Friday, 16 December 2022

Croatia Airlines: New Brac-Munich Connection for Tourist Season 2023

December 16, 2022 - Croatian tourism never sleeps. Though it's only December, and the new tourist season is expected to start in the late spring or early summer months, the preparations are already underway. Among the first such news came from the director of commercial affairs of Croatia Airlines, Slaven Žabo, who announced that during the next tourist season, they would connect Croatia with a total of 22 international destinations.

As 24Sata writes, Croatia Airlines announced on Tuesday that it has introduced a new seasonal route, Brac - Munich, in cooperation with the Brac Airport and other stakeholders in the Croatian tourism sector, and the airplane on that route will operate once a week.

Flights on the Brac - Munich route are planned for the period from the end of May to the first half of October 2023, on Saturdays, and the aircraft to operate on that route will be the Dash 8-Q400 Croatia Airlines, with a capacity of 76 seats.

Croatia Airlines says that this route has significant potential, given that this year most foreign tourists arrived on Brac from Germany, which was a rise of 5 percent compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.

The director of commercial affairs of Croatia Airlines, Slaven Žabo, said that during the next tourist season, they would connect Croatia with 22 international destinations, make more than 17 thousand flights and offer more than 1.8 million seats, while the planes will fly on a total of 47 international routes.

"In this context, I would like to remind that we are again planning charter flights from Graz and Linz to Brac, as well as regular domestic flights Zagreb - Brac twice a week, which together with the new line Brac - Munich undoubtedly,, represents a strong contribution of Croatia Airlines to the business of the Brac airport, and at the same time, helps strengthen tourism in the Split-Dalmatia County," Žabo pointed out.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Croatia Airlines Signs Contract with Airbus, Purchases A220 Planes

November 29, 2022 - Croatia Airlines and Airbus have signed a contract for the purchase of the most modern Airbus A220 aircrafts, a step towards Croatia Airlines replacement of all their aircraft with a new unified fleet by 2026 and a complete switch to jet propulsion.

The Croatian national airline announced the signing of the contract today, reminding the public that the replacement of the fleet represents a long-term process of transition, and that there will be a period of adaptation of all business processes to the new aircraft. This, they say, will further optimize the operations of the national airline, ensure better occupancy of the passenger cabin, and better utilization of the crew, while Croatia Airlines will become an even more environmentally friendly airline and will significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

In addition, significantly higher quality and more pleasant flights will be provided to passengers, but also far more economical and sustainable business, according to the press release, which does not include financial details of the contract. The President of the Management Board of Croatia Airlines, Jasmin Bajić, stated that considering the demands of passengers, trends in the highly competitive Croatian and global aviation market, fuel prices and CO2 emissions, as well as the goals of the EU's green policies and the no less important fact of the ageing of the existing fleet, the decision on fleet replacement of Croatia Airlines is imperative and fully compliant with the adopted post-covid strategy. "I am happy that we are entering a new business development cycle with a partner we know well and who, based on long-term cooperation, really offered us conditions that we are currently able to accept," Bajić said.

Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Business of Airbus Christian Scherer stated that he is glad that Croatia Airlines is the new customer of the A220 aircraft. "The A220 is ideal for Croatian aviation needs due to its operational flexibility and efficiency, which will help the company achieve its ambitions of regional and international connectivity and the provision of superior services in any aspect, whether it is passenger comfort or travel economy and flight occupancy," he said.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Croatia Airlines to Get Six Brand New A220 Planes by 2026

October the 6th, 2022 - Croatia Airlines is set to get six new aircraft by the year 2026, replacing their fleet with planes manufactured by Airbus to increase competitiveness in the post-pandemic period.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia Airlines (CA) has decided to replace all of its existing aircraft by 2026 with a new non-listed "single type" jet-powered fleet, and for the renewal of the fleet they have chosen an Airbus 220 type aircraft, manufactured by the European manufacturer Airbus.

