Beijing - Zagreb charters to start in October

CSEBA to link Zagreb with Chinese cities this winter

The Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA) has announced plans to link Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing with Zagreb through charter flights from this October. CSEBA President, Mario Rendulić, made the announcement in Chongqing where he held talks with local tour operators. At the meeting, Rendulić presented a possible ten day program for Chinese tourists which would include visits to Zadar, Šibenik, Plitvice, Zagreb, Kumrovec, Samobor, Osijek, the Kopački Rit National Park as well as Belgrade. "After landing in Zagreb or Zadar, we will be able to transport Chinese visitors to Dubrovnik, Pula or Venice in just twenty minutes", Mr. Rendulić said.

Charter flights between Croatia and China will run until June 2015 in cooperation with Chinese carriers after which CSEBA will launch its own airline and run scheduled flights between Croatia, China and Serbia, as well as countries in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan. “CSEBA and its partners plan to establish an airline with regular flights between China and countries in the region, as well as regional flights in South East Europe at low cost prices”, the Business Association said in a statement. However, Xu Qiang, Director General of the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, said, “Setting up an airline demands big finances. CSEBA and its partners should link up with other Chinese companies”.

The Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association has previously said its airline will connect Zagreb with Belgrade for the first time in 23 years and provide scheduled flights between Croatia and China which will primarily cater for Chinese tourists. Croatia has never had direct air links to China. Far off markets hold huge potential for Croatia's tourism industry. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia has seen double digit growth for the past few years. In 2013, 43.000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia and spent 65.000 nights in the country, with numbers expected to rise even further this year. Late last month, CSEBA representatives held talks with SCAT Airlines from Kazakhstan to discuss the possibility of launching scheduled flights between Zagreb and Astana. CSEBA aims to boost cooperation between China and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.


  1. A long-haul venture with lowcost prices... now that's promising. ;)
    I have a feeling this will be some sort of Chinese Atlas Air.

    1. Lowcost longhaul is not impossible, just look at Norwegian. I consider them a success. Their only problem (USA not liking some of their hiring practices) is not really their fault.

      What is more interesting about this CSEBA airline is how they plan to have both regional and long-haul destinations. Whatever plane is suitable to fly to China from Zagreb really should not be used for flights to Belgrade.

      Perhaps they have ZAG-BEG-China in mind (assuming fifth freedom). This way the plane could top off with passengers in Belgrade, there are probably some mildly high yielding diplomatic passengers on that route, as well as workers working on Zemun-Borca bridge and other Chinese projects in Serbia.

    2. Norwegian is not your classical lowcost airline, they are more of a hybrid, they even offer a 'business class' product on board.
      When they launched their long-haul flights, the airline was totally lowcost (in terms of service). Since then, they were forced to offer at least some amenities free of charge (water for example).

      If there was any money in the lowcost, longhaul market then Ryanair would have been all over it. Their CEO had already stated that their business model is not sustainable in the long run which could be one of the reasons why they have not yet launched transatlantic flights.

      In my opinion, it's still way too early to judge Norwegian's success on the long-haul market. Let's give them a few seasons before we can conclude if they could pull this one off.

      Then again, Norwegian has a brand awareness which makes its transatlantic adventure remotely possible... this Chinese thing has none of it. Good luck competing with Turkish Airlines, Qatar, Aeroflot... for this market.

    3. Anonymous16:18

      Inside info: in 2015 more frequencies (regular flights mentioned by Koreans) between Seoul and Zagreb, 110 000 Korean visited Croatia in first five months in 2014!

    4. Anonymous17:25

      @Aleksandar StojanovicJune 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM & Nemanjee,

      I can't believe you guys actually believe that crock of nonsense, I as a Croat find this story totally bogus, concocted by some conman from Herzegovina, I mean really why is blog admin taking such stories seriously, first the Dalmatian and now this.

      Don't you have any other more legitimate story to post admin ?

      I do not believe for one second that these two supposed legitimate operations have any viability, not cause there's no market for such trips, on contrary there's a big market for it, problem is that you just don't come up with some idea out of your arse, like starting an airline *(without any planes) and hope to get idiots paying for it.

