New York - Zagreb flights to launch in summer 2020


The Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Cappelli, has said that nonstop flights between New York and Zagreb will likely commence during the 2020 summer season. Speaking to Croatia's public broadcaster HRT, Mr Cappelli noted, "Following the arrangement with American Airlines between Philadelphia and Dubrovnik this summer, which will act as a trial run, we are already in advanced talks for the introduction of a nonstop service from New York to Zagreb. I hope that we will have this route operational next summer". The Minister added, "The service to Zagreb will most likely be seasonal during its first year of operations, while year-round flights could commence as early as the second year. As a result, we would have seasonal flights from the United States to Dubrovnik and year-round operations to Zagreb".

In April, Zagreb Airport's General Manager also confirmed that talks were taking place over the introduction of flights from the Big Apple. 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". He added, "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".

Commenting on its upcoming service to Dubrovnik and the addition of other destinations in Croatia, American Airlines recently said it opted for the coastal city over Zagreb and Split "due to popular request". However, it also noted, "Wherever we see opportunities and demand, we'll go. As with the opening of our Dubrovnik - Philadelphia line, we are very specific about demand. Central Europe has the greatest growth potential. We are preparing to add more and more new links. We want to continue to lead the market". It added, "We will look closely at the results for the first year of operations. We are always looking at new opportunities to grow our network to ensure we offer service to where our customers wish to go".




Comments

  1. So it seems like it will be American?

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    Replies
    1. No, AA is reducing transatlantic flights from JFK apart from core routes like LHR and is moving them to PHL.
      From the New York area it would be either DL from JFK or UA from EWR.

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    2. Read the statement by the minister, nothing is certain yet. This is just populism to boost popularity after the EP elections where HDZ suffered a big blow.

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    3. Exactly!
      Please pay attention that he "still hopes".

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    4. Hope not, I hope it is Delta, the least worst US airline on service to Europe. All 4 of them are bad, but American and United have serious issues with quality of service and kindness. Would rather fly with Lufthansa via Frankfurt or KLM via Amsterdam for €200 more than with any of the US Carriers out of Zagreb. Sorry don't expect me to fly with the US Carriers ever.

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  2. Nice. Finally some concrete information. I really hope these flights finally happen this time next year.

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    Replies
    1. There's nothing concrete about it, haha

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  3. Why does the route have to be seasonal for one year? I don't see the point.

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    Replies
    1. So they can see how sustainable the route can be. He says it will be seasonal first year while it could be year round the next, meaning they could keep it seasonal if they think that is more sustainable.

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    2. I might be wrong but I think all recent additions by AA to secondary European cities have been on a summer seasonal basis. I am sure than when ZAG contacted AA they immediately told them that they wouldn't consider year-round flights.

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  4. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  5. The statement by the minister is pure gold. So DBV is a trial run for ZAG which is on the other side of the country and which attracts a completely different customer base? He then goes on to say that they are discussing about potential New York flights which makes his previous statement even more hilarious.

    If Budapest or Bucharest can't sustain year-round flights to the US then I don't see how ZAG can. In summer every airline can fill a plane to pretty much anywhere so summer seasonal flights could work. That said, I do wonder how those flights might affect other airlines serving ZAG.

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    1. What airlines would be affected by ZAG getting NYC flights?

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    2. None. Have any airlines been affected by Air Serbia's flights to NYC? I wouldn't say so.

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    3. Maybe Nemjee means that JU traffic from Croatia to the US via BEG could be affected by the launching of direct flights to ZAG.

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    4. hahaha good one last anon :D

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    5. Budapest has year-round US flights to JFK and ORD with LOT

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    6. How many Americans and Croats are using JU501 to travel between US and HR?

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    7. It's not just Croats. There are quite a few Americans using it to reach the Croatian coast.

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    8. Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa were the most affected by BEG-JFK.

      Don't forget that Transavia's launching AMS-LJU directly affected numbers on AMS-ZAG so it only makes sense for others to feel the pinch, JU included. Don't see why they wouldn't be affected though many on here claimed no one in ZAG flies on JU.

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    9. Anon 09.27

      Sorry, my bad. I forgot about them. That said, the other day we saw their loads on BUD-JFK and they were disastrous to say the least.

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    10. Nemjee, to add to your observations that any airline can fly any plane to anywhere in the summer and about sustainability of US flights from BUD and OTP. It is also true that any airline can fly anywhere if its owner is willing to lose 16 mil €/year to fund that, that doesn't make the route sustainable. :)

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    11. LOT cancelled numerous flights from Budapest in November through March.

      https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1411855&sid=2b6cd0dfe5567a19e3e078fff36b3b0a#p20974937

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    12. @09:41

      Then how come with all that help there is still no American in Zagreb?

      Ah, sorry, it was wasted on Emirates and Air Transat.

