Croatia Airlines expansion under new owner


Croatia Airlines has said it has no plans to add new routes to its network in 2019, following three years of continuous expansion. The carrier noted, "For any further growth and the opening of new routes, Croatia Airlines will require additional aircraft. The expansion of our fleet and network is foreseen through the company's recapitalisation under the Croatian government's National Reform Programme". Croatia Airlines added a total of twelve new routes over the past three years, most of which are maintained on a seasonal summer basis. The network growth has been enabled through the lease of two additional aircraft over the summer months.

Speaking to EX-YU Aviation News, Croatia Airlines said, "Through a decision passed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on January 4, 2018, Croatia Airlines was put back on the list of companies of strategic and special interest to the Republic of Croatia, and on April 26, 2018 the government passed the National Reform Programme. The goal of this is to ensure the company’s further development, and to strengthen the competitive advantages and position of Croatia Airlines on the air traffic market via a quality strategic partnership. This would include an expansion of the company’s flight network, an increase in Croatia Airlines' market share, and recapitalisation for the purpose of facilitating the future development of Croatia Airlines".

The company noted that its main goal in 2019 is to ensure stability in the increasingly volatile air transport sector. "Croatia Airlines will continue to focus on managing all business risks, and on ensuring the best possible conditions for regular business operations. Jet fuel prices are expected to continue being the most significant risk, and the company will, in that regard, try to reduce its negative effects on the company’s overall business operations". It added, "The further improvement of the quality of service and network business model are also the company’s goals, as well as further investment in the fleet in order to maintain the highest level of flight safety".

Comments

  1. And what happens if they don't get sold? No expansion?

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  2. So it means they will wait quite long...

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  3. They can't grow anymore with current fleet. Even the additional Dublin frequencies will come at the expense of cutting some frequencies on other routes.

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    1. True. LED has been decreased this summer.

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    2. How much is LED this summer? Two weekly?

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    3. Yep 2 weekly - Thursday and Sunday. Tuesday flight transferred to Dublin.

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    4. It's the same with what they did last year when they completely discontinued Pristina in favor of Mostar.

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    5. And Dusseldorf. One less.

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    6. What will they use that rotation for? Will they increase frequencies on a certain route?

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    7. My bad, not Dusseldorf, they reduced Split Belgrade.

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    8. Why don't they just cancel Belgrade completely and quit the Serbian market? JU is doing a sterling job and covers more Croatian airports than any other foreign airline.

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    9. How much will be SPU-BEG? Is it going 2 from 3 weekly? I agree with Anon 10.04, seems OU is rather incompetent to capture ex-YU market from the coast. JU absolutely crushed them especially with RJK and ZAD.

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    10. OU is wisely focusing on the routes used by Croatian citizens. For other routes there are other carriers.

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    11. Last anon, that's a stupid comment. By that logic all flights from the coast to Europe should be cut as they are not used by Croats. Also, in Croatia there are other people than just Croats.

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    12. An. 13.07
      Brale, znas li ti razliku izmedju "Croats" i "Croatian citizens"? Optuzujes covjeka za nesto sto nije rekao i jos to zoves "stupid comment". Mislim, stvarno unbelievable......

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    13. Знамо ми врло добро шта је он хтео рећи и коју поруку жели послати.

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    14. Fantastično je što neki iščitavaju iz komentara ono što im samima u glavi.

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    15. Istina, hrvatski gradani, nije isto kao Hrvati, ali mu je svakako komentar smotan. Da se OU koncentrira samo na hrvatske gradane? Zanimljivo.

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    16. Pa što se ne bi koncentrirala na hrvatske građane? Kompanija je u vlasništvu Republike Hrvatske i treba služiti javnom interesu. Ne treba služiti interesu transfernih putnika koji marginalno doprinose javnom interesu Republike Hrvatske.

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    17. Ako ne treba služiti interesima transfernih putnika, zašto je onda većina letova za LH hubove? ��

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    18. In a country that suppose to be big tourist destination there is no sense to have national airline with focus on local citizens only and no on transferring foreign tourist to local destination. If you have any doubts, search for "Aegean".