      Totally unlogical as someone would put it.

    5. Anonymous17:39

      Anonymous 5:25 PM, of course this could and probably is false news, but 110 000 Korean tourists in first five months of the year, for example, is not a small number!

    6. @ Anonymous, June 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM: You know, CSEBA has been around for some time and they issue regular press releases. Whether their plans materialise or not is not my responsibility and whether you think something will happen or not is neither. Just because you like or dislike something doesn't mean it shouldn't be reported. Otherwise you are more then welcome to create your own site, blog or whatever with your own editorial policy. Same goes for Damlatian. If an airline starts selling tickets online then its only natural to report about it, as other mainstream media did as well. This is an aviation based site so yes, developments in aviation in this region will be reported, whether they materialise or not.

    7. Anonymous17:59

      Ex-Yu, what's wrong with my post (5:39 PM)? I didn't write the 5:25 PM post, I don't know why you're referring to my post?

    8. Anonymous18:41

      @ An. 5:25

      If you think the start-ups operate the way they "buy"/lease aircraft to stay on the tarmac for 1 year (in this case), or 6 months, or 2 years, and the start-up gets prepared during that period of time, than you either don't know a first thing about aviation, or you are deliberately malicious.

      Instead of saying : Thanks God, it was high time someone realised that half million of Far-eastern tourists yearly to Croatia could be potential source of income for national airline industry, and trying to increase their number and fly them to Croatia, unlike now, with operator which would contribute much more to national economy, you critize such an attempt and even attack @Ex-yu for writing about that!

      By your way of thinking, I presume you work for OU. It's mostly them who see VIE and MUC operations as maximum of HR civil aviation. Thanks God once again such attitude and policy started to change!

    9. Anonymous18:53

      @ Nemjee 09:05

      Have you ever heard of Air Carraibes? Legally, it's French airline. They have A330-300 and fly people on scheduled services from Paris to the Carribean, for 300-400 euro, in two classes (of course "C" being a bit more expensive), with hybrid model, and low-cost prices. And they deliver very good service and are highly profitable. So, in this case, please save your "expertise" for yourself, and even more your feelings, becuase somehow I have similar "Atlas Air" feeling for Air Serbia

    10. Hmm... not quite. Air Caraïbes has some cheaper fares but their standard ones are around €600 (and more).
      Furthermore, you can't compare these two airlines as one is supposed to be flying in Chinese tourists while the other one is linking French oversees departments with the motherland. These are catering for two very different markets. Furthermore, if this Chinese aviation adventure will be anything like Air Caraïbes, then we do not have much to look forward to- the airline has an abysmal 2/10 quality rating on Skytrax. Like I said, good luck competing with other airlines for these passengers.

      As far as your comment related to Air Serbia goes, I will not even bother to write anything as it was funny.

    11. Also, Air Caraïbes can actually sustain year-round flights to Paris. Can the same be said for Zagreb and Beijing? Or do they intend on using their widebody aircraft between Belgrade and Zagreb in winter time? lol

    12. Anonymous19:29

      @AnonymousJune 16, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      OK, nisam siguran kaj ti velis, ili hoces da valis, ali malo da ti skontam neke stvari tak da ti skuzis kaj ja ti hocu reci.

      Ak si procital ovaj clanak, ima ti malo ovo.

      "However, Xu Qiang, Director General of the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, said, “Setting up an airline demands big finances. CSEBA and its partners should link up with other Chinese companies”."

      Kaj ovo znaci, da ovaj idiot iz Herceg Bosne nema ni novce a on bi isel i naparavil neku airline, pa misli malo, covjek nema za cigaerte a zeli imati B747, pa malo tu nekaj smrdi. Kuzis !!?

      Ne ja ti ne delam za OU, ja samo vidim negog Bosanca is Hertcegovine koji misli da je izumio pamet pa se parvi pametnim.

      zagrebcan sam, kao Purger, ali mislim da je se malo moramo prizemljiti i gledati to u malo realnijem okviru.

