Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Croatia Airlines registers strong growth


Croatia Airlines has seen its passenger numbers grow 10% during the past eleven months, with the carrier yesterday handling its two-millionth traveller for 2017. It marks the first time the airline has achieved such a feat in its 26-year history. The two-millionth passenger was a Croatian national flying between Copenhagen and Zagreb. This year's growth was fuelled by the launch of four new seasonal routes from Zagreb, including Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Bucharest, while the airline continued to maintain services to Lisbon, Milan, Prague and St Petersburg, which were introduced in 2016. The company anticipates welcoming over 2.1 million passengers by year's end, with 11% growth recorded so far on international flights and a 7% increase on domestic services. Last year, Croatia Airlines handled 1.939.000 travellers.


The Croatian carrier has begun preparations for the upcoming summer season, with the airline recently announcing the launch of new seasonal flights between Split and Copenhagen, which are to launch on May 5, 2018. However, it is yet to decide on the final make-up of its fleet for next year. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the company said that it "hasn’t made a definitive decision in terms of wet-leasing aircraft for next summer season". This year, Croatia Airlines arranged a five-month wet-lease arrangement with Iberia Regional (Air Nostrum) for two Bombardier CRJ1000 jets, allowing it to launch new seasonal routes. In previous years the carrier has also leased aircraft from Zagreb-based Trade Air.

Croatia Airlines' former CEO, Krešimir Kučko, who stood down last month, previously noted that the carrier would introduce aircraft of similar capacity to the CRJ1000 in 2018 as an addition to its existing fleet. He argued that this would bridge the difference in capacity between its Airbus aircraft, which have 144 to 174 seats, and the Dash 8 Q400 with 76 seats. Meanwhile, the airline has confirmed it is is negotiating the extension of its lease for the six Dash 8s. It noted, "Croatia Airlines intends to extend the operating lease of these aircraft and is just now in the negotiation process with the lessor". Croatia Airlines took delivery of its first Dash 8s in 2008 as part of a ten-year lease agreement, which expires in 2018.

135 comments:

  1. Congrats! Why are they waiting with the election of a new CEO?

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    1. They are not. Jasmin Bajic is the new CEO. Selected in October
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/10/croatia-airlines-names-new-ceo.html

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    2. No, he is CEO for 6 months. Temporary one.

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    3. Yes, but its only temporarily.

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    4. There is a 99% chance they will extend his term for another 6 months.

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    5. Knowing OU I wouldn't be surprised if it was another 6 years.

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    6. As 2nd member of EC, but CEO will be someone else.

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  2. Good year overall for Croatia Airlines.

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    1. Agree! Passengers growth, new routes, profit.

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    2. Profit? Hahahahahaha

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  3. Will they be introducing any more new destinations next year?

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    1. I doubt it. 8 new destinations for 2 years is good. They would need to expand their fleet again if they are going to introduce more new routes

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    2. It would be great if they make some sesonal routes year-round. For example Helsinki, Milan, maybe Stockholm...

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 6, 2017 at 9:13 AM

      Yes.

      Dublin is on table. They have problem with negotiation about slots.

      They negotiate with Mostar, huge chance for that route to be open.

      They negotiate with Trade Air but there is no final decision about carrier.

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    4. Interesting. What are they negotiating about with Trade Air. F100 lease?

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

      They'll have to, to remain relevant.

      Dublin, Madrid, Istanbul and Edinburgh are potential destinations. Dublin and Edinburgh being most likely.

      OU must exceed this year's record, and handle at least 2.25 million pax in 2018.
      Revenue vise this also has to go above 2 billion Kuna. Currently Airline has revenue of around 1.8 billion or $300 million.

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    6. You think they will handle 250,000 passengers in 25 days?

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    7. I highly doubt Istanbul will be launched. They were crushed by Turkish Airlines on this route just a few years ago and Turkish took over the same slots at Istanbul.

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    8. No chance for Istanbul against TK.

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    9. Why isn't Pegasus launching ZAG? TK seems to be making a killing on the route.

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    10. @anon 9:38AM
      He was commenting for 2018., not 2017.

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    11. @AnonymousDecember 6, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      This year they won't exceed 2.1 million, this is what I think.

      Next year they need to exceed 2.25 million pax, or do much better than this year.

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    12. @frishki you are right. I didn't notice he wrote 2018.

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    13. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 6, 2017 at 10:25 AM

      Istanbul is also on table. They even had meeting with Turkish about it. Some other routes are on table. But Dublin and Mostar has most chance.

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    14. Will they add more routes from brac?

