Monday, 7 June 2021

New Air Pannonia Aircraft from Osijek Solemnly Welcomed (PHOTOS)

June 7, 2021 - The new Air Pannonia aircraft was solemnly welcomed at Osijek Airport!

It arrived at Osijek's Klisa Airport from London! After two aircraft, the private company Air Pannonia strengthened its fleet with another business aircraft Cessna Citation 525A-CJ2, registration number 9A-JET, making them the only company in Croatia that owns three JETs that are primarily used to transport VIP passengers and medical organ transport.

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Slobodan Kadic

"It is an aircraft that is one of the most comfortable in its class, and it arrived from the United Kingdom. Since the demand for flights with CJ2 has increased, they decided we follow the needs of the market and increase capacities," points out Zrinka Vlašić Kujundžija from Air Pannonia's marketing team.

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Slobodan Kadic

In addition to the three aircraft, they are proud of the arrangement and expansion of the service capacity and hangar at Klisa Airport, where they organized the ceremonial arrival of the new aircraft, which was greeted by a jet of water cannons by firefighters.

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Slobodan Kadic

Air Pannonia is a sister company of Air Tractor, which has a 28-year tradition in aviation. The company is family-owned, and they are the only company in Croatia that deals with all aviation segments (pilot training, service, pilot English language testing, medical organ transport, and, of course, VIP transport). Pilots from Croatia and the world are trained there, and they also own two Cessnas and the Antonov aircraft, which is known to all Osijek residents because it sprays mosquitoes.

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Slobodan Kadic

"Air Pannonia is now already a recognizable brand in the European and wider market, and so on not surprisingly, there is a need for further expansion and investment in fleet expansion. Our permanent clients are people from the business world, the world of sports, as well as show business who have a permanent need for our services and transportation of business users," concluded Vlašić Kujundžija, emphasizing that their planes fly all over the world, from Brussels to Mykonos, Prague, London or Istanbul.

From Zagreb to Osijek in 22 minutes!

The newly arrived aircraft flew for the British Zenith Aviation. The flight to Zagreb lasted 1 hour and 52 minutes, which is a great time because they had many backwinds, and the flight from Zagreb to Osijek lasted 22 minutes. It is from 2004 and has a capacity of seven passengers and one of their existing aircraft. It has 4200 hours of flight time which is very little in aviation jargon and can be said to be like new.

"We think it will serve us for about ten years, and its average speed is 400 knots. We are starting the registration process in Croatia, and I hope that within 40 days, they will be able to be seen in the European sky," said Krešimir Vlašić, director of flight operations, co-owner of the company, and captain.

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Slobodan Kadic

"They are currently the only form of business traffic as most commercial lines have been discontinued, giving them a huge advantage. Business people who used to fly business class expect that they will now fly a private plane for that money, which is not realistic. Their traffic has increased, they do not suffer losses, but the price of labor has fallen, i.e., the price of an hour of an airplane has fallen compared to the previous two years. We can be satisfied because we ended last year with 1500 hours of flight, which is quite good, and we expect even more this year," concluded Vlašić.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Croatia Airlines Flights to Osijek and Brac Airport Canceled Until Mid-April

March 29, 2021 - The latest flight news as Croatia Airlines flights to Osijek and Brac have been canceled until mid-April. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline has announced the introduction of seasonal PSO routes within Croatia at the beginning of the summer flight schedule. However, flights on three PSO lines have been canceled until mid-April.

Croatia Airlines has canceled flights between Osijek and Split, Osijek and Dubrovnik, and Zagreb and Brac until the second half of April. Considering that these are PSO routes, on which the Republic of Croatia compensates for the difference between the realized revenues and direct flight costs, it is not clear why the national airline canceled the already announced flights.

Croatia Airlines offered flights on Sundays on the Split - Osijek - Split route starting March 28, but the first two announced rotations were canceled. Currently, the first direct flight on this line is on offer for April 11, but the company may cancel that flight as well.

