Zagreb Airport plans new long haul flights


Zagreb Airport, which currently boasts long haul flights to North America and Asia, is eyeing new destinations in far-away markets with New York being its primary target. The airport's General Manager, Huseyin Bahadir Bedir, said, "New York is a destination we are focusing on. We are in talks with airlines and we expect for the route to be launched. However, a bit more patience is required for a final agreement to be reached on when the flights will commence and who will be the operating carrier". Last month, VisitUSA Croatia, a newly formed organisation dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination under the Brand USA federal umbrella group, said it was 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", it said.

Mr Bedir warned that sustaining long haul operations is difficult which is why Zagreb Airport is taking its time to secure new flights. "Long haul flights are very demanding for airlines, both operationally and financially, and therefore they must be carefully planned. There are some airports in Europe which are two or three times larger than ours but have no long haul flights operated by some of the world's leading carriers. We have set the bar high in attracting some of the world's best airlines to Zagreb, with nonstop services to North America and Asia. Our aim is to have a quality and long-term relationship with each airline we cooperate with", the General Manager said.

The Croatian capital could also soon be linked with China as well. The Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, who attended the 16 + 1 summit of South East European countries and China in Dubrovnik last week, said nonstop flights to Croatia would be launched in the near future. "We still don't have a direct air route to connect us. This is one of the reasons why the number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia is still below market demand", Premiere Li said following talks with his Croatian counterpart. He added, "I believe that the day of the launch of nonstop flights is coming soon. Both the Chinese and Croatian governments will directly support it".




Comments

  1. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  2. 'We have set the bar high in attracting some of the world's best airlines to Zagreb...'

    This man has obviously never stepped foot or even flown on Rouge and their cramped and archaic B767s.

    To me this interview is more a list of wishes and ideals rather than things that are about to happen. I like how he asked for more patience for New York flights. lol It's been what, 19 years now that ZAG is after those?

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    Replies
    1. Well they have Emirates and Korean Air, which is a success and I'm not some local fanboy. It is true that much larger airports in Europe have neither.

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    2. Emirates doesnt fly long haul from zagreb?

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    3. Who cares if its emirates or norwegian flying to new york for an example? 95% of croats would choose norwegian of course for the price! I dont get the hype over these so called ”fancy airlines” if you want outbound travel aswell

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    4. Emirates had a mixed success in Zagreb, don't forget they fly seasonally there. Airports love year round operations.

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    5. Norwegian has a crew base in New York so they could easily operate flights to ZAG and DBV. It's a win win for everyone.

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    6. I personally think that ZAG should be congratulated for having Emirates. It's a big thing and nobody thinks less of the airport if the flights are year long or seasonal. It's still a B777 op which is fantastic for any airport in this region.

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    7. +1 last anon

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    8. DBV and TIV had widebodies way before ZAG did. Will someone congratulate them?

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  3. With more and more European airlines starting to fly from other countries nonstop to the US thanks to the open skies agreement, you never know who could be a potential operator of Croatia-US flights. Even Aer Lingus said it is considering starting mainland Europe - US flights.

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    1. The problem are fuel prices and the outlook of the global economy. Airlines will be less willing to try out risky ventures and open new bases, especially long haul ones.

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  4. After South Korea, I think Japan China and the US are perspective long haul markets for Zagreb.

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    1. well yes, if you look it from objective perspective,
      croatia is linked with south korea year round,
      then
      it doesn't sound impossible to be connected directly with US at least on summer bases no mater of visa regime.
      but who knows dreams are one, we have to be realistic. OU must be good partner to potential carrier for these flights to succed

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    2. USA is biggest non-EU market for Croatia With 585 000 visitors and 1.7 million nights last year.
      700 000 US visitors expected this year.

      Most important Non-European markets for Croatia 2018.