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    13. Korean included

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    14. Hmmm, I’d still say that three WB (2 LH) routes for 8m/year is better than 1 WB route for 16m/year.

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    15. Well, the difference being you're giving the money to foreign airlines while with JU stays in Serbia.

      Also, why doesn't OU launch flights to New York?

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    16. JFK's yearly loss is nowhere close to 16 million so I don't see where you got that number from.
      Furthermore, JU's performance to New York is constantly improving and within two years it has a chance of actually making money for the airline. Not to mention that JU's JFK flights helps out in sustaining many regional flights such as ZAG, TIA, TGD...

      Then again, if a government has to spend all that money on a long-haul route then doesn't it make more sense to give it to a local company that hires local staff and pays taxes in the country? I understand that Croatia doesn't have that option but Serbia does.

      Anyway, why are we even speaking about JU and their flights to JFK. That's the not related to today's topic. We are discussing here the endless attempts of the Croatian government to get long-haul flights to the U.S. from Zagreb.

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    17. Anonymous6 June 2019 at 10:02
      Hmmm, I’d still say that three WB (2 LH) routes for 8m/year is better than 1 WB route for 16m/year.
      --------------------------
      But then it comes out the same since those WB flights are all seasonal. If they were year-round then it would probably cost 16, no?

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    18. LO LF to New York from BUD is crazy low. Budapest is a major tourist destination while ZAG isn't. What makes the government so confident this can work?

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    19. Why are all of you so concerned about these flights, which most of you say won't happen?

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    20. Who is concerned? We are just discussing today's topic. What else should we do?

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    21. @Anonymous at 10:08
      Probably because they are not stupid enough to waste so many millions a year for prestige purposes.

      And the vast majority of that money are not even spent in Serbia. They are given to EY for the very expensive lease of YU-ARA, to foreign air traffic control jurisdictions, to JFK for landing and handling fees, to US travel agents, to US caterers, to fuel companies etc.

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    22. BUD does not offer financial help for these flights and ZAG would be very generous

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    23. I guess because the aircraft refuels only in New York, lands only in New York (without taking off at BEG and paying fees), also i guess carries all the food on both sectors from America cause food in Serbia is reknown to be bad...

      Dude, are you for real?

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    24. Huh? Who are you replying to last Anon?

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    25. The lease of YU-ARA does not have any special, expensive price. It is normal price for the plane of that size and that age.

      If you intend to fly somewhere you simply need to pay all these costs you mentioned - but you just forgot to mention that all of them are also paid in Belgrade - fuel, handling fees, landing fees etc...

      Plus state taxes paid in Serbia, plus employees that get the salary in Serbia, plus increased JU connectivity that has direct impact on LF on feeding routes, plus increased cargo traffic (BEG has the biggest cargo traffic in all ex-Yu) and so and so on

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    26. Anon @10:20

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    27. Nemjee, you are the one who mentioned US flights to nearby airports. If LO’s flights from BUD can be relevant to the topic I don’t see how JU’s flights can’t.

      And no, it’s not better that money gets funneled to endless pockets of government cronies than a private foreign entity which is commited to profitability, not elections. :)

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    28. Anonymous6 June 2019 at 10:20

      Dude the A332 isn't even from EY but it came from Jet Airways (RIP). Leases are paid to the leasing company, you got some things confused.

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    29. LO BUD-ORD had a 20% LF in winter, does anyone thinks they are not paid by Orban?

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    30. Are you calling all the people workings for JU and airport staff, FA's, government cronies?

      Who flies the planes, Vucich?

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    31. Oh, wait, now i'm gonna hear they're not getting paid. {facepalm}

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    32. It's the fact LO has very bad LF on its 6 weekly US flights. ZAG on the other hand has no US flights at all. LO could have 4-5 crews in each BUD and ZAG and use its single BUD based Dreamliner to operate 2 weekly JFK and 1 weekly ORD from each BUD and ZAG. Plus can deploy one smaller Embraer to fly between ZAG and BUD in period between the flights for mutual feed on the days when the other city has no direct flight. LF would go to over 90%, maybe even yield, and several problems solved with basically no investments or costs

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    33. Why would anyone fly on that connecting flight between BUD and ZAG and not to VIE, FRA, AMS.. all airports with more options, better service and more popularity?
      I just don't see any of it happening. If there was a US version of Air Transat sure but not like this.

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    34. I would say that LO has already bad experience with flying to US from BUD and they would surely not go into one more adventure with much smaller airport like ZAG

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  6. Good news. I hope they also operate 3-4 weekly flights.

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  7. I'm glad Croatia went down the path of attracting a major US carrier and din't go after some leisure European airline like it was suggested in the beginning.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. And it is good that it isn't LOT like some suggested considering they are less than reliable on their flights from Budapest to the US with a lot of cancellations. They treat it as a second tier route in their network compared to their Polish operations.

