Air Canada confident in Zagreb success


Air Canada will resume flights to Zagreb through its Rouge leisure subsidiary after 27 years when it launches operations to the Croatian capital on June 2. The carrier is confident its new route between Toronto and Zagreb will prove popular with passengers. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said, "We are satisfied with advanced bookings for our new Zagreb service. It has fully met our expectations. This is why we have allocated four weekly frequencies to this route, which is primarily targeted at leisure travellers. This new service will also make it convenient for family, friends and relatives to visit one another by connecting through our Toronto Pearson global hub on our extensive network". It added, "Air Canada will offer the best market coverage of any carrier between Canada and Croatia. This new destination also reflects the ongoing commitment to our international expansion strategy".

Air Canada Rouge will offer a total 20.586 seats each way between Toronto and Zagreb during the June 2 to October 7 period, over which it will maintain the seasonal service. Asked whether the route could be extended into winter or upgraded to its mainline operations, the airline noted, "This is a seasonal service. Any potential modifications will depend on a range of factors. We are always assessing every route’s performance to ensure our schedule meets demand". This summer, Air Canada will take over Rouge's seasonal operations between Toronto and Warsaw, as well as between Montreal to Casablanca, after maintaining both routes for two years.

Apart from leisure travellers, Air Canada also aims to attract transfer passengers on its new route. "The new seasonal non-stop service between Toronto and Zagreb will also offer convenient connections throughout Canada and the US, as the flights are timed to optimise connectivity to and from Air Canada's Toronto Pearson global hub. All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits. We also see potential for a small share of business travel on this route. The recent Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada signals the potential for growth in business ties between the two countries". Air Canada Rouge will face direct competition from Air Transat which will maintain two weekly seasonal flights between Canada's and Croatia's largest cities. The airline will also trial flights to Montreal this summer with four one-way non-stop services planned from Zagreb to Canada's second largest city.

Comments

  1. Could winter work for Air Canada on this route? Twice per week maybe?

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    Replies
    1. You have the answer in the article.

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    2. But: It is interesting - when they fly 4pw during summer - that they don't even go for a 2pw to 3pw during April, May and Oct.
      It would surely work also during these months.

      Nov-March would probably not work at this point however, except for the holiday period around Xmas/New Year. Maybe it will though - in a few years from now.

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    3. Not before 2020,

      I think ACR will try to extend the season next year from May 1st to October 26th, perhaps throw few flights during the Advent period.

      If numbers are good, they'll extend season to Aprils 4th to October 31st in 2020 and perhaps in 2021 Air Canada will take over with year round flights. This is if 2020 proves to be a success.

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  2. I hope the AC Rouge flights will eventually be taken over by Air Canada.

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    1. They will but like the examples given it usually takes 2 years.

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    2. Two years makes no difference. What they look at it is if the route is making them enough money. Until Transat is around don't expect them to bring mainline.

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    3. Their mainline fleet configuration is too premium-heavy for a leisure- / vfr-route like YYZ-ZAG - a reason why AC Rouge was founded 2012.

      Mihael

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  3. So in total there will be 6 weekly flights between Toronto and Zagreb. Wow that is fantastic.

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  4. Has anyone checked their fares to the rest of Canada and the US?
    AC Rouge might be the queen of ghetto airlines but they are cheap and will steal a lot of customers from LH, AF, KL and LO.

    We've already seen how much Transat impacted LH numbers.

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    1. queen of "ghetto airlines" haha

      But I don't see a particular impact of Transat on LH. I think there will be a bigger impact of Rouge on LH considering it's Star Alliance, offers greater choice... well the reasons are pretty much listed in the article.

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    2. The reason why I mentioned Transat is because I am sure a large number of people who used to connect in the past flew directly with them. Direct flights are especially appealing for older people.

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  5. Congratulations Air Canada on new flights to ZAG. I’m confident these will become all year round sooner rather than later.

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  6. 6 weekly flights to YYZ with connections to the US and across Canada is quite good.

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  7. This will hurt Air Transat quite a bit since Rouge is a much better choice.

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    1. True. It offers connections, Star Alliance miles, will be more appealing to business travelers.

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    2. Plus AC's scheduling is generally better than Air Transat's on this route.

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  8. Do Croatians need visas to enter Canada?

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    1. No they don't.

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    2. I came last summer in Canada and I knew that I do not need visa, but it was funny, they don't give you any stamp, like traveling in EU!

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    3. Yes they do. Called ETA.

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  9. It's a strong start from Air Canada Rouge. Four times per week. Compare that to the 1 weekly flight Air Transat started off with.

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    1. And a good way to destroy Transat on the route.

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    2. Transat is not so easy to beat. They also send a better plane than an archaic B763.

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    3. There is enough demand for both. Especially since Transat is completely focused on leisure flyers and sells tour packages with hotels.

