Three monthly Chongqing - Croatia charters

Charters from China to Croatia to launch this winter

A Chinese business delegation visiting Croatia has confirmed the launch of charter flights between the two countries, initially from Chongqing. Hosted by the Chinese Southeast Europe Business Association (CSEBA), the delegation is on a weeklong visit to Croatia where they have already met with government officials and are visiting the country’s holiday hotspots. It has been confirmed that, in cooperation with a Chinese carrier, flights from Chongqing to Croatia will begin this winter. The service, which will bring in Chinese tourists, will operate every ten days, or up to three times per month. Chongqing is a major city in China’s Southwest. The entire municipality counts almost 29 million people. CSEBA is also negotiating additional flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Croatia. Services are most likely to operate to either Zagreb or Dubrovnik, with CSEBA expected to give further details next week.

The visiting delegation is currently in talks with Croatian airports over pricing and taxes. Chinese tourists will be offered a ten day holiday package in Croatia which will include cruising, tours as well as winter sports this season. Far off markets hold huge potential for Croatia's tourism industry. “I believe this is just the beginning of our excellent cooperation on what is a new market for us”, Ratomir Ivčić, the head of Croatia’s Tourism Board, said. During the first eight months of the year, the number of Chinese holidaymakers visiting Croatia grew by 38%. Charter flights would provide an even greater incentive for tourists to visit the country. The number of Korean holidaymakers in Croatia, which can use several Korean Air charter flights from Seoul to Zagreb during the summer, has doubled to 74.000 last year.

Charters between China and Croatia would mark the first air link between the two countries. CSEBA hopes to eventually introduce scheduled yearlong services next year. Croatia is looking to strengthen ties with China as it seeks out potential investors from the country for its national carrier Croatia Airlines, which is expected to be sold next year. Hainan Airlines, which is interested in expanding its operations in Europe, as well as China Southern Airlines are seen as potential investors and are believed to have shown interest in the Croatian carrier on previous occasions.


  1. Anonymous09:08

    Great news. Thought these flights would never materialize.

    1. Anonymous09:15

      they have'nt

    2. Anonymous09:18

      well they are on the right path.

    3. Anonymous09:23

      Something that really goes for all ex YU countries is: I will believe it when I see it. Not saying it won't happen, but in this part of the world we had many announcements never being materialized.

    4. Anonymous09:59

      Well, you saw 10 more planes at Air Serbia? Hope now you believe it,

    5. Anonymous10:03

      Yes but he probably didn't believe that either until it actually happened.
      Let's not forget that the Croatian government made numerous claims in recent times which proved to be false, or simply non-existent. My favourite was Garuda.

    6. Anonymous10:42

      Garuda’s President and CEO Emirsyah Satar said, “The Indonesian market is developing rapidly and Indonesians are travelling more and more which is why we are looking to expand our business into Central Europe, in a country which has solid connections to the rest of the European Union. This is why Croatia and Croatia Airlines are a logical choice for us”.

    7. Anonymous10:44

      Recently, Mr. Hajdaš Dončić said, “Garuda is likely to answer the tender call because they are interested in our strong connections to the rest of the European Union”.

    8. Anonymous11:33

      Unfortunately for Garuda they are deep in the red and their current condition is far from rosy.

  2. Anonymous09:30

    What has Zagreb got to do with it? We should not even consider them, these flights should go to the coast! Dubrovnik and Split are the tourist destinations and they should get these.

    1. Anonymous09:39

      Maybe they will visit few more places and ZAG is also interesting...note these are also winter charters, so maybe tours will cover continental parts as well..also, 10 days stay needs to combine more elements, not just the sea; for sea only they can also go to South East Asia, or Greece etc....

    2. Anonymous09:46

      The coast has more than just the sea! It has beautiful nature, architecture and, no offence, people are so much more nicer than in the continental part. Also, they should encourage winter flights to these airports too since they go dead from October.

    3. Anonymous10:32

      People nicer? Very interesting thing to say and generalize like

    4. Anonymous10:37

      The number of Korean tourists in first six monzhs of 2014 was 108 000 (+250%), not 74 000!

      Regarding Zagreb, you' re wrong; 592 000 tourists in first 8 months of 2014! Mostly Koreans, Americans, Germans, Italians and Spanish!

      Great news for Croatia!

    5. Anonymous10:42

      This year more than 200 000 Korean tourists, 74 000 was last year! Mostly visiting Zagreb, Ljubljana, Plitvička jezera, Split and Dubrovnik

    6. Anonymous11:27

      Most of Korean and Japan tourist visit Zagreb and that is why charters from Korea nad Japan landed in ZAG. So, why should Chine be diferent? And those tourist are not coming to Zagreba because they are forced, but because they want to. One more time, most of tourist to ZAG is from Korea, America, Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain, not from B&H and Slovenia that they can come with car, like in Belgrade for example.

