Croatia Airlines tipped for Sarajevo expansion

Croatia Airlines considering new Sarajevo flights

Croatia Airlines is considering launching flights from Sarajevo to several destinations in Europe, other than Zagreb, next year. The announcement came after the CEOs of Sarajevo Airport, Ivica Veličan, and Croatia Airlines, Krešimir Kučko, met in the Bosnian capital yesterday. Croatia Airlines will become a national carrier within the European Union next year, giving it the opportunity to launch flights to other European cities without too much hassle. If it were to be given necessary permits by Bosnian authorities, it could easily launch flights to any city within the Union next summer. The carrier will operate thirteen weekly flights between Zagreb and Sarajevo during the 2013 summer season.

Croatia Airlines was the first airline to operate services to the post war Sarajevo. In Bosnia and Herzegovina it has also previously operated flights to Mostar. Sarajevo Airport’s CEO himself used to be a Croatia Airlines employee. However, it remains to be seen how the airline will carry out its potential plan of launching direct flights from the Bosnian capital to other European cities since its fleet will be stretched to capacity next summer season as it will be introducing numerous new flights in what is expected to be a record 2013.

Additional new flights and destinations would be warmly welcomed by Sarajevo Airport. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s busiest airport handled 505.778 passengers in the first nine months of the year, down almost 4% on 2011. The airport is still waiting for the faith of its main customer, B&H Airlines, to unravel. The Federation government is continuing its search for a strategic partner after Turkish Airlines relinquished its 49% stake in the airline earlier this year. The drop in passenger numbers is directly related to B&H’s cuts in operations.


  1. Anonymous09:38

    Any idea on when can we see the summer time tables for the other airlines? Thanks

  2. Anonymous09:57

    Great idea, offer a reliable link to European Star hubs and link SJJ to the world. Plus offer a few other destinations, FCO perhaps?

  3. Anonymous10:10

    I highly doubt the fares would go down. Even zagreb is pricey for flying.

  4. Purger10:52

    That is not stupid. CTN or Adria are only companies to have chance on that market because of code-share on Star partners on lines which are most popular in BiH:

    MUC – LH flights with code-share + 7 CTN weekly flights with code-share by LH
    FRA – 7 weekly flights with LH code-share + connections via ZAG
    CPH - 3 weekly flights with LH code-share + connections via ZAG
    ARN - 3 weekly flights with LH code-share + connections via ZAG
    ZRH – 7 weekly flights with LH code-share + connections via ZAG
    BRU - 3 weekly flights with LH code-share + connections via ZAG
    VIE – code-share on OS flights
    IST – code-share on TK flights

    1. Anonymous11:01

      All this is already offered by LH and OS.

    2. Purger11:47

      It is not. Just SJJ-MUC by LH, and SJJ-VIE by OS where I don't see CTN to fly but just have code-share on those flights to take some provision on sale ticket.

  5. Anonymous10:54

    I think this is an wonderful idea. SSJ dont offer so much and many destinations. But what happend to OU? They informed the opinion that they will cancel alot of their balkan-destinations, Anybody know?

  6. OT: It's very exciting to see an increased use of A321 by Qatar on flights to Zagreb. So far in December, every single day they used a321 with the exception of December 1st...
    I've also noticed increased charters by Onur (Antalya) on their a321s. Turkish is still frequent with the use of their 737-800 birds.

    BA so far had used their a320s on their flights instead of the announced a319s.

    And all this during the winter. Nice... :)

    1. Anonymous21:21

      Did you conveniently forgot to mention that the Qatari flight goes to Budapest as well?

    2. Anonymous22:32

      In 2 days I was in ZAG more than 70% of Qatar A321 were japanees tourists

  7. Anonymous11:19

    Adria can just dream about playing some big role in the former yugoslavia. Jat demolished adria in SJJ by sending 737. I am not gonna bother on comparing Ljubljana and BEG.

    1. Purger11:55

      Of course OU has better chances than JP, especially that JP is in much bigger problems than OU. OU has much bigger potentials with P2P passengers on SJJ-ZAG, than JP on LJU-ZAG, Croats in BiH and in Sarajevo (Stup, Kiseljak...), Croatian Diaspora in Germany, OU already has flights to those destinations so they will get discounts in airports, and can make profitable flights like ZAG-CPH-SJJ-CPH-ZAG, or ZAG-BRU-SJJ-BRU-ZAG... With Adria as example I just want to point that just Star Alliance member has chance to have direct flights profitable.

      If that happens, that will harm Adria and Jat on their routes from SJJ.

  8. Anonymous12:23

    Please, we all know this will not happen. Even if it happens OU will feed Star hubs the same way it is doing it out of ZAG. Once again they will sell these connecting flight at a very low price without making any money- as it is doing now.

