Foreign carrier to start Croatia domestic flights


The small Czech-registered airline Silver Air will commence seasonal summer flights from Lošinj Airport to a number of Croatian cities. It will become the first foreign carrier to maintain domestic flights and the only scheduled airline to operate out of Lošinj, the country's smallest commercial airport. Services to Zagreb, Split and Pula will commence on June 24 and run until September 16. Furthermore, Silver Air will link Lošinj with Lugano in Switzerland. All flights will be operated with the twenty-seat L-410 Turbolet aircraft. Silver Air maintains services mainly from Italy to Romania and Switzerland with its two turboprop aircraft. It will join Croatia Airlines and Trade Air in offering domestic flights within Croatia, albeit just during the peak summer months.

Silver Air will maintain three weekly services to the Croatian capital and two weekly flights to Split and Pula, with flight time to the latter lasting only twenty minutes. The carrier's operations to Lugano will run once per week, which will then continue on to the Italian island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Lošinj Airport, opened in 1985 for general aviation purposes, has had no scheduled flights since the demise of the sea-plane operator European Costal Airlines in 2016. Last year, it handled 6.042 passengers, which was down 5.6% on 2016.

Lošinj Airport

Lošinj Airport announced a multi million euro upgrade project in 2016 which was to be completed by the summer of this year, however, construction work never commenced. The project included the lengthening of the runway from the current 900 to 1.800 metres, which would enable it to cater for larger aircraft with the capacity to seat up to 180 passengers. A new terminal was also to be built. The project was labelled of strategic importance for Croatia and was valued at 35 million euros. It was to be carried out under a public-private partnership with Jadranka, a local operator of several hotels and villas, and the municipality of Mali Lošinj as the principal stakeholders. In January, the Croatian government removed the airport from a list of strategically important state-run companies, paving the way for its full privatisation.

RouteLaunch date
Lošinj - Lugano24.06.2018
Lošinj - Zagreb25.06.2018
Lošinj - Pula26.06.2018
Lošinj - Split26.06.2018

Comments

  1. Interesting, although I would prefer some real European LCC start domestic flights in Croatia.

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    Replies
    1. No LCC can fly 180+ seat planes on a domestic flight in Croatia and make money. That's why there are no LCCs doing it.

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    2. It will happen one day sooner or later. It took time before European LCCs started domestic flights within Greece.

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    3. You are comparing apples and oranges here.
      Greece is full of islands where airplane is the only option for fast travel. Otherwise you get on a boat and travel for many, many hours.
      Plus I think the ATH-SKG route is one of Europe's busiest. So the A320 and B737 aircraft that LCCs fly can be filled regularly.
      Not so in HR.

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    4. Petar, mostly correct. But in my opinion the following routes do have potential for LCC traffic (at least in summer) on a 180 seating plane, if pricing is right - which is only achievable if airports in HR finally start lowering their fees:

      ZAGSPU 14pw
      ZAGDBV 14pw
      ZAGBWK 3pw

      OSISPU 2pw
      OSIDBV 1pw
      OSIBWK 1pw
      OSIPUY 1pw

      RJKDBV 2pw
      RJKSPU 2pw
      RJKBWK 1pw

      PUYDBV 2pw
      PUYSPU 2pw

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  2. Finally LSZ gets some flights.

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    Replies
    1. +1

      And they could have gotten much bigger international flights if they had already lengthened the tiny runway!

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  3. Never heard of them.

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    Replies
    1. It does say they are a small airline with 2 planes so I don't think it's expected for you to have heard of them.

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    2. Company is on the market for many years now. On our soil they have been operating since 2007 for DHL out of Sarajevo, (initially Icar Air). In summer they fly out of Elba, lovely little island with small runway and interesting approach/departure.

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  4. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  5. The aircraft is a good size for these flights. Same capacity as Trade Air's jetstream flying PSO domestic routes.

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    Replies
    1. Usually L410 has 19 seats for passengers - how comes this plane should have 20 seats?

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  6. 1hr 40mins in an unpressurized L410 is a long time. I would prefer to experience LSZ-ZAG which has a 20min block time.

