Dubrovnik cries foul over Croatia frequency cuts

Croatia Airlines to reduce Dubrovnik frequencies

A new feud between Croatia Airlines and Dubrovnik Airport has erupted after it was revealed the airline will cut down on its frequencies between Zagreb and Dubrovnik during the coming 2013/14 winter season. The Croatian carrier recently announced it would discontinue its year long flights from Dubrovnik to Frankfurt and Paris but said it would add more services between the city and the Croatian capital in order to offer better connections to passengers and compensate for the suspensions. However, in its preliminary schedule, the airline will be cutting down on its frequencies compared to last year with local media claiming the Croatian carrier is in breach of its agreement with the Croatian government.

According to the agreement, Croatia Airlines has a set number of flights it must operate on domestic services until 2016 in order to receive state subsidies. During the winter, Croatia Airlines is obliged to carry out at least 22 weekly flights. The airline plans to operate eighteen this winter. If it goes through with the planned frequency cuts it would be in violation of the agreement. However Croatia Airlines says, “In our agreement with the Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, a total number of flights needed to be operated is set on a yearlong basis not on a seasonal basis”. Local press has rejected the airline’s claims as false.

Croatia Airlines, which is set to begin its privatisation process later this year, has held several meetings with local authorities in Dubrovnik recently in order to ease the tension caused by the recent announcements of flight suspensions. The CEO of Dubrovnik Airport, Roko Tolić says, “Dubrovnik is becoming more distant during the winter after years of hard work making the airport busy during the slow months. We have a great challenge ahead of us as we can no longer rely on our partner. We understand that Croatia Airlines must undergo restructuring but we will not sit with our hands crossed. We will look for partners elsewhere”. Croatia Airlines says it is still in the process finalising its winter timetable and all frequency changes are still preliminary.


  1. Trade Air could operate those flights. And, if I remember correctly they said they wanted to operate more domestic flights so this could be great for them.

    1. Anonymous14:45

      yep, I agree. Problem is SunAdria's Foker 100 are too old, perhaps Frankfurt, Munich and Amsterdam have rules regarding such aircraft ?

      Also subsidies need to be agreed, from what I understand 40 000 tickets were bought by Dubrovnik Airport to ensure continuous service, So Croatian Airlines might stay but with much reduced service, instead of daily flights there could be few weekly flights to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Munich and Frankfurt.

      in the past Dubrovnik airport manged 25-30 000 passengers per month in winter time, making it difficult for Croatian airlines to service airport and make any profit. Government subsidies helped but weren't sufficient to cover all the costs of all flights, as government subsidies covered all Croatia's airports, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka and Osijek. 38 million kuna, is how much Croatian Airlines received in 2011 to cover all these routes (apart from Osijek) with only Zagreb having noticeable winter traffic flow averaging 125-186 000 pax.

      Other airports hardly make any money for Croatian Airlines to continue 7 day service to Rome, Paris, Zürich, Munich, London, Frankfurt and Vienna from Split and Dubrovnik and weekly service to Vienna, Frankfurt, London and Paris from Pula and Zadar.

      Even if subsidies continue at 38 million kuna in future, Croatian Airlines would be better off to let someone else do these routes, for they are not profitable in winters, one of the major reasons why OU was loosing loads of money.

    2. Anonymous15:09

      First it is much, much more than 30 million kuna. It is almost 30 million EUR per year. Second, it is just for domestic traffic, not for international routes.

      Trade air Fokkers are not new, but still younger than for example Jat fleet. Trade air Fokkers are 20 years old and not so much used since they are in Trade air. And those Fokkers fly for Croatia, Jat and other companies even to FRA, MUC, AMS and other airports, so it is not a problem. That plane is ideal for DBV-ZAG route.

    3. Anonymous15:32

      What Jat's got to do with it?

    4. Anonymous20:01

      @AnonymousAugust 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      It is precisely 38 million Kuna, you see in Croatia we have little thing called a Parliament, which sends out reports on things parliament did, and discussed, and in one of these parliamentary reports Croatian Airlines was mentioned when it came to Budget for 2012, and Croatia' Airline's subsidy of 38 million kuna.

      So you see we keep records on what our government spends and where money is spent. ;)

      So when you say 30 million euros, you're talking nonsense.

      As to Sun Adria, (Trade Air is a whole company, not the airline) they can fly out of Dubrovnik, just not sure how viable this is for Sun Adria.

  2. Anonymous09:11

    If Frankfurt and Paris were such money making routes LH and AF would be operating the route.

