Two US carriers in talks over Zagreb flights


Two airlines from the United States have expressed interest in launching nonstop flights to Zagreb, however, it could take several years until the service materialises. The Director of the Croatian National Tourist Office in New York, Ina Rodin, said, "We are in serious talks with two large carriers and we hope that within the next two to three years we can establish nonstop flights between New York and Zagreb". This is in contrast to statements made by the Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Cappelli, who last month said that nonstop services between New York and Zagreb would likely commence during the 2020 summer season. "I hope that we will have this route operational next summer. The service to Zagreb will most likely be seasonal during its first year of operations, while year-round flights could commence during the second year", the Minister said.

Zagreb Airport confirmed as early as April that talks with potential operating carriers were taking place. "New York is a destination we are focusing on. We are in talks with airlines and we expect for the route to be launched", it said. On the other hand, the Croatian State Secretary for Tourism, Tonči Glavina, noted the country will most likely be linked with another city in the United States next year, following the success of the seasonal Philadelphia - Dubrovnik route, which was inaugurated last month. Similarly, the Director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Convention Bureau, Romana Vlašić, said, "In the future, we expect for American Airlines to extend its seasonal operations, but also introduce some other destinations from the United States to Dubrovnik".

American Airlines recently noted it opted to launch flights to Dubrovnik over Zagreb and Split "due to popular request". However, it also said, "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. They should really all sit down and decide what version they will go with to the public.

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    Replies
    1. I would rather trust the HTZ representative then the minister. Because in 2017 minister also announced how flights would begin the following year.

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    2. If they were to start next summer tickets would have to go on sale next month.

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    3. Not necessarily but American did start sales for DBV in August.

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    4. I think DBV and ZAG are the only cities in Croatia where these flights could work (seasonally).

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    5. I hope it could be Delta!

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    6. @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 09:08

      I agree, I don't trust HDZ and this government one bit. However, HTZ guy is more realistic with his appraisal of things.

      @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 09:18 Not necessarily, the tickets for next year go on-line when airline has a marketing and route strategy in place. This can't happen before 4-5 months of airline actually starting flights to a destination. They need to see how other routes to the region or a country perform, was there an increase in US visitors to a destination, i/e is there a demand and so on.

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    7. Anon at 11:03
      Me too! As far as my experience, Delta is by far the best of the american 3.

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    8. Jet Blue or Hawaaian ;)

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  2. I don't understand. If they are in talks with 2 airlines, why would it take 2 to 3 years for one of them to start the flights?

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    1. Same. I also don't understand minister's comment that route would first be seasonal to Zagreb. Why?

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    2. There is no demand for year-round operations. If they offer connections within region they will get killed by the competition offering one stop via large EU hubs.

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    3. No demand? Are you serious?

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    4. @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 09:55

      Croatia is top 20 destination worldwide for US visitors, it is 17th actually. US visitors visit Croatia in large numbers, 700 000 expected this year. Major US companies have number of offices in Zagreb, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Tesla.... 1.4 million Croats 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation live in US, 400 000 in Canada. So there's a demand.

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    5. Yet only DBV has seasonal flights. You might claim all you want with your statistics but realistic facts are realistic facts.

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  3. United and American? Or Delta and American?

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    Replies
    1. Best solution would be Emirates
      DXB-ZAG-JFK.

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    2. EK said that they are no longer looking at one stop flights to the US via Europe.

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    3. Their flights to JFK and EWR via MPX and ATH are very successful, why wouldn't they try more?

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    4. EK said exactly the opposite. They said they will fly more between UAE and US via European points.
      https://skift.com/2018/06/05/emirates-president-wont-rule-out-more-u-s-europe-nonstop-flights/

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    5. I'm not sure how willing the US would be to allow Emirates fly more fifth freedom routes from Europe to the US then they already are.

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    6. Their flights through MXP isn't that successful. Many times the flight is a third to half empty.

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    7. They are not launching more routes because of politics.
      Trump and the US3 are very unhappy about them and the UAE doesn't want to antagonize the US even more.

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  4. The suspense is killing me :D

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  5. To me it looks like next year there is a greater chance of a second route to Dubrovnik. From which city could AA realistically launch flights?

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    Replies
    1. From their hubs. In my opinion either Chicago or LA. I don't think they would add a second destination from the East coast again.

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    2. I think a new route might be launched in 2021 while next year we could see longer season and maybe 4 weekly flights for the entire season.