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    2. I was hoping it would be EK :D

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    3. I think a US airline with their massive feed they get from their hubs (some 250 US destinations for the average TATL hub airport) would have way better chances to success than EK which would have to feel a 777-300ER with only O&D traffic.

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  8. I think we can safely say now that Zagreb should have a very good year in 2020 after being mostly sleepy in 2019. We should get flights to the US and China plus passenger increase on European routes from the EU presidency.

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    Replies
    1. When? Zagreb's success is always somehow pushed back into a distant future depending on holidays (Easter), political events or other miraculous or semi-devine interventions.

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    2. Don't forget the privatisation of OU as third eternal topic (beside ZAG-USA and ZAG-China flights) here that never comes true

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  9. The same enthusiasm, words and speculations as when Serbian minister for transportation and infrastructure was talking about Beijing flights from Belgrade 2 years ago...and now "black hole"
    Politicians and templates....
    Anyway, let's hope it will happen.

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    Replies
    1. 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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    2. The difference is that in Belgrade those flights actually launched.

      It's a different thing the airline faced fierce competition, had financial woes in the HNA group and its flights were poorly planned.

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    3. Do you understand how is it complicated opening line for Americans if it does not bring a lot of money? With all state help they need to earn money. For 1 or 2 pw complete nonsense.

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    4. Croats need visa for USA and not for Canada

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    5. @Anonymous6 June 2019 at 09:51
      Croats need visa for USA and not for Canada

      US citizens will need visa for EU as well, come 2021, this is unless new US Administration agrees on allowing visa waver program for all EU member states. Currently 6-7 EU member states still need visa for US, this includes Croatian passport holders as well. However for Croats getting an US visa is procedural and not a big issue, however there shouldn't be a visa between the two countries.

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    6. Good job by the EU.
      Shame that Serbia can't be benefited also and get visa free travel to the US.

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    7. Fake news. Americans are not going to need visa for EU but it will be the same system as the Americans have for nations that do not require a visa, same with Canada. It's that online application that charges you some Euros and that's it. I think it's €7 for Canadian ESTA or whatever it's called. The EU is introducing the same model.

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    8. Americans to Apply for EU Travel Authorization starting 2021
      US citizens will have to apply for an ETIAS prior to their travel towards Europe, in order to be allowed to enter the territory, starting January 1, 2021.

      The ETIAS visa waiver stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, which will require US passport holders to apply online for an entry permit in Europe before entering the area, similar to the ESTA that the United States use.

      This process allows EU authorities to pre-screen all travelers and confirm their status before permitting them enter or even to board a flight to Europe, thus improving security measures throughout Europe.

      US travelers will have to pay an amount of €7 when applying for an ETIAS. It is estimated that the application process takes around 10 minutes to complete. An ETIAS can be issued for three years, and can be used to enter and remain in Europe for 90 days within a six-month period.

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  10. If these flights are materializing we will know very soon. US carriers put tickets on sale for new European routes in in late August or early September.

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  11. United (Star Alliance) should introduce a daily seasonal (summer) service with a triangular routing: ewr-zag-dbv-ewr (3x week) and ewr-dbv-zag-ewr ((4x week) with B787. When Pan Am used to fly to DBV, it was even popular with pax from Kosovo!

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    Replies
    1. Triangular routing would make the route uncompetative from Zagreb.

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    2. I agree that 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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  12. Very cautious to start seasonally but my guess is that was the condition of the american carrier.

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  13. Whoever it is Croatia Airlines MUST react and try to at least have a codeshare or offer connecting flights.

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  14. For year round ops I don't see a market yet so I think that seasonal flights is a very smart decision in sustaining this route on a long term basis.

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

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  16. Cappelli said something very similar 2 years ago and nothing happened.

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    Replies
    1. Actually 2 years ago he said that seasonal flights between the United States and Croatia would launch first, before year-round operations could commence... and that's exactly what happened.

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  17. Who cares if there will be direct flights to the US? It's more important to fly more often to big EU hubs than to have energy wasted to direct flights to the US. Once they're in EU they will come to Croatia sooner or later and the Croatian citizens have a greater benefit from EU flights.

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  18. So why not just have OU open all these long haul routes if they want them so bad?!?!

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    Replies
    1. You know the answer :-)

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    2. No money? No vision? No competent management? No planes? No mechanics to service the planes?

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  19. With ZAG not being a hub those flights would have little to no effect on Zagreb's passenger numbers.

    At low frequency it would serve nothing but the holiday folks making it very seasonal.

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    Replies
    1. Do you think Rouge and Transat have no impact on passenger numbers in Zagreb?

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    2. Well, did you look at ZAG airport figures lately?

