ČSA to suspend Skopje, downgrade Zagreb

ČSA Czech Airlines will discontinue flights between Prague and Skopje despite plans to maintain the service throughout the winter season and link the Macedonian capital with Zagreb as well. Furthermore, the carrier will not go through with a planned capacity increase on its Prague - Zagreb route. The development comes just several weeks after the airline held a press conference to promote its Zagreb and Skopje flights, as well as the planned Zagreb - Skopje service for which it secured local traffic rights. The last flight to the Macedonian capital will now operate on October 29. Ticket sales past this date have been discontinued. ČSA will continue to offer a codeshare service to Skopje through Alitalia via Rome.

The Czech carrier has also cancelled plans to operate a 136-seat jet-engine Airbus A319 aircraft to Zagreb during the winter and will instead maintain the route with its seventy-seat ATR72 turboprop. Flights will depart Prague late in the evening, however, passengers heading from Zagreb to the Czech capital will endure a 04.40 CET departure time, with arrival in Prague at 06.15. Korean Air will continue to codeshare on the service. ČSA faces no competition on the route, with Croatia Airlines to end its seasonal flights to Prague on October 29. Its Czech counterpart launched services to both Zagreb and Skopje this summer season and planned to introduce Sarajevo as well, however, the route never materialised.

In late September, Czech Airlines' ‎Director for Commerce, Alliances & Marketing, Jan Toth, said, "We looked into improving passenger numbers and making the service more appealing to transfer passengers. Results show that more than a third of travellers who began their journey in Zagreb continued on from Prague towards other destinations served by ČSA and its partners". He added, "This is why we proposed a new timetable with an earlier takeoff from Croatia, which allows our Zagreb flight to connect onto our morning wave of departures from Prague. Our evening departure from Prague to Zagreb also allows us to feed the route from other incoming traffic". Mr Toth also promoted the planned new Zagreb - Skopje sector, which has now been suspended.


  1. Anonymous09:03

    With those times they will be cancelling Zagreb soon as well.

    1. Anonymous09:10

      Actually departure from Prague is very good at 9pm but return is a disaster.

    2. Nemjee09:22

      Don't know what's worse, departure from Zagreb at 03.40 or the arrival at 05.15.

      By the way, is there public transport to the airport at that hour? If someone is flying with them to PRG, is taxi the only option to reach ZAG?

    3. Anonymous09:26

      You are right Nemjee. No public transport to get you to the airport at that hour. First departure to the airport is at 4.30. Also last departure from the airport is at 20.00 so you can't make it even when coming from Prague.

    4. Nemjee09:32

      Wow... 20.00? That's early. Is the bus line in Zagreb part of public transport or a private company?

      In Belgrade, line 72 has its last departure from the airport at 00.00 which is not bad. First departure to the airport is at 04.00 which means you can catch all morning departures, including Wizz Air. Also, control starts at 06.00 or 07.00 so you get to ride it for free if you want to.

    5. Anonymous09:38

      Pleso prijevoz is the bus company that goes between the airport and the main bus station. Unfortunately, there is no other public transport.

    6. Anonymous09:38

      same reaction when i read 20.00

    7. Anonymous09:46

      I had an issue with Pleaso prijevoz a few times. I arrived in the morning in ZAG when there are a lot of flights coming in. By the time I got by baggage and to the bus it was already full and they were no longer allowing people to board so we had to wait an hour until the next bus. I wasn't the only one unable to board there were another 15 people waiting in line. It happened another time too but that time there was a wait of only 1/2 until the next bus.

    8. Anonymous09:47

      * sorry I meant a wait of only 1/2 an hour.

    9. Anonymous10:01

      Maybe there are not that many arrivals after 20.00.

    10. Anonymous10:03

      After 20 h the bus still goes but only after incoming flights, so there is not a standard schedule anymore but he is still operating until the last flight comes in.

    11. Anonymous10:06

      there are

    12. Purger10:44

      Pleso prijevoz was owned by Croatia Airlines and they sold their part to Croatia bus for huge amount of money to make financial result positive at the end of the year. It was very profitable part of Croatia airlines. Croatia bus is very good company after it was sold to Globtur Međugorje. They have more than 150 buses in Croatia and more than 500 with all companies in Croatia, BiH, Montenegro and Serbia they own. It is official bus company of my team.
      Pleso prijevoz schedule is every 30 minutes, but after 20:00 hours it leaves after plane arrival.

    13. Anonymous11:22

      Pleso prijevoz has really nice and clean buses and they have the same price for years (30 kn or 4 euros) which is not expensive!

