Post war travel record between Croatia and Serbia

Leaving the past behind as Croatia - Serbia air travel flourishes

Flights between the Croatian coast and the Serbian capital Belgrade have flourished this summer with strong passenger numbers recorded in both June and July. A total of fifteen weekly flights operate between Belgrade, Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. Jat Airways maintains thirteen weekly flights to Croatia with four weekly services to Split and Pula and five weekly to Dubrovnik. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines maintains two weekly flights between Split and Belgrade.

EX-YU Aviation News can exclusively reveal that in June, Croatia Airlines welcomed 656 passengers on board its Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft on its inbound and outbound flights between Split and Belgrade. Competing against Jat, in July, the Croatian carrier handled 1.203 passengers on the route, leading to a 5% passenger decrease compared to the same month last year.

On the other hand, Jat has recorded strong figures on its Croatia bound flights with an overall 50% passenger increase compared to last year. The Serbian carrier welcomed a total of 5.425 passengers on its operations to and from Croatia in July. Its busiest route was the Dubrovnik - Belgrade service with 1.167 passengers, followed by Belgrade - Split (1.037), Belgrade - Dubrovnik (1.025), Split - Belgrade (946) and finally both the inbound and outbound Pula service (625). Interistingly, Jat is carrying a notable number of transit passengers on its flights from Dubrovnik continuing on to Abu Dhabi. All other routes are almost exclusively point to point travel. In total, on its return services Jat handled 2.192 passengers on its Dubrovnik flights with an average load factor of 76%, followed by Split with 1.983 passengers leading to a load factor of 92% and finally Pula with 1.250 passengers or a load factor of 53% (though it should be noted that Jat operated its flights to Pula with a mix of ATR72/75s and B737-300 aircraft).

Despite travel between the two countries being at its busiest in 22 years, there are currently no plans for either Jat or Croatia Airlines to introduce scheduled traffic between the two nations. The rebranded Jat, Air Serbia, will not be introducing any Croatian flights this winter, while Croatia Airlines will be rationalising its network rather than expanding it during the coming winter months.

July results:

AirlineRoutePassengersChange on 2012 (%)Average load factor
Croatia AirlinesSPU-BEG-SPU1.203 5.888
Jat AirwaysBEG-DBV-BEG2.192 4076
Jat AirwaysBEG-SPU-BEG1.983 9792
Jat AirwaysBEG-PUY-BEG1.250 3653

The traffic flow between Serbia and Croatia is still a far cry from figures dating back prior to the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. In its last year of normal operations, Yugoslav Airlines was already recording a large drop in passenger numbers on domestic flights. However, on its domestic services in 1990, JAT carried 340.000 passengers between Serbia and Croatia. Travel between the two republics accounted for 34% of all domestic air travel. The Belgrade - Dubrovnik service was the busiest in JAT’s entire network throughout most of the 1980s. The last scheduled flight between Zagreb and Belgrade was operated on August 6, 1991. Other destinations which have not been resumed since include Zadar - Belgrade which ceased on August 3, 1991 and Rijeka - Belgrade which was suspended on August 5, 1991.


  1. One of those airlines should introduce Belgrade Zagreb route (at least 7 weekly flights)

    1. Anonymous15:00

      Croatian Airlines is not going to do it, they introducing extra daily flights to Frankfurt, Amsterdam. Brussels and Paris this winter, starting with October 30th.

      Extra flights might also be on cards for London Hwathrow, Berlin and Vienna.

      Extra daily flights from Dubrovnik to Zagreb will also start in October and continue on in to 2014 sumer season, this is due to the fact that few routes out of Dubrovnik were cut.

      London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna and Berlin are Croatia's Airlines most profitable routes and there's a big demand for extra flights on the routes.

      BA plans to add extra flights on these routes with winter Schedule and an extra daily flight during 2014 summer schedule, and if needed be additional flights to Zagreb on top fo 2 daily flights planned.