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    Replies
    1. ZAG is 40 minutes, Pula is 20 :)

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    2. Actual flying time to ZAG will be around 20 mins. To PUY approx. 10 mins depending on wind conditions/runways used.

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    3. Makes sense. Those will be some very short flights. I think ECA had short sectors like that too.

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    4. Yes exactly. Planned flying time Split-Jelsa was it 13 or 16 mins? Was a gorgeous flight though at 2000 feet.

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    5. passengers are subjected to hypoxia anyway, so they will sleep like babies (I've flown few times with L410 above 10000 ft and it is a bliss, hehe)

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    6. Bor, did you fly to Lukla or Kathmandu?

      Usually for the short routes with unpressurized cabins you will fly at and up to around 6000ft - unless there is the need to fly higher due to terrain.

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    7. What is block time?

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    8. block time is leave-the-gate to on-the-gate.
      flight time is wheels-leave-the ground to wheels-touch-the-ground.

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    9. @AnonymousMarch 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM

      No, from Ljubljana to Netherlands...few times. At FL110 everybody was asleep :)

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  7. It will really be a great year for all Croatia airports.

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    Replies
    1. I guess this could generate a couple of thousand passengers for Losinj so maybe we see around 8,000-9,000 passengers this year.

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    2. 20 sjedala 1x dnevno.
      Racunaj

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    3. - 6042 pax without commercial traffic last year, we assume the number will stay more or less the same this year
      - 8 flights per week in a 20 seater = 160 pax one way x2 = 320 seats per week return
      - they fly for 12 weeks in the year so 320 x 12 = 3840 seats on offer in total
      - calc LF we can only guess so I give you a conservative 70% = 2688 pax
      - 6042 + 2688 = 8730 pax

      I guess the estimate of Anon 10:57 sounds reasonable.

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  8. These flights are for tourists who are spending their holiday in Losinj and want to make a day trip to Zagreb, Pula or Split. That's why the return flight for all of these is several hours after landing.

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  9. Anyone know the price?

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    Replies
    1. And where can tickets be booked?

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    2. On their homepage:
      Silverairtravels.com

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    3. Too expensive for 20 minute flights. But the company will sure be profiting from it if they managed to fill the planes.

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    4. I just returned from Seychelles and used SEZ-PRI flight. Flight took 12 mins outbound of SEZ, 13mins inbound. The flight is scheduled with 20 mins and operated with Dash Twin Otters, 19 seats. Hence everything is very comparable, even the many little islands overflown should resemble LSZ-PUY. I paid the official rate (second lowest booking class) at 124 EUR p.P. RETURN incl. all taxes.

      So I agree that pricing seems unreasonably expensive. Hope they can fill the seats at these rates.

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  10. I am very happy for this positive development. It was about time and side they only fly during the main season I am sure it will be profitable.

    1. However, can one book their flight in combination with an international flight in one ticket? For example Berlin-split (U2 or EW) and then Silver Air?

    2. I thought ECA was very successful since they offered great day trip opportunities for both locals doing business and tourists. You could fly to LSZ in the morning and back in the evening. In my opinion it is even more beneficial to offer 2x daily with good timing to ZAG/SPU at least on a few weekdays.

    3. I am puzzled what they do with their plane for most of the week when they don't fly at LSZ. Apart from one W pattern per week Lugano-Elba it seems they plan to underuse their metal. I also don't get their unusually long turn around times of sometimes several hours. Any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. 1. It is not possible.
      2. Agree
      3. I assume the long turnaround time is so someone that comes from Losinj can spend the day in Zagreb and return back to Losinj that same afternoon.

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    2. 1. I also meant is Silver Air in GDS? If yes, you should be able to combine them normally.

      3. In total there are "only" 4 to 5 hours between landing and departure at ZAG. Since you need to be at the airport earlier for check in and it takes some time to go from Pleso airport- Zagreb city centre and back again there would be in total 1 hour in the city. Timing is totally useless and wrong in my opinion!

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  11. So they only dropped their initial LSZ-Rimini route?

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  12. How much do these tickets cost?

