Croatia Airlines faces LCC battle


Croatia Airlines is expected to face significant competition this summer from Ryanair and potentiality other low cost carriers (LCCs) which have expressed interest in serving Zagreb after the airport began actively engaging with budget airlines to steer its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. This summer, the Croatian carrier plans to maintain flights to just eighteen European destinations from Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Rijeka. During April, it is it is operating services to thirteen international destinations. This in comparison to Ryanair which will run a total of 56 routes from Croatia, including 37 from Zadar, twelve from Zagreb, four from Pula, two from Dubrovnik and one from Split.

Commenting on its operations, Croatia's national carrier said, "Croatia Airlines is adjusting its network to existing demand and the epidemiological situation. Comparing the 2019 summer season to that of 2020 or 2021 is unrealistic and makes no sense. During the pandemic, Croatia Airlines is not terminating routes. It is gradually restoring them while monitoring the epidemiological situation on a daily basis, as well as market demand. The company is focusing on those markets where there is sufficient demand and we are constantly optimising our schedule. As a result, we are ready to restore certain routes and increase frequencies on existing services if there is an uptick in demand for flights". 

 Although Ryanair will be introducing twelve new routes from Zagreb, eight are to secondary airports for destinations already served by Croatia Airlines - London, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Rome and Oslo. Some of those have been temporarily suspended by Croatia Airlines due to the pandemic. Overall, at this point, Croatia Airlines has put 1.539.238 seats on sale for the summer, while Ryanair is pushing towards a million. The Croatian carrier will offer the most flights from Zagreb to Split, Dubrovnik, Frankfurt, Sarajevo, Zadar and Pula, while the most capacity will be offered from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, followed by Frankfurt, Split, Skopje and Amsterdam.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    This says it all:

    "This summer, the Croatian carrier plans to maintain flights to just eighteen European destinations from Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Rijeka. This in comparison to Ryanair which will run a total of 56 routes from Croatia, including 37 from Zadar, twelve from Zagreb, four from Pula, two from Dubrovnik and one from Split."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Croatia Airlines is correct in one thing and that is that it maintains Croatia's connectivity with the world throughout the year, while out of those 56 routes in summer, just 12 will be operating in winter.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      ^ Croatia Airlines is currently operating 13 international routes so I see little difference.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      Also Ryan said they may turn some Zadar routes into year round, depending on demand.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:18

      Key words: depending on demand.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      A solution for OU could have been opening a base in Ljubljana with one Dash when Adria went bankrupt. Now it's too late for that too.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:57

      oni ce se vjerojatno odluciti da preuzmu charter letove za Brac koji je za gruber letio Csa,pa tako vec u ovoj sezoni bi trebali letit Standardo Graz i Linz a od iduce sezone netko treba preuzet Bec i Innsbruck..

      da li ce to isto biti Croatia ili mozda u igru bude ukljucen i trade air sa fokerom,a nije iskljucen i fly air 41..

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:09

      In the end Kucko's idea of OU having bases in Sarajevo, Tirana and Pristina wasn't such a bad idea after all.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:21

      ^ I believe Kucko also proposed a Skopje base.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:22

      Adria had that strategy and look where it got them. They have more than enough cities and potential bases they can serve in Croatia.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:26

      Adria failed because of incompetent management

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:07

      Adria had unsustainable business model for decades.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous11:12

      It was quite good untill 4k came. Then they started to mix ACMI, scheduled and charter operations and this was the main reason that JP went bust.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous11:27

      OU had 7 years to apply the basic rule of aviation, choose a business model and follow it. If you're business model is hub&spoke, then do it properly. You shall not use half of your capacity to fly from coastal airports to third airports instead of your hub during summer months, especially when you have such a small fleet. Not only you jeopardize fleet utilization but also increase seasonality. If you want to benefit the seasonal opportunities at coast then go for it, don't try to carry transfer passengers or keep your fleet parked whole winter. Get some wet lease units and do the operations that way. At the end, when you are a political tool used by the governments, you can't expect the your decisions to follow business logic. And when you are forced to operate from SPU or DBV to FRA to increase the number of tourists coming to Split, then get ready to see double-triple digit minus millions in your financials.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous11:50

      "forced to operate from SPU or DBV to FRA"
      Literally no one forces them to operate these flights. During a summer there is a market there and OU should be there. If Aegean operates flights out of Heraklion, Santorini or Thessaloniki why would OU operate flights out of SPU or DBV?