      Pa znam ja da Hrvatska ima oko 110 000 kineza svake godine, 44 000 iz kine i 59000 iz HK, ne zaboravimo 23000 iz Macaou.

      U prosloj godini je bilo oko 60 000 iz Taivana tako da broj turista iz Azije je zavidan i raste dinamicno, oko 200 000 koreaca se ocekuje u 2014oj i oko 250 000 u 2015, sa jako velikom mogucnosti za direketne linje izmadu Zagreba i Seoula, oko 175 000 japance je isto doslo u HR i oskejue se oko 200 000 ove godine.

      Znaci Hrvatska obara Aziju kao europska destinacija, i direktne linije sa Japanom i Korejom su jako moguce u 2015, i ne zaboravimo Air Canada isto milsi uspostaviti direketne letevio za Hrvatsku preko ljeta u 2015.

      To sve stoji, ali moramo malo gledati kad se tice nasih mislim Bosanaca iz HercegBosne koje trlaju svima oci kak oni be napravili sloa od malog misa.

      Kas sam ja bio mali i sam rekal nakaj glupo, moja mama bu mi rekla, ajde mali nemoj sanajti, nemoj imati glavu u oblacima.

      Mislim da taj savjet bu bil jako dobar za ovog Hercegovca. [/rant]

    13. Anonymous19:32

      No lol darling, it is in the article - charters during winter, starting June regular. And yes, they can be year-round, actually Chinese are more interested in off-season (winter) period. Concerning Air Carraibes, their intra-Carribean network is operated by ATR which is exactly what I referred to, but you obviously don't know that much as you wish to present

    14. Anonymous19:43

      Gle buraz, ja ti nis zagrepcanec, a nis ni z kamenjara, ali nekak s time kaj sve kaj je covjek rekel ne valja samo zato jer je Hercegovac, s tim se nemrem nikak slozit. A prepustit pola milijuna putnika sa Dalkog Istoka iskljucivo strancima, ako dio toga moze napravit domaca kompanija, stvarno ne mogu imat nista protiv toga zato sto je covjek Hercegovac, ili Kinez ili Srbin ili stagod. A cekat OU da tako nesto napravi, u tom slucaju vise vjerujem ovom liku nego bilo kome iz OU

    15. hahaha yes, their mighty regional fleet of three Atr-72. lol
      Plus, you mentioned their flights to Paris when you spoke of this cheap intercontinental flying... don't see where the Atrs come in there, unless you seriously believe that they can have a real hub with 8 aircraft? That's not a hybrid airline model. ;)
      Furthermore, you mentioned them having a good service, I will repeat once more that they are a two star airline.

      Bottom line is that you seem to be out of arguments if you are attempting to insult me on a personal level... while posting as anonymous. Says more about you than me... friend.

    16. Anonymous20:56

      wow, what an expert @Nemjee : quoting Skytrax passenger reviews, in which Air Serbia has 3 stars, as an argument that 2 star rated Air Caraibes has lousy service. I expected from you to try harder, because if 3 star Air Serbia has awesome, faboulus, uniqe in Europe, perfect service, than 2 star Air Caraibes should be at least decent.

      Atr's are coming into the part of your post where Beg-Zag is operated by wide-bodies. No, it will be operated by regional aircraft. And widebodies will have more flights to North Am. and less flights to Far East in summer, and opposite in winter. Number of units of particular type within particular aairline are set according to different factors, and are almost irrelevant for the model of operation.

      Bottomline is that I am not out of arguments, and I have absolutely nothing against you personally, I just don't like anyone who speak sarcastic about things he/she doesn't have a clue about, and you don't know what's going on here, believe me. That's why I was a bit harsh about AirAtlas/Air Serbia, and I apologize for that, and wish you, and JU, all the best

    17. Anonymous21:06

      btw. I've just checked Skytrax and Air Caraibes is 3-star rated, as well. So you can choose : either Air Caraibes has good service, or Air Serbia's service sucks. You're welcome to check Skytrax and see what I write is true

    18. Don't say that Nemjee has no clue about aviation topics. He works in the industry.

      Now back onto the topic of aviation; I believe that is the reason why we are all here.

