Croatia Airlines begins network reductions

Croatia Airlines to suspend Dubrovnik - Frankfurt flights

Croatia Airlines has begun planning its network reductions for the 2013/14 winter season as it looks to cut costs as part of its restructuring program. The Croatian carrier has confirmed it will discontinue services from Dubrovnik to Frankfurt starting October 27. “Croatia Airlines is in the process of restructuring which was recently approved by the Croatian Competition Agency. The program foresees, amongst other things, the reduction of our fleet and destination network”, the airline said in a statement. According to several sources, Croatia Airlines was willing to continue the service if it secured subsidies from local tour operators, but ultimately failed to reach an agreement.

The Dubrovnik – Frankfurt service has been producing significant losses for the Croatian carrier these past few years. During the 2012/13 winter season, the airline operated three weekly flights between the two cities but its average cabin load factor was 13% less than the company’s overall network average. For now, the airline plans to continue operating flights from Dubrovnik to Paris, Rome, Zagreb and Zurich this winter. With the suspension of the Frankfurt service, Dubrovnik will no longer have direct flights to Germany during the winter months.

Dubrovnik Airport authorities are less than impressed with the planned suspension. “The loss of flights to the busiest airport in Germany means we will no longer be isolated only from Croatia but the rest of the world as well since Frankfurt represents a transit point to other destinations. After losing the planned highway, ferry and bridge, this is a massive disappointment for Dubrovnik’s transportation network”, Roko Tolić, the airport’s CEO says. The Dubrovnik Tourist Organisation, echoes Mr. Tolić’s comments adding that the Frankfurt suspension will impact on the overall numbers of visitors to the seaside city.


  1. You can fly from Dubrovnik to Frankfurt at least 4 times maybe even 5 times a day via Zagreb so not so big loss for Dubrovnik as they make it sound here.

    Restructuring should not only include cutting loss making flights but exploring new opportunities too.

    OU must consider both Moscow and Dubai!

    1. Anonymous09:52

      Yes, but you have to leave at 6 in the morning to make most connections. DBV to ZAG in winter sometimes operates only twice a day on some week days.

    2. Anonymous11:03


  2. Anonymous09:17

    Well, if the route is not making money, it's not OU's fault but that of the airport.
    If they were so keen on keeping it then they should have further lowered their fares or applied for European Union subsidies for this route, since they claim it is of vital importance.

    What interests me is what kind of passengers flew on this route. Were they connecting passengers or were they holidaymakers? If they were the latter then why not move to Hahn which is considerably cheaper and package holidaymakers won't really care as long as its cheap. Frankfurt is a rather expensive airport.

    Maybe this route could be served well, in summer, by Germanwings.

    What do you think is the next route to go? Also, what will happen with this aircraft now, how will they use the time that was freed up?

  3. Anonymous09:23

    This is exactly the problem of being in the EU. Even with lets say 100 pax per flight, if every customer leaves 500-700€ in Croatia, this is overall good for Croatian economy ( like Tunisair is good for Tunis, SriLankan good for Sri Lanka and so on.) One of the strategies of Croati to push tourism should be to extend season well beyond teh summer peak.....
    I doubt that so many people will use the flights via Zagreb, because this is more expensive and more complictated. Lets hope Condor or Air Berlin will explore the route.

    1. Anonymous09:28

      Well, I think the main problem with Croatia Airlines and Dubrovnik is that they have no aircraft permanently based there. If they did they could lower the costs by not flying it every time from Zagreb and by not moving their crew around, all that costs.
      I wonder if placing an A319 in summer and a Dash-8 in winter could work.

    2. Anonymous09:54

      Ludthansa should take over the route using a smaller CRJ aircraft.

    3. Anonymous13:11

      It seems that even Lufthansa thinks there is no market there, hence why they preferred Croatia Airlines to operate it and bleed money.
      That's why I agree with someone from above who said that this route will be taken over by Germanwings.

  4. To my mind, OU should became a upgraded lowcoast airlines like Germanwings in order to bring more tourists to Croatia.

    FRA - DBV - FRA costs some 250-290 € (as well as MUC - DBV - MUC).
    To my mind, this is too expencive for tourists and they just take other airlines or just travell to other country.

    A family (parents + 1 child) has to pay some 850€ to fly from Germany to Dubrovnik or Split (tickets + transfer).

  5. Anonymous09:33

    What is happening with the employees? Have they announced any cuts?

    1. Anonymous11:12

      The last time they did, there was a general strike. Isn't it awesome being a state employee in Balkans?

    2. Anonymous11:18

      some 300 jobs will be lost, airlne is to shed 300 jobs from present 1100 down to 800, in 2011 Airline had 1200 employees.

      By 2015, OU's workforce should be around 700-750 at most and fleet would be reduced down to 12 aircraft with one aircraft leased out, but in 2017 4 brand new A319 Neo will join the fleet under €140 million deal from 2008 that was revised just this week.

      I assume OU would pay out €140 million as soon as aircraft enter service and pay the rest over 10 years, total cost of the deal is €340 million.

      OU would also shed some of its subsidiaries as a result of cost cutting measures and might sell its head office and lands near Airport as well as some slots at Heathrow airport (currently 14 slots to be cust down to 7) a measure which should bring around 2 billion kuna or €280 million.

  6. Anonymous11:17

    It seems tourism has fallen in some parts of Croatia compared to last year. I am in Opatija at the moment and it isn't even half as full as last year and it is peak season. I wonder what impact this will have on OU passenger numbers and passenger numbers of airports.

