Croatia Airlines to launch Milan service

Croatia Airlines plans May launch for new Zagreb - Milan route

Croatia Airlines plans to launch flights between Zagreb and Milan this summer season. The country manager for the Croatian National Tourist Board in Italy, Branko Ćurić, confirmed that the new service will operate three times per week and will commence this May. "Starting this May, Croatia Airlines will operate three weekly flights from Zagreb to Milan, which will complement existing services from Zagreb to Rome", Mr Ćurić said yesterday. He added that over a million Italian tourists visited Croatia in 2015, an increase of 7% compared to the year before. Croatia Airlines is yet to schedule the flights and put tickets on sale.

Over the past few years there have been several attempts at linking Zagreb and Milan with a scheduled air service. In 2011, Alitalia's low cost subsidiary, Air One, which has since merged with its larger partner, planned to launch three weekly flights from Milan to the Croatian capital with an Airbus A320 aircraft. However, some twenty days prior to the service launch, the flights were cancelled. On the other hand, start-up Air Croatia introduced the route last year with an ATR 42 turboprop but suspended all operations just two weeks later due to financial difficulties. Furthermore, last summer, Alitalia launched seasonal services from Milan's Linate Airport to Dubrovnik and Split. Croatia Airlines' only destination in Italy is Rome, which is operated from Zagreb via both Split and Dubrovnik. This summer, the carrier will maintain eight weekly flights to the Italian capital, six of which will run via Split, while the remaining two will operate via Dubrovnik.

Croatia Airlines has previously said it plans to launch several new routes this summer following four years of restructuring which has limited its opportunities for network growth. The airline has highlighted plans to expand into Eastern Europe as well. Last month, Croatia Airlines told EX-YU Aviation News, "The company plans to expand its fleet with a new aircraft with 100 seats, as well as expand its network of European destinations and introduce new routes in the summer schedule. On the eve of the Easter holidays, which traditionally represents the beginning of the tourist season in Croatia, seasonal routes to many European markets will be introduced, while the number of weekly flights on existing domestic and international routes will be increased". So far, Croatia Airlines has announced the launch of a new seasonal service from Pula to Zurich, which will commence on July 13.


  1. Anonymous09:04

    Good choice

  2. Anonymous09:07

    Za koji aerodrom? Milan Malpensa ili Linate?
    Sto je sad s time da se ekspandira na istok Europe? Gdje su najavljivane linije za Prag i Bukurest iz Zagreba? Mislim si, ovo je valjda prvi put nakon 5-6 godina da su uveli novu rutu iz Zagreba, ako ne misle to malo popraviti, kad bude gotov novi aerodrom, sigurno ce doci vise stranih kompanija i zaustaviti dominaciju u zracnoj luci Zagreb (za sad Croatia drzi oko 60% svih letova u Zagrebu) . Nadalje, lagano gube i domaciju u zracnoj luci Dubrovnik, jer ih easyJet sve vise sustize. Vidjet cemo sto ce biti u bliskoj buducnosti.

    1. Ivan09:43

      MXP more likely than LIN. I agree, this is the first route they have launched in the couple of years and, honestly, it's not some very attractive route.
      Moreover, they will lose market share in Croatia within a year-two if they don't do something. Easyjet is dominating in DBV and SPU, Ryanair dominating ZAD, both airlines expanding PUY, OSI is not in OU's focus...
      Zagreb will have an amazing new terminal but no passengers. There are so many new potential routes that would be a great addition.
      Also, FCO service via SPU/DBV and no direct service, doesn't make much sense for me.

      In max 2 years TAV and the ZAG shareholders will let low cost airlines to enter the market if OU continue like this. ANd then we all know what will happen :/

    2. Ivan - to some degree, you have a valid point. However, I believe that ZAG's strategy makes sense. While I do not support that ZAG had jacked up the airport taxes, on the other hand I think that the introduction of new airlines is a good thing for both ZAG and OU. OU had got too lazy/unambitious of their comfort zone, with no intent to take risks and expand. Fine - there were other factors limiting their expansion, but still...