      Now if only Iberia, can introduce full 7 days a week service from Madrid and Barcelona, there's a demand for the route as Iberia flights to Zagreb are almost always booked out, trice a week service won't to anymore, they need to have a full service from Barcelona and Madrid and eventually from Valencia too.

      KLM has to urgently introduce its service to Zagreb, SAS as well, Croatian Airlines cant cope with the demand and with 14 weekly flights to Amsterdam it'll be swamped, KLM should start its full weekly service to Zagreb, at least 5 times per week at first and than go with 10 flights if service proves popular.

      SAS should introduce flights from Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen asp, there is a massive demand there and Norwegian Air Shuttle proves it. SAS should have at least 15 weekly flights to Zagreb at first from 3 Scandinavian capitols,increasing this to 21 and eventually 30 per week as demand increases.

      LOT should also return to Zagreb, have weekly flights to Zagreb, at least 3 times per week at first, increasing its number to 5 and even 7 if there's a demand.

      Czech Airlines as well, must return, Service between Prague and Zagreb was very popular and quite busy at one point Czech Air had 10 flights peer week to Zagreb. It would be nice to see them back.

      New Hungarian Airlines is very likely to have Zagreb on their scheduled destinations, so it would be nice to see bit of competition between Qatar, Croatian airlines and the new Hungarian airline.

      AlItalia is coming back this winter, but would be nice to see them doing 14 weekly flights to Zagreb, 7 from Milan and 7 from Rome.

      Swissair is missing over Croatia, they need to return, they need to introduce 5-7 weekly flights to Zagreb from Zürich, would be nice to see them comeback.

      Another 2 airlines i'd love to see in Zagreb, Air Baltic connecting Baltic's with Zagreb and Finnair, on Helsinki Zagreb service, not sure if finnair ever flew to Zagreb, but it would be cool to see them come.

      And finally I would love to see at least seasonal intercontinental flights between north America and Zagreb. number of US and Canadian tourist in Zagreb and Croatia is staggering, there's a need for good connection between NYC at first and Zagreb.

    2. Anonymous15:28

      I also heard that Aerolineas Argentinas is planning on launching two weekly flights to Zagreb from Buenos Aires. These flights will be operated via Barcelona, as a tag-on. It seems that the route will be operated by their new A330-200. They hope to cater for the large Croatian diaspora living in Argentina but they also want to attract passengers to Chile and Brazil.
      If this route proves successful I could also see LATAM start their own flights to Zagreb.

    3. Aэrologic15:31

      What's this, a premature Santa Claus wish-list?

    4. Anonymous15:35

      What about Icelandair from Reykjavik? Kéflavik that is.

    5. @AnonymousAugust 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      In no way that is related to anything I said.

    6. Anonymous16:31

      @AnonymousAugust 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      lol, not sure how to take your comment, with sarcastic eye perhaps ?

      Not sure that would be possible or probable for Aerolineas Argentinas, sure there are loads of chilean and Argentinian Croats, but not sure how many could afford trip to Croatia, their incomes are half of what average Croatian earns and $1200 tickets aren't gonna sell like hot potatoes, and I don't see many Croats traveling to Argentina or Chile, perhaps Barcelona, as city is up and coming place to be seen and do things.

    7. Anonymous17:06

      It was sarcasm, I tried to be as realistic as the author of the comment above mine. :)

    8. Anonymous17:13

      Why do you think that route is not realistic?

    9. Purger17:20

      So you wrote all that and you say youre sercastic. Youre just a person called a fool and now you need to explain yourself. THAT is not sarcasm.

    10. Anonymous17:24

      Hey Purger, be nice. No biting.

    11. Anonymous17:29

      @AnonymousAugust 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      And leave the guy alone! How fucking retarded you have to be to come here and bully someone every day?! SICK!

    12. Anonymous17:43

      That's not bullying buddy, you should look up what bullying actually is. lol
      I was merely mocking him. ;)

    13. Sweety I've read your comment before it was deleted(two times) whoever you are... And I want to say to you that I will comment on this blog every day, just because you don't have enough people to hate in real life.

