New Alitalia plans Zagreb flights


Italy's state railway Ferrovie dello Stato has chosen the Atlantia transport group and US airline Delta as partners to reboot the ailing Alitalia. Under its three-year development plan starting from 2020, the carrier intends to launch flights from Rome to Zagreb, among others, as well as strengthen its seasonal operations to Split and Dubrovnik, local media report. Alitalia previously outlined plans to commence flights to the Croatian capital back in 2014, however, the route never materialised. The Italian carrier maintained up to two daily flights to Zagreb prior to its bankruptcy in 2008. The new Alitalia, which is expected to focus on boosting long haul flights while cutting unprofitable routes, also plans on introducing services from Rome to Vienna and Bucharest.

There are currently no nonstop flights between Zagreb and Rome with Croatia Airlines serving the route via both Dubrovnik and Split. The carrier strengthened its presence in Italy in 2011 with the introduction of seasonal services between Dubrovnik and Venice and six years later with the launch of seasonal flights from Zagreb to Milan. Alitalia currently codeshares on Air Serbia's service between Belgrade and Zagreb. In 2018, 1.148.078 Italians visited Croatia, representing an increase of 3.4% on the year before. According to data released last week by the Zagreb Tourist Board, Italy was the fifth biggest source of tourists to the Croatian capital, with the third largest number of overnight stays.

Alitalia declared bankruptcy two years ago and has long struggled against competition from low cost carriers. The airline has not turned a profit since 2002, has lost market share, and is propped up by state loans totalling 900 million euros. The money is supposed to be paid back with interest but this may never happen due to continuing government efforts to support the company. The European Commission has an ongoing state aid investigation into the matter. Ferrovie dello Stato has until September 15 to formally present its business plan for the struggling carrier, as well as a binding offer.




Comments

  1. Not gonna happen because the new proposal also includes staff layoffs and salary reductions. This proposal will never be adopted, simple as that.

    As for FCO-ZAG, if there was a market OU would be flying non-stop, simply fact is that there isn't.

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    1. If you read the text, Alitalia was flying two daily to Zagreb once upon a time.

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    2. Croatia Airlines doesn't fly to many important markets. I wouldn't take them as an example.

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    3. Alitalia used to fly three (3) times daily between Belgrade and Milano Malpensa back in those days. Was there traffic - yes, but mostly connecting flights. They were a good alternative to Lufthansa (which had the (and still has) the 3 daily flights to Munich.

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    4. Actually LH third daily from MUC was introduced after MXP hub closure, not before.

      As for AZ they could make ZAG work only by attracting transfer passengers. Plus OU might be special but I doubt they would ignore the market.

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    5. Dear @09.01
      OU does not fly to Seoul but KE do.
      OU does not fly to many other destinations where other carriers do.
      Is there "no market" between ZAG and Seoul, or Moscow for example? Of course there is.
      How can you say "no market" after the text which states Italians as the fifth biggest tourist group in ZAG? And btw. Italy is always between three top HR trade partners so business travel is not irrelevant here as well. Finally if it was about the market AZ would have never flown ZAG, and they did, twice daily, not so long ago. I understand you might not like ZAG or HR but it shouldn't be the reason to say no market in case where there is market. Ciao!

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    6. Once again you are being overly dramatic and accusing others or disliking ZAG or HR. Matter of fact is that it's been 11 years since non-stop flights were discontinued and no one stepped in. AZ even launched SKP and TGD since then but not ZAG, why is that? Also trade partners are tricky since trade doesn't necessarily have to be with Slavonija, it can be with the coast. This would make even more sense since most Italian flights are to there.

      I think you want to present ZAG as more than it really is. Sorry buddy if truth hurts you. If there was a market OU, VY, FR... would have introduced flights like they did with other cities in the wider region.

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    7. So, I am hurt and overly dramatic because Alitalia announces possible Rome to Zagreb flights?
      I am hurt and dramatic because Alitalia states dozens of thousands of tourists?
      I am hurt and dramatic because Italy is number one in export/import with Croatia?
      I am hurt and overly dramatic for AZ joining OU on FCO-ZAG route?
      I am hurt and dramatic for AZ trying to catch their share of long haul passengers to ZAG number of which is increasing year by year by double digits
      And you are as good Samaritan of course right saying there is "no market" without any single argument to back up your statement. And you dare accusing me of something. I mean really unbelievable.

