Croatia Airlines drops Istanbul and Gatwick

Croatia Airlines farewells Istanbul, Gatwick and coastal flights

Croatia Airlines will discontinue services from Zagreb to Istanbul and London Gatwick this summer season, in line with the carrier’s cost cutting measures. The final service to Turkey’s largest city will be operated on March 30. Croatia Airlines was planning on serving Istanbul with daily flights this summer. The airline has already suspended ticket sales on the route. Consultancy firm BDO, which is advising Croatia Airlines on its restructuring process, earmarked Istanbul for suspension as early as last year due to the losses the carrier has been incurring on the route. Croatia Airlines will code share on Turkish Airlines’ flights between Istanbul and Zagreb. After a twelve year break, the Croatian carrier resumed flights to Istanbul from March 27, 2011.

From April 1, Croatia Airlines will also discontinue flights to London Gatwick Airport. However, the airline will continue services to Heathrow. The London route is struggling and flights to Heathrow themselves will be reviewed next year. While Croatia Airlines continues to record losses on flights to Paris and Copenhagen, the two will be kept in the network at least for the summer. Croatia Airlines was planning on launching seasonal flights from Pula to Hamburg, Frankfurt and Paris this summer, as well as services from Zadar to the French capital. All of the planned flights have now been cancelled. Services were scheduled to begin at the end of April and were announced last October.

Croatia Airlines will shed its fleet by a single Airbus A320 this summer. The airline’s employees have written a letter to the Croatian President, Prime Minister, Parliament and media criticising the carrier’s management. They note that the entire restructuring process has been secretive and are calling for a change in management. The Croatian carrier plans to cut 20% of its workforce this year after it recorded a deficit of 62.6 million euros at the end of 2012.


  1. BA88809:09

    And than again...BA started LHR-ZAG...

    (Puzzled...I am....)

  2. frequentflyer10:36

    I (like many others on this forum) am deeply disappointed at the state of OU, its leadership and direction. While not perfect, the airline is really the best of a bad lot given the current crises facing every one of the exYU carriers. But when will the incompetence and poor decision making end??

    The forced removal from fleet of aged 320 (which could easily have been bought by govt before 30 June deadline at residual value ~€4m) used only during summer months in a high-density configuration operating exclusively on the coast, would boost OUs pax numbers, profits, and Croatia's tourism income. Too many passengers are coming to Croatia not using the national carrier - it's sadly a lack of principle and ambition, as well as saved many skilled pilot jobs who contribute greatly to government coffers at high tax rates.

    On numerous occasions I have argued the need for another 2 Q400s to better match the destinations the airline *should* be serving to maximise profitability: increasing frequencies to many current destinations, and opening lines to cities such as WAW, MXP, BEG, SOF, KBP. The airline replaced a 320 for two Q400s in 2010 (maintaining fleet seats but increasing flexibility of aircraft) and should have held out to do the same again with returning -CTF. Make no mistake, the Q400 was one of the best additions to the OU fleet in recent years - the plane if used correctly is an absolute money maker!!

    Dropping IST is short-sighted, but serious questions must be asked as to what is healthy for the airline both short- and medium-term: everyone seems to have a vested interest, and nobody can look at the big picture. Very sad indeed.

    Admin! When are we going to have some *good* news about any of the exYU carriers??

  3. Anonymous10:48

    thats what happen when croatia, slovenia and serbia dont want to gather and make an exyu airline. passenegers prefer to use easyjet from zag to lgw, wizzair from lju to crl or norwegian from beg to cph. if exyu region has its own airliner, we wouldnt see problems with turkish, lufthansa, austrian or any LCC. we can bit them all, we have good market, good airports, but nationalism in our heads. i cant believe that in 21st century, in the age of extremly high technology and strong science we still think backward... its better lufthansa to take croatian passenegers than some serbian or slovenian company, like its better austrian to have serbians on their intercontinental flights than some largebody joint company which could fly from ljubljana to new york, zagreb to toronto, or belgrade to sydney.. our minds are still down, instead to put our heads up and to care about ourselves. hello, we have advantage, THE SAME LANGUAGE guys! even slovenians and macedonians understand serbocroat!!! what can you say to turkish or alitalias, austrian stewardess if u dont speak english, german, french...? ahh sorry, im dreaming.

    1. Anonymous12:32

      The nationalities of the former SFRJ couldn't run a country and you expect them to run an airline. Even when you read this forum, you see that the dislike mongst one another still prevails. The balkans will never get ahead with the hatred that still goes on.

