Croatia Airlines rules out long-haul flights


Croatia Airlines has ruled out the potential introduction of long-haul operations, noting that both its current and future network planning will be focused on Europe. The carrier’s CEO, Jasmin Bajić, told the “Regional International” magazine, “Croatia Airlines’ fleet, both current and future, is adapted for regional intra-European traffic. Our primary role is to ensure connectivity within Croatia and maintain year-round links with international destinations. Additionally, given Croatia’s tourism-driven economy, we allocate capacity for strategic leisure routes, even during the winter months when other carriers may not operate”. Mr Bajić added, “Throughout the summer season, we prioritise connectivity while celebrating our two decades of membership in Star Alliance. This alliance enables us to provide substantial capacity to Star Alliance hubs, offering access to a wider array of destinations than our standalone operations could do. While overseas markets play a significant role in Croatia Airlines’ overall traffic, we prioritise efficient connections through our Star Alliance and codeshare partners”.

The Croatian carrier had transatlantic aspiration in the past. In the summer of 1994, the airline planned to lease a Lufthansa DC-10 aircraft to commence services between Zagreb and New York JFK. The airline had even gone as far as scheduling the flights, subject to government approval, however, the plans were dropped overnight. In 2013, the carrier’s management expressed renewed interest in introducing long-haul flights. Its CEO at the time, Krešimir Kučko, said, “In the future, it is my desire to include intercontinental flights in our network. I would like to see the long-haul model move from the dream phase to the planning phase, and then to the implementation phase”.

Mr Bajić noted the airline remains committed to shaping its network to reduce the highly seasonal nature of the Croatian market. “Our vision is to create sustainable year-round tourism over the next five to ten years. This goal will require a collaborative effort with the different stakeholders in the tourism sector, with Croatia Airlines playing a significant role”. The CEO added, “Croatia Airlines has meticulously tracked market trends and passenger demand to plan its routes accordingly. The focus remains primarily on destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean”. Croatia Airlines’ first new Airbus A220-300 aircraft of a total of fifteen A220 jets, is currently undergoing painting, which is expected to be completed this Friday. Its delivery is scheduled for late June, marking the start of the carrier’s transition into an all-A220 fleet.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Why did they drop the long haul plans in the 90s?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      Political decision from the top at the time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:17

      1994, OU had announced, published, and prepared for operation flights to New York, Chicago and Toronto, to be operated with ex-LH DC-10. They had pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground staff which had experience on type, LH was switching DC-10 to A340, with favourable contract which was continuation of cooperation after OU took their B737's from LH. Flights were announced, crew (most ex-JAT) were waiting for refresher/conversion trainings, and then, bloom, literally overnight, decision was changed that ATR was coming instead of DC-10.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:17

      The runway at ZAG at the time was too short for DC-10.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:20

      ^ yeah of course it was. JAT flew from Zagreb to New York several times per week for 20 years with ATR42, Air Canada flew from Toronto with Q400.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:00

      I took the bus from New York to Zagreb several times. that way i could smoke my cigarettes

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:47

      "Anonymous12:17
      The runway at ZAG at the time was too short for DC-10."

      Runway at Zagreb airport for better part of past 50 years was the same length, 3254m, tip to tip 3370m, in early 2000s it was upgraded to CAT IIIb. 2nd 3,2km parallel Runway was planned to existing one 2km apart, but this is when airport reaches certain level of traffic, although there are talks of adding this option soon so that air force can utilize one runway for its operations and as US Air Force and other NATO air forces operate from the airport on a regular basis, it would seem logical thing to do.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:15

      How can it be that the runway at ZAG at the time was too short for DC-10? JAT flew DC-10 didn’t they? I flew on JAT Belgrade-Zagreb-Chicago. I don’t remember but it had to have been DC-10. Wasn’t that that plane that JAT used for long-haul in the 1980s?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:22

      ^ of course it wasn't too short and JAT flew with DC-10s. Even Qantas landed several times with B747 when there was fog in BEG.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Their route network is "meticulously" planned? To me the Ryanair expansion to leisure holiday destinations from Zagreb (and their success) shows to me it never even crossed their mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:01

      +1 agree. Not saying all routes FR launched could work with their cost structure but some certainly could have.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    New York, Seoul and Singapore/Bangkok could all work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      I think there is even more potential. China and Japan even.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      No they could not.
      The3y would only cause big losses. But they would offer cheap tickets to connecting travelers from other countries.
      Just like JU had to do for years on its JFK flight.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:14

