Air Transat cancels planned Split service


Canada's Air Transat has confirmed it has cancelled plans to launch flights between Toronto and Split this coming summer season and has suspended ticket sales for the route after several months. The carrier was to fly between the two cities once per week from June 20 until September 12. Air Transat's Marketing Director, Debbie Cabana, told EX-YU Aviation News in a statement, "For commercial reasons, we have decided to cancel our summer 2019 program for Split, Croatia. Nevertheless, Croatia remains a key destination for Transat and, given the interest shown by Canadians in the summer of 2018 and its potential for tourism development, we will be adding a third weekly departure from Toronto to Zagreb. Flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays during peak season". She added, "Passengers from Montreal and Vancouver will also benefit from a connecting flight to Toronto to take advantage of this added flight to Croatia. This third flight will make Zagreb accessible from Calgary as well, via return connecting flights to Toronto".

Air Transat previously 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, said 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 last October. 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.

The new fights would have marked a major development for Split Airport, which has previously said it had no interest in attracting long haul services. Split was to become the third Croatian airport to boast transatlantic and long haul flights over the summer, following the lead of Zagreb and Dubrovnik. This summer season, Split will see the launch of new routes by British Airways, Eurowings, Luxair, Volotea and Laudamotion, as well as the arrival of the world's largest low cost airline, Ryanair. The planned schedule for Air Transat's Toronto - Split flight can be found here.

Comments

  1. They should have come for Dubrovnik. It is better known internationally .

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    1. Should have more direct flights to Manchester..5hr layover in Toronto aint no fun.

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  2. "Commercial reasons" means poor ticket sales. And those sales must have been poor since they have been on sale for months.

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    1. Commercial can mean almost anything. It might be they recalculated the route and its costs and found out it is commercially more viable to operate a third frequency to ZAG than just one weekly to SPU - at SPU their crew stays one week probably in a 5 star hotel sky rocketing fixed costs.

      Also, they might have calculated it is too risky the plane cannot make it from SPU to Canada nonstop. Split's runway is simply too short for a long haul plane departure near MTOW so possibly every second or third week a fuel stop in Shannon might have become needed further increasing costs.

      I highly doubt they would have flown half empty or had trouble selling 200 tickets a week. If they really had trouble then due to high fares which were high exactly cause of the aforementioned high costs.

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  3. Well Mr Novak's wish had come true. No long haul flights.

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    1. Never seen an airport CEO say he doesn't want bigger planes landing at his airport. Crazy.

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    2. Agree! Maybe SPU do that intentionally. They think money will falling from the sky forever

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    3. Well they know that in 2019 money will keep on falling and they can make more money from their current customers than from one weekly A332 from Canada whose success isn't guaranteed.

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    4. Biggest problem with having an plane the size of the A330 at split during peak summer season is the amount of ramp space it takes up.

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    5. Are there any photos how SPU new terminal will look like, who is doing the interior project (especially interested in the section with wooden ceiling that should look amazing)?

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    6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Wpx34wDSQ

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  4. Does it mean ZAG is filled mostly by diaspora if there was little to no interest for SPU? LetsL see how AA performs in DBV this summer and if they return next summer.

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    1. No, it meas Canadians prefer Zagreb as a central destination and from there they can fan out to various places in Croatia. Diaspora certainly plays important role in these flights but not crucial. Croatia had 190000 Canadian visitors in 2018, who spent over 550 000 nights in Croatia, no idea how many these were Croatians with Canadian passports, but I bet a significant number were just Canadians visiting Croatia.

      When I say significant I mean 85-90%. There are only 400 000 Croats in Canada, 1st and 2nd generation, not all of them travel every year to Croatia, even with Canadian wages, traveling is still expensive.

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    2. 'even with Canadian wages, traveling is still expensive.'

      If travelling is still expensive then it only means that ethnic Croats have more reasons to fly to Croatia on Transat than others do. Would be interesting to know what passengers they carried. I still think if there were that many traditional tourists that Transat would have succeeded in Split.

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    3. Why do you still consider them Croats? I mean, they are second generation immigrants, I think many of them consider themselves Canadians, and the croatian origin is something curious and interesting that can define their identity. Many Canadians have different origin and they consider themselves Canadians. Full stop. Same for Americans or Australians.

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    4. OMG have you seen Yugo people in Canada or Australia? They are many things but assimilated isn't one of them.

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    5. Yes, I believe it has to do with what Anon at 10:20 said. If they fly to Zagreb, Canadians have a chance to see the capital plus from there they can fly to Pula, Zadar, Split or Dubrovnik. It's already an established route as well.

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    6. I you ask my nieces or nephews who are now 3rd generation Croatian Australians what nationality they are, I would say more than half would first say they were Croatian before Australian.

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    7. The size of the Croatian diaspora in North America and Australia is regularly exaggerated with numbers such as 400,000 in Canada, 1 million in the US, or 250,000 in Australia thrown around. Thing is, only those who declare themselves as Croats count and in Canada that's 133,000. In the United States maybe 500,000 if even that many. In Australia - 118,000 according to the last census.

