Croatia Airlines and Jat set for talks

Possible flights between Croatia and Belgrade this summer
On January 26, the CEO of Croatia Airlines, Srećko Šimunović, will hold talks with the acting CEO of Jat Airways, Vladimir Ognjenović, in Belgrade. Ognjenović states that the two will hold talks in regards to possible new flights between Belgrade and the Croatian coast. “We hope that the end result of the talks will lead to a combined flight offering on behalf of our carriers between our countries”, Ognjenović said. It is believed that Jat is interested in commencing seasonal summer flights from Belgrade to Pula, Dubrovnik and Rijeka while Croatia Airlines would be granted rights to operate all year round flights from Zagreb. Jat last operated flights to Croatia in 2008 with services to Pula. The airline was not granted rights for planned summer flights to Dubrovnik in 2009 and stayed out of Croatia in 2010. Croatia Airlines has never operated scheduled flights to Belgrade.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Adria Airways, Tadej Tufek, has resigned from his post and the Slovenian carrier has been named insolvent as banks have rejected to provide any new loans to Adria. More news relating to this development will be published tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous09:10

    Thankyou! This news made my day! /philswe

  2. Peter from Sydney09:49

    Again Balkan politics. If these two airlines were operated independent of government interference, with an independent board, I mean, doesn't the government have more important things to worry about then meddle in aviation business, then a link between Serbia and Croatia would've been established a long time ago. With both carriers struggling with routes and loads, a link between the two countries seems like the most logical route to launch immediately!

  3. Anonymous10:37

    Croatia plane to start ZAG-BEG last summer but Serbian gouvernment did not allowed that. That is why Croatian gouvernment did not wont to allowed to procide flights on lines PUY-BEG and DBV-BEG for Jat. Croatian guvernment was fair to allowed PUY-BEG for two seasons, and DBV-BEG for one summer, but Serbian gouvernment did not cooperate. Of course it can not be one way policy, and reciprocity is obligatory on that. Let me just remind you that as Croatia is still not in EU serbian open sky is not automaticly forced on Croatia, but bilateral negotiation is necesery. I hope this time flights will start.

    I just don't know why non side plan to open SPU-BEG and ZAD-BEG because those lines would be the most sucssesful after ZAG-BEG becouse lot of refugees in Serbia from that part, lot of serbian houses in Croatia, tourisam, families that partly live there etc. That would be much better than PUY-BEG, RJK-BEG or DBV-BEG.

  4. AirKoryoTU-20410:49

    Seasonal flights to Pula and Dubrovnik brought tourists and money to the Croatia coast line that is why they allowed the flights to operate! I doubt it had anything to do with OU.

  5. Doot12:00

    Fantastic news.

  6. Purger13:23

    Yes, that line bring tourists. In Pula it was some 3.000 tourists for all season. It is not such a big deal for croatian tourism. Espetialy if that means that other part dosn't wont to make bilateral agreement on same conditions for two sides.

    Mathematics is very simple. To force Serbia to allowed CTN for open line to BEG will bring more tourists (espetialy on conections to SPU, ZAD, DBV, PUY) than to allow just Jat to open lines to PUY and to DBV without allowance of CTN to open lines to Srbia.

  7. Anonymous13:29

    ahahahhaha 40 years later

  8. Anonymous15:09

    oh this site loads fast again, what was the problem in the last few days

  9. Anonymous15:50

    Where did you get the info that Adria declared insolvency? It hasn't been published by any major news source, they all still maintain that they're talking to the banks.

  10. Jeebusman17:16

    Finally! I have been saying this for the past year now. The best thing that Croatia and Serbia could do is not launch intercontinental flights, but flights to each other. It took some time for these incompetents to figure it out, but better late than never.

    I cannot be sure which gov decided to not let the other's carrier fly to its destination(s) but it was obviously political. I'm just glad that relations are slowly improving and that Croats can come party in capital of the Balkans, and that Serbs can go to the Croatian coast with ease.

    Pozdrav iz NYC

  11. Jimmy Wang20:02

    A new breeze is blowing in the ex-Yu at last.
    An agreement between Croatia Airlines and JAT for mutual flights is strongly wished at last.

