Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Air Canada Rouge readies for Zagreb launch


Air Canada Rouge is set to launch scheduled seasonal flights between Toronto and Zagreb next Saturday, becoming the second carrier to serve the route. The airline will offer a total 20.586 seats each way between Toronto and Zagreb during the June 2 to October 7 period. The inaugural flight, with over 200 passengers currently booked, will mark the return of the Air Canada brand to Croatia after 27 years. "We are satisfied with advanced bookings for our new Zagreb service. 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", the carrier said.

The leisure airline will face direct competition from Air Transat which maintains two weekly seasonal flights between Canada's and Croatia's largest cities. Air Transat will also operate services to Montreal this summer with four one-way non-stop flights planned from Zagreb to Canada's second largest city. Asked whether the Montreal service is being added on a trial basis, Air Transat's Communications Advisor, Marie-Annick Lalande, told EX-YU Aviation News, "Those are being operated as additional flights that have been added for operational reasons, to support our tours and packages in Zagreb". Air Canada noted it will have the upper hand on the Toronto service against its local competitor by "offering the best market coverage of any carrier between Canada and Croatia".

Zagreb will kick off Air Canada Rouge's summer expansion which will see the carrier add a total of eight routes, among which is also Bucharest. "Following years of flat to negligible growth, Air Canada has undertaken a significant expansion in recent years. It has grown about half as much in the last five or six years as it did in the first 75 years of its existence. Since the start of 2016 alone, we have launched or announced 74 new routes to US and international destinations. On a system basis, our capacity has increased 40% over the last three years. Next month, we will launch ten new non stop international services. This includes: from Montreal to Tokyo, Dublin, Bucharest and Lisbon; from Vancouver to Paris and Zurich; and from Toronto to Shannon, Zagreb and Porto", Air Canada's President and CEO, Calin Rovinescu, said recently.

Despite Zagreb being operated by Air Canada's leisure subsidiary, the flights are timed to connect conveniently with Air Canada's global schedule, and provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption, Star Alliance reciprocal benefits, and for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access at Toronto Airport, 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", the airline concluded.

117 comments:

  1. Great! Hope Air Canada mainline will eventually take over the route!

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    1. And year round in 2020 perhaps, quite possibly if in 2018 and 2018 ACR does really well on the route.

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  2. "...The inaugural flight, with over 200 passengers currently booked..."

    Great numbers for the first flight! good luck!

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    1. Yup, LF over 80% :)

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    2. What I can currently see it's 175 economy 12 premium economy
      But real LF we will can see on 2th June

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    3. Maybe they don't count the officials in the system booking.

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    4. And still 10 days to sell tickets!!!!

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    5. Congrats, ZAG!

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  3. Rouge is a disaster in every aspect. Old planes, crappy seats with horrible legroom and mediocre service at best.

    Air Transat all the way.

    The best thing about Rouge's entry is that fares have gone down big time. Then again, some win and some lose. KL, AF, OS, LH, BA ... will have to up their game to stimulate the market now that they have non-stop competition.

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    1. Good to hear that prices have gone down. I do wonder if LH has a plan for Zagreb market. They are getting more and more competition from long haul operators.

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    2. What can they do? They are milking OU which is carrying transfer passengers for peanuts. There is a reason why LH sends its CRJ while OU sends the A320.

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    3. 767 was always a great plane to fly on with 2-3-2 seating. I think rouge has 1 inch less pitch compared to 'traditional' airlines which operated it in the past like Qantas for example.

      Happy to see it still flying around and it will be great to see at Zagreb.

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    4. Rouge has 30' in economy class which is the same as Austrian Airlines. Personally I find this extremely tight for long flights. It's the same as OU which is ok for shorter flights but not for long-haul.

      Transat has 32-33 depending on the seat which I think is ok. It's even more than Lufthansa which has 31'. Air Serbia also has 32'.

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    5. "There is a reason why LH sends its CRJ while OU sends the A320."

      And because of same reason Luftansa sent A319 to Munich from Zagreb, opened 7 more flights to Frankfurt from Zagreb last year, and 22 more flight from Frankfurt and Munich to Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik.

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    6. Please concentrate, we are talking about ZAG here, not the rest of Croatia.

      Why should LH fly bigger planes when it can have OU fill an A320 to FRA for next to nothing? Kucko complained about this some months ago.

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    7. @anaon 12:14

      "Please concentrate, we are talking about ZAG here, not the rest of Croatia"-

      Well reality is a bit more complex than black or white. ZAG is not the only airport of relevance in Croatia, and things are related to the development in the rest of the country. It is not like in neighbouring Serbia or Slovenia which have one main airport. So anon 10:09 is correct. LH opend 22 more flights to Croatia alone since 2017. Croatia will soon have three airports with over 3 million pax and 12 million passeneger this year altogether.