The national airline decided on the above in accordance with its wider post-pandemic strategy which was initially adopted back in August 2021, all with the aim of renewing the fleet, increasing the efficiency of operations and further strengthening their overall competitive ability. When it comes to competitive ability, there was a lot to be desired for, especially with the arrival of the Irish budget carrier Ryanair at Zagreb Airport.

The replacement of the Croatia Airlines fleet will be realised through the order of six brand new A220 aircraft, which were contracted as an addition to the existing contract concluded by the company way back in 2008, then signed for A319 aircraft, which were then replaced back in 2015 with the new A320 type.

They have stated from Croatia Airlines that when making this decision, special attention was paid to trends in the highly competitive aviation market, fuel prices as we continue to live through inflation and CO2 emissions, the goals of the European Union's green policy, as well as the obvious being passenger requirements.

"The new and higher-quality A220 aircraft, with a capacity of 148 and 127 seats, will ensure a better response to the specific needs of our passengers and deliver a more efficient business model, thanks to which additional opportunities will open up within our business, ensuring sustainable development for our passengers, our owner, the Republic of Croatia, and our employees," Croatia Airlines said in a statement.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel and business sections.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Croatia Airlines Winter Routes for 2022/2023 Schedule Announced

September the 15th, 2022 - The Croatian national carrier is set to attempt to fight the competition with some new Croatia Airlines winter routes for the 2022/2023 schedule.

As Morski writes, the national carrier recently announced that it would introduce several new Croatia Airlines winter routes this season. These are international which will run from October the 30th, 2022 to March the 25th, 2023 and offer a total of 28 percent more flights and seats compared to last year's winter flight schedule. Croatia Airlines will as such be directly connected with thirteen international destinations owing to nineteen international routes in the upcoming winter period.

The company plans to carry out more than 8,500 regular flights and offer about 869,000 seats on them, which is 28 percent more flights and seats compared to the 2021/2022 winter flight schedule. These Croatia Airlines winter route flights are direct ones between Split-Zurich and Pula-Zurich, which will run twice a week from the end of October to mid-January 2023, and flights on the regular route between Rijeka-Munich will run three times a week owing to increased demand for them.

By the end of January 2023, flying on the regular Zagreb-Dublin route will be carried out twice a week, and the Osijek-Munich route which also flies twice a week, will continue.

During the winter period, Croatia Airlines aircraft will directly connect Zagreb International Airport with a total of thirteen European destinations - Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Munich, Paris, Rome (Via Split), Sarajevo, Skopje and Zurich, While from the Split Airport, there are currently planned flights to four international destinations: Munich, Frankfurt, Rome and Zurich.

When it comes to domestic flights, Croatia Airlines has announced their plan for the continuation of the air connection of the following Croatian cities this winter: Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar and Pula.

The network of international and domestic flights during the upcoming winter season has been adapted to current demand, which is continuously monitored from within the company, and the planned flying order is subject to changes depending on the development of both epidemiological and security situations in Croatia and across the world.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Croatia Airlines Serves Slavonian Snack to Promote Destination

August 30, 2022 - 600,000 passengers on many routes, from Zagreb to destinations around the world, will see and taste the Slavonian snack.

As SiB writes, the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Croatian Tourist Board, and Croatia Airlines are from August 1 to November 30, 2022, implementing the joint promotional project "Tastes of Slavonia". Passengers on all flights of the Croatian national airline are served a Slavonian meal, which represents a special experience, and at the same time promotes Osijek-Baranja County as a tourist destination, as well as the gastronomy of Slavonia, Baranja, and Srijem. This way, more than 600,000 passengers on 10,000 flights to 30 international and domestic destinations can taste Slavonian delicacies, and thus destinations.

On this occasion, yesterday (August 29, 2022), a press conference was held at Osijek Airport, where the director of Osijek Airport Ivan Kos, director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board Ivana Jurić, director of commercial affairs of Croatia Airlines Slaven Žabo, Osijek Deputy Mayor Dragan Vulin, and Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić spoke about the project "Tastes of Slavonia".

