Canadian carriers boost Croatia operations in 2019


Canadian leisure carriers Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat will increase their operations to Croatia next year following a successful summer season. Air Canada Rouge, which launched four weekly seasonal flights from Toronto to Zagreb this June will resume operations on May 27, 2019 and add an additional weekly rotation between the two cities for a total of five per week. The airline will also maintain services until the end of the summer season in late October, whereas this year flights were concluded at the start of the month. On the other hand, Air Transat will increase capacity on its seasonal two weekly Toronto - Zagreb service from the 345-seat Airbus A330-200 to the 375-seat A330-300 aircraft.

As previously reported, Air Transat will also introduce a new seasonal one weekly service between Toronto and Split next summer with its A330-200 aircraft. Flights will launch on June 20 and run until September 12. As a result, Split will become the third Croatian airport to boast transatlantic and long haul flights over the summer, following the lead of Zagreb and Dubrovnik. "We’ve seen great interest in Croatia since we started flying there in 2016. That’s why Air Transat is proud to be meeting this demand even better by upping its offer to three direct flights from Toronto, including two to Zagreb. And thanks to our connecting flights from Montreal and Vancouver, more travellers can now discover Croatia’s second largest city", the leisure carrier's Chief Operating Officer, Annick Guerard, said. She added, "Tourism has seen incredible growth in the Balkan Peninsula, which many now rank among the top European destinations".

Air Transat noted that with the development of longer range narrow-body aircraft it could add more flights to Croatia in the future. The carrier's CEO, Francois Lemay, noted that the planned new Airbus A321XLR jet would allow Air Transat to reach several destinations in Eastern Europe and open new markets. Its entry into service is expected in 2023. "It [A321XLR] would easily reach destinations such as Split in Croatia, which Air Transat plans to serve from 2019. The route will initially use the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A330 wide-bodies as it’s beyond the reach of the A321neoLR", Mr Lemay said. He predicts that transatlantic flying will become increasingly narrow-body dominated as carriers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle and Aer Lingus embrace the potential of smaller planes with longer ranges.

Comments

  1. Bravo, Croatia!

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  2. Great news. I hope in 2020 Air Canada Rouge will upgrade the Zagreb route to Air Canada mainline.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure about this and nothing wrong with having a LCC brand. The same story with EK > FZ

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    2. Air Canadas long haul fleet has a seat configuration that is too premium heavy for a leisure- and vfr-market like croatia. There is a reason why Rouge was founded. Having the right product for particular markets was one of them.

      Mihael

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    3. WAW was just switched from mainline to Rouge so I think we won't be seeing mainlne in Zagreb soon.

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    4. BUD was initially planned to be AC mainaline next summer but they switched it back to AC rouge unfortunately. The reason I would really like to see mainline is because AC rouge is pretty terrible service wise.

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    5. They have no choice, they have to keep Rouge in Zagreb because of Transat. They need to match what's alredy offered on the market.

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    6. It would be nice to see Air Canada mainline returning to Zagreb, but I don't think it'll happen in 2020, as is right now, 175 000 Canadians will visit Croatia this year, based on first 9 month projection, in 2019 that number could be just over 210 000 and 2020, 250 000+ Canadians could visit Croatia, I think Air Canada would want year round service, and for that we'll need to see number of Canadians visiting Croatia exceed 350 000. 2023, at the earliest I think we could see year round service with Air Canada and Zagreb. Croatia is ranked top 17 countries Canadians visited, and it is growing steadily, by 2025, that figure could be top 12 https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/start

      1. United States
      2. Mexico
      3. United Kingdom
      4. France
      5. Cuba
      6. Germany
      7. Dominican Republic
      8. China
      9. Italy
      10. Spain
      11. Ireland
      12. Netherlands
      13. Hong Kong
      14. India
      15. Barbados
      16. Japan
      17. Croatia

      Croatia is also top 20 destination for US visitors, moved from 22nd to 20th this year, indications based on average growth rate over past 4-5 years, in 20205 we can expect around 500 000 Canadian visitors and around 1.5 million US visitors. Only problem I can see right now is infrastructure in Croatia not being able to cope with more than 25 million visitors, with unemployment @8.7% in Croatia right now, and bound to fall bellow 4% by 2025, the issue of workforce will also be significant.

