Croatia targets new US flights


Croatia is seeking to secure year-round flights to the United States, namely from Zagreb, with scheduled services between the two countries set to resume this summer after 28 years, albeit on a seasonal basis, between Philadelphia and Dubrovnik. VisitUSA Croatia, a newly formed organisation dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination under the Brand USA federal umbrella group, says it is working on expanding flight connectivity between the two countries. "We are primarily looking to secure services between Zagreb and New York as this route would fuel travel between the two countries, however, at this point, we do not have any concrete announcements for a new year-round service. This will only happen if a number of stakeholders get involved in the project. Croatia is a regional tourism powerhouse and we must also use this advantage to position ourselves as a leader in outbound US travel for the entire region".

The Ambassador of the United States to Croatia, William Robert Kohorst, anticipates for new services to be launched between the two countries following American Airlines' arrival this summer. "This new nonstop service between the USA and Croatia sends a strong and positive message to the tourism sector. I am hopeful that all of the planned nonstop flights this summer will be full and that it will lead to the launch of new routes, which will in turn generate additional tourism and business exchange". The head of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Romana Vlašić, added, "We have been negotiating the Philadelphia service with American Airlines for years. Advanced bookings have so far been excellent and the Dubrovnik Tourism Board has launched a marketing campaign in the States".

The Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Capelli, previously said that seasonal flights between the United States and Croatia would launch first, before year-round operations could commence. The Ministry has launched an eight million euro project entitled "Positioning Croatia as an airline destination", with plans to double its budget next year. "The project aims to attract carriers from far away markets", Mr Cappelli said. The Croatian Embassy in Washington previously noted, "We will do all we can to spearhead and facilitate this effort, and achieve direct flights as soon as it is economically possible". On the other hand, Star Alliance-member United said in a statement, "We have not announced anything about the Croatian market, but we’re always looking for new opportunities. We will continue to offer flights to Croatia through our codeshare partners", while Delta said it currently has no plans to launch operations to the Croatian capital.




Comments

  1. United would make the most sense to fly to Zagreb since OU is in Star Alliance. Seasonal flight with B767 from EWR to start off with.

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    1. Yeah UA doesn't fly to VIE or WAW but they will launch ZAG. Sure. Even ATH is seasonal.

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    2. American doesn't fly to Viemna but they will to Dubrovnik.

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    3. VIE can't be compared with DBV as DBV is airport on the coast.

      DBV can be compared to ATH, VCE, LIS, BCN...And AA flies to all these destinations

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    4. VIE cannot be compare to FRA or LHR or ZRH or MUC since AA flies there.

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    5. What has FRA to do with DBV?

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    6. AA is not a Star Alliance member and VIE is not a major banking and business hub like FRA, LHR or ZRH. UA is so their VIE flights would make much, much more sense.

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    7. LH (citaj OS) is hardly gonna allow them. its likely to be some non star alliance airline

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    8. Yes but who? My guess is AA since they already fly to DBV.

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  2. Every year the same - maybe next year!

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  3. Again with this obsession with Zagreb-New York flights? How many years has it been now.

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    1. I believe since 2009 the story about direct US flights from ZAG started. So 10 yrs.

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    2. In general the Balkan obsession with the transatlantic flights to North America continues.

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    3. It's not obsession. It's missed opportunity so far. If ZAG had direct scheduled year round nonstop JFK on daily basis by both JAT and PAN AM 30 years ago, it means that market was there already long time ago. Meanwhile the numbers are rising. If you call obsession intention to make travel easier for more than 300000 passengers yearly who now have to stop somewhere you can call it obsession. But as I said it's an attempt to turn missed opportunity into successful deal, which has to happen, sooner or later

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    4. Sooner or later was mentioned for 10 years now. It's either obsession or incompetence. There is no third.

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    5. With incompetence, I agree. By totally incompetent Croatia Airlines which should have started JFK long long ago. For the others, it's neither obsession nor incompetence - old terminal was a serious issue, proximity of VCE/VIE/BUD and BEG lately the other factor making it more difficult, good connectivity to main EU hubs especially Star, high fuel prices few years ago, seasonality which still is one of the main issues in HR tourism, it all contributed no foreign carrier has launched the service so far. But I really believe the time has finally come for this service to start next year. Whether I 'm right or wrong, we'll see 2020

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    6. Writing JFK I actually meant EWR

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    7. If there is good, health demand (you know, yield is something really important in aviation) there would be already company(s) which will serve market, in this case, Zagreb and some US destination. Also, codeshare is something which is great for companies like tjose from US and obviously it's enough for them and for this market. No one will stay on the side if there is obvious demabd for this line.