      Croatia Airlines could have launched long haul flights over a decade ago and been profitable on long haul services long ago. You are talking as if they are a highly profitable airline. In fact they are far from it. But I completely agree it would be ludicrous for them to do it now. They have one of the lowest average load factors in Europe. Under 60% and that's just on European flights. Let alone that they fly from Zagreb to Rome via Split.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:47

      @anon 09:10

      Please inform LH, KL, OS, AF that they should cancel their wide body flights in order not to have losses due to cheap tickets they offer from time to time.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:44

      Yeah, Mexico City, San Francisko, Bogota and Ulan Bator would also work. No offence, but OU is small company under LH control.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:52

      @09:47 LOL, why not inform instead Aegean, an airline much closer to OUs size than the LH group and AF/KL???
      And based at a country (Greece) that is a lot more similar in Croatia in seasonality of travel?

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    Annoying. Not because I think they should fly long haul but because his statements are just a confirmation that they plan to continue to be a Lufthansa feeder airline. I mean he literally says it in black and white. So much wasted potential and so much for change after the A220s come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      I agree. Plus, LH is not even that good of an airline, nor is FRA a good hub. So in a way, you’re feeding a less-than-great partner, further diminishing your reputation perhaps.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    Pity

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:10

    What are the busiest unserved long haul routes from Zagreb?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      I think it was published here a while ago. JFK is number 1.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      New York flights are long overdue but not with OU.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      The only chance of these US flights happening is for Croatia Airlines to lease a widebody and start it themselves. This would also allow them to start other markets like Korea.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      Apart from that being extremely expensive, I don't see much point in OU doing that. They already carry a lot of transfers to the US. Why bother with an expensive route when you can just shuttle people to Frankfurt which seems to be their only successful destination.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:29

      ^ And that's how they loose so much money. On a ZAG-FRA-JFK ticket they get peanuts for the ZAG-FRA sector, even less than they would get on a point to point ticket while Lufthansa gets over 90% of the ticket value. With fares to the US not being expensive in the first place, OU gets very little money from it.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:05

      US carrier will eventually come to ZAG.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:09

      What I do not understand is the fact the Croatian passport holders do not require USA visas and there are still no flights from Croatia Airlines!

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:14

      ZAG-NYC route would be more successful than some of OU's European ones.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:15

      I've lost all hope for the US flights.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:24

      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.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:27

      LA would be best option for Zagreb. Half of guest that visit Croatia are from California and 50% of them goes to Plitvice lakes. Now they fly through New York or some other city on east coast,so definitely they would be more interested in direct flight.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous11:30

      LAX-ZAG has a lot of potential but only if flights are timed in such a way to offer fast connections to BWK, OSI and OMO.

      Delete
    13. Vlad11:34

      @anon 11:24

      The ticket price for direct flights would be higher, not lower. But it would enable passengers to avoid the utter mess that is FRA.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous01:14

      @10:09, Slovenian people, didn't need visa to the USA, even don't have an airline. No sense your comment

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:15

    That ship has long sailed unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:17

    They are talking about decreasing seasonality yet every new route they have launched since 2016 has been seasonal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      I think some of the new routes they launched this summer may be year-round.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:46

      Berlin most likely.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:48

      Hope so

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:02

      Stockholm would also be logical to me.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:59

      What did they launch? ARN, BER and TIA? Anything else?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:05

      Yes, those from Zagreb (Tirana is starting next month) and Split-Istanbul.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    Instead of buying a220s, croatia should acquire one or two 757s on pay when fly basis, so they can just put them in storage in winter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      😂

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      I really hope the comment at 9.18 is being sarcastic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:02

      LOL

      Delete
    4. Anonymous08:56

      B757 no way, of course, but what about two or three A321XLRs ?

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:18

    Where is the Croatian diaspora in the US mainly concentrated?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:19

      Chicago

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:24

      And south California, San Diego in particular

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:53

      Pennsylvania, over 250 000 Croats live there, Ohio - 50 000~, Illinois - 150 000+, Michigan - 30-50 000, Washington State - 40 000~, California - 300-320 000. In US, around 1.5 million Croats mostly 2nd and 3rd generation, a few first generation.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous04:48

      New York is a massive market not only with Dispora but American vacationers who love direct connections. A direct route would be an immense success.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:21

    Could have been successful if they started years ago. Star Alliance member, could have boosted regional network, has relatively strong diaspora, strong leisure demand in summer....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:04

      Yes there was potential and much less competition back then.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:29

    Well, economic moments like this are the perfect time for expension. If the airline figures out the downturn on time, they can reduce the capacity and wait for better times.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:29

    They don't need long haul flights

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:32

    Smart decision

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:32

    Is there any chance of a management change at OU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      No, especially with the new/old government.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:34

    Kucko had more vision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:36

      He sold the Heathrow slots

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:44

      How many slots?
      And how much are left?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:41

      He sold three weekly slots. They have four left. They use 3 from Zagreb and 1 from Split.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous00:27

      Thank you!