    1. Anonymous15:19

      LH does not have interest as they fly DBV-MUC route. Rotue FRA-DBV must be cancled because that will make LH route more profitable. Again stupid move because mother LH.

    2. Anonymous17:45

      What nonsense if a route is loss making cancel it, it called good business practice, it's what happens in the western world. Nothing to do with LH

  3. Well, Croatia is in the European Union now. Why don't they take some money from the Cohesion Fund to subsidize some airlines to fly on the routes suspended by Croatia Airlines?
    If Croatia can not do it now due to the seven year budget coming to an end, then they surely can from 2014. It has become obvious that Croatia Airlines and Dubrovnik can't work together. Time to find a new partner.

    I was just thinking, Adria and Montenegro Airlines seem quite desperate to find new markets. I wonder if they could work with Dubrovnik.

  4. If you go to DBV Wikipedia page, you will notice that someone has added all-year flights from Belgrade, starting October 27. lol

    1. Anonymous15:08

      Dubrovnik Airport will talk with Air Serbia about flights through winter because Jat has impressive load factor on 5 flights per week now in summer season. So why not to fly in winter season with at least 2 flights per week with great connections to Europe and Middle East?

    2. Anonymous19:55

      Jat is having a good LF during the summer season because of tourists traveling to south dalmatia. Even people going to vacation in Herceg Novi, Montengro, use more and more Dubrovnik airport. There is hardly any chance that a route Dubrovnik-BEG would be profitable in winter. After all, Dubrovnik is a mini market. Politicians, bussinesmen, students are those who are traveling to zagreb. But who should travel to Belgrade?

    3. Anonymous20:17

      Maybe people from Trebinje...

  5. Anonymous13:00

    In my humble opinion, DBV's CEO shouldn't've squawked so much for frequency cut from 22 per week to 18 per week during the winter. OU is just trying to reduce its losses.

    1. Purger15:22

      Losses in route where you have to pay more than 1.000 HRK (150 EUR) for less than one hour of flight and LF even in winter is more than 90% + subventions from State and Dubrovnik. Come on!!!!!

    2. Anonymous16:06

      Me again, it's a bit hard for me to believe the airline cuts down on those flights at such LF.

    3. Anonymous16:54

      Dubrovnik is having ca. 50 000 inhabitants and also a very small region-market, since already people from Peljesac tend to fly from Split. I really doubt that they can manage 22 frequencies with a 90% LF in the winter period. I flew oneces ZAG-DBV-ROM, and there quit a lot of space left. Not to mantion that there were like 6 or 8 passangers boarding in dbv for rome.

    4. Anonymous16:57

      I just checked out. A return ticket ZAG-DBV-ZAG for november 13 costs some 108 Euro in total. So Purger, please save us of plain disinformation.

    5. Anonymous19:42

      Yeah, it's true that now, 2.5 months before flight ticket costs 108 €, but that is just 6 seats out of 144 seats. Average price is around 160 €. Check for the flight for the end of September and you will see that now they charge around 170 €. Insane for 45 min long domestic flight with no service on board and just 15 kg baggage allowance. Btw I am frequent flyer on this route.

    6. Anonymous20:05

      Boy, maybe you should try get some knowladge on aviation bussines and customs before putting here missleading price info. The 108 Euros price is the normal price for people who are booking on time. Everything which comes after 3 or 2 manths prior to departure is extra charged as a "late booking". If we are talking for intacne about the flight prices between FRA and NYC, than the only correct info would be that usual prices are some 500-600 Euros, although you will pay far more than 1000 Euros if you do not book 6 or more months in advanced.

      Also don´t forget that many seats are sold for transit passangers, probably under 25 Euros.

    7. Anonymous20:07

      + the flight lasts 55 (A319) to 1h10m (trboprop), and not 45 minutes.

    8. Anonymous20:15

      I´ve just checked it out. The price for flying from ZAG DBV next week, with return flight in two weeks, is currently 116 Euros. The price for a flight Stuttgart-Hamburg-Stuttgart, with same dates, is 324 Euros.

    9. Purger08:56

      Because of my business I fly ZAG-DBV a lot. I usually buy ticket 2-3 weeks in advance. Never, even in February I did not pay ticket for less than 150 EUR, and plane was always almost full. I don't remember when I pay less than 1.000 kn to DBV.

