Six Chinese carriers eye Croatia flights


Six airlines from China have expressed interest in launching services to Croatia. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Chinese businesswoman Yu Jiang, whose company is set to takeover Hotel Zagorje in Kumrovec, noted that the much anticipated flights between the two countries should launch soon. "One of the issues for Chinese tourists is that they have to transfer through another airport in order to get to Croatia. We are currently negotiating with several airlines over the introduction of nonstop services from China to Croatia. We have six carriers that are interested and I believe that we will be able to announce the first nonstop flights between our two countries very soon", Ms Yu said.

Ms Yu's company has been working closely with the Zagreb-based Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), which has been advocating for flights between the two countries for some time. CSEBA previously noted that Hainan Airlines is "very interested" in commencing flights to Croatia. "We discussed the possibility of Hainan Airlines introducing nonstop flights from China to Croatia, most probably to Zagreb. The launch of this service would boost the number of Chinese tourists to Croatia", the Association previously said. A total of 233.630 Chinese nationals visited Croatia in 2018, representing a significant increase of 46.7% on the year before.

Zagreb Airport previously noted, "We anticipate to finalise talks over the arrival of a Chinese carrier because Croatia is becoming of growing interest to Chinese tourists. There is also an increasing number of Chinese investments in Croatia and we believe that we will be able to find a common ground for the introduction of flights from a Chinese city". In January, the Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing to discuss the introduction of flights to Zagreb this year. Mr Butković also met with representatives from Chinese carriers.




Comments

  1. Wonder which ones could it be. I guess Hainan, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern... who else?

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    1. I think Air China is a likely option.

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    2. Why? They already fly to Budapest and Vienna.

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    3. It could also be someone like Beijing Capital Airlines. They planned to fly to ZAG a few years ago.

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    4. Generally speaking I think Air China would be the most sensible option, especially since they are Star Alliance members.

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    5. Zagreb is flooded with foreign tourists right now, this year at least 1,5 million tourists from abroad will visit and stay in Zagreb. I was in Zagreb for 2 nights staying with a friend and I know i am not counted in visitor statistics, as aren't the number of people who stay in Airbnb and with friends through Couchsurfing and other apps. I've spent over €160 in the city paying for meals and drinks for friends, spending on gifts and visiting various attractions. And I had free place to stay and food. Numbers are good.

      https://htz.hr/sites/default/files/2019-05/Turisti%C4%8Dka%20statistika%20-%20travanj%202019.pdf

      Zagreb had 320 000 foreign visitors in first 4 months, which is slight growth of around 11% on last year. This year we can expect at least 1.5 million foreign visitors in Zagreb and at least 2.7 million nights. Adding domestic visitors as well, some 300 000 and another 500 000 nights, brings total figure to around 1.8 million visitors and 3.2 million nights. Not bad for a city that has less than 500 000 visitors and 800 000 nights in 2010.

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    6. 320.000? Really? I expected more given how people write on here. For example in the first three months of 2019 Belgrade had 275.476 foreign arrivals, up by 4.5%. Seems like Belgrade and Zagreb have the same number of foreign arrivals.

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    7. May-October and December are very busy months in Zagreb, first 4 months and November are slow months, 40-70 000 visitors. The fact Zagreb had 327 000 visitors in first 4 months is decent result, averaging nearly 82 000 per month. May-October average is around 120-160 000, December around 120-130 000. However we'll need to see full figures at the end of 2019. In 2018 Zagreb had 1.35 million foreign visitors, which is more than entire Serbia, this figure does not include airbnb, cauchsurfing and other similar services. Estimated daily visitors numbers are far higher Around 2.5 million daily visitors per year.

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    8. What nonsense are you writing? Serbia had 1.710.514 foreign tourists last year and that is not including airbnb, couchsurfing and other similar service. So Zagreb obviously doesn't have more than entire Serbia. As for Belgrade, it had 938.448 passengers last year and most definitely more than a million this year.

      Serbia will easily have more than 2 million tourists this year because numbers in first three months are really strong:

      1. Greece +56%
      2. Russia +30%
      3. China +24%
      4. Bulgaria +20%
      5. Bosnia +17%
      6. Romania +12%
      7. Croatia +11%
      8. UK +11%
      9. USA +10%
      10. The Netherlands +10%

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    9. Eh koliko je nekima Srbija trn u oku...

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  2. Considering Hainan is starting to fly to Budapest again from three cities, maybe tey could extend one of those to Zagreb.

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    1. China Eastern is also starting BUD.

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    2. Air China flies to Budapest as well.

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    3. ^ yes and they fly via Minsk.

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    4. Do they have fifth freedom between Minsk and Budapest?

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    5. I do wonder how many Chinese visit Hungary. It could serve as a good comparison to Croatia.

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    6. Just remember there are many Chinese actually living in Hungary.

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  3. There is a huge potential from Chinese market

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    1. The growth in the number of Chinese tourists in 2018 vs 2017 shows it. Nonstop flights would help realise that potential.

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  4. Would it make more sense for a Chinese airline to fly to Dubrovnik or Zagreb?

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    1. Zagreb obviously.

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    2. Zagreb. There are more things of interest to them in that area.

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    3. Definitely Dubrovnik. They have no clue what's Zagreb but they very well know Dubrovnik. In addition Korean made a mistake chooaing to fly to Zagreb instead of Dubrovnik. It shows from their commercial to fly to Croatia showcsing Dubrovnik in it.

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    4. And that is why there are more Chinese tourist in Zagreb than i Dubrovnik!?

      Chinese usually visit Zagreb and Kumrovec because of Tito. And than they combine those with Plitvice, Split or Zadar, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary or Italy. All of that too far away from Dubrovnik.

