Solid start for Croatia Airlines

Water cannon salute as Croatia Airlines touches down in Belgrade
On June 1, Croatia Airlines launched services from Split to Belgrade, connecting the two cities for the first time in almost twenty one years. Many are anticipating seeing as to how the route will perform. For its inaugural flight, the Croatian carrier recorded solid figures, despite a nonexistent marketing campaign with the exception of several news articles. A total of 33 people boarded Croatia’s Dash 8 Q400 jet in Split, a cabin load factor of 43%. On the return service from Belgrade a total of 58 passengers were welcomed on board equalling to a respectable load factor of 76%. Yesterday, for the airline’s second flight on this route, Croatia Airlines saw 46 passengers both from and to Split.

Croatia Airlines’ Commercial Director, Tonko Rilović, said on Friday, “This year the flights are seasonal, operating twice per week. However, from next summer the service will be strengthened with the possibility of the flights operating all year round”. Rilović added that the Croatian carrier is considering launching flights from Zagreb to the Serbian capital but conceded the service would, for now, be unprofitable. “We will talk to Jat about it”, Rilović concluded.

Jat Airways will be launching its flights to Croatia on June 15 with services to Dubrovnik, followed by flights to Pula on June 16 and services to Split on July 3. Flights to Pula were originally planned to launch last Saturday, however, the airline pushed back the launch date some time ago due to operational circumstances. On the day Croatia Airlines launched its flights to Belgrade, the busiest flight operating from the Serbian capital was that of Nesma Airlines, with 177 passengers headed to Hurghada. The busiest incoming service was operated by Wizz Air from Memmingen with 170 passengers. Jat’s best for the day was its packed service to Skopje with 122 passengers on board.


  1. Anonymous11:09

    Congratulations to all parties !!!
    We don't need any associations (cause we did not fight for it) but fair and healthy mutual cooperation are very welcomed !!! It is nice to see that people are moving and crossing borders again.

  2. Anonymous11:53

    Great results for Croatia Airlines. Also wow for that flight to Hurghada, the peak tourist season hasn’t even started and the flights are already full. Also who would have thought flights to SKP would be doing so well.

  3. SV 77W12:03

    SKP seems a demanding operation still for JAT, did JAT not operate services to Pula in the past few years? Considering Croatia Airlines has a larger market and better fleet it seems JAT has out done them once again yet this time to their own nation. May I ask what the situation of Belgrade to Sarajevo flights are now with JAT being sole operator a friend had told me this flight is operated on 737-300. I notice Skopje is served by 737-300 too.

    1. Sarajevo is also doing extremely well this summer, according to figures from Belgrade Airport. Ironic that Jat wanted to suspend flights to Sarajevo when B&H launched them. In the end B&H pulled out first.

    2. Anonymous12:17

      As far as I know SJJ is operated by an Atr-72 and not a B733. Jat's average lf is roughly 85% on the route.
      Air B&H had catastrophic results, about 20% lf.

      Skopje is going really well for Jat. There are also a few afternoon flights operated by Atr-72s.

      Also, it is Jat not JAT.

    3. SV 77W14:38

      Ok Jat haha. Yes I was not aware that Jat would want to pull the route since they would have no connection to Bosnia by air then, altough now I see another person confirmed also 737-300 service to Sarajevo from Belgade. I have noted 737 aircraft being used to Skopje for quite sometime and the other flight is operated by ATR-72 which continued onto another point in the nation I think it was Ohrid if I am not correct. The region is very intresting and I like to see such progess yet Bosnia has little if any progress lets see if maybe Jat can invest in placing an aircraft there in future to aid in the sad story of the Sarajevo and her airline disaster.

      Also I have noted that Hajj operations in 2011 were operated by Lotus Air from Sarajevo to Jiddah and to Madina but this carrier is gone now, does anyone know who is operation these flights for October 2012?

  4. Wauw.. this is the first good news for EX-YU in 2012 i think..

    1. Anonymous12:45

      Well the one yesterday was good as well...

  5. frequentflyer13:51

    Sorry, but this has to be one of the most vague, absurd posts we've seen in recent times!!

    The statistics and numbers listed today don't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. "Respectable load factors", busiest flights etc are useless until we know 1) what price people paid for those tickets, 2) the price of fuel, and 3) the cost of running those aircraft at those exact distances. If you have a good load factor on the flight yet you are not profitable, is it still a success??

    From Bombardier's own website, a Q400 can break even with just 35% of seats filled - with OUs 76-seat capacity that is around 23 seats. But do we know if OU turned a profit on that flight to BEG since only 35% of the seats need to be filled?? Of course not!

    Let's see some *real* numbers in terms of YIELD to see how the airlines are faring, and not these pie-in-the-sky stats... that would really provide some decent discussion for the forum.

