Zagreb Airport with regional hub ambitions

Zagreb Airport's General Manager Jacques Feron said his team is working towards developing Croatia's busiest airport into a regional hub by attracting new carriers and cooperating closely with Croatia Airlines. Mr Feron noted that such a process would take time but added that the country's growing tourism industry would assist in achieving this goal. "I believe I would not exaggerate in saying that Zagreb Airport's future looks promising. Of course, we are benefiting from the continuous economic and tourism sector development in Zagreb. At the same time, with new infrastructure and a modern and efficient passenger terminal, we can have an impact on the positive perception of the country. We can use the terminal as a tool to further promote the city. However, our ambitions do not end there. We want to transform Zagreb Airport into an example of excellence when it comes to infrastructure management and development, and we are continuously working on further improving our relations with stakeholders and airlines, above all with our national carrier, Croatia Airlines, which is of most importance to us".

Mr Feron noted that transforming Zagreb into a hub is a long-term strategy, with Group Aerport de Paris' concession to run until 2042. "It is important to bear in mind that an airport like Zagreb cannot develop independently into a hub. We cannot simply decide on it alone. This process has to take place in close cooperation with other airlines, which results in transforming an airport into a hub. It is clear that this cannot happen overnight, but we are heading in the right direction. We are planning new destinations, and our future development is linked to Croatia Airlines' growth, which remains our most important partner and has the largest share in overall traffic. As a concessionaire, we will continue to support co-operation with airline companies and create a flexible and efficient environment in which carriers will be able to easily develop their strategies".

Zagreb Airport has attracted several big names over the past few years including Emirates and the Air Canada group. It is also attempting to secure flights to both the United States and China. On the other hand, there has also been some criticism of the airport, primarily from Croatia Airlines which has accused several of the new terminal's design flaws for putting pressure on its operational costs. However, the airport has said it is working together with airlines towards resolving all issues. Zagreb Airport handled a record 3.092.047 passengers in 2017, with growth standing at 13.3% in January of this year. It is dominated by full service carriers, which account for 91.3% of seats, whereas low cost carriers have a share of 8.5%


  1. Anonymous09:04

    Queue ZAG vs BEG comments in 3,2,1...

    1. Anonymous09:09


    2. Anonymous11:39

      A good competition is always good.

    3. Anonymous12:17

      I know. I don't mind healthy competition. But the ZAG vs BEG comments usually get out of hand are not very healthy ;D

  2. Anonymous09:04

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    1. Anonymous21:23

      Bravo Špansko i Malešnica!

  3. Anonymous09:05

    I would like to know what the region exactly entails? A lot of executives in the Balkans throw it around all the time but I don't get if it refers to Balkans, ex-Yu???

    1. Anonymous09:14

      Me too. They should specify. Although I think they mostly refer to ex-Yu. At least in Serbia when people say "region" it usually means ex-Yu.

    2. Anonymous09:16

      Just the ex-yu.
      Being leader in a village is very important for some people.

    3. Anonymous09:29

      Samo, ovaj se udao u to selo

    4. Anonymous11:40

      No longer the only gay in the village (Little Britain).

  4. Anonymous09:06

    In order to become a hub, Croatia Airlines needs to grow in the Balkans. Year round flights to Athens, Pristina, flights to Tirana, Sofia, Podgorica, Tivat....

    1. Anonymous09:27

      And more year long flighs overall.

    2. Anonymous09:56

      Sofia was launched last yer.

    3. Alen Šćuric Purger10:21

      Sofia was not launched last year. Last year Croatia opened routes to Bucharest, Stockholm, Helsiki and Oslo, in 2016. to Milano, St.Petersburg, Lisabon and Prague.

      Croatia is missing routes to
      Mostar (starts this year, but it should be at least 6 pw, rest is not an option)
      Dublin (starts this year)
      Istanbul (3rd flight in code-share with TK)
      Pristina (all year at least 4pw in winter and 7 pw in summer)

      Prague, Milano, Lisabon, Barcelona, Dublin, istanbul, Tirana, Priština and Stockholm should be all year.

