Zagreb - Belgrade flights in doubt

Croatia Airlines unlikely to launch Zagreb - Belgrade
Despite Croatia Airlines’ CEO announcing last December that the carrier will operate seasonal flights between Zagreb and Belgrade in 2012 and a recent confirmation by the airline to the “Večernji list” daily, Croatia Airlines is now saying that no decision has been made in regards to the service. Croatia Airlines spokesperson Davor Janušić says, “We still haven’t made the decision to extend seasonal flights from Dubrovnik to Belgrade this year or to introduce any other new line between Croatia and Serbia”. It will come as bad news for all of those that hoped for flights between the two largest cities of the former Yugoslavia to resume after twenty one year. Last year Croatia Airlines competed against Jat Airways on the Dubrovnik - Belgrade - Dubrovnik service, with Jat managing slightly better figures than its rival. The route proved popular with Serbian tourists in 2011 with traditional holiday destinations like Tunisia and Egypt off limits. It remains to be seen whether the return of these markets in 2012 will impact the aforementioned route.

On the other hand, Jat Airways has no plans to resume flights to the Croatian capital. It maintains that the two cities are too close and are connected by efficient road infrastructure, rendering flights unnecessary. The airline will operate seasonal flights from Belgrade to Dubrovnik, Pula and Split in Croatia this summer. Tickets for all of the flights have gone on sale this week.

Zagreb and Belgrade were once connected by several flights per day. In 1989, which represented Yugoslav Airlines’ final year of normal operations (in 1990 the airline was hit by the breakup of the Eastern Bloc and a severe economic crisis within the country), Zagreb was JAT’s second hub. That summer season it operated nonstop international flights from Zagreb to Algiers, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Lyon, Los Angeles (via Chicago), Madrid, Munich, Milan, Montreal, New York, Paris, Prague, Stuttgart, Toronto (via Montreal), Vienna and Zurich. Domestically, besides Belgrade, flights in 1989 operated to Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Skopje, Zadar, Niš, Sarajevo and Mostar.


  1. Anonymous09:19

    I can notice there were more flights from ZAG made by JU than now OU.

  2. Anonymous09:53

    No wonder JAT's in such shambles if they think there's an "efficient road infrastructure" between ZAG and BEG. I'm still hoping for these flights to take place.

    And by the way, no, you still can't buy tix for BEG-SPU on JAT's website.

  3. Anonymous10:15

    Well honestly there is a road infrastructure. Me and guys from my company often travel to Zagreb. It take something between 3-3H30 to get there. And we can travel whenever we want and be flexible and also we have a car to go thru the city so there is not reason for us to fly. Not to mention that the whole car transportation costs are equal to the price of RT ticket for one person and we can travel up to 4. So I guess that Jat is right!

    On the other hand no Jat nor Croatia have some significant network to have tons of connecting pax.

  4. It's available on Amadeus, seems they need some time to update their website...

  5. Anonymous10:31

    ZAG and BEG are 400 km away from each other, so if you don't have a private/company car, you have to take either the train which takes about seven hours to get to the destination, or the bus, which takes 5-6 hours. Besides, the border crossings are always a gamble, even with a car, especially during summer months, when many Turks use the route, which has been known to extend the above times by an hour or two. I'm still confident that a daily return flight from ZAG to BEG and back would have a more than decent load factor.

  6. Anonymous10:41

    @Vladimir - I am telling u from my company and many companies examples. Those who do not have a car usually take either a bus or a train. The % of those who could afford a plane is very low. Do not get me wrong, it seems u like aviation, but not to have any idea how to run any kind of business.

  7. Anonymous11:10

    Don't worry, I don't take this sort of thing personally, nor am I claiming to be any sort of business expert, I'm just saying that I have a hard time believing that the BEG-ZAG route couldn't yield 60-70 pax at least several times a week, if not daily. It would be both a speedy way to connect between capitals, and moreover, an excellent way to get to the Croatian coast in winter months.