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:36

    Did anyone even expect them to go long haul?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:37

    To me it would be smartest if they could get 2 A321XLRs and start long haul. There is a reason Aegean is doing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:20

      There is a huge difference . Aegean is not aiming in US or Canada flights . This market is waste of money for them since 5 airlines are flying to USA and 2 airlines are flying to Canada. They are aiming for flights to India , greater middle east region and Nigeria , Kenya and Ethiopia .

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:24

      Absolutely a very smart move from Aegean since ,exept Ethiopian airlines , no other airline serves those countries to ATH .

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:55

      Well, OU should go for 2 A321 XLR, for North American flights, year round, atm no year round flights despite the fact Croatia is visited by around 800 000 US Visitors and 250 000 Canadian visitors.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:00

      Now read the article.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:38

    I can only dream that one day Croatia Airlines will start long haul flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:20

      Maybe Ryanair and Easyjet will too. They are very successful and have a lot of money for such endeavours.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:38

    They would need a supporting network to start long haul, which is something they don't have at the moment. Not strong enough anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:39

    Long-haul routes are only economically worthwhile via a large hub with a large number of feeder flights. Otherwise the price is not competitive.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:42

    Lufthansa connects everywhere for OU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      Maybe if ties with LH were not that strong, they would be able to launch flights of there own.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:00

      But is Lufthansa the Croatian publics first choice? Don't think so.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:48

      Lufty is German. For the Croatian public everything German is GOD.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:20

      * good

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:01

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:42

      ???

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:46

      I'm also wondering on what in this case...

      Delete
  24. Vlad10:23

    If this article doesn't force our friend Pozdrav to come out of retirement, I don't know what will 😁

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:41

      He found his luck on analiticar's blog.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:47

    His comments about their sole goal of feeding Star hubs makes me angry 😡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:14

      Business as usual.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous11:02

    The last sentence is best. Livery painting being completed this week. Can't wait to see the A220 in new OU colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:14

      Yes, can't wait :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:01

      I think you would hardly notice the difference.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:15

    It's unfortunate that the national flag carrier has no interest in long hauls.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous11:17

    wow had no idea they planned long haul flights in the 90s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:02

      They also had big expansion plans for Zagreb Airport too.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous11:43

    If FR decides to keep DBV base over winter then you will see how the tourism in Croatia will begin to be year-round. What is the significant role of OU in that? Flying half empty planes from two cities? Low fares make the demand always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:46

      They are keeping the base over winter.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous13:06

    I believe that the airline that Croatia Airlines takes as an example is Air Baltic

    ReplyDelete
  31. Miroslav NY14:22

    Pozdrav is on vacation in Dubrovnik. He is drinking coffee on the beach with Jasmin,

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous15:08

    So boring. If OU was at the least a break-even company, ok than they would have leg to stand on when they plan on operating the company as usual. But clearly as demonstrated by other carrier, Croatia has a long-haul market. OU should be all over this and at the very least look into seeing how they could make it happen and not just ignore this potential.

    Lazy lazy carrier

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:56

      Stop dreaming and face the reality presented in the news article. Airline said both its current and future network planning will be focused on Europe. You can repeat your wishes until you are blue in the face but that won't change a thing. Not now, not in the future.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous16:01

    Where the hell is Pozdrav Iz Rijeke??😂😂😂

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous18:54

    Excuse me Mr Bajic but intra-european flights are now taken care for by Ryanair.
    The only thing you get are crumbles.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous19:06

    The Croatian community in the US and Canada has been lobbying for direct flights for years. JAT used to have 6 weekly flights from North America. Plus flights from Australia. And the Croatian emigre community complained for years that Croatians were pouring money into a Belgrade based company.

    I do not see the reason direct flights are not instituted. Air Serbia, after all, flies daily from JFK. And many Croatian immigrants from the US now fly to HR via Belgrade.

    It is also off putting to "ordinary" American tourists to be told that there are no direct flights to Croatia. I know of several people who determined not to go to Croatia given the lack of a convenient flight.