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    4. Are there some examples of flights in Europe where both have competed or compete?

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    5. They both fly to Athens from Toronto and Montreal.

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    6. There is a big enough market for both.

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    7. yeah, because first thing what tourists gonna check is type of plane. B763 or A332. Price is not most important thing for them, but type of plane is :D c'man guys!

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    8. Well those who flew last year on Transat and this year on Rouge will feel the difference in their knees :D

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  10. I have to ask what is what is Air Transat's logic of the routing Toronto-Zagreb-Montreal-Toronto? Why not operate the stop in Montreal from Toronto as well. Weird.

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    1. They probably have some tour groups on those dates. They might be traveling from Montreal to Prague but will return from Zagreb to Montreal after their tour.

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    2. Or maybe testing the market for regular flights in 2019?

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    3. That would be an expensive way to test the market.

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  11. Why would anyone fly on Rouge when there is Transat?

    I just checked the legroom and Transat offer 32-33' while Rouge has 30'! That's quite a difference on a nine hour flight.

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    Replies
    1. someone who will book some connections on AC network will use AC of course...

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    2. And people on here commented so much how Transat was like sardines in a can. Sadly, there are so many untruths (others would call it "hate") against any success that ZAG/HR has.

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    3. You are probably the only one linking cabin layout with Zagreb or Croatia's success. Air Transat's cabins are like a sardine. Take it from someone that has flown with them. But yes, there are those worse than them.

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    4. When people talk about things like this it has nothing to do with a success of a certain market. This is an aviation forum so people discuss airline product. Just because seat pitch is tight on a certain airline does not reflect badly on a market. I have no clue how you came to that conclusion.

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    5. 2,5 more inches (almost 7 cm) is a big difference, how can that be sardine can layout?

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    6. These particular flights by Air Transat use 330-300, but the chosen configuration has the same # of seats (345 pax) to those from 330-200. Hence, more space. There's another configuration by Air Transat which has 365 or 370 seats. Now, that's tight...

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    7. AC is one of the founders of Star Alliance, meaning there are tons of conections you can make across the world, Air Canada Rouge also has a better Reputation than Air Transat, also you can find ACR tickets cheaper than Transat ones

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  12. I could be wrong but it seems their arrival into Zagreb allows for a decent connection to Belgrade with AirSerbia’s morning flight.

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    1. Depends if ZAG is included in the interline agreement between JU and AC. I know LHR and CPH are.

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    2. It is highly likely that JU will start Toronto this year so I doubt they would make a deal with Air Canada for this route.

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  13. Congrats Zagreb for having two airlines battle it out on a long haul line. Hopefully the US is next.

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    1. Hope so, but I think 2019 is more realistic for US.

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    2. I think we will wait a bit more for direct flights to the US. We have AC now, u can connect in Toronto on many US carriers and u have AC there to get to the US (east and west coast + more another destinations around the country). We also have good connections with Lufthansa, Austrian, KLM, British, LOT, Air France...so I'm not sure if someone will risk and go with direct flights to Croatia. Once when happen, it gonna work, but not sure that will happen before 2020.

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    3. It's surprising flights from the US haven't started yet. Canada is a much smaller market for Croatia than the US.

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    4. Hopefully, US flights will start in 2019!

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  14. Is Croatia Airlines codesharing on this flight?

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    1. They codeshare with Air Canada on routes from Europe - Frankfurt, Paris, London. I would be surprised if they didn't from Zagreb.

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    2. It would be beneficial for OU for AC to put codes on Croatian domestic flights too.

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  15. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  16. I was looking at flights from ORD to ZAG and noticed that LH will have 12 weekly flights from FRA to ZAG. Wasn't it double daily last summer?

    Aircraft will be E90.

    Does OU carry most of the traffic?

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    1. Another change is that the LH MUC-ZAG at 12.00 has been transferred to Air Dolomiti. I guess they need to lower their expenses now. It will operate 5/7.

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    2. There you go. A direct impact of the increasing choices at ZAG. So to those people that think that these flights Toronto don't have an impact, they do.

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    3. Does anyone have LH's numbers at ZAG? I have a feeling they were crashing in recent years due to increased competition.

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    4. Anon 10.02

      For years and year the OU-LH gang with the support of ZAIC has restricted competition so that they could rip us off. No more. LH is failing left and right and they deserve it.

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    5. LH is the best thing that can happen to people travelling from Croatia. I hope it will finally buy Croatia Airlines so that we fly with a proper German company.

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    6. Seems like many Croats disagree with you given how much they have reduced their flights.

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    7. The Lufthansa dominance in ZAG is coming to a long awaited end.

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    8. LH's collapse could pontentially see OU dragged down with them. We already see that they are flying half empty A319s to FRA.
      It's good they are expanding to new markets.

