Croatia Airlines brings forward CRJ lease


Croatia Airlines will bring forward the lease of two Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft this summer, enabling the carrier to resume a number of its seasonal routes earlier when compared to previous years. It comes after the airline handled a record number of passengers in 2018. Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Croatia Airlines said, "In 2019, we are planning the same number of additional units as in 2018. We started with seasonal wet-leases so as to respond to market demand during the peak period. The summer of 2019 will be the fourth year that we will be leasing additional units. However, we are also happy to announce that, year after year, we have been widening the period of seasonal ACMIs. The first aircraft will be joining our fleet on April 1, 2019, and the second one on April 18". It added, "Seasonal ACMIs have facilitated the introduction of ten new destinations during the last three years and increased our presence on the European market".

Over the past years, Croatia Airlines has wet-leased two CRJ1000s from Iberia Regional (Air Nostrum). As a result, it introduced four new routes in 2018 alone and boosted frequencies on a number of services. "In general, we are happy with the performance of the new routes, although not all of them performed equally well. Keeping in mind the seasonality of demand for flights to the Croatian coast, the Split - Copenhagen and the Dubrovnik - Munich routes will remain seasonal and will be operated until October", the carrier said. It also noted, "The Zagreb - Dublin route will be upgraded to three weekly services during the summer timetable, with the period of operation extended into the 2019/2020 winter with two weekly services operated on Thursdays and Sundays. We believe that this route will gradually be developed into a year-round service, although Croatia Airlines will continue to adjust its capacity carefully, responding to rising demand for the route. The Zagreb - Mostar route will continue to be operated as a twice weekly service throughout the year".

Croatia Airlines welcomed 2.168.863 passengers on board its aircraft in 2018, representing an increase of 2% on the year before. The figure represents the secpnd tme the company carried over two million travellers in a single year. Of those, 1.642.285 passengers were handled on international flights, up 3% on 2017, while 526.578 travelled on domestic services, which is on par with figures achieved the year before. "Despite the negative impact of the price of jet fuel, increased competition and the traditional seasonality of the Croatian market, Croatia Airlines' business achievements in 2018 were at a satisfactory level", the company concluded.

Comments

  1. Very good :) Well done OU!

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    1. Some mathematics is not clear: First said that 2018 was the first year to carried over 2mil pax. After that is said that in 2018 OU carried 2.168.863 pax - representing an increase of 2% on the year before???

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    2. *second year

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  2. These planes are great for Croatia Airlines. I hope they consider them on a long-term basis.

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    1. They look really nice in OU's livery!

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    2. The best thing about the planes they leased last year was that they were under a year old. So practically brand new.

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    3. That's not OU livery. It's a hybrid of lessor - lesee liveries. lol

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  3. So I'm guessing no new routes in 2019?

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    1. Because they don't have enough planes. They are leasing the same number of aircraft like last year. It is impossible for them to add any new routes, unless they suspend something.

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  4. I wish they'd either remove the tail graphics and leave it blank or replace with OU's. The mixed OU/IB livery looks just so unappealing

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    1. That CRJ 1000 would have looked great in the full OU livery.

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    2. Nope. This is far better than those over-cliched red and white squares used for everything.

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    3. That is called branding. And those red and white squares are well-known Croatian brand.

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  5. These 100 seaters would be ideal during the winter.

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  6. Anyone flown with these planes? How were they?

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    1. They are really comfy. Flew with them from ZAG to FRA however on a Lufthansa flight in summer operated by VY.

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    2. And to think Adria was supposed to be the launch customer of this plane. They ordered it several years ago but then coverted them to CRJ900s :( Now we will get Sukhoi :((

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    3. Really?? Adria was supposed to be the launch customer?

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    4. Yes, in November 2007 Adria Airways placed an order for one Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft.

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    5. Interesting, had no idea.

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    6. quietest plane I flown with.
      Also red somewhere this planes can fly on altitudes like 12 000m
      great option for any ex yu airliner

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    7. Great planes, flew with OU (CRJs) last summer, clean, quiet, comfortable!

