Croatia - Japan hold second round of air service talks


Croatia and Japan have held a second round of talks over the introduction of scheduled services between the two countries in Zagreb. The two sides will continue negotiations over the adoption of an Air Service Agreement, which is a precondition for the establishment of nonstop flights. A date for the meeting is yet to be set. The first round of negotiations were held last November in Tokyo. The Japanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs said, "Discussions between the aeronautical authorities of Japan and the Republic of Croatia are continuing. A tentative framework has been reached until the conclusion of an Air Services Agreement between the two countries. Considering the possibility and forecasts, there is sufficient air traffic demand for scheduled air services between Japan and the Republic of Croatia in the future".

Currently, Japan's largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), operates summer charters from several cities to Dubrovnik. Previously, Zagreb also boasted charters from Tokyo. In addition, Japan Airlines (JAL) is considering serving points in Eastern Europe through its newly established long haul low cost airline Zipair. The carrier, which will launch operations next summer, said destinations which can be visited by young travellers with more restricted budgets during peak season will be its first targets. The Croatian Ministry for Tourism has listed Japan as one of its prime markets. "The Ministry's strategic goal is to develop Croatia as a destination which is accessible to various airlines, particularly before and after the height of the summer season. That is why we are turning towards the Asian market, primarily Korea, Japan and China, where we are concentrating a lot of our efforts", it said.

The number of Japanese tourists visiting Croatia has been growing steadily. In 2018, a total of 159.574 holidaymakers from Japan arrived in the country, representing an increase of 12.3% on 2017. The majority of those stayed in Dubrovnik, followed by Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Opatija. Furthermore, 24 Japanese companies do business in Croatia. The initiative for the introduction of regular flights from Japan to Croatia is said to have come from the Japanese side. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, expressed hope for negotiations over a new air agreement to be swift in order for flights between Tokyo and Zagreb to be launched in the near future.



Comments

  1. Replies
    1. God, under every single article...c'mon

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    2. Seriously man, do you see people from other coutries behaving like that. You are embarassing your own nation with such behaviour.

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    3. Only haters are getting embarrassed by getting angry and attacking a two word phrase.

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  2. This has been dragging on a long time. It is taking way too long between meetings.

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  3. It makes sense to seek more non-stop flights to Asia.

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  4. And still nothing from China?

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  5. Is it just me or is concluding this ASA taking an incredibly long time? They started negotiations in 2017!

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    Replies
    1. When it comes to our Croatian politicians and discussing the new routes you know that nothing will happen.

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    2. It would be easier if Croatia Airlines was interested in the flights.

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    3. Why would OU be interested in these flights. How are they going to get there? With a Dash?

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    4. OU does not have the financial backing to start long haul.

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  6. With KE downgrading ZAG this winter I don't see Japan flights happening.

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    Replies
    1. How are the two related?

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    2. How are they not?

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    3. They are two completely different markets.

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    4. Are they really? They are both far east Asian tourist markets. Their dynamics and patterns are very similar.

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    5. „They are two completely different markets.“ Wrong! Pretty sure, there are also enough japanese travelers that prefer a tranfer in Seoul over one in Haneda (less detour, shorter flight times) on the way to europe.

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    6. I really wouldn't call a couple of fewer seats a downgrade. On top of the fact that the route is triangular, we don't even know if it has anything to do with ZAG.

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  7. I think our travel agencies and national tourist boards could do more on promoting the area in countries such as Japan. We have to compete for the new markets and not be focusing on the tourists from the West only.

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    Replies
    1. HTZ does pretty good promotion in Asia.

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  8. If they come mostly to visit Dubrovnik, then maybe flights to DBV would make more sense than ZAG.

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    Replies
    1. There are already charters to DBV.

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    2. JAL used to fly to ZAG but they haven't for a couple of years.

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    3. A couple of years ago they ended a lot of flights, charters to ZAG included because of financial problems. They haven't returned since.

