Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Croatia Airlines unions warn of "alarming state"


Croatia Airlines' employees have drafted an open letter, the second in three months, addressed to the public concerning the present situation in the company. In it, the unions slammed the airline's management noting that half of all mechanics, a third of all pilots and a quarter of all cabin crew have left the carrier in recent months, resulting in over a dozen of flight cancellations during the past few days. Furthermore, due to the longer time required for aircraft to undergo regular maintenance as a result of a lack of staff, jets have been late in returning back to service, forcing the airline to arrange short-term wet-lease contracts for thirteen different aircraft from three airlines in Eastern Europe since March 23.

In its letter, the Croatian Pilots Union warned, "Due to a lack of mechanics, we will be in this state until May 15 when the last aircraft currently undergoing maintenance is expected to return to service, if there are no further delays. As a result, we have a significant number of flight cancellations. In addition, we have been forced to conclude extremely costly short-term aircraft leases. Due to the management's incompetence, we have lost significant revenue". It added, "Just in the last couple of days we have been forced to cancel eighteen flights, which is almost three per day. Since mid-March there have been only a handful of days when there were no cancellations".

The unions also noted that the recent sale of Croatia Airlines' assets, including its five weekly slot pairs at London Heathrow Airport, have left the company without the necessary resources to overcome its ongoing internal crisis. "Borrowing from the banks has also become difficult under extremely restrictive terms", the union added. Employees have urged the government to select the airline's new management team, which it has been delaying for over a year. "Due to a lack of institutional dialogue, we have been left with no other choice than to communicate our thoughts to the media before we undertake more drastic measures, which we would rather avoid", the letter concluded. Neither the management nor the Croatian government have responded to these latest claims. Croatia Airlines pilots are currently in talks over the future of their collective bargaining agreements after deferring industrial action, which was planned over the 2017 summer season, in order to allow for further negotiations to take place. Croatia Airlines posted strong financial results in 2017, primarily on the back of the sale of its assets.

102 comments:

  1. Anyone know what flights were cancelled and what planes were leased?

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    Replies
    1. Many flights, I can remmeber Munich and Vienna, I think Bruxelles too few times. Planes, Jet Time for sure, Trade Air...

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    2. Will they have to wet lease planes from JU? Air Serbia has free capacities.

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    3. Yes!

      JU 20 planes 2,6mio passengers per year.
      OU 12 planes 2,1mio passengers per year.

      JU could really lease some planes to OU.

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    4. @last anon
      Tnx! People keep posting here how JU has a fleet shortage but it seems that with reduced frequencies they can send one A319 to do charters and have one in reserve or for wet leases.

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    5. Some weeks ago i saw on Flightradar24 that a bulgarian BH Air aircraft was flying to CPH for OU.

      Mihael

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerApril 25, 2018 at 12:28 AM

      23.3. Air Explore (Slovačka)
      24.3. Air Explore (Slovačka)
      25.3. Get Jet (Litva)
      26.3. BH Air (Bugarska)
      27.3. BH Air (Bugarska)
      28.3. Get Jet (Litva)
      29.3. BH Air (Bugarska) i
      Get Jet (Litva)
      30.3. BH Air (Bugarska) i
      Get Jet (Litva
      1.4. BH Air (Bugarska)
      2.4. BH Air (Bugarska)
      3.4. BH Air (Bugarska)

      Last few days JetTime (Denmark) and Trade Air (Croatia)

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  2. Med i mleko ...

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    1. Koliko je meni poznato, ne cveta cvece ni u vase preduzece

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    2. Nisam htio ja prvi, ali dali netko zna zašto ne lete 2 a319 i 2 ATR-a? Redovno održavanje?

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  3. this is alarming and really bad. All this extra competition isn't helping either.

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  4. Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.

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  5. Ne znas?
    Neces?

    Kljuc u bravu i vozi!

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    Replies
    1. What you talk'in about?

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  6. This is so sad. In the end all of Croatia will be flying on Eurowings ... and Wizz Air from provincial airports.

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    Replies
    1. That will be a glorious result if it ever happens! We want Lufthansa to take over and remove all those uhljebs!

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    2. LH has a bunch of problems on its own, however it would be good to transform OU in something similar to Brussels airlines i.e. to keep the separate brand and not to be merged in Eurowings.

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    3. No need for a separate brand. The less Croatia in the name of the company the better for all Croatian citizens!