      USA - 585 000.
      S. Korea - 400 000
      Australia - 243 000
      China - 235 000
      Canada - 178 000
      Japan - 160 000
      Taiwan - 132 000
      Brazil - 66 000
      India - 65 000
      Argentina - 53 000
      Singapore - 45 000
      New Zealand - 44 000
      Malaysia - 42 000
      Thailand - 40 000
      Hong Kong - 35 000
      Mexico - 17 500

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  5. Have Air Transat/Rouge resumed flights to ZAG. If not I would work on getting them fly whole summer season. But I'm glad the airport has the initiative.

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    1. I think they start in May.

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    2. Air Transat starts on 15th May and Rouge from 28th of May.

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    3. What is the average return fare in economy on AC Rouge?

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    4. In june return flights ZAG-YYZ on lowest fare is 560 euros.

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  6. Obviously United to EWR!

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    Replies
    1. That would be amazing.

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    2. Why is it obvious? Why not Delta for example?

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    3. Or SFO since California is the richest state and many can afford to travel to high end destinations like Croatia.

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    4. Also demand from Hollywood for travel to the coast is big. LAX-ZAG could definitely work seasonally.

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    5. Could we see both LAX and SFO launched in the future? AA is big in LAX and they already have experience in Croatia.

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    6. The airline that makes most sense is American Airlines considering they will be flying to Croatia in 2 months.

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    7. Kad čitam ove prijedloge za nove linije, se sjetim na vrijeme kad sam bio dijete, pa sam pisao Djedu Mrazu što želim. Nema BUD letova za Kaliforniju, nema PRG, nema čak ni BRU pa na koju foru bi trebao/mogao imati ZAG?
      Da li mogu čuti neke konkretne statističke ili demografske podatke koji opravdavaju vaše prijedloge?

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    8. Neces cuti nista, jer kao sto si napisao, to su samo neke puke zelje.

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  7. Hmm a around 6 months ago the former CEO Feron said how in 2019 there would be flights to Montreal, US, Shanghai and Beijing but none have materialized so far.

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    1. Montreal was probably supposed to be Rouge. They had a few one way flights from Zagreb to Montreal last year. None this year.

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    2. But Transat did increase frequencies from two to three per week.

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  8. Seems that there is no problem now that a Premiere is announcing flights :)

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  9. Awesome news for ZAG and Croatia. ZAG has so much potential. OU should leverage from these opportunities and help make ZAG a true transfer hub for the area. Great infrastructure and member of Star Alliance.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah the only thing is that OU doesn't have the cash to expand into new markets. Their moment has come and gone.

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    2. Other than shuttle passengers to Lufthansa, Croatia Airlines has never really used its Star Alliance membership to the full extent.

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  10. Currently, there are still 5 EU states that still require a visa to enter the US, namely: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.
    The latest report from the EC last December stated that the visa refusal rate went down from 6.8% in 2016 to 5.1% in 2017 for Croatia.
    If visas are lifted for Croats, it will be much easier to launch the route or having another EU carrier operate it. Example: DY.

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    Replies
    1. Or Eurowings!

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    2. Cyprus has 2% and still got the visa regime...

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    3. It's a political decision. Those percentages are just one of the requirments.

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    4. Every fool can get visa now, i got it recently on ten years.
      consul only asked me where i am going and how long.
      I personally think our concrete problem is we easily give away passports ....

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  11. I don't doubt that New York flight will happen sooner or later. The big question for me is whether they will be seasonal or year round.

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    Replies
    1. ATH can barely sustain year-round flights so I think ZAG will be seasonal.

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    2. The airport MUST work on seasonality. It's a major issue at all airports but they should do everything to get airlines to fly year round. I fear Korean Air might go seasonal as well when the airport incentive for year round flights expires (same what Emirates did).

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    3. Agree. Although seasonal long haul flights is great it's just isn't the same as year round.

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    4. Ok KE isn't bad if it is seasonal since it brings only tourists. EK and future American flights are more important because they are used by Croats.

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    5. I think there is more of a possibility that Korean will keep current operations to Zagreb and launch seasonal or charter flights to Dubrovnik.

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    6. Lets not forget that ZAG is just one of 8 international airports in a Country o 4,2 Million that in total has 12 million pax. That is quite good - and should grow in the future.

