Etihad Regional cancels Zagreb launch

Etihad Regional suspends ticket sales for Rome - Zagreb service

Etihad Regional, which was to launch flights from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Zagreb Airport on March 30, has suspended ticket sales for the route. Flights were to operate four times per week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with Etihad Regional being the only airline offering a nonstop service between the Italian and Croatian capitals. The route was to operate with the fifty seat Saab 2000 aircraft. The news will be welcomed by Croatia Airlines which flies from Zagreb to Rome via either Dubrovnik or Split. There has been no official explanation for the service cancellation, although the route could be vacated for Alitalia, which is likely to be acquired by Etihad Airways.

Despite the Zagreb cancellation, the regional Swiss airline will launch flights from Geneva to Belgrade on May Day as originally planned. Services will operate three times per week with strong competition from both Swiss International Air Lines and easyJet on the route. Etihad Regional was launched in January after the Abu Dhabi based Etihad acquired a 33% stake in the regional Swiss carrier Darwin Airline. By mid 2014, Etihad Regional will add twenty new routes and seventeen new destinations. Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways, Air Berlin and Air Serbia will codeshare on Regional’s routes, while the Swiss airline will codeshare on Etihad Airways, Air Berlin and Air Serbia flights from a range of European cities. This is expected to provide deeper access to Europe for the three larger carriers and significant new international connectivity and feeder traffic for Etihad Regional.

Zagreb Airport’s new management plans to make its presence felt by attracting a range of new airlines this year. However, currently, only KLM Cityhopper, which will launch flights from Amsterdam, and Germanwings, which will operate services from Hamburg, have confirmed new services to the Croatian capital. In addition, Trade Air will operate a domestic commuter service via Zagreb during the summer. Earlier last month, the airport said it was close to finalising an agreement with ČSA Czech Airlines for the launch of flights from Prague. In addition, the airport said it was in talks for transatlantic flights to be launched from Canada in 2015. Zagreb Airport estimates it will see passenger numbers increase by 8% this year. In January, the airport recorded a 2.6% decline in figures.


  1. Anonymous09:32

    Belgrade NIKOLA TESLA INTERNATIONAL is more than welcome ETIHAD REGIONAL, as first airport in south east Europe to meet this great new airline.
    Acting smart and working intelligent is the only way to Serbian hub and partners. Happy journey, Good Luck !
    Rod.Marinkovic, AME. Kraljevo / Sydney-Griffith

  2. Mr Zagrebani09:36

    once they build it it gonna grab it all

    come on haha

  3. Hasan Hasanagic09:41

    what is going on in Croaria. Zagreb is going to be lucky if they can hold 2M mark this year.

    1. Anonymous11:21

      ...this sentence of yours is


      nothing else...

    2. Anonymous17:04

    3. Anonymous20:31

      Dear God, nobody wants OU, they should shut it down as soon as possible!

    4. Anonymous21:27

      How many tenders nobody wanted JU? And Turkish also. Turkish does not buy any company but invest in its development. Turkish did not want JU also. So your conclusion is... (fulfill it by yourself).

    5. Anonymous22:32

      His conclusion is nothing special. JU-EY deal was done behind closed doors, the way these deals should be done. OU and CRO government are still slow to understand this. That's the problem.

  4. Anonymous10:14

    SPU ...

    strange and unserious decision ...
    is the Alitalia done deal or still in negotiation process ?

    1. Anonymous11:07

      After Belgrade on Tuesday, Hogan left for Amsterdam and then to Rome so I assume the talks are moving ahead

    2. Anonymous12:48

      Completely irrational decision, Zagreb-Rome route has a huge potential!

    3. Anonymous21:41

      Zagreb Rome route is heavily subscribed by OU, there are 5 direct flights to Rome from Zagreb and 7 via split and Dubrovnik.

      I really never saw Ethiad Regional doing well with their old Saabs,

      Strange that they even considered this, Alitalia on the other hand has plans to re-launch Rome and Milan flights to Zagreb, ethiad realized they'd rather try other routes with such limited number of aircraft.

      Also entire ethiad logic is very strange they' go around buying near bankrupt airlines in an effort to do exactly what ? Totally confused what ethiad is up to.

    4. Anonymous22:16

      ZAG-FCO 5 times per week direct flights? In best year that was 3 times per week, but this option does not exist for 3 years now. There would be 7 flights per week to FCO, non direct, 5 via SPU and 2 via DBV.