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    8. No need to pretend to be very clever and belittle me with "you know yield is important... ". Of course I know yield is important. And I know tons of rich American tourists, NATO bonds and some business ties could feed premium product on any airline flying US to ZAG. If you have numbers which can prove me wrong, feel free to present them here and I will admit I was wrong. About codeshares, I fully agree with you. Croatia Airlines, if properly managed, could have flown EWR daily in summer and 3-4 in winter and codeshare on all United flights throughout the States, Mexico and Canada. But their incompetence is other, sad story. The reasons which prevented this service to start before I already listed in my first post, but you conveniently forgot to mention these and turned the tune to yields, which in ZAG case is much less problem than in any other ex-yu country or airport , which we witness in companies operating from there.

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    9. If your last comment was regarding JU then you should know that they are having less and less problems with yield on their flights to New York.
      Like so many said before, if there was really that much demand then someone would launch flights. I guess there are way too many one stop options for anyone to bother.

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  4. UA should fly EWR to ZAG fm June to Oct to start with. Later on extend by one month and so on. For year round ops I dont see a market yet.

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    1. Agree. Most plausable outcome.

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  5. They have been delaying these flights from Zagreb each year. Hope it finally happens in 2020.

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    1. Or maybe 2021, 2022, 2023...

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  6. If Zagreb is able to sustain 2 Canadian airlines from Toronto seasonally, then I expect they could sustain a US carrier with 1 or 2 flights per week during the summer.

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    1. Canada and US are not the same market ;)

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    2. Much less competition from Toronto in general while New York is a bloodbath. Also I think there are more Croats around Toronto than New York.

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    3. US market is far greater, but problem is US Airlines, they're very hard to bring, they demand all sorts of benefits and discounts.

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    4. US-Balkan market is very seasonal.

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    5. 587 000 US visitors visited Croatia in 2018, 700 000 are expected to visit Croatia this year. lets stop this seasonal nonsense. Even in Winter months (Nov-March) 70-80 000 US visitors visited Croatia. Croatia is top 20 destination for US Visitors.

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  7. If these flights ever happen, I hope it is a European airline or EK.

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    1. EK would be the best.

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    2. not sure how willing the US would be to allow Emirates fly more fifth freedom routes from Europe to the US.

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    3. They are already doing it from MXP and ATH.

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    4. Shame Eurowings is not interested in flying long haul from Zagreb.

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    5. The US can not legally stop EK from flying from ZAG or any other EU airport to the US.
      If the host country agrees to give them fifth freedom rights (Croatia in our case) they can fly to the US airport of their choosing.
      They are flying daily 777-ERs year round from MXP and ATH.
      They expanded the market, the US carriers continue to add flights and capacity, especially to ATH with daily UA, double daily DL, 4-5 weekly Norwegian.
      The New York city market is massive.

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    6. I don't think ZAG has the same demand as ATH or MXP though.

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    7. Of course ZAG has less US demand compared to ATH or MXP. However EK is only one out of several US operators in MXP or ATH , and in ZAG there is none. That makes the difference. Big one.

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    8. pozdrav iz Rijeke
      +1000
      MXP and ATH are served by US carriers to multiple airports PLUS daily EK 777-300ER.
      ZAG is completely unserved.

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    9. If it's unserved then there should be a good reason for that, no? Businesses are there to make money and if there were any in ZAG they wouldn't stay away.

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  8. What do they do with these 8 million euros for "Positioning Croatia as an airline destination".

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    Replies
    1. Well obviously putting ads in countries that cannot be reachech by car ;)

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    2. One part is used for marketing activities, other part is used for "marketing" activities :)

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  9. Fingers crossed there will be some concrete results.

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  10. How many American tourists in 2019 in Croatia?

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    Replies
    1. 587 000 US Visitors in 2018
      700 000 expected in 2019.

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  11. Oh please not again...

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  12. Before securing flights to US, ZAG must focus on the European soil.

    London airports?
    France?
    Major UK cities?
    Rest of the EU capitals?
    LCC base?
    Leisure destinations?


    Come on, I am seriously starting to get worried about the current management.
    Shiny, modern airport --- needs to more full!
    Recently, somebody posted a trip report including ZAG and it was shockingly empty.

    Look at BUD. It is growing like crazy and possibly surpass WAW if it continues like that.
    Even BEG is securing more flights.

    Dunno what's wrong.

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    1. "Even BEG"?
      Haha funny and actually pathetic!
      BEG is getting more than 70 new routes this summer a ZAG stays with 6-7. It is 10 times more.

      At the same time BEG kept increasing gap between its number of passengers in 2018 for additional 50.000 passenger despite "shiny" ZAG got new terminal, management, EK flights etc.

      Please don't compare BEG and ZAG. Two different leagues.

      Especially not BUD and ZAG.

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    2. 70 new frequencies, not routes.

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    3. Those sudden frequency increases are temporary market trends and well 2019 is one of them.
      Besides, being the only one taking it all, is easier. If you know what I mean.
      In other cases, there will be not 1 but 9. Just giving examples.