The Director of Osijek Airport, Ivan Kos, initially thanked Croatia Airlines for the partnership on the "Tastes of Slavonia" project and expressed his belief that Slavonia and Baranja will be presented to passengers on all lines through this unique project.

"The products of Slavonia and Baranja in the air through the Tastes of Slavonia project in cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board and Croatia Airlines will last four months. It is a project that invites you to visit the destination through the flavours, because good food is one of the first associations with Slavonia and Baranja, with Osijek-Baranja County as the largest tourist county in the east of Croatia. This confirms once again that the east means hedonism, which means a lot of good food and drink, as well as the events that the destination offers. We are happy that we are promoting the destination not only on domestic but also on international flights, and we continue our good cooperation with Osijek Airport, Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek and the Croatian Tourist Board," said the director of Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board Ivana Jurić.

She explained that "Slavonian snack" is part of the "Croatia full of flavour" platform as a project of the Croatian Tourist Board, and that the package distributed to passengers includes crackers based on corn and red pepper, which are associated with Baranja, its fish stew, and other flavours that we find in dried meat products, followed by čvarak spread, kulen (spicy sausage), pickled vegetables and a contemporary interpretation of the Slavonian Šapice as a dessert. There are different package sizes, from the crackers handed out on shorter domestic flights to the full package given to passengers on longer international flights.


Osijek-Baranja County

The Director of Commercial Affairs of Croatia Airlines, Slaven Žabo, pointed out that through this joint project, which is based on the wider project of the Croatian Tourist Board (Croatia, Full of Flavours), a range of products/meals for flights was put together that actually represent traditional Slavonian specialties, spices, and other products of this region.

"This joint project is the crown of cooperation between Croatia Airlines, the Tourist Board of Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, the Croatian Tourist Board, and Osijek Airport, through which we established an international Osijek-Munich route that operates all year round. Its added value, apart from enriching Croatia Airlines’ offer on its flights, is that we have also created the preconditions for the promotion of the specialties of this region," said Slaven Žabo.

The Deputy Mayor of Osijek, Dragan Vulin, expressed his satisfaction that, as he said, the best possible flavors will be available to all passengers on Croatia Airlines flights and will thus contribute to the branding of the food from this area. He pointed out that compared to last year, the City of Osijek now records 55 percent more arrivals and 28 percent more overnight stays of tourists, and in August (until August 25) the record from August last year was exceeded.

"Through the project "Slavonian snack" we can see the continuation of the activities for the promotion of Slavonia and Baranja that we announced and started several years ago. We are still doing this together with Croatia Airlines, our Tourist Board, the Croatian Tourist Board, and the City of Osijek. We are glad that around 600,000 passengers on many routes, from Zagreb to destinations around the world, will see and taste the Slavonian snack, and it is precisely our goal to increase the visibility and quality of our service and offer", said Prefect Ivan Anušić. He added that the results of tourist visits in Osijek-Baranja County this year are better than the record year of 2019 and that the County wants to remain the leader in the development of continental tourism in Croatia, so it continues to strengthen tourism and the economy in all segments.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

First Positive Monthly Financial Croatia Airlines Result Recorded in June

August the 2nd, 2022 - The very first positive monthly financial result for the enfeebled national carrier Croatia Airlines was recorded back during the month of June this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the operational loss of the Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines (CA) during the first half of this year stands at an absolutely enormous 170.3 million kuna, and the net loss is 164.1 million kuna, despite the gradual recovery of demand and mainly due to the increase in fuel prices, Croatia Airlines announced recently.

They pointed out from Croatia Airlines that the company's very first positive monthly financial result since the beginning of the global crisis caused by the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic was achieved back in June this year.

In the period from January to June 2022, a total of 10,054 flights were successfully carried out by Croatia Airlines, which is 85 percent more compared to the same period last year.