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  4. Olala....a nama vize za Kanadu ne treba.
    Vidin beer fest u Edmontonu ovo ljeto vec 🍻

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  5. Rouge is a great opportunity for OU to boost its loss making regional flights. I hope OU got its act together and that there are no more cancellations!!

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  6. How many new passengers at ZAG could we expect from this new route?

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    1. My guess is between 19.500 and 20.000.

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    2. 20000 would mean LF of around 50%. Since 20500 seats are being offered EACH way, assuming a LF of 85% there would be 35000 additional Pax for ZAG from this route.

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    3. Oh ok, 20.500 seats seemed too little when I read. I didn't realize it was one way.

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    4. 35.000 + more connection passengers to PUY, ZAD, OSI, SPU, DBV, BWK, SJJ, SKP, OMO, so that is some 40.000+ more passengers this year because of that flight.

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    5. @AnonymousMay 22, 2018 at 9:27 AM

      I think 32000 is more likely, 78% LF is good for the year one.

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    6. I was looking at some connections and very few are offered via ZAG. For example most flights to DBV are offered via CDG, MUC and VIE. Very few options via ZAG and they are not even that cheap, same price as via MUC.

      Nothing in ex-YU is offered via ZAG.

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    7. I purchased two tickets back in march. YYZ-MUC-DBV Jul 15. LH and return. Aug 2ZAG-TXL-YYZ...I leave Zag with EW and in TXL I transfer onto an Air Canada Rouge...Each ticket cost me 1300 CAD return. That was including taxes. I look at prices now and they are a lot more.

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    8. Why didn't you fly via ZAG?

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    9. Air Canada and Croatia have code-share on flights ZAG-YYZ and connections via ZAG to PUY, ZAD, SPU and DBV + interline to SPU, SKP, OSI OMO and BWK.

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    10. To anonymous 8.44....There are actually two reasons why I didn't fly via Zagreb...

      1) It was less expensive to do it this way. I saved around 500 dollars. Money spent on better accomodations and more travel through Croatia

      2) Croatia Airlines, as I read through this forum and another, has problems. They keep talking about the possibility of going on strike this summer. Didn't want to get stuck during a strike

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    11. Interesting, thank you.
      I am curious why OU via ZAG was so expensive. Could it be that the airport charges way too much?

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  7. "Air Transat's Communications Advisor, Marie-Annick Lalande, told EX-YU Aviation News, "Those are being operated as additional flights that have been added for operational reasons, to support our tours and packages in Zagreb"."

    Seems to me like they might make the switch to from Toronto to Montreal for these flights next year. Or operate both.

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    1. * I meant from Toronto to Montreal.

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    2. That would be great!

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  8. So YYZ-ZAG will go 6 per week. Was this the same frequency operated back in late 80s early 90s when we had Air Canada and JAT on this route?

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    1. Yes about the same cap for JAT and AC combined.

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

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    1. Alen Šćuric PurgerMay 22, 2018 at 10:16 AM

      For sure YES! They have 6 flights per week in top season 2 per week should work on winter. Even more they can open YYZ-ZAG-OTP and have 5th freedom on ZAG-OTP leg in code-share with Croatia especially that ZAG-OTP is seasonal route and on that way Croatia would have it all year.

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    2. Zanimljivo Alene.

      Jako se dobro secam da ste jednom prilikom bili pitani da li JU moze da odrzi zimi 2 pw liniju za Toronto iz BEG a vas je kategoricki odgovor bio da ne moze (iako JU drzi JFK 6 pw tokom leta) i da bi to bila katastrofa za JU.

      Ovde ne govorim o petoj slobodi vec samo o direktnim linijama YYZ-ZAG sa Rouge odnosno YYZ-BEG sa JU

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerMay 23, 2018 at 1:03 AM

      Nebojša to su dvije potpuno različite stvari, neusporedive.

      Air Canada ima svu logiku ljetne letove produžiti na zimu uz code-share na Croatiu, te ih eventualno spojiti na OTP. Kao što rekoh time bi se i sezonska linija Croatie ZAG-OTP produžila, uz pomoć Air Canade na zimu. Win-win za sve.

      Air Serbia gubi ozbiljan novac na JFK. No, čak i da ga ne gubi koja bi logika bila da Air Serbia zimi leti 2 pw YYZ i 3 pw JFK, a onda ljeti ne leti više YYZ i leti 5 ili 6 puta tjedno JFK. Da Air Serbia ima dva A330, pa da ljeti leti 6 pw JFK, 3 pw YYZ i 3 pw ORD, a zimi 4 pw JFK i 2 pw YYZ, a drugi A330 bude samo na charterima i ostaje na destinaciji to bi imalo pameti. Sa jednim A330 to nema baš nikakvog smisla.