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    7. Yeah look at Croatia's geography and many things will become clear. When they become cler take a look at Czech Republic and Hungary.

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    8. Not completely the reason. You an reach Rijeka and Zadar from Zagreb in 2, 2.5 hours, Split in 3.5 and yet all of them have their own airports.

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  12. It would be nice if ZAG got Air Canada mainline on Toronto route to replace Rouge.

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    1. They did in Warsaw and then the following year they shifted it back to Rouge. Mainline has also just shifted flights to Reykjavik to Rouge.

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    2. ... Iceland was a MAX 8 problem for AC

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  13. Wonder which airlines they are talking to...

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  14. I really do hope that something materializes

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  15. Nice lineup of planes and airlines at ZAG in that photo :)

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  16. Good luck, I hope we get a surprise soon

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    Replies
    1. ZAG is definitely on the rise. Really hoping for a nice surprise.

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    2. How exactly "on the rise"? Do you know of some secret announcements for this year? C'mon, the airport will grow less then 5% this year.

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  17. I am somewhat skeptical US flights can be secured before 2020.

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    Replies
    1. Half a million US Visitors expected to visit Croatia this year so there's a need for a direct link.

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    2. Well there will be one from Dubrovnik this year :)

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    3. It would be nice if they flew Philadelphia - Zagreb - Dubrovnik - Philadelphia.

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    4. The problem is the aircraft must be back in time for the hub ops at PHL.
      I think a triangle ops is not suitable for AA.

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  18. Oh not again please....
    It is obvious ZAG won't get any New York flights soon so please try to concentrate at least to have year round with LX and OK...

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  19. LOT might be willing to base a plane in Zagreb to do NYC flights, like they did in Budapest.

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    Replies
    1. The only difference is that BUD has five times more passengers than Zagrab.

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    2. LOT or just starting to develop BUD as a base so I don't think they will be in a hurry to open another base elsewhere.

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    3. If LOT does buy some stake in OU then there is a real possibility.

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    4. I guess it will boil down to Garuda and Lot in the final stages of the bidding process.

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  20. Can't see NYC flights happening any time soon, I would love to see it happen but it won't.

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  21. First try to secure LCC and then think of long haul. I would address first the miserable plan to secure 5 million till 2026!

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    Replies
    1. I really hope that Croatian passengers will get LCC opportunities in near future. It is super nice to have flight to Seoul but what people really need is cheap tickets to European destinations.

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    2. LCCs are for budget restricted pax. Those should be viewed as a measure of last resort when it comes to airport development.

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    3. What a nonsense!

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    4. Anonymous 10:16, na cemu si? Are you implying that croatians are very reach and they don't need LCC? Do you think that other airports that have an LCC presence don't care about their development? We don't have LCC because of the concession agreement and because they are protecting OU. Full stop. And that is way the airport will come to 5 million only in 2025. Maybe.

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    5. That's the same anti-LCC dude that no one takes seriously anymore, so you shouldn't either.

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  22. I hope IF these flights happen it should be connected with OU new strategic partner.

    IF

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    Replies
    1. Is there really a possibility a US airline would interested in acquiring a small European carrier?

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    2. I don't think in context of us carrier ...

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  23. Which Chinese airline could we see flying to ZAG?

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    Replies
    1. Air China with code-share to Croatia Airlines

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  24. No mention of Japan flights people on here were talking about?

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  25. It would be nice to see (at least seasonally) Singapore airlines or Cathay Pacific, but that's almost impossible.

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    Replies
    1. I think Qantar from Perth is a possibility since there is lot of O&D demand and Aussie tourists are booming in Croatia.

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    2. Yes, their only destination in Europe is London. Surely their next one will be Zagreb. BTW Qantas has already said it will be starting Paris next in Europe and it's highly likely they will resume Frankfurt which was thir last non-London route in Europe (operated with 747 until it was suspended a few years ago). They will also likely resume Rome and this will happen over the next 5 years.

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    3. Yes but their operating costs to ZAG will be much, much lower than to FRA, CIA or LHR. Also there is a lot of O&D demand and much less competition than in those other cities they plan to fly to.