  5. SuisseOuest10:15

    Does anyone have LF for GVA-BEG route? I know that LX had good loads around the holidays, but I'm curious how they stacked in February with less demand.

    1. sredinom febrauara, na mom letu bilo oko 80+% LF na swiss-u da budem preciyniji BEG-GVA ,rekao bih po komentarima ostalih putnika da se linija odavno cekala. GVA kao luda za transfere.

    2. Anonymous17:02

      LX 53%, EZY 79% in february.

    3. SuisseOuest09:36

      Thanks! The numbers look better than I expected. I'm sure LX lf will go up with the summer timetable when they switch to 1-3-5. EY regional will have a tough time competing with LX and U2 on this route...
      @Aleksandar: slazem se 100%, svaki put kad sam isla na liniji GVA-BEG sa presedanjem, bar jos neko je isao istim letovima

  6. Anonymous13:17

    OT Norwigan Air Shuttle starts Oslo-Tivat flights from 27 june. Tickets already on sale.

  7. Anonymous13:23


    Our chicken authorities are threatening with an empty gun once again. They INSIST on being granted slots at Ataturk. I wonder what will they negotiate with? What stakes do they hold? Diplomatic démarche?

    1. Anonymous13:26

      Sorry, I forgot to say the main thing, they allowed Turkish companies to operate charter flights to Serbia.

    2. Purger14:05

      I told you in this war you can not win! «Tup se s rogatim ne može bosti»

      And personally I have one rule in my business «if you are not sure that you can win better don't start war, because if you will loose you will be out of credibility for next war». What was purpose of «showing power» if you don't have one. In that case you negotiate without public and if you have to give them unfair rights (and that is unfair) at least you don't show how weak you are. When you start to shout «we will show them, and will not allowed that injustice» after defeat you just show everybody that you are small, weak and without power. That is invitation for others to kick your ass.

      And that is not first time that you thing you are powerful and big. You have to learn modesty and where is your position. That is something that we here, in Croatia, learn 15 ago when we start to «negotiate» with EU, and finish those «negotiation» on way European Union wanted. As I say we gave them our asses but ask if we can have at least some Vaseline. When they say «not» we just leaned forward.

      To thing that you are powerful enough to fight with Turkish is just a fiction without reality.

    3. According to deputy minister Milutin Popovic "Ministarstvo saobraćaja daće "zeleno svetlo" za izdavanje dozvole turskim aviokompanijama za čarter letove tokom letnje sezone, ali tek kada Er Srbija, Turkiš erlajns i turske vazduhoplovne vlasti postignu dogovor o recipročnim uslovima za sve aktere, rečeno je ranije u tom ministarstvu.". Not that I think you can win the war with Turkish but according to this news it's not all over. He also says that the negotiations are scheduled for March 3.

    4. Anonymous14:54

      It is not all over, but insisting with an empty rifle does not help too much.

    5. Anonymous15:12

      People,you are sadly mistaken that the rifle is empty ... Turkish carriers have 21 flights / wk while JU has 7 ... cutting Turkish carrier flts back by 14 flights a wk to 7, is an atomic bomb ... so let's see who loses their nerve first ... Serb side has absolutely nothing to lose and should go on a kamikaze raid ... Turks on the other hand, will impale themselves with a doner kebab up their rectum if they don't realize that the stakes are higher than they have ever been ... Watch this space ...

    6. Anonymous15:27

      Charter flights to Turkey are seasonal, they also affect other airlines and are not focused on Istanbul. Approval seems to indicate willingness to find mutual interest.

      Flights to IST on the other hand are year-round with revenue focus on connecting flights mostly to the East. For non-O&D market however Air Serbia is NOT a major competitor to Turkish. Turkish has seen expanding competition for that market at BEG from Qatar, Emirates (through FlyDubai) and Etihad. Allowing JU to have better slots at IST will not affect outcome of global war between "Middle East Three" and Turkish, so it would seem reasonable that JU will get better treatment at IST based on mutual interests.

    7. Anonymous16:21

      If there would be at least good charter companies flying from Turkey...Freebird is such a disgusting disgrace of an airline.
      Would better replaced by Onur Air or Pegasus.
      Those are good ones.

    8. Anonymous17:45

      @ AnonymousFebruary 28, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      I wanted to say that once they allowed Turkish charters to operate flights to BEG and INI, Air Serbia lost the joker from their hands. Now TK and IST can simply forget about negotiating with JU, or simply not allow them to return to IST, cause now they have nothing to fear.