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    4. Samo mala ispravka, JU je znatno smanjila gubitke a ovog leta je plan da 4 meseca budu profitabilna naspram 3 prosle godine.

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    5. Alene, vi ste vrlo jasno odgovorili da ako se ima 6 letnjih nedeljnih letova moglo bi se imati i 2 zimska. Tek u sledeceoj recenici pominjete mogucnost (za sad samo teoretsku) produzenja na OTP ali ostaje cinjenica da je po Vasem misljenju YYZ-ZAG bez OTP zimi sa Rouge 2 pw moguca.

      Da, Air Serbia ima gubitke na JFK ali ta se linija poboljsava i vec vidimo da leti ide na 6 pw. Ja sam misljenja da bi JU itekako trebao da proba YYZ 2 pw zimi sto bi mogao biti indikator da li uzimati jos jedan wide body preko leta za YYZ i eventualno ORD.

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

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    1. Doubt it. Air Canada mainline flies only to places where yields are high. Rouge is more for lower yielding VFR and tourist markets.

      I mean BUD, ATH, WAW ... all get Rouge.

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    2. Yes, but some routes were upgraded to Air Canada mainline, such as Casablanca.

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    3. Probably there are enough wealthy Canadians flying there or maybe there are strong business ties that fill all those premium seats?

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    4. This year Warsaw was upgraded to Air Canada mainline and They will fly everyday. It was difficult for Rouge to compete with LOT And their dreamliners.

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  11. 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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  12. This will hurt Air Transat quite a bit since Rouge is a much better choice in terms of connections, mile accumulation, codeshare flights in Croatia etc.

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

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    2. Or maybe there is more than enough demand, which is growing yoy for both players to get their piece of the cake.

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    3. But if there was that much extra demand then Transat wouldn't feel the need to link Zagreb with Montreal and in such a way make themselves less competitive?

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    4. "Those are being operated as additional flights that have been added for operational reasons, to support our tours and packages in Zagreb"

      You really doubt there's not enough of Canadians (and some Croats) to mostly fill those flights?

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    5. Buddy, all I am saying is if there were that many people heading to Toronto, there would be no reason to add Montreal stops.

      No one is doubting that there is a market. I am just saying that the offer is increasing much faster than demand.

      After all, Transat has been cautious for a reason.

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    6. Buddy, don't worry about the demand and LF. My wild guess is they know what they're doing. The offer definitely isn't increasing faster than the demand. I guess you've seen the number of Canadians that visited the country last year.

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    7. Booming demand yes but I guess it's not booming fast enough for Transat to keep all flights non-stop.
      But then again when it comes to ZAG it's all always rosy and perfect, no matter what.

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    8. Both airlines won't stay on the same route forever and one will retreat leaving the other to expand.

      Who said it's all rosy and perfect? Have a thing for twisting words?

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    9. Just referring to what you wrote. Like I said, offer is growing much more than the demand. Never said demand wasn't there ir that it wasn't growing.

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    10. Anon 10:36, how do you know that offer is growing faster than the demand? Thank you.

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    11. This is what I wrote: "Or maybe there is more than enough demand, which is growing yoy for both players to get their piece of the cake."

      And you must have some number when you're stating that the offer is growing much more than demand. Show them.

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    12. How about we use rational thinking. Transat used to have a monopoly on the route and they even increased flights.

      Rouge enters the market with a lot of extra seats and what does Transat do? They add a stop in Montreal.

      Yeah, demand to Toronto is growing so much that they need another city to help fill the seats.

      Get over yourselves.

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    13. Get over ourselves? Curb your attitude.

      The airline jumps in and your theory is that there's no enough demand? If I'd say something like this about one of the BEG routes, I'd be torn apart here.

      The fact is there will be 6 flights a week to Toronto, for now and that Air Transat can't compete with Air Canada Rouge and its network. Period. You enjoy your theories. Bye.

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    14. Like I said, all is rosy and perfect in the ZAG garden.

      You still didn't answer my question to as why an airline would add a stop if initial sales were going really well.

      Airlines are affected by all this. A good example is LH which has downgraded ZAG to all regional flying.

      I will enjoy my theories just like you are enjoying your disillusionment.

      As for BEG, don't see the need to bring them in. I guess it says more about you.

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    15. Calm down guys. Sheesh. People are allowed to have differences of opinion.

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    16. Only 5 flights have the stop in Montreal not all of them. If they all had a stop than you would have a point.

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    17. They are idiots, they need to fly two weekly from Toronto and two weekly from Montreal. The market is there and Rouge will steal it all from them.

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    18. @AnonymousMay 22, 2018 at 10:56 AM

      LH flying to Zagreb with its Regional airline out of Munich isn't a downgrade, if they up the number of seats and number of flights.