      Delete
    15. Anonymous12:40

      OU's problem hasn't been a lack of strategy or ideas - they have had plenty of those. Their sole problem - especially during Kucko's time - has been a simple case of a LACK OF EXECUTION !!! And that sums up OU over the past decade - a decade of lost opportunity.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous12:53

      Interesting that Air France only operates international flights out of CDG.
      Not comparing AF to OU, just saying.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous14:08

      Not true at all, AF operates flights and from other airports in France. From Lyon it opearates Biarritz, Bologna, Bordeaux, Brest, Brussels, Caen, Lille, Lorient, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Milan–Malpensa, Nantes, Nice, Nuremberg, Paris–Orly, Pau, Poitiers, Prague, Rennes, Rome–Fiumicino, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Venice, and seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Brive,Calvi, Figari,Florence. And from other airports too.

      Croatia should be compared with airlines like Air Baltic or Aegean which have bases and in other cities like Vilnius, Riga, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Corfu, Snatorini, Mykonos...

      Delete
    18. Anonymous16:52

      Quite good until 4K came? Really?

      How many years did it break even or make profit in the last 15 years? Once?

      Delete
    19. Anonymous17:23

      Comparing to what 4k invest did to adria, the government owned adria was much better

      Delete
    20. Anonymous17:51

      There's a big difference between better and good. Losing 10m a year is better than losing 100m a year. Is it good? No.

      Don't forget that Adria would have gone bankrupt back in 2016 if it wasn't given the last government injection, which was the condition for the sale to 4K.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous18:10

      And sale to 4k has proven to be great deal, right?

      Delete
    22. Anonymous19:53

      No, it was just a way for the government to let the company go bankrupt without having to do the dirty work themselves.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    It's their own problem. They had many years to prepare for this and it was bound to happen at some point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      True but it could have not come at a worse time, during the pandemic.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Guys, more bad news. Switzerland just added Croatia to the quarantine list. What could this mean for tourism and flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      The one to watch will be UK's traffic light system which will be launched next month. Considering the amount of tourists coming from the UK it will be important that there is no quarantine required upon return.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      forget about UK tourists this year ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:22

      British minister of health said that people should not expect holidays this year. :(

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      Not quite. A traffic light system will be implemented from mid-May which will allow Brits to go on holiday.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:39

      Let's hope for the best

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:44

      .... and plan for the worst

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Will the government be able to help them again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      I really think there is a limit. They helped last year and the year before.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      The EU has been very lenient with the way aid has been distributed to Croatia Airlines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:54

      Suggestion to the government: give money to Croationa Airlines to start PSO routes that won't be successful ever and after 2 months just say "hey gus, there is no demand on this route, let's cancel it" and never give the money back. Remember AirSerbia's INI-BUD route ;). I would love to see a ZAG-BUD route :D.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:41

      Did you forget that OU received PSO for summer flights ZAG-DBV for every year in last 8 years?

      That's what I call wasting of money...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:12

      Anon 11:41: No PSO is issued for summer flights. They are given to provide year-round connectivity. During winter there are no passengers to make neither DBV and SPU commercially viable to operate, therefore PSO support is given to provide air transport connectivity to the citizens of these cities. But again, this support is given on yearly basis, dividing it into seasons to start an argument is your problem.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:14

      OU could feed Pragusa in DBV using taxpayers money.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    It's going to be a very difficult summer for OU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      More like difficult years.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      If they have years ahead of them. I don't think they'll survive the year. From June FR is viciously attacking them on Brussels-Zagreb. Without bureaucrats and all those who are working from home now, OU will have to fight with FR for locals. A battle they simply can't win.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:13

    But what can Croatia Airlines really do to stay competitive against Ryanair? I just don't see a solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Only thing they can do is to declare bankruptcy right now while they have assets to sell in the liquidation process. Like that damages the government will have to pay will be less.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:54

      Network aside, which is not so easy to recalibrate, especially when you have a small fleet and are then feeding into the LH Group's key hubs; about the only way left for the airline in which to truly increase its competitiveness is to innovate its products and services, to differentiate itself from its competitors.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      And how can they innovate their product and services?

      Their products and services are in line with all LH feeder airlines. Very uniform really - same seats, same catering offer, same fare types...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:03

      They could try on board wifi, or opening a dedicated lounge at Zagreb Airport.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:08

      Instead of focusing on competing, focus on what gives customers added value.
      If they will provide bigger value than competition they will have nothing to worry.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:12

      And how do you do that with their cost structure?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:22

      If they were smart they would have developed Dubrovnik and Split as large scale bases long ago.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:30

      What they can do, and what they should do, is leaving Star Alliance and joining OneWorld. OU has nothing to offer to Star Alliance, which already covers all of Europe. OneWorld is only active on the edges of Europe. Central and Eastern Europe are a huge hiatus for OneWorld that could be filled up by OU. OU could take on many different roles within OneWorld, but one thing is for sure: they would be filling a gap. And in that position, their flights will be fuller too. I don't see any other way to secure OU's future without government money.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:16