The Dubrovnik - Osijek - Dubrovnik line was supposed to start operating today (March 29), but that flight was canceled, and other flights on Mondays until April 19.

According to the PSO program, the seasonal Zagreb - Brac - Zagreb service should operate twice a week. Still, the company canceled flights on Tuesdays until May and scheduled flights on Saturdays until April 24 were also canceled, which obviously will not meet the minimum prescribed number of available seats on the line this year.

Passenger demand is very low during the pandemic. Still, given that these are routes on which the state bears the difference between revenues and costs, it is not clear why Croatia Airlines canceled these flights, especially around the Easter holidays, when a certain number of Croatian citizens will surely travel between distant regions.

The purpose of the PSO is to enable rapid connectivity between the outermost regions. A flight lasting less than an hour between Zagreb and Brač or Osijek and Dubrovnik can in no way have an alternative in road transport, which takes many times longer, and which a certain number of passengers will now be forced to do since there are no direct flights at the moment, or they will cancel the planned trip.

Passengers from Osijek have an alternative to travel to Dubrovnik and Split with Trade Air, which opened sales in the summer flight schedule a few days ago, so travel by plane from Osijek to Split is possible four times a week, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In contrast, flights to Dubrovnik are available twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tickets can be purchased on the airline's website.

The PSO program will continue to apply until the end of this year's summer flight schedule according to the items from the contract in force from 2016 to 2020. The Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure said that the tender for the new contract period was not announced due to the outbreak of a global pandemic. When asked how the pandemic was justified when the tender was supposed to be announced a few months before the virus appeared in China, the competent Ministry did not answer.

For the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Less Than 2.2 million Passengers at Croatian Airports in 2020

January 11, 2021 – Unlike the record 2019, when more than 11.4 million passengers passed through Croatian airports, in the crisis 2020, that number dropped by as much as 81 percent, counting less than 2.2 million passengers.

At the beginning of each new year, the revenues from the last tourist year are added up, and tourists' numbers are concluded. However, it was inevitable that in 2020, during which world tourism experienced a massive decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, would also affect tourist numbers.

As reported earlier, the Croatian tourism sector saw 50 percent fewer tourist overnight stays in 2020 than the record 2019. Likewise, commercial aviation experienced its largest decline in history. In 2020, Croatian airports accepted and dispatched less than 2.2 million passengers, writes Croatian Aviation.

Traffic to Croatia's three largest airports, Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik, has been growing steadily for years, but this series has been interrupted by a global pandemic. The three mentioned airports had over 9.6 million passengers in 2019, while in 2020, they recorded less than 2 million passengers together (1,929,336). The fact that the other five Croatian airports had 242,827 passengers last year is also devastating, of which Zadar alone served over 120,000 passengers.

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Source: Franjo Tuđman Zagreb Airport

With 924,823 passengers throughout the year, the main Croatian airport Franjo Tuđman Zagreb failed to reach the millionth passenger in 2020. However, almost half of the total Croatian traffic in 2020 was realized at the Zagreb airport.

Although it recorded an increase in the number of passengers in January and February compared to the same period in 2019, Franjo Tuđman Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 73 percent compared to 2019.

Unlike Zagreb Airport, Split Airport in January and February has modest traffic compared to the summer, seasonal months, and so it was in 2020. However, after the global pandemic hit Croatia, air traffic in Split almost stopped.

However, compared to other Croatian airports on the coast, Split still had a certain number of passengers in the peak season, especially in August. Still, the numbers in the post-season dropped drastically again. With 674,366 passengers, Split Airport recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 79.58 percent compared to 2019.

Dubrovnik Airport was one of the biggest losers last year. It was closed in April, while the traffic was very poor in May and June. An increase in the number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but not enough to avoid a large drop in the number of passengers.

Although many companies flew to Dubrovnik this summer, the planes were empty rather than full, as confirmed by statistics. The decrease in the number of passengers at Dubrovnik Airport is 88.6 percent compared to 2019.

