Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Canadian carriers battle for Croatian market


Two rival Canadian airlines will compete on the Croatian market next year, with both Air Transat and Air Canada Rouge confident in their success. Air Transat, which first commenced operations from Toronto to Zagreb last year, will increase its seasonal flights on the route in 2018 by further extending its flying season. It will resume services between the two cities on May 15, some two weeks ahead of this year and half a month ahead of Air Canada Rouge's inaugural flight, while the second weekly service will commence on June 3, which is also two weeks in advance of this year. The airline noted that there is "pent-up demand" for flights to Zagreb, noting that it has an advantage over the completion as it sells package holidays to Croatia, in addition to individual tickets. "We wanted to make sure Zagreb doesn’t become an air-only destination. It’s a gorgeous country and there’s so much to explore and so much to do", the airline's Business Development Representative said. The carrier's leisure division is offering both seven and fourteen-night travel packages to various cities across Croatia in order to ensure the route's success. Furthermore, it has concluded deals with eighteen hotels in the country.

Despite offering fewer flights to Croatia next year than Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat noted that its advantage over its competitior is the possibility for passengers to combine their trip with other European cities in its network. "We have seen all categories of passengers to Zagreb. There are those wishing to visit Croatia or just visit family and friends. Our advantage is that we have an extensive European network, allowing our passengers to combine their trip to Zagreb with other cities, such as Venice and Budapest", Air Transat's Commercial Vice President noted. The airline maintains flights to the Croatian capital with a 345-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Air Canada Rouge, the leisure subsidiary of Canada's national airline, will inaugurate four weekly seasonal flights between Toronto and Zagreb next June. The carrier highlighted that it will offer more services to the country than any other airline in North America. The Star Alliance member will also offer a range of connections to Croatian travellers across the United States and Canada and says it will evaluate the potential of extending operations to Zagreb based on its performance over the coming summer. "We are pursuing our international expansion further solidifying Air Canada’s position as a leading global carrier. With this new service, Air Canada becomes the only North American airline offering the most weekly seats and frequencies from Canada to Croatia", the airline told EX-YU Aviation News. It added, "Our leisure carrier Air Canada Rouge will be operating this route between June and October, and we are always assessing every route’s performance to ensure our schedule meets demand".

Croatia Airlines has a wide-ranging codeshare agreement with Air Canada in place and is likely to add its designator code and flight numbers onto Rouge's upcoming service. The Canadian carrier will maintain services to Zagreb with its 282-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, boasting 24 seats in Premium Rouge (business) and the remaining 258 seats in economy class. Next year will mark the first time the Croatian capital will have more than one airline operating to Toronto since the early 1990s, when both Air Canada and JAT Yugoslav Airlines ran flights between the two cities. Both Air Transat and Air Canada Rouge will have a flight each operating on the same day to Zagreb, each Tuesday.

125 comments:

  1. It will be interesting to see who will be more successful. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

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    1. Air Canada Rouge has the upper hand - Star Alliance member and lots of connections.

      Although Air Transat started flying before and does have holiday packages.

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    2. Air Transat also offers connections. You can buy tickets between Montreal and Zagreb.

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    3. Yes but Air Canada Rouge offers much more connections in Canada then Air Transat.

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    4. TS offers connections from Zagreb to Vancouver and Calgary too

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    5. ^ As will AC. Air Canada is the ruler of the Canadian skies with a massive market share in both domestic and international flights in Canada.

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  2. They could have at least scheduled flights so they don't operate on the same day.

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    1. Will they be at ZAG at the same time?

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    2. No, AC will depart before Transat lands in Zagreb.

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 24, 2017 at 4:53 PM

      Air Transat and Air Canada not. Air Transat and Emirates yes, twice per week.

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  3. In high season, there is enough pax for both. In year-round case, winter could work maybe 2-3pw ACA Rouge.

    Now it is time for USA flights

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    1. Coming soon...

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    2. You said that last year and the year before too.