558,146 passengers were transported, equal to 2.7 percent more in comparison to the same period back in 2021, but still 42 percent less compared to 960,620 passengers transported in the same period during the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

400,887 passengers were transported in international regular traffic, almost three times more than in the same period last year, while 146,428 passengers were transported in domestic regular traffic, twice as many as back during the first half of 2021.

When it comes to charter traffic, 10,831 passengers were transported, which is 77 percent more compared to the same period back in 2021. Cargo transportation was 14 percent higher, and cabins were filled by 56.2 percent, 10.9 percentage points more than back during the first six months of 2021.

The flight structure was adapted to traffic needs and circumstances, and the emphasis was primarily placed on the use of the Q400 fleet in addition to increasing the use of the Airbus fleet.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Croatia Airlines Spokesperson Talks About Summer Schedule, Results So Far

July 29, 2022 - Croatia Airlines spokesperson Davor Janušić talks about this year's summer flight schedule, Osijek routes, and the results achieved so far. 

In this year's summer flight schedule (March - October 2022), Croatia Airlines planes in domestic regular traffic directly connect Osijek with Split and Dubrovnik: flights to Split run on Fridays, and the Osijek - Dubrovnik route runs on Wednesdays (instead of on Thursdays). At the beginning of May, the year-round international line Osijek - Munich was introduced, with flights on Mondays and Fridays.

Connecting Croatia
Croatia Airlines continues to ensure the air connectivity of Croatian cities and regions with its regular domestic flights, which include flights between 7 Croatian airports (Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Zadar, Pula, and Brač).

Summer flight schedule 2022 
"In this year's summer flight schedule, Croatia Airlines is expanding its network of international destinations, renewing part of the international routes that were not operated during the pandemic, and intensifying flights on existing routes in international and domestic traffic. It is planned to connect Croatia with 21 international destinations, i.e., 22 European airports, and Croatia Airlines planes will fly on 41 international routes. In that period, we plan to operate more than 16,000 flights and offer around 1,766,000 seats, which will allow the national airline to contribute to the quality of the Croatian tourist product and improve the transport infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia. We plan to connect Split Airport with a total of 18 European destinations, regular international flights are planned from Zagreb to 15 European destinations, Dubrovnik is directly connected with 6 European destinations during the season, and the seasonal line Rijeka - Munich is being re-introduced," says Davor Janušić, Croatia Airlines spokesperson. 

Croatian Aviation reports on Croatia Airlines' results so far this year: 

"Croatia Airlines, in the first half of 2022, despite the gradual recovery of demand for air transport services, and mostly due to the negative effect of the increase in the price of jet fuel on the financial result, realized an operating loss in the amount of HRK 170.3 million, which with the net result of financing gives a net loss of HRK 164.1 million. At the same time, it should be noted that in June of this year, the first positive monthly financial result was achieved since the beginning of the pandemic crisis.

From January - June 2022, a total of 10,054 flights were made, which is 85 percent more compared to the same period last year. The flight structure was adapted to traffic needs and circumstances, and the emphasis was on the use of the Q400 fleet in addition to increasing the use of the Airbus fleet.

Easing epidemiological measures and the recovery of market demand enabled the company to expand its network of international destinations, restore part of the international routes that were not flown during the epidemiological crisis, and intensify flights on existing routes in international and domestic traffic. From January - June, a total of 558,146 passengers were transported, i.e., 2.7 times more passengers compared to the same period in 2021, but still, 42 percent less compared to the 960,620 passengers transported in the same period in 2019.

In international regular traffic, 400,887 passengers were transported, almost three times more than in the same period last year, while in domestic regular traffic, 146,428 passengers were transported, i.e., twice as many as in the first half of 2021. In extraordinary (charter) traffic, 10,831 passengers were transported, which is 77 percent more compared to the same period in 2021. In the observed period, cargo transportation increased by 14 percent, and the passenger load factor (PLF) was 56.2 percent, which is 10.9 percentage points higher than in the first six months of 2021.