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Source: Zadar Airport

Traffic also dropped drastically at Zadar Airport, but not as much as in Pula. These two Croatian airports have been competing in the number of passengers for several years, and the difference between them is relatively small. Nevertheless, in 2020, Zadar accepted almost 40,000 more passengers than Pula. Zadar Airport recorded a drop in the number of passengers of 84.93 percent compared to 2019, and Pula Airport 89.6 percent.

In 2019, Rijeka Airport finally exceeded 200,000 passengers for the first time in its history. Still, the numbers dropped drastically in 2020 as many airlines have given up on introducing seasonal routes to this airport due to the global pandemic. Rijeka Airport thus recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 86.22 percent compared to 2019.

In 2020, Osijek Airport had only domestic PSO (Public Service Obligation) lines and the Eurowings line to Stuttgart, but only in August. It recorded a decrease in the number of passengers of 85.72 percent compared to the previous 2019.

Brač Airport also recorded a decline in the number of passengers in 2020. A slightly more significant number of passengers was recorded only in July and August, but these are also modest numbers compared to the 2019 summer season.

You can see the graphs of the 2020 traffic from all Croatian airports at Croatian Aviation.

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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Osijek Airport Becomes Part of World’s First Cargo Droneport Network

December 2, 2020 - Bulgarian cargo drone developer and operator, Dronamics, unveiled the world’s first cargo droneport network in Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, and Sweden

Net.hr reports that Dronamics is an international company based in London and Sofia that runs the logistics and transport of cargo by drones. On Monday, they presented partnerships with the first five airports, one of which is Osijek. The other airports included are Belgian Liège, Italian Brescia, Swedish Skövde and Finnish Seinäjoki. When the network of their bases is completed, it will include 35 airports in 11 European countries and connect 300 million people with low-cost freight service.

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"The talks began in secret in March this year. We wanted a niche where we would be the first and where we would take advantage of new technologies that open up great opportunities. This is an opportunity for Osijek in which we see the future of our airport in the environment of the big ones," said the director of Osijek Airport, Davor Forgić.

Dronamics will base its equipment for unmanned aerial vehicles in Osijek and provide cargo transport services in domestic and international air traffic. Their Black Swan drone can carry 350 kilograms of cargo over a distance of up to 2,500 kilometers at 80 percent less cost than conventional cargo aircraft. Operations are performed autonomously, monitored, and controlled via satellite, and the entire system costs less than the price of, say, one sports car. The good news is that it will train the local population to work and manage flights.

 

The entire project was supposed to come to life at the beginning of next year, but the coronavirus epidemic postponed certification at the European Aviation Safety Agency, so the first drones from Osijek will take off only at the beginning of 2022. However, transport prices are already known. Thus, flights lasting up to four hours will cost 2.89 euros per kilogram of cargo. These flights can include destinations such as Berlin, Basel, Milan, Catania, Athens, Bucharest or Warsaw. Slightly more expensive will be eight-hour flights, which include cities such as Barcelona, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm or London. They will cost 3.79 euros per kilogram of cargo.

Dronamics flights from Osijek will cover almost all European destinations at prices of 2.89 and 3.79 euros per kilogram, depending on the duration of the flight.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Continental Croatia Trains: Inland Opens Up With Green Travel

October 3, 2020 - With charter airlines in a state of flux and Croatia Railways beginning a renewal of their fleet in Slavonia, are continental Croatia trains the eco-friendly and best way to unlock the inland's amazing potential?

Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. Even before 2020 arrived, lifestyles and trends were headed in new directions. Eco-tourism and agro-tourism were two of the fastest-growing areas within the travel sector, this behaviour change a response to concerns about the environment. And nowhere in the country stands better poised to take advantage of this interest than continental Croatia.

ivo-biocinaCNTB.jpgImpossibly pretty Zagorje - the region lies just north of Zagreb and is accessible by continental Croatia trains © Ivo Biocina / Croatia National Tourist Board

From the impossibly pretty hills of Zagorje, the peaceful rivers of Karlovac county and the hidden vineyards that surround the capital Zagreb to the vast Pannonian flatlands that stretch to Slavonia, Baranya, Vukovar-Srijem and beyond, the varied topography of continental Croatia is wild, exciting and - by many - wholly undiscovered.

This is land where agriculture and nature thrive side by side, where the stresses of modern-day existence ebb away as you readjust to a way of life that would look mostly familiar to the people who lived here centuries ago. These are places where you can truly be at one with yourself and with your surroundings. In continental Croatia, you often find yourself in an environment that is both timeless and traditional, yet wholly contemporary in regards to its ecological aspirations. And you're never far away from an exciting city environment that you can dip into on a whim – not just Zagreb, but Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Karlovac, Sisak and Varaždin too.

kalendar04.jpgTo those who really know and love Croatia, Osijek is simply unmissable. It is both the capital of and the doorway to Slavonia and Baranya and should be more accessible by continental Croatia trains. Sadly, international transportation links to the city by air are also quite poor. Improvements in accessibility to Slavonia and Baranya by rail and road are imminent © Romulić & Stojčić

Unlocking the incredible potential of continental Croatia relies on getting the message out there and facilitating travel to these regions

In recent TCN features we have detailed that motorways within Croatia are among the best in Europe - once you're inside Croatia, travelling by car (or bus) between the regions couldn't be easier. We have also seen evidence of the huge interest in travelling here by rail and using continental Croatia trains.

Of all the modern methods of long-distance travel, rail is by far the most eco-friendly. What better way to begin an environmentally friendly holiday than by arriving on continental Croatia trains? When the country wisely decided to prioritise its internal motorway system, a modern and fast inter-regional rail network was put on the back burner. Nowhere suffers greater from this decision than continental Croatia.

Croatian Official Document uploaded to Wikipedia by Epepe.gifThe Croatian rail network © Croatian Official Document uploaded to Wikipedia by Epepe

The only high-speed line that currently exists in Croatia links Rijeka to Budapest, via Zagreb and Koprivnica. Planned improvements hope to cut journey times between Zagreb and its nearest coastal city to an hour. Same as it ever was - Rijeka was the first Croatian city to be connected internationally by rail. That line also ran into the heart of Austro-Hungary and facilitated upper-class travel to places like Opatija. But does it best benefit the country to invest in more links to the coast or in continental Croatia trains? Well, the inland is not being ignored. Upgrades are being made to continental Croatia trains.

IMG_8990.jpgThis impressive beast actually services the country's coast. But would more investment in the continental Croatia trains network better service more people and help unlock the inland to tourists? Around 70% of the country's inhabitants live in continental Croatia © HŽPP

The rail link between Zagreb and Slavonski Brod is so historic that it was once part of the four routes of the Orient Express. It has been maintained to a standard where you can make a relatively quick journey from the capital to Vinkovci via Slavonski Brod. The same cannot be said for rail travel to Osijek, the access point to Baranya and much more. So slow is the connection between Osijek and Zagreb that it has been possible over recent times to reach the Slavonian capital quicker by taking the train to Vinkovci, then the bus to Osijek, rather than travelling direct by rail.

Slavonija_Osijek0191.jpgOsijek train station. A renovation to the building is planned for the near future © Romulić & Stojčić

However, in February this year, Croatian Railways introduced four direct daily lines between Slavonski Brod and Osijek. And there will be a new tilting train line that will run between Zagreb to Osijek on Friday afternoon and from Osijek to Zagreb on Sunday afternoon, facilitating student travel. On October 15, the first low-floor train will run between Osijek and Vinkovci as an additional part of the renewal of their continental Croatia trains fleet in Slavonia. The welcome return of Croatia's second-oldest international rail line - linking Osijek to Pécs in Hungary, via Beli Manastir and Baranya - was introduced in late 2018.

