Air Serbia upgrades Croatia operations


Air Serbia will introduce an additional two destinations to Croatia next summer season and increase frequencies on existing routes to the country as it continues to put greater focus on the market. Apart from introducing flights to Zadar and Rijeka, with the latter to be maintained on a year-round basis, the airline will also increase frequencies to both Zagreb and Dubrovnik this summer. Air Serbia plans to operate eleven weekly flights to the Croatian capital and daily services to Dubrovnik, both up by one weekly service on last year. The carrier will increase capacity to Split by maintaing all of its  six weekly flights with the jet-engine Airbus A319 aircraft. As a result, the airline will offer over 165.000 seats between Belgrade, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Zadar and Rijeka during the 2019 summer season.

The last scheduled service between Belgrade and Zadar was operated by JAT Yugoslav Airlines on August 3, 1991, while the final service to Rijeka took off on August 5 that same year. In a statement, Rijeka Airport said, "The introduction of the regular route between Rijeka and Belgrade represents a very significant step forward for our region, since it is being introduced after almost
thirty years, when it operated in the former state twice a day". The airport added that both the ATR72 turboprop aircraft and the Airbus A319 jet will be utilised on the route. Overall, Air Serbia will operate 28 weekly flights between Belgrade and Croatia this summer and add over 490 seats per week between the two markets each way.

On the other hand, Croatia Airlines will decrease its seasonal offering from Split to Belgrade with the carrier to operate two weekly services instead of three. It will put 5.800 seats on sale between the two cities this summer. "Belgrade has been regularly evaluated on behalf of our network planning department, however, in our analysis, the new routes introduced over the past three years have all shown greater demand, which is why they have been given priority over the Belgrade route", the carrier said. Croatia Airlines introduced two weekly services to Belgrade in 2012, which were increased to three weekly in 2014. This year, the carrier will maintain the service from May 13 until September 23.

Comments

  1. I'm still surprised at them operating Rijeka year round and not for example Dubrovnik.

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    Replies
    1. Tivat is to close to Dubrovnik and there is no need for year round flights to both.

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    2. What about Split?

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    3. There is no demand for Split.

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    4. I'm not sure that there is no demand for Split. An ATR72 2x per week will be probably ok but Rijeka airport is probably cheaper than Split and outside of the summer season demand to/from Rijeka is probably bigger. During summer season demand to/from Split is big enough for A319.

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    5. there is also ou on this route seasonally

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    6. Maybe Rijeka Airport gave them some incentives to stick around during winter.

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    7. It's all about airport management and negotiations

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    8. No one said that those two destination will not be upgraded to all year. Schedule for next winter will be add later.

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    9. But Air Serbia is rocketing Croatia with flying destinations. New 2? It could be BTW and...OSI :-)

      Already flying to
      ZAG
      RJK
      PUY
      SPU
      DBV
      ZAD

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  2. When is the new flights to ZAG being added - morning or afternoon/evening?

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    1. 5x pre,6x popodne

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    2. Evening, departs BEG at 20.45 and returns at 23.30.

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    3. Samo petkom,nedeljom je u 17 a ostalim danima u 18.30h

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    4. -----6- BEG-ZAG 06.50-08.00 // 08.30-09.35
      -2-45-7 BEG-ZAG 07.40-08.50 // 10.05-11.10
      ------7 BEG-ZAG 17.00-18.10 // 18.40-19.45
      1-34-6- BEG-ZAG 18.30-19.40 // 21.05-22.10
      ----5-- BEG-ZAG 20.45-21.55 // 22.25-23.30

      On Friday connections won't be possible for BEY but will be for LCA, KRR, SKP, TIA, ATH, SKG and SVO on SU.

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    5. The Sunday flight lands at 19.45 and then it rotates to LJU at 20.15.

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  3. They need open brac beograd

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    1. It could be an opportunity for Croatia Airlines too.

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    2. Pity, they could have flown Belgrade-Zadar-Brac-Belgrade.

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    3. JU to Brac rumor is traditional, we read once a year how likely Brac is to conclude a deal with JU :D

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  4. OU ops to Belgrade are really disappointing.

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    1. Why should they bother when AS does it well? There are other routes where OU is needed more for Croatia.

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    2. I think JU and OU have different kinds of passengers on BEG-CRO flights. I'm certain JU carries a large portion of transfer passengers whereas OU's are only point to point tourists from Serbia.