In accordance with the increase in turnover, significantly higher operating income and operating expenses were achieved compared to last year's first half. Total business revenues are thus higher by 93 percent compared to January - June 2021, and the largest share (80 percent) is related to revenues from passenger transportation, which are 2.6 times higher compared to the first half of 2021. However, the total operating income is still 25 percent lower than the same period in 2019 due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the company's operations.

Realized operating costs are 71 percent higher (+ HRK 303 million) compared to the realized costs of the first half of 2021, which is primarily the result of an increase in the number of flights (+85 percent), a large increase in the number of passengers (2.7 times more passengers) and a significant increase in fuel prices. The biggest increase in costs was achieved in flying costs (+134 million kuna), and it should be emphasized that the increase in jet fuel prices in the first half of this year had a negative impact on the financial result by 93 million kuna. Namely, the year 2022 can be said to be the most challenging year since the founding of Croatia Airlines in the segment of fuel procurement costs, which includes emission permits.

Air transport is still among the most affected economic sectors after the global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the demand for air transport services continues to grow. During the year, therefore, further growth in demand is expected, but pre-pandemic levels, which are expected to be achieved by 2024, are still not expected. According to June estimates, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts a total loss of 9.7 billion US dollars for airlines in 2022.

During this year's season, Croatia Airlines directly connects Croatia with 22 international destinations, i.e., 23 European airports. The company's planes fly on 41 international routes, and in domestic regular traffic in seven Croatian airports. During this period, more than 16,000 flights are planned, and around 1,766,000 seats will be offered, with which the national airline is contributing to the quality of the Croatian tourist product and improving transport infrastructure in Croatia this year as well," reads the press release of the Croatian national airline.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 29 July 2022

Could Croatia Airlines End Up in Proverbial Aegean Airlines Basket?

July the 29th, 2022 - Croatia Airlines has been in troubled waters for some time now, and although the search process for a strategic partner (yes, it's still ongoing) of the Croatian national airline was completely stopped for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that preparations are still ongoing in the corporate world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the very well known Greek company Aegean Airlines announced this week that it is interested in taking over several carriers in Southeastern Europe, including Croatia Airlines.

As reported by Exyuaviation, the Vice President of Aegean Airlines, Eftychios Vassilakis, said that on a broader plan, the Greek carrier intends to strengthen its regional role in Southeastern Europe through possible new acquisitions.

This airline bought a 51% stake in Romania's Animawings last October, and it is firmly on track to break even in 2022 and is operationally expected to experience a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with a record summer season under its belt. Aegean's further interest could potentially lead to a strategic partnership between the two Star Alliance members. Just before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, Aegean confirmed that it had indeed submitted a non-binding offer to buy the Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines.

The next phase was supposed to include direct talks between the Greek airline and the Croatian Government. However, the process was halted in March 2020 as the global health crisis hit the aviation and tourism sectors hard.

Back in September last year, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic mentioned that the negotiations between the two carriers regarding the strategic partnership agreement would definitely be renewed, but that has yet to happen. Aegean Airlines also participated in the previous attempt to privatise Croatia Airlines back in 2015.

There are some similarities between the two carriers

The Greek company entered into the second round of negotiations with the then privatisation advisor, International Finance Corporation, but the privatisation project was interrupted by the change of government here in Croatia. As an airline registered in the European Union (EU), Aegean can buy a majority stake in the Croatian counterpart without an issue.

The two carriers share a similar fleet structure, with both Airbus A320 family aircraft and Dash 8 turboprop aircraft being used. Furthermore, both operate in similar and competitive seasonal (summer) environments.

The similarities mostly end there. Aegean was continuously profitable from 2013 until the COVID-19 crisis, recording a record profit of 79.5 million euros back in 2019. It employed around 2,900 people, carried 15 million passengers and recorded an average cabin load factor of 84.8 percent across its fleet of 64 aircraft.