    As regards the restructuring program, I think there are 2 options:
    1) Sever all ties with Lufthansa and remain an independent carrier that is part of an airline alliance. If this option is exercised, I think hubs should be made in SPU, DBV and keep the hub in ZAG. From DBV, essential routes are LHR/LGW, CDG, ZRH, MUC, ZAG, possibly AMS all year round with DUB, FRA, SVO, VIE, HEL, TXL, OSI, TLV, STR, WAW, ARN, possibly OSL, BEG, HAM,BRU, DUS, PRG, KBP, CPH going seasonal. Also, they need to sell these tickets at attractive prices and offer lots of promotions in order to attract tourists to use their flights. From SPU, I think BEG, LJU, OSJ, ZAG, FRA, MUC, FCO, AMS, CDG, LHR, ZRH, VIE could all go year round while SVO, DUB, LYS, VIE, DUS, HAM, WAW, possibly GVA, HEL, CGN, TXL, MAN, LED, CPH, ARN, possibly OSL, KPB, SOF, OTP, BUD, PRG, TLV all going seasonal. Again tickets need to be sold at attractive prices with lots of promotions.
    From ZAG meanwhile, I think they could easily add SVO, AUH or DXB, ARN, maybe GOT, maybe OSL, WAW, GVA, ATH, STR, BUD, OTP, SOF, SKG, VAR, KPB, KIV, TGD, TIV, LED, BOJ, MXP, LIN, MAD, TXL all year round.

    The second option is to merge with Adria Airways and to create good competition to new Jat/Etihad alliance with transit hub at ZAG and secondary O/D hubs at LJU, SPU, DBV, PRN and eventually maybe a minor base at SJJ. In this case they should also sever ties with LH and move out of Star Alliance to Oneworld where they would be able to cooperate with QR on flights to Australia, New Zeland , Asia ad cooperate with BA/AA on flights to USA, Canada.

    In terms of A/c I think it would be good to examine Bombardier Cseries, CRJ and Q400 with the Cseries going to ZAG, LJU, DBV (summer), SPU and CRJ going to LJU, SJJ, PRN, SPU and Q400 going to ZAG, LJU, PRN, SJJ.

    1. Anonymous11:33

      What's with you and your hatred of Lufthansa???

      I mean why would OU cut its tie with German airline where much of its market is?

      Ethiad and JAT nonsense is not even an issue for Croatian or any regional airline, first of Jat barely has any flights to Croatia, has dismal service to Macedonia and Bosnia and strong competition from Montenegro on Podgorica route, no smart Slovene would ever fly with Jat so thats that.

      Regionally market is too fragmented for Croatian Airlines to make any sense or earn enough money to become viable market for Croatian Airlines. SSJ as you put it might be attractive for Croatian, and I agree perhaps OU should look at playing a card at SSJ, that being said I am sure Bosnian government wouldn't be too happy for a foreign carrier to take piece of pie from its domestic carrier, so that's that on that question.

      I think OU should play more emphasis on making Zagreb more attractive as a transit point or a region hub if that is even possible by offering best possible connections to other carriers, I'm sorry but world is becoming a globalized place and small carriers must play a second fiddle to large carriers, its a reality of things.

      That being said OU's only chances are to become a feeder airline for Lufthansa and other big carriers, and yes as much as we hate this fact, its a reality of things, Austrian, Swiss, Czech, Brussels, are all feeder airlines to bigger carriers and they're are several times larger than OU.

    2. Anonymous11:42

      LOL funny you say that no Slovene would ever fly via Belgrade yet you propose for Zagreb to become a regional hub. Wake up and smell the roses.
      Jat has been saved thanks to Etihad while what we are facing now is a slow decay leading to an eventual death of Croatia Airlines.Zagreb will never become a regional hub. It lacks the two basic components, infrastructure and demand. Not to mention that there is no decent carrier operating there. What we are reading here today is the first of many negative developments within OU. They are reducing routes while they are not implementing additional changes which will actually justify these moves.

      Bottom line, Croatia Airlines and Adria are as good a DEAD. With them any idea of their hubs becoming a major transit point is over.

    3. Anonymous12:20

      I don't have hatred of Lufthansa but I believe that the tie up with Lufthansa is producing negative results for Croatia Airlines. Also, if no Slovene wants to fly with Jat, that's their own choice. People fly with whom it is cheap to fly and if it's cheap to fly with Jat, they will go with Jat. If it's cheapest to fly with Croatia, they will fly with Croatia end of story.

      Jat and Etihad is not nonsense. Jat may have dismal service to ex-yu countries now but that will soon change and if OU wants to become the transit airline of the region then they can't just sit by and watch, they have to counter this possible threat.

  7. Anonymous12:59

    @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    U talking nonsense, talking to you is a waste of time, just to add, I am not proposing for Zagreb to become a regional hub, Zagreb is a Croatian hub and that won't change no matter what. Belgrade can't be a regional hub or it'll ever again be a regional hub, world has changed a lot since 1990s, as someone already put it, each airport in region has good provision of carriers that provide ample amount of connections with the major European hubs, and Belgrade is a minor airport in scheme of things. So no, Belgrade won't be a regional hub or benefit a great deal from Ethiad/Jat link. Jat isn't even flying to Croatia, only real airline market in the region, has few seasonal fistfights to Pula and Split 18 was it for entire 2013, with a purpose of bringing Serbian tourist to Croatia. that is the scope of Jat's operations in Croatia.

    Jat won't be given more leverage in Croatia nor it can get more than it already has, also Serbia isn't in the EU, won't be in the EU for next 12 years at least, so chances of Jat gaining any major foothold in Croatia are minuscule, and most Croats wouldn't fly with Jat, despite of all..,

    @ AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Its a reality of things, Lufthansa is here to stay, and there's little Croatian Airline or anyone else can do about it, with Croatia in the EU, Lufthansa is classed as a domestic carrier, should they choose to decide on making Zagreb a hub for their operations, there's little anyone else can do anything about it, and if that bankrupts Croatian airlines.

    So its only wise for Croatian airlines to play the ball and try to gain something from all this, its a reality of things, major players such as AF/KLM, BA/Iberia, Lufthansa are game makers, rest can either join in and hope to benefit from new state of the affairs of whiter in the wind. Its sad I know, but its a reality of things (i know i am repeating my self here).