    So domestic routes seem to be leading the way with capacity and flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      That's the case with all airlines at the moment that have a domestic network.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      Yes because they are PSO so subsidized flights.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:39

      Is it true that no other airline can operate a subsidized PSO route other than the one that has received the contract?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:41

      Yes, it's true. Because if another airline want to open that same route, it means PSO is not necessary.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:42

      I would not be surprised if we see FR apply for some PSO routes. The tender for PSO routes that should have been held at the end of 2019 still hasn't happened under the justification that there is a pandemic, even though PSO flight tenders across Europe have been organized normally.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:43

      Maybe the government is trying to protect OU from loosing any PSO routes.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:52

      Croatia Airlans ce se vjerojatno sada vise fokusirat na Brac i pokusati preuzeti sve Charter letove sto je Csa letio za gruber,tako da ce vec od ove godine nastaviti s letovima za linz i graz,a ovisno o potraznji ,planiraju ici i sa a 319....
      u sljedecoj sezoni netko bi trebao preuzeti bec i Innsbruck a to bi takoder mohla biti Croatia..
      osim ako u igru ne upadne trade air sa fokerom ili pak sundair sa novom hrvatakom kompanijom...

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:07

      brac has very limited potential but is worth trying.
      In summer you should concentrate more on the coast, for example Split, Dubrovnik and Pula.

      Rijeka has a lot of potential, as there is little competition.

      it's too late for Zadar, ryanair is too strong there.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:13

      It is incomprehensible to me that OU does not fly ZAG-BER after Eurowings no longer operates the route.
      Berlin is one of the most important EU capitals, important economic connections and of course many emigrants.

      but it is probably too early for OU to react ;-)

      I think this is potentially a good opportunity for WIZZ

      Delete
    10. Anonymous17:01

      It is way too early to react. They still Heathrow slots to sell, maybe some engines as well. Once they sell everything, it will be time to think.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:21

    I don't see Croatia Airlines being able to do much before September when Ryanair launches its Zagreb base.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      I wouldn't write off OU that quickly.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:30

    Why protect Croatia Airlines? Isn't this illegal in the EU? It's good to let low-costs in: more flights, lower fares, more destinations...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:31

    For Croatia Airlines just to start to think of surviving they must send the Managment away, Stop the politics .They way this management is running Croatia Airlines in 6 month's time there won't be an airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:10

      So they listen to you and send managment away. What then ?

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:38

    I would love to see Croatia Airlines expand and grow and become profitable...

    but I am sooo sceptical about their future :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      I've been waiting for over 20 years for that...

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:40

    The airline with the most wasted potential in the whole exYU, they could be doing so much more with a more inventive and innovative approach!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:46

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:23

      Completely agree. So much potential, yet so little has been done.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:44

    I cant wait for Ryanair to come to Zagreb and commence flights. A breath of fresh air which has been needed for a while. I cant believe Zagreb airport didn't offer lower landing charges before. But it does not matter soon OU will fall because of it disgusting price list. I am waiting for the day LCC's move in to Ljubljana :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      With Skobir being the manager doubt they will come

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:15

      Croatia summer tourist structure is great fit for Ryanair.
      Slovenian not so much.

      So you will be waiting till the government pays Ryanair for pax carried.
      But this is no longer a remote possibility, as they already given 10MIL EUR to air sector last year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:19

      For 10mio per year we had really good connections in the past. I don't see why we should pay to foreigners to do what we can do as well

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:03

    Croatia Airlines needs action and concrete plans - BIG TIME !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:23

      Amen

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:36

      The airport gives a discount on launching new routes. What hinders Croatia Airlines to start some new routes? They should do the same as FR and W6: analyse the market and do some steps that is worth to do. This is not a rocket science for an airline with experinence.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:57

      +1

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:08

    One thing Croatia Airlines can do is start focusing more on charter flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      I believe they already are. They have been operating some charters from Ljubljana and Pristina from time to time.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:10

    Sorry but how did OU not see this coming. I mean it was only a matter of time. They should have been better prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:12

    Croatia Airlines still has the advantage over Ryanair by flying to main European airports. Also they carry a lot of connecting traffic through European airports.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:42

      A lot of connecting traffic?

      What a joke.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:44

      Yes it does have a lot of connecting traffic. Just because you have no clue about their passenger structure, does not mean they don't have it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:48

      There is really not much to know about their passenger structure.

      Feed LH hubs and decrease traffic share in Croatia with every following year.

