EX-YU airports seek Zagreb connecitivty


Several airports in the former Yugoslavia are hoping to get better connected with the Croatian capital in the coming period. Within the former state, Zagreb Airport is currently linked with Belgrade, Skopje, Sarajevo and Mostar, once domestic flights within Croatia are excluded. Podgorica, Ohrid and Pristina all hope to see services to the city, with the recent collapse of Adria Airways creating opportunities for carriers to fill the void to cater for transfer passengers. Montenegro Airlines recently noted it is considering flights to Zagreb. “One of our target destinations is Zagreb. The Montenegrin national carrier aspires to link nearby cities. Passenger growth on a global scale and the importance of the Montenegrin market leaves room for us to make such plans”, a spokeswoman from the carrier said. She added, “The regional market, as well as the terms and conditions offered by airports, are constantly reviewed. Zagreb certainly has the potential of being a future destination for us”.

Croatia Airlines, which discontinued its three weekly flights between Zagreb and the Montenegrin capital in February 2012, held talks with operator Airports of Montenegro last year over its potential return. “The resumption of flights between Podgorica and Zagreb would be of great importance to the Montenegrin diaspora in Croatia, but also for Croatian nationals in Montenegro. Furthermore, it would serve as an added benefit for the tourism sector which is vital for both countries”, the Ambassador of Montenegro to Croatia, Boro Vučinić, said. The resumption of flights between the two has also received support from the mayors of Zagreb and Podgorica, as well as the Croatian Ambassador to Montenegro.

The head of the Agency for the Promotion and Support of Tourism in Macedonia, Ljupčo Janevski, recently held talks with the Croatian Minister for Tourism, Gari Capelli, as well as representatives from Croatia Airlines over the potential launch of flights between Zagreb and Ohrid. Some 22.600 Croatian tourists visited Macedonia in 2018, while 35.600 Macedonians travelled to Croatia. Croatia Airlines is the busiest airline from the former Yugoslavia operating in Skopje, with its passenger numbers on the route increasing over the past two years. In 2015, the carrier introduced a seasonal one weekly service between Split and the Macedonian capital, however, the flights were short-lived and cancelled after just two flights.

The President of Kosovo has advocated for the resumption of flights between Pristina and Zagreb to help bolster economic cooperation between the two. Croatia Airlines pulled out of the Kosovo market last year by terminating its seasonal flights between the two cities. It marked an end to its gradual reduction of operations on the route. The Croatian carrier had maintained year-round operations between Zagreb and Pristina until 2016, after which services were downgraded to seasonal summer flights. It commenced operations to Pristina back in 2008, with three weekly services. The route was primarily targeted at transfer passengers at a time when there were limited options for travel from Pristina. At one point, it ran up to seven weekly flights between the two cities. However, with the arrival of new and low cost carriers in Pristina, as well as an increasing number of travellers from Kosovo using Skopje Airport due to its generally cheaper air fares, Croatia Airlines became less competitive.




Comments

  1. All of these could work for Croatia Airlines.

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    1. Yes, OU more another routes like OMO which would fly empty. Please...

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    2. Do you really compare Podgorica or Pristina to Mostar? Are you for real?

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    3. Mostar probably has more overall demand from Zagreb. They just need to promote it better.

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    4. Nonsense. Mostar should be considered as an alternative to Dubrovnik (not in technical/operational sense). There is an option to sell cheap seats while the Dubrovnik routes are crowded. But there is no open yaw fares between CDG-DBV/OMO-ZAG-CDG or FRA-ZAG-OMO/DBV-FRA. Now that is stupid.

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    5. Why would they add an alternative to DBV when passengers on domestic flights keep on falling? The last thing they need is to dilute their market.

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    6. There is decrease in number of transfer pax to DBV due to all direct flights from Europe to Dubrovnik, not local P2P.

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    7. Doesn't matter, what matters is that there are more empty seats now than there were a year ago.

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  2. OU should really strengthen its regional operations if it want's to become an important player.

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    1. Agree. They should also introduce Tirana in my oppinion.

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    2. They don't have the money for it. Even the government cash they are getting is going to purely keep them alive.

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    3. Whether we like it or not, most regional routes are low yielding.

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    4. I think JU and YM would disagree with you there.

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  3. 36k Macedonians tourists to Croatia, that's it? This figure sounds low.

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    1. a 2-3 weekly Dash 8 shouldnt be a problem to fill.

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    2. Better that they add two more flights to Skopje.

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    3. a flight would help much improve that number (just imagine if Wizz was keen on seasonal SKP-SPU for example)

      its not easy to get to the croatian coast from Macedonia passing million of borders (and the MNE/HR is one of the least pleasant ones in whole of Europe believe me)

      there are not even decent scheduled bus connections apart from some buses organized by local travel agencies

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    4. Macedonians go to Greece for holidays. It is cheaper. Not to mention religious and cultural similarities.