    And this is why Jat has no chance when it comes to the EU air travel market, it can become a feeder for Ethiad, which is what Jat will become or go bust, which is what is going to happen if they think they're better than Ethiad or worthy more than being a feeder airline.

    As to OU being able to do anything in the region, again i have to emphasis the fact that its impossible to become a regional airline of choice when you consider the following facts:

    1. Regional airports all being contested by major EU airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, BA, Easy Jet, Ryan Air...

    2. Fragmented market with domestic agenda geared to protect domestic markets and carriers.

    3. Small market that is limited due to strict EU regulation on travel, low purchasing power in the region and low interest for business and leisure travel among Europeans to visit the region, (exceptions being Slovenia and Croatia who are in the EU and are major tourist destinations themselves).

    4. Low capacity and poor infrastructure (again Slovenia and Croatia are exceptions here who operate best infrastructure and ATC in the region), and i am not referring to airport terminals here.

    5. Poor ROI.

    1. Anonymous13:06

      Huh? Croatia as the only real market in the region? I would like to point out that Croatia's market, though not small, is actually insignificant because it is made up mostly of tourists who fly on charter and lowcost carriers during the few summer months. Croatia lacks true O&D demand which can be used to build a long-lasting network out of the country.
      Because of that, the sheer fact that Serbia is a bigger country with greater true demand, makes it a bigger and more lucrative market.
      And as for your comment about Croatia being the only true market in this region, I am sure Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary would disagree.

      As of this winter Jat will fly to Thessaloniki, Sofia, Varna, Bucharest, Budapest, Ljubljana, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Tivat, Podgorica, Skopje, Athens and Istanbul. For me that means Belgrade is on the right track to become a regional hub. So please, do bring forward your arguments which prove me wrong.
      Or are you saying that the reason Jat does not see potential profit in Croatia means it is a failing regional carrier? I would like to remind you that even your national carrier has a hard time making money in this supposedly profitable, lucrative and massive market.

    2. Anonymous13:23

      As I said before, people will fly with whom it is the cheapest to fly and if OU, JU or any other airline has the right fares for someone going from say KBP to TIV or DBV then they will fly with that airline rather than LH/AF/KL/BA or whoever else. So infact, OU should cover those regional airports with better fares than other airlines and then they will be able to make a profit out of them.

    3. Anonymous13:25

      People take it easy, there are obvious some people from Croatia (Slovenia) who are emotional on this whole stuff. You cannot talk about the future of the airliners wiht just comparing their current network. I beliebe that Etihad, once in JAT, could make a real good deal in the whole Southeast European region, including Romania, Bulgaria, maybe even Hungary. There is Air Berlin as a partner flying to North America, there is Etihad flying as a partner to Asia and Austrilia (in a quite more comfortable way than Lufhtansa from Frankfurt - for instance the flight ZAG-BEG-AUH-SYD is 5 hours shorter than the connection ZAG-FRA-SIN-SYD). And JAT could bring the passangers from Africa to whole Europe. So, there are good chances, but it is still a question what will happen in the end. On the other hand, nestajmo na muku Croatiji, if some people from Croatia use this forum to defrustrate themselves, don´t follow them, and just leav their provocations without answer.

    4. Anonymous14:25

      @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Let me ground you a bit,

      Zagreb is all year round airport, sure, Split, dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar are summer destinations and they'll remain to be so, but Zagreb is a year round airport and quite busy, the fact is, current terminal is too small to handle traffic and reason why airport faces stagnation of sort for past 2-3 years.

      Its a busy airport with all major airlines flying to Zagreb, Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Iberia, Al Italia to return this year, Austrian Air, KLM to launch flights later on this year, SAS to launch flights later on this year or early on next year. Easy Jet, German Wings, Swiss to return also next year, Qatar Air offering superb connections to ME, Far East and Australia, El Al offering alternative links via Israel, Jal and Korean air having seasonal flights to Croatia each spring, Air China looking at seasonal flights to Zagreb, than you have number of smaller airlines that fly to Zagreb, and having said that, with EU membership Croatian air market has just opened to EU competition and airlines to come and seve Croatia.

      Things are looking bright for Croatia, with Split and Dubrovnik becoming year round destinations and Split especially who's passenger numbers are constantly going up, so its not only reliant on summer tourist season although Dubrovnik and Split get really busy from April to October with only 5 months of respite and relatively small traffic (200-250 000 pax for 5 month periode).

      That being Said Croatia is far more viable air travel market than Serbia even without tourism, as reflected in winter months numbers when Croatia manges 250-300 000 pax between Nov-March and Serbia 180-190 000.

      With new terminals opening in Split, Dubrovnik and Zagreb things look really good so much so Croatia might see a massive jump in passenger numbers from now on.

    5. Anonymous15:09

      All what i can see on Wikipedia is that SkyWorks is ending their service to Zagreb soon and that AirFrance is operated now by the ridiculous "HOP!" so where did you take from all those airlines who're starting or about to start their service from Zagreb?

      Half of the flights from the list are seasonal only anyway, confirming what the guy at 1:06 was telling and with a stop in Budapest, i wouldn't call Qatar in Croatia exactly the "superb" connection you're talking about.

      Seems like you're the one who needs to be grounded.

    6. Anonymous15:14

      El Al offering "alternative" links via Israel to where?

    7. Anonymous15:24

      AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      That is all well, I'd also agree cheapest airline would be way to go, but problem is cheapest airlines often tend to be the low cost airlines, and despite if it all they still can't out compete legacy airline on a traditional route.

      It depends on what offers there are, how good the service is, are there any connecting flights or example of codehsare flights, it is all relevant.

      Example, Why would Croatian traveler go to Belgrade to catch a flight to New York city when he has better links via Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Madrid or Zürich. Or for that matter Sydney or Brisbane, when he/she can fly with Qatar to Doha and onwards.

      Reason, I'm sure Qatar Air is flying to Zagreb with their A321s cause its quite lucrative and affordable for Croats to visit their relatives in Australia and vice versa.