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    8. Yes you are being overly dramatic because the moment someone mentions something you don't like you immediately attack him for hating Croatia or ZAG. Pretty idiotic if you ask me.

      Like people wrote below, many airlines have already looked at this route and decided against it (Vueling and Etihad Regional). Also if you bothered to read the actual document, Alitalia doesn't plan on serving this route unless the proposed restructuring plan gets accepted which would mean more layoffs and salary reductions, this won't happen the same way it didn't happen many times in the past.

      So what if Italy is an important trade partner? Is Zagreb the only part of Croatia? Where is most of this trade going, maybe to the coast where most Italy-Croatia flights happen?

      60.000 tourists mean little unless we know from what region of Italy they come from. Maybe most are from the north so FCO flights won't mean much.

      Also if KLM isn't doing that well in ZAG with a much stronger network and more diaspora in NL, then what makes you think AZ will?

      Please, be realistic here. If there was a market someone would have launched flights or OU would make them non stop. No need to be a drama queen at your age.

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  2. It would be nice if they finally introduced Zagreb.

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  3. With so many Italian tourists in Croatia and Zagreb, I still don't understand that OU cannot make FCO a nonstop destination, even with a Dash!

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    1. The OU flights from Zagreb to Rome are a copy and paste of JAT's flights from Zagreb to Rome in the 80s. JAT maintained the flights with exactly the same set up - via Split and Dubrovnik.

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    2. Italians go to the coast not Zagreb which makes sense due to historic ties. After all most cities and forts there were built by Venice and its vassals.

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    3. For a few summers in the past, Croatia Airlines used to have nonstop flights a few times per week and the others would be via SPU/DBV. But those nonstop flights were stopped.

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    4. @ 9.16

      "According to data released last week by the Zagreb Tourist Board, Italy was the fifth biggest source of tourists to the Croatian capital, with the third largest number of overnight stays."

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    5. And what about absolute numbers? Fifth largest doesn't mean much. Also where do these tourists come from? If they are from the north then FCO flights won't mean much.

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    6. Fifth largest means exactly 61.321 visitors and 121.534 overnight stays.

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    7. That's around 5.000 monthly visitors which isn't that much. It could maybe work on a summer seasonal basis.

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    8. I love it how 60k+ isn't all that much.
      I guess someone should shut down routes to Copenhagen since there was only 7,5k Danish tourists in Zagreb or to Toronto because of only 31k+ Canadian visitors.

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    9. Well 60.000 is obviously not enough for non stop flights so I don't see what's so controversial.

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    10. CPH is a Star hub and there are a lot of Croats in Denmark and southern Sweden. You are comparing apples to oranges.

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    11. Nothing is "controversial", it's just you're stating that 60k+ tourists isn't enough for a direct route between two European cities. It is more than enough for it, it's just both Alitalia and Croatia Airlines are two companies that are walking the edge of bankruptcy for years now.

      Also, I'm not comparing apples and oranges, because there aren't that many Croatians living there to be using those (pricey) flights. Again, 60k+.

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    12. Newslash: AZ and OU are not the only airlines who are allowed to operate these flights.

      VY wanted to launch flights but didn't in the end. Why would they do that if the market is that large?

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    13. Etihad regional also put tickets on sale for Rome-Zagreb but in the end cancelled the flights.

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    14. I couldn't care less why they didn't start the flights, but you are obviously on a mission to feed your theory on how ZAG doesn't deserve or can not have direct flight. Because, we all know once there is enough passengers between certain countries/cities, that route opens. Always, in 100% cases. That is how this industry always works, right?

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    15. I never said ZAG doesn't deserve FCO flights, all I said is that there are obviously not enough passengers to operate these flights. AZ suspended flights, OU flies via the coast, VY went for ZAG but then decided against it and same for Etihad Regional.

      If market was there then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

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    16. So, you're saying whenever there is a "market", there's always some company that operates the route?

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    17. I suppose there should be some tourists from Zagreb and surrounding regions to Italy, too. From Belgrade, there are many. I see much potential for direct flights.

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    18. Yes since usually it's the 'market' that fills the seats. If there is no market then flights can't be sustained as we've seen with EK in winter. Unless I am missing something?

