American Airlines eyes new East Europe flights


The world's largest carrier, American Airlines, has confirmed it is considering introducing new destinations in Eastern Europe next year. It comes following reports that the company is in talks with Dubrovnik Airport over a seasonal service from Philadelphia. This year, the airline expanded its reach from Philadelphia into Europe with seasonal flights to Budapest and Prague. Both are operated by its Boeing 767-300 aircraft. According to "The Boarding Area", American Airlines' Vice President for Planning, Vasu Raja, said, "We’ve so far been really excited by Prague and Budapest. Their RASM (revenue per seat mile) performance has been pretty amazing, some of our best flying in continental Europe. So that may actually compel us to go fly more things in Eastern Europe next yesr".

American operates a number of seasonal flights to Europe from its Philadelphia hub including Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Lisbon, Shannon, Venice and most recently Budapest and Prague. The carrier codeshares on Iberia's flights from Madrid to Dubrovnik. It recently said, "American constantly evaluates our network to ensure we are maximising our fleet and profitability while matching customer demand. While no airline can serve every destination, our joint businesses and alliances with airlines and membership in Oneworld allows our customers to seamlessly connect to Croatia". Philadelphia is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania which counts the biggest Croatian diaspora in the United States according to the American Community Survey.

Dubrovnik Airport has identified the United States and South Korea as two markets which could sustain services to the coastal city but noted that the development of long haul flights is still some way off. General Manager, Frano Luetić, told EX-YU Aviation News recently, "These two far-away markets are the most important for Dubrovnik. According to the city's tourist board, visitors from the US are the second most common, behind those from the United Kingdom, which is specific to the Dubrovnik region. On the other hand, Korean tourists are most plentiful during the winter months". With exception to several summer charters from Japan, operated by All Nippon Airways, Dubrovnik Airport currently has no regular long haul flights.

Comments

  1. They're making the right choice by choosing Dubrovnik.

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  2. Wouldn't Zagreb make more sense?

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    1. Dubrovnik actually makes sense if you look at their network from PHL.

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    2. They could always link the two - PHL-DBV-ZAG-PHL.

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    3. ZAG could get US flights if LOT tries to buy OU but I don't see an opportunity before that.

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    4. To me it would make most sense for an airline like United to start flights from the US to Zagreb and then codeshare on Croatia Airlines which is their Star Alliance partner to Dubrovnik and Split.

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    5. It would make sense for both DBV and ZAG to have flights.

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    6. Agree, but why is Split not doing anything to secure, at least, some new carriers during winter?

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    7. But what can you do in Split in winter? In Dubrovnik the old city is iconic, summer or winter. Split on the other hand...

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    8. Split runway is to short for long-haul
      Zagreb makes more sense for Philadelphia as most of diaspora is from Zagreb and 200 km around + much more USA tourists are in Zagreb than in Dubrovnik

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    9. last night qatar qoverment A340-200 landed at split airport. it came from London...

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    10. "Anonymous14 August 2018 at 09:23
      They could always link the two - PHL-DBV-ZAG-PHL."

      No need to link anything with Zagreb. Stop mixing Zagreb into everything.

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    11. Maybe they should link EK to ZAG with DBV.

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    12. No US carrier in their right mind would start a seasonal intercontinental service to Dubrovnik, without having strong foothold in Croatia beforehand. Dubrovnik is a seasonal destination, but it'll attract only few US visitors, just like Venice doesn't attract every single US visitor. Why? Dubrovnik, like Venice are exclusive destinations catering for the rich or well off.

      Rome, Milan are main gateways to Italy, as is Madrid and Barcelona to Spain, Paris to France, London.... You get the idea. Zagreb will be the only serious destination US Carriers will look at, be it Delta or American Airlines. However, they'll be looking at metrics, how many US visitors to Croatia, where these visitors are heading when in Croatia, and how these visitors come to Croatia.

      Most US visitors to Croatia come in conjunction with other EU destinations. This would include landing in Rome, Zurich, Vienna, Frankfurt, London, Paris... These US visitors often spend 2-3 months in Europe doing their rounds, spending only 3-4 days in Croatia.

      Last year 475 000 US visitors visited Croatia with 1,.5 million nights generated by US visitors, projections for this year are, 570 000 US Visitors and 1.75 million nights. Zagreb by far will have largest share of US visitors, half of all U S visitors who visit Croatia, visit Zagreb and spend at least 1 night in Croatian capitol, generating 250 000 visits and 320 000 nights in 2017.

