Croatia Airlines eyes regional markets to counter Ryanair growth


Croatia Airlines is considering growing its presence on regional markets to offset rising competition from Ryanair, which last week announced a further two new routes from Zagreb for a total of 29. The Croatian flag carrier is looking to capitalise on its transfer pontifical via its hub, which Ryanair is unable to offer. Starting next week, Croatia Airlines will cooperate on the new service between Pristina and Zagreb, which is being operated jointly in cooperation with Trade Air on behalf of MyWings. According to the “Croatia Aviation” portal, the national carrier will not only wet-lease one of its Dash 8 Q400 turboprops for the service, but it will also allocate a certain number of seats on the route, so passengers from Pristina will be able to continue their journey via Zagreb to other destinations in Europe, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Copenhagen. Munich, London and Dublin.

The Croatian carrier is also looking into the possibility of linking Skopje and Ljubljana. Over 40.000 passengers flew between Macedonia’s and Slovenia’s capital cities each year prior to the bankruptcy of Adria Airways in late September of 2019. The route has been unserved since. Ljubljana Airport’s operator Fraport Slovenija had previously expressed interest for Croatia Airlines to serve Vienna, Skopje, Prague and Copenhagen. Earlier this year, the carrier’s CEO, Jasmin Bajić, said the airline was in talks with Slovenian authorities over improving Ljubljana’s connectivity. “Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport in order to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations”, the carrier said.

Croatia Airlines is also considering expanding its offer on the Macedonian market following talks with the operator of the country’s airports TAV Macedonia, Mr Bajić, noted, “If there is interest from Macedonian tour operators and partners, we are ready to expand our cooperation onto routes other than Zagreb and Skopje, like perhaps Ohrid and Split”. However, Tirana remains Zagreb’s busiest unserved route in the region. Last year, Croatia Airlines considered introducing operations to the Albanian capital prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. “Both parties agreed for talks between Croatia Airlines and relevant authorities in Albania to commence immediately in order for this important project [flights] to be realised as soon as possible”, the Albanian Embassy in Zagreb said last year. Based on OAG data, some 6.229 passengers flew indirectly between the two cities on a single itinerary in 2019.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    It's the only thing left for them to do. Hope they are successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:26

      They announced a few months back that they will focus on regional connectivity in order to offer better connections via Zagreb. And although I think OU lost many opportunities, this is their best way to remain in the game with Ryanair taking away so many P2P pax from them in Zagreb.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:52

      OU has immensely powerful when it comes to regional markets, ZAG regional pax numbers don't lie! For Croatia, OU is of strategic interest!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:56

      What regional markets? They only fly to Skopje and Sarajevo.

      Delete
    4. Those regional markets, you said it yourself!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:26

      Good idea, how about establishing good connectivity between SKP and BRU via ZAG? Austrian taking all transfer passengers at present. Also regular business passengers etc. I have found impossible to find a good connection via ZAG on this route whereas in the past it was good and also cheaper than OS. Here is an idea to begin with in your regional expansion

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    FR has shown it is not afraid to launch regional routes from Zagreb. I mean they fly Pidgorica, Sofia and Thesalonikki from Zagreb.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Good luck with that

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    Thinking ,considering, looking into possibilities, evaluating, waiting, estimating...

    All the possible actions except actually doing something. OU is the best source of hot air during these cold winter months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. gti15010:01

      ''Thinking ,considering, looking into possibilities, evaluating, waiting, estimating.''...... and shelves or give up in the end.....

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    In my opinion, their main focus should be Zagreb and trying to deal with Ryanair's onslaught.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:07

    I'm glad they are exploring new routes. This is best strategy they could have under current circumstances

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:10

      Where have they been the last few years during covid ? That's when you review, analyse, re-strategise and then act ... like NOW !!!!

      All these guys do is talk, issue news releases and then nothing, nada, zero .... no action. They are the world champions in doing absolutely nothing.

      They deserve everything that comes their way ....

      Delete
    2. Best strategy? They have NO strategy. No plan. No vision. No actuall will and capability to do anything. These are not even "firefighting" measures as their volume, even if they come to realisation which I doubt, are not sufficient for any serious improvement

      Delete
    3. Ne, ti imaš strategiju! I tebe se na ovom portalu sve pita!

      Delete
    4. Ovaj "ti" s malim "t", kao i ton komentara, govore sve. Laki je malo nervozan kad god procita malo istine koja boli do boli

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:08

    So their strategy is to have no strategy...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nemjee09:09

    Croatia Airlines is considering this, Croatia Airlines is considering that ... and like that for many years now. End result? Well we have it in front of our eyes.
    I think their financial report will give us an idea of how well they are managing to cope with FR.

    Btw does anyone know when ZAG is supposed to publish their financial report and does anyone know how they performed in 2019 and 2020?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just what I wanted to write NEMJEE! Considered... considered... considered....... Nothing!