    1. Anonymous16:19

      Frequentflyer your post is kind of stupid.
      1. You can assume that Jat's flight to SKP is profitable since it is running full and no seat is sold for less than €110. That means that Jat roughly makes €11,000 per flight. To operate the route with a B733 you need roughly €4,000 to cover the prices of fuel.

      2. OU isn't cheap from Belgrade to Split, in addition to that they got a price discount from BEG equating to them MAKING a profit. Big or small that we do not know.

      3. Jat's flight to Dusseldorf is not making a crazy profit since the fares are more or less the same as those to SKP but the cost of fuel comes out to be around €10,000 to €12,000 per flight. If they sell an average fare to DUS for €140 then we have a return of €16,800.

      It is not hard to make use of the details provided for us. Naturally, it is always easier to complain rather than to use your head and think.

    2. Anonymous19:06


      You are absolutely right about fuel costs. But there are noumerous other costs like, airport fees, salaries.... For example, a few days ago I was checking for prices on JP route Ljubljana - Split. The price is cca. 110€ for return ticket. But... JP gets only 2€ (??!!), everything else are airport fees.

      Ok, maybe a bad example, but at prices close to 150€ for return tickets, I believe there is not much money left to airliners.

      Regards, Matej

    3. Anonymous19:26


      Of course I get your point. There are many other factors to consider but generally the biggest problem for an airline today is the fuel. Fees and charges at the airport are negotiated directly between the airport authorities and the airline. So JU might pay one price in ATH and RO another...

      €110 is with airport taxes and so on I suppose. So let's say that the passenger tax is about €30 that leaves us with €80.
      If the route is operated by an Atr-72, the fuel cost would come out to be €10 per passenger per segment (€20 return). I guess that the flight was operated by a CRJ-200 which is much less fuel efficient thus the charge for petrol coming out to be €40. The rest, or €38 could be the fee per passenger needed to cover the airport handling fees etc.

    4. Anonymous10:36

      i believe that JP flies on LJU-SPU with CRJ900 which is much more fuel efficient (given the fact it has almost once more seats than CRJ200).

  6. Anonymous14:58

    No one was talking about profitability but only that there is a huge demand for BEG...

    Yet, if the prices for LH flights to BEG are 300+eur you can now imagine why and weather profitable...

    1. Anonymous16:04

      I found a few flights during the summer on from Beograd -Frankfurt return for 131 US dollars , which comes around 150 ish euros! ;) many people are now preferring Lufthansa now however when flying from the US...

    2. Anonymous12:47

      131 USD is not around 150 EUR, but something around 105 EUR

  7. Anonymous15:44

    Well first of all it is amazing what is going on around SKP! The high season haven't commenced yet and LF is 100 percent. Other flights from BEG are doing also well! Links to Croatia are very welcome-I am interested which is the target group of these flights, maybe older couples with grandchlideren spending their holidays on the beautiful croatian seaside! It smells wen will have the historic aviation results this year (in terms of pax, destinations and services) in our region

  8. Anonymous16:26

    131 usd is about 105EUR. But I was thinking rather of the Munich Belgrade route. Crazy prices and no competition...
    Cheers, Anonymous June 5, 2012 2:58 PM

    1. wizz air from memmingen is the competition!
      (170 pax on a 180 seats Wizzair A320 almost full)

    2. Anonymous21:39

      Yeah but I think W6 is competing for passengers from Bavaria rather than from Munich. I highly doubt many people from Munich would travel all the way to Memmingen when flying from MUC is easier.

    3. Anonymous09:42

      well youre wrong, they do

      as MUC is 50mins from the city (by public transport), you only loose another 40min to reach Memmingen, and thats nothing if you can save up 100+ € (mostly on Ryanair flights form FMM)

    4. Anonymous09:55

      They would, if the flights were at some reasonable time and not in the middle of the day! Now many tourists to Munich who have the time to flight midday are using Wizz.

    5. Anonymous12:11

      Actually Lufthansa has been really impacted this year by all the competition from BEG. Their loads have nosedived on the route. Now that is primarily happening because JU has managed to take heaps of transit passengers from them. They did the same thing with BA. It’s very interesting to see that the PAX Wizz Air has are a completely new market of people because JU hasn’t been impacted by Wizz on any of its routes one single bit. On the contrary, on routes where JU and Wizz are competing JU has managed to increase its PAX numbers as well.

  9. Anonymous16:40

    Jat introduced B733 on route BEG-SJJ-BEG couple of days ago. Jat has used B733 on route BEG-SKP-BEG since late March and recorded 72% LF durring last two months. Croatia Airlines has already sold 63% seats on route BEG-SPU-BEG in June, so it is expected to reach more than 80% LF for whole summer season.

  10. Anonymous00:57

    Jat operates today just 5 out of their let's say 9 B733. How they plan to add charters to such a busy timetable?

  11. Anonymous09:10

    Im sure SKP load factors are higher since Malev is no longer operating 2x daily BUD-SKP.


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