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    Replies
    1. From 111 Euro oneway to pula, more expensive to the other destinations.

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    2. That's really expensive for such a short flight.

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    3. Mnogo je to.....

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  13. Any news as to why works at the airport seem to not even have started yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because they don't have the money. That project has been talked about for almost ten years. Until the airport is privatized I doubt anything will happen. Remember Zagreb's expansion? It was announced every single year for 15 years until they finally gave it up for concession.

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    2. Quite sad.

      And BWK - how are they expanding? Airport is totally private I guess?

      There is so much potential but runway really needs to have 1800m plus safety areas on both sides if somehow possible (recommended by IATA: 100m at least each).

      Delete
  14. Interesting. Has anyone flown on this type of plane ? What is the experience?

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    Replies
    1. It is me who posted above about SEZ-PRI-SEZ on Twin Otter. Plane is very comparable to L410.
      The plane is very tight inside. Noise level is ok. Cabin height is I guess only 1,65 metres or so - therefore you cant walk in the cabin upright.
      I sat in row 1 and 2 during the flight. There are no cockpit doors, cockpit is open and you can see the pilots working/flying/communicating - simply everything, you can look through the front screen of the plane at all times. I made pictures and a video of it. It is an awesome experience.

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    2. PUL-LOS return 228 € per two pax?? they are going to stop flying in a week..

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    3. @Anon 11:48

      Thanks

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    4. I newer flew as a paying PAX in a propper seat on L410 or I did couple of times. However, I spend many hours flying in cargo (skydiving) version on the aircraft flor, it was nice new carpet. What a luxury, laying down better than a first class;-). I also skydive from this aircraft 3-400 jumps and I flew L410 ULP around 300hrs. All in all I loved this aircraft. Someone told me that they lost one engine in it climbing out, if I am not wrong, out of Sarajevo and it was not fun according to Cpt. Ones skydiving we lost one engine at around 1000ft than pilots climbed to 1400ft where we jumped out, they returned on single engine. Latter same evening we flew back on the same aircraft with both engine running.
      If I am not wrong, Trade Air use to opperate it, they had a 2, and again, please bear with me, It is not my intention to spread rummors, but I believe that they lost out one on departure from Milan.
      Again I loved this aircraft and as far as I am concerned the only downside is lack of pressurization.

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    5. 165cm height of the cabin?? I'd have to crawl in there. No, thanks.

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  15. Thats grate news! congrats! i was wondering how big planes can land on Losinj Island?

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    Replies
    1. there would be interesting to put on sale MBX-LSZ by VO for the summer season! if 50 seater airplanes can land there....

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    2. MBX-BWK would also be a good idea.

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    3. Long time ago Austrian used to fly to LSZ. What plane did they use? Dash Q300 of Tyrolean (50 seats)?

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  16. Good news for Mali Losinj. Although I honestly don't think such a beautiful island should have a runway and air traffic.

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    Replies
    1. By that logic, Brac should not have an airport either.

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    2. Or about some ten thousand other beautiful islands on the world...

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  17. Why not flying Losinj to Rimini or Ravenna? I guess it will work.

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  18. If they are serving both Elba and Mali Losinj with this plane, most logical choice in my opinion should be Venice. Or W-flight: LSZ-VCE-EBA-VCE-LSZ. Venice is a mekka for tourism and has larger potential than Rimini or Ravenna.

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  19. Czech companies have been quite present lately. Smartwings, for example, will fly between TLV and Tenerife, but they also begin flying from VAR to NTE/CDG this summer.
    The open skies agreement between EU and other countries was one of the best deals ever.
    Lets see how Trade Air will perform in Hrvatsko.

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  20. Purger, are you there? Why does OU with the 19 seater not operate ZAG-LSZ at least seasonally? Are there not at least such plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alen Šćuric Purger12 March 2018 at 02:01

      I suggest LSZ-PUY-ZAG and BWK-ZAD-ZAG. Why didn't they start those? Easy answer: it is Croatia Airlines and their "experts".

      Delete
  21. I think they will fly SJJ-SPU and connect arabs flying to SJJ who dont want to gtravel on balkan buses

    ReplyDelete

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