    2. Anonymous17:29

      ok, if you think so (anonym 12:32), than explain to me idea in serbia, fructal in slovenia, merkur, gorenje in serbia... i know that airliners belong to states, but interest is more important. im sure that if so (exyu air company), turkish would think about its flights to zagreb because of very strong concurrence..

    3. Anonymous17:47

      We have actually no problem with all those "foreign"airlines.
      If they really would be so bad nobody would be flying with them!
      Germany may have Lufthansa but is full of Emirates, Singapore and all those foreign airlines without any problems.
      Aviation has nothing to do with countries or nations.
      Lufthansa is not really a german airline ...
      it is only an airline from Germany!
      Wizzair is no hungarian airline..
      only an airline from Hungary!
      Do not call those airlines "national airlines.

  4. Peter from Sydney11:08

    How are so many high profile routes unprofitable?

    1. Purger12:57

      As Mr. Kučko, Croatian Airlines CEO said some 3 weeks ago in public "Profitability of particular route can be calculate on different ways, so don't worry we can calculate strategic important routes as profitable, not to be obligated to cancel it". Of course that means it can be also opposite way!

      But even management of CTN said few days ago that IST is profitable route, but they have to cancel something because of fleet shortage so they will do IST (and some more) because CTN frequency can be easy replace with other airline. In this case TK will open 2nd daily flight on which CTN will have code-share.

      So I asked them, how will Government make CTN profitable if they instruct them to cancel profitable routes?

  5. Anonymous11:11

    ...and the destruction and slow dismantling by mommy Lufthansa begins. Interesting to note that Turkish is increasing its summer frequencies to twice daily, and BA is entering the market as well. Nice to know that the Croatian government is allowing Lufthansa via bogus 'restructuring' study to be squeezed out of its domestic market. Lovely!!!!

  6. Anonymous11:46

    Just about ZAG-CDG (Zagreb/Paris), it's very strange that this line is unprofitable, most of time the flight is full, can't understand why they are loosing money !!!

    1. Purger13:00

      One more time:
      some 3 weeks ago in public "Profitability of particular route can be calculate on different ways, so don't worry we can calculate strategic important routes as profitable, not to be obligated to cancel it".

      So it depends what is your goal. And if they calculate that only profitable routes are FRA, MUC, VIE, ZRH and BRU (all LH hubs) and others are not, what can be their goal?

    2. Anonymous13:19

      Ok Purgy, but can't you do anything with your influence to make them change their mind?

    3. Purger16:44

      Of course not. I am not that influence, not even near to that.

      Document that I prepare was presented to CEO (Mr. Kučko) and member of board (Mr. Širac), and as I understand will be sent to Minister and President of country. But you can repeat million times if someone does not want to listen!

      But for sure I can not influence them!

    4. Anonymous00:05

      Well i am really sorry and as much i hate you sometimes and Croatia in general it still makes me mad to see what they're doing to you, just as explained the guy about Air Malta.

  7. Anonymous12:20

    So much of boosting numbers with EU, MU or whatever..Very disappointing outcome - none of the ex-yu countries has the capacity to organize a decent carrier with enough liquidity, profitability and growth! I have expected much more of OU cause of their coast
    And the number of citizens!

  8. Purger13:15

    ExYU, I also want to tell you that you make a very good and huge work in this blog, and I want you to know that we appreciate it so much!

    But, in very good spirit to make those blog as good as it can be, let me ask you to change two facts:

    1. IST is canceled because they make agreement with TK to fly 2nd daily frequency where OU will have code-share. And that is not end of “changing” OU with other career because of shortage of planes. Most of routes will not be canceled but other companies will fly them instead. They even negotiate with Adria about flying some of routes.

    2. LGW is canceled (there is chance that they will leave 1 frequency per week because of legal obligation that they will remain slots for LGW). One of idea is that next year they will stop flying to LHR and will change all London flights to LGW. So for now they will not close London as destination but they will eider stop fling to LGW and fly exclusively to LHR, or stop flying LHR in 2014 and fly only to LGW. Mr. Kučko told us in meeting that they are near to agreement with LGW that for this year they will not use LGW slots but will not lose it for good. By this announcement conclusion is that they made some kind of agreement with LGW. I just hope that they will not be so stupid to sell slots on LHR next year and change flights to LGW. Unfortunately we know that on this ways LGW will become near to P2P line and that most of passengers will be forced to connect via FRA, MUC, ZRH and VIE, so I am almost sure that will happen.