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    15. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 6, 2017 at 11:52 AM

      Istanbul is in negotiation with Turkish on code-share as 3rd daily flight. If it will be open it will be done by collaboration with Turkish.

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  4. Since they don't have their fleet finalized for next summer it means it will be wet leases again.

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    1. That's unfortunate. They need a permanent solution to their fleet otherwise they won't be able to expand anymore.

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    2. They could lease 2 of those CRJs from Adria next year.

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    3. Not an impossible outcome since Adria seems to be making wetleasing one of its main areas of business.

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    4. I hope they lease again the CRJ1000. Good plane, good economics and passenger friendly.

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    5. Those CRJ 1000s would have looked great in the full OU livery :)

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    6. Air Nostrum CRJ1000 is already listed on many flights as of May 2018 (BRU, LIS, HEL, DBV from what I see). Either they're sticking to the same plan as this summer or the system is not showing the accurate fleet. (I searched on Google flights and Kayak). Meanwhile, some ZAG-SPU flights in May are listed like this: Croatia 656 (Airbus A321
      Operated by BH Air).

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    7. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 6, 2017 at 12:42 PM

      For expansion they plan they will need more than 2 planes, for present plan (if it is not spin) they will need at least 4 more planes.

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    8. The A321 is randomly down for a Saturday SPU-ZAG in the moring and ZAG-SPU in the evening next summer.

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  5. Replies
    1. I wonder how he is going over at Gulf Air haha.

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    2. He turned out to be the smartest of them all.

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    3. Kučko is criticized and even mocked harshly here, but it looks like he'll be remembered as the one who saved the nose diving company.

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    4. in these parts of the europe it is especially hard (impossible?) to have a profitable airline business and market game is hardly a business based one since everything is state owned and politics are crazy.

      but kučko played his waltz on the line very skillfully. he covered the potential losses in the books with sale of assets, always showing profit, thus avoiding being hammered in public.
      his sale of heathrow slots was a good move. tough call, but the only one reasonable and he got it pushed through a thick government approval process.
      more interesting to me was that he even showed the route losses were tremendous and the critics wouldn't acknowledge that, showing that critics never walked passed an airline finance dept and have no real understanding of business.

      of course there was some bad moves. most noticeably failed strategy of opening regional basses across balkans and fight with unions.

      also too bad he didn't introduce a 100 seater jet - a move that both JU and OU are postponing for too long

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  6. Nice. Congratulations Croatia Airlines. I hope you introduce more serious flights from the coast. I don't get the point of one weekly Split-Copenhagen. Not to mention how many weekly flights there are from SAS and DY.

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    1. It was published here months ago that Croatia Airlines will focus more on leisure and charter flights. This seems to support that idea. Plus they have announced a lot of charters to Scandinavia for next summer.

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    2. It is nonsense to expect a hub&spoke carrier to launch flights out of its base. Spreading its limited capacity to three airports is already weakest part of Croatia Airlines' business.

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  7. How big of a role did they play in ZAG's growth? Seems like quite a bit, maybe 5% to 6% on an annual basis.

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    1. Seems about right.

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    2. So other carriers contributed with around as much. I thought it would be more.

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    3. @AnonymousDecember 6, 2017 at 9:14 AM

      Not that much, I'd say 2-3% at most. OU's growth @Zagreb was tiny, increases along the coast were much greater.

      This year OU (2018) is looking to expand the fleet a bit, 4 new 100 seat aircraft to be leased to own, bringing fleet to 16 aircraft. CS100 is being favored due to good capacity, economy and range. E195 is also being looked at.

      Also 4 new A320 NEO are joining the fleet in 2021, bringing fleet to 20 aircraft. Older A320 and A319 will be kept in the fleet till 2025, used mostly for charter and summer season.

      Replacement for these 6, most likely will be CS100, if OU signs agreement for lease of 4 CS100 in 2018.

      Circa 2025 OU fleet might look like:

      4 A320 NEO
      10 CS100
      8 Dash-8 Q-400

      total: 22 aircraft.

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    4. Hope it turns out that way. That would be the perfect fleet for them.

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    5. Would be great to see some new livery, there are great young designers who could do a great job and make a rebranding, including their plane interior and magazine.

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    6. They should not change anything. Keep it traditional. Who wants something else can fly with other carriers.

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    7. Any truth to the past rumors about SSJ?

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  8. They should consider opening nonstop Zagreb-Athens next year without the stop in Dubrovnik to better compete against Aegean.

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  9. Good luck OU. Wish them all the best.

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  10. They should now focus on making those 8 new destinations year-round.