      ZAG has been smart enough with "waiting" OU to finish restructuring. KLM, BA, Swiss and Brusseles are nice addition to ZAG. As much as OU is not happy to have lost the monopoly over those routes, competition is good and is forcing everyone to fight for pax and boost airport numbers. LOT will remain the only carrier on WAW route, and the only region that has not been covered well yet is the Scandinavia. I cannot buy the theory that there are absolutely no pax from Scandinavia for ZAG. To me, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo could work as seasonal 2 x weekly routes for the starters - within 2 years this could be increased to 3 or 4 (May - October).

      LCC are needed in ZAG and I am sure they had planned to introduce them slowly and steady, in 2017-20 for the routes that won't be covered by legacy carriers.

    3. I think that MXP isn't bad choice. But they need to expand more, that's not enough. We will see what gonna happen when they introduce embraer 190.
      It would be great if Croatia Airlines boots frequency from PRN, and introduce Tirana to make more transfer passengers via Zagreb to some other destinations in Europe , like for example Heathrow, and also they can introduce new routes to Stockholm, Dublin, Bucharest, Madrid, and even they can put flights from Athens, and Barcelona and Tel Aviv from seasonal to year round. That would be great for begining.
      Many people expect big passengers growing when new Zagreb terminal will be finished.

    4. 4 new routes + frequency increase on the existing routes is a decent start for 2016. According to my "conservative" estimates, this (new routes + freq. increase) is 150.000 additional pax from Zag by OU. Top that with another 100.000 pax from KLM, AF, Qatar, Brusseles etc., ZAG is looking at 2.8 mil (convervative) to 2,9 mil (optimistic) which again is quite OK given the limitations of the existing infrastructure.
      In 2017, which is the first year on the new terminal OU, I would expect OU to expand even more, plus would hope to see the arrival of SAS, Finnair, Aegan and Alitalia. That's as far as the new destinations and airlines. Further sources of growth I see in flight frequencies and airplane size on the existing routes. Perhaps there may be some seasonal charters or routes, but we are talking about 5 to 15 flights per route, depending on the year.

    5. Purger10:46

      Routes that should be urgently open by OU are:

      - Dublin (lot of Croats emigrate to Ireland)

      - Lisbon (jump in to gap after TAP stop route)

      - Barcelona (all year)

      - Dusseldorf (huge Diaspora, tourism)

      - Stockholm (code-share on SK, tourism, Bosnian Diaspora)

      - Helsinki (tourism)

      - Oslo (code share on SK, tourism)

      - Bucharest (no routes to east, EU)

      - Sofia (no routes to east, EU)

      - Mostar (Hercegovina with lot of Croats highly gravitate to Zagreb, business, education, trade, Međugoje, no legacy carriers in OMO)

      - Tirana (connections)

      - Podgorica (connections)

      - Athens (before Aegean comes, with code-share to Aegean)

      - Rome nonstop like ZAG-FCO-SPU-ZAG-SPU-FCO-ZAG

      + more flights to PRN and SKP (at least 12 in top season, and 7 out of season)

    6. Anonymous12:48

      People from Zagreb can now fly to DUS form MBX with Express Airways. Its true its nothing like OU but anyway... there is a possibility for them...

    7. Anonymous22:21

      I predicted Milan, Stockholm, Prague (not likely now due to return of CSA), Suggested Oslo, Helsinki, Dusseldorf (close proximity to Bon/Koln), Dublin (trice weekly service in summer months, twice weekly in winter months), Nice (summer twice weekly service), Lyon (year round service (twice weekly in winters, trice summers).

      Madrid should be dded as well, year round trice per week.

      Sofia, Bucharest and other eastern destinations must be avoided at all cost, till there's a market for it, as is there's no need for these destinations. Kiev might be of some interest perhaps in 2017, with twice weekly service and Moscow with trice weekly service, however wouldn't go further then that.

      Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn might also be interesting destinations, Oslo too.

      Athens could be added as well if Agean fails to show up in 2017.

  3. Anonymous09:11

    So they will launch this + another 3 routes from Zagreb this year.

  4. Nemjee09:14

    Will this be a non-stop flight or will they add a stop like they do for their FCO flights?