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  7. This goes to how how desperately they need regional jets, not just in summer, in winter too! A320 is just too big for them.

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    1. A320 is the ideal aircraft for OU in SUMMER! It would be better to have 110 seaters in winter and lease A320 in summer, but then ...

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  8. The passenger result is good considering the operational issues they had last year.

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    1. Agree. Unfortunately, financial result won't be very good.

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  9. What I don't get about Croatia Airlines is that they constantly say how seasonality is an issue and that they have to deal with that. And then they both go and launch seasonal only routes, lease equipment only during the summer etc. If they want to deal with seasonality they have to actually do something during the winter.

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    1. The thing is that costs increase proportionally during winter. In winter you have to deice, which is expensive. Then the demand drops dramatically compared to summer which leads to less revenue, since prices are much lower. The productivity goes down, as a crew operates only half of what it does in summer etc.. So in the end you have much higher costs, less pax paying less and the whole thing becomes negative. I personally do not know any European airline that is not deeply in the red during winter.

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    2. Not true - Ryanair, Wizz and easyjet seem to manage seasonality well .... they continue to operate at 90%+ load factors ....

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    3. +1
      It is so absurd that they complain about the seasonality and launch new routes from the coast. There's only one city in Croatia which has air traffic year-round, the capital city. Yet, instead of feeding its own hub and strengthening/expanding its network, these dumbs fly directly from coastal cities to Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London etc. during the summer months to feed other hubs, weakening its own hub's network! Such stupidity deserves bankruptcy eventually,

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    4. @9:25

      Ryanair currently offers FRA-PMI for 2,99€. In summer the same flight costs 129€. Is that how they manage seasonality?

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    5. And they also park a lot of airplanes on different airports in winter....apart comparing OU with FR and WIZZ itself is little bit ambitious!

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  10. Good plane, good economics and passenger friendly.

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    1. It's pretty expensive to acquire too.

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    2. Passenger friendly? If you are a sardine perhaps...

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    3. Not to mention the horrible feeling if you are sitting in the back!

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  11. Hmm interesting how they say they are happier with some routes more than others. My guess is the Mostar route did not live up to their expectations.

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    1. They don't care about Mostar, it's a subsidized route. It can fly empty and they are still not going to lose money.

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    2. I know but they were probably hoping to fill it with more transfers so they can fill up their other flights, especially in winter.

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  12. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  13. SPU manages to handle between 40.000 and 50.000 passengers during slow, winter months. It's time for them to start working on year-round flights from the coast. SPU will handle around 3.5 million passengers in 2019, it's time they fight for their own share.

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    1. Exactly! How can there be 10 daily flights between LONDON and SPLIT from APRIL to OCTOBER on BA, EZY, W6, DY, OU and others and then NONE from NOV-MAR???? There is definetely room for a twice weekly service to LON and other cities. OU should grab the opportunity and start SPU-LGW Year Round!

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    2. From Split

      Austrian tried VIE during winter - field
      Croatia tried many routes in winter (London, Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich) - field
      Air One tried Rome during winter - field

      ...there is no demand. Not even for easyJet!

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    3. And yet pax numbers (in Split) grew in both November and December, 38% and 21%, respectively (100 000 pax altogether).

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    4. Why did they end up in the field?

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    5. And when were these routes tried?? Dude wake up it is 2019 and demand has doubled and even tripped during the last 10-15 years!

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  14. 5 A319/A320
    10 CRJ1000
    6 Q400

    Would be the best fleet for Croatia Airlines.

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    1. 3 A320
      5 CRJ1000
      5 Q400

      Would be ideal for them, 21 planes is too much for their current network.

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    2. Are CRJs cheaper then Embraer and why are CRJs better for Croatia Airlines?

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    3. 4 A320neo
      6 Q400
      in first phase 4 CRJ-1000
      then every 3-4 years 2 more CRJ-1000, up to 10 of them (after that increase A320neo and Q400 too).