      They were scared for ages to have a look on European map eastern from Vienna. What connecting traffic are you talking about? DBV-ZAG-FRA?

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:21

    IF Wizz Air comes to Zagreb as well, I really don't see a solution for Croatia Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      Possible solutions could be:
      1) Discover new destination, launch new routes based on market demand (they would get the same discount by the airport as FR and W6).
      2) Extend code-share agreements (this is one of their advantage against LCCs) to feed other airlines longhaul routes.
      3) Create value for their passangers (many ppl are willing to pay more if they get more), e.g. free wifi, doing more for the environment, opeing a lounge for every passanger (BangkokAir has a lounge in BKK, it's a bit basic but it's such a good feeling that you can eat a sendwich, have some cookies and drink a coffee before your flight), among others.
      4) Some of you mentioned longhaul as one possibility, but it's quite risky and needs an amount of investment. In my opinion, it is too late, it should have been done already.
      5) Increase the quality of in-flight service: better food, more choices etc.
      6) Introduce free in-flight entertainment system (e.g. streaming movies that could be watched on mobile phones).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:56

      +1: open a secondary base on the Balkans (like LOT did in BUD). They knew the market very well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:11

      Feed Pragusa in Dubrovnik ;)

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:49

      Give vouchers to your passengers for airport-city center bus transport via Pleso Prijevoz. While Ryanair passengers pay, your passengers may travel free of charge and you still can sell tickets more expensively.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:36

    Many airlines have survived strong LCC competition. Croatia Airlines will too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26

      because it's not always bad that you have LCC competition, for example when Transavia decided to fly on AMS-LJU, everyone within JP thought that JP will stop operating on that route. But in really JP go much more passengers on their flights compared to PY figures and they didn't do anything (prices and schedule remained more or less the same). But reason behind that was that LCC was strong marketing message for Slovenia but on other hand their schedule with 2 flights per week was really terrible. At the end people who wanted to travel with Transavia decided to travel with JP due to convenient schedule. So I strongly believe that OU did not say their last...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:50

      You mean 4 flights, not 2

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:56

      4 flights, not 2

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:17

      I believe they started with 2 at the beginning. Correct me if I am wrong..

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:42

      They started with 3 flights

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:55

      They started with 3 flights

      Delete
    7. Anonymous13:07

      ok..but the point is as I stated that LCC presence is not always negative, it could have huge positive effect on OU flights as well.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:12

    They can start again bus section. Passengers of RA needs transport to final destination.

    ReplyDelete
  21. notLufthansa12:25

    Ryanair and Wizz are like locus - they come, eat everything and when not interested any more, they leave. And they leave devastated aviation situation. On that note, it is imperative, that Croatia has streamlined busines case and firm determination to maintain good service. Otherwise, they will disapear in 2021. I don't have a good feeling. Just as they were sending DH8 to MUC few days before Xmas and New Year, when deamand was for A380. Ryanair and Wizz are going to eat them alive and Croatia will be left with only few routes in winter. Just as LJU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:46

      Can you give at least on example, where Ryan and/or Wizz ate up the national airline AND left a devastated aviation situation later?

      Delete
  22. decision expected in UK on 12 April re countries for travel. due to rising covid cases and poor vaccination rate in Croatia it is,expected HR will be on red list. this,means,that even if there are flights to Croatia, on return to uk, person must stay 10 days in airport quarantine hotel costing approx 2200 euros plus room service meals. nobody will do it.
    if this,happens uk would probable review every 3 weeks . so possibly Croatia for Brits from July..if covid results better?

    remember that last year TUI UK cancelled all of Croatia for whole season BEFORE croatia went on red list. it could happen again.
    awful.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous01:47

    The easy thing is to find an example where a local legacy airline had to deal with such a similar situation. And for this, you need look no further than Aer Lingus - which in its home hub, had to deal with a rampant Ryanair.

    Not only did they tackle it head on, but they reinvented their business; made hard decisions about their product, people, network and every other aspect of what Aer Lingus was to make a successful business that has not only survived, but continued to grow. And if I am not mistaken, the population of Dublin/Ireland is not that much more than Zagreb/Croatia - which has an amazing coast/inbound tourism sector.

    So where or what is the hard thing ? Imagine OU doing all of what Aer Lingus did in order to survive ......

    We may as well start writing the obituary .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous03:09

      Dublin is one of the largest financial hubs in Europe - even more so after Brexit - as well as Ireland has an enormous diaspora in the USA. Can't really compare it to Croatia.

      Delete
  24. notLufthansa19:47

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/13/france-ban-short-domestic-flights-britain-air-travel

    begining of end of LCC dominance

    ReplyDelete

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