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    19. Other companies bring foreign tourists very efficiently. However, they don't care about the needs of Croatian citizens, especially not during winter season.

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    20. Anon 20:30 : Cause OU is part of Star Aliance and Croatian citizens can reach any point of the globe via those hubs. OU is not able to establish such point-to-point connections by itself.

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    21. Kakav idiotiski komentar. Kakve veze imaju gradjani Hrvatske sa poslovnom politikom OU? OU kao firma treba da ide tamo gde ima potraznje. A ta opaska na racun JU i putnike koji presedaju, pogledajte poslovni model Icelandair-a pa cete shvatiti koliko je besmislen komentar.

      A na kraju krajeva, izgleda da OU samo i leti za drzavljane Hrvatske posto se skoro u potpunosti povukla sa obale odakle 95% putnika cine strani drzavljani.

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  4. Is there any indication that this process may be completed soon?

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    1. They are just about to complete tender for financial adviser. Then that adviser has to do its work, then a tender for interested parties has to begin... It will be a long process.

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    2. Then the financial advisor will work, then everybody will forget about the financial advisor, then they will say that they need a financial advisor and so on and so on.

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    3. Another two/three years of pulling wool over Croatian eyes.

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  5. I think bankruptcy is more likely than finding a new owner.

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  6. Say they had the aircraft, where else could they expand?

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    1. Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe

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    2. I remember reading that Kiev is one of the unserved destinations from Zagreb. This would be a good destination for them. And UIA said that it will launch ZAG in 2020.

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    3. Was KBP cut from LJU?

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    4. "Croatia Airlines considered introducing services to Ukraine in 2009, however, ultimately decided against the move. Based on traffic flow, unserved European destinations which have been identified by Zagreb Airport as having the potential to sustain direct flights include Kiev, Basel, Geneva, Riga and Sofia. Any future expansion by Croatia Airlines would require a more permanent solution to its regional fleet"

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/05/croatia-and-ukraine-seek-flights.html

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    5. Adding Budapest, Warsaw, Madrid, is a must.

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    6. WAW served by LO, MAD served by IB. Budapest too close and I they can't offer much to Hungarian transfer passengers.

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    7. Moscow, Podgorica, Tirana, Sofia...

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    8. It's a surprise they don't fly to Sofia or Tirana. These two routes worked out really well for both Adria and Air Serbia.

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    9. FCO direct.

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    10. not having growing markets like Tirana and Sofia is a shame. You snooze, you lose.

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    11. Rome direct from Zagreb
      London Gatwick
      Mancester
      Berlin (Eurowings cancel route)
      Sofia
      Tirana
      Tuzla
      Podgorica
      Priština
      Cairo

      Purger

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    12. How much extra budget do you need to expand to 10 new destinations or just some of them?

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    13. Completely agree with Purger.

      SOF & TIA have indeed much potential at the moment even if they are already served by both JU and JP. Last year JU used to send mainly bigger machines to SOF but I guess they are lacking the metal. The route was initially 9 weekly from March to October and not only peak season.
      TIA has figures reaching the ones in ZAG. So much potential for OU.

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    14. EW is NOT(!!!!) cancelling TXL-ZAG!

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    15. Don't agree.
      JU has much more to offer to the passengers in SOF, TIA, TGD etc than OU. Air Serbia already positioned itself on these markets and offers the connections OU doesn't (not taking in consideration code-shares)

      - SVO
      - LJU
      - KBP
      - JFK
      - BEY
      - NCE
      - MAD
      - CAI
      - KRR
      - TLV
      - LCA
      - HAM
      - SKG

      From the other side OU can offer destinations JU does not fly to:

      - LIS
      - LYS
      - DUB
      - OSL
      - MUC



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    16. Problem with OU is that it would run less than daily flights to SOF, TIA... so connectivity would be really bad. Look at disastrous connectivity in Mostar. AMS has a 10 hour connection in one direction! :O

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    17. Plus, even if OU launch SOF and TIA. JP and JU already have very agressive fares and in many times are the cheaper options, e.g. CPH, ARN, BRU, etc.
      But yeah, daily flights are a must to compete propertly.