  8. Anonymous11:19

    This topic was discussed recently in details... Purger even gave some good analysis how it would work for OU flying twice daily, offering connections to Adriatic coast from BEG, at least during summer season.
    Going all over again through it...
    Let OU management decide if they wanna launch the route or not.
    What surprised me a bit is that JU is starting their flights to Pula in July, missing the entire June. Pitty for those with vacation in June!

  9. Anonymous12:09

    If ZAG-BEG could work someone would be flying it by now.
    Best proof that there isn't any demand is that neither JU or OU are jumping at it.

    It seems to me that OU is giving up on the CRO-BEG market.
    Jat is increasing their frequencies to Dubrovnik from two last summer to three this while at the same time returning to Pula and opening up Split.
    What is OU doing, considering whether to open DBV-BEG.
    Way behind JU!

  10. Anonymous12:56

    OU is not interested for tomato tourists.

  11. frequentflyer13:23

    We all know OU and JU divided the potential routes amongst themselves when the last round of major discussions took place between the two airlines, and its clearly looking like neither can actually operate any of them properly.

    OU has three options re BEG:
    - they can either go for the O&D approach requiring double-daily services in the peak times for business passengers,
    - offer to run flights when there is 'slack' in the timetable (irrespective of whether it is a practical time to fill a plane), or
    - try to use BEG as a spoke from its hub network, competing with other airlines in the BEG market (including JU).

    Personally, i'm still not convinced OU has enough slack in the Q400 fleet for summer 2012 to run a single service from any city to BEG...

  12. Anonymous13:59

    Im not sure that in Argentina hotel in DBV are tomato tourists..

  13. Anonymous15:23

    Tomato tourists don't fly.

  14. Anonymous15:40

    OU is welcome to shuttle in high-worth tourists non-stop from Hollywood instead of tomato tourists from BEG. Oh wait they don't fly to LAX.

    Jeez, with people like you I really don't understand what are Serbian tourists doing spending their tomato euros around DBV.

  15. Anonymous16:28

    Tomato or not OU is have negative profit!

  16. Anonymous16:28

    Ryanair is tomato and potato and has a high profit ;)

  17. Anonymous16:50

    I would be over the moon if OU had the network that JAT had out of Zagreb more than 20 years ago. Montreal, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto…amazing

  18. Anonymous18:06

    @ last Anonymous

    I know, what happened? I know the war happened but what about now? Why can't the ex-yu region especially BEG and ZAG connect to the US? Even Ljubljana Brnik was once connected to at least JFK, I think even Cleveland. It's very unfortunate...

  19. Anonymous18:15

    Ljubljana was never conected to JFK!

  20. Anonymous19:04

    @last Anonymus

    Yes it was. LJU - JFK with JAT DC-10 in 1970's.

  21. Anonymous19:13

    Very disappointing outcome-23
    years afeter not a single transatlantic flight!

    JAT is still flying the oldies from the past and at ZAG Airport even the flowerpots are from the communist era. Not a single new doornail in the wall!

    As for BEG-ZAG not a single chance for probability-even in the past I am sure there wasnt a point to point market on this route!!

  22. Anonymous19:53

    so that means that this summer there will be no new arrivals to BEG airport, except Norwegian to CPH!!
    Can somebody please tell me if there will be any new arrivals to BEG or ZAG?

  23. Adria will fly to Luton

  24. Purger20:35

    ZAG Qatar to Doha 7 everyday flights

  25. Anonymous21:04

    Speaking of the Zagreb - Doha route, I wonder what we'll see from Qatar in terms of marketing in the following weeks/months...

  26. Anonymous03:21

    i am so happy that Zagreb is getting Qatar flights?
    What do you think will there be a possibility for Qatar Airways to launch flights from Doha to SKP and BEG 4 time per week maybe?

  27. Anonymous07:45

    Ano. 4.50 PM

    All paid by Slovenia & Croatia

  28. Anonymous17:10

    @All paid by Slovenia & Croatia

    All the more reason OU should have that kind of network, right?


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