Croatia moves to secure Japan flights


Croatia and Japan are set to resume talks over the introduction of scheduled services between the two countries. The two sides will continue negotiations over the adoption of an Air Service Agreement, which is a precondition for the establishment of nonstop flights. The first round of negotiations were held last November in Tokyo. The Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs said, "Discussions between the aeronautical authorities of Japan and the Republic of Croatia are continuing. A tentative framework has been reached until the conclusion of an Air Services Agreement between the two countries. Considering the possibility and forecasts, there is sufficient air traffic demand for scheduled air services between Japan and the Republic of Croatia in the future".

Currently, Japan's largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), operates summer charters from several cities to Dubrovnik. Previously, Zagreb also boasted charters from Tokyo. In addition, Japan Airlines (JAL) is considering serving points in Eastern Europe through its newly established long haul low cost airline Zipair. The carrier, which will launch operations next summer, said destinations which can be visited by young travellers with more restricted budgets during peak season will be its first targets. The Croatian Ministry for Tourism has listed Japan as one of its prime markets. "The Ministry's strategic goal is to develop Croatia as a destination which is accessible to various airlines, particularly before and after the height of the summer season. That is why we are turning towards the Asian market, primarily Korea, Japan and China, where we are concentrating a lot of our efforts", it said.

The number of Japanese tourists visiting Croatia has been growing steadily. In 2018, a total of 159.574 holidaymakers from Japan arrived in the country, representing an increase of 12.3% on 2017. The majority of those stayed in Dubrovnik, followed by Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Opatija. The initiative for the introduction of regular flights from Japan to Croatia is said to have come from the Japanese side. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, expressed hope for negotiations over a new air agreement to be swift in order for flights between Tokyo and Zagreb to be launched in the near future.




Comments

  1. And still nothing from China?

    We heard here that these flights are just round the corner...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Japan & South Korea are Visa free countries ,China ain't, that's why.

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  2. It makes sense to seek more non-stop flights to Asia but the market is only that big. At one point other airlines such as Emirates, Qatar and Turkish Airlines will feel their presence.

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    1. U slučaju uspostave letova za Japan, LOT bi bio jedan od većih gubitnika.

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    2. Not just LO but I think this might affect TK and EK the most.

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  3. Is it just me or is concluding this ASA taking an incredibly long time? They started negotiations in 2017!

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    1. It is. Don't know what's going on there.

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    2. When it comes to our Croatian politicians and discussing the new routes you know that nothing will happen.

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  4. I think our travel agencies and national tourist boards could do more on promoting the area in countries such as Japan. We have to compete for the new markets and not be focusing on the tourists from the West only.

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    1. Well flights from ICN to ZAG have been introduced because of popular reality show.

      Maybe the same could be tried with Japan?

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    2. I think they are doing quite a good job anon 09.06.

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  5. Smart. South Korean, Japanese and Chinese countries provide significantly greater number of tourists than before and they all prefer to come out of season.

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    Replies
    1. But one thing which remains a challange is that all of these flights would be used primarily by people living in those countries and in 98% of the case for tourism purposes. To make a route sustainable there needs to be two way traffic which in not purely based on tourism flow.

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    2. Very correct.

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    3. Anon 09:06

      I agree.. that is "problem" with Korean route too. In long term, you need 2-way passengers not based only on tourism. Maybe things move forward with industry contracts like Hyundai-Rimac..

      Still, I belive that 2-3pw Tokyo-ZAG/DBV could work just fine in summer (jun-oct)

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    4. Usvajam rodijake na dalekom istoku

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  6. Bravo Hrvatska!

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    Replies
    1. Na cemu? Na tome sto su ovi letovi trebali krenuti jos pred 10 godina, ili na tome sto preko dvije godine ne mogu ispregovarati ni Sporazum kao osnovu za pocetak, ili na tome sto je inicijativa dosla sa japanske strane, ili na tome da Hrvatska nema ni kompaniju ni avione koji Japan mogu letjeti, ili na tome da nam drugi vec godinama "kupe vrhnje" od Japanaca? Na cemu tocno od ovoga bravo? Na svemu?

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    2. hahaha 10 years ago? Really?? Look at the airport and tourist arrivals 10 years ago. Let alone the airport infrastructure 10 yaears ago. ZAG had a lounge that resembled a train station waiting area in London, and there they should have put ANA Biz and First class passengers???. Think hard why so many airlines started flight AFTER the airport infrastructure was drastically improved.

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    3. The only thing drastically improved in new terminal is better looks from the outside and more space inside. Quality of the services did not improve, on the contrary. That's the first. Second : That very same "London train station" had Pan American World Airways and Air Canada mainline 30 years ago. Then, when people who have Graz as the Universal top value arrived to lead Croatian aviation and the country as a whole, and instead of up, everything started going down. And Japanese tourists are present in Croatia in big numbers for about 10 years now, and not having them directly to ZAG or elsewhere in HR means loosing money. But who cares about that let's talk about prestige and have a coffee in Graz. When there, you don't need to think hard, you don't need to think at all. Cheers!