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    8. @Michael12 January 2019 at 14:09

      I consider myself Dutch first, doesn't mean I wouldn't want to visit Croatia, I always try to emphasize I am half-Croatian as i come from a mix family, dutch-croatian. My brother and sister say the're Croatian. So it all depends. I'd say the figures I've given for Canada of 400 000 is right, but many 2nd generation Croats would prefer to say they're Canadians, like me I say I am Dutch. A friend of mine, Jadranko who is 2nd Generation Dutch as well, he says he is Dutch first, Croatian second. Ivo, another friend, he is Dutch first, but every time there's a game or Croatia is in the news, they're massive Croats, so it all depends.

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    9. 2nd generation could have stronger ties but with 3rd generation it's already more tricky, especially if they live in countries that are far away like Australia or New Zealand. I think Transat doesn't just carry Croatian diaspora but also those from Srpska and Slovenia.

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    10. My friend Daniela from Zadar considers herself German but not born there.
      She speaks very fluent but depending on the company she keeps changing nationality.
      Dunno...everyone is free.
      Deep inside the motherland is definately Croatia.

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  5. In December SPU grew by 13% so they still don't need these flights to add passengers to an already overcrowded terminal.

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    1. They will have a new terminal by summer and a big bird like A330 landing would have brought in a lot of extra revenue.

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    2. The new terminal will allow SPU to further grow, I expect it to reach 3.5 million next year, that's just a bit more than 10% growth. It's doable.

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    3. ^ I don't see what that has to do with Air Transat cancelling its flights.

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  6. Bravo Hrvatska!

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    1. Haha, upravo tako! Šteta, ali bolje da su dodali 3. let za ZAG. Dubrovnik navodno pregovara o uspostavi linije za Peking.

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  7. Ouch after selling tickets for over 2 months....

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  8. Split has a problem, its trying to be something that it's not, an international magnet for long haul flights. That's Zagreb's job, that is why that one weekly flight was moved here.

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    1. LOL. Split doesn't even try to introduce long haul flights. Instead the city is connected with entire Europe with cheap(er) flights and that is more important for now. After certain modifications are made to the airport (new terminal, runway extension, parking areas etc) long haul flights will come naturally.

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  9. Let's wait for two weeks from now, Transat is final negotiations with DBV. Probably not this summer, but it seems it will be next!

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  10. What a disappointment

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  11. I was surprised to see the A330 planned for this service. Could it be that someone forgot to check the runway specs at Air Transit?

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    1. No, airport would have told them that atraight away. And their explanation would have been that they are cancelling these flights for "operational" reasons. Not "commercial" reasons like they said.

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  12. Replies
    1. They should not have sold tickets if they were not going to fly this route.

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    2. Yeah, they don't have anything better or smarter to do but to announce the routes they plan to cancel two month later.
      Just for kicks.

      Christ...

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  13. Replies
    1. I was looking forward to these flighrs.

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  14. Hmmm 2019 started with 2 negative news. First ASL Airbus cancellations fiasco and now SPU Canada route cancellation fiasco.
    SPU will become the second busiest airport in exYU, this is good news ;)

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    1. 2018 was a year of overall growth for ALL airports in ex-YU. I think 2019 will be far more challenging.

      Many airports have not secured enough extra flights to secure healthy growth, only BEG and SPU are booming with new announcements while others are recording more modest results.

      INI, TZL and OSI have started out great but they are all starting to stall as far as new announcements go. They might all score some frequencies but nothing too revolutionary.

      PRN has secured Germania but we have to see if this materializes since the airline is in deep financial issues and they might declare bankruptcy any day now. Wizz Air might help with some numbers and given that more and more people are moving to Germany we might see more flights launched from places like Dortmund, Memmingen, Berlin...

      SKP is starting the year with two subsidized destinations and FZ reducing winter flights to 2 weekly. I don't know if any other airline announced more flights for the summer season but now the market needs to fill these flights and to keep on growing organically.

      BEG was discussed enough until now so there is no point in mentioning it again.

      SJJ will depend on Air Bosnia's success as besides them their growth will rely on Middle Eastern tourist arrivals.

      ZAG is so far, for me, the biggest disappointment. Up to today only Transat and Aegean have announced more flights. I am secretly hoping OU adds their third seasonal regional jet. I was so happy when it was announced Rouge was increasing flights , but...

      SPU and DBV will have a fantastic year and I think it's too early to speak of their success.

      I think 2019 will be a year of mixed results.

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    2. Great overview.
      I completely agree with ZAG. There is definitely something wrong about the airport management. Most EU capitals had a very good 2018. Even neighbouring LJU.
      The biggest challenge remains population decline in so many countries.
      The bigger performers are either capitals or touristic destinations.
      Gasto destinations are basically covered hence no new route announcements.
      Even Romania, which is now heading below 18 million is facing challenges.
      Closure of TSR base, W6 less expansion compared to other years.
      With less people around, it will be difficult to fill planes.
      2019 is definitely going to be good for BEG, the Croatian coast, Montenegro, PRN and logically BNX.
      Oddly enough, BEG might soon reach traffic levels achieved by SKG and SOF who managed to surpass SKG in 2018.