    1. Anonymous18:32

      Dear Nemjee, I agree with lot of your posts and opinions here and believe you know a lot about aviation, but your geography knowledge obviously isn't as good - stop on zag-mxp route - you must be kidding - it's like flying beg-skp stopping at ini :)

    2. Nemjee22:42

      Haha ok, I admit that going via DBV or SPU could be a bit extreme but they could route it via PUY. That wouldn't take the route way towards the south?

  5. Purger09:16

    Eto ga otkrila se i jedna od četiri linije, i to jedna od onih koje će na zapad.

    Letjet će se sa Q400, nekim od onih koji će se skinut vjerovatno sa BRU i CPH gdje će vjerovatno ići RJ.

    Milano je odličan izbor, ne može omanut, ali ova linija je morala biti bar 6 puta tjedno, a ne 3. Ovo je linija za poslovnjake, Milano je udaljen od Zagreba tek nekih 630 km (5 sati vožnje autoputom) pa bi slaba frekvencija mogla navesti putnike da koriste automobil kao alternativu.

    Admin, Alitalija je letjela Milano-Zagreb 12 puta tjedno (po dva leta radnim danom i jedan vikendom) sve do krize u Air Alpsa koji je za Alitaliju letio sa turbopropnim Dornierom 328 i sa kojim je Alitalija prekinula sve veze pa je i ukinula ovu liniju.

  6. Anonymous09:24

    Bad news for Air Serbia. For sure most of passengers from Zagreb, Sarajevo, Pula, Split and Dubrovnik, and few from Skopje will use Milano route via Zagreb instead via Belgrade which is connection throw east to west. Zagreb connection is shorter, more profitable (as it is shorter it burns less petrol) and more convenient (OU has more flights to SPU, PUY, DBV, SJJ, SKP than JU so connection should be much better).

    1. Anonymous09:28

      Judging buy your "Bad news for JU" for every single route opened in the world, you would think all of ex-Yu is transferring through Belgrade.

    2. Anonymous09:32

      ZAG wasn't even in the same bank as the other destinations you mentioned so I don't get the point of your comment.

      Also, with three weekly flights on a turboprop they won't be that competitive. Also, JU will make more money because they don't pay anything to anyone,s o...

    3. Anonymous10:35

      Anonymous 9:28 AM
      Judging from the continuous reductions in number of passengers in BEG airport and in JU flights over the last 5-6 months less and less people from ex-Yu or elsewhere are transiting through BEG.

    4. Anonymous11:33

      Of course it is not bad news for Air Serbia what someone open Dallas-Los Angeles route.

      But it is a bad news when:
      - Wizzair open route from Belgrade very near to route Air Serbia has (for example new Baden-Baden route)

      - some other company open more frequencies (Aegean to Athens) or same route as Air Serbia has (LOT to WAW, Ural to Moscow)

      - evan if some other company open route which Air Serbia does not fly that means less JU passengers via DUS, TXL, AUH, FCO, CDG, AMS, FRA... (more Qatar flights for sure will harm JU AUH route)

      - direct competition open route with connection to same destination Air Serbia has via BEG (OU from SPU via ZAG to MXP, JP from SJJ via LJU to WAW) especialy if it is to West as BEG deviation (much more on east) is not competitive

      - some other company open route from market where JU has feeding route (AZ from SKP-FCO for sure will make less passengers on SKP-BEG-FCO route)

      - some huge company open same route in BEG gravitating zone (Ryanair from Timisoara will motivate some passengers from BEG and Northeast Serbia to use those flights instead BEG flights, Ryanair from Osijek means less Slavonia passengers to travel from BEG, Ryanair from Sofia means more passengers from INI and South Serbia to use Sofia airport instead of BEG, Wizzair base in Tuzla means less passengers on SJJ-BEG route to connect via BEG and less Northeast Bosnia passengers to travel to BEG for flights...)

      Of course any business especially air business must calculate on competition and for sure non of those will not close it. But so many "bad news" in short period can harm this weak hub system Air Serbia has. And one should be very blind not do see that.

    5. Anonymous11:34

      ^ Ok and you are the first to celebrate. There are other things happening in this region other than Air Serbia. Live with it.

    6. Anonymous12:33

      Geez, the amount of time one spends on searching, composing and typing - only to demonstrate to us how badly he hates something.

      Scary stuff man...