      As i've said days of when Belgrade was a regional (yugoslav air hub) are over.

    8. Anonymous15:28

      It's not El Al but Sun d'or, a charter airline, not offering any connecting flights. This guy is talking bullshit out of his mouth.

      Zagreb not growing cause of terminal too small, meh... Who are you talking these stories to? If there was demand it would have been built long ago. Even with the EU backing the French have a hard time to find finances to build a new little terminal, what are you talking about.

      No new carrier will start flight to Zagreb cause of Croatia in the EU. On the other hand Swiss opened a new line to Belgrade. "Qatar via BUD" - The options you're talking about are ridiculous compared to what Belgrade has. Money talks, bullshit walks.

    9. Anonymous16:24

      Anon at 3:24pm. You have a good point about the lcc's and I suppose in SPU, easyjet has a very relevant presence. But in DBV, this is not the case.

      As regards your point as to why a Croat would go to BEG, for instance for a person in Osijek it might even be quicker to go to BEG than ZAG. But for instance a Croat going to MEL from ZAG, they have only options involving 2 stops so if JU starts service to ZAG then why not if it's cheaper fly JU/EY via BEG/AUH rather than QR via BUD/DOH. But however, OU's codeshare with US provides quite good links to the states and TK codeshares provide for good transfers to ME destinations. I would like however for OU to be able to provide good connections for someone from say SKP to fly to KPB for instance which it can't do right now. This is where my point that OU should sever ties with LH begins to show because what LH wants is to have passengers from SKP connecting to KPB via FRA while OU could capitalise on these transfers on its own merit, rather than LH capitalising on these passengers at the expense of OU and JP

    10. Anonymous17:22

      @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      I understand but OU is a small airline, it can't really compete with likes of Lufthansa or BA, and even if OU was slightly larger there would still be a pressure from other airlines serving SKP or SSJ, times when regional hubs had their say are long over, things have changed with arrival of
      Low Cost airlines and alliances and increasing cod-share agreements and now EU market which makes things difficult for OU.

      Example, Skopje, as it is interesting and growing market it is not in the EU thus limiting number of travelers from Macedonia significantly, than you add the fact that Wizz Air operates from Skopje offering cheaper alternatives, although OU might be better for offering connecting flights say ton US cause of code share agreement with US Airways or w.e, but than you are encountering problems of price, is OU offering best ticket price via codeshare partners, Lufthansa, Austrian, US Airways, or are there better alternatives with BA or some other airline, perhaps Turkish which as of late is increasingly and aggressively market itself as a regional airline to use.

      I think it would be stupid for say Macedonian traveler to fly to Zagreb and catch another OU flight for London and than US airways connecting flight for US, its just ridiculous, why not fly directly to London with say BA or go to Istanbul with Turkish and fly wit the to US.

      I simply don't see OU playing major regional role beyond what it does now and Zagreb becoming some sort of regional hub, days of regional hubs are over, Croats no longer fly to Vienna to get a connection flight to New York, or Milan, Rome or Budapest, they simply head up for Munich, Frankfurt, London, Paris or Amsterdam.

      And south America they use Iberia and TAP.

      smaller airports (less than 10 million pax) can't possibly play any role of regional hub or w/e they are too small to be of significance. Its a reality of things.

      Zagreb once it gets to 10 million pax it might be interesting for direct link to north America with one of the major NA legacy carriers, perhaps Delta, or United, or even US Airways with which OU has good repletions and code share agreement.

      That being said, I seriously can't see Zagreb or any other ex-yugo airport as regional hub, a country hub for Croatia yes, that what Zagreb already is, more than that, no.

    11. Anonymous17:52

      Actually, much to your dismay, there are many Croats who are flying from Belgrade to different destinations in the Middle East and Asia, even North America cause flights are often cheaper.

      You forgot to mention one simple fact: Qatar is flying to Zagreb VIA BUDAPEST, so it would be much of a shame if two cities without direct link to the Middle-East wouldn't be able to fill an A321. If you'll count and compare the capacity available in Belgrade, you'll realize the reality isn't exactly the way you would like it to be.

      Regional hub or not, Belgrade is the only airport with the capacity and potential of being one and everything is going right in that direction. Unfortuntely for ZAG and OU, things look the other way around.

    12. Sarajevo17:55

      @3:24 Nice pic, but where are the jet bridges? LOL This looks more like an airfield than an airport and you're talking of "regional hub" LMAO.

    13. Anonymous18:01


      I never said Zagreb is a regional hub, in fact I am saying it is not, nor it can ever be a regional hub, cause its too small and insignificant.

      And don't you worry about air bridges, Zagreb will have 12 of them soon enough (2016). ;)

      @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      u talk nonsense and i am ignoring you.

    14. Anonymous21:45

      How will you know which "Anonymous" to ignore :D

      You idiot...

    15. Anonymous23:40

      Don't get the comment about 180K pax in winter time? Figures speak for themselves:

  8. Anonymous13:53

    It is 100% sure that there is an important amount of Croatians and Slovenes that would not fly any serbian carrier no matter what, some of tham because of hate, some of them because they fear. Thaht is my experience with them.
    That is why I belive that JU has no chance against JP or OU in slovenia nad KroAcijaa.

    1. Anonymous15:03

      yes, that is the case, hatred is still strong on Croatia, despite all the political rhetorics, most Croats still have strong resentment, especially older generations.

      Only younger generations are more open and accepting and willing to forgive, but even there's a degree of suspicion and caution.

      and this is why you'd be hard pressed to see any Croatian going to Serbia to catch a connection flight, some Croatian Serbs from eastern Croatia might use Belgrade, but they are a small minority.

      Croats use either Croatian airlines, or EU based airlines to fly anywhere and now Qatar air to fly to
      ME and via Doha get connection to Australia and South East Asia.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX15:37

      that s why Israeli fly LH to the world.. guys, if the safety,service and the money is right, Croats and Slovenes will love to fly JU via BEG.

      what are People all saying about the middle east carriers, but when it comes up to travel, they love the First Class suits of EK or EY..