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    7. Non-European visitors to Croatia 2018 actual first 9 months.

      USA - 518 000
      S. Korea - 317 000
      China - 174 000
      Australia - 227 000
      Canada - 159 000
      Japan - 128 000
      Taiwan - 83 000
      Brazil - 60 000
      Argentina - 49 000
      India - 57 000
      Singapore - 41 000
      New Zealand - 40 000
      Malaysia - 37 000
      Hong Kong - 29 000
      Thailand - 24 000
      South Africa - 23 000
      Mexico - 16 000
      UAE/Qatar/Kuwait - 19 000
      Chile - 12 000

      This is projected number of visitors for entire 2019,

      USA - 700 000
      S. Korea - 500 000
      China - 300 000
      Australia - 300 000
      Canada - 210 000
      Japan - 200 000
      Taiwan - 150 000
      Brazil - 100 000
      Argentina - 70 000
      India - 80 000
      Singapore - 70 000
      New Zealand - 60 000
      Thailand - 50 000
      Malaysia - 50 000
      Hong Kong - 45 000
      South Africa - 35 000
      Mexico - 35 000
      UAE/Qatar/Kuwait - 30 000
      Chile - 20 000

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  3. It would be interesting to see who was more successful. Both have their benefits and drawbacks.

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    1. Well probably AC Rouge since they had more flights.

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    2. Air Canada Rouge has the upper hand - Star Alliance member and lots of connections.

      Although Air Transat started flying before and does have holiday packages.

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    3. Air Transat also offers connections.

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    4. Yes but Air Canada Rouge offers much more connections in Canada then Air Transat.

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  4. Zanimljiva mu je ova zadnja opaska glede uloge narrow bodya u transatlanskim letovima.
    P2P ce tu imati prevagu.

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  5. These are the numbers for YYZ-ZAG:

    May: 1.117 pax
    June: 10.861 pax
    July: 13.963 pax

    In July it was the 10th busiest destination out of Zagreb, sandwiched between Doha and Brussels.

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    1. Those are pretty good stats. It's surprising it's busier than Brussels!

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    2. Thank you for those numbers.

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    3. You are welcome. Actually neither BRU nor AMS are performing that well this year. For example, in Q1 BRU numbers fell by 6.790 while in Q1 they grew by 1.117 passengers.

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    4. How many flights in May?

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    5. They are probably affected because the number of transfer passengers on these routes are declining.

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    6. What about Wizz from LJU to CRL? Maybe it also affected them.

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    7. That route has been in operation for ages. I doubt it just had an impact.

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    8. Isn't FR launching CRL to BNX? Let's see if it impacts the numbers. OU is EXTREMELY expensive on the route unless you buy ticket six months before.

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    9. Exactly, OU loses pax by increasing their prices in turn gains them more revenue. Why would they cannibalise by offering low prices to BRU when willingness to pay and the demanded product are there. I remember LH fliying to Kazan with 20% LF on the A319 some years ago but the flight was hightly profitable. So if you offer a good product (tripple daily) and can sell the tickets for 800€ then its better to lose some pax and make mor money. Simple Revenue Management. Look at what LX does on the ZRH- BRU route on Mondays and Thursdays when Biz people fly ;) they have 50% LF on those flight.

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    10. Exactly! Swiss charges 1600 CHF for a 50 min flight in ECO! flying Monday Morning returning Thursday evening. LH does the same.. BRU is a highly profitable market for all EU airlines flying there from their capitals. FR wont change that by offering a product 2 times a week from nowhere to nowhere (CLR).

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    11. I wouldn't call BNX middle of nowhere, it's a city of more than 200.000 people. It was a great source of passengers for both TZL and ZAG.