    7. Anonymous14:16

      Dude, it's an aviation blog. Of course you will see we-researched posts on here, you should try it sometime.

    8. Anonymous14:22

      The Zagreb-Milan route cannot possibly hurt Air Serbia transfer business (well, except for the very few people who might have flown the exact same O/D via BEG) since OU and AZ are very much not in the same alliance -- the transfer business via Milan will be minimal.

  7. Anonymous10:28

    Bravo Hrvatska!

  8. Anonymous11:27

    E195 is already in the summer timetable on OU website . Anyone knows where it will come from?

    1. Purger11:56

      Yes, Embraer 195 is on most ZAG-BRU flights. Just on few there is still Q400. what is more than stupid. they should not put Q400 in ZAG-BRU route if they have RJ.

    2. Anonymous17:21

      What about their Sarajevo base?

    3. Purger01:42

      Wet dream... I hope they will open it, but I don't find it real in near future. Not with this management.

  9. Anonymous11:48

    Wish them good luck!
    Excellent choice.
    I would add Milano-Zagreb-Mostar it has market (In Italy Medjugorje is a magnet destination) especially during the summer timetable.

  10. Anonymous11:51

    Ok, we have one of the new routes, what are the remaining three?

    My guess is Bucharest, possibly a destination in Germany and possibly St Petersburg. Or they might have considered something like Dubai but I doubt it.

    1. Anonymous11:54

      Hopefully Oslo or Helsinki!

  11. Nice to see some positive news from Croatia Airlines but they really need to consider Dubai with a Qantas or Emirates code share if it's not too difficult.

    This year (probably due to the Euro's) every other Croatian I speak to here in Australia is planning a trip to Croatia and nearly all of them have mentioned Qatar. Return flights are really cheap at this time especially from Sydney (low $1000 return) I have a feeling Zagreb will be increased to 14 weekly soon.

    1. Anonymous13:57

      I think Emirates has similar price as Qatar from Perth to Zagreb and they use Croatia airlines on one of the flights. Does that mean Emirates and Croatia airlines code share on Rome to Zagreb?

    2. Nemjee14:38

      Nope, they probably interline. I wouldn't be surprised if it includes a few other cities as well.

  12. Purger12:12

    Code-share on Qantas and to make LH mad? You are joking write?

    Do open Dubai with flyDubai in ZAG? That would not be a good idea!

    1. Correct me if I'm wrong but OU has code-share agreements with non Star airlines? Why would this be any different.

      But like I said, if it wouldn't be too difficult otherwise they are again losing market share to a competitor.

      If they ever did look to open Dubai or something similar a code-share agreement with the likes of Qantas or Emirates would be essential to any chance of success. They would also need competitive equipment too so a bit of a stretch at this time I know but just an observation from my end.

    2. Purger17:35

      Yes they have some of those nonStar code-share but for sure it is not same if you have Air France code-share and that you make code-share with Qantas or Emirates. Come on, to make code-share with Emirates in this moment would be dead wish for Croatia. Here are code-share that Emirates have:

      Air Malta
      Air Mauritius
      Alaska Airlines
      Bangkok Airways
      Copa Airlines
      Japan Airlines
      Jet Airways
      Korean Air
      Malaysia Airlines
      Oman Air
      South African Airways
      TAP Portugal
      Thai Airways International
      Virgin America

      So just TAP and SAA from Star have code-share with Emirates.

      By the way I was in the meeting where CEO of that time said "Lufhansa did not have nothing against our code-share with Air France to hurt easyJet", so they even ask for permission from Lufthansa for "little" Air France-Croatia code-share. And out of Star Croatia have code share just with Sky european members (KLM, Air France and Alitalia).

    3. By that logic, LH should have no problem with OU opening Dubai with a non Star code-share partner to hurt the ME3??

  13. Purger12:27


    Očito se dešavaju opake stvari u LCC tržištu. Ryanair je opako navalio na svoja dva konkurenta. Prije par tjedana sam pisao kako Ryanair napada na easyJetove najveće baze, a ove godine su opako krenuli na Wizzair.