  9. Anonymous12:34

    Purger you have no idea about economics in the aviation field. I was reading some of your comments in your cro forum how croatia can fill up a widebody plane to JFK from small croatian airports. You are blasting stupidity one of a kind. Let me just tell you that major airlines can not fill up the plane over the pond. I wont even bother going in profitability discusion. Sometimes I cant figure out if you are a troll or just an other ego maniac.

    1. Purger12:56

      I never, but absolutely never, mentioned idea that Croatia can fill widebodey to JFK from Croatian airports. I am one of hardest fighter against widebodey in CTN in CAF.

      There was one analysis about that possibilities during my presentations to CTN managers two years ago, but I mentioned there that as Malev, CSA, Tarom and others can not have this service, and Austrian, LOT and others have less and less intercontinental flights that CTN does not have any chance.

      In those meetings conclusion was that two widebodies is reality just if CTN owner (Government of Croatia) would insist on that because of non commercial reasons and will financially help those flights.

      Widebodies in CTN was reality in 1997-2000, maybe possibility with hard state subvention till 2005, but not any more. Not even close to that.

    2. Anonymous13:17

      You just do not want to take the responsibility. Even now you are spreading propaganda about strong presence of JP and OU in SJJ. Let me remind you that OU had three daily to SJJ not long ago.

      The star alliance is just good in theory, but for OU it works very bad in practise. In better words remain small potato forever.

    3. I'm not claiming, or giving 100% bet, and I don't want my words to be interpreted as promise or guarantee, but according to my sources and my information, and related to very soon EU access of Croatia, I think there is HUGE possibility that 2014 will bring something that both of you @Anonymous 12:34, and @Purger don't think is possible, concerning long-haul in Croatia. And btw, it has absolutely nothing to do with OU/CTN.

    4. Purger17:42

      For 3 daily to SJJ (or to be more precise 20 weekly) that is true, I thing it should be that frequency.

      Concerning Star, I totally agree with you. I told in presentation to President of Republic, old and new minister of transportation and managers of CTN that Star is not good option for CTN. Of course CTN managers react like I told them that I will kill all their children.

    5. Anonymous17:49

      I am not this purger but i have to say something!
      Whoever this obnoxious person is with his
      constant mobbing and lamenting of user purger...
      I am fed up with you and the ones like you!
      If you dont have to say anything about the topic or about themes related to this blog THEN SHUT UP !
      Unbelieveable how stupid some people are.
      And this idiots are not ashamed of calling other people troll or egomaniac.

  10. Mehmed Hrustic12:38

    BUJRUM CROATIA AIRLINES U SARAJEVU! ;) Best idea ever! In my opinion, Croatia Airlines should take over its brother airline, BiH Airlines and then become the national airline of Bosnia and Herzegovina, flying to many destinations from Sarajevo, or rather, the destinations it would greatly profit from! I wouldn't be surprised at this anyway, since Croatia does (kind of) dominate the economy here...Kras Bonbonniere in the midle of Sarajevo, Podravka, Franck, Ledo and Jana are seen in every supermarket, HT Eronet billboards are seen on nearly ever corner, NOVA TV and RTL are common TV channels here...well done to our neighbours! Mislim, mi smo vasi, a vi nasi...tako to ide! Podrska braci! ;)

    1. Anonymous12:39

      + 1

    2. Ivek Stipancic12:40

      Mehmede, volim nacim na koji mislite! Tako trebamo MI svi misliti. ;) Pozdrav iz Mostara.

    3. Luka12:43

      + 1 ...naravno da ste vi nasi Mehmede...pozdrav Sarajlijama iz Citluka. Joj, jesu vam fine dijevojke tu (sluzio sam tu vojsku).

    4. Sabahudin Grgic12:45

      Mehmede, nije lose sto govorite. Radje bih da nas pripoji s Croatia Airlines-om nego ista...svaki put kada sam s njima putovao, nikakav problem nisam imao - svaka im cast. Pozdrav / selam iz Alifakovca, Sarajeva! :)

    5. Ibrahim Cengic12:55

      + 1

    6. Anonymous13:02

      + 1 Pozdrav iz Velike Gorice.

    7. Anonymous13:22

      Potpisujem Mehmede...pozdrav iz Novog Travnika, vas Stipo.

  11. Anonymous12:44

    Also Jat has been doing better and better in SJJ simply because of WIzz air in BEG. That is why they flew bigger jets to SJJ. You are trying to engage in discusion with too many if if if or it can become.
    Wake up dude.

    The only reason why OU has an eye on SJJ is because they are scared if wizz air sets up a base in SJJ. This would be a huge nightmare for Zagreb airport because it is very depended on bosnian public. The traffic would drop by 20 percent.