    4. Anonymous11:52

      OU really must expand, and maintain service to many EU destinations, did a list yesterday, re-posting it here.

      OU should be flying in winters (summers) to:

      Amsterdam Netherlands x7 (12)
      Athens Greece x3 (4)
      Barcelona Spain x3 (5)
      Berlin Germany x6 (12)
      Brussels Belgium x 10 (12)
      Bucharest Romania x2 (4)
      Budapest Hungary x 4 (6)
      Copenhagen Denmark x6 (12)
      Dublin Ireland x3 (5)
      Dubrovnik Croatia x 30 (56)
      Dusseldorf Germany x3 (6)
      Frankfurt Germany x 21 (30)
      Hamburg Germany x3 (6)
      Helsinki Finland x3 (5)
      Istanbul Turkey x3 (6)
      Lisbon Portugal x3 (5)
      London United Kingdom x4 (4)
      London United Kingdom x5 (8)
      Lyon France x3 (6)
      Madrid Spain x3 (5)
      Manchester United Kingdom x3 (5)
      Milan Italy x5 (8)
      Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina x4 (6)
      Munich Germany x21 (28)
      Nice France x3 (6)
      Osijek Croatia x6 (12)
      Oslo Norway x3 (6)
      Prague Czech Republic x3 (6)
      Pristina Kosovo x14 (21)
      Pula Croatia x6 (12)
      Riga Latvia x2 (5)
      Rijeka Croatia x4 (7)
      Rome Italy x10 (14)
      Saint Petersburg Russia x2 (4)
      Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina x21 (28)
      Skopje Republic of Macedonia x16 (20)
      Split Croatia x 35 (56)
      Stockholm Sweden x 5 (8)
      Stuttgart Germany x 3 (5)
      Tel Aviv Israel x 2 (3)
      Venice Italy x 3 (5)
      Vienna Austria x 21 (24)
      Warsaw Poland x3 (6)
      Zadar Croatia x 8 (14)
      Zagreb Croatia x 252 (336)
      Zürich Switzerland 7 (12)

      This is a long term strategy though, like with in next 5-7 years. But this would be ideal situation where OU flies to 45-50 European destinations. I presume OU will need to aim for 3.0 million passengers by 2025, with 2.25 million passengers quite likely this year.

      I am encouraged by the statements of Mr. Feron,
      however, my priority would be to hit 5 million pax mark, 8 million there after. All possible by 2025. However, hard work lays ahead.

      SAS ,Alitalia, Aer Lingus. EasyJet, Finnair, TAP Portugal, Air Baltic, Jin Air, Transavia France, Voltea, and few other airlines must be enticed to start flying to Zagreb.

      If these and few more airlines can be brought in, and OU expands and serves 45-50 destinations, 8 million pax is quite possible by the end of 2025. However, it won't be easy.

      Interesting stuff.

    5. Anonymous12:21

      I think Zagreb Airport outlined some time ago when they plan for the next terminal expansion to happen. Since the terminal expansion will start when capacity of five million is reached, that should be an indication when they expect to achieve that number. I just can't remember what year they said.

    6. Anonymous12:43

      So no bwk on yours list...

    7. Anonymous21:27

      But Rijeka, which is in one hour driving by highway, is. Hahahaha...

    8. Anonymous08:22

      Can someone explain this: “Zagreb Croatia x 252 (336)"

    9. Anonymous08:51

      @AnonymousFebruary 21, 2018 at 8:22 AM

      Winter - 252, (Summer 336) weekly departures

    10. Anonymous09:10

      Thanks for the reply, but I still don't get it. How many departures weekly are there now?

    11. Anonymous22:36

      In winters 168 out of Zagreb, around 265 in summer months.

  5. Anonymous09:09

    The best managed airport in ex-yu

    1. Anonymous09:10

      I wouldn't agree. I think there are better contenders for the prize. Too many mishaps by the ZAG management concerning the new terminal. Credit for attracting new airlines though.