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  5. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  6. They are running out of cities to add in Croatia :D only Osijek, Brac and Mali Losinj left.

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    1. Next on the Croatian market they should work on making some routes year round.

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    2. Read the text, two routes will be year-round, Rijeka and Zagreb.

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  7. Their seasonal summer flights to Croatia must be doing well if they are adding these two new routes.

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    1. I wonder how many passengers Air Serbia handled between SRB-HR in 2018

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    2. Vice versa too, what are the OU loads between SRB-HR for 2018 as well. It would be interesting to see how these are affected by JU's SPU service.

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    3. @9.09
      There is scarcely a free seat on any of those flights in July and August.

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  8. Great news for Zadar/Rijeka, I'm sure these flights will be packed during summer!

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    1. But will there be sufficient demand for Rijeka in say November?

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    2. JU seems to think so.

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  9. So what happened with the issues Air Serbia had with Croatian CAA, which is the reason they could not expand to Croatia earlier? My guess it has been resolved?

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    1. If Croatia ever had a tool to put pressure on Serbia to resolve unsettled issues maybe this is it.... anything can still happen here. Well this and opening EU chapters.

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    2. I still don't see how selling transfer tickets from Croatia should be banned for Air Serbia but allowed for any other non-EU company.

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    3. I’m not saying they should be banned I’m just saying that they could be sanctioned and since Air Serbia seems to be of special interest to Vucic and the relationship between Croatian and Vucic is non existent than this could be a way to get him to seriously look at resolving some major issues.

      Anyway, the peeps Croatia has in Zagreb are just gutless EU yes people so nothing like I’m suggesting will likely happen. This was just an alternative view to the first comment on Croatian (CAA) approving these flights.

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    4. Forbidding an airline to fly somewhere (with no actual basis) to solve other problems is an escalation and would only result in even worse relations.

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    5. Being in EU but playing Balkan rules. It does not work that way

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    6. You can, you just do it privately not publicly.

      Have you looked at the EU lately?? They are more ‘Balkan’ then this region ever was!

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    7. Check Slovenia Croatia issues history, not that much Eu spirit, a lot of balkan one. Same will happen with Schenghen.

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    8. yes, I have looked. There was no war in EU

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    9. There was no war in Europe??? Really?

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  10. I think 2 p/w is good to start off with in ZAD and RJK. They should consider Dubrovnik year-round.

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    1. Tivat is too close to Dubrovnik and there is no demand for both year round.

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  11. Last paragraph of this article is sad ... decreasing from 3 to 2 weekly ... you can then just cancel flights.

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    1. And what do you want them to do?
      Add more aircraft?increase their passenger numbers? Increase revenue and maybe become profitable??

      This is OU we are talking about!

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    2. If OU wasn't so stubborn they would put a JU code-share from SPU to BEG and share JU's success. Like this they are being pushed out by JU.

      OU has failed on almost all Adriatic Coast to ex-YU markets.

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    3. Do JU and OU have an interline?

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    4. OU is alergic on any kind of cooperation with JU

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    5. Makes no sense for OU to cooperate with JU. As one commenter mentioned above, JU market for Croatia is aimed at the transfer market. OU is in Star so on transferring passenger though a Star hub is what makes sense to OU unless Belgrade offered a much more convenient alternative which it doesn’t.

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    6. Yes but ignoring JU is only hurting OU which suspended DBV-BEG and is now reducing SPU-BEG while JU is increasing it. It can only mean that O&D is moving to Air Serbia.

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  12. JU is becoming a really dominant player in Croatia and it's network is becoming impressive.

    That said... OU is showing how pathetic they are.

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  13. So it took 28 years but finally there will be flights BEG-RJK and BEG-ZAG. Wow.

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  14. Povecavaju i kapacitet za Split i Dubrovnik. Za Split ce A319 ici svih 6 dana a Dubrovnik 3x. A da li je to stiglo pojacanje ATR floti?
    https://www.flightradar24.com/2019-02-02/17:24/12x/JAI9060/1f5fe843
    Nesto ne verujem da je carter iz Indije na ATR-u :)

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    1. ATR-ovi iz Indije se vracaju vlasniku.

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    2. A vlasnik je iz Beograda?