      I think that OU has left plenty of room for newcomers in the Croatian market, but luckily for OU, there are some things that block newcomers from simply setting up shop and being successful.

      1. New players in Croatian market do not have adequate finances to set up an airline. The airline business (especially in Europe) is very difficult because of huge competition and low margins.

      2. New players do not have good leadership. These CEOs don't have experience in technical operations and marketing.

      3. Protectionist policies in Croatia still exist. Other EU lowcost airlines would have set up shop in Croatia long ago if airports didn't charge such high fees. I think that Easyjet/Wizz/Ryanair could do well in Zag.

      If I was about to set up an airline in Croatia, I would do it this way, lease 4-6 old A320 family aircraft, install dense seating, make a brand "Croatia Holidays", and do charters and scheduled holiday traffic from coastal airports to Western EU.

    19. Anonymous21:27

      Obviously, these Einsteins haven't seen the price of jet fuel and where it is headed in the mths ahead ... awesome time to be thinking of launching such flights - especially going into the winter and especially with low yielding Chinese groups ... sounds to me that they have been drinking heaps of jet fuel ....

    20. lol... ok, let's wait and see if this thing EVER materializes. I for one am not holding my breath. Charters to China, why not. A 'hybrid' regional airline with intercontinental flights, nope- not gonna happen. Especially not with the current airport terminal.

      Yes, I just checked Skytrax in greater detail and you are right, they have three stars. I confused their Skytrax rating with that of passenger review scoring where they have 2/10.

      Regardless of all this, I still stand by my argument that you can't have a lowcost, long-haul airline- which was, anyway, my initial comment.

    21. Anonymous21:52

      @Aleksandar Stojanovic
      Read more carefully, please. I never said Nemjee had no clue about aviation in general, I was speaking of this particular "china deal". And I think he doesn't need your attorney services :)
      Your nr-3, I fully agree
      Your nr 2, agree to some extent, if there is only 1 who knows the game, it would be enough :)
      Your nr. 1 - that's where Chinese come !
      What you said after the numbers, is generally what Dubrovnik Airline tried, first with MD80 and than 320. We know how it finished.
      That's why I think something new is needed in HR, and this "chinese" story in combination with "dalmatian" story might be the beginning of the so much needed change

    22. Anonymous22:00

      Ano. 7.29 PM
      Judging your "Zagrebian" accent it smells heavily on Serbian kajkavski. I actually doubt, you have ever been in Zagreb.
      However, I appeal Ex YU Admin to remove this particular post (7.29PM) since it refers to member of Herzegovina community with undermining and chauvinist approach.

    23. AnonymousJune 16, 2014 at 9:52 PM,

      "Attorney services"? Why do you resort to such jabs? I only give some support to registered users such as Nemjee because I am tired of anonymous users lowering the standards on this site.

      About #2, I personally think that an airline needs experienced and competent senior, middle, and junior management for it to be successful. Having one single competent CEO is good to lead the company in the right direction, but he is merely the captain of the ship, having competent junior management is very important so they can handle the day-to-day issues.

      I don't know why Dubrovnik airline failed, but just by looking at their livery (which I consider the least professional in all of Europe) it strikes me that they may have not had the best management. I can't believe that not a single person in that airline raised any questions about that font they used.

  2. Anonymous09:12

    If charters from Korea and Japan to Zagreb can work, then I guess charters from China can work out as well

    1. Anonymous09:14

      Yes but the charters from South Korea and Japan are operated by respectable and well-established airlines, not some shady charter wanna-be airlines..

  3. Anonymous09:35

    O.T. AirSerbia today launch new site

    1. Anonymous09:47

      It's already launched!

    2. Coma09:51

      Call me a hater, but I expected a whole new website, this is like a small upgrade, with that new front page before old website.

    3. Anonymous09:58

      But why would they have a totally new website? The old one was fine, it was practical and easy to use. This is just a modernized version.

    4. Website still looks outdated. Pages tab, background and those offers moving too fast should be fixed. Compare it to even B&H's webpage - it's simple but appealing :)

    5. Of course, the Air Serbia hate brigade is always there:

      I do not remember a single time he actually wrote a positive piece of news about JU.