      I hope it is all a part of the deal in order to get JU back to IST. I hope it is not done without getting anything in return.

    9. They could kick Turkish carriers out of BEG.

    10. Anonymous22:20

      For that you have to be at least Germany? And as you can see they can kick you from IST and still you can do nothing exempt hiss like a little kitty and make everybodey else lough.

    11. Anonymous03:14

      Yes it looks like he failed English test.

  8. Anonymous13:58

  9. Nikola15:50

    and another OT: Air Serbia odlaže početak letova do Bejruta?

    1. Anonymous16:20

      Another delay?

      I think we should call company Air Delay not air Serbia.

    2. Anonymous16:34

      Sure, as soon as you take over the company you can rename it any way you like, LOL. Did you try flying this route with some other airline? Oh wait, there are NONE...

    3. Oh big deal if they postpone Beirut. Air Serbia had a fantastic day today. I think the average loadfactor was at least 70%, if not more.

      Here are some highlights.

      Larnaca-Belgrade-Milan, 15 passengers.
      Larnaca-Belgrade-Prague, 6 passengers.

      Zurich-Belgrade-Banja Luka, 9 passengers (B&H had a Banja Luka-Zurich flight today while JU carried 4 passengers from BL to ZRH today)

      Thessaloniki-Belgrade-Stockholm, 21 passengers.
      Thessaloniki-Belgrade-Zurich, 9 passengers.

      Athens-Belgrade-Dusseldorf, 21 passengers.
      Milan-Belgrade-Sabiha, 25 passengers.

      I think we will not collapse without Beirut even if it is delayed.

    4. Anonymous17:17

      Delay in web page is not a big deal.

      Delay in beginning of selling tickets is not a big deal.

      Delay in rebrending is not a big deal (in VIE there was Jat office for months after taking over, maybe even today it is still Jat there instead of Air Serbia).

      Delay in coming of A319s is not a big deal.

      Delay in education of pilots and cabin crew is not a big deal.

      Delay in opening routes which were announced for October to December is not a big deal.

      Delay in opening routes which were planed for March to May is not a big deal.

      Delay in opening Beirut is not a big deal.

      Even delay in taking over Air Serbia is not a big deal.

      So, what is big deal than?

      Of course just postpone Beirut is not a big deal. But in combination with everything else...

      And that shows plans are disaster, and they announced something what was not analyzed or planed well! In both cases that is unprofessionalisam. Again and again...
      Kondić announce planes to take over companies in region and to star flying to North America in 2016. Big plane for someone who is not able to start with simple flights 3 hours from BEG.

    5. You are right, the company is a disaster. I guess that's why so many people travel with it. ;)

    6. Anonymous18:43

      Warning: Disgruntled ex-JU employee who failed English exam incoming

    7. Anonymous18:52

      Big deal is that Air Serbia employees don't have your negative attitude any more, and it shows big time in service levels and customer experience. Customers win, you lose.

    8. Anonymous20:47

      @ Anonymous 06:43 PM.

      Hahahaha, I was hoping for the same thing

    9. Anonymous22:22

      So many people travel with Air Serbia? It would be some 1,5 million this year. Wooow... that is really so many!

      And I am not exYu emloyee. You really have problem if you think that we all in Serbia have to thing the same!

    10. Yes, 1.4 million travelled with Air Serbia last year, that's the official statistic. However, let's wait for 2014 as that will be the true indicator of how successful the airline is. After all, Air Serbia was established late in 2013 so it's impact could not be felt. On the other hand, in 2014 Air Serbia started really strong as we could have seen. I am sure they will keep up this trend.

    11. Anonymous00:35

      Even if JU will have 2 million (30% more than last year) it is far away from "many". It is nothing! Small, tiny airline.

    12. Anonymous01:22

      Can you point me to a link where Air Serbia management stated they want to turn Air Serbia into world's largest, or even just large airline? Oh right, you can't because that's not the goal.

      Being small does not mean having lousy product...

    13. Having 2 million passengers is not a lot, I will agree with that. However, you have to understand Air Serbia's business model in order to understand why this growth is spectacular and why it's important.

  10. Anonymous16:40

    Absolutely idiotic decision of Etihad Regional, not to mention unprofessional, I highly doubt that there was no interest in the route! Still, this helps Croatia Airlines, so we should be thankful ;)

    1. Anonymous17:21

      How that can be true? Etihad knows how to do a job, they don't make mistakes! It is impossible that they are unprofessional and that they make mistakes.