      Purger

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    4. Yes, CRJs are both cheaper to buy/lease and to operate (lower fuel consumption and lower charges due to lower MTOW) than E-jets. Like many others here seem to feel, I also find the CRJ a pleasant and comfortable aircraft, but there are a couple of downsides compared with the Embraer. The E-jet is roomier and feels like a small narrowbody rather than a regional jet. The CRJ relies on stairs built into the door and can not use a boarding bridge, which the Embraer can.

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    5. In LJU CRJ 900 is also bording via airbridge.

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    6. How odd. I didn't know that was possible. They must have been built to go very low. But what makes me wonder the most is the aircraft door. It opens down (with the stairs being built into the door). I don't understand - how does that work together with a boarding bridge?

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  15. Obviously no permanent solution for new equipment until privatization.

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  16. All this talk about wet leases each year. They need some new planes NOW with more frequency. I travel to DBV a lot and it's always complicated (and usually expensive), especially in winter!

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  17. All the exyu airlines should be flying more regional jets.

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  18. good luck OU. With routes launching earlier this year, they will probably see their passenger numbers grow.

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    1. This should bring only some modest growth to OU.

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  19. They should think of SOF, if it works so beautifly for Adria. The CRJ would be perfect. Croatia has better economic ties with Bulgaria than Slovenia, plus is attracting a lot of Bulgarian tourists.

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    1. They should also consider going back to Podgorica in my opinion.

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    2. from Zagreb:
      Sofia
      Manchester
      Podgorica
      Tirana
      Rome nonstop
      Cairo

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    3. Crazy to think Monarch was sending the A321 to Zagreb from Manchester and since they went bust.... no reaction from OU to that route. This is just dumb!

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    4. Why Cairo? Please, explain.

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    5. Lyon, Dusseldorf and Edinburgh could work.

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    6. EgyptAir is Star Alliance member, so:

      - connection via Cairo to Africa and Asia (Abha, Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Algiers, Amman, Asmara, Assiut, Aswan, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangkok, Beirut, Casablanca,Dammam, Dar es Salaam,Entebbe, Erbil, Gassim, Hong Kong, Hurghada, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Juba, Kano, Khartoum, Kuwait, Lagos, Luxor, Medina, Mumbai, Muscat, Nairobi, N'Djamena, Riyadh, Sharjah, Sharm El Sheikh, Tunis)

      - connection via Zagreb to destinations EgyptAir is not flying to (Split, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Skopje, Zadar, Pula, Osijek, Brač, Mostar, Brussels, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Prague, Bucharest, St.Petersburg, Lisbon, Dublin).

      - tourists

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    7. I will add Podgorica and Ohrid in the group

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    8. Podgorica (year round) and Ohrid (seasonal)

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    9. Tourists? What tourists? Zagreb doesn't even have summer charters to Greece, Turkey, Egypt... there isn't obviously any demand of that kind.

      Also, TGD is booming and I don't see what OU would bring to the table that OS and JP don't already.

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    10. Je je. Egipćani stoje u redovima da kupe kartu do Osijeka. Tim logikom mogu letit u Adis Abebu. Ethiopian je također u Star Allianceu i imaju super mrežu po Africi

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    11. Afrika je pokrivena prijeko IST i DXB.

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    12. Zagreb does have Turkey during summer by Tailwind (Antalya), and from this year Air Malta (to Malta) and EgyptAir (to Cairo). But so many Croatian tourist use Adrian charters to Greece, Turkey and Egypt. Zagreb should try to attract those passengers to travel from Zagreb airport.

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  20. So Dublin was the star performer of last year's expansion. It is the first route in 4 years they have extended to year round.

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    1. Actually Rijeka-Munich was extended to year round in 2018.

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    2. True forgot about that. But none of the routes from Zagreb have which is unfortunate. I'm certain some could work out year round.

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    3. The Scandinavian routes they launched - Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, seem to be highly seasonal and purely cater for summer tourists from those countries. Even DY didn't survive on Stockholm-Zagreb route in winter.