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    5. The main reason Macedonians go to Greece for holidays is because it is close.
      They don't go there to church, so religion pays zero role to go to Greece, and hardly anybody in Macedonia speaks and/or understands Greek, so, so much for "cultural similarities".

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    6. +1

      our cultural similirarity is stil Dzoni Stulic and Ceca ;)

      seasonal flights to the croatian coast would be popular

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    7. Would they really? They already failed once.

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  4. "“The regional market, as well as the terms and conditions offered by airports, are constantly reviewed."

    Sounds to me like they want to sat ZAG is expensive.

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  5. A bit odd that OU is not considering regional expansion.

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    1. Well point to point market is rather small and they can't compete with JU for transfer passengers since their network isn't that great.

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    2. In the summer they really don't need too many transfer passengers. They get more money flying point to point torusts.

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  6. It would be amazing especially if it will be connected to other OU flights.

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    1. If OU times the flights correctly it could feed its network to northern and western Europe from ZAG with Montenegro traffic.

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    2. OS can barely keep a few weekly flights to TGD yet you think OU can make it? Somehow I doubt it.

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    3. Code share YM has with JU is huge.

      Taking in consideration how big is Air Serbia's network I honestly doubt YM can do anything significant with OU and ZAG

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  7. " with the recent collapse of Adria Airways creating opportunities for carriers to fill the void to cater for transfer passengers."

    It is still too early to react to that.

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  8. I know they get money for it but they should cut OMO, on a recent flight there were only 3 passengers!!!

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    1. They would have more passengers on the route if they actually did some promotion around it. I think the majority of people don't even know this route exists.

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  9. In Ex-YU the best connections are already provided by JU and it looks like nobody can beat them especially during the summer (LJU, PUY, RJK, ZAD, SPU, DBV, ZAG, SJJ, BNX, TIV, TGD,SKP).

    In the wider region (ex-YU bordering countries) there are also flights to VIE, OTP, SOF, SKG, ATH, TIA, VCE, MXP, FCO

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    1. Plus don't forget that this winter JU boosted ex-YU flying with more flights to BNX, SKP, LJU and TGD.

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    2. And yet Croatia Airlines has more passengers to/from Skopje.

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    3. Anon 09.15

      Simply because their O&D takes the plane in stead of the bus, look at the distance between Skopje and Zagreb and then compare it to Belgrade. You will have your answer.

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    4. Sure. It seems each year more and more O&D passengers are taking the bus to Belgrade.

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    5. Could be, I wouldn't know but this year numbers should be better for JU in SKP since JP's passengers will switch to flying via BEG.

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    6. Well JU numbers are booming in October and November. If their performance in SKP is getting worse during that time then I think the issue might be the market (oversaturation?) not the airline itself.

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    7. Their numbers have been falling for years yet other airlines have been growing significantly. Enough with the excuses.

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    8. You shouldn't give up without trying. If OU were not to start any route because JU was there, then JU wouldn't have started many routes where others were initially in a better position. OU can offer different times, competitive pricing, *A privileges.

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    9. Im going to take a guess and say that passengers are not liking the JU167 departure at 04,20am when OU367 departs at 05,50am. Same as the outbound sectors, OU366 gets into SKP at 22,45 compared to JU166 at 01,40.

      OU has more departures for SKP in the evenings where JU has the most at midday.

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    10. Yet JU is extremely popular in TIA, SKG, OTP ... with similar times so what's up with that?

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  10. Croatia Airlines made a huge mistake by not using Adria's bankruptcy to expand and position itself as a key airline in the region.

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    1. First huge mistake of Croatia Airlines was made in 1994. Lufthansa was changing its DC-10 fleet and the cooperation started with B737 which OU bought from LH was supposed to be extended to DC-10. At that time OU had engineers, pilots and cabin crew who flew DC-10 in JAT before and needed only short refresher training to get back to the type. Flights to New York, Chicago and Toronto were already published in 1994 summer timetable, and we were waiting the exact date to go to FRA for refresher. And than, literally overnight, the decision was announced that ATR is coming instead of DC-10.

      The second huge mistake, few years later, was decision to change reliable, excellently maintained, relatively new and 100% PAID B737 fleet for A320, which needed to be paid for, was drastically more expensive at that time compared to B737, needed completely new trainings for all of the staff, and was more difficult to fill and much more expensive to operate.