On the other hand, Croatia Airlines has, as previously mentioned, in troubled waters for a long time and with a poor track record among its users who often complain of poor service and extortionate prices. It also recorded a loss of over ten million euros in the ''record year'' of 2019, had a mere 1,000 employees, transported a much smaller number of 2.1 million passengers in 12 aircraft with an average annual occupancy rate of 73.6 percent.

With the strengthening of the Irish carrier Ryanair in Croatia, especially at Zagreb Airport, things will likely continue to get even worse for Croatia Airlines until something very drastic alters, and quickly.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Probe Shows Mechanical Damage On CA Plane, Rules Out Shooting

ZAGREB, 23 June 2022- The damage which was spotted at a Croatia Airlines plane after landing at Sarajevo Airport on Wednesday evening, was not caused by shooting, as earlier speculated, but by mechanical damage.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina State Prosecutor's Office stated that based on the preliminary findings of an investigation there were no indications that the damage was caused by shooting from firearms.

There are no traces of gunpowder at the spot where the damage was noticed, and there is no other evidence showing that the damage could have been caused by a gunshot.

The damage has probably been caused by a mechanical impact, the Prosecutor's Office said.

After the Croatia Airlines plane landed in Sarajevo on Wednesday evening, damage was noticed on the fuselage. There was speculation that it could have been caused by a gunshot.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Croatia Airlines, Trade Air Awarded PSO Contracts for Internal Croatia Flights

June 12, 2022 - The latest Public Service Obligation PSO contracts for internal flights in Croatia have been awarded once more to Croatia Airlines and Trade Air.

Although Croatia Airlines is the dominant airline on domestic routes in Croatia, one of the great discoveries of this year so far has been the service offered by another, lesser-known, Croatian airline - Trade Air. 

While Trade Air operates mostly outside of Croatia, it does operate some passenger services within Croatia, as part of Croatia's PSO programme, where flights are subsidised to connect various airports within Croatia. When I finally got to looking into what was on offer, I was very pleasantly surprised, as well as a little annoyed with myself that I had not discovered the service sooner. Flights from Zagreb to Osijek taking less than an hour for around 30 euro, only slightly more than the bus. And my favourite - Dubrovnik to Osijek, via Split and Rijeka, for 60 euro, but delivered safely in just 3 hours and 40 minutes, despite the big detour and two stops at other airports. You can read about the experience in Affordable, Useful, Stunning Daily Croatian Internal Flights, And It is Not Croatia Airlines.

The last round of PSO contracts expired a few weeks ago,and these very useful internal connections have been on hold until the new contracts were announced. As ExYuAviation reports, that has now happened, with Croatia Airlines and Trade AIr winning the contracts again, despite some speculation that some non-Croatian airlines might be awarded at least some of the contracts this time. The new contracts are set to run from July 4, 2022 to March 28, 2026. Although the exact routes operated by each airline are yet to be publicly defined, they are expected to be the same as last time, with the prime Zagreb to Dubrovnik route once more operated by Croatia Airlines. According to ExYuAviation:

"Under the previous deal, Croatia Airlines received roughly 11.4 million euros in annual compensation, while Trade Air approximately 2.5 million euros per year according to the European Commission. The routes which will be subject to the latest PSO funding are: Dubrovnik - Zagreb – Dubrovnik, Split - Zagreb - Split, Zagreb - Zadar - Pula - Zadar - Zagreb, Zagreb - Brač - Zagreb, Osijek - Dubrovnik - Osijek, Osijek - Split - Osijek, Osijek - Zagreb - Osijek, Rijeka - Split - Dubrovnik - Split - Rijeka, Osijek - Pula - Split - Pula - Osijek, Rijeka - Zadar - Rijeka and Osijek - Zadar - Osijek."

For more information about flight news to Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section.


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