Zagreb Airport eyes New York flights

Zagreb Airport hopes to offer direct flights to New York in the near future, following the success of the recently launched service from Toronto. Speaking to the "Večer" daily, the General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Jacques Feron, said it would be "fantastic" for the Croatian capital to be linked with nonstop flights to the United States. "In the US, New York would be an excellent destination, although it is true that this metropolis is well connected to all major European airports", Mr Feron said. Late last year, Sani Sener, the CEO and founder of TAV Airports Holding and TAV Construction, which forms part of the consortium running Zagreb Airport, said the most desired route from the Croatian capital would be New York.

Commenting on Air Transat's recently launched seasonal service from Toronto to Zagreb, Mr Feron said there is no reason for the route not to be extended. "On the first flight there were 140 passengers flying from Toronto to Zagreb and 280 passengers back". The inaugural service was operated with the 345-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. "It should be noted that many Croats live in Canada, as well as some half a million people from the former Yugoslavia. However, the final decision on extending the service will be up to the operating carrier", Mr Feron added. Earlier this week, Air Transat said it is considering extending its operations to the Croatian capital next year and adding extra frequencies. Last year the route was operated by start-up SkyGreece Airlines which declared bankruptcy half-way through the summer season. "SkyGreece was successful in filling up aircraft between Toronto and Zagreb but they experienced liquidity issues and went bankrupt. However, this should not be associated with the Zagreb route which showed potential. The figures were presented to Air Transat and we managed to convince them to cooperate with us".

Earlier this year, the Croatian Ambassador to the United States announced that the Embassy had resumed discussions with various stakeholders in order to explore all possibilities for the establishment of direct flights to Croatia. "We will do all we can to spearhead and facilitate this effort, and achieve direct flights as soon as it is economically possible", the Ambassador said. Last month, Dubrovnik Airport noted it too was seeking direct links to the Big Apple. The Mayor of Dubrovnik, Andro Vlahušić, said the city expects for the route to be maintained twice per week throughout the year as of 2017. At this point, a partner is being sought out to maintain the route.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Didn't someone say here that Zagreb is in talks with a North American airline?

    1. Anonymous09:12

      Yes and someone also claimed in the comments that Air Transat has a 100% LF on the first flight... it does not seem so.

    2. Anonymous10:38

      Can a B757 make it to Zagreb nonstop?

    3. Anonymous10:55

      No, North American airlines can actually free up 767s because of many deliveries of 787s.
      The 767-300 with winglets would be the right aircraft with litte cost of capital.

    4. Anonymous12:21

      @AnonymousJune 26, 2016 at 9:12 AM

      It is not a claim it is a fact first flight did have 338 arriving and 104 leaving for Toronto, these are info provided by AirTransat, 2nd Flight might have hard 140 and 280, however I doubt these figures are right, I think flight was just as full as first flight.

      Air Transat sold 5200 tickets for 17 return flights as of print on first inaugural flight. That is 300 passengers per flight, by the time the last flight is over sometimes in late October extra 500 return tickets will be sold.

      So lets bring this to 5700/17= 335 per flight. Or in other words all the flights will be almost all booked up with 10 spare seats per flight.

    5. Anonymous12:23

      So you are saying Zagreb Airport CEO is lying? I read the interview and he said like it's reported here...

    6. Anonymous12:24

      FYI flights don't end in late October. They end on October 4 (last flight)

    7. Anonymous13:40

      Nisam još nikad pisao komentare ali evo sad ću jer viim da je malo nesporazum oko LF prvog leta iz Toronta za Zagreb. Radim na Plesu nacheck inu i po potrebi na izlazima i ukrcavanju. Na prvom letu iz Toronta je bilo 338 a iz Zagreba za Toronto 104 putnika. Ne znam odakle g. Feronu krivi podaci.

  2. Nemjee09:06


    For those interested here is a nice video of Cobalt's first flight between Larnaca and Athens. This was a promotional flight for journalists and officials from the tourism industry. The airline's first commercial flight will take place on 7th July. They will fly to Athens, Chania, Manchester, Dublin, London, Thessaloniki and Heraklion.

    1. +1
      Thanks Nemjee, looks like Cyprus market is well served despite Cyprus airways closing. Looks like there is life even without state owned carriers...