      So eider that line is not cancel, or it was not even open in first place. Because Etihad is like God, they don't make mistakes!

    2. Anonymous17:34

      Well they cancel FCO-ZAG even before starting route. Can it happen to some Air Serbia routes too? Especially if that routes shows bad LF and low yield?

      Is it possible that same thing happens with Air Serbia Beirut route?

    3. Anonymous18:17

      Sorry, EX-Yu admin, I can't find the news anywhere on the internet... How did you find out about cancelling? It's not that I don't trust you, just being curious :)

  11. Had you read the article you wouldn't have made such a stupid comment.
    Air Serbia is not at fault for the delay.

    1. Anonymous17:29

      Really, "because of security reasons". Which are the same last 2 years! Well, if my 10-year all boy plan that flight I will understand that he did not have information that across the border are some "problems", but managers of Air Serbia should know in October about "problems in region" when they announced and start to sell that route. Dilettantism!

    2. Anonymous18:47

      Route cancellation or postponement is a routine in airline business unless you are a dilettante. Lufthansa cancelled Iraq and Libya flights before, and look at the current list:

    3. Anonymous22:36

      3 routes out of 420, and that is after several years of service whan rality change. Here you have cancelation of 3 routes out of 30 even before start to fly. And for CAI and KBP one could not know but for BEY? Situation is same for 2 years now.

      And one member here said that no airline fly to Beirut. Here is list of Airlines to fly to Beirut:

      Aegean Airlines
      Air Algérie
      Air Arabia
      Air Arabia Egypt
      Air France
      British Airways
      Bulgaria Air
      Cyprus Airways
      EgyptAir Express
      Etihad Airways
      Ethiopian Airlines
      Freebird Airlines
      Germania - 2 routes
      Gulf Air
      Iran Air
      Iraqi Airways - 3 routes
      Jazeera Airways
      Kuwait Airways
      Mahan Air
      Med Airways - 5 routes
      Middle East Airlines - 37 routes
      Pegasus Airlines- 3 routes
      Qatar Airways
      Royal Air Maroc
      Royal Jordanian
      Saudia - 3 routes
      Syrian Air
      Turkish Airlines
      UM Airlines
      Wings of Lebanon

      So, it looks that Air Serbia retreat because of competition.

    4. Anonymous22:40

      I don't think you are aware of what is going on in Lebanon for the past month. Google it a bit

    5. Anonymous00:49

      You mean for last 40 years? Because situation there is almost same since Lebanese Civil War (since 1975).

      2005 Syrian soldiers in Lebanon

      2006 Hezbollah launched a series of rocket attacks - Israel respond

      2006-2008 huge violent demonstrations against Fouad Siniora

      2008-2009 Lebanon conflict (fights betwen Hezbollah and Lebanese Army)

      2011 the national unity government collapsed due to growing tensions

      2012-2013 Syrian civil war threatens to spill over in Lebanon, causing more incidents of sectarian violence and armed clashes between Sunnis and Alawites (more than 677,702 Syrian refugees are in Lebanon)

      On 27 December 2013, former Minister of Finance Mohamad Chatah, a senior aide to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, was killed along with seven others in a car bomb explosion in Downtown Beirut

      So, tell me what's new? And Air Serbia management did not know that whan they announce route? Congretulations!

    6. Anonymous01:27

      "So, it looks that Air Serbia retreat because of competition. "

      Yet another FUD creator, LOL. No other airline has non-stop flights from Lebanon to BEG, so it's not the competition. Try some other FUD!

    7. Anonymous02:48

      Looking at several toxic comments apparently from the same poster it strikes me with ultimate irony that today's article was about Etihad Regional cancelling the route yet this poster completely failed to recognize this and focused only on Air Serbia attacks for cancelling (actually just postponing) one of it's routes. That's really telling of what real intentions of the poster are.

      As it was mentioned in one of comments from previous days, there will always be disgruntled former employees or competitors trying to fabricate negative news regarding Air Serbia on a daily basis. To no avail, I might add.

    8. Anonymous12:39


  12. Anonymous16:59

    Wouldn't be surprised if Croatia Airlines did its magic and somehow managed to protect its flights to FCO

    1. Anonymous23:00

      Nije CA sposobna to napraviti, prije je to "autogol" nečega što se prozvalo MZLZ...

  13. Anonymous20:40

    Once again we have report here by Ex-Yu Aviation about negative news from Croatia, about Etihad regional cancelling Zagreb's 4 weekly 50-seater service from FCO announced for this summer.

