Transavia to further grow EX-YU operations

Low cost carrier Transavia will strengthen its operations to the former Yugoslavia next year with the introduction of new routes and the addition of extra frequencies. Its main focus will be on Croatia to which the airline plans to launch two new routes at this point, with further announcements expected in the coming weeks. The carrier will add new seasonal flights from Rotterdam to Dubrovnik starting April 5, as well as two weekly services between Eindhoven and Rijeka. Tickets for the latter will go on sale tomorrow. It will mark the airline's first service to Rijeka and its fourth destination in Croatia, following Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. Furthermore, Transavia will introduce an extra flight between Rotterdam and Pula for a total of three per week. The service was launched this summer season. The no frills airline will also maintain daily seasonal flights from the Dutch city to Split, as was the case this summer.

The Air France - KLM subsidiary has also announced it will double the number of flights between Amsterdam and Belgrade for a total of six per week from late February, while services from the Dutch city to Ljubljana will run five times per week starting next June, up from three this summer. The airline launched year-round flights to both the Serbian and Slovenian capitals in 2017. It competes directly against Air Serbia and Adria Airways on the two routes respectively. In Montenegro, the carrier will maintain its three weekly seasonal flights from Paris Orly to Tivat which were launched earlier this year. In 2010 Transavia outlined it would commence services from Amsterdam to both Skopje and Sarajevo, with the latter to operate only during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. However, the airline eventually cancelled plans to serve either of the two.

Previously, Transavia noted it would begin operations to Zagreb and further expand its presence in Croatia. The Air France - KLM subsidiary informed the Croatian Ministry for Tourism of its intention of adding flights from France to Zagreb and Pula in 2018. However, these new routes are yet to be officially announced or scheduled by the airline. Currently, Air France and Croatia Airlines link Zagreb Airport with the French capital. Both operate to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News recently, the Air France - KLM Group, which includes Transavia, said it saw new development opportunities in the region. "The Air France - KLM Group strongly believes in the potential of ex-Yugoslav countries. This was demonstrated in 2014 with the opening of the first KLM flight from Amsterdam to Zagreb, which was the only route launched in central and south-eastern Europe that year", a spokeswoman from the Group said. She added, "We have a real desire to serve the region to our best. Transavia maintains sustained growth and is developing its network on departure from all its bases in France and the Netherlands to the former Yugoslavia. We have also launched a codeshare agreement with Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia to Paris and Amsterdam. These agreements pave the way for new development opportunities".