      PS. Guys you don't have to deffend me... I love internet freaks!

    14. Anonymous18:20

      Which guy uses 'sweety' when talking to other people?

    15. Anonymous19:50

      I think they were not defending you but the guy who made the Zagreb post.

    16. Purger23:21

      Again those were not my comments but it was that child thing it is funny to use my nickname.

  2. Anonymous09:16

    BEG-ZAG flts should be introduced deffinitely! And not 7 weekly, but I think at least double daily! If there were 340000 pax before Yugoslavia collapsed, now there should be at least 100000 between those two countries! Stop hating, start building common future!!!!

    1. Anonymous09:40


    2. Anonymous11:41


    3. when zagy12:48

      Haah! In your face bitches! So much for Croatian pax not connecting via Belgrade to the world...

    4. Anonymous13:10

      @when lol, those are Arabs flying from AUH to DBV via BEG

    5. Anonymous14:46

      At least they're not flying on Croatia or throught Zagreb...

    6. Anonymous15:20

      The time has changeded. There is a full prifle highway between Belgrade and Zagreb, which was not the case in Yugoslavia. Cars got faster, buses got airconditioning, so the demand on flights is principally not so big as in Yugoslavia. The same reason airport Rijeka became disfunctional for domestic flights.

    7. Anonymous18:20

      @when zagyAugust 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Few arab tourists hardly makes a storm, you're talking 200-300 tourists, not a flood.

      Zagreb airport around 20-25 000 transfers each year from other ex-Yu airports, that also doesn't mean its a regional hub.

      A hub is an airports that handles around 20 million + and about a fifth of all passengers are transfers.

      London Heathrow is a hub, where a third of all passengers are transfers.

      Other hubs in Europe.
      London Heathrow - 71 million pax
      Paris CDG - 61 million pzx
      Frankfurt - 57 million pax
      Amsterdam Schiphol - 50 million pax
      Madrid Barajas Airport - 48 million pax
      Istanbul Atatürk International Airport - 45 million
      Munich JS Airport -38 million
      Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport - 37 million
      Barcelona El Prat Airport - 35 million
      London Gatwick Airport - 34 million

      and you could argue that

      Vienna airport, Zürich Airport, Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, Oslo & Stockholm-Arlanda Airport are all major hubs, in my book they're national hubs and regional hubs, after all they mange over 20 million pax


  3. Anonymous09:40

    Those are really good numbers. Very interesting about the transit pax from Dubrovnik.

  4. Anonymous11:01

    Awww love the pic :D

  5. JU520 BEGLAX11:55

    Why is there no flights ZAG-BEG? I m sure they would work for both JU and OU.

    Air traffic between the biggest two cities of the Western Balkans is surely needed

    Purger what is the trade exchange between the countries? I found figures of 2009 which amounted to almost 600 mio EUR. So nowadays we are probably around 1 bln?? I m sure you know :-)

    1. Anonymous13:24

      Circumstances have changed since the 1990, not just because of the war. Belgrade and Zagreb are now connected with the proper highway and the travel time between two cities is less than 4 hours therefore the airline service is not as essential as it was in the eighties. I am not claiming that it is not needed, it is just not as important. I am afraid that there are not enough business travellers to warrant the air service when one can reach Zagreb comfortably in less than four hours. O&D and VFR are in small numbers and will probably opt for other modes of transport and connecting traffic remains limited.

      Best regards from Novi Sad.

    2. Anonymous15:18

      One has to disagree.
      "Proper" highway existed in 70s and 80s as well, and still, there were several flights a day between these two capitals.
      There is certainly a need for this connection, both private and business.

    3. Anonymous15:23

      Don't forget that back in the day there were members of the Yugoslav administration flying around the two cities, these bums occupied quite a few seats on these flights.
      Also, most of the JAT flights from Belgrade to Zagreb continued onwards. They were not the typical scheduled flights everyone is talking about here.