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    4. JAL actually turned down request from tour operators to fly to Zagreb 3 years ago.

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    5. There were much fewer flights from Japan to DBV this year. Used to be several this year just two.

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  9. Smart. South Korean, Japanese and Chinese countries provide significantly greater number of tourists than before and they all prefer to come out of season.

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    Replies
    1. But one thing which remains a challenge is that all of these flights would be used primarily by people living in those countries and in 98% of the case for tourism purposes. To make a route sustainable there needs to be two way traffic which in not purely based on tourism flow.

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    2. Very correct.

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    3. Also there needs to be more premium passengers on such flights to make them work.

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    4. Cargo also plays a role, and I think there would be enough of it.

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    5. Is A332 the smallest wide body KE has?

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  10. How about Tokyo - Ljubljana - Zagreb - Tokyo? :)

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    1. I doubt it. I think it can either be Ljubljana or Zagreb but ANA definitely won't fly to both.

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    2. I don't think it will fly to either.

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    3. Maybe ANA launches Ljubljana and JAL launches Zagreb :D

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    4. If someone will start flights from Japan it will be ANA because they are Star Alliance.

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    5. Great idea! Maybe there can even make a stop in Samobor, it would be very convinient!
      :)

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    6. Why just Samobor? There should be reciprocity It should be one one more on SLO side as well. I suggest Tokyo - Ljubljana - Novo Mesto (or Metlika alternatively) - Samobor - Zagreb - Tokyo LOL

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  11. Are there flights from Japan to Budapest?

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    Replies
    1. I don't think so.

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    2. There aren't but they will probably get it first in the region thanks to LOT.

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    3. By the time Croatia negotiates this ASA that is taking years now, Budapest will get the flights.

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    4. ANA flies only to the UK, France, Germany and Belgium in Europe.

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    5. "Anonymous13 September 2019 at 09:26
      There aren't but they will probably get it first in the region thanks to LOT"

      That's unlikely, according to the bilateral agreement between Hungary and Japan, only a Hungarian airline (so not any EU airline) could operate a flight between Hungary and Japan, and LOT has no Hungarian AOC (yet).
      The second problem is, that the agreement allows the Hungarian airline to fly only to Osaka, nowhere else. LOT may be interested in Tokyo, but i can not imagine, that they would start a BUD-KIX flight soon.

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    6. LOT has Hungarian AOC. Based on this they are now starting BUD-ICN under the Hungary-Korea bilateral.

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    7. "Anonymous14 September 2019 at 09:52
      LOT has Hungarian AOC. Based on this they are now starting BUD-ICN under the Hungary-Korea bilateral."

      No, any EU airlines could have fly that route.
      Website of Hungarian National Transport Authority:
      https://www.nkh.gov.hu/documents/11106/305125/Magyarorsz%C3%A1g+-+Koreai+K%C3%B6zt%C3%A1rsas%C3%A1g.pdf/7e1a28bc-dd39-4f9f-96d5-3ff915741aff?version=1.0
      Point e), second entry.

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  12. "destinations which can be visited by young travellers with more restricted budgets"

    taking into account the demographic situation in Japan, Zipair should rather target the +65 y olds and offer service for that age group: more comfortable chairs, free diapers on board...

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  13. Good luck! There is definitely potential.

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    Replies
    1. Demand for flights out of Asia is growing fast, and Emirates and Qatar are doing good job, Turkish too.

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  14. It's good that they are thinking about new markets. Would be fantastic to have regular flights to Japan.

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    Replies
    1. It's a good time. Many Far East travellers are skipping w. europe and going to central East Europe because of safety which they value a lot.

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  15. I really do hope that something materializes out of this.

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  16. Seasonal route from Tokyo to Dubrovnik would make most sense.

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  17. Realistically speaking, I think it can happen next year.

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    Replies
    1. They still haven't even signed an air service agreement. When they sign it, it still has to be ratified. And the next meeting probably won't take place until next year.

