Korean Air outlines Zagreb route plans


Korean Air’s service between Seoul and Zagreb will enter its second year in September, with the carrier planning to increase capacity on the route in summer, and maintain triangle flights via Zurich in winter. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, Korean Air said, “Since the launch of the route between Seoul and Zagreb, it has been performing with a high load factor. There has been growth this summer season, mainly on demand originating from Korea”. An official from the airline also noted, “As Croatia has emerged as a popular tourist destination in Eastern Europe, the number of customers who use the direct flight to the country is growing. More and more younger people are going on self-guided trips to Europe”.

Due to increased demand, Korean Air will boost capacity on the Zagreb route from mid-September. The carrier will maintain the three weekly service with the 269-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet instead of 218-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft starting September 17. The change in equipment will come around the Chuseok festival, a major three-day thanksgiving holiday during which demand for travel on the Korean peninsula increases significantly. Last year during the same period, services to Zagreb were close to completely full. The President of Korean Air previously said that the next generation of fuel efficient jets, such as the Boeing 787-9, will allow the airline to "reduce costs and improve the business". He added, "This will give us an opportunity to improve our results and further expand in markets such as Croatia”.

Commenting on the upcoming winter season, the airline said, “During the 2019/20 winter season flights will operate the same way as the previous year, with the routing Seoul- Zagreb - Zurich - Seoul. No decision has yet been made for 2020. For now, it is not possible to purchase tickets between Zagreb and Zurich”. Unlike last winter, during the upcoming 2019/2020 season, services will run with the B787-9 jet from late October. Last year, during the first half of winter, until January, the route was operated with the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. Despite Dubrovnik Airport identifying South Korea as a market from which it could sustain services, Korean Air noted that “for now” it has no plans to add the coastal city to its network




Comments

  1. The way they are going, they could add more frequencies next summer.

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    1. The maximum number of frequencies they can operate is 5 per week. That's how much they got the rights to operate.

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    2. During peak summer they could easily fill the plane five times per week.

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    3. that permit is updated, now is 7pw, it was on the web page of CCAA

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  2. Weren't some on here claiming that Korean Air was flying empty to Zagreb?

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    1. It was mentioned that LF during November was bad and obviously it was correct. They already reduced capacity from B777 to B787 - with a good reason!

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    2. Obviously it was correct? HOW?? WHERE?? Reduced cpacity. CAN YOU read??

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    3. I can. Can you?

      "Unlike last winter, during the upcoming 2019/2020 season, services will run with the B787-9 jet from late October. Last year, during the first half of winter, until January, the route was operated with the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft."

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    4. Yeah the only issue is their B787 has more seats than the B777-200ER :)

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    5. In which Universe?

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    6. This one:

      Korean Air seat capacity:
      B787 - 269 seats
      B777-200ER (two versions) - 248 and 261 seats.

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    7. Sorry, you are right. My bad

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    8. KE will offer more seats to ZAG than last year.

      B772 has less seats than B787 in KE fleet!
      Last year in September and October they used A333, this year B787, but after that they switch to 772. This year there is no B772, just B787 whole winter, which means they will put more seats on the market than last year.

      Not sure about increasing ZAG, let's see what will happen next year, but I doubt it.

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    9. I think people just got confused because they thought B777 was larger than the B787, the -300 version is but the 787-9 is a bit bigger than the B777-200ER, of course depends on layout. In Korean Air's case it is bigger.

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    10. And the 789 is much more efficient on this route than their 332 or 772.

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  3. Very good numbers for Korean air in Zagreb.

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  4. Nice I believe that from September we will no longer see the return of the A330 on this route. They will probably keep the Dreamliner for the whole of next summer too.

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    1. Most likely will stay B787 next summer and maybe they increase frequencies to 4 per week.

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    2. That would make most sense.

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  5. Shame they don't plan Dubrovnik.

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    1. Honestly I thought the first airport to likely receive a connection to Seoul would be DBV considering most Koreans go there in Croatia.

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    2. No, most Koreans go to Zagreb, Zagreb gets around 56% of all Korean visitors to the country.

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    3. Flydubai and Turkish Airlines have a lot of Koreans on flights to Dubrovnik :)

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  6. Good news for ZAG

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    1. But won't overall annual capacity be down since they won't fly the B777 in November and December?

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    2. Sure it will

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    3. How many seats on the B777 and how many on the B787?