  12. Good news!
    But something (actually a lot) is missing !

    I'll be fully satisfied only when the time comes that MARKET only regulate these services, and not political parties, or party- or state- controlled airlines, run by incompetent people, who ruined strong and famous civil aviation which we used to have in ex-yu.

    Once again, until we don't see a brand new airline, in any of ex-yu countries, run by managers, not aparatchiks, run by people with skills, vision, and above all, new state of mind, and legal frame which enables it, these flights will, if they start at all, last for 3-4 summer months (adriatic coast), or have 3-4 Q400 weekly frequencies(zag)!

    Some people here say the best Serbia and Croatia could do is launching flights between each other, not launching intercontinental flights. Why so? If we could have operated them 20,30 and 40 years ago, why not today?

    And, with intercontinental flights going from/to anywhere in ex-yu, flights between ex-yu countries could be more frequent, and operated all-year round, carrying more passengers, with lower fares.

    But with JU and OU - it will happen NEVER. The "bosses" of both are too busy filling wide-bodied long-haul planes of other carriers, simultaneously filling their own pockets.

    And what about other carriers in Serbia and Croatia? I know that both DBK and TDR on croatian side(know nothing about Aviogenex), want to operate flights to BEG and INI from different croatian airports. And definitelly with lower prices then JU and OU. After this talks, do you think they will have chance to do that? Especially anyone will be allowed to INI?

    To conclude : It will be good if this first step in flights between Croatia and Serbia come to realization. But it's far far far far far far away from market economy, open skies, and potential that ex-yu teritory has! And that is something I want to see here as soon as possible (again) !

    Best regards from Rijeka!

  13. Anonymous01:21

    I demand that TDR wont to fly to Serbia from Croatia. That is not true. TDR fly in Serbia for ad hoc charters or Jat, but don't have planes for any regular flights or charters to Serbia.

  14. Jeebusman18:08

    @Pozdrav Iz Rijeke

    I am the one who said that it was better to start flights between Croatia and Serbia than to start intercontinental flights. Besides, both Serbia and Croatia have been claiming that they will start flights to USA for such a long time. It will not happen any time soon. It's like when Croatia said that Bill Gates would invest millions of dollars to de-mine a place in Croatia he visited once or like when Serbia claimed that Clooney organized a bunch of actors to stand against Kosovo's Independence.

    It is true and proven that American businessmen are very interested in launching USA-Serbia flights, but no concrete negotiations have taken place yet. Croatia claims that it was in talks with an unnamed American carrier for flights, and that it has successfully concluded talks with that same unknown carrier. It has Bullshit written all over it.

    And who knows if these flights will even take place. I hope they do...but like some people have said, this is a political thing not a production of an opensky or open market.

  15. Anonymous22:06

    @Pozdrav iz Rijeke

    So if BEG starts flights to Toronto, Chicago, and New York as planned, you think that Croats will use BEG as a transit point? There have been numerous discussions about this topic on this blog, and most Croats were hostile to the notion that Belgrade would be their transit destination. Similarly, Montenegrins and Serbs were not looking forward to using Zagreb as a transit point.

    And what if Belgrade and Zagreb both start flights. Zagreb won't be able to compete with Belgrade and then what, reconciliation? Let them start flights to each other. Croats love to party in Belgrade, and Serbs like the Croatian coast. This way, they both win, and leave it at that.

  16. @ The Last Anonymous

    You obviously missed my point.

    But, first to answer your question : I'm sure that more then90 % of people from ex-yu, would use for their long-range flight, an airline from other ex-yu republic, providing : departure and arrival times are convenient, transit times are short, planes new, clean and well maintened, seat pitch decent, cabin crew nice and polite, speaking their own language, in-flight service good, delays rare and minimized whenever possible, and all that for 100 or 200 USD, EUR or whatever currency less then LH,OS,AF...

    That is what I'm talking about, not about someone's ethnicity.

    Of course, there are no guarantees that BEG, or ZAG, or xyz, or any airline, existing or new, from any ex-republic, would win the "battle" for ex-yu long-haul. But it's exactly what I want: to let the MARKET show if it is possible and if it is, who can, and who cannot do it.