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    4. Danke Deutschland, meine Seele brennt!
      Danke Deutschland, für das liebe Geschenk.
      Danke Deutschland, vielen Dank,
      wir sind jetzt nicht allein,
      und die Hoffnung kommt in das zerstörte Heim.

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    5. Kamo sreće da Deutchland preuzme cijelu Hrvatsku na upravljanje ...

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  7. Situtation in Adria is similar - cancelled flights, joined flights, Adria Airways Tehnika is on the verge of collapse (although they are now completely separate from JP).

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  8. Najgore je što se godišnje tamo izvrsti milijarda kuna, pa i više i to je vrlo lijep teren za izvlačiti kune... Jer ako nestane 5 milijuna to je statistička greška....

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  9. Little ex yu aviation school of running an ex yu airline.

    1.run an airline
    2.run into problem/s
    3.ask government for help ie. cash yes/no?
    4.if yes go to 8. if no go to 5.
    5.do your airline have any valuable assets yes/no?
    6.if no go to 9.
    7.if yes sell the assets they are toxic!
    8.problem solved continue to run your airline
    9.keep you mouths shut
    10.run
    End

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    Replies
    1. That damn EU state aid rules! :)

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    2. Anon @ 9:36 Nicely said.

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  10. Replies
    1. LOOOOOOOOOOOL

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    2. Bravo i tebi mestre, sto si opet uspia iz ludnice pobec!

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  11. Really sad. I just do not get it. They operate in highly competitive market with companies fighting for pilots and mechanics, employees as EU citizens go anywhere easily and management keeps wasting money on wet leases! Incredible!

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    1. Can't wait for that failed company to go bust and Lufthansa to take over!

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    2. Posted it above as well.
      LH has a bunch of problems on its own, however it would be good to transform OU in something similar to Brussels airlines i.e. to keep the separate brand and not to be merged in Eurowings.

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    3. ZZT - Zagrebacki ZrakoTransport. Sounds punchy. ;0

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  12. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled-Grand-Cru-Airlines/Boeing-737-4S3/4944739?qsp=eJwtjDEKAkEMRe%2BS2kYEi%2B30Alp4gZB81sHVGZKADsve3TjYPd6Dt5LUV%2BATt95AEznY5E47amz8dJpWeqC/q2kyiVWOwpm9Wpx7KuXASQQtoH9/MYX9ElzGac7zPgF2HUyHY3ot3hYeDwSXhbbtC56vL34%3D

    this photo now makes sense.

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  13. The airline needs to grow and expand. Every time it seems they received a capital injection it has just been used to pay debt instead of investing into the future. Seasonality is just a lame excuse and can be argued effects nearly every airline in Europe, especially the low cost carriers.

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    1. Their biggest mistake was losing the battle on the coast. Sure, the market is seasonal but they could have made enough money in summer so as to invest in their ZAG operations.
      In stead, they kept on shrinking and shrinking while other airlines kept on taking away their marketshare.

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    2. @NemjeeApril 24, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      U're talking utter nonsense.
      Losing the coast, what loss are you referring to ???

      OU share on the coast is shrinking as number of seasonal carriers have started to serve or connect with Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula...

      OU could have never maintained same level of service in summer months due to lack of aircraft. There's a limit what you can do with 12 aircraft. During summer months OU deploys half of its fleet in Split and Dubrovnik, this is all OU can do.

      Demand in summer months for flights to Croatia are huge, winter months OU has enough traffic for a fleet of 10 aircraft, so you tell me what you'll do to cover quiet months?

      As to the management of the airline, I entirely agree with the pilots. The management is highly incompetent, got their jobs through political favors or connections.

      Government must step in now, and replace everyone with competent staff, under EU directive during re-organization Government can inject funds in to the airline to make airline competent enough to continue operations once government appoints new management.

      OU should hire aviation experts with proven successful track record, and pay its pilots and mechanics competitive pay packages.
      Otherwise, there's no need for national airline.

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    3. @Nemjee
      it is not an easy task to keep your position in the coast. So many charters, European legacies with strong frequences and LCCs. People prefer direct flights and will not change in Zagreb if they do not need to. That leaves OU with flying direct to number of destinations. I suppose having 2 seaside bases during the summer season would be very expensive for the company.

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    4. When I referred to the coast I meant that they should have copied what Dubrovnik Airline did before they switched to the expensive A320 and went bankrupt.