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    4. @9.09 No.

      B787 - 269 seats
      B777-200ER (two versions) - 248 and 261 seats.

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  7. It's a shame they can't get fifth freedom rights between Zagreb and Zurich. I wonder why?

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    1. Swiss are very rigid when it comes to giving permits to airlines from a third country to operate on an route from a European country to Switzerland.

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    2. This is true. Swiss authorities for example refused to give Montenegro Airlines permit to fly INI-ZRH. Although this was 10 yrs ago.

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    3. KE was already flying between Vienna and Zurich with 5th freedom as far as I remember...

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    4. Could it have something to do with schengen/non-schengen?

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    5. Anonymous at 09:32
      No, Swizerland IS part of Schengen.

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    6. I know but Croatia isn't so I'm wondering if that could be an issue.

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    7. I don't see why this would be an issue. We had Hainan fly BEG-PRG-BEG without bureaucratic issues. Maybe the Croatian side doesn't let them?

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    8. At three per week one way to Zurich I really don't think they would be any threat to OU.

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    9. Croatia will soon join the Schengen agreement.

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    10. LX still does not fly to ZAG year round?

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    11. Croatia WILL NOT very soon join Schenghen. It's a political decision. If they decide to get on board Romania and Bulgaria (waiting to join for ages), then ok. And don't forget the arbitration agreement with Slovenia. You may think it's not important, but it is.

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  8. Would love to see them send the B747-8 to ZAG :D

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    1. PRG has a daily 747-8. So there would be no problem in filling it also to ZAG 3 per week.

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    2. Prague is a different story compared to Zagreb for Korean travellers (still).

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    3. To me it seems Korean know what's it doing and is developing the route nicely. The aircraft they are sending and plan to send on this route are perfect for the time being.

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    4. Well they were flying to Prague for many years, by now they're established there, Zagreb just started, don't see them sending 748 any time soon.

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    5. Also for many years they owned a stake in CSA.

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    6. Had Incheon won the concession for Zagreb, it probably would have been served with B747.

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    7. And flights would have started immediately.

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    8. With all due respect Prague and Zagreb could hardly be compared as destinations. Three weekly to Zagreb is already great!

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  9. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  10. Let's see what happens when LX launches ICN flights. It's rumored to be the next destination. Maybe they could link ZAG with BUD?

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    1. It could hurt ZAG

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    2. The idea is probably to eventually to drop the stop from ZAG. Let's see if it is possible in W2020/21.

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    3. But ZAG can't full up B789 during the winter alone

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    4. For now but things might change in a year and a half.

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    5. EK failing in winter can only mean Koreans were their main customers on the route. They just switched from EK to KE.

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    6. does LX mean LO here?

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  11. They really contribute to Zagreb Airport's growth so this is great news.

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  12. It would be very interesting if we see Asiana also start flights to ZAG.

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    1. They currently have a codeshare with Croatia Airlines from western European cities.

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    2. I don't think the market is that strong enough yet to sustain two carriers. Mayabe in 2-3 years.

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    3. They could start Dubrovnik.

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    4. I think Asiana does not double up on routes with Korean.

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    5. They do on major markets/routes.

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    6. Currently Asiana Airlines is reducing its fleet and they are cutting routes - financial trouble. They will NOT fly to Zagreb anytime soon.

      With kind regards,

      Mihael

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    7. Interesting. I think OU could have benefited more if it codeshared with Korean instead of Asiana.

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  13. You got to wonder where is Croatia Airlines to benefit from tourism growth and to benefit from markets like Korea, Japan, China, US, Canada...

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    1. Nowhere.

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    2. They don't react. Theylease two CRJ1000s for a third year in a row and swap around some intra European routes. They also find a privatisation adviser for a second time to fill someone's pockets.

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    3. Incompetent

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  14. Personally I don't think we will see increase in frequency or some major increase in capacity any time soon. Despite great loads, 99% of passengers on this route are just incoming tourists from Korea and this is unlikely to change, which means passenger numbers will stay roughly the same. There isn't much traffic from Croatia being generated by this route, other than tourists going home. We will see. But so far so good.

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    1. According to Purger there are "many" passengerers here which are not Koreans.

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    2. I'm sure, there are also a lot of japanese travelers using the opportunity to transfer in seoul.