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    1. +1
      I think all can be sustained in the winter time too.

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    2. They should have left Oslo, Stockholm or Helsinki, at least 2pw during winter season.

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    3. They should have. Hopefully they do make Scandinavia year round, in addition to Copenhagen.

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  11. Looking forward to see what next year brings. This one has been very good so far for Croatia Airlines.

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    1. I'm also interested to see what next year brings. This year they sold slots and will have nice profit at the end of the year but what do they do in 2019 to show profit?

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    2. They can always sell a plane.
      And they still have 4 slots left at Heathrow.

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 6, 2017 at 10:29 AM

      They still have 4 weekly slots in LHR, 5 planes, some engines, lend in Zagreb airport, some real estate and Croatia Technics.

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    4. Da li zaista mislis da mogu da uzmu 5 miliona jura za pet starih aviona kojima se blizi D check?

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  12. And is privatisation still on the table?

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    1. I hope privatization will happen under new CEO. CEO Kucko didn't want to privatise the company under the motto it is not needed.

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    2. There has to be some interest from foreigners for the privatisation to happen. I don't think there is any interest at the moment.

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    3. Maybe Gulf Air will buy OU :p

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  13. I have checked that the Airbus fleet is approx. 19 years old while the Dash fleet around 9. Does anyone know if they are considering the replacement of the Airbus jets soon?

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    1. The A320neos start coming in 2021. But that will replace only part of the Airbus fleet.

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    2. They definitely need to start thinking about what they will do with their Airbus fleet. Only 4 A320neos are on order.

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    3. It would be best if they got several 100 seaters in addition to the A320neos.

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    4. So their Airbus fleet is actually older than Air Serbia's?

      Those Q400 are quite young so no need to have them replaced for another 14 years.

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    5. They are older than Air Serbia ones, but they own them unlike Air Serbia. And Q400 are much younger than Air Serbia ATR-72 + they don't have planes older than 30 like 737-300 Air Serbia are. So Croatia fleet in total is much younger than Air Serbia one.

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    6. They don't own their entire Airbus fleet.

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    7. The JU Airbuses are younger than OU in general around 13 years old but better equipped.
      The ATRs are old but very reliable and the backbone of the company.
      JU total fleet: 21
      OU total fleet: 12

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    8. 5 of 6 Airbuses are owned by Croatia.

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    9. That is strange, isn't it.

      Air Serbia with 21 planes (A330 including) will have some 2,7 million passengers and Croatia with 12 planes 2,1 million.

      So, with 75% more planes and 100% more seats Air Serbia will have just 25% more passengers.

      Very strange!

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    10. Very strange that your figures do not come close to the following:

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/10/air-serbia-registers-passenger-milestone.html

      I suggest you make some research before posting made up figures.

      JU connects NYC and Balkans with the rest, OU connects the coast with the rest.

      Still strange?

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    11. Last year, the Air Serbia carried 2.62 million passengers. So what did anon @ 12:48 say wrong?

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    12. Sa isto toliko aviona Adria dobaci do milion i nesto putnika. Jedino im je zajednicko da svi prave gubitke. E to
      je za patkometriju.

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    13. The higher OU figures are thanks to the coast and not to ZAG. The coast is maintaining the whole country economy.

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    14. You know that most of the routes and flights are scheduled from ZAG?

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    15. Anon 3:08, that was verry stupid. Croatia is not only coast.

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    16. Just need to make one clarification on the JU fleet. While they may have 21 aircraft, not all 21 are committed to regular scheduled flying. The 737's - of which there are 4 - are primarily dedicated to ad hoc charter flying, while 1 ATR is kept as an operational spare and also is not in regular scheduled flying. So in truth, the scheduled fleet is 16 aircraft, not 21.

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    17. @Danijel: Ok, what is it then? Zagreb?

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    18. Anon @ 3:08 PM Even if what you say were true, so what?
      Of course, it isn't true. Not when it comes to aviation and even less so when it comes to the overall country's economy. For example, Zagreb contributes to the overall Croatian GDP with close to 40%. That's the city of Zagreb alone, not the entire metro region. It would actually be better if the economy got more decentralized. At any event, what you are saying is pure ignorant nonsense.

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  14. I think you meant "stepped down" rather than "stood down".

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    1. You can say stood down as well. It's correct.

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  15. I hope to see some new destinations this summer. My bets are on DUB, SOF and KBP

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    1. I hope so too but with what planes? They would have to lease at least 3 of them to launch 3 more routes.