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  6. This is getting sad, every few weeks a similar story is published in media and in the end nothing comes out of it. ZAG needs to first fix its pathetic winter offer as this winter there are going to be no additional flights (when you add and substract changes in frequencies).

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  7. The logical, prestigious US routes to ZAG may be: LAX (Silicon Valley), ATL (biggest airport in the world) and LGA.

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    Replies
    1. Why not JFK?

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    2. Ah yes, nothing screams prestige like flying out of LGA. That is if you consider third world looking airports as prestige.

      FYI LGA is a domestic airport.

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    3. LGA is not domestic. AC also flies to it. Besides, ZAG can become a unique European route from LGA. Everyone flies JFK....

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    4. Everyone flies to JFK with good reason.

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    5. Flights to Canada are considered as domestic flights, it's something like a north American Schengen agreement.

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    6. Anonymous 1 July 2019 at 09:10:
      LAX is not Silicon Valley. LAX is Los Angeles, Silicon Valley is in Bay Area, which is San Francisco.

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  8. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  9. It would be interesting to see what route is most travelled to from Croatia to the US (indirectly). For example I remember that from Serbia it was Chicago but JU decided to launch JFK instead because there would be more transfer traffic and therefore more passengers.

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  10. They have been delaying these flights from Zagreb each year...

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    1. You can only delay something that has a firm start date. No dates have ever been announced so what is there to delay ? This is simply usual political posturing to present to the public that something is happening when in reality, nothing at all is happening

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  11. I would be more happy if they tried to attract a LCC to base an aircraft. Having flights to New York is nice but the benefits of having an established LCC serving several cities out of ZAG outweigh a few flights per season to New York.

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    Replies
    1. +1 it would grow passenger numbers much more.

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    2. They could have both. They could make a deal with Jet Blue offering good conditions and they could have : JFK served from ZAG, with possibility to connect to range of JetBlue NA destinations, they could have it year-round, as lower prices would make it easier for everyone, and they could have happy passengers able to travel nonstop for cheaper. So 3 flies with one hit Of course, in 2 years, when JetBlue starts operations with their new A321XLR. Actually, they should have done it long ago with Croatia Airlines, but that's another, different, sad story. Probably only Bravo Hrvatska guy can't see it.

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  12. Very good for Zagreb but I do wish they find an airline that would serve all year round.

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  13. Now that Eurowings' long haul ops have gone down the drain we can count them out. I know many suggested they could operate flights from Zagreb to the US.

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    Replies
    1. Who else is there realistically speaking? No one. Even DY is turning most flights to NA to sesaonal while LAS is completely cut.

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    2. JU could fly via ZAG during the winter months and thereby kill 2 birds with 1 stone - address their reduction in JFK services and low aircraft utilisation, while ZAG would get its long wished for JFK flights - a win/win for boith sides

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  14. ZAG better make some announcement for next year. At least something new.

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  15. It will be United or Delta.

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    Replies
    1. Long overdue UA to Newark.

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  16. ex-OU CEO Kucko once said that Croatia doesn't need direct flights to NY because they already have so many options to NY and elsewhere in the US with 1-stop connections over Europe...

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    Replies
    1. What else could he say? That statement was made when JU launched JFK.

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  17. ZAG-NYC route will be more successful than some European ones. It is sad that OU can't operate route like that because of their financial situation.

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  18. This route is a political project. If there was enough demand, one of US3 carriers would already start the service.

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    Replies
    1. vanity project which is going to require financial support. Same as JU BEG-JFK.

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    2. Political project, but then again there are 350k+ American tourists visiting Croatia.

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    3. @9.38
      Hahahaha, yeah, sure! For some things it simply takes time!

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    4. Yes but Americans of Croatian descent visiting family are also counted as tourists. Anyway, there is a reason why there are still no flights to ZAG despite extremely long efforts to change that.

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    5. Are you trying to tell me out of that figure that Croatian descends make a significant cut? You got to be kidding me.

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    6. Anonymus 11:11, of course they are counted as tourists, since THEY ARE tourists. Whats the difference? they have US passport, so they are tourists.

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    7. Is it true that a lot of American tourists in Croatia also come by cruiser ships?

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    8. Na ovom blogu se redovno prebrojavaju gastosi, mere krvna zrnca putnika, merkaju pasosi, toliko oni vole aerodrome i putovanja avionom.

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    9. If there was demand there would be flight. Since demand is not as big no one stepped in. Very simple.

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    10. It is not that simple and you know it. Guess few hundreds of thousands of American visitors a year isn't enough.