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    19. So, again, to conclude: 60k+ Italian tourists + god knows how many travelers from Zagreb to Rome is not big enough market?

      Also, you didn't answer my question.

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    20. Airlines out there seem to think it's not enough otherwise someone would have launched flights. To me it seems like you know better than the airlines themselves, maybe you should write them a letter informing them on their missed business opportunities? lol


      What question exactly?

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    21. That was such a 5th grade "comeback". Congrats on a burn of a year.

      Let me repaint it again:, since it's that hard to retrace it back:
      So, you're saying whenever there is a "market", there's always some company that operates the route?

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    22. Also, tell me, why did AZ leave and not come back for 11 years? Why did both Vueling and Etihad Regional announce FCO-ZAG and then gave up on that idea? Why didn't all those '0k+ Italian tourists + god knows how many travelers from Zagreb to Rome' fill those seats?

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    23. Are you having a stroke, boy? What is wrong with you? Which part of "60k+" you do not understand? Which exactly?

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    24. Yes, when there is a market they will come. Alitalia, Vueling and Etihad Regional all thought there was a market on FCO-ZAG and they all left for a reason.

      It was an appropriate comeback for you, given your arrogance and stubborness you don't deserve better.

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    25. You gonna preach me about arrogance? How 'bout that!

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    26. You ignored me question so here it is once again:

      Also, tell me, why did AZ leave and not come back for 11 years? Why did both Vueling and Etihad Regional announce FCO-ZAG and then gave up on that idea?

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    27. There could be million of reasons, not just that "there's just no market". But no. You are not that arrogant to conclude that it is because of that. You wouldn't ever!

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    28. Of course, three airlines came and went but how could it possibly be due to lack of demand! That's something that just can't be the case with any airport in Croatia and even Singapore Airlines is coming!

      I thought you would have learned a lesson after the whole EK/FZ story but no.

      Poor those 60.000 Italians heading to Zagreb, they are forced to come by land or on OU which is stubbornly refusing to introduce non-stop flights!

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    29. That I should've learned a lesson?! You really are losing it.

      You know what. I'm done with you and your "there's no market" rant.


      And I'll leave it to this note: Out of all these Chinese hoarding in Belgrade, why did Hainan leave? By your logic Chinese airlines should be killing each other which will start the route.

      Bye, Felicia!

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    30. What has Belgrade got to do with anything? There was obviously no market to sustain non-stop flights from Beijing, there's no shame in that. Maybe in the future if numbers keep on increasing they will come back.
      Same way there is no market for more than one stop flights from ZAG to Rome and seasonal flights to MXP on a little regional turboprop.

      However the fact you need to bring Serbia into this discussion to make yourself feel better only shows your true colors!

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    31. Kids - you're all focusing on the wrong issue here ...

      YES, 60k is more than a decent amount of pax in which to sustain direct flights. HOWEVER, where are all those 60k pax from ?? Perhaps only 5k are from Rome itself and the rest might be from Northern Italy and come to ZAG by car. That being the case, such numbers don't justify direct flights.

      Maybe those airlines who announced flights eventually pulled out because sales were poor. Who knows ? The real question is to get behind the numbers to understand exactly from where the current 60k are coming from.

      Once we know that, then we can have a more informed debate ...

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    32. I actually think this could work, let's say 3 times pw!

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  4. Alitalia flew to Zagreb until late 2008, they sacked Zagreb flights cause of recession in early 2009 and as Alitalia was facing major financial difficulties at the time.

    For them to return to Zagreb would be a natural progression from what they did in the past.

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    1. From what they did in the past? You mean accumulate losses XD

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  5. What I find odd is that OU flies to Milan nonstop but not to Rome.

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    1. Milan is seasonal though.

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    2. Maybe it's a way to ensure that people don't transfer to Rome and instead use the Lufthansa options via Frankfurt and Munich.

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  6. It would be a good alternative to the Star Alliance dominated market.

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    1. I wouldn't say ZAG is so Star dominated.

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    2. KLM, Air France and CSA starting flights over the past few years have eased the situation somewhat.

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    3. British, Air France, KLM, Aeroflot, Iberia, ČSA, Air Serbia, Norwegian, Qatar, Vueling, Emirates/fly Dubai, Korean for sure are not Star Alliance member.