    3. Anonymous16:26

      Actually, Israelis are flying with Turkish Airlines to the world. ;)

    4. Anonymous17:43

      Narod lepo kaze: para vrti gde burgija nece. Dosta ljudi iz Slavonije dolazi kolima na BEG i onda leti dalje.

    5. Anonymous17:45

      @JU520 BEGLAX

      trust when I say, if JU was free to fly, most Croats would rather walk. the likelihood of Croats flying to Belgrade in their draws is same as Serbia sending a first man to mars and planting a Serbian flag there.

      If you think i am joking, just read some of the Croatian newspapers and than comments under articles, especially one regarding Serbia or Serbs.

      To say that Croats hate Serbs would be a understatement of the century. What our politicians talk about compromise and love and understanding is all illusion, hatred is still deep, really sore and hard to heal, especially in Dalmatia & Slavonia.

      And i am peaty liberal and young Croat, and I can see how much resentment there is between the peoples, imagine older generations and typical HDZ voter.

      In Vukovar recently they massive demos called by hardliners with in HDZ, all cause of Government here in Zagreb tried to suggest that some Serb villages with majority Serb population should have the right to use cyrilc on some public signs such as at the entrance to a town.

      Hatred at these events was out of this world.

      Trust me when i tell you no Croat would fly with Jat.

    6. Anonymous18:00

      IF they would not fly Jat, would they fly Etihad if they already fly Qatar? So they can just buy a ticket with the EY flight number instead of JU and just shut the fuck up.

    7. Anonymous18:24

      @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      They'd Fly Etihad but only if direct link to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, not via Belgrade.

      Croatian Serbs would fly via Belgrade and to Belgrade, but there are less than 250 000 Croatian Serbs in Croatia, many as soon as they got their Croatian passport left the country fearing for their lives, and I honestly don't blame them, considering how bigoted HDZ can be and supporters of HDZ.

      if you consider this a large and viable market, OU thought it wasn't viable market and never considered establishing the link between Zagreb and Belgrade, thus no direct flights. Jat would have hard time getting a right to establish flights to Zagreb and if it did it would be highly unprofitable line, even if you used ATR 72, as i am sure not many Serbs would fly to Zagreb and not many Croats would fly to Belgrade.

    8. Purger18:45

      Well, that is not true.

      1. It was not abut some Serb villages (they already have right to use Cyrillic, come and see), it was about use Cyrillic in Vukovar, itself. And even in Vukovar Serbs have their schools where they read on Cyrillic, their own libraries, radio, newspaper, NGO… and all that is financed by Croatian and local Government. We spend even more per capita for Serbs than for Croats. And that is OK! Positive discrimination is civilized level. Problem was in Cyrillic signs in all and every official sign in Vukovar (schools, streets, local Government buildings, hospitals, bus stations, all documents to be written in both letters…). Personally I don’t see any problem in that, why not to do it, that is also civilization level, but I can understand those locals who are frustrated with that. Memories are still too fresh for them.

      2. 90% of Croats does not hate Serbs. That is propaganda and nothing more. You have several thousands cars and truck to travel throw Croatia each day with no problem at all, lot of tourists from Serbia to come to Croatia each year, more than 200.000 Serbs to live in Croatia this moment with no problems at all.

      90% of Croats does not care about war 20 years ago, and for sure does not care about hating Serbia, Serbians and those stupid things from back. If you think that we hate Serbia than you have problem, not us! It is your image, not ours, and than you talk about yourself, you try to find excuse for your hate. Hate is not on this side. Basically, we don’t care. Serbs for us are like Hungarians, Italians, Germans, English… one can hate their behavior, habits, way of living, tone of speak, food… but for sure we don’t hate Hungarians, Italians, Germans… and Serbs.

      Personally I will fly Jat if that will be cheaper, enough quality (not 25 years old 737), and with good transit (for sure I will not wait in BEG for 4 hours)! I don't care if it is Serbian, Arabian or whatever company. For sure it would be easier for me to travel to Sofia via Belgrade, than via Frankfurt, and for sure it should be cheaper. So, I will use Jat, as to Cairo, Beirut, Abu Dhabi... That is real, as much as it is not real that I will use Jat to fly to Paris (via East to West), or even to Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Asia, Australia if I have best quality Qatar, and Turkish with very good prices.

    9. Anonymous19:54

      Oh come on Purger, ask anyone on the street's of Zagreb, Osijek, Split.

      U're overly diplomatic and trying to be congenial, sorry the reality is quite different, reality is that discrimination of Serbs is well known fact even though our government is trying its best to prevent it.

      I'm going to enter this discussion as it is off topic, but suffice to say we tolerate Serbs, and if this is telling of what the real picture is in Croatia in this regard you can draw your own conclusion.

    10. JU520 BEGLAX20:00

      Bravo Purger, copy paste all of it. your comments are as usual a real benefit for this blog.

      have a good evening from ZRH

    11. JU520 BEGLAX20:33

      anonymous @ 0545 pm

      time will heal traumas, also in our region. it s a free world, so everybody will choose individually what s best for him. some will never fly OU or JU, others will sooner or later start, some do already now, like Purger or myself.

      I love my Yugoslavia, even it does not exits anymore, in my heart and mind it lives on. Huge mistakes were made, but I need to look ahead and most I want is that the region finds it s way out of the misery and people have a brighter future again. Living just from hope is on the long run annoying.
      in my mind there is no borders, those who need and want them, shall have 'em.

    12. Purger21:35

      Anonymous 7:54
      Listen to me. I leave here! My troop had 5 tours in Serbia in last 3 years, last time in beginning of July (Bela Crkva-Novi Sad-Apatin). We enjoy it, and will come next year again, even they pay much, much less than we get in France, Germany, England or Taiwan. My driver is Serbian, I don’t care that he is Serbian, he is perfect worker and great men. WE DONT CARE!!! No discrimination here, my god! You are dreaming. We are not speaking about Serbians, if they are with us, they are our friends, colleagues, neighbors... not Serbs, just good or bed man! That is it! You can believe it or not, but that is the fact. No one here will ask you if you are Serbian or not, and if we will find that you are, we will not care!!! You are like Croat, Slovenian, Italian, German...