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    4. How do you people not get bored of these ZAG vs BEG comparisons over and over again. How old are you? Even if this topic has nothing to do with BEG, someone starts to compare.

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  13. I would be more happy if they tried to attract a LCC to base an aircraft. Having flights to New York is nice but the benefits of having an established LCC serving several cities out of ZAG outweigh a few flights per season to New York.

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    1. +1 it would grow passenger numbers much more.

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    2. It's not all about passenger numbers. It's about who will bring in more money. With a heavy plane landing in ZAG, you get more revenue and profits. Passengers on those flights are more likely to buy in the duty free at the airport which is one of the largest sources of revenue for any airport and so on.

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    3. Oh and don't get me wrong, I don't mean to say that Zagreb doesn't need an LCC but I don't see why one should be compromised over the other.

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  14. Here we are again...

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  15. The majority of the Bosnian diaspora would use these flights to Zagreb if they materialize. So you basically get two markets in one.

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    1. I would say that probably 80% of the Bosnian Diaspora from North America uses ZAG as either their final destination and then drive to Bosnia or as a stop-over on their way to SJJ.

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    2. Huh? I highly doubt ANYONE from Sarajevo drives to ZAG to fly to NA.Things you will read on here...

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    3. Turkish has very cheap deals from Sarajevo to the US. I also doubt many people DRIVE to Zagreb to catch a flight.

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    4. @10:44 he said Bosnia, not Sarajevo. The airport in Zagreb is certainly much more convenient for travellers from Bosanska Krajina for example. Those in Sarajevo and East Bosnia might use BEG instead

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  16. If there was enough demand, one of US3 carriers would already start the service.

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    1. It makes you wonder how big the market was if Pan Am used to fly 4 p/w with A310s to ZAG.

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    2. There was a lot of demand. Also there were all those JU flights from ZAG to 3 destinations in the US.

      BTW this was the Pan American schedule

      JFK-ZAG PA036 A310 nonstop -23-56- 1830 0755* (next day)

      ZAG-JFK PA037 A310 nonstop --34-67 1015 1440

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    3. Pan Am used to fly to Dubrovnik too if I remember correctly.

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    4. The OD market is definitely there. Today however there are much more 1 stop opportunities that at those times. When PA used to fly direct, LH had barely 2 daily flights to NY from FRA. Nowadays you can go from ZAG via MUC,FRA,LHR,CDG,MAD,WAW,AMS, ZRH,IST,CPH,VIE and others at fares starting from 350€ return.

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    5. OU CEO once said that Croatia doesn't need direct flights to NY because they already have so many options to NY and elsewhere in the US with 1-stop connections over Europe...

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  17. US airlines have poor coverage in Europe so I am not counting on any of them.

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  18. The Croatian government is pathetic. This project of subsidising "far away" airline routes is incredibly ignorant of the needs of the market. Why do they need to hike up taxes for everyone and then distribute money to selected routes when they could simply lower taxes and attract a whole range of carriers that would bring traffic from Europe? Zagreb's connectivity to London is a national embarrassment, not to mention Rome, all of Scandinavia, France, nothing to Malta or Cyprus. Truly concerning to see a capital city with such few flights and a national carrier with no vision, stagnating year on year, when air travel in the rest of ex-Yu is booming. So much emigration and yet no affordable air capacity for proper circular migration. This obsession with Zagreb being a "premium airport", whatever that means, is literally damaging the Croatian economy.

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    1. Sad but true.
      Is there any reason why at least Stansted or Luton not connected?
      I mean Croatia itself is becoming richer similar to the rest of the EU countries but the other new EU members are doing great when it comes to figures.
      I think as you say, the premium airport idea is what they are up to. They are avoiding the low-cost brand to kind of protect the image of the airport.
      We also know that the airport is notoriously expensive.

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    2. I think they want LJU to be the LCC airport.

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    3. They are avoiding LCC to protect OU, which isn't going anywhere. Jednostavno i zalosno.

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  19. Would be interesting to see how much these flights would bring in new tourists.

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  20. Zagreb Airport offers quite good support for new routes so it is worth a try at least seasonally for the beginning.

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    1. In 2010, Tonci Peovic ex-ZAG CEO offered the following to airlines to start Zagreb-New York

      - Airport will purchase a certain number of seats on each flight in order entice the airline to initiate the flights.
      -The airline will be exempt from paying landing and handling fees in the first year, with the fees progressively introduced within the next five years.

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    2. ZAG has its incentive policy published on its website.

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  21. Bravo Hrvatska!

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    1. Bravo na cemu? Na tome sto 30 godina nakon sto smo imali direktan sirokotrupni dnevni Zagreb Newyork sa 2 kompanije, danas se moramo drndati u Dasinkama do Beca Minhena I Zuricha da bi letjeli za Ameriku!!! Ma stvarno bravo! Fenomenalan rezultat 30 godina neovisnosti i nacionalne kompanije!!!