      With kind regards,

      Mihael

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    3. Purger talks sh*t. There are almost 99% korean passengers, and mostly, let's say 98% of them are tourists.

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    4. Do any of you have actual data which suggests these figures?

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    5. Many people around here are waiting for any opportunity to spill hate on Purger yet Mr Scuric is most established aviation analist in the region.

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  15. Once Zagreb is well established they will start Dubrovnik.

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    1. But that could impact their ZAG service.

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  16. Wish them luck. I think they have a very good chance of doing well on this route long-term.

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  17. Would be interesting to see how many premium passengers there are on these flights.

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    1. Well they did remove first class cabin from this route.

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    2. and now they have full business which is 30 seats, previous was first 6, 24 business. I'll say that was smart move. First class was mostly empty, now they can easily sell more business class tickets. Btw, Zagreb is not the only one, there is just few destinations in Europe where they serve first class product. And, I'd never book first class on their flight since seats are the same in a lot of their aircraft, just with different service.

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  18. Well done Zagreb!

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  19. Has the number of Korean tourists visiting Croatia increased since Korean started flying to Zagreb?

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    1. Yep. Numbers were up 19% in 2018 compared to 2017.

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    2. Total number of Korean tourists in 2018 was 448,636

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    3. Nice. Congratulations

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    4. With 500k Korean tourists they might as well launch daily service :D although most of them probably visit Croatia as a part of a tour

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    5. And interestingly there was a small drop in visitors until September last year (when flights were launched). Then it grew a lot.

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    6. That's good to hear because it shows that the flights had a direct impact on tourist numbers.

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  20. Next market from which Zagreb should attract airlines from is Japan. Great work from Korean.

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    1. Those flights are apparently in the works.

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    2. and China :D

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  21. Great news. Looking forward to see this route develop further.

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  22. Not surprising. With 500,000 visitors from Korea it's baffling they didn't launch the route earlier.

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    1. If those numbers were spread out over the year, it could fill an A380 daily.

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    2. Yes but not all of those are handled by Korean. Some arrive in Croatia via other European countries while some are handled via TK, EK, SU, QR, LH

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  23. Excellent news. Koreans are cashed up and are good tourists to attract. The more the merrier.

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  24. Congratulations Croatia. Keep up the excellent progress.

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  25. Are Korean customers returning guests or is it just a bubble to end abruptly?

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    1. If we see Prague, it is sure that they return again.

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  26. In my opinion, they are quite reserved here in Zagreb. I mean, they are sending here aircraft with just 218 seats on the market which is growing and that's such a shame. Thousands of Koreans are here on terminal but they are using Turkish, Qatar, Emirates, Star Alliance group airlines, etc. In my opinion, they should attract those passengers on direct flight, but, on other side, just 218 seats 3 times per week can not be enough for every Korean here in Zagreb, capacity is not the same as demand. Flying via Zurich during the winter is also a nonsense and they know that, that is the reason why they have lower booking during the winter months because Korean passengers are here during the November, December, January, etc. as well. No one wants to fly to Zurich and then to Incheon when you have one stop flight with Qatar, FlyDubai, Turkish and those flights are shorter than via Zurich, since they are flying to the east and they offer good connections.

    In my opinion, they should increase Zagreb next summer to 4 per week, operating with B789 or A333. For example tuesday and thursday flight with A332, Saturday flight with B789 or A333 and one more weekly flight also with B789/A333. On that way they would offer more seats, give more solutions for passengers with one more weekly rotation, etc.

    Also, winter in Zagreb is bad for almost every airline, but that should not be case for Korean since this passengers are here all year round. They should fly via Zurich for November, December and January, when demand is the lowest, but February and March should be direct and those can be with 3 flights per week with A332 which has the less seats in Korean fleet, at least that is on their website.

    In conclusion, I think everything will stay the same for Korean in Zagreb, next year 3 per week and A332, winter again via Zurich. Unfortunately, my feeling is that they do not analyze this market on proper way.

    Qatar is good example, A321 depending on demand, Emirates with HD B777 when is needed, Turkish switching all the time between A319/20/21, Lufthansa as well. Korean is, in my opinion, quite close. They don't do such things, not only in Zagreb, as I can see, same aircrafts are all around the europe all the time.

    Sorry for long post. This is just my opinion. They will be in such a drama when Asiana starts some line near Zagreb and when they start with taking their passengers (or some other company).

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