    2. Anonymous12:22

      I think that title belongs to Dubrovnik.

  6. Anonymous09:09

    Has ZAG published a single financial report for the past few years? It would be interesting too see how their finances are doing.

    1. Anonymous09:26

      I don't know where they can be found. There aren't any reports on their website.

    2. Anonymous09:52

      The parent company only publishes financial results.

    3. Anonymous12:00

      They have published it, Turnover is €158 million, profits were €5.5 million after tax, data was published by number of local newspapers, ranking Croatian airports by profits. Split came at the top.

      Data for 2017 will be published in April, profits have gone up by 20% on 2016 data.

      In 2016 Zagreb had 60 million kuna profits before tax, and 38 million after tax.

    4. Anonymous12:22

      Thank you.

  7. Anonymous09:11

    I remember when last year BEG Airport CEO said the same. Then there was a number of comments here how it is arrogant for him to say something like that lol.

    1. Anonymous09:19

      Naravno da je bilo arogantno. Mali lokalni aerodrom oko 80-og mesta medju evropskim. Igraju se budaletine na polozajima zamajavanja javnosti.

    2. Anonymous09:45

      It's a genuine goal that most airports in the world strive to achieve. I don;t see why it's problematic be it ZAG or BEG.

    3. well saša vlaisavljević didn't say the same at all. what he said was that he doesn't consider ZAG a competition anymore, but his true peers are BUD and other bigger airports.

      only to release months later the tender for consulting services on how to attract long haulers in order to respond from ZAG competition.
      tender, which was then annulled on the request from government

  8. Anonymous09:12

    I'm a Croat but I doubt ZAG will ever become a regional hub. For starters, what about flights to the US? Who are they negotiating with? Any new carriers that might occur next year?

    1. Anonymous09:26

      Every year they announce how the new flights to US are coming and then nothing. Hope it happens in 2019 but I have no expectations.

    2. Anonymous09:32

      There is a guy here who lists almost all european airlines that don't fly to ZAG and says how they are all in talks. Last year he said how Norwegian will start flights from Gatwick and Oslo to Zagreb this year and open a base in 2020. Whatever answer you get to your question be warned.

    3. Anonymous10:02

      United would be absolutely the best choice for US flights to Zagreb. They could codeshare with Croatia Airlines from Zagreb to the rest of country plus Skopje, Pristina, Sarajevo, Bucharest... It could be a major success.

    4. Anonymous12:23

      It would be nice. Maybe next year. ZAG pulls out a surprise every year. They did it with Transat, then Emirates, then Air Canada Rouge. We will see if they have one for 2019.

  9. Anonymous09:15

    The true hub in the region is Budapest and will continue to be as a seizeble number of citizens of several countries gravitate towards it.

    1. Anonymous09:34

      BUD is not a hub.

    2. Anonymous09:37


    3. Anonymous09:40

      "Airline hubs or hub airports are used by one or more airlines to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a given airport. They serve as transfer (or stop-over) points to get passengers to their final destination. It is part of the hub-and-spoke system"

    4. Anonymous09:41

      So tell me which airline has this in Budapest?

    5. Anonymous09:48

      With Ryanair starting connecting flights last year (and W6 following FR's steps one by one), it could be only a question of time that they try this from Budapest.

    6. Alen Šćuric Purger10:24

      But now it is not a hub. Even if Ryanair will use that to other bases they don't have connections to region, and Wizz Air have to modest connections to region (just few routes with 2-3 flights pw) what will not make BUD a real hub.

    7. Anonymous12:05

      @AnonymousFebruary 20, 2018 at 9:15 AM

      Regional hub for Croats is Munich, there are no direct flights to Budapest and Vienna is much closer to Zagreb. Vienna is twice as large airport, Munich nearly 4 times as big and is almost closer to Zagreb. Budapest is 330km, Munich 420km.

      However, locally, in ex Yu Zagreb could be interesting airport in not to distant future.

    8. Anonymous12:48

      No way ZAG in the future until LCCs come.