      However, beyond tourism there's little business demand between two countries, there is some, but it doesn't warrant year round service. Congress and Business could be the way to go for Zagreb, as Zagreb back in the day was one of the most popular congress destinations in the region, however for that Congress center needs to be built, and staffed with experienced event organization personnel.

      Croatia will push in to top 10 European destinations for US visitors by 2020, or in 2020. @current rate of growth of around 20-25% yoy.

      Number of US visitors: projection

      2017: 475 000
      2018: 575 000
      2019: 700 000
      2020: 850 000
      2021: 1000 000+

      Most popular EU/EEA destinations for US Visitors in 2017: https://travel.trade.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/2012_US_Travel_Abroad.pdf


      1) U.K. - 3.1 million
      2) France - 2.85 million
      3) Italy - 2.55 million
      4) Germany - 2.25 million
      5) Spain - 2.1 million
      6) Ireland - 1.45 million
      7) Netherlands - 1.2 million
      8) Switzerland - 1.0 million
      9) Austria - 850 000
      10) Greece - 600 000

      Number of US visitors to Greece has stagnated since 2016, when 750 000 US visitors visited Greece, so this or following year Croatia might overtake Greece when it comes to US visitors. If we consider Turkey and Russia as part of Europe, these two destinations when it comes to US visitors have collapsed, Turkey managing to attract barely 200 000 US Visitors and Russia less than 400 000 last year.

      The fact Two US Carriers have direct flights to Prague and not a single one to Zagreb is justified, Prague has 5000 strong permanent US ex-pat community with another 10 000 temporary US residents in Prague, generating demand for number of commercial flights, this in return also generates business and commerce between two countries totaling some $25 billion.

      US-Croatian business interests are far more modest, with Croatian exports to US totaling barely $750 million and imports another $700 million, with US interests in Croatia totaling some $2-3 billion, it is estimated value of commercial and business interests between Croatia and US total some $5 billion, a fraction of interests US has in Czech R. Also, US emigre community in Croatia is rather small, in Zagreb there's barely 1000 permanent US ex-pats mostly working for US companies, some students and large number of diplomats and military personal...



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    13. 2/2

      So attracting major US carriers won't be easy to start with, number of preconditions must be met, construction of large conference and congress/convention center, larger than Sava center in Belgrade and more sophisticated, ideally architecturally very inserting, bring number of US visitors above 1 million, and business and commercial interests between the two countries above $20 billion.

      If Croatia can achieve these goals by 2025, than it'll be possible to have both Delta and American airlines flying in seasonally and perhaps even year round for one of the carriers. Visa restrictions atm, aren't the issue, Visa will most likely be lifted as Trump leaves the white house sometimes in 2021/2 when new US president, mist likely Bernie Sanders or Elisabeth Warren are elected.

      Although I doubt number of Croatia visitors to US would go beyond current figures which are modest, at 20-22 000 per year. Canada, which has no visa restrictions with Croatia had even fewer Croatian visitors, estimated at 17000 in 2017. Much of america's is too far and too expensive for ordinary Croatian person, spending $1000 on a return plane ticket alone is what keeps many away from travelling to US.

      sidetracking now, anyhow, American direct flights to Zagreb seems most logical for any US carrier, Dubrovnik can be served via Croatian Airlines direct flights. After all in summer months there are 7 daily flights to Dubrovnik and Split from Zagreb.



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    14. Goclvernmant plane is not even near weight than passenger one. Come on we shoud not talk about basics here.

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    15. Regarding 1/2 and 2/2: how are other Croatian reader dealing with those comments? I am not so I am staying away, but I have to wonder how other reasonable and experienced readers from Cro cope with that?

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    16. @Anonymous14 August 2018 at 19:36

      cope with what ?

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    17. Back to the future predictions of US elections, for example :)