    7. Anonymous11:41

      are u sure theyre going this long distance just to see an average city like Zagreb, whilst the same country has an extraordinary coast? Its mostly about runway length and terminal capacities of Pleso, compared to Ćilipi which have enough runway but tarmac is too small for the wide body aircraft until itsrenewal is complete. Split may possibly accept those planes but its the question of what the intention of Croatian authorities is. Maybe someone for their own reason want all long haul flights to land at Pleso and to distract tourists from the coast.

    8. Anonymous12:24

      How do you consider Zagreb a average city? You've obviously never been there.

    9. Anonymous12:31

      Well I am sure, because I see every day in Zagreb hundreds of tourists from Japan, Korea, America, Spain... They are in Zagreb 2-3 days (including one day visit to Zagorje), than they proceed to Plitvice, Krka, Split, Dubrovnik, or to Bled, Ljubljana, Istria...

      Zagreb is far away from average city. Not just with architecture, but also with product Zagreb tourist board made for all tourists, like 20-30 actors walking in Zagreb in clothing from 19th century (police officers, ladies, soldiers, business man, night watchman, vergl-street organ, schnel-fotograf...), they made superb product (like Story of Old town, witches of Upper town, secrets of Zagreb, Zagreb by Marija Jurić Zagorka where you go around and in every street and square some of 50 actors have some presentations including horse riding, animation, fights, street chase, ghosts on Lotrščak tower etc.), they made special gastro tours (gastro tour in Zagorje with spatial delicious in Zagorska klet and with tamburica bands)...

      And they are perfect guests as they stay in 5***** and 4**** star hotels, eat in the best and most expensive restaurants (like Gallo), use the best quality buses, buy lot of souvenirs… What are you think why just in 2013 Zagreb open 44% more hotel beds (from 9.800 to 14.100)

    10. Anonymous12:35

      Simply put they are offering Croatia tour packages its just normal to start in the capital and end in the capital.

    11. Anonymous13:18

      Yes, but it is not always like that, sometimes it start in Ljubljana or Dubrovnik, even Budapst, and than it finish in Zagreb.

    12. Anonymous13:41

      @AnonymousSeptember 24, 2014 at 12:24/31 PM

      Then HOW, but how, assuming all that is true, how Zagreb barely manages to break past 2.5 million passenger per year?!

    13. Anonymous14:18

      They're not even at 2,5 but 2.3/

    14. Purger14:50

      In last 20 of my flights:
      10 from Vienna
      2 from Budapest
      2 from Belgrade
      1 from Venice
      1 from Bratislava
      1 from Trieste
      1 from Salzburg
      1 from Munich (with my group of 25)
      just 1 from Zagreb
      Prices from Zagreb are 150-300% more expensive than from airports 400 km around!

      Of course that has no influence in charters.

      So basically Zagreb airport is used by tourists on charters and those who do not pay for their ticket like army, public servant, politicians, priests etc. Even that 1 flight of mine was paid by organizer in Romania and they need me to be there just for one day, so they did not ask for price.

    15. Anonymous15:18

      How come that even with such prices and conditions OU hardly manages to be profitable? Honest question.

    16. Anonymous16:15

      Purgeru kako vas ne mrzi da putujete npr do VIE ili drugih Aerodroma =D

    17. @AnonymousSeptember 24, 2014 at 1:41 PM,

      Well - I would agree with Purger that this number has to do with Croatians using surrounding airports as their starting point. Such airports would b: Pula, Zadar, Budapest, Rijeka, Trieste, Osijek and Belgrade (low cost leisure travel within Europe), or Venice/Vienna for long-haul destinations (North America from Venice, and Asia from Vienna)...

      OU, which mostly flies croatians is stagnating, while foreign carriers have been increasing their pax numbers. Foreign carriers mostly fly their citizens to Croatia...

      Also, let's not forget that there are smaller number of transfering passengers (Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Podgorica) on OU's flights are OU has reduced its capacity...

      Air Serbia's aggressive expansion has not helped Zagreb acquire new transfering pax either - at this moment...

      In short, foreign pax demand is present in Zagreb and it's increasing, but at the same time you have negative trends (domestic passengers, regional passengers etc.)

      Croatia has it's market, it's more appealing in any way - whether it be a stop-over, short break or long vacation point, so I am not worried in long term.

      When flights get started, people will use them.
      There were objective reasons why they didn't overflow the market...

      Regardless of the fact that Zagreb Airport is shity and horriffic, at the moment there is a nice group of good airlines serving it.

      Airlines such as: BA, Air France, Iberia, KLM for example are the largest in Europe (besides Lufthansa) and they only serve Zagreb out of all capitals in ex-yu...
      Qatar, which is present in Belgrade, is going direct x 3 times a week this October.