    9. Anonymous18:26

      Agree with Anon 12:48! What's holding them back from ZAG?

    10. Anonymous21:34

      ZAG-MUC is 550, not 420 km.

    11. Anonymous09:00

      @AnonymousFebruary 20, 2018 at 9:34 PM

      Use google earth, it is 420km

    12. Anonymous09:37

      Cestom je 550 km, avio-koridorima 435.

      Sad ne razumijem što ste htjeli reči. Ako mislite na udaljenost hubova, onda je MUC "dovoljno" udaljen jer let sa jetom traje sat vremena, sa turbopropom oko 1:15 sati. Ako ste mislili na udaljenost automobilom kao odvlačenje putnika na korištenje ove destinacije, onda je 550 km predaleko.

    13. Anonymous22:48

      There are 5-6 daily flights to Munich and Frankfurt out of Zagreb each day, both airports act as main hubs for Croats traveling further.

      Vienna is another airport Croats travel a lot to, by plane or a car, it is relatively close only 265km away and once Croatia is in Schengen, it'll be only 2 hour drive to Vienna.

  10. Anonymous09:21

    BUD, OTP and soon SOF are far ahead of any ex-Yu airport and they do not claim to be "hubs" for any region.

    1. Anonymous10:04

      every ex-yu capital claims its a hub

    2. Alen Šćuric Purger10:26

      OTP is a hub but not for exYU, but Sofia and Budapest are not hubs as they don't have feeding routes to make connections.

      Real hub for exYU are Vienna, Istanbul, Athens, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. Biggest competition to Ljubljana, Belgrade and Zagreb as transit hubs is Vienna for sure, as it has lot of routes and frequencies in region.

    3. Anonymous10:40

      Ironically the collapse of Yugoslavia and the Eastern Bloc in general has made Vienna a hub.

    4. Alen Šćuric Purger10:50

      So true!

  11. Anonymous09:28

    Beograd je jedini i prirodni hub na ovim prostorima i to se nece promeniti.Tesla ce rasti i ove godine a od sledece kad palicu preuzmu Francuzi i kad se Er Srbija konsoliduje sledi vvtoglavi rast.

    1. Anonymous09:29

      It begins...

    2. Anonymous09:34

      Može biti samo jedan!

    3. Anonymous09:36

      hehe...good try

    4. Anonymous09:44


    5. Anonymous09:59

      Meanwhile, both OTP and BUD have pax numbers in excess of 12 millions per year.

    6. Anonymous10:03

      Sto su ti to prostori?

      Nemam potrebu, niti sam do sada imao, a sumnjam kako cu i imati potrebu ici preko BEG.

    7. Anonymous10:03


    8. Anonymous10:03

      popcorn je spremljen

    9. Anonymous10:05

      Boze kako nasedate kao deca.

    10. Još jedan sa kristalnom kuglom...

    11. Alen Šćuric Purger10:27

      Dječji vrtić!!!!

    12. Anonymous10:35

      Even SOF and SKG are busier than any ex-yu airport but they don't go around saying that they are Balkan hubs.

    13. Alen Šćuric Purger10:54

      There are airports with 20+ million in Europe that are not hubs. For sure SOF is not a hub.

    14. What Purger said.
      And in this article, no one is saying they are the Balkans hub. They're saying it's their long term goal to become one. For sure Sofia is not a hub, nor will it become a hub for the western part of the balkans. If anyone does become that, it'll be Belgrade, or Zagreb. Or both.
      For example: Amsterdam is one of the Europe's great 4. Or great 5, if you count Istanbul. It has way more passengers than Copenhagen, yet Copenhagen is considered the main Scandinavian hub.

  12. Anonymous09:39

    Seasonal base maybe.

  13. Anonymous09:53

    Great years ahead of Zagreb, would be interesting to know which airlines they are negotiating with.

  14. Anonymous09:55

    zagrab needs more routes in Eastern Europe like MSQ, KIV, OTP, CLJ.

    1. Anonymous10:20

      Who is going to fly between Zagreb and Minsk? Are there any business ties between Croatia and Belarus that could sustain this route?

