Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Croatia Airlines gears up for summer expansion


Croatia Airlines is preparing to launch four new routes next month following a strong first quarter during which it recorded a 7% increase in passenger numbers to last year's 329.320 travellers. The carrier's Director for Network and Revenue Management, Krešimir Mlinar, noted that similar growth trends are expected throughout the year. "We have managed to stabilise the business. We expect for our passenger numbers to continue growing in 2018 and to overtake last year's record when 2.1 million travellers were handled", he said. More detailed results for the first quarter will be released at the end of the month. Furthermore, during the Q1 period, the carrier managed to improve its on-time performance by some 60% after a year of operations at Zagreb Airport's new passenger terminal, which the company says was a major challenge resulting in 307.000 minutes in delays in 2017.

Commenting on the carrier's new route launches, Mr Mlinar said, "All of the new routes introduced during 2016 and 2017 will be maintained this year too because those plans and decisions turned out to be sound. We analyse some twenty potential new routes twice per year and only then make our decision. During the summer, demand is extremely high. If we had seventy Airbus aircraft, we would be able to fill them during the peak months, however, during the winter, demand is significantly lower and that is unlikely to change". Mr Mlinar added that the airline would continue to lease additional capacity rather than buy new aircraft. Similar to last year, two Air Nostrum Bombardier CRJ1000 jets will join Croatia Airlines' fleet at the end of this month.

Croatia Airlines will introduce seasonal flights from Zagreb to Dublin, Split to Copenhagen and from Dubrovnik to Munich this summer, as well as a year-round service between Zagreb and Mostar. The response to the new routes has so far been in line with expectations."Agents and tour operators have all welcomed the new service from Dublin to Zagreb and interest has been high", Irma McHardy, Croatia Airlines' Country & Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland, said. Dublin Airport General Manager, Vincent Harrison, added, "Zagreb is a vibrant city filled with culture and history and I have no doubt it will be a popular destination. We will work closely with Croatia Airlines to help promote the new route". Croatia Airlines further said, "The response to our new Mostar route has been positive, which is why we will maintain the service throughout the year and offer numerous transfer options via Zagreb".

128 comments:

  1. 7% growth during first quarter is a great result.

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    1. Not bad at all. Where did the growth come from?

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    2. They flew more charters and I think the general demand has grown. Also don't forget the Easter effect with a lot of travel in late March.

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    3. If they keep 7% growth this year they should handle around 2,250,000 passengers.

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    4. ^Not bad at all. But I think growth will be higher than 7%.

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    5. With only 12 (+2 leased) aircraft 2,3 million Passengers will be amazing!

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    6. kučko mađija. žanju što je najveći hustler avioindustrije sa ovih prostora posejao.

      šalim se naravno.

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    7. @AnonymousApril 4, 2018 at 9:26 AM

      Yep, could be, airline has no plans to purchase new aircraft any time soon. Well 4 A320 NEO will join the fleet in 2021/22, but plan is to retire 4 A319 around 2023/4 and 2 A320 in 2024/5.

      So airline will be down to 6 Dash9 Q400 and 3 A320 NEO. Not sure, but would be wise to get few more aircraft, perhaps 6 CS100, by 2020 ?

      I'd base over summer months 4 A320 NEOs in Split and Dubrovnik and with CS100s out of Zagreb Q400s can cover any holes.

      OU has up to 45 destinations in summer, and less than 32 in winter months.

      Adding Budapest, Warsaw, Madrid, is a must.

      Current scheduled and seasonal/charter OU destinations


      Amsterdam
      Athens
      Barcelona
      Belgrade
      Berlin
      Brač
      Brussels
      Bucharest
      Cologne Germany
      Copenhagen
      Dublin Ireland DUB
      Dubrovnik
      Düsseldorf
      Frankfurt
      Göteborg
      Hamburg
      Helsinki
      Istanbul
      Lisbon
      London
      Lyon
      Manchester
      Milan
      Mostar
      Munich
      Nice
      Osijek
      Oslo
      Paris
      Prague
      Pristina
      Pula
      Rijeka
      Rome
      Saint Petersburg
      Sarajevo
      Skopje
      Split
      Stockholm
      Stuttgart
      Tel Aviv
      Venice
      Vienna
      Zadar
      Zagreb
      Zürich

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    8. 7% pax growth, very good. Did they also operate 7% more flights? How many more seats were actually on offer?

