Croatia Airlines to launch Split - Belgrade

Soon in Belgrade
The Croatian national carrier will compete against Jat Airways on the Split - Belgrade service this summer season, a source close to the airline says. Croatia Airlines has applied for a license from the Serbian Aviation Directorate. The flights will replace last year’s summer service from Dubrovnik to Belgrade. They are to be operated by the Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft.

This summer season, Jat Airways will operate two weekly flights between the Serbian capital and Split. In 2011, the two airlines went head to head on the Belgrade - Dubrovnik line twice per week. The Serbian national carrier on average, per flight, carried approximately 45 passengers on its 66 seat ATR72, while an average of 30 passengers chose Croatia Airlines. However, flights were sold out during peak season. So far, Jat has been selling return tickets for its Split service at a price of between 113 and 130 euros.

This summer will see the most air links between Croatia and Serbia since the breakup of Yugoslavia, with services between Pula, Split, Dubrovnik and Belgrade. During the 1980s the Belgrade - Dubrovnik flights were JAT Yugoslav Airlines’ most popular with thousands of passenger per year.


Since the publication of this news item Croatia Airlines has officially confirmed it will launch services between Split and Belgrade, twice per week, every Monday and Friday from June 1. Flight details can be viewed here.


  1. Anonymous09:53

    Why do you I think that OU doesn't really have a strategy when it comes to Serbia?
    Last year they launched flights from Dubrovnik where they got flammed by Jat. This year they are withdrawing from Dubrovnik and trying out Split, which in its own turn is a much smaller market. I wonder what makes them think they can make Split work and not Dubrovnik.
    With OU's withdrawal from Dubrovnik to Belgrade Jat reacted by introducing a third weekly flight, which I think it is a really good thing.

  2. Anonymous10:18

    The Strategy is there isn't enough interest for Croats to fly to Serbia like there is for Serbs to vacation in Croatia...that simple..not many Croats want to go to Serbia especially from Dubrovnik and Split.

    1. Anonymous10:55

      So? Are you saying that all the passengers OU transports are Croats travelling abroad? Doubt it...

  3. Anonymous10:41

    I think you're wrong about Split. My mother is from Split, and I know literally tons and tons of people who have close relatives living in Belgrade, but who can't endure a 12-hour journey just to see them. Now it's all about marketing. I really hope OU will have competitive prices and a good load factor.

  4. When will they learn.. Balkan mentality, we rather drive ( 95% of the time ) throu the balkans than that we take the plane. Going out of the balkan-country's is a different story, but inside, we want freedom, cheap + something to move us around when we get there.

  5. Anonymous11:39

    Yes but even this Balkan mentality is changing. Look at the flights from Belgrade to Bucharest or even Vienna. Both of them are successful with huge numbers of passengers.
    The problem with Croatia is that a lot of Serbs still feel uncomfortable there and are reluctant to go back.

    I was in Dubrovnik last summer and we were sitting in our hotel having a drink outside. So a woman who was working for the hotel told us that for them there is nothing like Serbian tourists. Not because any other reason than that we are not as reckless as the Russians and Brits but that Serbs also spend a lot when visiting Dubrovnik.
    Jat's rising numbers in Dubrovnik last year and the network expansion this summer just go to prove that the market needs developpment. Unlike OU, JU has understood this.

  6. frequentflyer11:58

    Excuse me for asking the obvious, but are these flights strategic or profitable for both airlines with poor load factors (OK, props turn profitable quite quickly) and pathetic frequencies on offer? Or is this just a positioning game between the two airlines?

    If OU isn't making money from these flights, they shouldn't waste their time competing. They have business markets screaming for service (MXP, WAW and more frequencies on FCO and BRU) where these flights are eating up valuable resources.