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    3. It wasn't me...but it's not important, we'll have time to discuss the matter once the news is announced.

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  4. Pity neither will keep flights during the winter too. I think it could work.

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    1. This route is HIGHLY seasonal, like all flights to North America though Canada even more. There is no demand for these flights in winter and diaspora can't sustain the flights alone, except around Christmas.

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    2. Air Transat rarely flies any European route year-round. Much bigger cities than Zagreb are served only seasonally in their network.

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    3. The only way this route will fly year round is if Air Canada replaces Rouge.

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    4. Why don't they try to fly 10 months a year and not on February and November when it's the dead season?

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    5. Also ZAG could offer some subsidies to encourage airlines to fly during the winter. A lot of them operate only seasonally.

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    6. The leisure (tourism related) traffic from Europe to NA is actually not really seasonal at all, much much less than vice versa. People are going for city breaks to NY, Chicago, Washington just for a few days over a long weekend, and for ex. I am planning to visit Calgary/Banff/Rockies/Vancouver/BC next year with friends for Xmas or New Year's. In my opinion it is a shame that the NA airlines are so much one-sided / focussed on their NA passenger's needs only instead on more focussing also on the European side of generating pax here. They'd need to invest more into promoting these scenic countries US and Canada and offer at least few frequencies year-round. Particularly AC with all connections they have will have success also in Winter, I do not doubt that. But also Transat could start cooperations with TOs in SVN, HR, BIH to offer packages for Europeans outside of summer to places in Canada...

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    7. Anon 9:47

      Do you really think there is a demand for such travel in exYu. Maybe you can afford it but not very many people can. I live in Toronto and go skiing to Alps because it's often cheaper than Whistler when everything is combined.

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    8. I think the situation is quite similar. It's not just the Europeans, the Americans likewise visit Europe all year round. Now wether enough of the ex Yu folks can afford it, that's a whole different question. But living standards are improving, are they not? Also, what's important is how much American capital you attract, because once they do enter a market, they tend to stay and expand. Thing is, you need way more legal security and less bureaucracy than I feel currently exists in the entire region, in order to attract larger American investment.
      Regardless, maybe they could eventually go with one, or two weekly flights over the winter season. Summer as all of you pointed out, isn't a problem at all.

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  5. Service wise they are pretty much the same.

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    1. And with that configuration both seems to be quite cramped.

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    2. Air Transat's A330s probably have the most dense seating in the world.

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    3. Well, they are mostly leisure carriers, what do you expect? Having 3 cm more leg room in economy doesnt make a big difference for me, even if it is on a 9h flight.

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  6. Have ticket prices gone down because there is now competition on this route?

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    1. Yes!

      Air Transat was selling tickets for over 1,000 CAD for June 2017. Now they are $850 for June 2018!

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    2. Yep, Air Transat has brought down its prices. It is now cheaper than Air Canada on this route.

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    3. Transatlantic flights for under a thousand bucks! That's pretty darn awesome!

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    4. Why? You could reguarly fly for less than a grand via one of the European hubs.

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  7. If Air Transat is affected by Rouge they could always introduce Dubrovnik instead.

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    1. They would loose diaspora passengers if they went to Dubrovnik.

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    2. They could rather switch to Montreal.

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    3. Is there demand from Montreal? Are there Croats living there?

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    4. I'm not so sure that they could fill up a plane to Dubrovnik.

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    5. There might be some Croats in Montreal but vast majority is in so called Greater Toronto Area (GTA), especially western suburbs like Mississauga, Orville...

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    6. @AnonymousOctober 24, 2017 at 10:06 AM

      Totally irrelevant. AC and AT fly to Zagreb cause there's demand, diaspora has little impact on overall visitors to Croatia. 127000 Canadian visited Croatia this year so far, 150-160 000 visitors from Canada expected this year, only small proportion are ex-pats.

      Vast majority are coming to see Croatia or in combination visit the region, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Italy.