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:09

    What about trying to restart discontinued flights from Zagreb like Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      I doubt we will see Lisbon come back since it has already been launched by TAP

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:03

      Most have already been covered by Ryanair.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:03

      Ryanair will overtake the routes.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:09

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha Hahahahahahahaha Hahahahahahahaha

      Delete
    2. Nemaš pametniji komentar, ti iz Rijeke (navodno)?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:14

      Njegov komentar je sasvim pametan kad se uporedi sa prvim komentarom.

      Delete
    4. Ha bolje i navodno iz Rijeke nego iz Ercegovne, uz ogradu i svo postovanje prema nemalom broju mojih prijatelja iz Hercegovine koji dijele moje stavove o OU i mafiji koja je vodi ka propasti a dolazi iz Ercegovne (to kad vec potezemo moje "navodno" iz Rijeke)

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:11

    These could work

    Zagreb - Skopje - Ljubljana - Skopje - Zagreb
    Zagreb - Ljubljana - Munich - Ljubljana - Zagreb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      It could work in winter but what do you do in summer when they need planes in Zagreb and the Croatian coast?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:38

      You lease more planes for seasonal operations. The above mentioned routes can work year round.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:56

      Should have introduced Ljubljana W formation flights in November 2019!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:08

      And Skopje in 2010.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:03

      Only issue with such schedule is connectivity as 50% of pax on those routes are transfer passengers. With flight ZAG-LJU-MUC you arrive at MUC to late to catch morning outbound flights. Same story in afternoon, you have to depart to early to catch inbound flight so again you have issues.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:13

    I think they are aware that it is too late. If they haven't reacted when Ryanair announced its first few flights to Zagreb, what are they going to do now when there are atc almost 30 routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:56

      They had many years to prepare for serious competition and it was bound to happen at some point. They must have been aware of that.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:06

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

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:29

    Running away from a fight is not a strategy.
    Strategy is done before the fighting begins, to position yourself on an advantages field where you can win.
    It is time for you to engage Ryanair on your terms and not fight back on theirs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      If you can not defend your home base, you will loose support of the government and people. Try to find where the supply of the pax come from. Position yourself in the middle and starve the Lauda out of ZAG.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:55

    This sounds like Adria's strategy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:29

      Actually their strategy sound more like Air Serbia. Trying to be the transfer airline from several markets. Too little too late.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:48

      OU will still make heavy losses if they go ahead with this strategy.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:47

      It seems like OU will go down the same way JP did - by spreading itself thin across secondary airports around Europe.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:55

    Croatia Airlines' growth opportunities are becoming smaller and smaller, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:31

      The current crisis has shown that opportunities have to be taken where they open up. Croatia Airlines so far hasn't taken up any.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:56

    It turns out that Kucko's plan from a few years ago, for OU to open up bases in several nearby countries like Bosnia and Albania would have put them in a much better position than they are in now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Yes, had they gone through with that, they would be bankrupt by now.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:06

      He could have done it if he wanted to.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:57

    They have a lot of work ahead of them

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:57

    I've lost all hope for OU.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:58

    At this point, I think, they should seek even closer ties with Lufthansa, maybe even get LH to take it completely under its own wing. I think this is the only way they will stay afloat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:24

      I think Lufthansa is more than happy having Croatia Airlines where it is at the moment.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:59

    The OU strategy saga continues.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:00

    Worth a shot. It's not like they have much else left to try.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:01

    I am shocked at OU's inertia. Ryanair is announcing new routes each month yet they seem to be sleeping as if Ryan is going to pack up an leave soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      +100

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:40

      Isn't it too early?

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:02

    Wouldn't it make more sense to start more European routes from Dubrovnik and Split and put greater focus on the coast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      You have competition in DBV and SPU. Even worse than in Zagreb.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:28

      Exactly. Because during the summer months there are 40-50 airlines operating operating intra-EU to the coast but all these airlines utilize their equipment somewhere else during the winter months, while OU is not able to utilize these equipment during winter. Besides, customers on scheduled flights tend to fly with the carrier they are familiar in their home market if possible, instead of unknown one. And it is not a secret that the demand for these flights come from abroad, automatically giving a disadvantage to OU.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:03

    Let's hope those talks with Aegean over acquisition restart ASAP. I don't see them being able to survive for long if they go it alone.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:04

    The should have launched TIA as early as last year after the lockdowns. Watch FR launch those flights too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:05

    Well they should do something so they can compete. These plans are not so bad. But they also said how they want to become the transfer airline for south east Europe yet this winter they only fly to Sarajevo and Skopje in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:48

      LJU - SKP is long overdue

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:06

    Just OU talking more about plans which rarely become reality.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:09

    The only chance would be if they became a kind of air dolomiti from Lufthansa. With regional jets like A220 or E195 / E170. It's too late for anything else, all opportunities have been lost, no more money. And the management would have to be completely replaced, but that won't happen because of the HDZ government

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:24

    Dead man walking!