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    4. Yes but he meant in terms of weekly flights, that's where Star dominates

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    5. Still there is 112 nonStar Alliance flights per week in Zagreb.

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  7. How many reincarnations has Alitalia had??

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    1. Many and many more to come.

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    2. They've been nothing but a scar on the airline industry and the sooner they're put down for good, the better!

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    3. Agree. Bye bye Alitalia, and good riddance.

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  8. I remember last flying them on the route back in 2006 as it was cheaper flying via FCO than direct OU flights to LHR & AMS.

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    1. Well it makes sense since it's with a stop in FCO.

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  9. I'm more shocked to read in this text that Alitalia does not fly from Rome to Vienna. WTF?!?

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    1. Crazy right? Them not serving Bucharest is also crazy but particularly Vienna.

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    2. Probably "no market" according to @09.01. LOL

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    3. Pozdrav, how about doing some research before posting nonsense? Unlike FCO-ZAG, FCO-ZAG has a lot of competitors already flying NON-STOP. Reality hurts, I know.

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    4. *Unlike FCO-ZAG, FCO-VIE

      Eurowings, Wizz Air, Vueling, Lauda... it's an LCC dominated market. So the market is most definitely there.

      FR even flies CIA-BTS.

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    5. And how come Austrian manages to make it even with the competition...

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    6. They don't since they don't fly VIE-FCO. The route is operated by Eurowings twice a day.

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    7. Wow didn't know that. I find it odd that between too major and affluent markets there is no full service airline flying.

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    8. Their cost base is too high compared to Wizz and others. Also they are not doing financially doing well.

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    9. Btw, Austrian asked for PSO for domestic routes, because they are not profitable.

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    10. I think those PSO routes are a way for the Austrian government to pump money into their beloved OS. Remember when LH bought them they wanted to integrate them into Germanwings? It created such a massive scandal that LH gave up.

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    11. Unutrašnji letovi u zemlji poput Austrije su smijurija. Možda ima teoretski smisao INN-VIE, sve ostalo. Molim lijepo. GRZ-VIE? LNZ-VIE? Pogotovo sad kad su uveli railjet.

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    12. "Austrian Airlines operates four routes within Austria. From its hub in Vienna, the airline flies to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, and Klagenfurt."

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    13. Most of those routes will be cut soon after they made a deal with Austrian railway company.

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  10. Alitalia has to cut unprofitable routes before opening new ones.

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    1. Well that's what they plan on doing.

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  11. Couldn't Croatia Airlines serve Rome nonstop and make a good transfer time to Mostar. Try to attract tour groups. I'm sure it could work.

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  12. So if this route goes ahead, when could we expect it?

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  13. About time. Hope they come back. And let that be a lesson to OU.

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  14. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  15. Despite their financial problems, Alitalia has really improved as an airline compared to the last time they were flying to Zagreb. They used to be very unreliable, constantly late and the chances of getting your luggage when transferring via Rome were slim to none. But having flown with them a few times these past 2-3 years they have really improved. Ironically I think Etihad's short lived and failed adventure had a really good impact on them service wise.

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    1. Nisam siguran da prtljaga na FCO ima veze s AZ. Prije bih rekao s lošom organizacijom aerodroma. Dok sam živio u Opatiji pa poslije u Calabriji sam dosta letio s AZ. Jednom mi kofer ostao u FCO kad sam letio TUN-TRS, jednom mi u MXP otkazali let i poslali me spavat u Varese, ništa lošija statistika nego bilo koja druga aviokompanija koju koristim/sam koristio (AB, OU, OS, LH, LO). Do sad sam prošao bez neugodnosti samo kod TK i SU.

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  16. would be nice to see them come back.

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  17. Didn't Vueling plan to start Rome-Zagreb a couple of years ago?

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    1. It did in 2014 but those flights never started as far as I'm aware.

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    2. That would be a better option for nonstop flights than AZ.

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  18. Good news for Zagreb and happy to hear it.

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  19. I always wondered how a country who is Croatia's largest trading partner doesn't have non-stop flight between their capitals. Italy is bigger partner than Germany, but not if you look the flights

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    1. Možda se odgovor krije u tvome pitanju? TRADING partner. U Rimu je politika. Biznis je u Milanu i općenito na sjeveru.

