Ex Yu Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is looking to expand in the region, specifically to destinations in Slovenia and Macedonia.
Namely, Croatia Airlines CEO Jasmin Bajić is looking to improve the connection between Zagreb and Ljubljana, with the potential for Skopje – Ljubljana – Zagreb flights as over 40,000 passengers flew between Macedonia’s and Slovenia’s largest cities before Adria Airways went bankrupt in September 2019.
Croatia Airlines and the Slovenian government spoke about launching operations from Ljubljana last year.
“Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations,” the carrier had said.
“We have had some gain on the Slovenian market since Adria Airways’ bankruptcy where we offered certain solutions to react to the demand that was there. However, we had not added any flights to Slovenia because our hubs are nearby and we were more focused on our sales and marketing activities in Ljubljana at the time, which helped us significantly increase our market share in Slovenia,” Croatia Airlines’ Head of Commercial Division, Slaven Žabo, said last year.
Ljubljana Airport’s operator has also previously expressed interest in Croatia Airlines connecting Ljubljana with Vienna, Skopje, Prague, and Copenhagen.
Furthermore, Ex Yu Aviation reported that the national carrier could launch to the Macedonian market after TAV Macedonia, the Macedonian Chamber for Tourism, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and the Croatian National Tourist Board spoke last week.
“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,” said Jasmin Bajić. Talks initially happened between the two countries already months ago.
“Road connectivity is not satisfactory, which is why new airline routes would be a big step forward. For example, I believe flights between Ohrid and Split would be of interest to tourists, so they could visit both countries within a few days in one go,” said TAV Macedonia’s Marketing and Revenue Manager and Macedonian Chamber of Tourism President, Vladimir Gramatikov. Over 3,000 passengers flew indirectly between Skopje and Split in 2019. Croatia Airlines also handled 74,590 passengers between Zagreb and Skopje in 2019 on 996 flights.
Croatia Airlines also plans to add between 12 to 15 aircraft to its fleet based on its post-Covid strategy.
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