Hainan Airlines still planning Zadar service


Zadar Airport expects to establish flights with China over the coming years but will first have to expand its infrastructure in order to handle long haul services. Zadar County Prefect, Božidar Longin, said Hainan Airlines still plans to launch services to the city following talks with the carrier. "They have already announced plans to introduce flights to Zagreb this year and they have shown particular interest in commencing services to Zadar, especially after the Port of Gaženica [in Zadar] becomes the main docking point for cruisers", Mr Longin said. He added, "In order to secure nonstop flights, we must lengthen the runway by 700 metres but we will first have to see how we can do this. One option is for the concession of the airport but this will ultimately be up to the government to decide".

The latest developments follow on from initial talks held with Hainan Airlines in 2015 over possible services from Chongqing, in China's south-west, to Zadar, which would have continued on to Rome. However, the service never materialised. Late last year, Zadar Airport held talks with the Ambassador of China to Croatia in a bid to secure flights to the country. Furthermore, local authorities have also discussed potential operations from Guangzhou with China Southern Airlines, however, the carrier decided against launching the service. "Representatives from Hainan province will visit Zadar in April where we will further discuss these future operations", Mr Longin noted.

Some 200.000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia last year. "The cooperation with Hainan Airlines is a good opportunity for us to continue developing this new far-away market", Mr Longin said. The Chinese Ambassador to Croatia last week emphasised the need for nonstop flights to be established between the two counties in order to attract more tourists. "Now is the time for these services to begin", he said. Furthermore, Chinese companies are starting to invest in Croatia's tourism sector, with Zhongya Holding, recently unveiling plans to invest some thirty million euros in the Krapinske Toplice health resort. Such projects are excepted to eventually result in the introduction of nonstop flights between the two countries.

Comments

  1. I'll believe it when I see it. It being a Hainan aircraft at the airport.

    Still, if this happens it will put an end to ZAG's China flights aspirations.

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    1. Well if you read the article it says they will first go to Zagreb. At least that's what the Zadar župan says.

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  2. ZAD would become the fourth city in the Balkans to get China flights after ATH, IST and BEG.

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    1. Yes if you consider IST to be Balkans (in political and economic terms). :)

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    2. Well IST is located on the Balkan peninsula, geographically speaking. :)

      SAW is an Asian airport.

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  3. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  4. So after 3 years of talking about these flights they FINALLY realized they need to extend the runway.

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    1. And I remember the airport representatives travelling so many times to China under the explanation that they were negotiating flights to China, all the while it was completely impossible.

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    2. Free trips to China are not easy to refuse.

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  5. "They have already announced plans to introduce flights to Zagreb this year"

    ???

    Have they? Will PEK-ZAG flights happen this year?

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised. While HNA group of companies is in big trouble Hainan Airlines (a small part of that group) is healthy and profitable.
      It also is in an expansion mode.

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    2. It will be interesting to see which airline in the group starts flights. Politicians just call it Hainan but it could be anyone from the HNA group. Last year it was Beijing Capital Airlines that was supposed to start flights.

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  6. To me, this looks more like Zadar testing the waters to give the airport up for concession to the Chinese.

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    1. In that case they would be the only airport other than Zagreb to be given up for concession.

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  7. They don't give up :D

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  8. Ko o cemu baba o ustipcima...

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  9. Really hope these happen eventually.

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  10. China-Zadar really makes no sense at this point. Hopefully Hainan starts Zagreb flights.

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    1. Hainan has said that they don't have plans to expand in the region for now.

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  11. It's good that Zadar is attempting something different and are trying to diversify their offer.

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  12. If they extend the runway it could attract various airlines not just one from China. I think it is in the airport's interest to do this ASAP. I don't understand that they don't have enough funds to finance it for themselves and that instead they need a concessionaire.

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  13. Besides Krapinske Toplice there will be Chinese investment in the electric supercar producer, Rimac Automobili, and another Chinese CRBC company won a major tender worth 435 million US dollars for construction of the Peljesac bridge.

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    1. China is seriously interested in economic and trade cooperation with Croatia so flight would make sense. I hope sooner rather than later.

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    2. They might be interested but the region is getting quite saturated with flights to China. All major airpors with the exception of ZAG are linked with China (BEG, VIE, BUD and VCE).

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    3. OTP is not and I think it had 13 million pax last year. Also SOF is not connected to China.

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    4. OTP and SOF are not in ZAG's catchment area.

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    5. An. 11:50 "the region is (BEG, VIE, BUD, VCE) getting quite saturated with flights to China". And which region would that be, could you please explain? Because Venice is always counted as "Southern Europe, or Mediterranean", VIE belongs to "Central Europe", BEG, especially nowadays is pure "Eastern Europe", and BUD is somewhere between Eastern and Central. So your "region" covers at least half of the whole Europe, maybe even two thirds, while only Northern and Western Europe is missing. But if the point was to emphasize that ZAG doesn't have China flights, and BEG has, and that Croatia, both ZAG and ZAD which negotiate the services, maybe some other croatian airports as well, would never get China flights because the "region" is "saturated", than I understand completely the idea of the post. 1 200 000 000 Chinese, booming croatian tourism, negotiations going on, everything is irrelevant, because half of the Europe as a region is "saturated". Bravo!

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    6. BEG, especially nowadays is pure "Eastern Europe".

      If you were trying to offend someone by writing this, then it says more about yourself. The only people I see get offended by being called Eastern European, as they are, are those from Croatia who somehow think they border Belgium and Luxembourg and try to escape reality.