      The third huge mistake was to become LH feeder, instead building its network, making ZAG real hub, and taking advantage of tourism which was starting to re-blossom, industry which still existed, diaspora of the entire ex-yu territory which even expanded during the last decade of wars and unfavourable situation of regional competitors.

      The fourth huge mistake was to make the company sanctuary for political party buddies, relatives and nephews and mistresses and to invent for them positions non-existent in other airlines, which resulted in unreasonably high number of employees in general and especially administrative employees.

      The fifth mistake is lack of any strategy, plan and vision what, when and how to do.

      The result of these mistake is shameful condition of the company which will probably follow the pattern already set by Adria.

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    2. Very interesting. And unfortunate at the same time. It could have been a very different company were done crucial mistakes not made.

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    3. always enjoying reading your posts Rijeka. somebody should make a long interview with you :)

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  11. Ohrid would be nice but Croatia Airlines could also increase frequencies to Skopje. They are doing remarkably well there.

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  12. Zagreb is not some village, it's an economic, cultural and geopolitical center and high airport fees should not prevent the city from expanding. The country is hurting like this and the government must act for the sake of the country!

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  13. I think by now we can all agree that OU doesn't have a bright future. They sold all their assets, their network is stagnating, in winter they increase their losses every year, the loan they are getting is to pay for basic stuff ... maybe it's time for airport to look for what happens once OU disappears?

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    1. OU will dissapear if they do not ger privatised by June 2020 as they will have to pay back 30+ mil EUR based on EU rules

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  14. Montenegro Airlines should launch Zagreb 2x times per week. It could work.

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    1. MGX would purely serve locals, no transfer options.

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  15. Some of these would be a good option. OU should at least focus on some potential tertiary destinations.

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  16. Tirana, Pristina and Podgorica should be introduced from ZAG. I can only see Croatia Airlines being successful on these routes.

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  17. But OU already flew to Podgorica and Pristina and it didn't work out.

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    1. Circumstances were different back then.

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    2. No more Adria.

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    3. Sorry but you can't react to Adria bankruptcy which happened in September 2019 in March 2020.

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    4. It could have swooped in and picked up the passengers who prefer flying Star Alliance and have Star Alliance connecting flights. Idiots. Too late now as the above anon says.

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    5. And why you cannot react now? You need to react permanently to whatever happens and happened.

      Some reacted fast but even they will have to adjust and it is not so that their reaction estabilished the situation forever. JU increased frequences, but now it is almost all on ATR and I wonder what the LF and fares are on these flights. Maybe they will have to scale down now.

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    6. JU had solid performance before JP went bust so things should be even better now. Planes were upgraded because of JP passengers who were left without their flight. The market is stabilizing now and loads are still great, even on the 13.10 flight.

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  18. Doubt anything will change

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  19. Didn't someone say recently how Croatia Airlines is planning some surprises for next summer in terms of their destination network? Maybe we see some regional routes.

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    1. I doubt we will see any significant expansion from Croatia Airlines until the privatization process is completed.

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    2. And what if the privatization doesn't work out? They will never expand?

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    3. They will be closed as they will have to pay back 30+ mil EUR

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  20. If Croatia Airlines were to start all or some of these routes next summer they would need additional aircraft. Their fleet is stretched during the summer as it is.

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  21. Instead of SPU-SKP, they should have tried DBV-SKP. But Ohrid might work from Zagreb seasonally.

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    1. Why would DBV work better than SPU?

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    2. mind you they offered SPU-SKP for 300€ return back then.

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    3. Well no wonder it didn't work! That's too expensive for such a short flight.

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  22. Croatia Airlines should first introduce nonstop Zagreb-Rome and then everything else.

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    1. Actually first they need to find a way to get around seasonality.

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    2. And how can an airline do it while on the highly seasonal market? Please do explain.

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  23. Wizz Air could always start any of these routes ;)

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    1. Only if they get paid.

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    2. maybe RJK is a candidate. a cool city and not too far away from ZAG, Istra and Dalmatia and willing to subside airlines :D

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  24. Would be pretty amazing to get all these flights.

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  25. a seasonal May-Sept 2-3 weekly ZAG-OHD with a Dash is low risk if you look at the amount of croatian tourists in Ohrid. count in few transfer pax

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  26. I'm surprised Croatia Airlines left Podgorica and Pristina.

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  27. OU needs to grow - routes and fleet. Expand towards east.

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  28. And to think a few years ago Croatia Airlines had plans to open regional bases in Sarajevo, Skopje and Pristina.

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    1. Yes that was Kucko's plan. Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Tirana bases.

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    2. Had they done that they would have gone bust.

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    3. Yes, they would have followed in the footsteps of Adria which had a similar, highly unprofitable, model of business.

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    4. And they are not following in JP's footsteps now?