      There are only 400 000 Croats in Canada, doubt all of them travel to Croatia every year.

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    7. And how many of those 127.000 visitors are actually VFR as in Canadians of Croatian descent? Stop manipulating statistics.

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  8. The most affected in all of this is Lufthansa. They are slowly loosing transfer passengers to Croatia.

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    1. I'm sure they will be just fine.

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  9. I hope the AC Rouge flights will eventually be taken over by Air Canada.

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    1. If they perform well they will.

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    2. As long as Transat is around, AC will not come.

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    3. Unlikely, as Croatia is a typical leisure destination for them. And Rounge is their leisure branch.

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    4. Yes, I doubt so as well. ex-yu is low yield VFR market, making it very difficult for all but a long haul LCC to make any money

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  10. This is great news for consumers.

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    1. And Croatian tourism.

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    2. And Zagreb Airport.

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    3. And baba Manda koja ima pekarnicu u selu Pleso. :-)

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  11. The market is big enough for both.

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    1. I agree. Demand is there for both carriers.

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  12. So it total there will be 6 weekly flights between Toronto and Zagreb. That is fantastic.

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  13. This will hurt Air Transat quite a bit since Rouge is a much better choice.

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    1. True. It offers connections, Star Alliance miles, will be more appealing to business travellers

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    2. Like I said above, I think it will have more of an impact on Lufthansa and its Zagreb ops then Air Transat itself.

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    3. Yes because Zagreb´s pax max numbers is limited to 3 Million. So each passenger may only fly once, if it flew LH or TS in the past, it will now be lost for them to AC. No new demand will be created.

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    4. Koji pucanj u prazno ovog zadnjega....pa to je nevjerojatno

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    5. I think he was being sarcastic.

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  14. I think AC's scheduling is generally better than Air Transat's on this route.

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  15. When you think of it, it is still an extremely strong start from Air Canada Rouge. Four times per week. Compare that to the 1 weekly flight Air Transat started off with.

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    1. It's obvious. They want to kill Air Transat on this route.

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    2. I don't think they will manage. The two will coexist for the few months they operate this route.

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  16. There was obviously always demand for this route. Remember Skyservice resumed flights between YYZ and ZAG some 10 years ago, then came Sky Greece, then Air Transat and now Air Canada Rouge. The next step is Air Canada coming too.

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  17. Speaking of pent-up demand, what is the status of ASA between Canada and Serbia?

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    1. It is still being negotiated.

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  18. Does anyone know why is the average LF on Air Transat from/to Zagreb?

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    1. Even when Sky Greece Airlines used to fly two years ago it was packed. Remember Sky Greece was an unknown start up. So I can imagine that bookings are going well for Air Transat, especially since they also offer tour packages. Flying once per week during the winter could work. I hope they do.

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  19. Good luck to both.

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  20. Which one is better? Rouge or Transat?

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    1. Based on these reviews, Air Transat is much better.

      http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/air-canada-rouge/

      http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/air-transat/

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    2. Based on those Air Canada Rouge sounds horrific! :O

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  21. Zagreb Airport approached Air Canada Rouge a few years ago but they were not interested at the time. So they went to Air Transat and secured flights. Then Air Canada Rouge approached Zagreb this year :)

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    1. Interesting. They obviously saw how well the route performed for Air Transat. They missed an opportunity to be first on the route.

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  22. Air Canada Rouge has really brought Air Canada back to life. Probably one of their smarter decision to create a leisure division.

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  23. Interestingly, Air Transat has its regional office in BEG.

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    1. I doubt they have any regional offices. What they do have is a GSA and I assume their GSA is someone like Tal Aviation or APG. Both of them have their regional office in Belgrade.

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  24. One airline will certainly drop. Having so much supply for a regional airport is way too much. Okay, if it were BUD or WAW.

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    1. That clearly is AC's intention. Wouldn't say it's certain though. However if they come in with AC mainline, then yeah.