      Mind that those airlines, while good, are not really all that cheap either... :)

      So, no Zagreb is not a destination with no prospects, no matter how some of the people try to argue here...

    18. Anonymous16:43

      This is great for Croatia, but could be great for other countries in the region if the Chinese want to expand the offer to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Montenegro!

    19. Purger01:19

      Ann. 3:18
      Because of huge prices LF on Croatia is low. Of course that makes profit very low, there was one last year but very modest one. Two weeks ago I fly MUC-ZAG and there was just 46% LF in September. Disaster!

      Naravno da me mrzi. Autoput Zagreb-Beč poznajem bolje od svoje ulice. Imam godišnju Austrijsku vinjetu. No, ako na 4 karte koliko nas obično putuje (ja i moj tim ljudi) uštedim 600-800 EUR, sorry onda ću tih ekstra 6 sata (tamo i nazad) potrošiti. Nije da novac raste na drveću zar ne. I konačno pomnožite to sa dvadesetak puta godišnje, pa vidite o kojem se novcu radi. U 7. mjesecu je moja grupa (25 osoba) putovala do Martinika. Razlika u cijeni karte ZAG-CDG-FDF i MUC-CDG-FDF je bila skoro 700 EUR po osobi, tj. 17.500 EUR razlike. I kad sam platio autobus koji je dva puta dolazio do MUC svejedno sam uštedio 15.000 EUR.

  3. Anonymous09:42

    In winter time?

  4. Anonymous09:46

    Let'see how that will influence Zagreb airport numbers.

  5. Anonymous10:29

    Since the comments were disable over there, I have to ask it on here. How realistic is it to see Belgrade-Pristina flights now that the hurdle was removed? I am sure TAV would love to see JU back there.

    Interesting fact, in the glory days of JAT, Pristina along with Tripoli and Baghdad was the number one destination in terms of duty free sales!

    1. Anonymous11:46

      And that it shows nearsightedness and lack of idea of Serbian authorities, they allowed Kosovar documents at BEG but forgot to do the same at INI which is twice as closer to Kosovo than BEG. That would definately improve INI capabilities and future prospects, but seems that decision making authorities in Belgrade lack knowledge of basic geography
      And im a born Belgrader.

    2. Anonymous13:32

      What hurdle was removed? Please inform us.
      For your edification, PRN is managed by Limak.

    3. Anonymous13:45

      lol for starters they now recognise passports. So if they were to fly PRN-BEG before noone with Kosovar passports could travel.

    4. Anonymous16:47

      Serbia does not recognize Kosovo "passports". Since Kosovo is legally part of Serbia, they will simply skip identification and allow passangers from Kosovo to travel further to any location that recognizes their "documents".

    5. Anonymous17:01

      so if i understood you well enough, Serbia would only treat these flights as domestic travel, with no need to show your documents, other than the airline, but the police wont need any of it?

    6. Anonymous01:22

      But they are flying from BEG abroad, so it is not domestic flight. That means they must have passport and show it in border...

  6. Zagreb is a relevant destination. That's a pure fact. While people don't spend many days vacationing in Zagreb, they visit it, explore it and enjoy it. As numbers are showing Zagreb (while much weaker in the # of overnights compared to the rest of croatian coastal destinations) is actually very powerful in total tourist arrivals (close to 1 million in 2014, which is more than Dubrovnik, Rovinj and twice as much as Split, even 20-30% stronger than Belgrade).
    So, we are talking apples and oranges when comparing Zagreb to the rest of the coastal Croatia.

    Tourists in Zagreb use the city as a transit hub and a short-break point:
    1. city break destination in itself
    2. only 1,5 h of driving to the coast
    3. Plitvice National Park (almost 1,5 mil visitors/annually)
    4. Zagorje Region - Chateau/clutural experience

    *** The majority of tourist market in Zagreb is an individual market (different segments: from backpackers who arrive by using railways to airplane guests) uses car rental companies and do the so described tour.

    No one who is travelling from far away wants to fly to Croatia and sun & bathe for 10 days (those days are gone). Unless you are a german or austrian tourist driving to Istria :)

    Apples and oranges people ! Yes, these flights will work.
    Zagreb is beautiful, clean, friendly, lively and interesting.
    It was decent before, but now it has improved tremendeouly... People love it too. As someone else has mentioned, these are tourists from Spain, US, Germany, Italy, Korea, China... not tourists from "the region" :)

    1. Anonymous12:12

      also, from what I've seen in Belgrade, Korean and Japanesetourists that come to Zagreb hop to Belgrade for a night or two

    2. Tim Horton20:51

      I was in Zagreb last summer and have to agree that the number of tourists from Asian countries has dramatically increased. The Croatian tourist board has been extremely successful in rebranding the country which is evident from all of the news stories and articles in many magazines that cater to the elite traveler. Croatia has been able to build a reputation among the rich and famous as an elite destination by showing off Dubrovnik and Hvar and now Zagreb.

