Dubrovnik service gets approval

Busy apron at Dubrovnik Airport
After a total of 18 years Serbia’s Jat Airways will inaugurate services to the Croatian seaside town of Dubrovnik on Monday July 6, 2009, after the airline was given approval by the Croatian Aviation Agency. Flight JU720 will operate from Belgrade to Dubrovnik every Monday and Thursday using the 66-seat ATR72. The flights will operate throughout July and August. This will be Jat’s second destination in Croatia after it resumed flights to Pula last year. Jat is hoping that the Croatian Aviation Agency will grant Jat the right to fly to Pula on a year round basis. According to sources this is also the wish of the management at Pula Airport. This is because the airport can only count on Croatia Airlines with its scheduled flight to Zagreb during the winter. Pula has turned out to be one of Jat’s most profitable services with an average cabin occupancy index of 98%. The agreement which allows Jat to fly to Croatia also allows Croatia Airlines to begin services to 2 Serbian cities of their choice although so far Croatia Airlines has shown no interest.

Meanwhile, the enlargement of Dubrovnik Airport continues. Construction work on the 147 million Euro reconstruction of Terminal B at Dubrovnik Airport is in the final phases.


  1. Anonymous09:40

    I think its great from Jat Airways to start services from Serbia to Croatia, but my question is when the both Airlines will start flights to and fron Belgrade and Zagreb? / PhilSwe

  2. According to Jat they are not interested in flying to Zagreb because they don’t think it will be profitable so they will probably leave that to Croatia Airlines.

  3. Anonymous10:58

    ex yu aviation news, is sarajevo airport having an expansion soon, and if 'yes' do u have any details that you can share with us please.

    Thanks a lot :)

  4. Croatia Airlines could really make Belgrade a profitable destination. With Jat being run so badly and as stated on this blog before and can also be expensive then I think a daily or twice daily Dash 8 service could really work.

    Also, I was in Dubrovnik the other week and had a look at the construction of the new terminal. Although it looks great it only has 4 gates, so my question is, could it really cost 147 million Euros??????????

  5. frequentflyer15:18

    It is more likely the bad image that JAT has amongst some in the Zg population (eg. still refering in newspapers/websites etc as 'Jugoslavski Aerotransport' rather than JAT Airways) who see the airline as a link to the past rather than ZAG-BEG actually being unprofitable.

    The route will be a roaring success for whoever operates it. Given that the 1977-78 Winter Jat TT had more than 7 daily flights between the two cities (although at the time being domestic flights), demand could easily get to similar levels - or above a single daily flight in a small prop.

    OU could (with my planning - see below) operate up to 5 return flights per day with a Q serving ZAG or even SPU. Having the plane stay overnight in BEG for an early start (a la SJJ, SKP etc) would mean the flight would connect with numerous flights to Western and Northern Europe using the airline. And then the first return flight back to BEG would be timed allowing passengers from PUY/ZAD, SPU and DBV to connect with a short layover through to BEG.

    Would appreciate people's thoughts, have calculated the total flying time at 60 minutes on a Q for the 370km trip.

    BEG 0630 ZAG 0730*
    ZAG 0815 BEG 0915**
    BEG 1000 ZAG 1100 (or SPU)
    ZAG 1145 BEG 1245
    BEG 1330 ZAG 1430
    ZAG 1530 BEG 1630***
    BEG 1715 ZAG 1815
    ZAG 1900 BEG 2000
    (BEG 2045 ZAG 2145) but this would need another Q to operate a flight at identical times in opposite direction for early morning start.

    * connects onwards daily to LHR/LGW, CDG, MUC, FRA, ZRH etc
    ** connection from early morning domestic flights through to BEG
    *** connects return from daily flights listed with * to BEG

    However, the most realistic thing we could hope for is a daily flight using the Q, preferably in the afternoon. As with most things in the ex-YU, slowly slowly catchy monkey and we could never see anything too ambitious be successful first off.

    The reason the new airport is so expensive is that it's public money! If it was the private sector building it the price tag would have been significantly less...

  6. Well, frequentflyer,

    it has been said before on the forum here,
    but if neither Croatia nor Jat wants to start these flights, why wouldn't BH Airlines start them..

    Are they for example allowed to fly BEG-ZAG, then they could fly SJJ-ZAG-BEG-SJJ or vice versa.

    Otherwise a transit area should be made / expanded / promoted more @ SJJ, so JA could operate SJJ-ZAG and SJJ-BEG with connections on the one and other flight.
    Thats why a third ATR or any proppelor-plane seems more necessary than more jet aircraft.

    and I have to say, an argument that it will not be profitable sounds more like bad research than an actual fact..

    just my 2cts,

  7. @anonymous: Yes, there is some sort of development planned for Sarajevo and details will be posted here soon.

    @frequent flyer: Those are good flight times although in the 70s Jat connected Zagreb through Belgrade to Australia, Asia, Canada and US so I wonder if so many flights per day would be needed. Who would fly on them? OU and JU fly to similar cities (offcourse I’m excluding OU’s domestic network which would be popular with Serbian passengers during the summer). Although I hope it will come a reality sometime soon. Jat’s next destination in Croatia should be Osijek in summer 2010 so it would be good to see Croatia Airlines in Belgrade soon.

    @Bo: That would be a good idea but I doubt Croatian or Serbian aviation authorities would give BH such flight rights.

