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

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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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