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    18. I think it's important they don't launch too many different destinations with infrequent, chaotic schedules as they often do I feel. They really should focus on just a few - Tirana, Pristina & Sofia sound like a good choice, and they should definitely go daily, coordinate the schedule well and offer a competitive product.
      Also, a non stop flight to Rome should happen finally.

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    19. PRN was a total and utter disaster the last time it was operated. I don't see it working this time around. OU gave up on operating anywhere outside its comfort zone. They are on autopilot.

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  7. The priority should be extending seasonal routes into winter. For that they have enough aircraft.

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    1. They are doing that, Mostar and Dublin are operated in winter.

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    2. Mostar is year-round only because of subsidies. Dublin is the first and only route in 3 years they have extended.

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    3. It looks like OU will extend some routes this winter because of Croatia's EU presidency in 2020. But that will be extended for just one season.

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    4. Do you know which will be extended?

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    5. Some from Zagreb. There isn't a big list. It will be either Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Prague or Milan

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    6. You can cross off LED from being extended.

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    7. Helsinki should be extended as JU is keeping it in winter. JU and OU are battling for Balkan domination so OU should not hand them over the market.

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    8. They also extended Rijeka-Munich this winter.

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    9. I agree to a certain extent but I think they are starting to work on this. Barcelona and Lisbon have been extended for a few months (still not year round).

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  8. We heard some comments earlier that in a year or max two OU will have more passengers than JU.
    Taking in consideration this article as well as 9 new JU routes it is obvious i is not going to happen

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    1. And you believed to those comments?

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  9. So no flights to Podgorica?

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    1. OU is not an airline that will introduce flights to a particular destination just because an ambassador said so.

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    2. True. But then they introduced OMO because of politics.

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    3. Yes but they introduced it because they are getting paid to fly that route.

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  10. "National Reform Programme"
    LOL :)

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    Replies
    1. "Zajam za Preporod"
      Ha ha ha!

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  11. They really need to start planning for their future fleet, and if their only plan is to get privatised, I wouldn't rely on that much.

    4 A320 NEO will join the fleet in 2021/22, but they will retire 4 A319 around 2023/4 and 2 A320 in 2024/5. So we will be down to 6 Dash9 Q400 and 4 A320 NEO.

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  12. It would be interesting to see which other routes are of interest to them.

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    1. There are some destinations I think OU should have tried but there is no point now. Madrid is one of them. With Iberia flying the route I don't think there is much room left for Croatia Airlines here. Same with nonstop Athens-Zagreb which Aegean is now operating.

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    2. Why don't they fly to more German destinations? They still don't fly to Dusseldorf, Hamburg...

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    3. Why would they create more competition for Lufthansa?

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    4. They fly to Dusseldorf.

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    5. ^ I meant from Zagreb.

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  13. This is disappointing. Basically they are saying they have reached their maximum and any further fleet or network growth will be possible only with a strategic partner. Unfortunately, I don't see them finding one any time soon.

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  14. A few years ago Kucko promised between 4 to 6 regional planes and none of this has materialized.

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    1. He announced many things that did not materialize.

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    2. He also announced bases in Sarajevo, Tirana, Pristina and a few other cities.

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    3. I also remember reading here in the comments how Croatia Airlines had already ordered CS100s and that Kucko was travelling to Toronto to just sign the official deal.

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    4. Don't believe everything you read in the comments lol.

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    5. Kucko talked a lot, but did absolutely nothing!

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    6. They don't need to go outside of their country to set up bases - for a start, they should base 1-2 aircraft in SPU and build that out in order to strengthen their position from inside the country.