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    18. I'm a Croat and I find US presidential election predictions quite funny! :) That said I wouldn't mind Bernie to win if he runs at all.
      Other than that, giving data is fine, as is identifying trends, but predictions of the type: Croatia will/might overcome Greece in terms of the number of American visitors next or even this year, is reaching to say the least. Same with: we need a larger and more sophisticated congress center than the one in Belgrade.
      Otherwise I do agree that we need a real congress center in Zagreb , but come down to earth, man.
      We need more hotels in Zagreb, with at least another 5 star one. And sure, I agree Zagreb will have a direct US flight, it's only a matter of time.
      Also I couldn't agree more with the need to diversify economy more, develop other, non-tourist sectors to a much higher degree and Zagreb is ideal for that. It largely already has infrastructure in place. But the red tape obstacles need to be removed ASAP. We need to simplify the procedure for direct investment in general, remove the Austro-Hungarian bureaucracy, but with more transparency at the same time. Don't get me started on Bandic (the mayor of Zagreb).
      I adore Rimac and what he's been doing, or that young gentleman with solar benches, I forget the name, Zagreb IT startup scene is decent too, we've always had strong chemical, biochemical, pharmaceutical industry, food processing...etc.
      Zagreb is fine overall, it just needs to build up on the already existing solid foundations. But all of this is that much more important for the rest of the country and yes, even the coast. There's so much potential even when it comes to tourist product, but beyond tourism too. It's not very smart to put all your eggs in one basket.


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  3. I'm surprised BUD and PRG are doing so well for them and out of all places from Philadelphia.

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    1. How many months do these flights run for?

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    2. And even more interesting these flights operate daily.

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    3. @9.12
      From May until the end of summer season. Oct. 26/27.

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    4. That would be perfect fro DBV. Thank you.

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  4. Hope they choose a destination in ex-Yu although it might be somewhere like Bucharest or Warsaw

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    1. I think a destination in Croatia has a good chance especially seasonally since the market is not directly served from the US and there demand during the summer with tourists but also some diaspora (same as Toronto flights).

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    2. Speaking of Bucharest, LOT has just announced it will fly charters from Bucharest to the US!

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  5. that would be nice.

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  6. Have there been flights between DBV and USA since the break up of YU? Charters at least?

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    Replies
    1. No, there have not. Last flights to the states were by JAT and Pan am.

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  7. Hope it materializes. Would be great to see a B767 in American colours at DBV.

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  8. PHL-WAW is next

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    1. You think they would try and compete with LOT?

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    2. Well they are in BUD :)

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    3. whereas the person with with the crystal ball is one person, i believe Bravo Croatia! in the meantime are multiple persons... it's kind of fun to write it

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    4. I admit I wrote Bravo Hrvatska! just for fun :) I did that once and I am not the one(s) who do(es) that regularly. I'm from DBV but have been living abroad for a while now.

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  9. I would love to see them fly seasonally to BEG, although there is obviously little to no chance of that happening with Air Serbia already flying to New York.

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  10. This year in Europe they launched Chicago to Venice, Dallas to Reykjavik, and Philadelphia to Budapest and Prague.

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  11. Well I assume they will announce their decision very soon. They announced Budapest and Prague in mid August 2017.

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    Replies
    1. Something tells me that these flights won't happen next year but rather 2020. But I hope for the best.

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  12. Really hope this will materialize.

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  13. What's that obsession with Zagreb?

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    1. What obsession with Zagreb??

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    2. I also don't understand anon 9,25.

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  14. How many US visitors to Dubrovnik this year?

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    1. Or Croatia in general for that matter.

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    2. Last year 452k.
      First half of 2018. up by 28%.

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    3. Pretty good actually.

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    4. A goo share of them come to Dubrovnik.

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  15. This would affect some airlines flying to DBV, particularly BA.

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    1. Interestingly Aer Lingus also sees good transatlantic feed on the DBV flights.

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    2. JU also carried quite a few tourists from New York to Dubrovnik and Split.

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    3. They are among the cheapest options.

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    4. TK must also have pax from the US to DBV.

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    5. I think their country manager for Croatia said in an interview a couple of months ago that there were a lot of transfers from the US. It was published here.

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  16. If Venice, Athens, Budapest and Prague can have US flights, why not Dubrovnik.

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    1. All those cities you listed have more than double the number of passengers than DBV,

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    2. Umm probably because each of them except Venice is also a capital city in the country. And Venice is one of the most famous cities in the world.

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    3. I don't think American Airlines would even start negotiating with DBV if they thought these flights had no chance. If not in 2019, maybe in 2020, we'll just have to wait and see.

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    4. +1 last anon. This is a good sign.

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    5. 1) Jer su puno veći nego Dubrovnik. Ne radi se samo o potencialnim putnicima, nego i o tome koliko se gostiju može smjestiti u destinaciji. Pobroji turističke ležajeve u Pragu i usporedi ih s onima na Dubrovačkoj rivieri.
      2) Jer imaju puno jaće zaleđe nego Dubrovnik. Ti iz BUD ili PRG za dva do tri sata si u VIE, ZAG, BTS, a iz DBV autom se ganjaš 3 sata do SPU a svugdje drugdje moraš letit.
      3) Jer je VCE polazna i/ili završna točka za velik dio krstarenja Mediteranom dok je DBV uglavnom prolazna luka.