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  7. When do the ANA charters to Dubrovnik start this year?

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    1. Thanks. Do you know how many there will be?

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    2. Not sure for this year. There are at least 2. The other one is in the middle of September. But there will probably be more.

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  8. How about Tokyo - Ljubljana - Zagreb - Tokyo? :)

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    1. I doubt it. I think it can either be Ljubljana or Zagreb but ANA definitely won't fly to both.

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    2. Maybe ANA launches Ljubljana and JAL launches Zagreb :D

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    3. I doubt either airline will launch flights to either city.

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    4. If someone will start flights from Japan it will be ANA because they are Star Alliance.

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    5. Sure, just like Asiana started flights, instead of Korean

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    6. Yeah the Star Alliance argument doesn't really hold up.

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    7. Star Alliance membership would have been an argument and an advantage and would hold up if both Adria and Croatia were serious and reliable partners. But they are corrupt, badly managed and irrelevant third range "partners" which, as are now, cannot offer anything to real Star players, except feeding LH hubs, of course, for peanuts

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  9. Are there flights from Japan to Budapest?

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    Replies
    1. This is a good opportunity for Zagreb then.

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    2. Zagreb needs to re-direct a portion of the Asian traffic from BUD and VIE as they are currently the main gateways to the region.

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    3. For Croatia, the main gateway to Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik are German cities - Munich, Frankfurt plus Vienna with several daily flights out of Zagreb.

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  10. Problem for a scheduled service: Not enough premium demand.

    With kind regards

    Mihael

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    1. There is more than enough cargo to justify scheduled flights. Croatia has a lot of manufacturing that could be exported to Japan. They like quality products and we have that.

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    2. Only fresh tuna fish exported from Croatia to Japan is in tens of thousands of tons annually. Only tuna can feed two frequencies weekly cargo-wise year-round. But hey, we need to take care about wellbeing of our friends in LH and DHL as well LOL

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    3. Not "tens of thousands", my mistake, sorry, exact number is 7880 tons per year

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    4. which are mostly transported by ships. Cgo demand in Croatia is low and no one can compete against Emirates which goes daily (ok, not right now) to/from ZAG with 773 which has huge capacity and which is more than enough even for capital of Croatia.

      + on that, no one can compete with EK because their cgo charges are far away from normal market, due to their dumping of prices....

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    5. Even the configuration of their smallest long haul airplane (787-8) is to premium heavy for a leisure market like croatia. And due the weakness of OU, almost no connecting possibilities.

      With kind regards

      Mihael

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    6. Sorry An. 11.37, you obviously don't know much about Japanese and their nourishment habits. They don't eat frozen fish, they eat FRESH tuna, and the entire export is air cargo, no ships

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  11. Quite prestigious I would say.
    Croatia is performing some really serious moves out there..

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    Replies
    1. Croatia is a very prestigious tourist destination.

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    2. I can see that. Philadelphia, Canada, Dubai, Qatar, South Korea and many mainland airlines rather than LCC brands.

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  12. What's happening with LJU flights? They had been talking a lot about those in the past but have been silent recently...

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    1. Too bad Fraport does not manage an airport in Japan. Then there would be a greater chance to see some scheduled flights to LJU.

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    2. LJU should first secure flights to the Iberian peninsula.

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    3. ... and plan for a future without Adria.

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    4. Fraport manages an airport in China - Xi'an and there are no flights from China to Ljubljana, so your theory anon 9.28 is wrong.

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  13. JAL used to fly to ZAG but they haven't for a couple of years. What happened?

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    1. A couple of years ago they ended a lot of flights, charters to ZAG included because of financial problems. They haven't returned since. ANA does fly to Dubrovnik.

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    2. JAL actually turned down request from tour operators to fly to Zagreb 3 years ago. They cited high fees.

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    3. Both JAL and the tour operators were not happy with ZAG and switched to LJU.

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    4. I can understand JAL but why would tour operators be unhappy with the airport?

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    5. Because this was back in the time Zagreb had a shoe box terminal from the 60s and lacked some basic services.

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  14. Good luck! There is definitely potential.

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    Replies
    1. Demand for flights out of Asia is growing fast, and Emirates and Qatar are doing good job, Turkish too.

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  15. It's good that they are thinking about new markets. Would be fantastic to have regular flights to Japan.

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    Replies
    1. It's a good time. Many Far East travellers are skipping w. europe and going to central East Europe because of safety which they value a lot.

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  16. I really do hope that something materializes out of this.

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  17. Seasonal route from Tokyo to Dubrovnik would make more sense.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great news. So very soon will have the following airlines operating widebodies to Zagreb:

    ANA, Korean Air, Emirates, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ANA hasn't actually announced any flights.