    4. Anonymous16:01

      Anonyous 3:18 PM
      "One has to disagree.
      Proper highway existed in 70s and 80s as well, and still, there were several flights a day between these two capitals."

      Hm, that´s actually incorrect. There was an important part of the highway missing in Croatia after the Serbian-Croatian border till the 2002 or so. Also don´t forget that the cars and buses got faster and far more confortable (airconditioning) during the last 20 years.

    5. Purger23:46

      Sorry not to answer you earlier, but I just come from Czech Republic.

      So in 2011:
      Croatian export to Serbia 2.789.296.000 HRK
      Croatian export all together HRK
      Croatian import from Serbia 2.132.310.000 HRK
      Croatian import all together HRK

      In 2012:
      Croatian export to Serbia 3.141.411.000 HRK
      Croatian export all together 72.233.613.000 HRK
      Croatian import from Serbia 2.117.675.000 HRK
      Croatian import all together 121.504.191.000 HRK

      1 HRK = 0,13 EUR; 1 EUR = 7,5 HRK

  6. Anonymous12:01

    All we are saying is give peace a chance....

  7. Anonymous12:08

    Does anyone have a clue when Jat/Air Serbia will finally put tickets up for sale?
    I saw on ex-YU's Facebook page that they have finalized the dates for their Abu Dhabi, Bucharest, Banja Luka and Ljubljana flights.... but when will we be able to book them?

    1. Anonymous12:13

      Not before 1 sept. They have to get regulatory approval and they said it will likely be by first of september.

    2. Anonymous12:15

      Blahh... thanks.
      It just sucks that they will have only one month to start selling tickets for the winter timetable. I guess better for us, more cheaper flights.

      However, I guess we are not going to be seeing any major changes until end of October, that is until new aircraft start to arrive.

    3. The majority of new routes start in December as the Airbuses will replace ATRs on some routes and, as a result, ATRs will be freed up.

    4. Anonymous14:20

      I guess Athens will be the first one to be replaced by an Airbus. I can't think of another route which might be replaced unless they think of doing it with Vienna.

    5. Anonymous14:43

      The only two routes which will experience replacing ATR's by narrow-body jets are BEG-SJJ and BEG-SKP. Thus Air Serbia will open BEG-OTP an BEG-BNX routes at the beginning of December.

    6. Anonymous14:59

      Ex-Yu, do you plan to change the dates on the page? How about Kiev and Beirut, do you have any estimation as to when those routes will be started? Thanks.

    7. Anonymous15:19

      Aren't SKP and SJJ mostly operated by B733s? I think the night flight to Skopje has been operated by a Boeing for quite some time now.

    8. Anonymous15:34

      SKP and SJJ will not be served by night flights anymore (starting from W13/14).

    9. Anonymous15:36

      I guess we will see similar schedules such as the one to Banja Luka.

  8. Nikola13:54

    OT: Turkish plans to add two more weekly flights on BEG-IST route from 28.10, and one more from 21.11. (source: Aviokarta.net)

    1. Anonymous14:23

      And Qatar recently added more weekly flights to Doha. Along with Etihad and Air Serbia basically doing double daily flights, Serbia is going to be awesomely connected to the Near and Middle East. There's even going to be a direct flight to Beirut.

    2. Anonymous14:28

      I think it's safe to say that with all these new flights Belgrade and the region will be perfectly and cheaply linked with all of Asia, Oceania and Africa! With Air Serbia's new schedule being rolled out shortly I can't see why anyone from Belgrade/Serbia would head to Budapest or Timisoara to fly when there are more than enough options from Belgrade.

    3. Anonymous15:18

      @AnonymousAugust 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      U forgot Istanbul, its a major hub and Turkish is expanding like crazy in the region, 10 weekly flights to Zagreb, & Belgrade. Sarajevo, Skopje and Pristina 7 weekly flights, and Budapest with 12 weekly connections, this will go to 14 with winter schedule.