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    3. ARA je takodje stigla iz Indije tako da nista nije nemoguce

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    4. Stize jedan A319 pre letnje sezone.

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    5. Stize jos jedan do krjaa februara, al ne kao pojacanje nego kao zamena za dva iz flote. U maju stize 320, a ne 319.

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  15. Eventually flights to Zagreb will be returned to double daily.

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    1. what are their ZAG loads like?

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    2. I have flew this route several times, and by my experience it can be very different each time, from half empty to almost full. I do see regularly some transfer passengers from CRO going to destination like SOF, OTP, ATH, etc.

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    3. BEG-ZAG
      Jan-Jul 2017: 32.165
      Jan-Jul 2018: 25.074

      BEG-LJU
      Jan-Jul 2017: 35.303
      Jan-Jul 2018: 34.604

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    4. Didn't the number of flights decrease to both cities in 2018 compared to 2019?

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    5. I know they were reduced but I don't know if it was last year or the year before. LJU was 12 weekly while ZAG was 10.

      That said, ZAG is closer to Belgrade so they have to compete with buses, cars... while flying is more appealing for LJU.

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  16. Air Serbia could easily add also weekly service to Maribor and Portorož.

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    1. +1
      Maribor could be served also at least 3 times per week.

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    2. ATR72 is payload restricted in POW, so economically unviable.

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    3. Maribor je kao nacrtan za LCC

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  17. Well Air Serbia's relatively new network planning manager came from easyjet. No wonder he recognized the importance of the Croatian coast :D ;)

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    1. Not really, Croatian coast was growing in the past as well. The only difference is that JU is free to make it's own changes now.

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  18. I wonder if this announced expansion of Air Serbia in the region is connected with obvious crisis in OU & JP, restructuring of reginal business in OS. I mean, was this pure coincidence or they did some clever analysis of market.

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    1. EY is no longer in charge of networking, that's what changed. JU is not just expanding in Croatia, they are also adding capacity all over the region. I think SKP is the only one that's being reduced.

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    2. Yes, I was talking about regional expansion, not only Croatia. They for sure think to have regional passengers for some new routes like Helsinki, Kiev, etc.

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    3. I don't think it has so much to do with Etihad as much as it has to do with JU stabilizing its finances over past 2 years and being able to grow again.

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  19. Good news for both countries.

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  20. That's quite a lo of capacity. Hope they succeed in filling it.

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    1. I hope that Zadar will survive this summer and be back next year.

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    2. Pretty sure it will.

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    3. ZAD should be yrar round, given the size of diaspora and the 10hr bus trip.

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  21. Croatia Airlines could have done much more on the CRO-SRB market and much more in advance then Air Serbia.

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    1. You snooze you loose.

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    2. They could have years ago when OU just joined Star and Jat was in a hopless situation. Now the tables have turned somewhat a lot.

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    3. Not only that but even if they launch ZAG-BEG-ZAG and offer connections, they wouldn't add anything new. They would make matters worse for Star Alliance in Belgrade while offering connections to ZRH, MUC, FRA, CPH...

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    4. Nothing new now but then??

      In OUs defence (not just bashing them today), they didn’t have the facilities at Zagreb to really be an alternative to Jat but if Zagreb built a new terminal in the early 2000s as was first planned, than yes things could have been much different today.

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    5. OU missed the boat with Serbian market but I understand considering how stretched their fleet is.

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    6. I am not speaking about back then, I am mostly referring to the situation today. Then again, Serbian market was really small back then so I don't know how much success OU would have had. Many airlines failed before the 2009 visa liberalization process. Even Swiss used to operate six weekly flights onboard the A320 while British Airways and Air France all suspended flights.

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    7. But I'm talking about then. The market was weak but Jat was pretty hopeless and offered very little to their passengers and looked like it could go under at anytime. OU had an opportunity and I even wrote on this blog during that time that OU should be flying to Belgrade when Jat was at its weakest.

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  22. Interesting that Rijeka will also have some A319 flights, not just ATR.

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised if they made a deal with a tour operator and sold seats to them on the A319 flight. Their costs in RJK are probably much lower than in PUY.

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    2. Is there a possibility that RJK is giving financial motivation to JU to fly there? They already fly to PUY and now RJK year round does not seem to be logical

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    3. RJK probably gives financial stimulus to all airlines flying there.