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  2. The Dublin route is long overdue. Considering how many people have moved to Ireland there will be diaspora and leisure traffic. I hope they extend it in winter.

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    1. and that they have good connection to Osijek on these flights.

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    2. Of course the geniuses don't. There is no good connection from Dublin to Osijek via Zagreb using OU.

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    3. Not only that but there is no good connection from Osijek to Dublin either.

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    4. Obviously they have greater expectations for connections from/to the Croatian coast.

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    5. Croatia is extremely popular with the Irish. The Dublin flights will cater for tourists as well who are headed to the coast but also ZAG as a city break destination. Besides EI daily flights to DBV and those to SPU and PUY OU will greatly serve ZAG and the Coast, but also the region.

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    6. @AnonymousApril 4, 2018 at 9:28 AM

      85 000 Irish visitors in Croatia in 2017, this year, could be 100 000.

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  3. "We analyse some twenty potential new routes twice per year and only then make our decision."

    It would be interesting to see which other routes are of interest to them. If they plan to introduce more new routes next summer they will have to lease more planes.

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    1. Hope they finally start Rome nonstop next summer.

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    2. I would prefer Vueling to start Rome-Zagreb actually.

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    3. There is a long list of potential destinations I can think of - Madrid, Moscow, Podgorica, Tirana, Sofia...

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    4. There are some destinations I think OU should have tried but there is no point now. Madrid is one of them. With Iberia flying almost double daily this summer I don't think there is much room left for Croatia Airlines here. Same will happen with nonstop Athens-Zagreb which Aegean will operate.

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    5. When are the A320neos coming?

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    6. First two in 2021 and the other two in 2022.

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    7. Thanks. So they will need to lease some planes between then.

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    8. @ 9.34 Agree. Same case with Zagreb-Warsaw. Now ruled by LOT.

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    9. Why don't they fly to more German destinations? They still don't fl to Dusseldorf, Hamburg...

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    10. German market is covered well by Lufthansa and Eurowings.

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    11. Hopefully Sofia materializes soon.

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    12. Why should it? There are very little Croats travelling there.

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  4. Croatia Airlines is too expensive. They need to lower their fares. Zagreb-Dublin-Zagreb return is selling for over 260 eruos without baggage! And that's outside of peak season.

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    1. Well the flight is to Dublin. It can't exactly be cheap. Although they could have included checked in baggage for that price.

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    2. Soon they will do the same as JU because they plan to cut service and become hybrid. I can guarantee you they will keep the same pries.

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    3. Ever looked at the income in Ireland? The flights will primarily cater to tourists flying to the coast and the diaspora living and earning in Ireland, although some here claim the will be filled by Croatians visiting Ireland.

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  5. Meanwhile...

    https://www.hercegovina.info/vijesti/vijesti/hrvatska/putnicima-u-avionu-croatia-airlinesa-pocela-curiti-voda-usred-leta-143384

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    1. I love their explanation that the problem isn't the maintenance of the plane but the plane itself. Reassuring.

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    2. Hahahahaha yeees! That's the most tragic and hilarious part. :D

      It's like: our maintenance did its best but the plane is simply faulty. :D

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    3. Yellow sensational press.

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    4. Yeah but it doesn't change the fact water was dripping from the ceiling. :O

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    5. Thats whats called condensation and happens rarely but it happens ;) Sometimes in winter I have also water dropping from my window pane.

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    6. I like condensation, it's refreshing while flying.

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    7. Condensation used to happen all the time on practically every flight on some of the old Soviet planes, particularly Tupolevs and some Antonovs if I recall correctly. Try Air Koryo and you will see:)

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    8. Air Koryo operates modern TU-204.

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    9. @1:07: yes, of course Mr. Kim!

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  6. seventy Airbus aircraft :D

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    1. Yes in Summer they could easily fill these!