  9. Anonymous15:45

    I completely agree my friend, there are not many who would have spent their time on this and we are updated with good news. Thank continued efforts and continue with the good news.There is a big problem in this blog, If i write something bad about JAT it dosent mean that i hate serbs ore dont like them because they are not doing well and a bad article about them. For every reader and those who likes to leave a comment please forget what have happend.

    But cut jobs this is werry hard through the economic crise that all of europe is facing. Maybe an other solution had been to cut down on the monthly wages and use cheaper services at the airport, I know OU has been good to use cheaper ground services but sometimes they use expensive services. Adria have the same problem. Wish all the ex-yu airport and airlines an progressive and a successful year.

  10. A month ago I booked my first flight with Croatia Airlines PRN-LGW via ZAG for late April. Two days later I got an email from Expedia (booking agent) telling me that OU will no longer operate the ZAG-PRN flight for my return leg. OU offered to reroute me to SKP instead, but I'd have to pick up the cost of travel SKP-PRN. Thanks, but no thanks. I opted to fly back a day later instead -- not ideal.

    Now, it looks like I will have to fly to LHR (hopefully ZAG connections work out alright).

    Lesson learned. Austrain or Adria/Lufthansa for me. That is until British Aiways make a long overdue come back to PRN.

  11. HELLO GUYS !!! What's the century? What's the year? On which planet do you live ? Do you know which forms of economy and ideology prevail today, worldwide ?

    Do you hear yourselves, do you read what you write ?

    JAT Airways is STATE OWNED
    Adria is STATE OWNED
    Croatia is STATE OWNED
    Montenegro is STATE OWNED

    And you only object and mourn like old grandma's.

    And some of you even want to "join" STATE OWNED "forces".

    I've been constantly saying and repeating here that existing carriers with existing "managements", existing corruption and existing "state of mind" CANNOT BE IMPROVED, AND CANNOT ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS, AND CANNOT COMPETE AGAINST "FOREIGN" competition.

    The ONLY solution for the entire ex-yu, is COMPLETELY NEW airline, technology driven, with up-to-date fleet, with new ideas, with EXPERIENCED and SKILLED managers, with business model corespondent to the market, with cost-effective and modern organizational structure, AND 100% PRIVATELY OWNED.

    I know there are people in Croatia who are working on that idea and I keep my fingers crossed that they start as soon as possible.

    1. QR92100:02

      Stupid comments. Sorry to inform you that QR is state owned, EK as well, SU partially. To be state-owned has nothing to do, it depends on which state we're talking about.

    2. Dear QR921, sorry to inform you that this blog is called EX-YU, that and we are talking about ex-yu countries and their airlines. The only stupid thing here is to compare Middle East anr Russia, with the Balkans. Cheers!

  12. Anonymous21:12

    I don't want to go into any kind of accounting business how the bying or selling of Airbusses cause the losses of Croatia Airlines. I only know 2 things for sure. A touristic country like Croatia needs an airline, needs an airline that brings loads of tourists. Even if this airline is not a big profit maker the overall economical (indirect) impact is huge through the receipts of tourists. Foreign airlines fly only when they are 100% full and this in peak season.
    They will not fly to Malta, Larnaca, Madeira or Dubrovnik in February or March or just with very limited capacity.... Airlines like Air Malta, Cyprus Airways, TAP and so on bring tourist ALL YEAR ROUND and the indirect benefit for their countries economies is much bigger then the losses they produce. There are studies about that. In Cyprus for instance 50% of the Hotel capacity would close down completely Nov-Mar in case of collapse of national carrier.
    Secondly and unfortunately the EU comission works in favour of the big players like BA, AF, LH and so on. They don't give a damn about national interest of small nations, strategic importance or tourist receipts. They protect only their global interests. Otherwise nobody can explain why very wealthy french farmers receive huge alimentantions through the EU and / or very welthy german Islands receive alimentation and enjoy special status due to their geographical "disatvantage". At the same time the EU is grilling the goverment of the remote Island of Malta due to subsidies to Air Malta!!!!

  13. Anonymous22:02

    I think OU would make a terrible mistake quiting Heathrow! I do wander whether British Airways have been bribeing OU to pull out of the uk market, cos as they started adding flights to Dubrovnik and Split, OU reduced flights to split and pulled out completely London and Manchester to Dubrovnik. It seems very strange lots of other airlines now fly UK to Croatia and yet Ou have reduced their flights. I agree with the above comment, it's time to privatise OU!

  14. Anonymous22:52

    1 June 2013 Russian airline Ural Airlines will begin direct flights
    from Podgorica to Moscow-Domodedowo,
    Nizhniy Nowgorod and Ufa with A320.


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