      Overall: SKP and ZAG being capitals must do much much more to sustain and increase growth.

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    3. Skopje will get more soon.

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    4. Agree that ZAG is the biggest disappointment in 2019. No new routes, no new carriers, status quo.

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    5. I mean in BEG you have JU and W6 stagnating but at least others are making the most of it. In ZAG almost everyone is stagnating. Maybe LO adds more flights? Would be nice to have them add a third daily departure.

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    6. Luckily, Emirates just confirmed their flights to ZAG from March 31st:

      https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-announces-network-updates-for-2019#

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    7. Huh? Why would they need to confirm it? Wasn't it always the plan for them to resume flights from March 31st?

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    8. It was, but nothing is sure nowadays. Luckily, they confirmed it, with Flydubai taking over from November.

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    9. So basically same as this year, that is last year.

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    10. Yes, flydubai will start flying to ZAG a bit earlier than last year, but still good.

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    11. Makes sense, November is a relatively slow month, I think second slowest after February.

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  15. A single flight a week really narrow your options as a tourist visiting. You either stay one week or two.
    A third flight a week in ZAG is much more convenient.

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    1. It narrows it even more with 0 flights.

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    2. It is far more convenient to have three weekly flights to ZAG and go from there to the coast than having a single flight to Split.

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  16. And no new routes from other Canadian airports to ZAG

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    1. No new routes but they are getting another frequency to YYZ.

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    2. Montreal was mentioned as almost confirmed destinations

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    3. I thought they would have announced Montreal too.

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  17. This is quite bad news in my opinion even though some here are putting a positive spin on it. Loosing Transat sends out the wrong message to any other perspective airline considering long haul flights to Split.

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    1. Agree. I think DBV might work seasonally, although, SPU has a bigger catchment area. Luckily, they added 3rd flight to ZAG.

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    2. Not necessarily, Anon 10:51. This is bad news, no doubt about it, but maybe in the future some other route could work, maybe 2pw instead of 1pw. Some effort has to be made by SPU management for long haul flights, the way they do in DBV. If AA works, who knows, could be that some other carriers will see the opportunity in both DBV and SPU, especially when Peljesac bridge is built, it will be so much easier to reach Dubrovnik from Split and vice versa. These airports could even work together in order to find suitable carriers/routes in the future. Of course, OU with its domestic network is important, hope they won't go bankrupt in the meanwhile.

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  18. I really don't see why SPU should have long-haul flights? Split is a small town in global terms and in reality it can live perfectly well without having long-haul flights. In that sense I fully understand Mr. Luksic statement that SPU will not pursue long-haul flights. I mean, definitely it is nice to have such flights but far, far from necessary for SPU. The airport needs to establish more connections to cities across Europe, in particular in EU and that is happening from what I see.

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    1. If OU was stable enough, with its domestic network, long haul flights could have been added seasonally to and from ZAG.

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  19. Are we slowly experiencing overcapacity at ex-YU airports?

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    1. What makes you say that? Because of 1 cancelled route to SPU with many others announced?

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    2. Well I wrote ex-YU, not SPU. Seems like announcements are slowing down across ex-YU.

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    3. Ah, yes, in general I agree with you, Anon 17:12. More frequencies on existing routes (BEG), some new carriers (BEG, Croatian coast, Montenegro), no new announcements (ZAG). Seems like 2019 is worse than last year.

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    4. Plus rheumatic national carriers who have become completely uninspiring.

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    5. Forgot about national carriers, absolutely!

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  20. Airbus321 ima relativno mali doseg sa ljetjeti nonstop oko 5640kilometra,najbolji avion u toj klasi ipak ostaje stari dobri i jos nenadmasni Boeing757 koji se proizvodio do 2004 godine koji ima doseg od fantasticnih 7940kilometara u konfiguraciji sa 200 putnika sto je vise nego dovoljno za relaciju Aerodrom Split-Toronto.

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  21. We kept on hearing here about these booming and fantastic foreign arrivals to Croatia from Canada. So what happened here? Why weren't there 200 Canadian tourists per week to make this route viable? Something is fishy here... unless these Canadians are mostly of Croatian origin or they are tourists who visit several countries during their stay.

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    1. Fishy about Split. Air Transat added their 3rd flight to ZAG and we have AC Rouge 4 pw as well.

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  22. Split Airport is doing great job even without wide body airplanes. When certain modifications are made (new terminal, runway extension, parking area, taxiway...) and when after that wide body airplanes start coming, that will be the icing on the cake.
    Tourists would naturally prefer coming to Split rather than zagreb because of vicinity of all major tourist destinations.

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