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    2. SOF and KBP are with short rotations. DUB is more problematic. Thought I think that 1 plane will be enough if they manage to plan correctly the schedule.

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    3. It will be tricky for OU to launch flights to SOF and KBP as JP was faster. If KBP handles 10 million in 2018 and Sofia 7 million, then there is definitely room for OU to launch ZAG to both cities.
      DUB will work immediately. Yet gain, it is connected to all the EU capitals except ZAG and LJU.

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  16. With Adria Airways growing and getting serious with new routes, it will be added competition for OU.

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    1. Adria should be smart and launch DUB flights!

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    2. Adria has a different strategy than OU. It is focusing on transfers primarily between the Balkans and West Europe. OU purely focuses on point to point and transfers from any point in Europe to the Croatian coast. They haven't really positioned themselves as a transfer airline from the Balkans (except from Sarajevo) which is a shame as they could do that.

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    3. And Skopje where they have 9 weekly flights.

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    4. No, they have 7 weekly flights.
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/10/winter-201718-croatia-airlines.html

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    5. It has 9 in summer. And for sure Skopje is feeding destination for Croatia.

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  17. Nice to see their pax numbers improved.

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  18. Anyone know their load factor for this year? Has it increased?

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    1. In first three quarters LF was 74.2%, +3.9%

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    2. That's a good result and will probably settle around 71-72% at the end of the year.

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    3. It's a positive outcome especially if you consider they added capacity this year.

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  19. 162000 Pax per aircraft per year is pretty good ratio.

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    1. Yes it is, but it is still not good enough to give them operational profitability. They still rely on asset sales in order to record a profit at the end of the year - which is NOT a criticism at all - perfectly legitimate - just stating a fact.

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  20. Great news! And soon the neos will start coming.

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    1. Not that soon. First 2 come in 2021 and the other 2 in 2022.

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    2. Why don't they apply for getting them sooner since it seems that air Serbia won't get theirs ? Just a thought no offense.

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  21. With record profit and passenger numbers at the end of the year, now would be the time for the government to try and sell the airline.

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    1. and when they scan the books they will see the real picture.

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  22. Good to see that they plan to extend the Dash lease. It's an economical and reliable plane.

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    1. Reliable? Yes, so is Alfa Romeo and Citroen and that's why they "Keep their price".

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  23. 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. They don't have an available plane during the summer to base it somewhere outside of Croatia.

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    2. Ou shuld open a base in Bwk for 1 dash from where they can fly to frankfurt,munich,cologne,viena,beograd,milano,roma,oslo,amsterdam,paris...lot route they can fly from brac..

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    3. Where do they get the plane from?

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  24. Moscow and Dublin could work out of ZAG. Hope they consider them for next year.

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    1. Moscow is covered by Aeroflot and OU flies seasonally to LED. Don't see them introducing Moscow anytime soon.

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    2. LED didn't perform that well. I wouldn't be surprised if it's reduced/suspended.

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    3. LED will have more frequencies this summer.

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  25. Hrvatska je turisticki atraktivna zemlja i veoma je cudno kako OU ne moze pored svega toga da fungcionise i vise nego dobro. OU treba dobar menadzment, sve ostalo ima samo ga treba iskorostiti.

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    1. Opet - iznimna sezonalnost. Pogledaj ljetne mjesece i zimske, a pogotovo na obali.

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    2. Veoma je cudno da Ou nema vise letova prema bwk,isto tako da sa bwk nema direktne lwtove prema italiji,nekoliko njemackih gradova,beograd,bec,london,amsterdam.katovice..jako puno direktnih letova sa braca bi mogli imati i to bez ikakvog rizika..frankfurt sa braca bi Trebao ic svakodnevno kao i london,a talijanski gradovi sa minimalno 3 rotacije tijedno..

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    3. Sezonalnost postoji svugde u svetu. Sa istom se bore najvece svetske kompanije poput EK, ali svak na svoj nacin. Neverovatno je da SPU ndma neke linije i zimi, koje bi bile i vise nego uspesne, a vec postoje samo leti.
      OU je mala kompanijabkoja bi svoje trziste trebalo da iskoristi do maksimuma dok je LH nije pojela. Ne vidim da se nesto menja i da pokusavaju da se spase neminovnog scenarija koji ceka ceo region.

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    4. Kamo sreće da LH pojede OU šta prije.

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  26. :) this article was up at midnight. Anybody else spoted it?

    However, congrats to OU

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    1. I saw it, but then it disappeared after 5 minutes.

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  27. Did the 2 millionth passenger get some prize?

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    Replies
    1. Two return tickets to anywhere OU flies to.

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