      Aegean has seasonal bases on the Greeks islands. Croatia Airlines could have done the same with a few A320s. Once winter comes they could park them in DBV, OSI or PUY ..
      This is common practice among airlines. Ryanair has several B738s parked at PFO during winter months.

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    5. In its last year Dubrovnik Airline transported some 500 thousand passengers. How OU didn't see this as some type of opportunity to do something similar is beyond me.

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    6. Dubrovnik Airlines was not profitable the single year of its operations? Or maybe it was 2004- 2006

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    7. I think they were profitable. What killed them was the bad leases on the Airbuses.

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    8. Wikipedia post on the company basically states it went into trouble as early as 2009. Obviously the model did not work with short season.

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    9. The season is much longer now and Croatia has become one of the most popular tourist destinations out there.

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    10. Leave the Balkan megalomania behind. Croatia is a minor player in world tourism. Even some landlocked countries in the region,like Austria and Czechia, have more tourists per annum than Croatia. There simply isn't enough demand, with excessive summer competition, to warrant OU and its 12 airplanes.

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  14. The pilots job is to fly the aircraft, and the management's job is to manage the airline. Why do pilots care if the airline will have to cancel the flights or if they are loosing money? It's not like they have any shares in the company.

    As long as the aircraft are airworthy, I really don't know why they are complaining.

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    1. Because if the company is loosing money they will loose a job. Did you see how many of them have left the company?

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    2. So? Plenty of airlines are recruiting at the moment, I doubt they will be out of job for more than a month.

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    3. Maybe they want to stay and work in their own country and live with their families in city they love. Btw, I am from Belgrade and have no connection with OU but understand this people.

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    4. "Why do pilots care if the airline will have to cancel the flights or if they are loosing money?"- because a large portion of their salary depenst on block hours- that is they get paid for flying the aircraft- problem if some other company does it and OU pilots sit at home.

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    5. Why are pilots so special? Why don't tens of thousands of people who have left Croatia protest to the government why it hasn't provided jobs for them?

      It's just a plain old case of being too comfortable in the position they are and afraid they will have to look for a job and work for a run-for-profit airline.

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    6. I think people are protesting all the time all across the Balkans. I know many doctors and nurses who are not happy about having to leave their home country.

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  15. I hope they don't go on strike during the summer...

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    1. Why not? Last year they said they will go on strike, but they delayed and wait for a year. Nothing changed in year so why not strike? Its time to make something or go bust.

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    2. They probably know that any strike in summer months would be the end for OU. They could probably survive day or two at most, everything else...

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    3. 5 years ago they had a strike at the start of May. It lasted I think 5 days. It was an absolute disaster.

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    4. It is much better for passengers to have 5 days of strike in May than 2 days in July/August.

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    5. For sure. For both the passengers and OU itself

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  16. Unfortunately, the world is inclined n that way small countries can't run profitable airlines unless they're extremely rich, i.e. gdp is 50k usd per capita or more. OU and JU don't have good prospects for the future at all.

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    Replies
    1. and neither do JP and MGX

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  17. Same like all other ex-Yu airlines. Shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside.

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    Replies
    1. Same like all other ex-Yu airlines. Shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside.

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  18. Those numbers of pilots, mechanics and cabin crew leaving is shocking

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  19. I see this as an attempt by the pilots to have a better negotiating position for the new contracts

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    Replies
    1. I see it as them simply presenting the truth. You can easily check how many flights they have cancelled, delayed and swapped around equipment.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerApril 25, 2018 at 12:38 AM

      Lista otkazanih letova Croatie Airlines u tjednu 12-17.4.
      12.4. OU660 Zagreb-Dubrovnik
      12.4. OU632 Zagreb-Zadar
      12.4. OU632 Zadar-Pula
      13.4. OU660 Zagreb-Dubrovnik
      13.4. OU460 Zagreb-Zurich
      16.4. OU660 Zagreb-Dubrovnik
      17.4. OU663 Zagreb-Dubrovnik
      18.4. OU660 Zagreb-Dubrovnik
      18.4. OU456 Zagreb-Brussels
      Naravno i pripadajući povratni letovi su otkazivani. Ovo znači da je u 7 dana otkazano 18 letova

      23.3. Air Explore (Slovačka)
      24.3. Air Explore (Slovačka)
      25.3. Get Jet (Litva)
      26.3. BH Air (Bugarska)
      27.3. BH Air (Bugarska)
      28.3. Get Jet (Litva)
      29.3. BH Air (Bugarska) i
      Get Jet (Litva)
      30.3. BH Air (Bugarska) i
      Get Jet (Litva
      1.4. BH Air (Bugarska)
      2.4. BH Air (Bugarska)
      3.4. BH Air (Bugarska)

      Last few days JetTime and Trade Air

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    3. Damn, that's bad. I hope it won't affect ZAG numbers that much.