    2. Alen Šćuric Purger10:27

      Zagreb has route to OTP.

    3. Anonymous11:54

      Yeah but it's seasonal which sucks

  15. Anonymous09:59

    Achieving this foal depends squarely on Croatia Airlines and its development.

    1. Anonymous10:19


    2. Anonymous13:59

      As the general manager said.

  16. Anonymous10:07

    Good work ZAG.

  17. Anonymous10:12

    Seems that ZAG is on the right track but it should work on reducing seasonality and getting more airlines to fly year round. This year it lost too many during winter - CSA, Brussels... They have to work more on this.

    1. Alen Šćuric Purger10:36

      So true. ČSA, Brussels, Iberia, Swiss, Air Canada Rouge and at least 10 Croatia Airlines routes (Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague, Milan, Stockholm, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Priština, Brač, Lošinj which should start with small leased plane) should not be seasonal.

      Good option for sure would be:

      28.10-15.11. 3 flights per week (still tourists in city)
      16.11-8.12. 2 flights per week
      9.12-7.1. 3 flights per week (Advent + diaspora + school holidays)
      8.1.-28.2. 2 flights per week
      1.3-25.3. 3 flights per week (tourists starts to come)
      ... and Zagreb tourist office should subvent those all-year routes.

      Air Canada Rouge should have 1 flight pw just for tourist and diaspora.

    2. Anonymous10:50

      But flying many routes over winter would increase Croatia Airlines costs, because they would also have to lease aircraft over winter.

    3. Anonymous10:52

      Not if they reduce frequencies. Doesn't OU have an Airbus freed up over the winter?

    4. Anonymous21:37

      One A320 is on ground all winter and others work with just 70% of potentials. So, there is free capacity. But, for sure Croatia should have at least 4 100-seaters which should work all-year and 2 A320 should be grounded in winter time, just like most of companies have part of their fleet grounded during winter (the biggest planes).

  18. Anonymous10:19

    Looking forward to seeing Air Canada Rouge :)

  19. Anonymous10:21

    3 million passengers hub. Great job.

  20. Actually, now that I've quickly gone through the comments, they're not half as bad as I'd expected them to be under such an article!
    On the contrary, they're quite decent. The day is young though, lol!
    Anyhow...guess the people have finally realized that the French have been stating this -- turning ZAG into a regional hub, as their long term goal ever since they took over. Currently the main hub for the western balkans is Vienna.
    At any rate, hub or no hub, the French are doing a decent job! Potential is there for sure.

  21. Anonymous10:49

    I don't see a problem with the statement. It is logical that they will aim to become a hub if the concession runs till the 2040s. Actually the GM chose his words very carefully. See no problem with it.

  22. Anonymous10:59

    Since the CEO mentions the terminal, are there any plans yet with the old terminal? It been almost a year now since they stopped using it. Is it being used at all at the moment other than the apron in front of it?

    1. It was mentioned many times so far it's being used for cargo.

  23. Nikola Hraste11:03

    Last sentence speaks for itself

    Zagreb continues its growth, but first things first...

    1. Anonymous12:25

      Yes. More low costers please. Or at least one new one.

    2. Anonymous12:28

      Transavia would be a good addition.

    3. Anonymous12:47

      No way with KL there and the LJU flights.

    4. Anonymous21:39

      easyJet of Norwegian would be good options. God forbid Ryanair of Wizz Air. Transavia is not real with KLM on everyday frequencies.

    5. Anonymous07:21

      easyJet chose LJU, they won't come to ZAG as they are too close to each other.

    6. Anonymous09:40

      So not true. There are so many examples in Europe where easyJet flies near cities. Even in Croatia easyJet flies to Split and to Zadar with many routes, two airports that are closer than Zagreb and Ljubljana. Also they fly to Tivat and Dubrovnik and that is just some 60 km between those airports.

  24. Anonymous11:10

    ZAG has so much potential. OU should really try and promote ZAG as a transfer point and use its position to shuttle passengers from the region to western Europe. Something Adria is trying to do at the moment.