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    2. Yes, if they eliminate all other airlines from coastal airports

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    3. I have no doubt they could fill around 50 in summer. If they have had those birds available in the past, all the other airlines would not have developed as they did on the coast over the last years.

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  7. They need to start thinking outside of the box and address winter month operations when they loose the most money. They shouldn't be a May-September airline.

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    1. I agree to a certain extent but I think they are starting to work on this. Barcelona and Lisbon have been extended for a few months (still not year round) and at least Mostar will be all year.

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    2. I hope this year they will extend at least one route they launched from the previous years to year round. I heard Oslo was their best performer.

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    3. It's not May-September timeframe anymore.
      The seasson has been extended starting March and ending November/December.
      OU has shifted to charter business, just FYI during March 2018 they did 15+ charter flights to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Marroco etc. It is expected to run charter flights during April / May too. E.g. to Marrakech, Marroco it is scheduled 5 charter flights until May 2018 (A320).

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    4. @ 9.39 Last year Kucko said Bucharest had most potential to become year round.

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    5. It might be extended until January like Lisbon and Barcelona.

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  8. Passenger numbers are great and all that but if finances are not improving then it's all pointless.

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    1. +1 i'm very interested in their financials this year because I think we will finally get a true picture of the health of their business. For their sake I hope it is good. We will see.

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  9. Which airline did people fly with the most to get to Dublin from Zagreb until now?

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    1. Lufthansa probably.

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    2. Definitely LH.

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    3. Wrong. Majority of pax use Ryanair Dublin to Pula or Zadar and then car/bus to Zagreb. Pax to Split and Dubrovnik use mostly Er Lingus.

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    4. Anonymus 6:14, air lingus flies to Pula too.

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    5. And no Ryanair flights from Pula to Dublin.

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  10. What happened to that rumor that they will also lease an A321 this summer?

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    1. False rumour obviously.

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    2. That was not rumor. A321 was visible on some websites (ZAG-SPU route), eg aviokarte.hr

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    3. Hmm I wonder what happened then. A321 would be a good addition for OU in my opinion. Especially on some domestic routes like ZAG-SPU and ZAG-DBV during July/August.

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  11. I think it's a good collection of destinations and with the other 4 launched last year they now have a pretty good spread. The only thing I am disappointed about is the fleet. They promised between 4 to 6 regional planes and none of this has materialised.

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    1. No money for regional jets.

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    2. I'm still happier with the CRJ 1000 then the old Fokker. A step in the right direction and it is good for them to test the plane if they ever actually think of something to fill that gap between the Dash's and Airbuses.

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    3. Looking at their finances i fear that the leasing costs over the summer/high season for these planes do coat them a real fortune!

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  12. People should also remember that they suspended 4 routes this summer.

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    1. The ones from the coast?

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    2. Yes the suspended 4 routes and start 4 routes. In terms of flights it means they suspended 6 flights and added 25.

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    3. You are right, I forgot about the additional frequencies on other routes.

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    4. In total 39 destinations in 23 European countries.

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  13. Congrats to Croatia Airlines!

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  14. Yes it's a shame there are no connections from Osijek to Dublin with these new route. But Mostar has a very good schedule with good connections to Amsterdam, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Munich, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.

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    1. Yes but some of those destinations (AMS for example) work one way while the other it takes like 13 hours to connect.

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    2. Shouldn't Rome and Milan be their target to connect with Mostar? I mean Italy is where 99% of Mostar's traffic is coming from and yet they will offer not a single connection. I just don't get it.

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    3. Well this is one of the down sides of having a 12+2 fleet.

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    4. I thought it would be their priority to secure connections to these markets from OMO and OSI.

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    5. OU scheduling department never cases to surprise me. Their Oslo flight lands in Zagreb just after the last wave of flights including domestic destinations.

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    6. They don't miss it completely. There are still a few cities departing afterwards but connection is extremely tight.

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    7. What is the minimum connecting time at Zagreb Airport?

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    8. Are you sure? Seems a lot. VIE is 25 for ex.

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    9. Yes. It says so in the FAQ on Zagreb Airport's website.

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    10. Thanks. Thats strange though and I think that OU should push the apt operator to bring that down to 25 or 30 the most. After all ZAG is a lot smaller than VIE.