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    9. LH's collapse... seriously?

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    10. Where have we seen they are flying half empty A319s exactly?

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    11. LH to collapse while they're controlling an entire Star Alliance? Buahahaha

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    12. LH's collapse in Zagreb. Not overall. Keep up.

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    13. How has LH collapsed in ZAG? What are you talking about?

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    14. LH had 580 000 pax @Zagreb last year, don't think we should just yet drum gloom and doom for Lufthansa. They're just feeling the competition from Turkish, KLM, Qatar and Emirates. Air Canada is the cherry on the top.

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    15. AC and LH aren't competitors on north atlantic routes - they are joint venture partners.

      Mihael

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    16. Ever since more airlines entered ZAG they have been reducing ZAG. I mean first they removed their mainline flights and now next summer FRA will have mere 12 flights operated on RJs.
      Munich was further downgraded where the first flight is operated by Air Dolomiti. Probably a way to cut cost as even LH Regional doesn't cut it anymore.

      AC Rouge launching its own flights will hurt the OU-LH partnership.

      Michael, ZAG-YYZ is not part of the joint venture.

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    17. Lufthansa is keeping 14 x weekly ZAG-FRA-ZAG and it's flying with E90, 100 seaters. In 2017. they flew with a319/20 for 3 months only anyway. This is more evenly spread out and this way LH won't "kill" OUs loads during pre-season given that OU is overcapacitated to FRA.
      As for MUC, 14 x flights are kept as well. This is all summer (mar h- october) we are talking about. In winter it was never 14 x weekly flights of eac destination anyway...

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    18. LH is still operating mainline into ZAG, this has not changed.

      And the JV between LH Group Airlines and UA,AC is valid for any route between Europe and North America.

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    19. You could be right (Anonymous 7:25). After searching for information, i'm not sure anymore that Rouge (like Eurowings long haul) is part of their joint venture.

      During the last summer season FRA-ZAG was already operated by LH Cityline - so no mainline service either. The change from CRJ9 to E190 is still an upgrade.

      Air Dolomiti already operated flights between MUC and ZAG in the past. Flew them on my way home in March 2015.

      Mihael

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  17. Good results for advance bookings are enabled by early availability of tickets on routes like Toronto. It makes Air Serbia delays in official announcement of Toronto route more puzzling.

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    1. I agree with you but we don't really know if they will even start them. They just said they were considering it as an option.

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    2. There are indications they moved beyond consideration phase. Vinci stated in concession related news release they will support Air Serbia long haul plans. Air Serbia flight to JFK recently diverted to distant Toronto. Ministry official recently talked about Air Serbia planning flights to Canada:

      https://youtu.be/tt2BSvCbnow?t=28m

      There are unconfirmed reports engine choice is the issue for second A330. Current A330 has GE engines but it appears second one could have RR engines. Having two different types could be a problem.

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  18. Maybe Transat could start Dubrovnik if Zagreb does not work out for them this year because of Air Canada.

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    Replies
    1. Most likely, Air transat will switch to Montreal.

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  19. "Air Canada Rouge will offer a total 20.586 seats each way between Toronto and Zagreb during the June 2 to October 7 period"

    This will not be easy to fill but I wish them luck.

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    Replies
    1. Considering the amount of Canadian tourists that visited Croatia last year, that should not be an issue to fill.

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    2. Remember that not all tourists arrive to Croatia by plane. In fact many Canadians visit Croatia as part of a European package and Croatia is not their original point of entry, so they don't use these flights.

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    3. Exactly. Friends visited us from Canada last year, landed in VIE on a tour package, explored Austria, Slovenia, came to Croatia, moved on to Serbia and flew back to VIE and back to YVR.

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    4. That is where Transat is a better choice. Air Transat allows you to purchase a ticket to say Prague and for you to return from Zagreb and charges as one return ticket which is really good for tourists. They also fly to Budapest. So a person can book a ticket to BUD, spend a few days there, go to Zagreb and return from there to Toronto.

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    5. Nearly every airline allows that, it's called open jaw. My DL ticket this year is open jaw, and it didn't cost any more money than a regular roundtrip ticket.

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    6. 170 000 Canadians in Croatia last year, not 100% or 150 000, w.e the case, 21000 seats offered is nothing. They'll need to up that a fair bit to even catch up.

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    7. To even catch up? What makes you think all of those will fly into ZAG? Most of those are travelling around Europe, they are not visiting Croatia exclusively.

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    8. I absolutely LOVE it when you guys swoop in here with concerns how this or that airline will have problems filling up these flights. If/when someone says that about BEG for instance - hater brigade. Hypocrite much?

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    9. @frishkiJanuary 13, 2018 at 9:58 AM

      x2

      150 000 Canadians in Croatia last year, naa that's just passers by, visiting Europe. 18000 Chinese in Serbia, - massive tourist wave on the way, Serbia million Chinese visitors expected by the end of 2019.