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  20. Unfortunate for Croatia Airlines

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  21. And tender for new CEO will be anulled for fourth time.

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    Replies
    1. What is going on there?

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    2. Minister said yesterday that new CEO will be selected in ten days. But I dont believe him.

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  22. I see it as them simply presenting the truth. You can easily check how many flights they have cancelled, delayed and swapped around equipment.

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  23. Znaci otvaramo Air Slovenia koji ce da lete i linije beg krk i sl, Air Croatia sa avionima za obalu i letimo preko bare BGD Agram. To vam je jedina sansa.

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  24. All of what they say is true.

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  25. That failed project needs to come to its end and Lufthansa should absorb it. So that finally we can stop paying our taxpayer money for their incompetence. I don't give a f**k for the Croatian national carrier. I just want to have ability to fly with a reputable carrier to a wide group of destinations at affordable prices.

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    Replies
    1. The best thing for Zagreb (and coast) would be:
      1. LH takes over OU and merge it in Eurowings or keep a separate brand
      2. Airport finally let LCCs to fly to Zagreb but with real and strong presence of Ryan and Easy

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    2. I could not agree more with you. Once OU gets out of the way we'll see connections improving and prices reducing.

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    3. Its not a failed project, its just a very badly handled/managed one.

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    4. yes, I am sure LH is in a big hurry to buy a company with a fleet of 12 planes out of which the half are propeller jets.
      ... as if they have nothing better to do

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    5. Fleet is not crucial. Getting the peace of market is.

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  26. Was the letter written by Purger?

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  27. JP prvo ulazi u Pulu i Rijeku, a 2020. preuzima kompletnu kompaniju uz rebrendiranje.

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    Replies
    1. Alen Šćuric PurgerApril 25, 2018 at 12:46 AM

      Pula airport CEO said for my article: "we did not negotiate or even speak with Adria about flights to Pula, and for sure not for base a plane".

      Delete
  28. Those wet leases at the start of summer season arranged just a day before must be very expensive.

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    Replies
    1. Of course. Same thing with Adria

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  29. It will be intereating to see the airline's financial results this year.

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  30. What we see here is the following (summary):

    - Although having only 12 airplanes in its fleet OU is not able to find enough people who would be working on these planes or who would be maintaining them as OU is not offering attractive salaries to them

    - At the same time even bigger money gets spent on very expensive short term wet leasing from other companies

    - LHR slots selling was a terrible financial move although the public was kept convincing it could bring nothing but benefits to OU

    - OU has got bad credit rating and it looks like banks have no trust in OU "positive" business results - getting loans will become more and more difficult that will make OU situation even worse

    - no dialogue within the company at all, maybe new strikes can be expected

    What was not mentioned in this text is the fact that U2 or similar LCC company could start flying to ZAG or increase its presence (DY) and that would weak OU even more.

    Last but not the least, FR in BNX is at this moment no threat to OU, but if it keeps growing like W6 in TZL (realistic expectation) OU situation with all above mentioned problems might become unbereable.

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  31. Bravo Hrvatska!!!

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  32. All these national ex-yu airlines are doomed for disaster due to extremely incompetent management, ineffective corporate culture, unskilled & poorly educated employees, very corruptive society and destructive governments.

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    Replies
    1. I thought you were talking about Alitalia

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    2. Alitalia fits description as well.

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  33. I give them two years only because they have some more slots they can sell.

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  34. OU should code-share with QR and maybe even operate some flights with their A319. Qatar has not sent the A321 to ZAG in a really long time.

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  35. Austrian Airlines is operating two A320s into DBV this morning, at 06.36 and 07.00.

    I still don't see how OU can't operate flights from DBV to VIE!

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    Replies
    1. +1

      Plus OS daily flights early afternoon

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    2. dajte se prvo informirajte nego počnete komentirati - OS šalje charter letove sa penzićima u Dubrovnik. To nisu redovne linije.
      Zar je tako teško prokopati internet da dobite info i da ne reagirate na prvu?

      Delete
  36. Ajde da ne bude, da je ostalo na 99 komentara. Ovo je sto'ti, nek se zna :)

    ReplyDelete

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