  12. Anonymous12:55

    U toj drzavi svako bih se prodao za kunu. Samo gledaj kad dodje neki lowcost i adios OU.

  13. Anonymous12:57

    Ako ste vi nasi a mi vazi, zasto onda skrkavate tolike djamije u zapadnu hercegovinu i proceravate katolike? Koja se tu propaganda mota.

    1. Anonymous13:41

      Zato sto su muslimani uvijek bili hrvatsko cvijece, stim sto ponekad pokrpite, ali sta da se radi i to je zivot.

      Poz, Sale Srbin

  14. Great to see OU making some positive moves in the region. Being proactive is the way an airline should operate. Looks like OU will be desperate for those 4 A319s now!

  15. Great to see OU making some positive moves in the region. Being proactive is the way an airline should operate. Looks like OU will be desperate for those 4 A319s now!

  16. That's a good news and I hope it truly materializes as SJJ is very poorly connected to major hubs in Europe. At the same time, I am also glad to see that JAT is performing well on the SJJ-BEG route. I have noticed that they would occasionally send their B737. I hope JAT soon gets new planes and offers double daily to SJJ. I love both Croatia and Jat and wish them both a lot of luck.

  17. @Q400 - exactly, right on. In that way, extra 4 319s come in handy.

  18. Purger17:46

    Unfortunately new management has idea to prolong delivery of A319 to 2020. In same time general manager Kucko for several times mentioned that he things it is important for CTN to buy 100-setars like Embraers.

    1. Hopefully he'll change his mind when he compares pros and cons, with negative being all the hidden cost (i.e. cost of starting up a training on a new type of aircraft + maintenance of the new type...).

      Perhaps OU should shed 1 x A320 and get 2 new 319s in the first phase (by 2014), and around 2016/17 get 1 more A319, and finally the fourth a319 by 2018/19 or whenever they see it fit...assuming that at the same time it agressively expands its network from the markets where it's already present (croatia airports + Sarajevo + Skopje).

      Definitely should work on increasing their presence in the region and improve connection quality, overall service + price. That's how you build loyality and support developing your national hub.

    2. Purger - has anyone in OU ever mentioned ordering A318s ?
      From the economic efficiency perspective, it is highly likely that some of OU's current and future routes will hardly load more than 100/110 pax. The popular ones (Dubrovnik, Split, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich will most certainly stay frequently served by 319/20 at all times in the year).

      a318 is essentially the same aircraft type as 319s or 320s, and by following the logic of the maintenance processing cost, the aircraft should be more feasible than some Fokker 100 or Embraer... right ?

      That brings me to the point that OU should work on setting itself up strategically to consider long range flights with specially equipped long range a320s (long term, i.e. 2020- 2025). It should go for the strategy of increased frequencies and increased number of destinations (at least 5 to 6). So, in that way, it wouldn't have a need to behave like a carrier that's serving ultra super mega hub with 250 or larger seat type of aircraft. Instead it keeps on doing what it's doing in the region (+ 20-30% more) and transfers people to where diaspora resides + picks up tourists.

      What would that be so hard to carry out ?

      Sometimes, I feel that things are simpler that what they seem and one has to have balls to try it out.

    3. Purger22:51

      I don't remember when last A318 was delivered. In 2010 just 2 A318, in 2011 also just 2. Backlock is just 3 examples (I presume those are VIP jets). All together just 81 planes, out of what 52 are airliners, serving just 7 companies. I know that TAROM, Air France and LAN expressed how this plane is not good for exploitation, and that they are sorry to order them.

      This plane is same as CRJ-200 in its category today. You can have 100% LF in it and still loose money.

    4. Anonymous05:00

      I don't know about exploitation, but around a year ago I flew Air France on BEG-CDG on A318 and that was a very pleasant experience ( and I am a frequent regional and intercontinental traveler) - when I sat down to my place, I was sure I got an Exit Row seat, it was that comfortable, comparing with similar size planes seats. Actually, it wasn't, it was just an economy class seat it is supposed to be ! On a different note, nothing (or almost nothing) compares with Singapore Airlines ... but that's a different story, everybody have a great day :)

    5. I second that re' Singapore Airlines. Last time I decided to give Emirates a go. Result, I missed Singapore Airlines badly!!!

  19. @Petar

    Short&medium-haul part of your post : No need for 318's or new 319's for the next 3-4 years. There is an IOSA-certified airline, Trade Air, based in ZAG, with 3 Fokker 100's (two fully operational, in service for 8 years now, and the 3rd in process of obtaining airworthiness); 90% of services of TDR are ACMI lease, 90% of operations outside Croatia- in Europe,Africa,MiddleEast, even Australia. OU sometimes leases these Fokkers for their flights, and there is no reason for this periodical flights not to be transformed into long-term contract and co-operation for some of existing, or new OU flights, some out of SJJ as well. If F100's are good enough for Swiss, Austrian and KLM, I don't see why it wouldn't work for Croatia.