    A contrary argument to my points above could be made based on the fact that Delta, American Airlines and United stopped their direct flights to Dubrovnik.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:24

      United Airlines flies Newark Liberty International Airport to Dubrovnik Airport.
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2023/05/united-airlines-sees-strong-dubrovnik.html?m=1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous06:11

      United still does its seasonal service 4 time a week, and this year they are flying the 767-400

      Delete
  36. Anonymous19:30

    https://www.thedubrovniktimes.com/news/dubrovnik/item/16374-direct-from-nyc-to-dubrovnik-united-airlines-launches-summer-flights

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous23:39

    Since OU doesn’t want to fly nonstop to the US, I will never understand why they don’t codeshare with UA on the nonstop flights EWR-DBV. a A star alliance partner. It’s mind boggling

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous00:23

    Why cant they just take Lufthansa and stop complain.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous01:19

    So many advisors here with a lot of aviation experience. Awesome !

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous01:21

    So many advisors here with a lot of aviation experience. Awesome !!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous10:28

    Why have the flights stopped from Dublin to Pula

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous12:17

    Seeing Croatia Airlines tail among other long haul airlines at the JFK for example, or any other same similar airport would have an impact on Croatian tourism similar like success of Croatian sportsman. Definitely something positive and for the country which is tourism oriented needed. And logical! If we talk about the US and Canada, that would especially make sense, because of Croatian diaspora who live there. And I am 100% how 100% of them would fly with UA back to Croatia on holidays or see their relatives, rather then with any other established carrier. As long as UA would keep the same standard and prices as Lufthansa, KLM or any other from that league, which I believe would be the case. I’ve been flying a lot, from Air France, BA, Lufthansa, KLM, inside EU and overseas and I can say from my experience, UA’s pilots and cabin crew are in that league or even better, definitely nothing to be ashamed of. With the decent plane UA can easy cover overseas flights and grab its share. I mean if Air Serbia can, I don’t see any reason UA can’t! Connecting US and Canada should be easy for UA these days, especially in summer time, they could easy fly directly from/to Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik from/to NY, Chicago, LA, Toronto and even Vancouver, there is diaspora, there are Croatian relatives from Croatia who would fly there, there are modern days Croats who fly touristic, private and business wise towards US and Canada, there are non Croats who would fly with UA rather then take longer flights via Amsterdam, Frankfurt, etc., and there are members of other nations with the huge diaspora from the former Yugoslavia who would fly with UA towards and from US and Canada. Plenty of Bosnians and Herzegovian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Montenegros, even Serbs. Normal people would not look on this as something political or 90s related, more as an opportunity to fly easier and cheaper. At the end how many Croats are flying now from Belgrade to NY with Air Serbia. Big numbers. Croatia as a country and touristic destination is now more and more recognised, there should be no fear that long haul flights would not work. Well only if hdz involves, like you in 90s, then everything is possible. If they would allow UA to connect US with Croatia back then, today UA would be descend player on the map of the long haul carriers. Only Croatian diaspora back then would help them carry that business to the right path and proper numbers. Also, I didn’t mention huge Croatian diaspora in Latin America. Even flights to Buenos Aires would be at least 80% full all the time. But definitely covering from LA, Atlanta, Miami or CDMX like a connection to those flights would work, especially CDMX because of US visa policy. If we look towards east, how many tourists are visiting Croatia lately?? China, India, even from Emirates. And let’s not forget 200K Croats who live and work in Australia and New Zealand, plus at least 200K or more of others from the former Yugoslavia as a potential passengers. Oh yes, did I mention huge and wealthy Albanian diaspora from the west and east who btw sympathise Croatia from the political reasons and would definitely chose and fly UA to flight with? Especially because there is a connection between Zagreb and Tirana and Priština. What I wrote is from my personal experience flying around the globe and some common sense. I am not saying I am right, because from the closed doors things are always non logical and get complicated. Mostly because someone is greedy or simply stupid. Let’s not forget in UA case, hdz (evil) definitely have its own people on the board of directors. Someone like Njonjo let’s say. Or even worst, which is their standard for already 35 years almost. No wonder there is no progress in any segment of Croatian life and UA is not excluded of course!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous23:42

    A political choice, LH won t let OU operate long haul because OU is a feeder for LH s long hauls .... disgusting Cro gov pathetically weak ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:06

      Imagine A330-800neo in the (new, unseen yet) CTN livery. DREAM ON. ! :). If they should go long haul, please not with the A321XLR. Don't want to sit in a tube of this dimension for not longer than 3 hours.

      Delete

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