    6. You can call it 'hating' or whatever you want, but it makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to revamp JU's website without adding something as trivial as webcheck-in in 2014!

    7. It is hate because it's not based on rational thinking. Introducing online check-in is not an easy process and it requires time. Someone who is involved in aviation journalism should know that. Since we can assume that the author of the text is familiar with aviation 101s then we can qualify his text as yet another Air Serbia bashing (which is not uncommon there- as many visitors here have already mentioned).
      Unfortunately, I fear that the hate-brigade tends to forget how hard it is to bring an airline back to the world of the living.

    8. Anonymous14:13

      They could have waited for online checkin or other major functional changes to introduce new look.

      Some of the errors are still there. For example, under Fleet, they still list number of 737 as 6, and the picture they used for Boeing 737 is Airbus A319.

    9. Anonymous14:16

      Air Serbia Facebook page in Serbian still says "aviokAmpanija" not "aviokOmpanija"

    10. What other major functional changes are you referring to? ;)

    11. I really don't understand what's the rocket science deal with not being able to put something like online check in motion in 2014? I usually fly to BEG alone over the weekends or on business with just my hand luggage and I always wait in long lines on my way back from BEG, as if I were travelling in a group or with many bags to check-in. If not the online version right now, at least a few check-in machines in the terminal building would help a lot as well at this time. I really hope they introduce it soon, they really offer a nice onboard experience, why not make it one before the flight itself?

    12. Anonymous15:46

      Nemjee, whatever else is on the top of the wish list for functional or other changes on the site. I am going to guess that adding Chinese language and Bitcoin as a method of payment is not on the top :) unlike adding Russian language and payment method. Is Russian market so important that it couldn't wait for other changes, or at least cleaning up those existing errors pointed out in the Fleet section?

    13. Russia is the most populous European country and the sheer population of Moscow is more than that of Serbia. Of course the Russian edition got top priority.
      They are making money off of Russians, most people (aviation geeks are not most people) don't even visit the fleet page. Though I still believe it should be fixed.

    14. Trust me on this, adding online check in is actually very complicated . What you as a user see is trivial, everything else running in behind ( both in terms of IT infrastructure and associated processes) is anything but.

    15. Anonymous20:47

      Having worked with a major airline, and having participated in the introduction of web check-in, I can say that it's a very straight forward process (especially in 2014)... but maybe it is too much of an effort for Air Serbia.

    16. JATBEGMEL21:36

      Ladies, settle down. This is only the updated website, not the new one. The new one is still in the works.

      As you all can point out, the Jat details are all gone, the information is at least up-to-date and current, even an addition to information of their destinations. Russian has been added as well, and the option to pay for the air fare in more currencies.

      Air Serbia did say it will launch a new website with online check in as well as an app for smart phones. Until then, the current site works well and is easy to use. This refreshment is still a step forward, small, but forward at least.

    17. Anonymous21:41

      Anon @ 8.47p ...Dude, I work for Sabre - which together with Amadeus, is one of the 2 major airline IT companies. Unlike you, I can tell you factually that it is far from a "very straight forward process" as you claim. Why on God's Earth would you say something like that ? Our last major cutover was Virgin Australia and they had 18mths planning for this. Air Serbia has been in existence for what, 8 mths ? And they have such antiquated systems, that it will take them at least another 18mths to figure out what IT platform they will adopt - either to stay with Amadeus or make the switch to Sabre .... there is no point for them to work on integrating Amadeus' online checkin - which would take 6-8 mths at least - if they are going to eventually make the switch to Sabre ... This is a great forum, but people like you who write crap trying to convince the world of 'facts' that are simply not true, hide the real reason for you writing what you do ... keep to stuff that you actually know something about - if your 'major airline experience' has infact taught you anything at all

    18. Anonymous22:36

      Air Serbia switched to Sabre Sonic Check In a few months ago.

    19. Anonymous23:05

      So what's your point ?? DCS and CSS/PSS systems are 2 totally different issues ... they are still on the Amadeus host .... Besides, they have many GHA's around Europe that are not using Sabre Sonic checkin ...