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    11. @frishki1 July 2019 at 12:24

      587 000 last year
      700 000+ expected this year,
      800 000+ expected in 2020.

      I think there's a demand for Zagreb flights :D

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    12. So, I was off by 100%.

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    13. So much demand that there are no non-stop flights to ZAG.

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    14. Take that pill already.

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    15. If anyone needs a pill then it's you guys. It's kind of sad how desperately you are trying to justify these flights. I guess you know something airline CEOs don't. LOL!

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    16. Desperately trying to justify which flights? There are no fights.

      Yet.

      Also, you must know something that these airline CEOs don't know since they are discussing introducing them. You should give them a call. Give them your professional insight.

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  19. Rumor is that United plan to start flying from EWR. It will be a seasonal flight. They always made the most sense since OU is in Star Alliance.

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    Replies
    1. There were rumours about every single airline in the world interested in these flights and still nothing. Don't get me wrong, I would like to see these flights happen but come on, is it so difficult to secure them?

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    2. OU must leave Star Alliance and join SkyTeam instead.
      All Star Alliance companies are expensive: LH, OS, SQ, AC, NZ, etc
      Flights to US will drop if OU works with AF/KL/DL.

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  20. Good to see that things are moving forward.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, every year the same - maybe next year!

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  21. BUD was faster. They managed to secure flights to JFK, ORD & PHL. I think ZAG needs to wait for higher traffic figures.

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    Replies
    1. JFK and ORD are not performing well from Budapest for LOT.

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    2. If Zagreb is able to sustain 2 Canadian airlines from Toronto seasonally, then I expect they could sustain a US carrier with few flights per week during the summer.

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    3. Canada and US are not the same market ;)

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    4. I would assume the US market is even bigger actually.

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    5. US market is far greater, but problem is US airlines, they're very hard to bring, they demand all sorts of benefits and discounts, makes LCC look good in comparison.

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    6. DBV got them, so will ZAG. I think American will increase DBV next year.

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    7. Ljudi iz Kanade se prevoze kao sardine dok iz Filadelfije lete kao ljudi to je beznacajna razlika.

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    8. 09:52:
      The jan/feb, was terrible, but don't forget, that LOT has only Krakow and Warsaw as feed network.
      From September OTP and BRU flights are coming, and PRG, SOF are likely to come.

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  22. If this ever happens, I hope it is a European airline or EK. US carriers have a horrible service especially UA, DL & AA.

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  23. NA flights will happen, but I predict in 2021, not sooner.

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  24. Until an airline officially announces these flights I won't believe it.

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  25. I think ZAG is the only Balkan airport that can actually make transatlantic flights a success. The best and most modern airport, a national carrier that is a star alliance member airline with year on year exponential growth in tourism numbers.

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    Replies
    1. Yap and in red.

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    2. And yet it is one of the rare bigger Balkan airports without flights to the US.

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    3. ATH is with no doubt, the pioneer airport.
      Flights to Singapour, US, Canada, China and not to mention the domestic market.
      Greece is light years ahead and can easily beat many other nations such as Portugal, Poland, Czechia, Belgium, Romania and so on. Greece reaches levels of Spain.

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    4. @10.14
      Last time I checked neither Sofia nor Bucharest had flights to the US.

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    5. There used to be flights from both OTP and SOF to JFK.
      RO used to use their classic A310 while Balkan (former LZ) used a 767.
      DL also served OTP but only for a short time.
      There are obviously diasporas of both nations but their numbers are not extremely high compared to other states.

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    6. Airport that has no year round flight to ATH, ZRH and PRG, airport that has no non stop flight to FCO, airport where EK and F7 drastically reduced winter flights, airport that in first 3 months of the year has an average of only ca. 200.000 passengers per month, airport that has no single LCC base etc...
      I wonder why there is no US carrier in ZAG

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    7. There are year-round flights to Zurich.

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    8. Yes on a tiny turboprop once a day.

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    9. And LX does not fly year round to ZAG at all

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    10. I'ts years since I finished school but I think ATH is in the Balkans too. And I believe they have over 10 flights to North America a day during summer season.

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  26. Fingers crossed there will be some concrete results.

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  27. So the government, minister of tourism and National Tourist Board are all trying to get a flight from New York to Zagreb?

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    Replies
    1. Government ministers and Tourism officials must conduct and encourage new business, this is what they do. also that is not entire government. Only relevant ministry and national tourism officials who aren't government officials.