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    7. Anon 6.25

      Huh? What are you going on about? We don't look at catchment areas purely along those lines. So just because some consider VCE southern Europe it means it can't be after the same market or be compared to LJU or ZAG?!

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  14. I like Zadar, they are quite proactive like Belgrade. They were the first or one of the first to have a (seasonal) LCC base and now they will get flights to China.
    It's nice when someone is competent and proactive like they are.

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    1. Agree. Plus I think Zadar could benefit from the overcapacity at Split.

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  15. Do not know whether this will materialise. However, Zadar is a good alternative to Split given the fact that the airport there is packed during peak summer months and not willing to handle wide body aircrafts.

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  16. It would make more sense for them to start Dubrovnik in my opinion.

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    1. Dubrovnik should be going after seasonal summer flights from US and South Korea first.

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    2. +1 anon 12.53
      I will never get why they chose Zadar instead of Split or Dubrovnik which would have made more sense and would definitively sell better then Zadar of all places.

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  17. It will be like every time, much talk no action.

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    1. Exactly. We will read the same story next year because the county government will go again to China for a free holiday.

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    2. Well it says people from Hainan are coming in April so let's wait and see.

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    3. @ 1.37 is right.

      Actually in local parliament just 2 weeks ago they were calling out Irena Cosic, former ZAD CEO for taking so many trips to China to apparently negotiate these flights.

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    4. This was her response to those allegations
      http://www.seebiz.eu/irena-cosic-put-koji-smo-trasirali-sa-cseba-om-nije-bio-uzaludan/ar-170330/

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  18. There are still flights in Europe Zadar should secure first - like to Amsterdam for example.

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    1. Agree with this post. Crazy how they have absolutely no flights to the Netherlands for years now, while they do to all the other countries around the Netherlands.

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  19. PEK - BEG - SJJ and PEK-ZAG would be great

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    1. PEK-BEG would be great too.

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    2. I say that, PEK - BEG (part of PEK-BEG-SJJ). For Belgrade it is direct flight to Peking. PEK-BEG-SJJ-BEG-PEK

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    3. Pardon, said*

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    4. Even Belgrade does not have direct flights to Beijing. Hopefully it will soon. Flights from China to SJJ are really not realistic at this moment. What SJJ would benefit from is 2-3 daily flight to Belgrade to allow for better transfers.

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  20. Zadar becoming port of call for cruise ships would do nothing for the airport. Zadar becoming port of departure for average or larger cruise ships (2000-3000 passengers) would require at least a couple of widebodies per day + a bunch of single aisle planes. Port would also need a large passenger terminal and supply services. The only such port in Adriatic is Venice. Zadar needs a healthy dose of reality.

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    1. Anon 3:41, you can check the progress of Gaženica port anytime you want.

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    2. Having a port does not mean it will be used as port of departure for main cruise lines.

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    3. It also doesn't mean it won't be used as port of call. Unlike Dubrovnik trying to get rid of cruise ships, there's still plenty of space for Zadar!

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    4. Zadar becoming port of call for cruise ships would do nothing for the airport. Passengers disembark in the morning, spend a couple of hours in the area then go back to the ship. This is an aviation blog.

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  21. Finally understood that they need to lengthen runway. Hallelujah.

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  22. I really hope this does eventually materialize. It would be great for Zadar.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It may materialise once the runway is extended and the taxiways widened. Therefore I don't see it happening soon as this work probably won't take place until at least 2019 or 2020. Or, like the prefect says until a concessionaire is found.

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  23. Great article published in Croatian about this issue late last year. Basically it says a lot about this fairy tale between ZAD and the Chinese and it mostly involves corruption.
    http://www.mega-media.hr/hoce-li-na-letove-za-kinu-nasjesti-i-dukic-i-klismanic/

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    1. I knew it was dodgy story from the beginning.

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  24. But didn't Zadar handle widebodies in the past? I have a memory of an Il96 landing in Zadar a couple of years ago, so how come they can't handle an A330?

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    1. It is true that an Il86 (not 96) landed in Zadae but it was from the Russian government and not fully loaded. So it could use the runway. Zadar's runway is only 2500m, and can't handle A330 or any larger wide body that requires minimum runway length of 2800m.

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  25. This again. If they've already announced flights to Zagreb, I doubt they'll be flying to Zadar too. More likely OU would then dispatch the passengers proceeding to the coast (not only to Zadar). And as I understand, even ZAG is still not a done deal.
    This thing with Zadar sounds to me about as bizarre as those Maribore flights.

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    1. Sorry, Michael, but where (and when) did they announce flights to ZAG?

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    2. Says so in this article. "They have already announced plans to introduce flights to Zagreb this year and they have shown particular interest in commencing services to Zadar, especially after the Port of Gaženica [in Zadar] becomes the main docking point for cruisers"
      But this doesn't sound to me as a done deal for Zagreb. Plans can be changed.

      Delete
  26. Will be interesting to see what will happen with Zadar in the future. On one hand it has plenty of room to expand and with the possibility of Alibaba opening a larger distinction centre in Zemunik, then China freight links could be warranted.
    On the other hand there has been talk of Zadar becoming a NATO base for the region which could put Chinese based investment in jepody.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If I had to chose NATO or the Chinese I would always go for the Chinese.

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  27. Weren't these guys in bankruptcy?

    ReplyDelete

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