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    12. ... no it was not meant negatively. But BNX has not the demand from politicians an lobbyists like ZAG has as an EU capital. 2 weekly from Ryanair is a bad product in comparison with 3 times a day for those travel segments. I doubt that BRU flights attracted the sort of passengers from BNX that paid around 400€ in the past and would be spending 19€ flying at odd times now.

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    13. Of course but at the same time I doubt most of them took the bus to Brussels so they probably flew from ZAG when they could get a cheaper flight. I am not saying flights will be empty but OU might see around 10 passengers less. I mean I doubt FR would be launching CRL if there was no demand.

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    14. Maybe Tuzla affected ZAG as well. Anyone flying from Slavonija to Brussels could save money when flying from Tuzla.

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    15. " Anyone flying from Slavonija to Brussels"- right, by going to LJU, BUD or now BNX. WIll barely affect ZAG.

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    16. So since you have all the answers why is there such a drop to BRU? And why is AMS underperforming?

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    17. @ Anon 12:30- "So since you have all the answers why is there such a drop to BRU? And why is AMS underperforming?" I dont have the answers to everything, but I guess that even you CAN imagine that the numbers flow in July posted by Nemjee will barely be affected by FR starting flights in November. Unless people decide not to fly in the Months they need but to wait for November to fly FR :D

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    18. But what interests me is who flew on these flights that isn't this year? Have connecting passengers moved to LH or AF?

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    19. Absolute numbers as posted by Nemjee can only be looked at together with capacities in mind. KL has in advanced decreased from 737/8 to E90 in 2018 and OU has changed in advance from the A320 to A319. It is quite obvious that even if both carriers flew full they could never reach last years numbers. So while looking at the absolute Pax numbers you always have to look at how capacity changed as well to interpret.

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    20. Yes but capacity is adjusted based on demand. Same way LH is increasing capacity from MUC because they can sell more seats than what they offered in the past. :)

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    21. Capacity is not always adjusted based on demand- that is in an ideal world. It can and is also adjusted based on available aircraft and crew. KLM has launched SPU 2 times a day where they deploy the 737. Now, unfortunately they cannot convert the E90 into a 737, but they can calculate where the production will yield the best financial results. Would actually be great to have a rubber plan that can exactly adjust to demand in any given moment ;)

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    22. Nemjee could you repeat the numbers for the busiest destinations to ZAG this year and last year in terms of pax numbers?

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    23. These are the numbers for 2017:

      1. FRA - 321.907
      2. DBV - 268.173
      3. SPU - 201.065
      4. MUC - 191.990
      5. AMS - 167.469
      6. LHR - 164.426
      7. VIE - 164.108
      8. CDG - 151.505
      9. IST - 141.844
      10. DOH - 127.218
      11. BRU - 118.675
      12. ZRH - 110.913
      13. DXB - 98.301
      14. CPH - 79.541
      15. CGN - 68.750

      I don't have the whole 2018 but I will compare Q2 this year with last one.

      1. FRA - 89.804 (94.130 last year)
      2. DBV - 73.665 (74.718)
      3. MUC - 51.891 (46.986)
      4. SPU - 51.640 (49.038)
      5. VIE - 45.746 (44.088)
      6. IST - 44.206 (40.799)
      7. CDG - 42.132 (40.683)
      8. DXB - 41.368 (12.975)
      9. AMS - 40.536 (45.480)
      10. LHR - 36.371 (44.204)
      11. BRU - 35.005 (33.888)
      12. DOH - 34.056 (30.782)
      13. ZRH - 29.868 (31.217)
      14. CPH - 22.095 (21.889)
      15. CGN - 19.548 (19.586)

      SKP almost landed at the 15th position, they went up from 13.220 to 18.822. WAW also saw a large jump from 10.532 to 17.652.