    14. Anonymous17:42

      @AnonymousOctober 19, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      Bus to Velika Gorica stops near the Airport, during the nights every 30 min, day time every few minutes, there's another ZET bus, that stops near old terminal as well, but forgot which line that bus was.

      However if this is true, 4am flight to Prague, is silly and bad move on part of Czech Airlines, I'd understand if they had service @6.15 to Prague, but at 3.30 w.e is way too early.

    15. Anonymous17:44

      How do you mean "if it's true". It is true. Go on their website to book a ticket and you will see these horrible times.

  2. Anonymous09:03

    OK has become such a failure... what a shame. Still, I hope we see them back in BEG as they might bring down JU's fares which are around €250.

  3. Anonymous09:06

    Feel sorry for the people who purchased tickets on Zagreb-Skopje sector. I assume there were some. Return tickets were much cheaper than Croatia Airlines at €90.

  4. Anonymous09:08

    This is why no one trust Eastern Europeans.

    1. Anonymous09:38

      And yet somehow there is Wizz Air.

    2. Anonymous10:01

      And Lot.

    3. Anonymous13:32

      Stupid, ignorant comment.

  5. Anonymous09:10

    They are reminding me more and more of Jat. Announcing then cancelling flights. I remember a few weeks before they announced Zagreb, Skopje and Sarajevo flights last year there was an interview with some CSA executive here who said they have no plans to fly to ex-Yu because there strategy is no longer transfer pax but point to points.... seems they are all over the place.

  6. Anonymous09:11

    What a shame, hope they won't cancel ZAG as well!

  7. Anonymous09:13

    Nova loša vest za ZAG :(

  8. Anonymous09:15

    So the plane will sit in Zagreb for 5 hours. Interesting.

    1. Anonymous09:23

      have you heard of overnight?

  9. Anonymous09:19

    OT: SJJ winter flight schedule 2016/17 seats availability by the the airline (01.11.16. to 31.03.17.):

    1) Turkish Airlines 64.800
    2) Pegasus Airlines 57.078
    3) Austrian Airlines 45.600
    4) Croatia Airlines 42.712
    5) Lufthansa 35.032
    6) Flydubai 29.928
    7) Adria Airways 22.188
    8) Air Serbia 19.932
    9) Eurowings 18.432
    10)Norwegian Air 7.938
    TOTAL: 343.640

  10. Anonymous09:20

    Such a shame OU won't keep Prague during the winter.

    1. Anonymous09:26

      Anyone know the average LF on the route this summer. We recently learned LED was 60%.

  11. Anonymous09:30

    CSA fail.

    1. Anonymous11:34

      And a really epic one. You make a big press conference about operating Skopje as well as Zagreb-Skopje and then you dump those plans 2 weeks later.

  12. Anonymous09:38

    Ok, this is a bit weird, why quote CET times and not local ones?

    So, to set things straight, the flight will be leaving PRG at 22:00 and will get to Zagreb at 23:30 (Thu and Sun).

    The return will be at 4:40 from ZAG, landing in Prague at 6:15 in the morning (Fri and Wed).

    As you can see, these times are really meant to connect to the waves in Prague. Most of the flights arrive in Prague around 21:00, so the departure at 22:00 makes sense. Similarly, the morning wave from Prague is at 7:00, that's why the arrival at 6:15 already.

    Furthermore, the times are also meant to allow for a long weekend in Prague and Zagreb.

    Finally, I don't know for Zagreb, but in Prague, both the departure and arrival is perfectly fine with regard to catching public transport to/from the city (someone was worried about this above) ...

    1. Anonymous09:41

      CET (Central European Time) is the timezone used in both Czech Republic and Croatia (and 90% of Europe). So the times are local and correct.

    2. Anonymous09:50

      Times are correct in the article. CET is the local timezone in all European countries except Portugal, UK, Ireland, Finland and everything east of the Serbian boarder.

      Regrading transport it works fine in Prague but not in Zagreb.

      But I agree that these times are set for transfers. Like the guy says in the article a third of people in the summer using these flights were transfers.

    3. Anonymous09:51

      Yes, that is true, but the time used in Czech Republic and Croatia is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), with CET being UTC-1.

      Anyway, it suffices to have a look at the booking engine of CSA (or any other booking engine) to see that the departure times are 22:00 and 4:40 local time, respectively:


    4. Anonymous10:28

      CET is UTC+1

    5. Anonymous13:06

      Ok doesn't really matter, as the times have been corrected in the article in the meantime

    6. Anonymous18:51

      Don't worry. It is quite ok to make mistakes and not to know everything. It is much better to admit it than to search for excuses :)

    7. Anonymous21:54

      Yes, I must admit I was mixed up with CET and UTC, but the point I was trying to make was valid.