      Sure, there are some people to react like 20 years ago, but they are minority! Not more than 10%. And those nationalist-xenophobic-racialist… minorities you have in Germany, Italy, France... even bigger than this.

      WE DON'T CARE. Lot of our business is in Serbia (mine also)! Lot of our friends (new and old) are there. You want list of mine friends in Serbia, no problem! WE DON'T CARE. You care... you make tensions and thing like it is 1990. Yes, we were occupied, our country was destroyed, but we don't care 23 year later!!! You have to move on. Leave history behind!!!!!

      Yes, I like Belgrade, I was very depressed 20 days ago when I was in Belgrade about condition of the city, real depressed. But I still like to be there, not because of low prices and cheap fun and party, but because of people. I will fly Jat if that will make any benefits to me. The same way I fly from Vienna, Budapest, Venice...

    13. Anonymous21:47

      @AnonymousJuly 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      "They'd Fly Etihad but only if direct link to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, not via Belgrade."

      So, how come they're flying Qatar via Budapest, but they wouldn't fly Etihad via Belgrade?! Can you explain your reasoning, if there is any? o<O

    14. Anonymous21:58

      Hi Purger, thanks for your input, can you please clarify about which aspects of the condition of Belgrade you felt depressed about? Thank you.

    15. Purger23:15

      - Pančevo bridge fence totally rusted, with parts missing (what is at least danger for walkers)
      - lampposts in highway near Belgrade airport totally brown of rust
      - grass is not mow on edge of roads, and where they did that, they mowed just 0,5 meter from edge, the rest is almost jungle
      - sign «Welcome to Belgrade» (just after Airport near Bežanijska Kosa) broken, part of Belgrade coat of arms missing in that sign (better to remove that sign than you «welcome» on that bed shape)
      - streets extremely destroyed with asphalt in terrible shape
      - most of lines on streets poorly visible and traffic signs faded
      - very old traffic lights standing slant, what looks very chaotic especially when you have 2 lights in same pier
      - very old buses, with lot of rust, missing colors, damage and dents even not repaired
      - there are new modern trams, but just few of them, most of trams are very old, rusted, in very bad shape (the worst tram fleet in all European cities, even compare to Romanian cities and Sarajevo)
      - no computer GPS information of trams and buses arrivals in stations where you can get precise information in how many minutes the tram will arrive in station (like in most of western cities and as Zagreb have it for several years now)
      - I saw «tourist» buses more than 45 years old transporting children (three majorettes' teams came to performance with busses older than 40 years where seats were patched with tape instead fabrics)
      - central bus station (BAS) looks like provincial village station
      - police cars in different colors (I even saw Zastava 101 police car in exYu blue and white colors) most of them missing some letters in «Policija» sign
      - very old cars on the streets with lot of Yugo and Zastava 101
      - traffic in city is chaotic
      - most of facades even in center are not freshed and most of the city is dark gray
      - I even saw some buildings still destroyed from bombarding (that was 15 years ago), surrounded by simple fence to protect people
      - the city is very dirty especially out of center with lot of trash on streets
      - parks are in bed shape
      - lot of restaurants (not in center), bars and shops closed with sign «to rent», «for sale». In some parts even 3 of 4 locales are closed and «for sale»
      - promenade along the river shore near Grand Casino in terrible shape
      - ZOO is very poor
      - you can not buy postcards in most of the city (not even in airport)
      - lot of beggars even in city center, every minute someone ask you for money espetialy whan you drink something in bar terrace (every minute someone begg you can not even speak with friends), they «clean» windshields on traffic lights (in practice make them more dirty) and if you don't give them money they will spit on you or even throw stone to your windshield
      - «street» sale with flea market goods in center of town is not good image

      To be fair there are several nice things in Belgrade:
      - party in ship cruising on Dunav and Sava was the best
      - most of «splav» on Dunav are great fun
      - Hyatt hotel is very good one
      - prices are very good, drink and food is very very cheep, cigarettes are extremely cheap (I bought 100 boxes for my wife on just 40% of price in Croatia)
      - Kalemegdan is magnificent
      - part of the city around Arena Belgrade is nice
      - one of the streets from Kalemegdan without traffic (I think the name is Kneza Mihaila) is very nice with nice cafeshops and terraces

    16. Anonymous23:37

      Funny comments :)

      I just remember that once when I was stopping over in ZAG, with a big group of foreigners, they couldn't believe that they had landed in the main airport of a capital city... thought that it was is some low cost terminal in the middle of nowhere. Had difficulties accepting that ZAG was the main airport of a European country :)

    17. Anonymous02:22

      Yes Zagreb terminal is shame! But what does it have to do with list of thing in Belgrade Purger mentioned!

      And yes there are hundred thousands Japanese, Korean, American and Australian tourist each year in Zagreb. And how many of those visit Belgrade? So, is this shame terminal obstacle for them to visit Zagreb? Why they don't visit Belgrade than with so beautiful airport?

      1. Belgrade airport is not so beautiful

      2. It is not up to airport to visit city. Mach more things are more important.

    18. Way to make a comeback Purger!

      I have to say my most recent experiences in Croatia when it comes to Serbs are nothing like what the above anonymous was stating and makes me wonder what his intentions here are.

      On my visits to Croatia I have come across many examples that show most Croat's clearly do not hold a grudge or hatred towards Serbs but they can be at times disappointed but their is a huge difference here and I'm sure Serbs are disappointed with Croatian's at times too.

      It is understandable that people are still affected by the conflicts of the 90's. The war ended not that long ago and it does not help the healing process when people start to make up their own version of the events and then comment on them at a political level >enter the Serbian President<. We all need to have a clear understanding of what happened in the 90's, realise that nobody achieved any type of economical advantage, learn that nothing like this should be repeated again because the entire region suffers.