      One of the main reasons that the South Koreans are coming to Croatia is due the actors from from one of their popular TV programs filmed an episode in Croatia and thereby introduced the country to a whole new audience.

      It is great to see that even with all of the government incompetence and corruption some sectors of the economy are able to flourish in spite of it.

      When the airport management starts bragging about their accomplishments it was really the Croatian tourist board who should be congratulated.

  7. 2 years ago I had a stopover in Zagreb and this summer I spent 2-3 days in Cavtat and Dubrovnik. As a Serbian I still don't like going there very much but I have to give credit where credit is due. Streets are clean, cops are very helpful (as is everybody else in general), service is impeccable, restaurants and hotels are clean, modern, very much what you would expect in a major tourist destination. Adding decent beaches and lots of interesting places to see, I’m not surprised that Croatian coast became such a hot destination lately. After that we went to Montenegro coast and it was like we arrived to a different planet, cars everywhere, garbage, PA announcers yelling from boats etc.. No wonder you don't see very many westerners, let alone Korean or Japanese. Also, that’s why in 3 days in Cavtat and Dubrovnik I spent more money than 10 days in Herceg Novi (and in Cavtat I didn’t have to pay for accommodation since we have a house there)! I only wish little more of those profits stayed in Croatia and little more of those tourists were transported by locally owned companies.

    Cudos from YYZ.

  8. Anonymous16:55

    Kinezima je bolje da obidju Hrvatsku 100 puta nego Veneciju koja toliko jako smrdi da nemoze da se seta od toga.A i Hrvatska je lepsa nego Italija barem meni i narod je ljubazni. I nenude vam po ulici pistolje ko u Italiji kad sam bio sa skolom :)
    Nadam se da ce leteti sa 77W barem neki EX YU aerodrom da ima wide-body saobracaj :)

    1. Anonymous01:29

      ZAG has wide-body traffic. JAL and Korean regulary fly to ZAG, there is regular cargo line CDG-ZAG-IST with wide-body, and at least 15 charters per year are with wide-body (tourist, sport, army, World foodball championship), some presidents come to Croata with wide-body, almost all season El Al fly with wide-body, some flights of Turkish and TAP was with wode-body...

  9. Anonymous20:13

    Ma gdje si ti to bio u Italiji? Kako netko moze u par redaka popljuvati cijelu drzavu?! Venecija smrdi?? Sta si ti uopce gledao u Veneciji?? Imas li ti uopce pojma sta je Venecija? Ajme meni, stvarno boli kad procitam takav komentar.

    1. Anonymous20:38

      Bio sam u Lignianu sa skolom :) A Venecija za mene smrdi a na ulici Mozete svasta kupiti , Milano i Rim su vec druga prica =D

    2. Anonymous21:24

      S komentarom na racun Venecije, otkrio si svoju limitiranost. Steta.

    3. Anonymous21:28 razliku od svih ostalih njegovih komentara, gde se vidi "širina" ;)

    4. Anonymous21:51

      Venecija jeste lep grad ali je taj dan kad smo bili jako smrdeo ceo grad neznam sta je bilo.
      Jedan drug iz razreda je kupio noz a drugi onaj zeleni laser sto moze moze daleko da sija sto je zabranjeno koristiti u Austriji .
      A izvinte ko ste vi da ovde nekom govorite da je limitiran hvala na uvredi =D

    5. Anonymous09:30

      E sad je vec bolje, vidis kako si promjenio detalje u komentaru. Napisao si da se u Italiji prodaju pistolji po ulici i da Venecija smrdi. Sad si se popravio i vec je bolje. Pozdrav.

  10. Anonymous20:31

    OT: Etihad will reveal new livery on it's first Airbus A380 tomorrow! I am betting spotters at Belgrade Airport should be ready on October 26 for first A380 visit to BEG!

    1. Anonymous20:41

      Ako stvarno bude dolazio ja dolazim iz Austrija da ga vidim na prelepom BEG-LYBE =DDD
      Jel stvarno dolazi =D

    2. Anonymous21:31

      ...kaze se:"iz Austrije".

    3. AirCEO23:36

      Unless Airbus is about to set the new record, Etihad's first A380 is not likely to be delivered in time for Air Serbia's first anniversary.

      It usually takes about 5-6 weeks between the paint shop rollout and customer delivery for A380, but they did it in as little as 24 days for Emirates, so surprises are still theoretically possible.

  11. Anonymous20:50

    The ‪#A320neo‬ first flight will happen at 1200 noon CET / 1000 AM GMT on Thursday 25 September with Prat Whitney PW 1100G GTF


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