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    4. Yes, and much fewer passengers.

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    5. Pity about Air Asia X dropping their ZAG plans last year.

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    6. If OU ever decide to go long haul (yes I know major hypercritical), They could possibly make Newark (Star hub through United) and Singapore (Star hub via Singapore Airlines) work.

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    7. Hey Q400! For Newark, fully agree. In the Far East, believe Thai and BKK would be better choice as is easier to make it from there to Philippines, China, HK, Vietnam, and AUS&NZ while SIN is more convenient for AUS&NZ only. And Thai a bit cheaper. And both Star. Just my opinion. Cheers!

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  26. Well done Zagreb. Next year will be quite interesting.

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    Replies
    1. "Well done" what exactly? And why will next year be interesting? I see nothing on the horizon, but constant "talks".

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  27. Beijing-Zagreb will happen before New York-Zagreb.

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  28. Yet another year without the Zagreb-JFK the government and airport promised us.

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    Replies
    1. where is your proof that the government or the airport promised anything?

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    2. Numerous interviews. Capelli even said seasonal US flights to Dubrovnik abd Split would begin in 2018 and year long flights to Zagreb in 2019.

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    3. Well this much to how you can trust politicians and their statements :D

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  29. David from Zagreb15 April 2019 at 11:36

    The way I look at the plans from Zagreb Airport. I will see things to believe it when it does come to fruition. AC, EK, KE are your top 3 International medium-long haul carriers providing premium and leisure traffic through to ZAG via YYZ, DXB and ICN.

    Do not be surprised if Air Serbia launch ZAG-JFK via BEG just like in the old days.

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    Replies
    1. Well I would like to see JU start the triangle service via ZAG.

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    2. Me too. Would be a win win solution for both.

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  30. Dok su Czech, Swiss, Brussels i drugi sezonalni, dok imamo Emirates koji je postao seasonal nakon isteka popusta, dok imamo Korean koji pokrece BUD i planira staviti ZAG na seasonal, dok prakticki nemamo pravi LCC u Zagrebu, dok imamo tromu Croatiu, jedan direktorcic trabunja o liniji za JFK i uz to najavljuje 5 milijuna pax u 2026., dakle 7 godina od sada povecati ce promet za 2 milijuna? Ovo bi trebalo spadati u kriminal a ne razvoj jedne ZL.

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    Replies
    1. Svaka cast!!

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    2. Nazalost, veoma realan komentar.

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    3. Manager says his goal is attracting some of the world's best airlines. Shouldn't his goal be increasing passengers to finally get ZAG into Top100 airports in Europe and getting more revenue and profit from those passengers? Palma de Mallorca has 29 million passengers per year and they don't care about prestige airlines. They don't have any long haul routes! Zagreb tourism would benefit more from additional 26 million passengers at the airport than with current 3,3 million with a couple of new long haul destinations. Wrong focus for the management. Make money, not prestige!

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    4. Ne zanima me ZL sama za sebe. Smisao ZL je sluziti gradu odnosno regiji kojoj pripada. Ako ce ZAG dobiti, karikiram, 180 eura od jednog punog Ryanaira a ti isti putnici zbukirati noc u gradu i ostaviti u njemu 20, 30 ili vise eura, onda je ZL obavila svoju ulogu - donijela putnike i novce u grad. Dok je managementu bitno platiti koncesijsku naknadu i pritom zaraditi - nista od znacajnog rasta broja putnika. Na kraju, nisu oni ni krivi, neznalice su im slozile takav ugovor da oni ne krse ono sto su potpisali. Dno dna.

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    5. Super komentar. Ljudi onaniraju na moguci let iz NY a zracna luka dodaje putnike sa kapaljkom.

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  31. When will ZAG get the 2nd airbridge for the i'conts?

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  32. Croatia has by far the greatest pax flow in the region. This year is expected to have one million ppl coming from the US to Croatia, of course there is going be to direct flights from the US to Croatia. Serbs wasting a lot of tax payers money into the new flights but there is no interest in Serbia as a travel destination.

    ReplyDelete

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