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    24. @Nemjee29 October 2018 at 09:09
      These are the numbers for YYZ-ZAG:

      May: 1.117 pax
      June: 10.861 pax
      July: 13.963 pax

      These are heavy numbers, based on 6 rotations with A330, very good numbers, I presume May was only last week of May, as Air Canada didn't fly in May.

      June: 10.861 pax - 85% load factor for 22 rotations by Air Transat and Air Canada R.
      July: 13.963 pax - 87.5% load factor for 28 rotations for both carriers.

      No surprise Air Canada R is introducing larger 5th rotation, I presume in 2020, the'll start in early May and end in last few days of October, and 2021 if numbers hold we could see year round service either by the mainline or Air Canada R. We'll see.

      But numbers are very good.
      Korean air has also good numbers on the route to Seoul, load factor is around 95%. If it continues in this way, by 2020 we could see daily service to Zagreb by Korean air.


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    25. LO growth is crazy! Shame OU isn't flying to WAW to feed their hub. FRA drop was probably because of Canada flights.

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    26. Is the FRA drop because they shifted passengers to MUC? I guess OU was the one to lose there. Did they increase capacity to MUC or was it only mutti?

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  6. So Zagreb will have daily flights to Toronto right?

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    1. 7 weekly. On one day both airlines are operating the route.

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    2. Yes, they clash on tuesdays.

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    3. 7 weekly flights to YYZ with connections to the US and across Canada is quite good.

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    4. 7 flights pw ZAG-YYZ is a lot. But Croatia has a large diaspora over there. There are also Bosnians that are using ZAG.

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    5. Plus don't forget tourists.

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  7. And still no codeshare between Croatia Airlines and Air Canada Rouge on ZAG-YYZ-ZAG. What are these people doing?

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    1. +1
      Although OU codeshares with Air Canada from Frankfurt and other European airports.

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    2. Do Rouge and OU even have an interline agreement?

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

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  8. Winter could work maybe 2pw ACA Rouge to ZAG.

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    1. This route is HIGHLY seasonal, like all flights to North America though Canada even more. There is no demand for these flights in winter and diaspora can't sustain the flights alone, except around Christmas.

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    2. They could fly for 10 months a year and not on February and November when it's the dead season

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    3. Maybe they could fly it via another one of their European cities during the winter. Via Prague or as a stop to Budapest.

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    4. Maybe YYZ-ZAG-SKP?

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  9. Let's hope Dubrovnik is next.

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    1. +1 I think it will be with Transat again.

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    2. +1 I think it will be with Transat again.

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    3. It's interesting they chose Split over Dubrovnik for next year.

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    4. Bigger catchment area. And doesn't rely purely on tourists.

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  10. Pity neither have kept flights during the winter too. I think it could work.

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    1. Air Transat rarely flies any European route year-round. Much bigger cities than Zagreb are served only seasonally in their network.

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    2. There are ways to make a route attractive in the off season even, especially a large company like Air Canada which can offer very good fares for the entire US.

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

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    Replies
    1. If the yields are there it will.

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    2. What they look at it is if the route is making them enough money. Until Transat is around I doubt they will start mainline.

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

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  12. This is great news for consumers and Croatian tourism.

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  13. When you think of it, it was an extremely strong start from Air Canada Rouge. Four times per week. Compare that to the 1 weekly flight Air Transat started off with. Now we are already up to 5 per week. So the route must have performed very well during the summer.

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    1. Not only that but they extended the flying season.

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    2. It;'s good to see that Transat withstood such strong competition and is keeping its frequencies to Zagreb.

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    3. demand is there and it simply waited to be served.

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  14. Interesting how Air Transat deals with seasonality in a deal with Thomas Cook, exchanging wide bodies for narrow bodies during the winter.

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  15. Good luck to both.

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  16. Congrats Zagreb for having two airlines battle it out on a long haul line. Hopefully the US is next.

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    Replies
    1. Delta is definitely looking at ZAG, they are a very logical next step. I can see them launch flights from JFK or ATL. Croatia is booming in the US so they want their piece of the juicy pie.