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  19. Realistically speaking, I think it can happen next year.

    Anyone have Japanese arrivals during the slow(er) months? From September to March?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next year I agree it is realistic.

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    2. I have a feeling that in the years time they will say they are preparing for the third round of negotiations.

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  20. ZAG could work from Tokyo twice per week during summer and once weekly in winter. I don't think anything more could succeed, at least at the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No airline is going to maintain a one weekly flight. Especially long haul.

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    2. Tokyo is a mega city with over 30 million people. I'm sure demand could be found with efficient marketing.

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  21. Japanese tourists are quite adventurous so they could land in Zagreb and then go to places like Sarajevo, Mostar, Dubrovnik, Skopje, Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Pula. These flights could boost some regional flights as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only problem is they spend only 1-2 days everywhere.

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    2. Oh and they also use buses to get from city to city within the same region.

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  22. Flights from US to ZAG would make most sense at this moment. Then we could see Japan flights in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because pf year round travel, Japan flights might be more lucrative then TATL.

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  23. That's a very good number of tourists from Japanese market.

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    Replies
    1. Does anyone know how many Japanese visited Slovenia by any chance?

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    2. Not that much. They are not in the top 20 countries by visitors.

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  24. Everyone forgot about similar announcements for US flights? Where are they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well at least this time the initiative is coming from the Japanese side.

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  25. I would prefer more reasonably prices flights with low cost airlines first. I have nothing against tourists coming on nonstop flights but the benefit to the general population is greater if we get some more LCCs first (from Zagreb I mean).

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  26. One of the fastest growth sectors in Croatian tourism is from East Asia and it is also less seasonal than many European destinations. So this makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What's the point? The market is not that big to start with and the one that already exists is served by LH, QR and soon EK.

    For the time being charters are the only realistic outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well those numbers don't indicate that it's too small of a market.

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  28. It's much safer for them to operate charter flights where seats are sold by tour operators. I guess tourist numbers are not enough to warrant schedule flights, especially not with Vienna and Venice being right there, in the neighborhood.

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  29. Apart from charters, it would be interesting to see which flights are used most often by Japanese to get to CRO. I assume EK or QR?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't rule out LH, especially via MUC.

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  30. @An.10.47 and 10.48
    You are both right and both make sense ZAG market is in desperate need of European LCC 's and growth from the Far East is such that very soon 2 daily will not be enough. Unfortunately our country is led by incompetent ignorant incapable aparatchicks who don't care about nation' s benefits but about their own pockets. And there were several attempts of starting both LCC and long-haul as Croatian brand, but people who were trying to make it happen were threatened, they had to give up, and eventually left the country.

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  31. Does ANA have a codeshare with anyone to Zagreb?

    ReplyDelete
  32. But why would they start flights at all? Except for tourists is there any other traffic between Japan and Zagreb? Business travel? Outbound travel from Croatia to Japan? You can't set up a flight just based on tourists unless it has reached such a critical mass that it can be sustainable and can attract both the average tourist and high-end tourists. If you are catering just for tourists during several months a year then the charters they have got that covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they should consider year-round charters, not just during peak summer.

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    2. You can't set up flights just based on tourists? Yeah, right. From Venice, Delta flies to Atlanta and Alitalia to Tokyo in all business configuration, carrying only businessmen LOL

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  33. It's good that they have the initiative but this kind of news comes up every few months - HR to USA, HR to China... and none of it becomes a reality in the end.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, sorry I haven't realized the END arrived. Which date it was?

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    2. And yes, none of it becomes reality because Dubrovnik to Philly is not HR to USA

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  34. Sometimes I wonder could OU have taken out a long haul aircraft and started flying maybe to the US and a point in Asia.

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    Replies
    1. Who knows. But airlines like Emirates or Lufthansa know that asian travellers can be pretty picky. ^^

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    2. OU doesen't even fly to Dusseldorf or Berlin but you want them to expand into long-haul?

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    3. Well Air Serbia doesn't fly to Munich but they fly long haul. Why would that matter?

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    4. OU does not have the financial backing to start long haul.

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    5. True. To start such flights is a huge undertaking and very expensive. JU had the benefit of having a major world airline behind them.

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    6. And which major world airline is that? Etihad, by number of airplane and passengers is far away from major.

      Etihad is 56th Airline by number of passengers in 2018. Major?

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    7. It was big enough to provide Air Serbia with a plane, cabin crew training, initial marketing, reperesntative office on 5th avenue, airport lounge, help with permits, Wall Street advertsiments etc.

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    8. And that is something you can not do without Etihad?

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  35. We will see how this develops. I'm skeptical to be honest.

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  36. If there is war with Iran ( no doubt about it actually ) all flights to Asia will have to fly over Russia , so direct flights to Japan will be even more realistic.

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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