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    4. I think they know what they are doing in terms of route development and they do it progressively and not all at once. Look at how Adria flopped when they introduced 7 new routes. Only 1 survived!

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  21. Are they increasing frequencies on any of the seasonal routes this year?

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    1. Well it says in the text - Dublin.

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  22. They need new planes.According Eurostat Croatia officially has the EU's oldest aircraft registered under its country code.

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    1. That takes into consideration all aircraft registered in Croatia, not just Croatia Airlines. But it is true that the A319/320 are ageing. They will be replaced by the neos in 2 years.

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    2. But these 4 neos can't replace the entire Airbus fleet. Croatia Airlines has 6 Airbuses.

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    3. Ideally they should get these 4 neos and 2 100-seaters.

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    4. 2 A220s would be perfect.

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    5. Again with what money?

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    6. With the money they are financing their A320neos!

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    7. Neos will join the fleet by financial leasing most probably. They'll sell their existing contract to a lessor and lease the aircrafts back. Clever solution, considering the company's financial status. Air Serbia could opt for the same, if Etihad wasn't involved in the equation.

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  23. Good choice of routes and aircraft. Would be great to see these CRJ1000 in Croatia Airlines colors.

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    1. It would be nice to see a rebranding for the neo's and possibly some new regional metal. The livery is old, boring and cheap. It was great in the past. Was.

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    2. This livery is not old. It was changed in 2004

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  24. How do they staff these CRJ1000 planes? Is all the crew from Air Nostrum?

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    1. Air Nostrum crew except one cabin crew member which is from Croatia Airlines.

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    2. Oh ok thanks. Similar to what Air Serbia had when they wetleased Adria's CRJ900 a couple of years ago.

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    3. I bet OU flight crews and pilots union are really happy with this decision. I mean their jobs are being outsourced under their noses.

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    4. Capacity is being leased in with operating crews included - nothing to do with existing OU operations or crews. It will complement what OU already has.

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    5. It would cost OU more resources to crew two additional short term leased air frames in house, than out source. If anything, it's guaranteeing the existing staff, and crew job security because funds are better managed.

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  25. I really hope that this year they will extend Stockholm to year round, especially now that Norwegian no longer flies this route.

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  26. Wasn't their talk that they might lease an A321 in the summer?

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    1. It was a rumor last year. But no chance. They are leasing two planes this year like last.

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  27. Would like to see the CRJ 1000 on some local Croatian routes :)

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    1. They used this plane for ZAG-DBV-ATH if I remember correctly.

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    2. And ZAG-SPU

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  28. Are transfer passenger on one airline counted once or twice. Say someone is flying Dublin-Zagreb-Dubrovnik. Is that 1 passenger for the airline or is it counted as two?

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  29. Croatia Airlines should improve connectivity in ZAG, provide reasonable prices. They should also have two different strategies for summer and winter due to high seasonality of their market and they must take good care of the costs.

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    1. What do you suggest they do?

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    2. They could focus on ACMI wet leases, maybe try and get subsidies and launch flights from other countries during the winter, like Adria did from Poland. Operate more charters, look at possibility of long haul flying (which will eventually be taken care of successfully by foreign airlines)

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    3. Seriously? From other countries? Poland? Is/was that a successful story for JP?

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  30. Will there be the same sort of operational issues at OU like last year when there were hundreds of cancelled flights and they had to wet lease all sorts of aircraft?

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  31. Sell the airline ASAP!

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  32. They are also increasing DBV-ATH next year, six weekly. Total 13 weekly flights next year with three airlines!

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  33. the suggestion of MAN-ZAG is noted (as was operated by Monarch) but more is needed from London to Zagreb. Both BA and OU can charge as they wish on this route and OU is now only x 4 p week I believe - having sold those valuable LHR slots. When Easyjet flew LGW-ZAG the load factors were great - way up in 95% (i was told)...pity they do not seem to be on the way to return to ZAG...and we can guess why not!

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