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  20. Disasterous airline, similar to all what is related to Etihad. Useless people working there for nothing.
    Better Ryanair to Ciampino.

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  21. Speaking of Zagreb....it is realistic next summer Singapore Airlines will introduce seasonal flights

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    1. Where in the world did you hear that?

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    2. LZMZ management team told me they are negotiating

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    3. This will never happen. NO MARKET in ZAG. For anything and for nowhere. LOL!

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    4. Pozdrav, at your age one would expect you to be more serious and not overly dramatic. You make it seem as if ZAG has demand to every corner of the world. Hilarious how you actually think Singapore has a chance in ZAG which not serving some much larger airports in Europe.

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  22. Well I do hope they come and show OU how its done. OU's ultra conservative approach to planning will be its downfall in the end.

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    1. Yes. Alitalia's business plan is very simple. Every year, get a 900 mio "loan" from the government.

      OU should do the same and have Croatian taxpayers pay for it.

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  23. What are the current frequencies of Alitalia's SPU and DBV flights?

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    1. In high season Dubrovnik is four weekly, Split is 8 weekly.

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    2. Thanks. Not bad

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  24. Alitalia should launch Milan-Zagreb.

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    1. They wanted to years ago. Air One, their subsidiary started even selling tickets but in the end they cancelled the flights before launching them.

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    2. To je bio tezak abortus od kompanije, leteo do Milana sa njima.

      Zanimljivo je kako ljudi koji zele da vam iskopaju oko ako kazete da ne zelite da letite sa LCCom sada kukaju sto nema Rim Bec sa nekim "Legacy" prevoznikom.

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  25. Etihad Regional also sold tickets between Rome and Zagreb but cancelled route in last minute before launch. There was not enough demand. And they were supposed o fly with a Saab 2000!

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    1. I just don't get how these flights can't work nonstop.

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    2. Me too. Surely 2-3 weekly would work fine. And then work towards daily from there.

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  26. I believe AZ actually served ZAG-MXP, not ZAG-FCO?

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    1. two daily Monday to Friday and one daily on Saturdays and Sundays.

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    2. So maybe comparing past AZ to MXP is not equal to current view on ZAG-FCO?

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    3. Who is comparing?

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    4. Actually quite a few are saying how come OU doesn't serve FCO non stop since AZ served Italy, in spite of the fact that MXP and FCO are completely different destinations on so many levels.

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    5. I think most people are just surprised that OU can't make Rome work nonstop after 25 years of operations.

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    6. You never know, one thing may be customer satisfaction, but from where we are sitting, maybe OU is perfectly OK with doing it via SPU and DBV that may have better potential and makes optimal A/C utilization also for domestic legs.
      It may not be only over 25 years argument as indeed, some others have tried non-stop, didn't start regardless and basically anyone can fly it from EU, and they don't.
      So it just may be that OU makes the best decision for themselves, a possibility?
      MXP is completely different + AZ depended on MXP long haul connections, not really on P2P.

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    7. OU is not THAT stupid. They see how many people book ZAG-FCO, how many ZAG-SPU/DBV and how many book DBV/SPU-FCO. If more people kept on booking ZAG-FCO they would have introduced at least a one weekly non stop like they introduced HEL, MXP, PRG or OTP.

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    8. Yes, Anon 14:20, my thoughts exactly, not so bluntly put as you did :)

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  27. Everything is possible in Italy, almost like in ex-Yu.

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  28. Hopefully we see Alitalia and other new airlines come to Zagreb soon.

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  29. When you look at it, Alitalia has a really small presence in ex-Yu. Other than Belgrade they fly to Podgorica and seasonally to Dubrovnik and Split. That's it. They used to fly to Skopje but they ended that too.

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    1. In 2014 when they said they would launch ZAG they also said they would launch SJJ and PRN too. But that Balkan expansion never came.

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  30. Great news for everyone especially for Croatian customers If the plan materializes these flights will provide access to AZ network at competitive fares, in particular in the Mediterranean region and the Americas thru their FCO hub. Alitalia frequently offers very attractive promos.

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  31. Replies
    1. Prika moj, u LJU ne slijeću ni golubovi.

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