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  15. OU needs a new radical strategy to survive. They need to go back to their original plan of regional bases. A new branding, less nationalistic should be introduced. Maybe a new name like Adriatic or Balkan or Europe Air which will be attractive to foreign markets. New bases in SJJ, BEG, TGD, SKP, OHD, TIA ... should be introduced. OU needs to grow real fast.

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    1. They should set up a base in BEG - esp during the winter when they have a lot of aircraft availability. BEG still has the biggest winter demand of all ex-yu airports and in doing so, they would give JU the first serious bit of home town competition. if they did this, they wouldn't be scratching their heads wondering what to do with the excess aircraft time they have in winter

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    2. Are you kidding?

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    3. They would never get the permit from the Serbian government. Also they would be utterly crushed by W6 and JU.

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    4. They are an EU carrier and therefore don't need approval from the Serbian govt. They can fly to any EU destination they choose.

      And, I don't believe that they would be crushed by anyone - the market is big enough

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    5. Market is growing but it is not big enough.
      If something like this was proposed before creating Air Serbia, arrival of U2 and W6 to BEG...then maybe.
      But now, certainly not.
      Just have a look what JP all did flying all around Europe. And nothing.
      OU has nothing to offer in BEG, now even Air Serbia flies to MAD and HEL

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    6. What does OU have to offer BEG you ask ? Simple answer - competition to JU. On most of its routes to EU cities, JU has no competition and OU could really spice things up

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    7. OU should not venture to Serbia at all. There are other more pressing routes for Croatian citizens.If AS wants to connect BEG with airports in Croatia that should be wholeheartedly supported!

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    8. Gee - and that's really working out well, isn't it ?

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    9. Competition is good when it can offer lower prices, but OU would never be able to do it in BEG.
      First, they would have to find the crew for BEG flights, they would have to find the plane(s) for it, they would not enjoy discounts JU has in BEG as the biggest operator and despite all of it they would have to be cheaper than JU.
      JU competition to most of EU cities:

      CDG - Air France
      FRA- Lufthansa
      VIE - Austrian
      ARN - Norwegian
      AMS - Transavia
      OTP - Tarom
      ATH - Aegean
      FCO - Al Italia
      ZRH - Swiss
      SVO - Aeroflot
      TXL - easyJet
      DUS - W6 in DTM
      CPH - W6 in MMX
      MLA - W6
      LCA - W6
      LHR - W6 in LTN
      TGD - YM
      TIV- YM
      SPU - OU (seasonally)

      TGD, TIV, ZRH and SVO aren't EU but these are some of JU's the most profitable routes and they do have competition there as well.

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    10. You forgot BCN with VY.

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    11. Yes, I did. Thank you.
      Anyhow only one competitor was added although on some destinations there are more

      - Stockholm (JU, DY, W6)
      - Moscow (JU, SU, WZ)
      - Paris (JU, AF, W6)

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  16. When are the A320neos coming?

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    1. First two in 2021 and the other two in 2022.

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    2. Ne kužim ova 4 A320neo, koji će nam Bog to? I sad imamo dva A320 koji su u pogonu najviše u ljetnim mjesecima, a zimi obave operaciju-dvije na jakim linijama, šta će tek 4 A320neo raditi tijekom zime?

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    3. They could possibly use a greater focus on charters during the winter and use the aircraft there. Also they can venture into the ACMI business. If Adria and Trade Air can find customers during the winter, I don't see why Croatia Airlines couldn't.

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    4. Completely agree with the idea of ACMI wetleases. This is something they could have been doing for years.

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  17. Time to stop wet leasing year after year and find a longer term solution to the fleet.

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    1. If you read the article, their long term solution is to find a strategic partner.

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  18. Good luck OU. Wish them all the best.

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  19. If they had the planes they should fly to Tirana, Sofia, resume Pristina and Podgorica too. Get more links and transfer passengers from the region.

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  20. Hope something will happen with the privatisation.

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  21. Why is Croatia mostly avoiding flying to Belgrade?