    2. Nemjee10:31

      You are welcome. It's getting a bit crowded though with Aegean, Tus, Cobalt and BlueAir either having a base there or a focus city.
      Cyprus Airways was slowly becoming irrelevant as they couldn't cope with market realities. As sad as I was when they were shut down, it was for the best. The market is far more competitive now.

      These Cobalt guys are interesting. They have deep pockets so let's hope they manage to setup a decent airline.

    3. Anonymous10:56

      How is FR doing from Pafos?
      Are they getting passengers away from the others or is the market expanding?

    4. Nemjee07:37

      Not bad. It's a small base as the catchment area isn't that big. In winter they have one aircraft while in summer they add a second one. Paphos did have a good 2015, passenger numbers increased by over 8%.

      Their passengers do come from everywhere as the island isn't that big. Nicosia-Paphos is about 150 km and there are buses running between Nicosia's downtown and Paphos airport. This year their passenger numbers should grow some more since the terrorist attacks in Turkey and Egypt.

  3. Anonymous09:07

    Wouldn't it be more wise to focus on another destination in the US than one already offered nearby?

    1. Anonymous10:10

      Why? I think both Zagreb and Belgrade could have flights to JFK.

  4. Anonymous09:12

    I think both Zagreb and Dubrovnik will have (seasonal) flights to the US soon. Wish them good luck!

    1. Anonymous09:55

      Me too. If it's happening next year I think by September we should know more

    2. Anonymous10:40

      Sounds funnier than it is ...

  5. Anonymous10:27

    Off topic: Air Serbia Business Class JFK - BEG - ATH trip report and a lot of photos at this link

    1. Anonymous10:35

      Interesting that most people were disappointed by the business class product on JU. I don't know what they could have done more.

    2. Anonymous11:17

      The guy who made the report did a pretty accurate description of the service.
      It is good for the company to read it and make improvements.
      He also made a great report about the BEG-ATH flight.

    3. Anonymous11:33

      Vidi se da se decko razume u avijaciju, zna modele aviona, biznis klase ostalih može da upoređuje. Većina običnih putnika neće primetiti ove detalje na koje je on obratio pažnju a koje svakako treba ispraviti. Manje više ja sam zadovoljan.

    4. Anonymous12:08

      Most people who pay 4.000$ to fly business class transatlantically know a lot about these details.
      And those are the kind of customers that an airline needs to attract and satisfy.

    5. Anonymous12:16

      Exactly, JU's service in business class is on par with the large US carriers but I fear that it's behind times when compared to TK or the MEB3.

    6. Anonymous12:19

      Yeah but everyone who travels on a regular basis will know that JU's business class is better than AF, KL or LH. With them they can compete.

    7. Anonymous12:28

      @Anon 12:19
      Within Europe yes, from the report though it seems that they can not compete in longhaul product for business passengers.

    8. Anonymous12:37

      He actually added the BEG-ATH segment to the thread and gave JU all five stars for its intereuropean business class - and he repeated it several times. So the transatlantic business class should improve and there is plenty of time for it given that the flights have only started. If they handle one matter at a time they will soon reach higher standard and attract business class passengers. I would also say it's a good start as long as they act upon the feedback they receive.

    9. Anonymous12:44

      @Anonymous June 26, 2016 at 12:37 PM

      Some people here were ready to call the person that made this detailed report a JU hater if it wasn't for the very positive BEG-ATH flight report he also made.
      The guy gave details, suggestions and had photos to back up his claims.
      As you said JU would be wise to look into this feedback and act accordingly.

    10. Anonymous13:50

      I still find odd the layout they have in business class, especially the middle section.
      The window seats would it be much better if they face the window instead of the aisle.
      They could it try with 1-2-1 layout with similar seats such as TK.

    11. Anonymous13:58

      Look, they guy forked out $4,000 for a ticket, so he was expecting the finest service possible. Also, he had Etihad Business Class as a reference point (which is only natural!), and they are pretty good at it. Finally, he is an aviation fan, so he booked an inaugural flight for a reason and was clearly dissapointed that the first JFK-BEG service was by no means special.