    1. Anonymous11:15

      Like I said recently in an Adria topic, I don't know if this can be a successful strategy. People from the region already have nonstop flights to western Europe. You can get transfers from the region if you fly to somewhere where others don't.

    2. Anonymous11:16

      Well OU does fly to several cities which are not offered from many cities in the region like Lisbon, Barcelona and soon Dublin.

    3. Anonymous11:18

      Also OU gets good feed from Skopje flight to Heathrow even though there are flights from Skopje to London. So it does not mean that people won't fly if there is a direct route. It's about price as well.

    4. Anonymous11:29

      I highly doubt Croatia Airlines flights to London are cheaper than Wizz Air's.

    5. Anonymous11:32

      Actually it's not about price in this case . Most using OU's Heathrow flights from the region continued on with United to the US which is codeshared by OU. It will be interesting to see if these connections are lost now because of the reduction in Heathrow.

    6. I remember what they were talking about during the bidding process for getting the concession. In this case, when they talk about a hub they primarily mean the main entry point to the western balkans. Not so much the other way around. In the same vein as New York's JFK, Boston, Atlanta and Miami are for the US in the East Coast. Or LAX, SFO and to a degree Seattle's Tacoma in the West Coast. That's why they insist on cooperation with OU so much. But ultimately, if the OU doesn't rise up to the challenge, someone else could take its place. In the end, it doesn't really matter to ZAG who it will be in the long run.

    7. Anonymous20:37

      OU ne moze to ciniti jer ne ide na istok....a ni na jug. ni sjever nije nesto jak....a ni zapad.
      OU mreza je mrsava, flota slabasna.
      Po meni treba letjeti za Rusiju na bar 3 aerodroma, za Kazahstan, Gruziju, Bjelorusiju na udaljeniji istok. Bugarska, Rumunjska, Ukraina, Bjelorusija su a must ako hoce neki hub graditi.
      Na jug....Sj.Afrika, Izrael, Turska, Libanon, Jordan....e tek tada bi mozda mogli pricati i OU ulozi u razvoju ZAG kao huba.
      dakle, necemo nikad pricat ozbiljno, vec folklorno mastati na glas.

  25. Anonymous11:29

    People need cheap fares to travel not this hub mania.

    1. Anonymous11:32

      Exactly! Bring us more LCCs or get the ones that do fly to grow network.

    2. Anonymous12:26

      Indeed! Citizens of Zagreb/Croatia as well Belgrade/Serbia really need good offer and competitive prices. It could come from both LCC and national carriers serving their primary markets. I dearly remember times when JAT used to fly to Thessaloniki 4 times a week with ATR and offered tickets to O&D passengers for 150 - 250 EUR in August. Now we have 14 flights a week in a new hub system and 250 eur tickets only if we buy months in advance.

    3. Anonymous16:37

      In the whole ex-YU, I think it's the Macedonian citizens enjoying really low fares to the continent.
      Otherwise the other 2 winners are INI and TZL.

    4. Anonymous16:50

      So it seems it is not essential to have a national carrier? :)

    5. Anonymous17:43

      Absolutely not. Tax payers will be the victim.

    6. Anonymous20:31

      are they?
      what do you think, how much are those LCC safe-haven airports actually earn?

    7. Anonymous21:44

      So at the end it is about: will government subvent national carrier or airports with LCC.

    8. Anonymous23:10

      So what if the government pays? This is good for both tourism and business! MK has improved its image to Europe and the world and has advanced a lot lately. Were they wrong in initially giving subsidies to W6? Apparently not!

    9. Anonymous00:25

      Good for business, multiplying effect, all the things we hear...if the route/airline is profitable on its own right it should exist. Otherwise not. The only exception to this might be limited number of routes necessary to secure connectivity of sparsely populated parts of the country with capitol.

  26. Anonymous13:47

    Geat news. Good to see they ae planing for the future.