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  29. OU expansion in the ex-yu region is needed.

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    1. They don't have money for that

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    2. They also need more regional planes for that to happen.

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  30. Croatia Airlines wanted to keep flying to TGD but only in a codeshare with YM and only if YM operated at least one weekly flight. At the time, YM was not interested so they suspended the route.

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    1. Of course, there was very little YM could get from such a deal especially since they have a partner in the region.

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    2. That was before they made the codeshare with Air Serbia and it was at a time when Croatia Airlines and Montenegro Airlines were negotiating a closer partnership.

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    3. That would have been a disaster for YM. OU is becoming increasingly unpredictable, like they abruptly suspended LIS.

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    4. How was it abrupt when it was announced months and months ago? Not that I'm saying OU is doing great but them cutting down on Lisbon definitely wasn't abrupt.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/05/croatia-airlines-scales-back-lisbon.html
      Announcing that you are suspending Belgrade-Rijeka for example 5 days before the suspension is abrupt.

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    5. Are you seriously comparing Lisbon and Rijeka? Or their potential and size? Also I don't think you can put OU and JU in the same category. One is growing and booming and seems to be on the right track while the other is sinking deeper and deeper. I suppose you know which is which. ;)

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    6. It is irrelevant. Your point that they abruptly cancelled Lisbon was proven wrong.

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    7. Has it really been proven wrong? It was an abrupt decision which was made last minute without giving the market enough time to mature and prove itself. Also I think bringing JU into this discussion is the most irrelevant comment on this blog.

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    8. You were wrong. An abrupt decision is when you cancel a route after a few months of flying and make the announcment 5 days before the cancellation takes place. An abrupt decsion isn't when you have been flying a route for 3 years and announce you will trim down the season 7 months before that takes place.

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    9. Well we will have to agree to disagree I guess.

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    10. Well some things arent to agree to disagree about, because the point you made was utter nonsense. There are a lot of stuff to argue about when it comes to OU, and even the cancellation of the Lisbon route is one of those things, but it wasn't abrupt.

      Btw I am a new anonymous.

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  31. Croatia Airlines used to fly charters Skopje-Split (for the Makarska/Hvar/Brac bound tourists). maybe thats even more lucrative for OU then a scheduled flight

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    1. Certainly more lucrative. Do you know why it stopped?

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  32. Croatia has no longer interest in Prn Skp or Tia. they want agerman tourists with plenty of Euros.

    Long are the days when they shortly exploited Kosovo immigrants with "transfer" flights when Serbia didn't accept Kosovo travel documents.
    I also remember the 80Euro "transit visa fees" to just pass through Croatia. *cringes*

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    1. yes but their national airline cannot compete on the market with the condors,eurowings easy ones etc... they should secure whats left on the market

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    2. I don't think Croatian Airlines have any chance in these airports anymore.
      1. No significant no of people living in respective countries.
      3. Not an interesting stop for transfer.
      2. Not many want, or can afford to pay 20Euro for cevapcici plate in summer time. Esp. not when Montenegro, Albania or even Greece offer alot more for less money.
      Croatian should take an example of Air Serbia not compete with Eurowings that's ridiculous.

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    3. Where on earth did you see cevacici for 20 EUR in Croatia? There are some places where cevapcici are for 10 EUR, but mostly they are 5 EUR,somewhere even cheaper.

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    4. His point was that Croatia is very expensive country and probably the only one in Europe where the prices in restaurants are different for Croatians and foreigners.

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    5. Is it? Where? I live here and did not find this anywhere.

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  33. I am not holding my breath, market is small and there aren't any real airlines that could operate these flights. Also it doesn't help that ZAG is extremely expensive.

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  34. they should try with BUD. It is close to ZAG, flight time would not be long and demand is here. I'm quite sure they can add this route without too much changing in their daily roster for one Dash!

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    1. Why would someone use plane for BUD? By highway you are there in 3 hours. With plane you spend almost same time. Qatar had very cheap price and there was 6-7 passengers per flight. On what you base you statement that there is demand for BUD?

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    2. Well it takes you about four hours to drive from Zagreb or Banja Luka to Belgrade but people still take the plane. There are some people out there who just want to fly and save time. I am sure LO will announce any moment now BUD-ZAG.

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    3. Presume on up to 3 daily flights between BUD and ZAG operated by CRJ or F70 some decade ago operated by ex-Malev. With good or at least decent LF. But precondition for those flights is existence of solid connecting network of at least one carrier on at least on side, which at the moment does not exist, as Croatia Airlines 's network is miserable and Wizz does not offer connections, it' s only P2P

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    4. Above was meant to be answer to An. 16.40 but An. 18.07 jumped in between :)

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