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  17. I still think the most common sense cities are DBV and SKP.
    SKP has been repeatedly trying to promote long-hauls and has more chances compared to DBV as it is a capital city. Lets wait and see.

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    1. I could only see SKP flights to the US via TK, which is I think what Skopje has been trying to get.

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    2. Yes, but filling a 767 won't be that hard from SKP, say 2 weekly just like OTP.
      I think TAV should immediately speak with AA and finally launch flights next summer.

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    3. Perhaps could work on a seasonal basis if they also marketed the flights for passengers from Pristina.

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    4. SKP would first have to get FAA clearance for someone to start flights from the US. That process alone takes almost a year.

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    5. You mean PRN has more chances than SKP?

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    6. Sorry to say but I doubt either of them have a chance in the immediate future.

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    7. What are your arguments, Anon 10:25?
      SKP is a capital and has a very catchment area: SOF, INI, PRN and southern Serbia.
      The route will lack competition and will be the only connection to the Balkans. I am saying this because BEG already has JFK.
      2 weekly flights from May and 3 pw during July and August and then again 2 from September to October. Instead they can try only with 2 to see if there is demand for more.

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    8. And what would make them fly to SKP instead of SOF, PRN or even TIA? Get real. SKP has no chance for long haul flights. How could they even have chances when more than half of their flights are operated by a foreign LCC and there are no connections to airports such as: CDG, FCO, FRA, AMS. And you want flights to US. LOL

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    9. Precisely, that what makes SKP unique. It can combine a LCC secondary & tertiary airports and a long-haul legacy. The idea is to have 2 different products and this way the Macedonian consumer can choose. I am sure the route will be successful. Remember how W6 went from 1 to 4 aircraft and nobody expected it. Here it will be the same effect.

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    10. Sweet dreams my friend

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    11. For those, still in doubt that SKP is the most potential candidate:

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/09/skopje-airport-to-support-transatlantic.html

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/04/turkish-eyes-transatlantic-flights-from.html

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/03/macedonia-considers-transatlantic.html

      So, as time goes by, this is yet become reality
      BRAVO!!!!! Can't wait for next summer!!

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    12. frishki jealousy again, nothing new :) Always grumpy when regional airports prosper and not the capital cities. Sorry mon ami, that's how life is. I remember your comments when W6 was expanding in SKP, same style.

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    13. I love your comebacks in form of either: jealousy or envy.
      Again, couldn't care less what happens with your precious airport, but talking delusional stuff doesn't help you. No wonder you post it under Anonymous.

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    14. "My" precious airport went from 497,105 pax in 2004 to 1,868,272 in 2017 ;)
      "My" precious airport now has a modern building with airbridges and one of the spotless airports in the region ;) Google reviews: Almost 4 out 5. ;)
      "My" precious airport will receive flights from America sooner than you think ;) ;)

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    15. Good For you. Looks like you're reaping the benefits when you're preparing your cheering routine for everyone to witness.
      Enjoy!

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    16. Luv your team spirit, amigo.
      Cheers ;)

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  18. Would be interesting to see how much these flights would bring in new tourists.

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    1. Well someone should look have the number of tourists increased from Canada since nonstop flights were introduced from Toronto to Zagreb.

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  19. Fingers crossed for Dubrovnik!

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  20. Funny to see all this long haul interest for a region that was dead in the regard just a few years ago.

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  21. it's just a matter of time.

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  22. Bravo NMacedonia! I now know that SKP has all the possible chances will be picked by American Airlines. SKP-PHL in 2019 will be the next destination you will see here on the top-right part of this website.

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    1. lol is this for real?

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    2. and fyi, it's still not called "NMacedonia"

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    3. Who is this N-guy btw?

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  23. I think flights from Dubrovnik to the US would be a great success straight away.

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  24. 3pw during summer could work for DBV

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  25. The Croatia-US flight saga continues.

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  26. To me it is surprising that ZAG does not have any flights to the US.

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    1. It's because LJU is a better option, if you ask me.

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    2. Sledece godine,mozda,bice,valjda,nadamo se,uf,kako se ne umorite?