    It's exactly the same with the flights between Serbia and Croatia - I support their start 100%, yes. We need them, yes. It's shame they haven't started before, yes. But I don't want only JAT Airways and Croatia Airlines to reserve the right to operate them - I want MARKET, here, too, to show who can and who cannot operate those flights.

    And I really don't understand that somebody is missing my point - for heaven's sake - I only want this part of Europe to start to function as a normal part of the developed world, and not like some tribal corruptive black dot spot in the middle of nowhere, which we, now, unfortunatelly are.

  17. AirKoryoTU-20401:37

    I doubt there will be any transit from BEG to ZAG or visa versa. Transit from BEG and ZAG nowdays is through Vienna, Frankfurt, Rome etc. onto Long Haul routes.

    Although I don't see by Croatians wouldn't use Belgrade as a transit or Serbs using Zagreb as transit if it were to benifit them. I know there are heated things between the two ethnicities although, if we look at Tirana alot of passengers conect through Athens and Thessaloniki onto long haul and alot of flights in general. Although Albanians and Greek have much better relations than Serbs and Croatians, although it shouldn't be like that in terms of aviation and business. But then again "Balkans" ends it.

  18. Well said pozdav iz Rijeka!

    All we need is people who are willing to have a go! And like you said, let the market decide.

  19. Anonymous21:36


    I absolutely agree with you. Let the market decide. But if you look closer, the Balkan market is still very hostile due to ethnic reasons. For example: Croatian companies can set up enterprises, shops, and invest in Serbia, while Serbia cannot do the same in Croatia. This has been going on for a long time and this is done on purpose. This is economics in general not just aviation market. Even though things have been improving (as said in The Economists's article Recreating Yugoslavia or something like that) they are not nearly good enough to function like the normal part of the world.

    And not to be too bold, but how can you expect the two to cooperate well when Croatia recognized Kosovo. Relations were not great, but to do that is truly spiteful, hateful, and disgusting. And then after that, to try to "normalize" relations economically for their own interest??? Like I said, I do not want to be bold, but that's the reality.

    Until Croatia can move forward, there is nothing to be said. Serbia is already trying to act like a normal country with an open market (to foreign nations, not internally) but Croatia is NOT for a very good reason. There is a reason why this area of the word is the powderkeg. Until Croatia decides its ready to be a normal country, nothing will work. Not even the aviation market.

  20. Anonymous21:39

    But the problem is that Croatia knows that Zagreb will not be able to compete with Belgrade. So it won't allow the market to simply solve itself. It will try to manipulate the market in its own favor as far as long-haul flights are concerned. Belgrade has always historically been a transit destination, and it will surely be so again once it gets a little bit cleaner over there. But like PozdravIzRijeke said, letting the market solve itself will be the best option, but not for everyone and in this case, Zagreb.

  21. @ second last Anonymous,

    Your last comment should be viewed as an opinion and not fact.

    Don't forget that Croatia will complete all the reforms required to join the EU in the next few months which causes Croatia to have a much more regulated free market as everything Croatia does these days is strongly scrutinised by Brussels. Who is there to regulate Serbia?

  22. Anonymous18:34


    The EU you dumbass! That's who will regulate Serbia. You think that Serbia can try to enter the EU and not have it breath down its back too?! And Serbia is beginning to privatize itself and open its market up, hence the increase of investment and exports. Please ask smart questions and stop wasting everyone's time!!!

  23. Anonymous above,

    We are talking about the present situation not the future.
    Serbia is in the initial stages of EU membership negotiation and could still be some 10 years plus before it joins thus it has completed nowhere near the same amount of reform as Croatia and has had no where near the same amount of scrutiny yet from Brussels as Croatia. You make it sound as if there is no foreign investment in Croatia and that apart from tourism Croatia has no industry.

    Total exports from Croatia 2009 = $10.72 billion USD

    Total exports from Serbia 2009 = $8.34 billion euros

    Total foreign investment into Croatia 2008 = 4.1 billion Euros

    Total foreign investment into Serbia 2008 = 2.57 billion Euros

    You are comparing apples with pears here mate, that’s all I got to say.

  24. Anonymous18:02

    myself i am still waiting on croats to start up flights to slovenia from dubrovnik!!! come on! what are you waiting for? dont wont additional euros?


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