    4. Anonymous15:21

      Actually, as of this winter Turkish Airlines will be operating 17 weekly flights to Belgrade, not 10. They are initially adding two frequencies while a third one will be added shortly after.

      I think we can also add Pegasus to the list of airlines. They have been quite aggressive in the region. As far as I know their only flop has been Sofia.

  9. Anonymous15:47

    I think if the old Yugo survied (I know it didn't) today we would see more life in the small airports like; MBX, OSI, BNX, OMO, INI etc.
    So there would probably be INI-ZAG, BEG-MBX, OMO-BEG, BNX-SKP and many more combinations. Simply beacuse of business trade, and people visiting family & friends.

    -- Charlie

    1. Anonymous10:57

      ...advocating for the newest Am project, a new Yu?

  10. Anonymous15:57

    The photo of today is wonderful !!!

    1. Anonymous17:49

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Anonymous17:41

    I wonder if Belgrade airport handled its 2,000,000th passenger.

    1. Anonymous22:36

      Didn't yet, if it did they'd say so, normally this blog is right on it.

      perhaps in few days time or a week.

    2. Anonymous08:51

      I am sure they have already handled 2 million passengers. They started August with 1,939,000 while on average they end August with over 400,000 passengers. I doubt that in the past 20 days they have not handled more than 60,000 passengers.

    3. Anonymous08:55

      Belgrade airport has handled more than 2.2 million passengers so far in 2013.

  12. Anonymous17:47

    Can anybody say what was written in Aviokarta.net about Flydubai?
    Dont understand the language and Google-translator did not help either.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Anonymous17:52

      It was a rather stupid and pointless article of how passengers flying to Dubai a few days ago were fascinated by the aircraft which was only two days old.

    2. Anonymous18:55

      nothing stupid and pointless there , u must have personal rasons for hating him. leave us alone tho

    3. Anonymous21:04

      So whats written in the article?
      Please people, i only want to know whats written there.
      No opinions please.

    4. Anonymous21:47

      Like the other anonymous said, the whole article was about how passengers were fascinated by flydubai's two day old plane which features the latest technology bla bla
      The flight was operated from Belgrade of course.

    5. Anonymous21:57

      New plane with new business cabin came in belgrade last week, nothing special. it was interesting to some airport handling workers to see very new aircraft just came from factory, and it was interesting for some passengers to see new seat in future business class of flydubai. basicly this is it.

    6. Anonymous01:06

      So their new business class is only on board of the very new aircraft?
      And probably you can see their new product only since a few days.
      Well, that is no wonder everybody was surprised.
      I fly them very often and still have not seen it,but when it will happen you can be sure that i wont be the only one making shots of with my cam.

  13. Anonymous19:47

    When Air Serbia makes very good flight schedule with good connections you can imagine how many people will fly from Middle East to Dubrovnik via Beg. This summer every company that flies to Dubrovnik has around 85% load factor (except Aeroflot). I am very happy to see that Jat is doing good job in Croatia, especially in Dubrovnik.

    1. Anonymous18:01

      That is until FlyDubai, Emirates, Ethiad and Qatar get rights to fly to Dubrovnik and Split. Right now no airline from ME is flying to Dubrovnik, perhaps from next year.

      Split also needs ME connections, but first both airports need to sort their terminals out, Croatia has just 18 months to sort its airports before it enters Schengen, new travel rules could create another set of problems for all of Croatia's airports.

  14. Anonymous04:19

    The funny thing is that Skopje and Bucharest get FlyDubais businesss class seats already this year while Belgrade has to wait till next year.

    1. Anonymous08:48

      Well, Skpje is such a premium destination that they rushed to introduce it.

      Well, in FYROM, flydubai faces minimal competition so it's only logical. Can flydubai really compete with Etihad's business class product out of Belgrade? I am referring to EY because they operated out of AUH which is right next to DXB.

  15. Robertson09:53

    Very sweet foto ;) Fuck the war, long live Freedom!


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