      They've been less or more stagnant for the past three years.

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    3. That's not true at all. They have added almost 600,000 passengers since two years ago.

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    4. In comparison, SOF added 2 million passengers, BEG 1 million, BUD 3 million, TIA 1 million...

      That is a very modest increase to put it mildly.

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    5. Ok you are very superior. Hope that suits your ego.

      With exception to Sofia which had a low cost war, the other three airports serve their entire country, which is not the case with Zagreb. On an entire country level, Croatia added more passengers than Serbia, Hungary or Albania.

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    6. Just let him be. If he has the time and energy to comment on news about Zagreb in an attempt to show how inferior it is to everyone else, it says a lot about him. Ignore.

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    7. I find it highly irritating that the moment you comment something that's not in line with 'Bravo Hrvatska' people immediately call them haters or to suit their ego. This is an aviation portal and we discuss positive and neagtive news. ZAG is lagging behind similar airports in the region and that's a fact. Just look at this winter, no adds for the moment, only cuts (KL, FZ...).

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    8. You are right @12.24. I will let him argue with himself and keep trying to persuade himself :)

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    9. True, only endless cheering is allowed no matter what the facts are.

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    10. It's your vision of "fact", dude. Pop a pill.

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    11. More like endless, boring, repetitive trolling...probably by the same two anonymous trolls venting their frustrations. There are no airports similar to ZAG in the ex yu region, because as someone already mentioned...those airports listed serve their entire countries. To compare them with Zagreb is ridiculous. Those are the facts, no matter how frustrating they obviously are to you.

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  20. The majority of the Bosnian diaspora would use these flights to Zagreb if they materialize.

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    1. Slovenians too.

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    2. Cause there are no flights from Venice or Belgrade at a greater frequency.

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  21. 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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    Replies
    1. It means - "I will pay you if you decide to fly to my city"

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    2. Completely normal. Payment is usually limited to the first year.

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    3. No, sorry, it is not normal

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    4. Neither is 40 million in annual subsidies to a single airline but hey...

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    5. @Anon 12:37

      You mean like this?

      https://www.argophilia.com/news/croatia-airlines-aid/27511/

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    6. If you are referring to JU then the amount they got was much lower than 40 million and you know that very well.

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    7. Yes I can see very well. It's in their financial report. I suggest you take a look too.

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    8. Why is every thread hijacked by comments about another airline or airport? This is about ZAG getting NYC service. We can talk if subsidizing it is a good spend of taxpayers money or not without focusing on others.

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

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    Replies
    1. Well he says it will in the second year.

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  23. Which one is better in terms of service? American or United?

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    Replies
    1. Neither... hahaha

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    2. I think at the moment Delta is considered the best of the US big 3, especially on long hauls.

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    3. United has been seen as the worst airline to fly to the US from Australia for many years now.

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  24. If it's American I wonder what equipment they would use. B787 or A330?

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  25. This could actually be a hint that OU might consider launching long-haul flights ZAG-JFK/EWR next year. I think the A330 is the best option for OU similar to JU.
    Although a 767 is not a bad option neither.

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    Replies
    1. There are some cheap and reliable B762 on the market, the capacity is perfect for operations the whole year.

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  26. Good to see that things are moving forward.

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  27. Fabulous. Long overdue.

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  28. I don't get the hype about direct flights to the US. Ticket price can't be that much lower than with a single stop in Frankfurt or Munich.

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    Replies
    1. It shouldn't be lower at all. Direct flights are always more expensive than connecting ones.

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  29. Pan Am used to fly 4 p/w with A310s from New York to ZAG once upon a time. There were also JAT flights to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, different times. Since these days the aviation industry changed (importance ofhub airports).

      With kind regards

      Mihael

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  30. It can't be argued that management at many EU airports achieved impressive revenue and passenger growth by moving away from traditional legacy airlines as key customers and instead started mixing in various airline types. I always wonder why some commentators insist on having "prestige airlines" and "major legacy" service when LCC or lesser known airlines can bring just as much, if not more, passengers, revenue and tourists. Quote from today's news finally helps me understand where is that school of thought coming from:

    General Manager Huseyin Bahadir Bedir said, "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"

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  31. Lets say this happens, and lets say within the next 12 months we Zagreb gets China flights too and maybe, just maybe flights to Japan. Now imagine OU had some vision and normal management and they launched these flights and imagine they were the ones who launched theother long haul flights Zagreb has today. OU could have had a great little network centered around Zagreb.

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    Replies
    1. Two largest airlines in the region have completely different approaches on this. We need to wait at least 3-4 years to see who is right.

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    2. OU developed nicely at first, they had a vision and they knew what they wanted to become. Unfortunately then mama LH had other plans and here we are. Now they are where they are and they even admitted that no route is profitable in winter. Fantastic.

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