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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. USA passengers prefer nonstop flights and connections in USA.

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    2. Actually price for direct flight is almost always more expensive

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  29. Pan Am used to fly 4 p/w with A310s to ZAG once upon a time.

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    Replies
    1. There were also JAT flights to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

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    2. From which city did Pan Am fly from?

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    3. Thanks. That was quite an extensive network from Zagreb to the US back in the day.

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    4. There was never Los Angeles directly from ZAG. LAX was operated BEG-ORD-LAX, no ZAG stop, but you did not mention Cleveland and Detroit, at one point of time Pittsburgh as well, which did operate via ZAG and via LJU

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  30. Here we are again...

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  31. Usually when there is so much chatter about some flight (and there has been about the US-Croatia flights all this year) it means that talks are going ahead and that something will happen very soon.

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    Replies
    1. Soon? Now they are mentioning a time frame of two to three years. It's a worn out story that aggregates everyone.

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    2. Toliko se para lupa na odrzavanje bastarda YU, OU, YM da bi svaka vlada komotno mogla da plati preko tendera dodatak stranim avio kompanijama da lete za Ameriku, Kinu i Juznu Afriku i jos par evropskih centara. Ove price o letovima za dve tri godine cine 5% sadrzaja.

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    3. Joj komentara...
      Kao prvo bas bih voleo da znam koja je to "YU" avio kompanija a kao drugo zasto bi pomagali svojim avio kompanijama kad mozemo da platimo americke i kineske? Pa i ovako smo veci i bogatiji od svih njih pa sto da im malo ovog balkanskog bogatstva ne podarimo...

      Kandidat za Darwina

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  32. Delta flies to the the most secondary European airports out of the US airlines. So perhaps they could consider Zagreb.

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  33. I am not being skeptical at all and wishing ZAG all the best but if you compare its figures compared to other cities or capitals, it still remains to be relatively small to sustain continuous, huge traffic. Flights to/from US tend to be very expensive, especially slots.

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  34. As long as ZAG is well connected to the real airports, there is no need for direct US flights.

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  35. I am more curious what happens next year when AC buys Transat.

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    Replies
    1. Ticket prices between Canada and Europe will go way up!

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    2. If AC keeps Transat brand alive as announced, one of those two will likely lose ZAG service. There is no point in competing on the same route within the family. For example if new owner AC decides to leave Transat on the route, Rouge will then stop flying to ZAG next summer but Transat might increase the frequency, for example up to 4 or 5 times a week. Overall price is expected to go up every time there is no competition.

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    3. You Cant know that. Alot of routes is shared between ACA and TS, not only ZAG. And there is good reason they will keep the both brands alive without merging into one

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    4. Jedini razlog moze biti uklanjanje konkurencije. Sto znaci vece cene. Samo izmisljate.

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    5. @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 18:40

      LOL, routes are currently not "shared" between Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat, they are COMPETING against each other on those routes. Once under the same ownership, there is no reason to keep competing with both services. Rouge and Transat are targeting same market, leisure passengers. For that reason it is very likely only one brand will serve YYZ-ZAG next year.

      This could be different for LON market, for example: Air Canada (not Rouge) will keep going after premium and transfer passengers at LHR while Air Transat might be allowed to contimue flying leisure passengers to LGW.

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    6. Demand to ZAG is booming. I see AC mainline stepping in. The market is there, no reason why the should leave the premium market to someone else.

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    7. @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 19:31

      Air Canada mainline will come to Zagreb, but not before 2022. 2024 more likely. It all depends, they'll stop Transat flight to Zagreb and re-direct these to Dubrovnik/Split twice per week. Zagreb will become daily, with 6 weekly flights to Zagreb with Air Canada R. However equipment might change from current A330 200/B767 300ER to B787 800 when mainline starts the service to Zagreb.

      Delete
    8. LOL, Air Canada mainline does not even serve Barcelona with tons of premium demand compared to ZAG. Keep dreaming.

      Delete
    9. @Anonymous1 July 2019 at 20:16

      1: They will not redirect AT to Split. Split already had an opportunity to get AT service for this year but airport declined it:

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/01/air-transat-cancels-planned-split.html

      2: "Zagreb will become daily, with 6 weekly flights to Zagreb with Air Canada R"

      This sentence makes no sense.

      3: "equipment might change from current A330 200/B767 300ER to B787 800 when mainline starts"

      Air Canada does not have A330-200. Aircraft B787-800 does not exist, but 787-8 does.

      Delete

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