  8. Anonymous16:37

    I know one thing, and i think its a schame both from Croatia and Serbia to not have any flight from the both capitals, i mean we have to think on the future, and its so much people from serbia and croatia how have relatives in the countries, today you have to make a stop between those cities, its a shame i think...

  9. Anonymous19:26

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Well it seems you don't agree with our idea's, but the planning frequentflyer made is actually quite good. Maybe some flights should be removed, so perhaps a morning,afternoon and evening flight remain.

    As for my BH example, KLM also did it until recent on their Khartoum flight I believe, although the destinations are a bit further apart it was a good reason for me to post this example as with BH.

    As for Wizz Air, thats a comment even worse than you are judging ours. @ the moment, Wizz has the LTN-ZAG flight, and ehm.... OH thats right, nothing else in ExYu..

    Maybe we could all keep it reasonable and friendly here, as we did before.


  11. Haris22:20

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering providing a loan to Sarajevo International Airport (SIA). The loan will finance an extension of the passenger terminal, together with upgrading and expanding the taxiway and apron.

    I have more info but maybe exyuaviation don't want me to post it!

  12. Anonymous01:33

    ^ I see my post was removed before.

    I'll keep it more 'friendly'. Basically, there's no commercial logic to your proposal of operating ZAG-BEG flights, except to appease some wider political aims. Getting back to the reality of trying to make a profit, it's very difficult even in a mature 'western' market to compete with various other types of transport (aka modal substitution) when the duration of the trip by car (in this case) is only 3 hours between Zagreb & Belgrade. It's difficult enough to attract people onto the Ljubljana - Belgrade route, where there also isn't the same 'baggage' as between Serbia & Croatia.

    People on aviation forums love to conveniently forget the most importnant thing of any business - to turn a profit. And if the basketcase airlines of ex-YU don't at least try and attempt to do this, they'll be swept aside by Wizz - who has a dramatically lower cost base and has around 70
    A320s on order for delivery in the next 3/4 years. ..

  13. Anonymous08:44

    Yeahh, but see people the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the worst out of all the countries in our old region of former Yugoslavia, but Sarajevo (a predominently Muslim city) has managed to connect with flights to Belgrade, even if there was hatred between the Muslims and Serbs! We've put the past behind us. We also have flights to Zagreb, even if my ethnic group had a war with the Croats during some of the war ;)

    I don't see why flights can establish between Croatia and Serbia, especially ZAG-BEG-ZAG and so on...

  14. Haris10:44

    It would be nice if BH Airlines could make a profit of these.

    Dont forget Srebrenica massacre and the Bosnian WAR!

  15. @Haris

    Maybe we shouldn't forget for the sake of our history and country, but maybe we should put the past behind us and take a fresh start, because those comments would lead to more tension.

    But for now, never forget ALL the yugoslav wars, and all sides are guilty, remember that!

  16. Anonymous18:52

    Yes all sides are guilty, but wee ar all yugoslavs i think, i mean same fod same langugage, and the politic guys should have a fight outside the country and not let people fight to eachother wich they likes so much.

  17. There was a ZAG-BEG flight operated by Trade Air for a while but was discontinued due to poor demand.
    -I understand your admiration of WIZZ but:
    Wizz only flies to ONE destination in the region (ZAG). And if they do decide to fly to more of those I don't see how they can compete with Germanwings,Ryan, Hapag Loyd Express and Air Berlin already flying all the popular destinations.
    Also I am not convinced that A320 is the right aircraft type for the routes we were talking about /BEG/SJJ/TGD (not fuel efficient).

  18. frequentflyer12:40

    @ EX-YU: OSI-BEG is a measly 140km, the same distance as BNX-ZAG. Would it really be worth operating flights between the two cities for JAT? You would spend most of the time in ascent/descent!

    Re connecting flights: as in any business, if you offer a better product or a cheaper price people will consider it. If you have different destinations on offer, that's another story...

    @ Anonymous: Wizz is doing so well because of its longer-distance flights, not anything else. Most W6flights are distances greater than 700km, and how many business travelers use the leisure airline? I think the fact that OU operates 11 weekly flights to the UK from ZAG yet W6 operates 3 explains this... And a successful line such as ZAG-MMX has never been attempted by the airline- why?

    Your thoughts on aircraft purchasing need a little update: if AirAsia has over 120 new 320s on order, why aren't they going to take over from MH (and/or TG) tomorrow?? These airlines operate their planes for a short amount of time before selling them off, it's part of their business plan. The deliveries are staggered over a very long period of time.

    @ PBY: can you shed more light on the TradeAir flights? I can't find a single thing written up on them, though there was an airline back in 2006(?) that planned to start flights, but were knocked back by both CAAs.

    And how much demand might there be for cargo flights betweeh the two countries?

  19. I stand corrected, it was actually a company called Laus Air, the flights were operated by an L410 Turbolet aircraft ( same type of aircraft is operated by Trade Air from ZAG) which is why I confused the two.
    I believe this was in 2005
    But the fact remains, there was not enough demand for an L410 ( 18 seats or so) so I am not you could operate a Q400 (76 seats). True, this is a bit different since OU is part of Star Alliance has a good network etc...

  20. I'm happy to see that the relationship between Serbia and Croatia is getting better.


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