      And you have to know that huge part of subvention is for ZAG-DBV route. So that flight for sure is not unprofitable and did not need to be cut in frequencies especially when CTN canceled DBV-FRA, DBV-CDG, DBV-ZRH so more passengers have to use DBV-ZAG route.

      But even if price is 110 EUR for 55 minutes flight with subvention in November it is too much.

  6. Anonymous13:33

    Cries what??

  7. Anonymous16:12


    Edelweiss Air has two weekly flights GVA-PRN? Since when?

  8. JU520 BEGLAX19:46

    since long time, don t know but for sure 4-5 years. Operated with LX numbers

    1. Anonymous19:58

      I thought there was only EasyJet flying that route... And the strange thing is, there is no LX number listed. Only WK flight number. Hmm..

    2. JU520 BEGLAX06:58

      LX 8470 operated with Swiss A320
      departing days 3,6
      WK flight nr is 470

      not sure if charter or scheduled flights. but operating since years. best is to call the guys from airprishtina.com - there is so many flights nowadays, even JP operates flights BSL-PRN during summer months

  9. Anonymous19:48

    Beautiful OU planes on picture. It's always pleasure to fly with OU.

    1. Anonymous20:10

      Yes, the planes are really beautiful.. However, I never had a counter with a OU cabin crew, that one could call a pleasure. OU cabin stuff is master of amaterism.

    2. Anonymous22:09

      What is a "counter" with an OU cabin crew?? I fly a lot and often with OU, it's not an "exciting" airline but I would not call the cabin crew amateurs.

  10. Anonymous23:07

    Hard to definite that impressions, but I always have a fealing that those crew members on Croatia acutally have some other job, and are just springing in for friends or something. They are clumsy, very unsure in communication (usually speaking some heavy dialect that has nothing to do with standard Croatian or Serbian language), and somehow always bringing up a bad atmosphere in the cabin.

    1. Anonymous23:57

      @AnonymousAugust 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Heavy accent, not sounding Croatian or Serbia, definitely not Serbian I can tell you that.

      Have you ever actually flew with OU??? Or you're just trolling.

      Myself, had positive experience with OU staff, on board and off board, Always kind and courteous, try to explain things if asked and if I hate meal on offer they provide me with something else and often with complimentary bottle of vine or something when leaving their flight.

      Only once flew with JAT, I can tell you it was worst service of any airline i ever received, I flew with them in 1990 from Zagreb to Amsterdam as a child to visit my family in Rotterdam, I'm Half Dutch and Half Croatian and lady that was serving me was buy with her own problems, was last to get any food, by a mistake was given cheese to which i am allergic and had to explain that I do not each cheese and stupid stewardess replied, "Sto nasi sir nije dobar za tvoja usta?" my Aunt replied to her, zasto uvrijede, on ne smije jesti mljecne proizviode, naravnko kad letimo sa KLM oni to znaju unaprijed, the stuardess replied, than you should fly with KLM not JAT. My aunt just gave her a nasty look and replied, after this kind of a treatment, we definitely intend to.

      Flew with OU 7-8 times and service was always impeccable and professional.

    2. Anonymous00:13

      Well, when it comes to JAT I am sure that it was just a one off experience. From what I know back then the crew were specially trained and actually knew what they were doing. Especially since JAT was important for Yugoslavia.
      I can't judge the crew at OU today as I do not fly them but I am sure it's not that bad.

    3. Anonymous01:07

      I found it extremly primitive to answer the critics on OU crew with analisys of JAT crew in the middle of a Croatia Airlines topic. So, no point to discuss it any further. There are just some crew styles that are and stay unsympathic, and OU and Iberia certainly most belong to that group.

    4. Anonymous09:59

      How is it primitive? What's wrong with JAT?

      You do realize that when we spoke of JAT above we referred to Yugoslav Airlines, not Jat Airways. In JAT there was a large share of cabin crew from Croatia.

    5. Anonymous11:14

      I was talking about OU crew here and now, and not in the times when OU didn´t even exist. Unlike the cro nationalist above, I´m totally aware that JAT was having Croatian crew back in the early 90s - the crew quality has nothing to do with nationality, so that I even cann´t get the point of yor remark.

      The OU crew will not get better or worse, despite any comparation with JAT or any other company. So its pointless to answer the critics on OU with remaks on JAT´s crew 25 years ago.

  11. Anonymous03:40

    Hrvatska kontrola zračne plovidbe uvećala prihode u polugodištu
    U prvih šest mjeseci preleti zrakoplova donijeli 216 mil. kuna



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