      Now, objetively, for a cabin of that size, they should have turndown service. Seats are nice, but they don't look either super clean or attractive with just a blanket thrown on them. Seeing wear and tear on a newly refurbished cabin is really regrattable (obviously, they didn't refurbish those parts of the plane). And obviously, JU needs to adapt its catering to the taste of the majority of travellers, without forcing them to try the Serbian cuisine. At least they should give a choice here. Also, plating could be improved, and some details need to be worked out - that macaron really looks like somebody's third attempt at making them.

      Every major airline does international business class, so the competition is really stiff. And Air Serbia is looking to be on par with Etihad, which is really difficult. On the other hand, JU's Eurobiz is unlike every other business class out there - and so the praises. I have yet to read a negative review on that.

    12. Anonymous14:14

      Does anyone know if YU-ARA will be utilized on some short flight today or she gets line maintenance and waits until tomorrow morning?

    13. Anonymous14:54

      She will be in the hangar undergoing regular maintenance. By the time it's done there won't be any time for her to fly anywhere.

    14. Дечко Тзар15:26

      Air Serbia will no doubt over time improve biz class on items Adrian mentioned: better catering, fix USB ports, turndown service (which I though was included from the start) and even amenity kits for those who care about it. But it can't improve on the main objection: seat type/configuration (I would add lack of premium economy) until they get new planes or gut existing seats: not going to happen soon.

    15. Anonymous15:29

      Дечко Тзар

      Do you think we can expect JU to place an order for factory fresh A330s anytime soon?

    16. Anonymous15:53

      I'm sure the "main objection" would become moot if all other things are addressed, especially turndown service. Haven't tested out the seat, but could it benefit from a mattress topper, which would be placed there during turndown?

      As for Y+, I wonder what the demand would be for that. But for sure, it's not that difficult to take out say 3 rows of economy and put 2 rows of Y+ in 2-3-2 config. It isn't that expensive either.

    17. Anonymous16:26

      We can consider ASL lucky that Adrian didn t fly the second or third flight...imagine the comment / score with a minor delay of 150min only!!!...overall poor startup despite the importance of the project.

    18. Anonymous16:28

      Let's pray all goes well tomorrow.

      Unfortunately seems like JU might have a problem as it's 16.30 and its A320s are still in TIV and ATH.

    19. JATBEGMEL17:12


      Considering the amount of advertising and hype regarding the arrival of the A330 and the relaunching of JFK opps, JU really have been cost cutting on its details.

      Back a few years ago when the A319/A320's began arriving, the entire cabin was refitted. There is still some random signage in Spanish on a couple of the aircraft.

      Overall the aircraft does look nice, however it looks as if the J class cabin had minimal work done, and its evident in one of the photos showing wear and tear.

      Their Product Development team seems to not be working well, as there has been some more blunders on board ie: JU ran out of head rest covers making do with smaller white cheap disposable looking ones. The whole bag saga o short flights was a change in standards where flights under 1 hours are offered bags, and those between 1 to 2 hours have a sandwhich passed to them in the hand (speaking of Y class). Th quality of the sandwhich is adbsolutely terrible, where even Jat before the catering strike had better quality packaging and sandwhiches.

      Overall, JU HQ is a mess that needs to be fixed, which is evident by looking at the many blunders and poor decisions being made.

      @ anonymous 1,58pm

      JU offers 3 mains to choose from on flights to JFK and AUH, where one of the options is a Serbian option marked with the JU eagle. The Serbian options tend to be popular with the customers.

    20. Anonymous17:35

      With the delays thisvweek it would be nice to hear how JU handled passengers missing connections. When you look at the timetable there is in most cases only 1 flight per day to destinations passengers can connect too. This as a passenger wpyld be most important to me. If i would miss a connection in Beg and the next flight available would be the next say,all the catering and pampering would mean nothing.Therefore I as a passenger would probably lose confidence in the airline.

    21. Anonymous17:38


      I agree with you. Actually, JU's economy class is better than their business one, relatively speaking, of course.
      It's such a shame because their short-haul and medium-haul business class is really good.

    22. Дечко Тзар18:18

      I do think Air Serbia is considering ordering widebodies as part of the Etihad family order. Size of the order, type, price and delivery timeframe are ideal for a discussion on this site :) so let me start: type decision probably comes down to A330neo or 787, and as PM said "give us a good discount and we'll go with Boeing".

