Croatia Airlines feud continues

Competition mounts for Croatia Airlines
The ongoing feud between Zagreb Airport and its main customer, Croatia Airlines, has reignited once again after it was revealed that Norwegian Air Shuttle began flights to Zagreb only a month after the director of Zagreb Airport, Tonči Peović, was named the Honorary Consul in Norway. easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle both serve Zagreb from destinations already covered by Croatia Airlines, the “Croatian Times” reports. Croatia Airlines recently threatened to suspend flights from Zagreb to Paris, London and Copenhagen if Zagreb Airport continued to make deals with low cost airlines in an effort to lure them to Croatia’s main hub.

In his defence, Peović states that foreign airlines that wish to launch flights to Zagreb are warned not to hurt Croatia Airlines. The airport, however, does not have the possibility to influence the airline’s choice of destinations as specified under the open sky agreement. Peović told the “Večernji list” newspaper that he proposed to easyJet to commence flights to Zagreb from 6 different cities, but they decided to launch services only from Paris and London. He adds that Norwegian Air Shuttle carried 8.000 passengers from Zagreb to Copenhagen in 2009, which is 1.000 more than Croatia Airlines.

The Croatian Ministry of Transport has said that airports must be careful to strike a good balance between new carriers and Croatia Airlines. Croatia Airlines is the biggest airline in the country in terms of passengers and frequencies. It is followed by easyJet, Germanwings, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Austrian and Air Berlin.


  1. Peter from Sydney09:43

    Absolutely disgusting behaviour from Croatian Airlines. If you want preferential treatment buy the airport and do what you want with it. Threatening and blackmailing the airport authorities is no way to do respectable business. It's not exactly like Croatian Airlines is some behemoth in the market, all they're trying to do is hold onto a monopoly that exists because of a lack of market development. If you want a monopoly increase flights, drop prices, you can't keep better airlines out of the market forever.

  2. Zrak10:56

    I am actually surprised that Peovic openly states that he has warned competitors not to hurt OU. This is anti-competitive behavior and it shows that Peovic is not right person to be CEO. An airport should not be having "special" customers!

  3. frequentflyer12:21

    And this is why it is time to put some people with PROPER airline experience at the helm of OU.

    The airline with the most wasted potential in the whole exYU, they could be doing so much more with a more inventive and innovative approach!

    Has the airport specifically asked OU to start any flights? Their ad on therouteshop lists MXP, WAW, OTP, DXB and HEL - all possible with their current fleet and *NO* competition...

    There's clearly an elephant in the room with this story.

  4. JP LJU12:22

    My opinion is that ZAG is the same shit as LJU. They will give cheaper and better services and kiss ass to just about any airline but domestic, which provides most of the traffic and income. Such things can never happen in “old” Europe. They know how to protect theirs.

    The biggest nonsense is that state owns airlines and airports and they should provide and enforce regulations for fair competition to defend interest in their companies. But now it looks like they want to let airlines they own go belly up.

    The only solution for OU and JP to survive is to be sold to foreign investors (to change entire airline management too). Then we will have the leverage to start extorting airports or move business elsewhere.

  5. This piece smells of bullshit.

    It suggests a connection between the director of ZAG being named an Honorary Consul of Croatia in Norway and Norwegian Air Shuttle (DY) beginning flights to ZAG a month later. Surely, DY must have planned the route earlier than one month ahead. It just smells of incredible bullshit that even the tabloid press (“žuta štampa”) would be proud of. If “Croatian Times” reports should bullshit there is no justification is rebroadcasting it without prior editorial ‘screening.’

    The piece also does not accurately report what Croatia Airlines is complaining about. It seems to me, and it’s probably the case that, OU is complaining about ZAG charging low cost airlines lower (landing etc) fees than what OU is charged. Put differently, ZAG seems to be offering deals to low cost operators that are not being offered to OU. If this is the case, OU has good grounds to complain.

    Airports don’t decide who flies where. Check out how ZAG deputy director (the report implies) suggests to easyJet to fly six routes – was this part of the deal: why six routes and get 50% discount on landing fees? If U2 gets a discount for flying 6 routes, why wouldn’t OU for flying nearly 20 routes?

    So, report accurately and allow people to make the right judgements, please.

  6. LH172113:57

    what was OU9101 with an Airbus 320 doing in Belgrade last night, anyone?

  7. ANONYMOUS16:51

    THE reason you have these disagreements between airport and airlines in the ex-YU where both are state owned is simple: Often the Airline and the Airport are controlled by different political parties who use them as pawns in their wider agenda to inflict damage on the other. In Serbia, G17+ (Mladan Dinkic) control BEG airport, and DS (Tadic + Cvetkovic) control Jat.

    Probably some charter flight for one of the sports teams - but this is just a guess.

  8. Anonymous19:34

    I am disgusted with Croatia Airlines and its behavior. I can understand asking the government for help promoting the airline and keeping it alive. But demanding to be the unanimous airline is a big no. And it sure sounds corrupt to me. But I guess this goes for any company that is owned by a poor government.

    But why Zagreb? Let's be honest Dubrovnik is going to be the most popular airport in Croatia. I am surprised that there is no battle between Croatia Airlines and Dubrovnik.

    And can someone please explain how is it the Belgrade Airport and JAT are able to coexist fine even with the huge amount of new carriers entering the Serbian market? Not to mention that many more airlines are predicted to start in Belgrade...

  9. Anonymous23:22 here is the info for the person asking about the Airbus 320 for Croatian Airlines

  10. Anonymous22:30

    hahaha Croatia Airlines are doomed. Yes I cant wait for easyjet to come to zagreb and commence a year round service. A breath of fresh air which has been needed for a while. I cant belive zagreb airport dident offer lower landing charges before. But it does not matter soon OU will fall because of it disgusting price list. I am waiting for the day LCC's move in to Brac and Mali losinj :).


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