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    2. Jedan od retkih normalnih komentara

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  22. Hopefully all these plans and announcements will actually materialize.

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    1. Well they say "At this point, we do not have any concrete announcements for a new year-round service".

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  23. Interesting, The demand for the Zagreb route would be quite high, as the people from the Balkans will come to Zagreb to fly to the States and vise verse, Croatia is a nice tourist destination and i think this is a profit-making decision.

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    Replies
    1. if they are not already doing so via BEG, who already has direct flights to the US and is much better connected to the ex-yu region than is OU, then what makes you think that "people from the Balkans will come to ZAG to fly to the US" ?

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  24. Seems like every ex-Yu city wants flights to NYC.

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    1. Wouldn't it be more wise to focus on another destination in the US than one already offered nearby?

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    2. Well every ex-yu city wants flight to Toronto. ZAG has that done already. A daily on two airlines. EK is coming back and KE is flying 3x a week nonstop. With AA in DBV it is getting more realistic for ZAG to attract attention, especially since it had non stop flight by PA to NYC.

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    3. @10.31 Zagreb has potential for these flights, don't you think?

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    4. @ 10.33 Why? I think both Zagreb and Belgrade can sustain flights to JFK.

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    5. By nearby I think he meant Star Alliance hubs that are right next door such as VIE and MUC where most transfer on their way to North Ameerika.

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    6. Like who? I've never read comments on here saying there should be flights to New York from Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Skopje...

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    7. Huh? SKP even tried to get TK to fly to North America. They are in the same league with the rest of ex-YU gang.

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  25. I do wish they find an airline that would serve all year round.

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  26. If you consider the route a lucrative one, set it up alone. All the money will be yours.

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  27. ZAG will get flights to the US in 2020 at the earliest.

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  28. idemo svi u veliku jabuku

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  29. posle beograda i zagreb bi imao let za USA, to mi lici kao moguce konkurencija. Da li ima dovolno putnika za oba aerodroma?

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  30. When I'm flying to Croatia I prefer NOT to transfer at JFK. I'd rather take USA -> FRA/LHR/CDG -> ZAG than USA->JFK->ZAG. And going back even more. JFK is overcrowded and passport control when flying in takes forever.
    BTW I can't believe I said something positive about CDG but there it is :)

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    1. Do you want ORD, EWR or IAD?

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    2. I agree, I don't get they hype when most people will be connecting anyway. (unless there is real point to point demand). And if Croatia really wants these flights than why not have OU do it?

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  31. People were saying how United would start flying to ZAG. So much for that.

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  32. Well I do hope flights eventually start. I was hoping for this summer.

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  33. Well, this is terrible. Every year the same - maybe next year! I was thinking that something would happen this season, but again - nothing...

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  34. Can a B757 make it to Zagreb nonstop from the US East Coast?

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    1. Nope, too far away. Even UA struggles in winter from EWR to HAM!

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    2. I think 757 routes are just to the Atlantic coast on the European side

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  35. Delta anyone?

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  36. Would potential JFK-ZAG flights have an impact on Air Serbia?

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    1. Isn't the mantra here that no one from Croatia flies with Air Serbia? Yet JU has 6 destinations in Croatia.

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    2. I fly with JU to BEG but never to JFK. It does not add miles to my frequent flyer car. Sorry, nothing nationalistic.

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    3. This report will change your mind.....forever.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/trip-report-air-serbia-belgrade-new-york.html

      Legacy at its best.

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  37. What about Montenegro-NYC flights

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    Replies
    1. TIV-JFK makes absolute sense.

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  38. EWR to ZAG with United Airlines on a seasonal basis makes a lot of sense, couldn't go wrong tbh.

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  39. This summer season will see AirTransat of Canada increase to 3 Toronto/Montreal Zagreb flights. Montreal gets USA passengers from New England states and upstate New York. Toronto same fir the Detroit to Buffalo corridor. So quite a lot of visitors come this way, however a NYC connection would bexpect ideal. My gripe is that Croatian air did not approach Transat here in Montreal about connection services from Zagreb. I know for a fact that 95% of the incoming travellers will make their way to Dalmatia and or Istria, be it by rental car, bus, train, or some prearranged group travel. West jet our second Canadian leisure airline does have agreements in place with other airlines. The way it works now the Canadian travel agent orders the Croatian air tickets on line, but the client after disembarking the Transat flight must clear customs, claim his bag, then re check in for the Croatian flight how old fashioned!!! That's still about 10% so with 900 people a week landing in Zagreb, at least 700 are forced to make their own onward arrsngementd, 700 that's 8 full Q400s to put in perspective!!

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