      We have to live with the situation we have now. I will be honest here, I am happy Croatia is an independent Country but I cannot say that I would not be happy if Yugoslavia existed today and a democratic country which Croatia was a part of. We can only guess and speculate at what type of Yugoslavia this would have been just like we can only guess and speculate to what situation all the independent countries of the former Yugoslavia would be like if the war never happened.

      What I have learnt from the 90's is that you cannot, even with a gun force someone to conform to your way of thinking and we still see people try to do this on this blog all the time!

      We all have to work towards a better future for the region. A stronger Croatian economy will result in a stronger Serbian one as will a better Bosnia benefit Croatia and Serbia and a strong Serbia will be the best situation for Croatia.

      Croatian's especially from Zagreb, Split and definitely the Istia and Rijeka region would use Belgrade as a transit point in my opinion if convenient and well priced just like they already use Venice and Budapest. The problem is convincing the other end, for example Croatian's like myself in Australia or the US and Canada to use Belgrade as a transit point who might be happy to pay the extra dollars not because we dislike Serbia but because we want to support Croatia.

      The possibility is still there that the new Jat could increase frequencies to Croatia targeting the Africa, Middle East, Asia and Oceania market and could offer better connection, convenience and price. This is why Croatia Airlines needs to introduce Dubai ASAP to protect its own market here.

    19. Re' Zagreb Pleso,

      The building is small and old but the operators do the best with what they have and it actually is a clean and decent looking airport. From the park out side to the outdoor roof cafe overlooking the ramp to the services offered to passengers, not that bad until you get to the departure lounge but this is being improved too I think.

    20. Anonymous08:19

      The problem are not the Croats from Croatia but it's the Croats from abroad! They are far more nationalistic than the 'local' ones. Especially those in Vienna.

      Best from Pula.

  9. Anonymous14:22

    Is it true that Jat is paying the highest taxes at Croatian airports of all other airlines?

    1. Anonymous16:22

      No, definitely not. Btw, flights from Split to Belgrade with Croatia Airlines are full.

  10. Anonymous14:50

    What I feared the most has happened. JAT got bought up by Etihad, and will serve Etihad's purposes. Now many serbians here (not all of course, thank God) spread their wings and drum themselves on their chests and have the nerve to laugh at Croatia Airlines for their bad situation.
    I would just like to remind those serbs, that JAT did not in anyway create this situation themselves. Etihad could have as easily chosen Adria or Croatia instead (they would have saved money not having to perform so costly fleet changes) but probably saw that Adria and Croatia are far too dominated by LH.
    So my message is simply this, don't drum yourself on the chests too much. YOU have not achieved anyhing at all. It's actually Etihad that has done that for you.

    1. Anonymous15:01

      Sour croatian grapes. Does the wine taste nice from them?

    2. Anonymous15:11

      I'm actually really eating grapes now, how did you know?? :) No they are not sour, quite sweet actually!

    3. Anonymous15:12

      And speaking of sour grapes... I just said the truth. Did it hurt?

    4. Anonymous16:15

      If Etihad, or any other airline for that matter, could have bought Adria or Croatia Airlines, then why haven't they? The matter of fact is that we Serbs got the way which is necessary to sell a failing carrier. Don't hate us because we got there faster.

    5. Anonymous16:28

      OK I understand my comment was too long for some people to understand the real meaning of it so I will rephrase:
      1) I am happy for JAT and I will use the new JAT/Air Serbia if I get a good reason such as good timing and good price to go anywhere. And I am a croat born in northern Europe.
      2) What I said in the above comment was nothing about sour grapes, or hating serbs or Serbia cause I don't. I have serbian friends, more than croats and I listen to serbian music and have been invited to Belgrade
      3) What I aim my comment on is how SOME please read SOME serbs are now gloating on others and bragging on "oh look how great we are" when in fact NOTHING has been achieved by it's own machinery. You have been BOUGHT and yes congrats to that!
      4) I'm well aware of other non-serbian assholes on this forum behaving in the same way when it comes to Serbia and JAT and Kraljevo and whatever. I do NOT agree on that behaviour either.

      Are we on the same wave length now?

    6. Anonymous18:40

      Of course you will have now Serbs who will think that Eithad
      will kiss their asses instead of the other way round...
      We already know this kind of people and should response to them by completely ignoring them!

      On the other hand Jat has its values...
      As someone already said before, Jat probably is the best bad airline that ever existed.

    7. Anonymous19:18

      The owner of the airline is Serbia and the future CEO is a Serb, so what are you all going on about?
      I would rather have Jat survive thanks to foreign capital rather than to see it die a slow death at the hands of local political idiots.

      I guess some people just can't handle the fact that Jat will live to see another day.

      And yes, it was thanks to the Serbs that Jat was saved. It was a Serbian delegation that travelled to the UAE and negotiated this deal. If it was so easy how come the Latvians did not manage to sell airBaltic a week before the Serbs arrived there?
      Or how come your own OU can't be privatized?

  11. Anonymous15:52

    I am a serb, and boast so much over foreigner taking over national business (mind you, yet to prove beneficial) we've just shown that we have no money and no brains to do (possibly) proper work by ourselves. Good for JU, but does that give us something to brag about and gloat over neighbours trouble? Also, from day to day living standards, should we allow them to gloat over us? Pa veća smo sirotinja, na stranu avijacija od koje malo tko od nas ima neke direktne koristi u svakodnevnom životu!Urazumimo se, ljudi!

    1. Anonymous16:28

      Kako volim ove "I am a Serb" trolove, a srpski nema pojma da piše.. Čisto malo učenja srpskog jezika, Srbine, ne kaže se TKO, već KO. Tako da...... F... off....

      Ali slatki ste mi vi Hrvati kada hoćete da pišete na srpskom a ni Č i Ć ne možete da ubodete pravilno.