    Ryan otvara baze u Timisoari i Sofiji koje su velike baze Wizzaira (posebno Sofija), uz već postojeće baziranje aviona u Wizzovim bazama u Budimpešti (navjeća Wizzova baza), Warshawi, Bucharestu i Wroclawu, te više Ryanairovih letova u bazama Wizza bez baziranih vlastitih aviona. Ozbiljno se najavljuje i baziranje aviona u Skopju gdje Wizz ima totalnu dominaciju i 3 bazirana aviona.

    Ovo više nije slučajno. Samo se pitam zašto Ryanair udara na dvije fronte. Daleko logičnije bi bilo da su udarili prvo na Wizz a nakon što njega istisnu bitno jači da se obračunaju sa easyJetom.

    1. Anonymous12:40

      Wizz je za njih kusur i mogu si priuštiti da ga napadaju paralelno kad i Easy.

      Ono što me buni je da li Ryanair doista zarađuje toliku lovu da može platiti troškove izbacivanja drugih lowcostera iz igre. U svim tim hubovima koje su napali, morače trpjeti gubitke sve dok se Wizz i Easy ne povuku. To če uzeti neko vreme, u slučaju Wizza možda i još dulje jer oni imaju povlastice koje če ih neko vrijeme držati iznad vode. No svakako če svi biti u gubitku dok traje taj rat na hubovima. Koliko dugo Ryanair može čekati?

    2. Mislim da ovo vise nije nikakva tajana. Naslov u jucerasnjem ATW: "O’Leary: Ryanair will overtake Wizz Air in Central Europe by 2018"

    3. Mislim da ovo vise nije nikakva tajana. Naslov u jucerasnjem ATW: "O’Leary: Ryanair will overtake Wizz Air in Central Europe by 2018"

  14. Anonymous13:09

    Zanimljivo je kako pisu neki Internet portali da SSJ 100 doneo Ponudu u BEG za ASL bice zanimljivo videti sta ce se odluciti svakako bi bilo koji RJ dobro dosao .
    I pregovara sa se oko Common type rating i SFF sto bi bilo jos zaniljive da im dozvole .

    1. Anonymous15:00

      Nema sanse, bar se ja tako nadam !

    2. Bilo je priče i o Micubišiju :)
      Ako se ne varam i JU i OU su kontaktirali, ali to nisu kompanije za eksperimentisanje. SSJ, sa druge strane nosi ugled istočne proizvodnje. Embraer je ipak proverena marka :)

    3. Anonymous16:05

      Ja bi i najvise volelo da dodju Embraer - i ali za letnju sezonu nije dosad nista novo za flotu planirano osim A332 sto je steta .

    4. Anonymous12:06

      Sukhoi je idealan za JU. Najmoderniji je od svih RJ koji trenutno lete.
      Ako naruče Mitsubishi načekaće se, serijska proizvodnja počinje za dve godine a već imaju gomilu narudžbina. Ti im ne bi stigli pre 2021.
      Sukhoi ima dobar deo otkazanih narudžbina, ne svojom krivicom, nego bankroti kompanija zbog recesije u Rusiji i ZND, mislim da imaju primerke koji mogu odmah da lete. A i izuzetno su povoljni 33 miliona eur po komadu, mislim da je samo Antonov 158 jeftiniji.
      JU treba RJ jer će im se sa uvođenjem letova ka JFK opasti punjenja na CDG, AMS, LHR i MXP ali će porasti na kraćim poput TIA,SKP,OTP, a biće bolje slati ih na PRG gde je sramota slati ATR. Što se ATR tiče treba izbaciti sve 200 i uzeti jedan 500 pored ova dva pa da ide ZAG, TGD, VIE, i najzad MUCte noćne za OTP i SKP, uvesti PRN i VCE.
      Sukhoi može da leti i sa INI ka ZRH, STR, VIE ako W6 u međuvremenu ne uvede te letove.

  15. Anonymous18:01

    When will OU announce 3 other (new) routes?

  16. Anonymous09:17

    It looks like Zagreb is doing a great job, they increased the airport charges in 2014 and still managed to increase the traffic both in 2014 and 2015, despite Croatia Airlines' restructuring process. Ljubljana had to decrease the airport charges substantially, to be able to increase the traffic. Apparently French are doing a better job than Germans in terms of airport management.


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