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    4. RJK receives one tenth of state financial stimulus compared to for example Split or Zadar and it's in no position to fund or provide aid or subventions to anyone. On the other hand Rijeka region has the largest Serbian ethnic group in Croatia, Consulate General of Serbia, business links as lot of Serbian export/import goes through Rijeka port, cultural cooperation is very intensive and tourist traffic is not insignificant as well, so the route probably can be success without any incentives, but knowing RJK taxes are much lower compared to ones in ZAG or SPU

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  23. I am so proud seeing how Air Serbia spreads its wings accross ex-Yu becoming truly the best airline

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  24. OU could keep 2 weekly Split-Belgrade and launch 1 weekly Split-Niš.

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    1. As a Nislija, I can tell you that there is no demand from Nis to Split. With Greece as close as it is, almost no one wants to go to Croatia for their summer holiday except if they have family or property there (and there is not that many people with links to Croatia in this part of Serbia).

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    2. As a Rijecanin, I can tell you I personally know more than dozen people from Nis, Pirot, Knjazevac, Aleksinac who live in and around Rijeka, and that every third or fourth family here has relatives or at least friends in Serbia.

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  25. Is Croatia affordable for Serbs or is it still Egypt and Tunis?

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    1. Croatia isn't generally popular among Serbs unless they have some family or family links there.

      Greece and Turkey are top destinations but in recent times there is growing interest for Spain. Egypt is popular with whole Europe, not just Serbia.

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    2. Croatia is quite expensive for Eastern Europeans, North Greece is relatively much cheaper when it comes to services, food and drinks.

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    3. The only difference is that Serbs don't only go to northern Greece, they go to islands as well. Ellinair will run two weekly to Heraklion while JU will fly all over the country. I think Aegean will fly from both HER and RHO.

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    4. Croatia is no more expensive than Greece where more than 50% of Serbs go in the summer, so the price is not the reason they're not coming. One reason is the perceived hostility of the hosts but the main reason is that Greece is closer for a lot of people and has a much better offer and simply does tourism better than Croatia.

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    5. But, Istria is quite popular with some audience from Serbia, mostly from the Belgrade and Novi Sad area. People do go there, for vacations, long weekends , there are some regional festivals and events. With car you need 6-7-8 hours of driving.
      It's different situation compared to let say Dalmatia.

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    6. Hrvatska nije samo skupa za Eastern Europeans, nego su cijene na trznici u Puli skuplje nego u Njemaackoj. A nitko nezna zasto. I nije za neku pohvalu.

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    7. The Chalkidiki area is way too cheap and the Kavala area too. However, one cannot compare Northern Greece with Croatia. It is also very close by car if you drive from Belgrade via Sofia towards Thessaloniki.
      The Dubrovnik area and the this riviera seems to be quite pricey.

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    8. My family owns a property in Cavtat so we don't have to pay for hotel but everything else is extremely expensive even for e who live in Canada.

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    9. Coke is 6 eur on Pula square, for this you get a chair, frappe, water and a massage in Greece. :D

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    10. And yet there are plenty of people in Pula over the summer. Why don't they all go to Greece?

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    11. Compare Greek tourist arrivals with those of Croatia.

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    12. I have never been to Croatian riviera yet (only Zagreb for the weekend) but it seems that the destination now has prices that can be compared to Spain and Italy.
      Of course, Greece also has much more expensive places but the northern part is much cheaper.
      This also explains why mainly westerners and yankees can afford the Dubrovnik area.
      If a coke is 6€, then I don´t wanna know about a bottle of pivo. Let alone a meal in a restaurant.

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    13. The available capacity is full during summer and thus it warrants the rise of the prices. If people don't find it acceptable they will go somewhere else. Decline in the number of visitors would result in a reduction of prices. Simple as that.

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    14. Dubrovnik and area is jam packed and the reason why they charge premium is because they can and I don't blame them for it. What they probably are not seeing is a lot of repeat customers but that's still OK, there is enough new ones :)

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    15. At least you get posh travellers who have money and spend. This is very good for the economy of the country.

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    16. yes, it is good for the economy, pouring billions into Croatia. And the world is big, even if most people do/would not return, new ones will come as SM said.