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  17. Have we found out how exactly they plan to take off from Split? Will the runway be extended by then or will there be some takeoff restrictions?

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    Replies
    1. A330-200 can depart SPU. There is no cargo on board so it's not an issue.

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  18. What happened to the Montreal-Zagreb flights the Zagreb CEO was announcing?

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    1. Not gonna happen next summer.

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    2. Air Transat was looking to open one weekly new route. They were considering Toronto-Split, Toronto-Dubrovnik and Montreal-Zagreb. In the end they decided to go for Split.

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  19. That's because they used a much smaller plane than Transat.

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  20. This is an interesting development. In the future we'll be seeing more of these routes with the arrival of LR narrow-bodies.

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  21. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  22. AC will go year round at some point.

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    1. Exactly. AC flew year round 25 years ago, there is no reason it would not work now with much more interest on both sides.

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    2. I’m confident these will become all year round sooner rather than later.

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  23. Nice to see this route is performing up to everyone's expectations.

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  24. AC Rouge could go daily in 2020.

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  25. How many Canadians visited Croatia so far this year?

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    1. So far in first 9 months ,150 000 Canadian visitors visited Croatia, up by 25.5%. 518 000 US visitors in first 9 moths, up by 22%.

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    2. ***** 159000 Canadian visitors to Croatia. pressed 0 instead of 9, typo.

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  26. Nice to hear that Rouge is increasing services. Hopefully the prices will be good. This past summer my daughter and I went to visit Croatia. She wanted to see where her grandparents came from. I did shop around and surprisingly found that at the time of booking AC rouge nom stop to Zag amd then continuing to Dnv was not the best deal. We went Yyz-Muc-Dbv with Lufthansa. Our return was Zag-Txl-Yyz with Eurowings and Air Canada Rouge. Each ticket cost me 1200 dollars. I saved 350 per passenger. Thr Rouge flight yo be honest wads Okay. The plane itself looked tired om the inside. In Berlin we actually left an hiur and a half late even though the incoming flight from Toronto came in on time. I find through looking at the radar24 thay Rouge has a poot on time performance. I actually know of 3 families who travellef the Zag to Yyz leg were late anywhere from 2 to 4 hrs. Service onboard Rouge was ok. No entertaonment to speak of but it gave my daughter and myself time to talk about the wonderful time we had in Croatia. We will be returning next summer bit O will be looking at price. If another airlone had a big savings I will vhose them..Rather have yhe extra money to do different things while on vacation . Just my 2 cents.

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    1. Have you checked LO? They tend to have really good fares from Zagreb!

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    2. I forgot to add that the 1200 dollars included tax and one checked bag. We travelled in th middle of July and were there for 3 weeks.

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    3. So obviously people are willing to pay the extra for having a direct flight, otherwise AC would not be increasing flights, which results in good money for them.

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    4. Or AC Rouge sells most seats to tour operators and then charge more for those who fly regularly. It's a common practice.

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  27. How many seats will this new A321XLR that Transat plans to get have compared to the A330-200?

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    Replies
    1. Should have around 245pax so same as the A330-200.

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    2. Interesting thanks

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    3. @Anonymous29 October 2018 at 13:24

      Not more than 210 if all economy, or 180 economy and 18 in Business class. A321 NEO XLR or extra long range, is designed for up to 8000km distance with 210 pax, you add more passenger seats you lower that range, for every extra 6 seats you lose ~100nm.

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  28. Wow well done Zagreb. Sustaining two long haul carriers to the same destination is quite an achievement.

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  29. Why don't they fly the entire season from late march to late October?

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    Replies
    1. There's no demand in April, apart from Easter brake. May-October is good 6 months of service, that is 25 weeks of full service with 5 weekly departures.

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  30. kanadski piloti su zaista dobri ali avioni nisu im bas novi ,neki imaju i preko 35 godina i jos su u redovnoj ekspoataciji.

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  31. old-school American aircraft are operated by Canada Rouge from various airports in Canada to Croatia.

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