      For reference, 156000 Canadians visited Croatia in 2017, generating 724 000 nights.
      505 000 US visitors generating 1.4 million nights. We can safely assume Tornto - Zagreb and 21000 seats on offer will be packing in 2018.

      575 000 US Visitors and 175 000 Canadian visitors are expected in Croatia this year. Combined they're expected to generate nearly 2.5 million nights and €320 million in revenue.

      I think Zagreb being connected only over season is bound to extend beyond seasonality in 2021 or beyond when nearly million US visitors and 300 000 Canadians are expected to visit Croatia *(2021/22).

      For reference, in 2017, 18.5 million visitors visited Croatia, 16.5 million foreign, generating 103 million nights. Croatia earned between €11 and €12 billion from tourism last year. 2018, 7-8% growth on last year is expected when over 20 million visitors will visit Croatia, generating close to 120 million nights and an revenue of ~€15 billion.

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  20. Shame neither want to try year-round. It could work.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they could fly it via another one of their European cities during the winter. Via Prague or as a stop to Budapest.

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    2. The 'issue' is that both PRG and BUD can sustain flights on their own. Maybe YYZ-ZAG-SKP?

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  21. The issue with Canada and ex-Yu countries is that passenger flow is highly highly seasonal. Even more than US. So it is difficult for an airline to sustain year long flights. Don't get me wrong, I hope it happens but I think we will have to wait some years before it does.

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    Replies
    1. There are ways to make a route attractive in the off season even, especially a large company like Air Canada which can offer very good fares for the entire US.

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    2. There are already enough options via a major european hub during the low season - overcapacities included.

      Mihael

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  22. Nice to see the maple leaf back in Zagreb!

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    1. I'm excited to see them back too :)

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    2. How many weekly flights did they used to operate?

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    3. 4 per week. Same as the amount of flights they are starting now.

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  23. AC will go year round at some point since they are already starting 4pw.

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  24. AC Rouge brings no improvement to the ZAG market expect for brand recongition. Service, configuration and aircraft age are all on Air Transat's side.

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    Replies
    1. AC will offer better connections, Star alliance frequent flyer program, and better schedule.

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  25. OU could benefit from this flight quite a bit, they could have even help in making it year-round.

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    1. They will benefit with or without a codeshare since they are both star alliance members and someone who wants to book from Toronto to Dubrovnik and Split will get offered this flight + OU domestic flight.

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  26. 6 flights pw ZAG-YYZ is a lot. But HR does have a large diaspora over there + Bosnians that are gonna use ZAG. I see this working out just fine

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    1. I think so too. Plus don't forget tourists.

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    2. Do you think its possibly keeping maybe 1-2pw during winter? It would be s good addition to zagreb for year rounds.

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    3. I don't think they will start winter ops until they can sustain around 3 flights per week during winter. But you never know. Like they said, if they are satisfied with demand they will keep it. Personally I think they will first upgrade to Air Canada mainline and then later go year round. That will probably all happen in the next 2-3 years.

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  27. Da.
    Ali dijaspora putuje jednom godisnje.
    Ako i to.

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    Replies
    1. A turisti se teleportiraju?

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    2. Ma tu neki stavljaju teziste na dijasporu.
      Ma koliko brojna bila, i oni su samo jedan dio te "turisticke" klijentele.
      Jako malo, iznimno malo, prekooceanske "dijaspore" putuje u domovinu vise od jednom godisnje.
      Tako da ja toj "dijaspori" ne bi pridavao neki pretjerani utjecaj na potraznju za tim letovima.

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    3. Pa ne ali vecina turista ocito ne leti za ZAG vec za druge aerodrome u regiji. Zagreb je usputna stanica

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    4. Daj to hitno javi ekipi u AC.

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    5. Moram se nadopuniti.
      Dijaspora ne opravdava cijelogodisnju liniju.

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  28. Nice to see this route is performing up to their expectations.

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    1. Well I doubt tgey would say it isn't but it looks like this will be a good new route for AC Rouge.

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    2. True. But in any case there is stil half a year for sales before the first flight starts... Long time to sell a lot more tickets.

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  29. The return of AC fills me with nostalgia. Great to see them back and they aren't shy about it. Four weekly flights is impressive, especially with Air Transat already operating very successfully to Zagreb.
    The question is though, are they out to get Air Transat and it would seem so, in my opinion. Is there enough demand for both carriers to operate the same route? Or, since it probably is, maybe the better question would be, which airline do you think offers a better product?
    Perhaps, if AC pushes out Air Transat in regards to this particular route, Air Transat could switch to Montreal-Zagreb. Speaking of, which other cities in Canada does Air Transat operate from?

    ReplyDelete

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