    At the same time, Ex-Yu Aviation doesn't consider necessary and important to bring another good news, which is practically the same topic, and that is 3 weekly 150-seater service FCO-Rijeka (one hour and a half to ZAG on supermodern highway), starting this summer by Blu-Express, being the first ever service of Blue Panorama to any ex-yu destination.

    But obviously, only good news from Serbia and bad news from Croatia are published here, no way other way !

    1. I can't see what your'e getting at... If you check the 'Croatia' label, you will see news mostly on new routes in/out of Croatia, OU's positive statistics and new airline announcements. I think those are decent news. Your argument and accusations are not in place! Of course, unless you see all of the above as negative...

  14. Anonymous20:53

    Very surprising to read that Etihad Regional is cancelling Rome - ZAG flights. It would have been the only direct flight, that in itself is a big advantage.

    I'm wondering if AS Kiev will be canceled or delayed due to the situation there. I wouldn't cancel or delay because even in a crisis situation people need to fly.There is still a good oppoutunity there.

    -- Charlie

  15. 9A-CRO21:30

    When I was saying that this route is not so profitable and FCO is one of the most expensive airports in Europe a lot of people here laughed at me and said I was crazy...

    Demand for flights to Rome (from anywhere, not just exyu) are slightly dropping, Italy is in big crisis (both political and economic) and I don't see why to rush into something. It's not like Etihad can't launch it again in a matter of days....

    1. I do not know about other destinations from ex-YU but Belgrade to Rome seems to be doing more than ok, even now during the slow month of February. Most flights to Italy this week flew, with at least, a 70% loadfactor.

    2. Anonymous22:39

      By your information most of JU routes has more than 70% LF. How comes that official LF is less than 53% for 3 months now?

    3. I said that yesterday, that is Friday, most flights had a loadfactor of at least 70%. On the other days this was not the case. For example, Larnaca had 86 passengers yesterday but only 28 on Wednesday. Zurich had 24 passengers a few days ago in the morning but yesterday it had around 100 on both flights and so on.
      Then you have certain flights which are constantly departing full and those which are constantly departing empty.

      Loads vary greatly depending on the day, that's what is dragging the average loadfactor down.

    4. Anonymous17:49

      Nemjee can you please elaborate on that topic. For instance you said some flights are constantly full and some are empty so which flights are those?
      Btw how is Abu Dhabi route going?

    5. Sure. There are a few routes in the network which are usually full, lowest loadfactor is around 80%. These are Ljubljana, Zurich, Bucharest, Rome, Paris, Heathrow. Naturally, there are days when even these perform really badly (Zurich is usually the case, probably because of fierce competition from Swiss).

      Then there are those which tend to be great one day and then catastrophic the other. That's Stockholm, Istanbul and Tel Aviv. For example, the other day, Tel Aviv departed with only 14 passengers out of which one was in business class. Yesterday, it departed with 119 passengers (about 60% were connecting passengers). When it comes to Istanbul Sabiha flights they are doing better but they are still far from perfect. From what I recall they have on average around 70 to 80 passengers. Like I said earlier, there are days when its loadfactor is close to 90%.

      Abu Dhabi is doing ok, better than before. Yesterday the flight arrived with 78 passengers in economy class and I think 3 in business. The previous flight arrived with 90-something passengers. It goes up and down but the flight is not empty as some claim it to be. This route is mostly popular with the O&D passengers but in recent times more and more people are connecting on it. Some of the destinations I saw were Ljubljana, Vienna and surprisingly Prague.
      Etihad's flight also feeds quite a few flights in Belgrade. Just yesterday 34 out of 47 passengers on the 08.00 flight to Vienna connected from EY's Abu Dhabi flight. Most of these were Austrians coming in from Asia.

      I hope that Air Serbia launches Tirana, more so than Beirut. Quite a few passengers heading to Podgorica are Albanians.

    6. I would also like to add that in recent times I noticed that quite a few passengers from Qatar Airways flights are connecting onto JU's regional network, mostly Sarajevo. Same thing with Montenegro Airlines.
      The morning flight from Moscow is usually full with Russians connecting in Belgrade. It surprised me when I saw that Zurich seems to be a rather popular option. Usually there are between 5 and 20 of these passengers. :)

      Anyway, the 34% growth at Belgrade airport was all thanks to Air Serbia. At least 90% of it. :)

    7. Anonymous15:47

      Thank you for the extensive analysis!

    8. Anonymous17:39

      Nemje I hope you have airline's approval to publish those numbers.


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