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    3. An. 10:40
      When you claim something you should give explanation why. For example why LJU is better option for flights to the US than ZAG . I am sure ZAG is much better option. And I will give you arguments why : Croatian diaspora in the US is about 4 times bigger than slovenian one. American tourists to Croatia are about 5 times more than to Slovenia. ZAG is much better to croatian coastal destinations which are interesting to American than LJU. ZAG is equally as LJU connected to SKP and SJJ, which are the most important ex-yu destinations with no US flights. The trade e change between HR and US and SLO and US is almost the same. LJU is much closer than ZAG by rail /road to VCE and VIE with significant US traffic. The only advantage at the moment that Slovenia has compared to Croatia is Melanija :)

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    4. And salaries are 5 times higher in Slovenia compared to Croatia ;) ;) ;) ;)

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    5. Average net salary in Croatia: 858€
      Average net salary in Slovenia: 1083€
      TIL that 1083/858 = 5 ��

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    6. And what does exactly have a slightly higher salary have to do with launching a route?

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    7. @Anonymous14 August 2018 at 11:44

      I wouldn't say 5 times, i mean i know you're a trolling, but for an average Croatian pay of 6450 kuna, an average Slovenian pay would need to be 32250 kuna, or in €terms €4350 average pay in Slovenia. I am sure you're fully aware of your fallacy.

      BTW Croatian pays are going up fast, cause of unemployment falling dramatically, due to brain-drain, unemployment now only 6.6%. In other words, almost full employment. It is likely this unemployment will go back to 7.5-9% in November though as tourist season ends.

      This year an average monthly pay will most likely hit 6700 kuna before the year ends and hit 7000 kuna next year, in € terms we expect €900 average monthly pay by the end of this year and €950 next year, in 2020, pays should be around €1050 or just shy of what an average Slovenian person earns, no doubt Slovenian pays will also rise and by this time they might be around €1150 or even €1200 per month.

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    8. Anon 10.40: ja nisam stručnjak za aerodromsku logistiku, ali prema vlastitom iskustvu LJU uopće nije primjerena za "obradu" aviona sa 200+ putnika. Zona sigurnosne kontrole je puno premalena, kao i bagage claim. Ali ko što rekoh - to je samo moje osobno mišljenje

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    9. @Athos_cro14 August 2018 at 20:01

      they can handle large B777, two might be hard, but new terminal is going up. should be able to handle more after that

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  27. On top of this I hope Dubrovnik can somehow interest Air Transat to launch flights from Toronto.

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  28. B767 is perfect equipment for this route.

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  29. Thanks for sharing this.

    It's definitely a wise decision to choose Dubrovbik.

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  30. Ex-Yu - it's much better that you verify the comments than that Captcha crap. It was driving me nuts. Thank you for removing it.

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  31. Using cold war terms like "Eastern Europe" in 2018 is pretty appalling...

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    1. It's a geographical term. What should it be called. "New Europe"?

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    2. Warsaw pact would be the cold war term.

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    3. No, Eastern Europe is not a purely "geographical term". It's a geopolitical term labeling post communist countries. Do you call Austria "Eastern Europe"?? Then now take a map and see where Prague is and do the same for ...Vienna.

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    4. How on earth would you call the region that goes from Ljubljana to Bucharest and up to Warsawa?

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    5. You can call it Central Europe like it is. Worst case scenario - Southeastern Europe. Eastern Europe can be applied only for Belarus, The Baltic countries, Ukraine and Russia.

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    6. Exactly, just like Anon 09:43, it's *CENTRAL* Europe.

      "how on Earth" Prague is Eastern Europe and Vienna Western? Just take a map. Please.

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  32. Jel mi može netko reć: u dobra stara vremena kad je letio Pan Am za DBV, koji su avion koristili? B707?

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    1. Izmedu 1980 i 1990, tri puta tjedno, A310 ili B727, Zagreb je bio sa A300 ili A310, Dubrovnik B727 ili 310 u zadnjih 2-3 godine, na pocetku B727 ili 707, za Duborvnik samo preko Frankfurta, za Zagreb samo preko JFK.

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  33. PHL-ZAG-DBV-PHL (4x week) and PHL-DBV-ZAG-PHL (3x week) SEASONAL would be perfect with B767 or A330. Pan Am flights in the 80s to ZAG and DBV were always full. This would cater to tourists and immigrant traffic.

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    Replies
    1. Would be a long duty time for a 2 men cockpit, wouldn't it?
      No matter where the crew change would be

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