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    1. They should fly to INI since JU continues to avoid/ignore it.... they could pick up quite a bit of transfer traffic if they timed their flights to connect with their west bound flights from ZAG. Q400 would be perfect for this. It would certainly be better than flying to OMO, irrespective of the subsidies they receive for those flights

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  22. They have made so many statements about fleet expansion that their fleet should have been double the size it is now.

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  23. I hope privatization will happen soon.

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    1. They have been talking about it for over 5 yrs.

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    2. They are in such a state of paralysis - no strategy and no vision. Such a shame, given that they are far and away the biggest touristic market in the ex-yu region. They should be THE biggest carrier by any parameter, given how many people visit Croatia

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    3. You cannot squeeze and fart at the same time. First decide what you want.

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    4. The end result of a squeeze is usually a fart :)

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    5. Glupost o vezivanju traznje za obalu i velicini CA se najbolje vide na primeru Alitalije. Oni imaju znatno veci turizam od Kroejshe i kompaniju koja zivi godinama na jaslama svoje drzave. Kucko je lepo rekao da gubite na svim linijama zimi. Sa 4 A320neo ocekujemo porast gubitaka i pored manje potrosnje goriva.

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    6. This means Government will financially support OU: Croatia Airlines was put back on the list of companies of strategic and special interest to the Republic

      If OU can't be profitable and able to grow on their own, shut down the airline and let LH and others take over main routes just like what happened to Malev in Hungary. Taxpayer money would be better spent on schools and hospitals.

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    7. oh the eternal"schools and hospitals" mantra...the money wouldn't be spent there for sure same as it isn't spent now.
      without accountability there is no solution and no progress. if it's gonna be a state owned company, it has to serve the interest of Croatia and Croatian citizens. that means 3 things:
      1. connect croatian airports to major european hubs
      2. connect cities/countries with significant croatian diaspora to the motherland
      3. connect tourist destinations to main sources of foreign tourists

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  24. Did ZAG have a JAT transatlantic flight back in Yugo times? If yes, where to?
    Maybe OU can "inherit" this route just like JU did with the John Kennedy route and now the Cairo route for instance.

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    Replies
    1. S kojim novcem?

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    2. Operated by JAT DC-10 :

      Belgrade-Zagreb-Chicago 2 weekly
      Belgrade-Zagreb-NewYork JFK 3 weekly
      Belgrade-Zagreb-Montreal-Toronto 3 weekly
      Belgrade - Zagreb-Cleveland-Detroit 1 weekly

      Operated by Air Canada B767/L1015

      Athens-Zagreb-Toronto or Zagreb-Zurich - Toronto

      Operated by Pan American World Airways A310

      Zagreb - New York JFK 3 up to 5 weekly in season

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    3. Forgot to write 3 weekly for Air Canads

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    4. And there was Zagreb-Cairo by JAT B727 1 weekly but it's not long-haul

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    5. @An.18.32
      Novcem koji bi se mogao dobiti od investitora koji bi postavio novo strucno rukovodstvo koje bi otpustilo visak od 300 uhljeba koji sjede po uredima na izmisljenim radnim mjestima i ne rade nista, za pocetak, pa onda radikalni zaokret u planiranju, koncepciji i strategiji poslovanja, itd, ali su nazalost male sanse da se to i dogodi

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  25. Kucko totally destroyed this company!

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    1. No. Katicic laid down wrong basis. Misetic was the one who was there for longest time, who stole the most, who ruined relations with unions, who made OU feeder for LH, who employed party people and relatives, who opened invented and nowhere existent positions, and lot lot more, so shortly Misetic was the one who destroyed the company. Kucko just finished what predecessors sucessfully did

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    2. Misetic also set up the double lease for the Q400's when they were added to the fleet So OU pays the lease to Misetic's company (Takes a cut) who than pays the aircraft owners.

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    3. And actually Misetic still controlls everything, through Bajic, who is "his man" , and his daughter, who sits in the Government and "advises" with all her "experience". Disaster what they did to company which had potential to be something like Austrian, or maybe even more i in terms of size, of course, and with better product

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