are going to materialise, Mostar sure deserves it :D

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    1. What did Mostar do to deserve it?

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    2. Have Medugorje nearby?

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    3. Aaaaa... No. They don't deserve it because of that scan for sure.

      I never understood that concept of some city deserves something, why?

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  5. Could they really fil a Q400 to zmostar and back several times per week?

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    1. hope so....it is proposed that flights run only twice per week, so Q400 shouldn't be a problem

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    2. To break even on the Q400 is about 32 passengers, same as on the ATR42s they used to use on this route 15 years ago.

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    3. You can't just say that the breakeven is 32 passengers. There are so many different things that need to be factored in. Some things like airport charges, crew costs, overfly rights...

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    4. Oh please they will get everything for free in Mostar - handling, landing etc. Same as JU gets in Banja Luka.

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    5. Yeah but they still have other costs. I doubt ZAG would give them much of a sale for the flight.

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    6. If they charged eur 19.99 per segment, would they break even with 32 passengers. I don't think so, even with all airport fees waived.

      This break-even number of passengers only makes sense if couped with the average ticket price (to start with).

      Not Anon at 11:15

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    7. I am Anon 11.15 and that's what I am talking about as well. It's not just about selling tickets and paying for petrol, there is the crew, overfly rights and many other charges. Not to mention that ZAG is much more expensive than it was the last time OMO flights took place.

      On top of that, back then they were operated by the Atr which is far more economical than the Q400.

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  6. Karte treba netko subvecionirat, jer ne zaboravite kakvi su tamo standardi, a uzevsi u obzir cijene OU bez subvencija ce tesko ovo funkcionirat.

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  7. When did Croatia Airlines last fly to Mostar from ZAG?

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    1. Try to read article?

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    2. I did. The article says when there were last flights between OMO and ZAG and they were operated by B&H. But before that Croatia Airlines used to fly there, I'm quite sure.

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  8. This route would probably perform the same as BEG-BNX. It would serve the same purpose.

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    1. The market between BEG and BNX is incomparably larger than OMO-ZAG.

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    2. And that is why the planes are always full?

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    3. Actually loads are quite good.

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    4. BNX is full to the gills, especially in summer. Why do you think it wasn't cut? If they had more aircraft there would be more flights.

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    5. Out of curiosity, what is the average load factor on BEG-BNX?

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    6. When the route was launched it was abysmal, around 15 passengers per flight. The a year later it grew to 41% while in August (the busiest month) it's 91%. Yearly average is around 75%.

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    7. Thanks!

      Just checking some tickets, ~eur 55 r/t of which eur 23 is JU (fare + surcharge) , while the rest are taxes: BA passenger service charge eur 10, RS airport service charge eur 17, RS CAD eur 1 and RS Security eur 4.5.

      I take that JU is keeping the airport service charge discount at BEG. What about the BA tax ?

      Is this route profitable for JU even with these loads ?

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    8. It's a 40 minute flight on the Atr. Both Serbia and Srpska have suspended some taxes so costs have been brought down to a minimum.
      BNX could easily go daily in winter and double daily in summer but JU doesn't have enough aircraft.

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  9. Unless they are getting some kind of financial support I'm not sure how this will work out.

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    1. I think there will be some support.

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    2. "Mr Beslić noted that both the city and Mostar Airport are prepared to support the new route, which should operate at least twice per week."

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  10. Replies
    1. Vidi ga. A gdje je bravo BiH?

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    2. To je za njega isto ahahahahahaha

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  11. The two questions for this route's viability are 1) cost and 2) connectivity.

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    1. +1
      I imagine some pilgrims may choose scheduled flights, one they are available rather than charters. This should help the route.

      If Croatia can offer 8-10 connections ( own or codeshare) that's better than a single flight per week to a sole destination on LCC.

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  12. Great move, good luck Croatia Airlines!

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  13. How long is the flights between ZAG and OMO?

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    1. Around 50 minutes scheduled

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  14. This all seems so me that nothing will happen with the Eurowings or Wizz Air flights and that is why they went to Croatia Airlines instead.

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  15. OU shluld open a base in OMO. They could have a single Q400 there and fly a few flights per week to Milan, Rome and Germany.

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    1. Perhaps early to base an aircraft, but potentially operating ZAG-OMO-FCO-OMO-ZAG.

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    2. No. ZG needs a direct flight to FCO.

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    3. Yes what a good idea actually basing an aircraft in a very poor city.

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  16. Only challenge to humble OMO is proximity to SPU and DBV. Altough it may be referred as "Mostar - Dubrovnik North International" for LCC marketing purposes.

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    1. It's 140km from Dubrovnik to Mostar, so I don't think that would work

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    2. INI is furthermore away from both BEG & SKP yet it manages to steal passengers.

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    3. If anything, Mostar - Medjugorje would make more sense. I would guess with the amount of pilgrims who travel there each year a good chunk would google flights to Medjugorje.

      OU should also include Medjugorje along with Mostar as the destination.

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  17. OU needs to fly at least 5 weekly something like: Tue double daily, Thu double daily and one on Sat in order to ensure best possible connectivity as the majority of pilgrims will not come as O&D from ZAG. O&D from ZAG/OMO alone will not make the route sustainable, even on a DH4.

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    1. OU went seasonal in PRN and they are struggling in SKP, I highly doubt they can make OMO work.

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    2. As said before many times, the passenger structure for OMO would be mostly different. Not really comparable to PRN and SKP.

      Ps: Why are they struggling in SKP - are you really sure about that?

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  18. The importance of this route is the political only, the same as it goes for BEG-BNX-BEG route. The catchment area is just to small to have any impact on CTN business model, even for transfer passengers. On the other side, I could see the J31 size a/c (TDR eg.) doing ZAG-OMO-ZAG a few times a week, it might work. [SK]

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    1. The only difference is that BEG-BNX can actually work and it has become a success. The market between OMO and ZAG is much smaller.

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    2. But the point of the route isn't traffic between Zagreb and Mostar. It's about the pilgrims to Medugorje. They come from all over the world and it would be much easier for them to fly to Mostar, than fly to Split and then drive 2 hours to Medugorje, which is some 180 km away. That's providing you use the highway to the BiH border. Otherwise, it takes more than 2 hours.

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    3. Pilgrims come mostly from Poland and Italy. OU doesn't even fly to Poland while it doesn't offer nonstop flights to Italy.

      Unless you expect pilgrims to fly XYZ-SPU-ZAG-OMO?
      Don't forget that pilgrims already arrive on the charter flights. OU would have competition.

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    4. When you say most come from Poland and Italy - what's that in percentage and absolute numbers? If these together make up some 20%, then still 80% from other countries can theoretically be captured.
      Btw, OU does fly to Milan (directly) and Rome (with short stopover) and LO as SA member does fly from Warsaw directly, too.

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    5. I don't see how the majority of pilgrims coming from Poland and Italy is relevant, when they still have no other way to comfortably reach Medugorje, other than fly into Split, or charter flights to Mostar. And charters cannot cover even a fraction of annual pilgrims. I don't know whether LOT codeshares with OU, but that would be a solution to connecting Poland to Medugorje via ZAG. Italy - as anon above said, OU flies to Milan. Italy has 60 million people, not everything needs to go via Rome. Other than that, there are actually plenty of pilgrims ariving from elsewhere in Europe and the especially the US. At any rate they have huge problems reaching Medugorje. This would help them and bring additional profit to OU.

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