    23. Дечко Тзар18:34

      "As for Y+, I wonder what the demand would be for that."

      Every airline that introduced premium economy faced that question, and the growth of the premium eco offering around the world confirms the early adopters were right, with some of them already revising and improving initial product. It adds another market segment and captures customers that find biz class restriced (by travel policies) or lousy value prop (for personal travel). Air Serbia mentioned 60% of JFK-BEG passengers are US based and they are already familiar and are expecting Y+ offer. Air Serbia does not (so far) advertise upgrade deals from eco to biz on A330, so the gap is obvious.

      I have been experimenting with Y+ on my personal long and mid haul travels and I absolutely love it, with Delta Comfort+ coming up in a few weeks.

    24. Anonymous19:03

      Didn't the PM say that we will buy the B747 if they give us a discount?

    25. Anonymous20:30


      Yes, but nearby TK is scrapping the product, so it's not all going well for Y+. Who knowns whether pax would be willing to pay, say 50% more for premium economy, especially with such generous baggage allowance JU has for Y on US flights.

      But I'm with you on this, as I said before, it can't be that expensive to get and install 14 seats.

    26. Дечко Тзар03:50

      Seatguru has TK 777 with 47 inches of legroom in Y+, generosity that could cannibalize their own business class. Most others have 34-38. Now that A330 is flying, let's watch and learn, and as you said, Y+ can be installed later.
      PM did say 747 but that part was obviously a joke. Maybe he was just inspired by this:

    27. Anonymous07:16

      You mean like Mihajlovic said that they might extend the New York flight to Mexico City? ;)
      That wasn't a joke. The man is clueless when it comes to civil aviation and he has proven us right many times until now.

  6. Anonymous10:32

    Hopefully these flights could happen in the future, it could work at least during the summer season and maybe for Christmas holidays!

  7. Anonymous10:33

    I wonder which airline would be potentially interested in operating JFK-ZAG flights

    1. Anonymous10:38

      I honestly don't know. For many US carriers there are still bigger markets they haven't opened in Europe. It also depends a lot on the airport and the kind of deal they are willing to give them. I think ZAG is pretty good when it comes to that so who knows.

  8. Anonymous15:02

    Anyone know why YU-APG, BEG-TIV, keeps on circling south of Bar? Is Tivat closed or something?

    1. Anonymous15:19

      The whole flights lasted 70 minutes. lol

    2. Anonymous16:00

      AZ A321 today, it's been a while since we saw one of those.

    3. Anonymous18:53

      OT : first vid of Air Serbia landing in New York has emerged on Youtube.
      Type in :

      Air Serbia A330-200 is landing for the very first time at JFK

  9. Anonymous19:22

    Search YouTube :
    Zagreb Toronto pvhr541

    That Mr.Bukota is hillarious ...

    1. Anonymous19:45

      he might be hilarious but not even close to Vucic or Mali

    2. Anonymous19:54

      Air Transats press conference looks like a funeral...

  10. Anonymous19:32

    Video about passengers boarding plane, flight attendants etc on Youtube :

    Ko je sve bio na prvom letu Er Srbije do Njujorka

    1. Anonymous20:47

      Load is really good on this one.
      Dos anybody know load factors for next week?

  11. JU520 BEGLAX21:02

    OT: 85 pax on tonights JP 306 LJU-ZRH
    I bus used to move pax to plane. In ZRH again 2 buses were used. Both dlighta today and on Friday perfectly cooled down while boarding
    It s not the first time that in LJU they squezze the people into a Bus to the last m2. Today not even aircondintioned and at same time Jetbridge Gate 1 is being unused.
    On Air Inflight Magazine has not been renewed, so still old one avaiable which expired in May

    1. Anonymous01:16

      ^ 85 Pax on what aircraft ?

  12. JU520 BEGLAX07:21


  13. Anonymous13:10

    Strange that the ZAG Airport CEO would be saying this, especially when the OU CEO said that Croatia doesn't need direct flights to NY because they already have so many options to NY and elsewhere in the US with 1-stop connections over Europe - infact, even moreso than BEG


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