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    2. I have a feeling that in the years time they will say they are preparing for the third round of negotiations.

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  18. ZAG could work from Tokyo twice per week during summer and once weekly in winter. I don't think anything more could succeed, at least at the beginning.

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    Replies
    1. No airline is going to maintain a one weekly flight. Especially long haul.

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  19. Tokyo is a mega city with over 30 million people. I'm sure demand could be found with efficient marketing.

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    Replies
    1. Seoul has 25 million people yet KE struggles.

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    2. Yep. They struggle so much they added another weekly flight in September.

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  20. Flights from US to ZAG would make most sense at this moment. Then we could see Japan flights in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Because of year round travel, Japan flights might be more lucrative then TATL.

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    2. One of the fastest growth sectors in Croatian tourism is from East Asia and it is also less seasonal than many European destinations. So this makes sense.

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  21. That's a very good number of tourists from Japanese market.

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  22. Everyone forgot about similar announcements for US flights? Where are they?

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    Replies
    1. Well at least this time the initiative is coming from the Japanese side.

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  23. I would prefer more reasonably priced flights from ZAG with low cost airlines first.

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  24. The market is not that big to start with and the one that already exists is served by LH, TK, QR and EK. I don't see much of a point.

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    Replies
    1. Apart from charters, it would be interesting to see which flights are used most often by Japanese to get to CRO. I assume EK or QR?

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    2. I wouldn't rule out LH, especially via MUC.

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    3. EK or QR from Japan but also Korea means detour. Belive the ANA-Lufthansa Group joint venture, AF/KLM or TK are stronger on this market.

      With kind regards

      Mihael

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  25. It's much safer for them to operate charter flights where seats are sold by tour operators.

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  26. Does ANA have a codeshare with anyone to Zagreb?

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    1. Yes it does. With Austrian from Vienna.

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    2. Really? It's not displaying the codeshare on ZAG airport website.

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    3. That's because they usually display only Croatia Airlines as the codeshare partner.

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    4. It is codeshared by ANA

      Austrian Airlines flight OS682
      Codeshare flights
      SK9427 flight by SAS
      NH5628 flight by ANA
      OU5502 flight by Croatia Airlines

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    5. Do they codeshare by any chance on flights to Slovenia?

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    6. I mean Ljubljana

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    7. No they don't. There are no other Star Alliance airlines flying to Ljubljana other than Adira, Turkish and LOT and ANA does not fly to either Istanbul or Warsaw.

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    8. They want a codeshare with Adria but it doesn't seem to be happening.

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    9. From last year: https://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/05/ana-and-adria-seek-codeshare.html

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  27. Except for tourists is there any other traffic between Japan and Zagreb? Business travel?

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    Replies
    1. "Furthermore, 24 Japanese companies do business in Croatia."

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  28. It's good that they have the initiative.

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  29. We will see how this develops. I'm skeptical to be honest.

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  30. Croatia is okay to look into Japan but what about the Croatian huge diaspora in Argentina? There is quite a huge number over there.
    2 weekly ZAG-EZE should work perfectly same as SEL success. The same applies for JU considering EZE service in the future...

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    Replies
    1. Yes that would be very profitable haha

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    2. Daj me ne......ta tzv dijaspora nema veze s Hrvatskom vec bar 3 narastaja.

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  31. Why so long to negotiate an air service agreement?

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  32. It always take time. Nothing unusual.

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    Replies
    1. This was meant for the comment above.

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  33. Hmm I find it difficult to believe that ANA would start flights to Croatia. They have very little coverage in Europe, including markets where there are significantly more Japanese tourists.

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    Replies
    1. True. They don't even fly to VIE. They used to but they terminated the route.

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    2. Huh? They fly to VIE several times per week regularly.

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    3. ANA has DAILY Ops to Vienna.

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    4. ...onboard the 789. They are cooperating with OS so they get quite a lot of feed.

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  34. Are there more Chinese or Japanese tourists in Croatia?

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