  27. Anonymous15:52

    So, we all agree ZAG is still a regional airport don't we? Technically speaking there is no hub in CEE + Balkans. Only true one is WAW - connected to various continents + transfer flights to the whole of Europe.
    BEG may be considered a tiny hub as it is the gateway to the Balkans, Malta and perhaps Russia to an extent.

    1. Anonymous16:00

      You forgot Kiev amongst others.

    2. Anonymous22:14

      Sorry, but we don't all agree about ZAG being "regional" airport, opposed to BEG being "tiny hub". Both BEG and ZAG are small and insignificant airports with small numbers of registered passengers and freight. Both BEG and ZAG are not served by large number of international and/or legacy carriers. Both BEG and ZAG have only few services each to other continents, and finally, both BEG and ZAG are "tiny hubs" for Air Serbia, and Croatia Airlines. So placing one of these 2 airports in category "regional", and the other in category "hubs", even "tiny" is simply not true.

    3. Anonymous23:08

      Could you please tell me, to how many Balkan cities is ZAG connected to throughout the whole year, meaning no seasonal routes compared to BEG?
      Also, which other city in the Balkans serves New York throughout the whole year?
      Last but no least, which city is connected throughout the whole year to North America, China and soon Iran + two UAE cities, or shall we continue to compare the situation with the 5 weekly DXB service operated by EK?

    4. Anonymous23:48

      @AnonymousFebruary 20, 2018 at 11:08 PM

      You have wrong notions as to what is a hub or hub airport.

      Regionally speaking, the nearest Hub to Zagreb is Munich, 400km away, mini hub if you can call it that is Vienna with 25 million pax, 266km away.

      Istanbul is a hub, as is Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London and Paris.

      Zurich, Vienna, Milan, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Brussels, Dublin, Warsaw to lesser extent are smaller hubs or regional hubs.

      All other airports are just small, large or medium sized airports. Having links to New York or Iran, doesn't make the airport an hub, most airports in Europe have direct flights to NYC, regionally only in ex-Yu Belgrade has this option, as none of the American/US carriers fly to Zagreb yet.

      Both airports are small, little significant regional airports serving their domestic markets. Any notions of Zagreb becoming some sort of a hub is nonsense, it can become at best regional airport of significance.

      If Croatian economy was size of Danish, and Zagreb Airport had 30 million passengers, a national airline worth talking about, flights to every corner of the world, then yes, Zagreb would be a regional hub.

      As this is not the case, any notions of Zagreb becoming a regional hub is pure nonsense.

      It could become Croatian hub for the Adriatic coast. But that's it.

    5. Anonymous23:49

      To Pula, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Sarajevo, Mostar and Skopje + seasonally to Bucharest, Priština and Brač.

      In same time Belgrade is connected to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Tivat, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Athens, Bucharest and Sofija all year + Pula, Split and Dubrovnik seasonally.

      So it is

      ZAG: 8 all year and 3 seasonally
      BEG: 11 all year and 3 seasonally

      not a big difference, isn't it?

      Athens and Istanbul serves New York all year and they are in Balkans.

      In same time Zagreb has 6 fights per week to Toronto and 14 flights to Seoul. Zagreb has Emirates with 777-300ER. Also not a big difference

      But Zagreb has biggest legacy carriers that Belgrade doesn't have like British, Air France, KLM, Iberia, Brussels, ČSA, Emirates.

    6. Anonymous23:51

      Only hub in this part of europe is IST

    7. Anonymous23:55

      You're seriously counting Croatian domestic services the same as Athens or Bucharest? OMG.

    8. Anonymous00:17

      BEG is connected, all year around to:

      Balkan cities or capitals:


      Now lets compare ZAG, the regional hub all year around:


      Ok, now your turn.

    9. Anonymous01:44

      But Zagreb has biggest legacy carriers that Belgrade doesn't have like British, Air France, KLM, Iberia, Brussels, ČSA, Emirates.