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    5. Is this Tito talk the new 'EU accession boom' or 'NATO accession boom' or 'Croatian presidency boom'... there seems to be one topic that always appears which always promises some sort of a boom in passenger demand.

      Plus how many younger Chinese actually know or care about Tito? Croatia seems to be after a dwindling demographic here.

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    6. Absolutely agree.
      I believe less reliable source could not have been found...or it shows us that more reliable source does not exist?
      Anyhow, we heard so many times about US flights to ZAG, Chinese flights to Croatia that are just round the corner, new LCC that will open base in ZAG very soon...
      Big empty balloon.

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  5. The vintage DC10 looks good. So clean the aircraft, thanks for sharing admin. (Also for last weeks JP DC8 in LAX)

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    1. Jap. Slažem se. Trebalo bi uvesti nekakvu funkciju komentiranja ili barem sviđa mi se ispod fotografija

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  6. I'm surprised Croatia Airlines has no codeshare to anywhere in China.

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    1. I'm not. Classic OU. No reaction to market demand until it's too late.

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    2. Well everyone knowing Croatia Airlines with potential of 4 million croatian expats abroad, 2 million tourists from other continents and until recently not that weak economy, should be surprised not only not having code-share to China but having no long-haul at all. And after taking a closer look to all Croatia 's governments till today, and all OU "management's, you are not surprised any more, you become just bitter and sad, disappointed

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    3. They could codeshare on Air China flights from Vienna for example. If Air China launched flights to Zagreb it could benefit OU on domestic lines.

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    4. 4 million? Isn't that a bit of a stretch.

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    5. Nope in a few years will be six.

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    6. Well I think most of Slavonija is already in Ireland or Norway.

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  7. Ovo otvara mogućnosti da se letovi realizuju u trokutu Kina-Zagreb-Beograd I Kina-Sarajevo-Zagreb koji bi dovodili pregršt turista na turama po rodnim krajevima druga Tita.

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    1. To bi bila dobra opcija.

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    2. Bit će ipak direkt Zagreb Peking i bez ikakvih trokuta, nepotrebnih i neisplativih

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    3. Na kraju nece biti nista, kao sto nije bilo do sada.

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  8. It would be nice to finally have a deal. They have been negotiating for five years now.

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    1. There is a lot of talk about it now so I think there will be some visable progress soon.

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  9. How come a business investor is negotiating flights?

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    1. All negotiations that were spearheaded by the government never materialised. Maybe this will work.

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  10. Knowing Zagreb and the type of airlines they attract, it will probably be Air China.

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    1. I highly doubt it will be Air China in this case.

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  11. How reliable is this source? I mean we are talking here about a Chinese woman who took over hotel in Kumrovec and who wishes to bring now people from China to spen money in her hotel?

    And the airlines are going to introduce the flights from China to Croatia because of her and her hotel?

    We have been listening these kind of stories for quite a long time with no final success at all.

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    1. Exactly, every few months we either hear stories about New York or China flights. Too many words, not enough actions.

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    2. 40 komentara i jedan pametan...

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    3. It's not just one woman and her hotel. Kumrovec is selling to Chinese its almost entire real estate assets for sport complexes, spas and congress center, Chinese tourists guides visiting all around Croatia to get to know it better and the latest, few days ago, Gorski Kotar, Chinese highly likely to take over Port of Rijeka and 3 may shipyard, with existing tourist numbers more than enough for introduction of year-round nonstop, something OU should have had started long ago, as a part of whole much delayed "story"

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    4. This time we at least have some more concrete information. That there is genuine interest, that they are talking with 6 airlines.

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    5. Yes every time there are excuses why it will work but in the end nothing.

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    6. @pozdrav: sve to stoji, ali ja sam jako oprezan s tim kineskim "investicijama". U Mariboru npr. imaju s time jako loša iskustva po sistemu: puno zuji, malo meda daje

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  12. Will flights from China work year-round?

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    1. Can they work year round?

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    2. With over 200,000 visitors why not?

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    3. Yes but those visitors don't just visit Croatia. Zagreb needs to compete with Budapest and Vienna, a battle it can't win.

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    4. Why everyone thinks it will be Zagreb. Most likely it will be Dubrovnik or Split. No competition in the south for the airline and they need to visit that area anyway.

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    5. Split can not have long-haul because of 2.500 meter runaway.

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    6. Split is not interested in long-haul flights. The focus is on LCCs .

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    7. There is also Zadar.

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  13. Great news. Nice to see they that advanced talks are taking place. I really hope something does come of it this time around.

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  14. Hainan announced Belgrade flights in July and started flying in September. So there is still a possibility that they or some other Chinese airline could launch Zagreb this summer season,

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  15. Seems like Croatia will be the first in ex-Yu to have China flights.

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    1. *nonstop flights

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    2. Technically Belgrade had them some 20 years ago onboard JAT's DC-10.

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  16. @Admin

    Yu Jiang, Who??? This is really clickbait article, rekla kazala sort of stuff. Unless some head of major Chinese airline explicitly said they're starting flights to Zagreb or Croatia, it ain't happening.

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    1. Someone is upset.

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    2. As a major investor in Croatia I trust she is actually better informed about the status of the talks then most.

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    3. @Anonymous26 May 2019 at 13:24

      Seriously, a major investor ??? GFB!!!

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  17. Croatia is going to become a major hub for China and air traffic will follow. Investments in port of Rijeka, railway link between Rijeka and Zagreb, then booming tourism for Chinese tourists will certainly warrant the establishment of the link between ZAG and some major hubs in China.

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