      Zagreb is served by 5 daily flights to Munich and Frankfurt on a daily basis, ten in total, I'd say that is a decent capacity for Zagreb don't you think ?

      In fact this is more capacity than any other city in ex-YU by a long stretch.

      Also Zagreb is only 400km from Munich, with excellent roads and rail link separating two major cities.

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    19. Belgrade is connected with Vienna by a highway yet ...

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  13. Has anyone checked their fares to the the US? Are they competitive from ZAG to say Lufthansa?

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  14. 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. Rouge has transfer options, Transat relies purely on locals.

      Rouge will also hurt LH and others because they offer connections to the US.

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  15. 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. Long stop @YUL on outgoing flight for long refueling, pax on board special procedure or to transit inconvenient plus additional airport costs. The same way JAT long long time ago used to stop in SKP only when returning from Australia, not ongoing. And for the guy who sees lack of demand from Canada to ZAG because of few stops in Montreal on return flights - Buddy those were probably Montreal passengers even before, flying via YYZ - and now they are getting chance to go nonstop - which is probably indication that we will see YUL flights from ZAG very soon

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    2. Hopes so. Would be nice to have YUL-ZAG too.

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  16. Is Croatia Airlines codesharing on this flight?

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    1. Of course, why wouldn't they?

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerMay 22, 2018 at 10:18 AM

      Yes.

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    3. I can't find it as being codeshared. Do you have Croatia Airlines' flight number?

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    4. It's impossible to book Zagreb - Toronto via Croatia Airlines website.

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    5. but via GDS!

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    6. Hmm yes on their site you can't book Toronto which is odd seeing as they already have codeshares on other flights with Air Canada via Europe to Toronto.

      Interestingly you could always book codeshare flights to Zagreb on Air Canada's website.

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

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    8. Alen Šćuric PurgerMay 23, 2018 at 1:11 AM

      Croatia and Air Canada have code-share on ZAG-YYZ route and on connection flights via ZAG to PUY, ZAD, SPU and DBV + interline to SKP, SJJ, OSI, BWK and OMO.

      https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/277597/air-canada-expands-croatia-airlines-codeshare-routes-in-s18/

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    9. Purger you are wrong, Air Canada and Croatia don't have codeshare for ZAG-YYZ route. There is Air Canada Lufthansa codeshare LH 6536 but not with OU.

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

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    1. I think Dubrovnik's main target for long haul flights should be the US since that is where the most visitors are coming from. Of course Toronto would be nice too.

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    2. They could start YUL-ZAG-YUL

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    3. Maybe even Vancouver, there is definitely a market.

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  18. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  19. does anybody have some experience with Rouge? How is the seating arrangement? Sardine or normal?

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    1. Rouge has 30' legroom which you can certainly put in the sardine category. Transat actually has a better pitch on their A330s.

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    2. A bit of a stupid question but do they have AVOD?

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    3. No. They have an application for personal devices from which you can stream entertainment but you also have to pay to use it.

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

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    1. I'm sure AC will. They are starting very strong with 4pw.

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    2. 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. Maybe in 2020 or 2021.

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    3. Indeed, very little business and very seasonal travel. But that could be changed with better promotion to Canadian tourists, especially in Serbian case.

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

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

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    1. Agree. They get feed off Emirates too. With AC and OU both being Star hope they manage to score some passengers off this route.

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    2. But at the same time they will loose some passengers who used to fly to Canada with them via FRA, MUC, VIE or ZRH.

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    3. Not really because Rouge is creating a whole new market.

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    4. They should look at opening new markets. Zagreb-Belgrade a few times a week and if KE or ANA come than they should even consider increasing this to a daily service.

      As it stands, Air Serbia's morning flight connects well with Rouges Zagreb service and will most likely benefit.

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    5. Yes but I don't think JU will be interested for two reasons:

      1. Zagreb is not a loss making route for them and loads are not bad.

      2. They have an interline with AC via CPH that's exceptionally successful. Copenhagen isn't one of the better performers so they won't risk making it worse.

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  23. UA from EWR will be next.

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    1. I think ANA/JAL to Tokyo is next (or Korean to Seoul)! Exciting times ahead!

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  24. Would be nice if soneone that flies on this route writes us a trip report. I think a lot of people are interested to see what Rouge is like :)

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  25. It will be daily in no time. Mark my words. :)

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    1. Ok, mark the words of a random anonymous, you got it.

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  26. Fantastic. Croatia just keeps on setting the bar higher and higher.

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  27. Good news for ZAG and Croatian tourism. Hope they will launch BEG in foreseeable future.

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    1. Don't see it happening.

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    2. Jer si hejter, zato i ne vidiš..

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  28. Vueling just announced its VIE base destinations and DBV is among them, 4x a week from July.

    Dubrovnik just keeps on shining. Like someone said, they seem to have the healthiest growth strategy around.

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