      But Zagreg doesn't have biggest legacy carriers like American Airlines, Qantas, GOL, Delta, United, Egyptair, China Southern, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, China Eastern, Air China, Cathay Pacific, South African Airways, LATAM, WestJet, Hawaiian etc and the list goes on and on... no one reasonable should get excited about those couple of big airlines when hundreds of others don't serve it.

    10. Anonymous07:19

      If OU was a normal and competitive airline there would be no room for Air France and British Airways.

      Also, BEG is served by LH Mainline the whole year, ZAG isn't.

    11. Niste izdržali, ipak...

    12. Anonymous08:21

      Oni koji utjecaja nemaju na nista su opet preokupirani mjerenjem tudjeg......
      I autobusu Svedjanki opet nezamjeceno prolaze.......

      Bitno je za naglasiti kako je osnovna misao vodilja ovog clanka smijernica za ubuduce.
      No, vidim kako se "mjerodavno" bave trenutnom krivi nacin, naravnk.

    13. Gledajmo pozitivno.
      Ako ništa drugo valjda smo naučili što je to hub. Također broj putnika nije u nikakvoj korelaciji s time jel neki aerodrom hub.
      S time da u ex yu možemo definirati i tri osnovna tipa aerodroma. Prvi je gasarbeiter, drugi je turistički a treći mješoviti.
      Ovih trećih imamo svega nekoliko, poput Beograda, Zagreba, Ljubljane i ev. Sarajeva.
      U tim kategorijama možemo razgovarati.

    14. Anonymous09:43

      So, SPU, PUY, ZAD, OSI, DBV are not in Balkans, or they are something different than TIA, TGD? And capital cities are so important in feeding passengers. Is there any difference in having A320 on ZAG-SPU route or BEG-TGD? Just because TGD is capital?

    15. Anonymous09:44

      Jučer smo valjda izdržali, danas je je ipak drugi dan. Too much to ask.

  28. Anonymous08:15

    BA, AF , KLM all flew to BEG. They come and go all the time.

    1. Anonymous09:43

      No, the don't come and go.

      They came and leave. Did not return.

    2. Anonymous14:03

      NO ONE cares if BA AF and KL are flying to BEG. Frequent service to LHR, CDG and AMS exists with reliable carrier, codeshare and connecting flights are available with lower cost service to alternative airports in all three cases. Overall superior solution. Is there an official name for brand name obsession, is it a mental health issue now?

    3. Your reaction proves otherwise ;)
      It certainly does matter. Perhaps not to a serbian/croatian nationals, but it does to international tourist travellers. It's also about the airline network power, brand influence and their contracts with travel agencies...all which stimulate the influx of foreign tourists...and their quality. Zagreb simply gets better quality pax. Deal with it.

    4. Anonymous13:31

      Better quality pax? Do you hear yourself? Is there a process where BA screens their passengers based on perceived quality, and if it doesn't satisfy standards, sends them to Ryanair or Air Serbia? It is a mental health issue, and I don't have to deal with it.

    5. Yes, something like that... :)

  29. Anonymous08:19

    Just make a search on internet - flights from Europe or USA to BEG/ZAG and you will see the difference.
    An airport like ZAG, generating 3 million pax does not even come in the top 100 list.

    1. Anonymous08:40

      What's the list got to do with being a hub? Neither BEG nor ZAG are hubs.

  30. Anonymous00:03

    There are two hubs in CEE: WAW and VIE. There is one more airport where another hub could be build if there is legacy hub&spoke carrier: BUD. All other airports in the Region might only become so called focus cities. They are just to small to sustain 3 daily services to min 50-60 European destinations + daily to the most important American and Asian cities operated by home legacy carrier of size minimum same as LOT or Austrian.

  31. Anonymous04:20

    Neither ZAG nor BEG are hubs and are unlikely to become so in the near future. ZAG should keep focusing on developing a growing European network and be careful about allowing too much LCC traffic just yet. They can leave the large Adriatic seasonal traffic to LCCs. ZAG should work on getting some direct flights from East Asia (maybe even S.E. Asia), the market definitely exists (and this market heavily uses EK, QR and TK to travel to Croatia).


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