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    11. I agree with you. But there are several issues. One is if the plane parks at the old terminal. By the time people get off the plane and are bused to the new terminal which is not close at all that's a total of 20 minutes gone. Also ZAG needs more staff.

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    12. Hahahahahahah 20 minutes? Hahahahahaha.

      It is 2-3 minutes distance.

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  15. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  16. Another good thing is that Croatia Airlines has finally recognized that charter flights are lucrative and they are operating them more and more.

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    1. I realy don't understand most of the world airlines are focusing in network , seasonal , and charter flights a long time ago , croatia airlines just now realized what they have got to do

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  17. Anyone know how their Helsinki flights are performing?

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    1. Very well. They have made smart decisions the last 2 years when choosing their new destinations.

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    2. They went down the list of most unserved routes from ZAG (LIS is the exception which was launched when TAP ended the flights). If you remember Air Croatia that lasted a few weeks launched these same destinations too because they are the most unserved with biggest potential.

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    3. @ 10.47
      Looking at the prices of flights their Scandinavian routes to Zagreb during next few months it seems that Helsinki has highest prices, meaning probably the highest demand too.

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    4. But HEL is furthest away compared to OSL and ARN - therefore not surprising it's most expensive. Furthermore, DY competes to ARN so it should be cheaper.

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    5. Few times I've been flying it, it was full. Flying again on the first flight this year, we will see. So far looking the prices Sunday flights are expensive, while Tuesday and Thursday still have ok price

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  18. Nice to see punctuality is up but I'm afraid it will be messed up by ZAG airport closure during night next 2 months. The couple of their last flights landing in ZAG arrive very close to the airport closure time. If there are some delays they will have to go to Pula.

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    1. True and those are highly likely to be delayed since its Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels and LHR and its these are the last flights of the day for these plans.

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    2. I still don't understand why they chose Pula over Rijeka. Makes no sense.

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    3. Because they fly to Pula year round and have staff stationed there. If a plane has to divert to Pula they will organize buses to shuttle them to Zagreb but they have someone there to do it... unlike in Rijeka.

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    4. ok. I hope all the flights make it to ZAG before it closes for the night because that is going to be a long bus ride from Pula.

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    5. When is the runway work starting?

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    6. Last night/this morning
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/03/zagreb-airport-to-begin-runway-works.html

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    7. Have the French considered building a second runway in the near future for ZAG?

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    8. A new runway is not part of the concession agreement.

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  19. Like it, finally some positive moves from OU.

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  20. Good. They have to play catch up since they were unable to expand for a few years because of restructuring. 12 new routes in 3 years is a good effort.

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  21. Anyone had the chance to fly the Air Nostrum/Croatia CRJ1000?

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    1. Yes. Good plane, nice service by Spanish crew and 1 OU crew member.

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    2. Very good and new plane. Much rather fly with those, then with cramped ancient OU Airbuses... Plus they had awsome catering last summer, much better then on their other flights. Lets see this summer

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  22. Hopefully they will continue positive financial trend too.

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    1. I wouldn't count on it because after restructuring they still haven't managed to post real profit.

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    2. Let's wait and see the results at the end of this year.

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    3. Positive financial trend happened only because of the slot sale. Without it they would be deep in the red.

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    4. That's why this year will show the real situation. Unless the remaining Heathrow slots are sold.

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  23. Great passenger results during the slowest part of the year! Well done OU.

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    1. Easter helped quite a bit.

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    2. Why Easter? It's mostly in Q2.

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  24. By the way, does anyone know what happened to the A320neo order, previously announced back in 2015?

    http://www.croatiaairlines.com/About-us/Media/Press-releases-2013/510/Croatia-Airlines-agreed-to-purchase-four-advanced-technology-Airbus-320-neo-aircraft

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    1. They will arrive in 2021 and 2022. They must have begun payments per now.

      Here is an article from last year about it.

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/02/croatia-airlines-to-raise-funds-for-neo.html

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    2. Thank you :) good times ahead! The neo will look amazing in OU livery!

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    3. Maybe OU should think of designing a new livery, this one is getting old and boring...new webpage as well...

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    4. Last anonymus +1000

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