    Anyway, good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:26

    Seems like OU is trying to play a bigger role in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:49

      Too late

      Delete
    2. Hahahahaha a bigger role??? Never in the history they played a less relevant role. Reality check.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous10:27

    Kroatovanje.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:27

    ZAG-SKP-LJU-SKP-ZAG would be prefect. With Dash 8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:40

      The Q400 is the ideal plane for the routes Ljubljana wants established.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous10:37

    Croatia Airlines has taken up 0 opportunities so far, and somehow I'm not sure these ones will materialize either.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous10:47

    The only thing OU "eyes" is bankruptcy and liquidation.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous10:47

    Come on they need to start year-round operations to Athens direct from Zagreb . ATH is a good hub being unserved during the winter . Let's hope that Aegean will fly year-round from next summer if Croatia Airlines doesn't fly year-round.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous11:12

    Hope it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous11:48

    This could improve LJU's connectivity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:21

      With one flight to SKP and possibly MUC? That's the improvement we are all waiting for 2 years :)

      Delete
  38. Anonymous11:49

    if MUC is still not covered from LJU that's another route possibility for OU beside SKP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:53

      There are so many routes uncovered in LJU that OU could move all fleet there..

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:53

      Lufthansa is starting Munich next summer

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:20

      They are starting it for 2 years and nothing happened. Another issue is that they want to operate it once per day (as most routes out of LJU) which is disaster as you need morning/evening flight to MUC to catch connections. So as someone said before, there is enough potential at LJU to bring whole fleet here.

      Delete
  39. Anonymous12:54

    OU stop spreading yourself too thin

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous12:54

    If this happens, I hope they offer decent prices.

    ReplyDelete
  41. They could start flights from Banja Luka to Ljubljana, Munich, Zürich, Berlin, Frankfurt. There's a need in BL region for those destinations

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:50

      Lol

      Delete
    2. Anonymous02:36

      That's why Air Srpska was such a smashing success, yeah?

      Delete
    3. That doesn't have anything with profitable business. That was politics. Wrong people on wrong places.

      Delete
  42. Anonymous13:36

    They even don't fly Zagreb-Berlin! Za ne vjerovati

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous15:45

    If they want to launch regional routes via Zagreb, fine but they have to do it properly, offer near daily or double daily. Not this 2 or 3 flights a week crap they do.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous15:48

    I see in last 2 days they have A319 flying to BSP ...either they are dead serious about improving regional connections or they are transporting arms to the Ukraine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:57

      BSP, Bensbach in Papua New Guinea is a bit of a stretch for the A319

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:53

      KBP my mistake!

      Delete
    3. PM and big croatian political and economic delegation visited Ukraine yesterday and today. 160 participants in HR-UA economic Forum. That's the reason for the flights. Do you really think they would be so stupid to go public with flights transporting arms?

      Delete
  45. Anonymous16:20

    Why not focus on long-haul destinations? JFK, MIA,ICN?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:30

      There aren't many taxpayers left in Croatia to fund such nonsense. Most of the population have emigrated.

      Delete
    2. "Most of the population emigrated", hahahahahaha. I mean yes, we are not the best in the EU, and yes, people are emigrating, two or three hundred thousand, but most of the population, please, give me a break. And yes, not starting long haul, not doubling or tripling regional services, and not getting rid of politically appointed management the latest decade ago is precisely what brought OU to situation where it is today, on the brink of bankruptcy

      Delete
    3. @16.20
      Disagree with MIA. NYC and ICN yes. YYZ, ORD, PEK, BKK, BOM/DEL as well

      Delete
  46. As usual, everyone’s as smart as a Nobel laureate.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous17:10

    I don't expect to even try LJU by themselves. According to Slovenian press OU proposal to the Slovenian government was unacceptable and it seems they are willing to do something only with great financial incentives. And it seems that OU is happy with "greatly increased market share in Slovenia after the bankruptcy of JP".

    ReplyDelete
  48. Matt Shatt Tampa FL17:23

    This will go down in tears as it did before. Track record of failed OU regional expansion:

    2016: The carrier intends to open bases in Sarajevo, Skopje and Pristina, as well as Tirana

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2016/05/croatia-airlines-unveils-major.html

    2017: potential in ... Romanian markets

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/05/croatia-airlines-eyes-further-expansion.html

    2019: President of the airline’s Supervisory Board, Zlatko Mateša, said the carrier was focused on launching services to Sofia and the Montenegrin capital.

    https://www.exyuaviation.com/2020/01/croatia-airlines-plans-fleet-network.html

    ReplyDelete

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