    Long-haul part of your post : OU carries about 2 million passengers annually. Other non-charter and non-P2P airlines to/from HR, anotther million (rough numbers). If only 15% of those passengers are transits to/from long-haul, and I assure you it's much more, it's 450.000 passengers per year. And that with today's concept, which excludes potential ex-yu markets and passengers which could significantly contribute and increase these numbers. And all of that in the region which expect strongest growth within Europe in future.
    Therefore, I completely agree with you that long-haul in HR is not only possible, but badly NEEDED.
    The part I disagree is 320LR. In my opinion 330 would be the perfect choice.

    Unfortunatelly, as @Purger said, OU "managers" behave if one wants to kill them or their families, if one dares mentioning that "Star" should be changed, or at least re-positioning asked within "Star", which of course, includes long-haul introduction.

    And as you said perfectly, no balls = no long-haul = no bigger numbers = no new jobs = no more taxes for the state = no growth in tourism&economy.

    And I only keep my fingers crossed that some people with both ideas and balls will change this starting soon, and as a result of new EU opportunities and regulations.

    1. Purger23:03

      Marko Cvijin (manager of Trade air) is friend of mine. I arrange that Croatian football team starts to fly with them instead Croatia (till they sent planes to Libya for more than one year and than they went back to Croatia).

      He really wants to fly for Croatia Airlines. While CTN waits for Q400 to come they use Trade Air Fokker 100 for some 2-3 months. And they were satisfied. But unfortunately, after that they even did not want to talk about take Trade Air planes again. What more, next year Adria fly instead of Trade Air while CTN wait for Q400 to be delivered. On my idea to give franchise to Trade air or to lease their planes (Fokker 100 is ideal for some CTN lines) they just smile…

      Good thing is that Marko start to think about open regular flights. That is not announcing of new Croatian airliner, but he thing about this. Just two years ago she runs from that idea like devil from church.

    2. Purger23:12

      he not she :-)))

    3. @pozdrav iz Rijeke and @Purger -
      thanks for the input guys.

      I didn't realize the part about the a318 fleet - OK.

      As for the intercontinental long haul flights, I'd be happy if anything starts happening in that directions...

      For the starters, OU can work towards expanding its influence in the region and once they get ready, they'll be first to be in a position to start flying long haul.

      Who says that in 5-10 yrs. from now circumstances will stay the same as they are today ? In Europe (i.e.) Lufthansa - there's so far been a strong belief that companies should place their bet on large aircraft and support development of ultra mega hubs (i.e. Airbus 380). In the U.S., they believe in the potential of smaller airport connecting (by smaller I don't mean Mostar connecting with some village in the U.S., but instead having medium sized airports 5 -10 mil. pax connecting).

      I totally see a potential of 787s supporting that concept.

      If positioned well, OU can feed this flight originating from ZAG to U.S. hubs (Chicago, NY or Atlanta), about 3 or 4 x a week from March to October.

      Croatian governement should sponsor the "route opener" airline and once the business picks up, OU may overtake these routes. It is likely that the original "route opener" (Qatar, United or American) will fly if they receive support, and at some point when another crisis hits, they'll cut down routes, and it is likely they'll cut Zagreb. If OU gets prapared on time, they'll be able to fly and do decent amount of business, filling their flights at 50-60% in winter and 70-85% in the summer. Overall, they may do fine - enough not to loose "too much", while giving a great support to croatian tourism.

      I don't think this should be a rocket science... ?

  20. Anonymous23:01

    I bet that Easyjet will be rejected from Serbian CAD ? Malpensa is bad choice.

    1. Anonymous00:20

      How is this related to this topic or any comment here!?

  21. Good to see that the last to days we actually shared ideas about AVIATION on this forum!

    1. Anonymous19:31

      dnt be stupid if any of the 2 were about jat it wudnt be like this

    2. Anonymous12:18

      haha agreed

  22. Purger08:46


  23. Anonymous09:24

    SJJ via ZAG to FRA, CDG, ZUR, FIU from spring 2013 ;)

  24. Anonymous09:56

    What is FIU. If you ment Fiumichino it is FCO. Zurich is not ZUR, but ZRH.

    SJJ via ZAG to AMS, BLQ, BRU, CPH, DBV, FRA, IST, LGW, LHR, MUC, CDG, TGD, PRN, PUY, FCO, SKP, SPU, VIE, ZAD, ZRH already exist. You can do it today. So what is your point about spring 2013?


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