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    2. Actually with AC mainline they would be less competitive as their cost structure would be a handicap. Like this they fight fire with fire.

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    3. I mean if AC mainline starts flying year round. They probably will have pushed out Transat by then.

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  25. How many weekly flights did JAT and Air Canada offer between Zagreb and Toronto back in the day?

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    1. Exactly the same like in summer 2018.

      In last year of normal operations (winter 90/91) JAT had 2 weekly flights from Zagreb to Toronto with the DC10. Air Canada flew 4 times per week two of them with B767 and two with L1011 Tristar. JAT also flew Zagreb-Montreal.

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    2. And in summer 1989 there were 4 weekly flights by JAT from Zagreb to Toronto

      3 weekly BEG-ZAG-YUL-YYZ, and once weekly BEG-ZAG-YYZ.

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    3. Just small correction last An.: It was YMX at the time, YUL came later :)

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    4. JAT did not flew Zagreb-Montreal, but Zagreb-Montreal-Toronto-Montreal-Zagreb

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    5. What's the difference? It was a nonstop flight to Montreal.

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  26. Congrats Zagreb for having two airlines battle it out on a long haul line. Hopefully the US is next.

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  27. I think there is more than enough space for both.

    I have data that in 2007 (10 yrs ago) 18,263 passengers travelled between Toronto to Zagreb. Last year, Air Transat said 5,000 passengers flew on their flights between Toronto and Zagreb.

    So 10 years later I can imagine that the market between the two cities is much bigger and Air Transat is carrying only a fraction of that.

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    1. Oh and btw based on that data from 2007, 24,657 travelled between New York and Zagreb, so even back then there was more demand than Toronto.

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    2. Thanks for the nunbers!

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    3. So it would make sense for New York to be launched next.

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    4. Hopefully, we will see.

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  28. Which days does Transat fly and which Air Canada rouge to Zagreb next year?

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    1. You can easily check on their websites.

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    2. From Toronto to Zagreb

      Air Transat - Tuesday, Sunday
      AC Rouge - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday

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  29. This is great to be honest I would have preferred another destination from either Rouge or Transat to Zagreb for more variety and choice.

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    1. Destinations operated are based on demand. When there is enough demand for another city it will be introduced.

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  30. Croatia Airlines should be smart and start codesharing on Air Canada Rouge's flights to/from Zagreb. At the same time they should get Rouge to codeshare on their domestic flights from Zagreb.

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    1. Yes, or an interline deal simmilar to the one it has with Emirates.

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  31. wow had no idea Air Canada use to fly to ZAG. Anyway good luck with the new route :)

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    1. A lot of airlines used to fly to BEG and ZAG. Many today represent as if JAT had a complete monopoly and no competition. It's actually not true at all.

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    2. Not only Air Canada, Pan Am used to fly to ZAG from JFK nonstop, 5 weekly, with wide-body A310

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  32. Hope both will be successful.

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  33. During a golf game with an Air Transit executive, it was mentioned that they are looking into Split for a few rotations during the summer. Maybe just talk but he brought it up.

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    1. They can not takeoff from Split as runway is only 2.550 m. A330 needs 2.770 m minimum SL ISA (Split is +24 m on SL).

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    2. You need 2590m at MTOW with ISA +20

      Not all takeoffs are done at MTOW, with the reduced weight you can easily make the numbers.

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  34. You speak irrelevant things An.5:10. What really matters here is "the golf game with the executive". Got it? :) :) :)

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    1. Aaaaa... Got it! An.4:10 Wooow you play golf with Air Transat executive?

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    2. http://croat.ca/taste-of-croatia-golf-tournament/

      Maybe I do?

      Maybe he came to do some PR work with the Croatian business community in Toronto ?

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    3. Bravo Alberte

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    4. @anon 5:21 & @anon 7:41
      :) LOL you guys got owned !

      I love it when trolls try to be funny and end up being laughed at.

      I think your mommy is calling you for dinner

      Delete

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