    1. Anonymous12:02

      The routes are very profitable, at least for Jat. Mind you 25% of their total passengers to Dubrovnik last summer were connecting passengers. A lot of people flew from Skopje to Dubrovnik via Belgrade.
      I do not know how OU performed but I think that JU is taking the Croatian market more seriously than OU is taking the Serbian one.
      Last year we had a total of two weekly flights to Jay from Belgrade to Croatia, this summer that number will rise to 7.
      If the route was not profitable for them I doubt they would increasing their presence to that extent.

  7. Anonymous13:00

    OU has good chances for a profitable loadfactorif they get Friday and Sunday. JAThas flights while the week so it isn't attractive for spending weekend

  8. Anonymous13:25

    I think that Croatia has good chance on this line if they decide to fly on Fri and Sun and begin with flights on June 1st. There are enough pax on this route for both, Croatia and JAT. Split is doorway to Brač, Hvar, Makarska, Lastovo, Vis, Trogir, Kaštela...

    Also 2 weekly flights from Belgrade to Pula (just 132 seats/one way) is not enough. In 2009. JAT carried about 9000 pax on this line. Croatia should take into consideration also this line.

    And I'm sure that JAT will have great results on BEG-DBV route as only carrier serving.

  9. Anonymous13:36

    By the way, it's Jat. JAT is the Yugoslav airline that ceased to exist in 2003.

    I am also glad that Jat didn't raise the fare to Dubrovnik after they were left as the only carrier.

  10. Anonymous13:47

    Croatia Airlines announced flights from Split to Belgrade on their website, on March 24 we will know the schedule.

    Great news for Serbia - 9 direct flights to most beautiful sea :)

  11. Anonymous16:25

    Operating days are Monday ( like JAT, why Monday Croatia???) and Friday

  12. Anonymous17:09

    Here are official news about this route:

    DATES: from June 1 - September 28
    DAYS: Monday, Friday
    SPU-BEG 13:00-14:05
    BEG SPU 14:40-15:45
    PRICE: from 126 € return

    Flights can be booked from today.

  13. Concerning DBV flights - it should be noted that besides from Serbian tourists, DBV is also a more convenient airport to use for people from Trebinje and perhaps Herceg Novi to a certain extent, which can be considered as JU's target ethnic pax. That's probably why JU managed to cater for majority of the passengers last summer. Arguably it can be even said that OU performed over the expectations as it is doubtful hoe many Croats from Dubrovnik area were visiting Belgrade during summer.

    Similarly for the other Dalmatian destinations - JU would arguably have a greater pax potential than OU, but when it comes to BEG-ZAG segment odds would most probably be on OU's side...

    1. Anonymous17:59

      Yes but both Jat and Croatia launched their flights at the same time (more or less). Few people knew about them, I think that Jat was more successful in advertizing it.

  14. Anonymous17:56

    I think they were high on something when they calculate the flight time, I doubt that Belgrade Split is 01:05, it is probably like 40 minutes, especially on a Dash-8!

    1. Anonymous18:25

      212 nautical miles between the two + takeoff and landing. One hour seems about right.

    2. Anonymous18:32

      Doesn't the Dash fly 413 nautical miles per hour? Which means that with takes off and landings it should not take more then 50 minutes max.

  15. Anonymous20:22

    Why aren't BEG numbers for BEG posted yet?

    1. KOKO22:14

      Because Belgrade airport website still has not data published.
      I am also waiting for them!
      ; )

  16. Anonymous20:25

    Yeah but with that 50-60 minutes on top of that there is the time it takes to taxi from - to the gates!

    Wish both airlines success on the route!

    But I guess no Zagreb- Beograd?

  17. Anonymous00:04

    Will you be able to provide this years Summer Timetables for Podgorica and Tivat, or can you recommend where I can get PDF versions?
    Any help or advice would be appreciated.
    Love the blog btw!!

    1. Over the next few weeks the summer timetables for the EX-YU airlines will be published here. As for airports there will only be short summaries of new services. Airports of Montenegro website will probably publish the summer timetables soon (they usually do in the week leading up to the start of the new season).


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