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    17. @An.14.48
      Normal price of coke in caffes and restaurantsoon the coast in Croatia is 15-20 kuna - it's 2 - 2,5 euro. Where did you dig 6 euro for coke, I really don't know. Also listing what you get in Greece for 6 euro, you forgot to say for that money massage includes happy ending. That much about some people's objectivity here.

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    18. He liked the figure "6", so he just posted it as a "fact".

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    19. Dubrovnik was very expensive (I think it was on par with Paris) when I was there last but then someone in my group of traveling companions told to just tell them that I was a local from Imotski next time I went to buy stuff..... Worked! I started to get non tourist (local) prices! which was basic standard Croatia prices. Went from paying near 50kn for a beer to just 20.

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  26. For all people living on the planet there is some place where it is not expensive to them. So they should not complain about other places being expensive.

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    1. Important is relation between price and quality of service you get for that price. In that category Croatia is far behind Greece and especially Turkey

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    2. So what? It is sufficient to whatever we have to offer. There is place for everyone on the planet to offer something.

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    3. Ovce su uvek bile za shishanje

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    4. @An.15.26
      Don't know when you visited Croatia the last time, but Croatia today and 20 years ago are not the same, and your comment of Croatia being far behind Greece or Turkey in terms "value for money" is simply not true. Just one example : 20 years ago, there was almost no luxurious hotel chains in Croatia. Today, Kempinski, Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson, Rixos, LeMeridienne, Doubletree, all do business on HR coast, and yes they are expensive and you spend if staying there 200 or 300 euro per day because 5 star offer is followed by 5 star prices. But you can always rent a room in low quality "zimmer frei" for 10 euro and buy food in super market and spend 150 euro for your entire holiday week. It's like any where else in the world - you pay more you get more - you pay less you get less and Croatia is no exception.

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    5. @pozdrav iz Rijeke
      I could ask you the same question...When was the last time that you were for example in Turkey? Did you have a chance to spend some time in their 5 stars resorts that offer all inclusive service?
      The hospitality of the people who do not care if you speak ekavski, the quality and variety of food and drinks, spa offer including Turkish & Finnish bath and many, many more...They also have Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson etc. No matter that flying to Antalya is much much further than flying to Croatia (more expensive flying ticket) their offer in package is still more attractive that offer in Croatia.
      That is real "value for money"

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    6. Antalya. 2 years ago. If staying there Hilton Sheraton, Radisson, you will pay same as Croatia. So called "5 star" by Turkish standard, intended for mass tourism for Germans, on "all inclusive" bases with lowest quality food/drink/entertainment will be cheaper then in Croatia.But most guests in Croatia don't enjoy in that type of accomodation and holidays in general, more boutique style small family hotels which are often even more expensive than big chains but are giving much more peace, privacy, and better quality of food, and also include spa, wellness and so on. But obviously your opinion on Croatia is based on prejudices about "ekavica" which is btw spoken in half of Croatia. Therefore, any further discussion on the matter becomes unnecesarry.

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    7. Yes, prejudice

      https://www.24sata.hr/news/niste-dobrodosli-demolirali-su-auto-studenata-iz-beograda-432317
      http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/reportaze/aktuelno.293.html:660074-PENZIONER-KOME-SU-U-SPLITU-DEMOLIRALI-AUTO-U-Beogradu-ne-lome-hrvatske-automobile
      https://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/clanak/u-dubrovniku-demoliran-auto-beogradskog-odvjetnika-20090715
      https://www.telegraf.rs/vesti/825918-demoliran-auto-sa-srpskim-tablicama-u-splitu

      You are right, no need for any further discussion

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    8. Let's focus on incidents from 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017 and not among 100k+ Serbian visitors in 2018 only.

      Selective much?

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    9. Many of them were never reported to the media. Those here listed were just more than enough

      It is just a question if the next demolished car registration will be BG, NS, KG or some other

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    10. Sure and you know that first hand.
      Let's pour some more oil on the fire and join the mass hysteria.

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    11. First or second hand it is irrelevant. It happened many times already and it will happen again.
      Pretending it does not exist will not help anyone.

      And for sure it will not happen in Greece or Turkey only because there is little SRB on the left side of the car registration plate

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    12. It surely is important.
      But you keep on being selective and ignore that these things and much worse happen all over the world.

      Let's rather combine all the incidents and get the percentage of how many Serbian visitors were affected by these things, shall we? I am pretty sure the number in far from spectacular how you and informer love to present it.

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