23e1f08a601e02be10403fbc28ced968_XL.jpgA motorway stretch between Metković and Dubrovnik, integrating the Pelješac bridge and the Croatian segment of the European corridor are the final big remaining projects in a three-decade-long undertaking to give Croatia one of the best motorway networks in Europe. Should Croatia's rail network be next? © Hrvatske Autoceste

Access to Slavonia and Baranya will also be massively facilitated upon completion of the European corridor, which will connect North Europe to the Adriatic. Starting in Budapest, it necessitates the building of a bridge near Beli Manastir. Thereafter the motorway will pass by Osijek, connect to the Zagreb-Slavonia motorway near Lipovac, then pass through Bosnia and its capital Sarajevo and on to Ploče.

The removal of budget airline flights to the airport in Osijek remains a hindrance to attracting many international visitors to Slavonia and Baranya. However, with charter airlines facing the greatest uncertainty of all modes of transport at the current time, though their return is a must, it is perhaps now an ambition that should remain more long term. For the immediate future, improvements to rail travel look to be a brilliant way of opening up not only Slavonia, Baranya and Vukovar-Srijem, but also an eco-friendly access point capable of serving the whole of untapped continental Croatia.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Chinese Interested in Building Logistics Centre at Osijek Airport

ZAGREB, June 11, 2019 - Chinese entrepreneurs are interested in constructing a cargo and logistics centre at Osijek Airport and the government is expecting to receive a letter of intent in that regard as well as negotiations with the relevant ministries, it was said during a visit by a Chinese delegation to the biggest eastern Croatian city on Monday.

President of the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), Mario Rendulić, said that the promotion of Osijek Airport has to date stirred great interest among Chinese partners.

In addition to plans to build a cargo centre at the airport, Chinese entrepreneurs are expected to establish a logistics centre too.

Things are moving along and we are pleased about that. They are developing slowly but they are moving forward. We expect a letter of intent to be sent to the government so that we can move on even further, Rendulić said.

Chinese businesswoman Jiang Yu said that she is very interested in this location particularly since it can be combined with the possibilities provided by the Osijek river port and that negotiations are expected now on further details of possible cooperation.

Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić assesses that the latest visit by a larger Chinese delegation than on 18 April means they are truly interested, adding that further steps are being discussed and advertising a call for bids is within the remit of state government bodies and not at the county level.

I think that we're entering the final phase when talks need to be conducted between interested investors and the relevant ministries. They are interested in the airport, both for passenger and cargo transport which entails the construction of a logistics centre and we have more than 250 hectares of land available, Anušić said.

He believes that due to the airport's close vicinity to the river port, the pan-European Vc motorway and railway corridor as well as the closeness of the border with Hungary and with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Osijek is an ideal location which has been recognised by the Chinese entrepreneurs, he added.

The Osijek Airport director, Davor Forgić, informed that last year was a record year as far as passenger transport was concerned with 67,235 passengers catered for, up 55% on the year.

More Osijek Airport news can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Plans and Expectations for Croatian Airports 2019: Pula, Rijeka, Osijek

February 26, 2019 - TCN continues looking at the plans and expectations for Croatian airports in 2019, with updates from Pula, Rijeka, and Osijek, thanks to AvioRadar

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Eurowings Unexpectedly Discontinues Flights to Osijek

In a short statement, Eurowings said the flights will be discontinued on October 27.

Friday, 24 August 2018

China to Invest in Osijek Airport?

ZAGREB, August 24, 2018 - The local authorities in the Town of Osijek and Osijek-Baranja County on Friday discussed possible opportunities for potential investments by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and the Maribor-based SHS Aviation company in the airport in the eastern Croatian city.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

New Eurowings Flight Will Connect Osijek to Eight EU Countries

The new connection will bring Osijek closer to 23 destinations in eight EU countries. 

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