    2. Anonymous16:34

      Well he might be from Bosnia, Croatia or even Montenegro. All serbs, as we know, don't speak ekavski or have the same morphology or what the hell it's called as in Serbia.

    3. Anonymous17:48

      I was born and raised in Bosnia. But anyway, you are just proving my point. I mentioned my nationality precisely to avoid your kind of argument...or lack of. Ok, so please can you now answer my question anonymous 4:28?

    4. Anonymous17:53

      Serbs from Bosnia don't write tko.

    5. Anonymous17:56

      And you know each and every one? :) Still, from wherever he is, he raises good question for part of people here....

    6. Anonymous18:13

      Half of my family is from Banja Luka so I know what I am talking about. No Serb from Bosnia would use tko. So his pathetic attempt at trashing Serbs failed.

    7. Anonymous18:24

      Well... my mom is from Istria and says "hiljada". She's croat. My grandmother (who was, of course, a croat too from Petrinja) said "gde", "lepo", "deca". Petrinja is only some 60 kms from Zagreb FYI.
      You know once we all were from one country, the so called ex-YU. Hence this blog with news from all ex-YU republics. We had something in common and sometimes our differences mixed into eachother.

  12. Anonymous16:19

    Croatia Airlines will continue flying on Dubrovnik - Frankfurt route 7 days in a week in summer season as always (besides Condor which is also flying on this route), just during the winter flights will be operated via Zagreb with very short and convenient connections.

  13. Anonymous17:49

    People, after the treates on Europe´s open sky it is redicolous to compare the whole Serbia, with the whole Croatia. Everything is now about the region, about the special cities, local and regional policies. A krivo mi je da vidim da su forumasi iz Hrvatske ovde prolili ovakvu kiselinu, i sto su se jos nasli ljudi iz Srbije koji imesto da pred tom kiselinom i kompleksima uzmaknu jos dolivaju. JAT i Croatia su konkurenti i ja bih licno da voleo da JAT u predstojecoj utakmici prodje bolje, ali to nije utakmica Srbije i Hrvatske, vec Croatije i JAT-a, i tako treba i da bude.

    1. Anonymous18:00

      Fully agree. Since both carriers will serve a number of same markets. Will be interesting to see future development of both airlines.

  14. zoki20:09

    So everyone is now talking about the Etihad/Jat tie-up.
    When will they now sign the treaty?
    Ex-Yu wrote it would happen this monday but nothing happened.
    How long will we have now to wait,when will it happen?

    Dont want to be sour but i want this deal go through!
    As sooner the better...
    Ah my nerves.
    Wish everyone here on the blog a nice evening!

  15. Anonymous21:14

    Zagreb airport live cams one today in mid day and from just now, showing how busy the airport is.

    1. Anonymous22:07

      You call that "busy"? :D

      I guess numbers will speak for themselves.

    2. Anonymous22:47

      yes I call that busy for Zagreb its a very busy month thus far, i predict 280 000 pax for July.

  16. Anonymous21:45

    ExYU, you publish information that Etihad-Jat deal was to be signed on Monday.

    Today it is Thursday, nothing happened. Is there problem in negotiations as reason for delay? Were you news presumption and not precise information, and what of the rest of the information connected to that. Are those information also questionable as prime information about signing the deal on Monday?

    1. Hi. First of all I think you should re-read the article you are referring to. It says “While the takeover date is not set in stone for next Monday, it will take place by the end of July.” Second of all the date (Monday) was quoted by an official in the Serbian government by the Serbian daily “Politika” (as is sourced in the article). Finally, the signature date has been pushed back a few days because of an ongoing cabinet reshuffle in Serbia. According to news reports from today the deal is set to be signed on Thursday, August 1.

    2. Anonymous23:11

      Delayed because of a government reshuffle...
      Which means delayed by political uncertainities,maybe even
      a government breakdown and call for new elections.
      Very bad news but what can we expect from our politicians.
      This really makes me worry...

  17. Anonymous22:22

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. To the “Anonymous” above. Perhaps you should read the comment guidelines before insulting several nations in only a few lines.

  18. Anonymous23:31

    From :
    "EY is flying 40-50 pax on average per flight on BEG-AUH-BEG,
    some flights even with just20-25 pax."

    1. Tupolev160 on A.net00:19

      Ok and who's the source on, a guy just stipulating? You should maybe post the whole article if you're that smart.

  19. Anonymous01:29

    Hi Tupolev!
    I see you are a member of
    Please could you ask that guy where he has his numbers from?
    Youre right in demanding a source as he also could have invented these numbers.

  20. Anonymous10:17

    Hi people,

    Just reading through most of the immature comments on this page. Is the average age of the contributors between 15 and 22?? This reminds me of the discussion pages on any topic related to the former Yugoslavia on Wikipedia. Most people seem to be "thinking" with their aggressive Balkan balls rather than their brains. Can we get back to the topic of aviation rather than talking about Croatian or Serbian politics!! For 99% of the world, Ex-yu countries are completely insignificant!!

    1. Anonymous10:36

      It´s a disaster. But I suppose people are just nervous - because of the whole situation in avio industry in the region, and now also because of this expecting that etihad makes decision. EX YU, it would be really appropriate to erase all those inmature, offending, affective comments that bring nothing to the subject. It would be also good to have a "+/-" option for comments, so that decent people could put "-" on the nacionalistic exibitions as above.

    2. Anonymous10:38

      WITH OTHER WORDS, THE RULES FOR TAKING THE PART IN DISCUSSION MUST BE FAR MORE ACCURATE AND RESTRICTIVE, than maybe on some western forums, becausye are people are to much emotive, and there is this issue that we should build new firendships and not destroy the few that have left.

  21. Anonymous05:54

    Mr. Purger,
    Apparently, you have found yourself to speak out in behalf of all Croatians.

    Just curiosity.
    Are you some kind of Croatian elected official or just trying to be nice?

  22. Anonymous08:38

    91 comments, is this the most a topic on Croatia Airlines got until now or..?


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