      The article initially mentioned that the departure time from ZAG was 3:40 CET, on which a discussion about the crazy times CSA has loaded into the reservation system began to develop. I only wanted to point out that the actual time is 4:40, with an arrival in PRG at 6:15, which is meant to feed the morning wavenout of Prague and as such understandable.

      That's it, I rest ny case :-)

  13. Anonymous09:57

    There are very few P2P passengers and these times are appropriate for transfers. That's why Croatia Airlines sin't flying during the winter on this route. They can't get transfers and P2P is insufficient. In summer it is different because they offer connections to the coast.

  14. Anonymous09:58

    Ok most people are discussing about the Zagreb times and capacity but what about Skopje? Seems to be insufficient demand.

    1. Anonymous10:03

      or even worse times? ;)

    2. Anonymous10:52

      haha true

  15. Anonymous10:04

    Why CSA do not Fly to Pristina?

    1. Anonymous10:11

      I think they did a few years ago... or I mixed something up?

    2. CSA planned to open PRN, were allocated slots but never proceeded with the route. This goes back a few years now though.

    3. Anonymous16:16


    4. Anonymous17:51

      Who will fly on OK from PRN? There is no economy down there to stimulate demand. All there is filled from places where Albanian diaspora lives.

  16. Anonymous10:05

    Good morning everyone. Just an info please. How many scheduled airlines (not seasonal, charter or cargo) will operate this winter from Zagreb airport? Thanks.

    1. Purger10:30

      Aeroflot - Moscow

      Air France - Paris

      Air Serbia - Belgrade

      Austrian Airlines - Vienna

      British Airways - London

      Brussels Airlines - Brussels

      Croatia Airlines - Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris, Pula, Rome, Sarajevo, Skopje, Split, Vienna, Zadar, Zürich

      Czech Airlines - Prague

      Eurowings - Berlin, Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart

      flydubai Dubai (till 6 November)

      KLM - Amsterdam

      LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw

      Lufthansa - Frankfurt, Munich

      Qatar Airways - Doha

      Trade Air - Osijek

      Turkish Airlines Istanbul

  17. Anonymous10:33

    OT: Singapore Airlines earlier this month expanded codeshare partnership with Swiss International Air Lines, as additional 5 routes carrying Singapore Airlines’ SQ code. New codeshare routes effective from (approximate) 01OCT16 as follow.

    Singapore Airlines operated by SWISS
    Zurich – Belgrade
    Zurich – Florence
    Zurich – Lyon
    Zurich – Sofia
    Zurich – Venice

  18. Anonymous10:35

    Pitty about Skopje. They were a cheap option.

  19. Anonymous11:26

    OT: Dubrovnik airport starts building 2 more air bridges, 4 in total.


  20. Anonymous11:29

    What a mess of an airline CSA has become. They announced they would serve Skopje during the winter months ago. Then they linked it up with Zagreb making the flights less appealing and now they are cancelled altogether.

    1. Anonymous11:31

      True. I assume they saw they initially thought that it might work during the winter. Then they realised bookings were low so they merged it with Zagreb and then when they saw that even that was not working they cut the flights.

    2. Anonymous13:05

      Yeah but I think they can fill an A319 to ZAG, why downgrade it to an Atr?

    3. Anonymous13:15

      Low bookings?

  21. Anonymous13:36

    I told you before, this airline has become a true joke. They have a daily flight to SEL, but not enough feeder European destinations. The best days were when they used to fly their B735, had 2 A310 and covered most CEE capitals at least 2 flights per day and code share with DL, did CMB, YUL and all this.
    Not to mention that the PRG airport is super expensive for many airlines. No wonder why they never have enough low-cost carriers.

  22. Anonymous17:28

    Najveca greska im je bio red letenja i zato nisu uspeli u SKP a ne znam ni kako ce sad u ZAG.

  23. Anonymous17:49

    2 weekly flights and departing times are horrible but at least good for leisure and business. You can fly Monday morning out of ZAG and return Friday night if on business and fly Friday night and stay until Sunday night in PRG. But 2 flights per week is just nothing...

  24. Anonymous22:12

    Will rather fly out of Ljubljana. I have never ever liked midnight or early morning flights. I am prepared to pay more for the flights that not depart or arrive in the middle of the night.


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