    20. Anonymous23:59

      Gee, what an authority that website is ! Their landing page for "Aviokompanije" shows (I think it is meant to be) airlines belonging to oneworld ... Amongst these is Kingfisher (which hasn't flown for a couple of years) and MALEV, which doesn't even exist anymore. Furthermore, they show Aviogenex as the only charter company in Serbia when AVIOLET came into existence last month. Funny how they are quick to criticize the website of Air Serbia, when they can't even manage their own website ... Such maestros !

      See for yourself -

    21. Anonymous02:32

      Online check in 2014 is must! If you don't have it it is more than shame and poor. So desn't meeter how much does it cost it shoud be in Air Serbia since day 1.

      And Air Serbia told us there would be NEW WEB PAGE WITH ONLINE CHECK IN SINCE JUNE. But now it is just minor cosmethics and new page will be in several months. ANOTHER DELAY!!!!

    22. Anon 8:47 PM

      As attested by Anon 9:41, any change of so called Enterprise Systems is usually big just because there is lot to do to marry old and new, there is always some legacy issues, lots of QA to do, training etc. I'm not sure what was your role but usually most of the people have their first contact with such systems when they receive training, which is pretty much the last thing you do. To get to this point IT people and their consultants by then have spent many hours getting there.

      Not that SAP and Sabre Sonic are the same but as a bit of illustration my director characterizes SAP as a German punishment for Second World War.

  4. Anonymous09:59

    Flights to China would be great!

  5. Anonymous12:41

    i opet se nađe netko sa upitom o Air Serbi na temi koja nema veza sa njom... slučajnost ili? ne bih baš rekao

    1. Anonymous12:49

      If you look at the number of visitors to this blog (lower right corner), you will see that the majority of users come from Serbia (152.351) vs. 74.781 from Slovenia and 61.831 from Croatia.
      This blog seems to be more relevant and interesting to Serbians so it's not surprising to find more comments about Serbian related topics vs other.

    2. Anonymous22:11

      Ex Yu has been always Serbian blog.
      Croatian aviation industry makes >60% of all ex yu, but given space in this blog is less than given to Serbian aviation issues, which one beside one international airport and one airliner is in fact of far less significance.
      This blog is good, but its name is incorrect.

    3. Anonymous22:25

      That's not really true. In the last week I counted 4 articles from Croatia, 2 from Serbia, 1 from Slovenia and 1 pan-Yu article about airport numbers in Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia.

      In the last two weeks I counted 5 articles from Croatia, 4 from Serbia, 3 from Slovenia, 1 from Macedonia and 2 pan-Yu articles about airport numbers in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

      Give the guy some credit.

  6. Sasvim slucajno Srbija ima 4x vise stanovnika od Slovenije i 2x vise od cro. Pa su i brojevi u skladu, manje vise.
    Sto se tice tih straubalnih kombinacija verujem samo u:
    -kompanija listirana na berzi koja se nalazi u ozbiljnom liberalnom kapitalistickom sistemu
    -spisak akcionara dostupan nadleznom finansijskoj vlasti
    - biznis plan dostupan akciobarima i potencijalnim investitorima

    Sve ostalo je suplja prica i samo je pitanje ko ce izvisisiti.

  7. air serbia new website

  8. Anonymous14:20

    SCAT Kazakhstan koliko ja znam nesme da leti za EU.

  9. Anonymous16:48

    Jos malo pa ce JU za Beijing.

    1. Anonymous18:28

      Jel' sa ATR-om?

    2. Anonymous21:04

      Aerospatiale je proizvodio Concorde pa ce JU da poruci preko veze 1.
      Sa njim ce da leti za PEK :)

    3. Anonymous21:21

      Volim dobru salu :)
      Pozdrav Inzbruku :)

  10. Anonymous20:39

    Wow charter Zagreb Chongqing
    I dont thhink tickets will be available for single pax ex Zagreb.
    Anyone knows?
    So I will continue to fly with Qatar Airway on the same route.
    But direct so nice given a chance I would give it a try.


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