Emirates Looking to Develop Zagreb Service, Closely Monitoring Dubrovnik

Daniela Rogulj

November 6, 2019 – Emirates’ Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations in Europe, Thierry Aucoc, talks about the potential of the service to Zagreb and further developing Croatia in the future.

Emirates launched a daily service to the Croatian capital from Dubai back in June 2017, which worked from May 31 to the end of October this year. The winter timetable on this service is operated by Emirates’ partner flydubai, which reduced the number of flights this winter from seven to four per week on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, during the Christmas and New Year holidays, flydubai will increase the number of flights to six a week. 

Ex Yu Aviation reports that Emirates sees potential in the Dubai-Zagreb service, and is even monitoring the progress of Dubrovnik. 

“We decided to launch Zagreb a bit more than two years ago and it is corresponding with our development in Europe. We have a wide coverage in Europe, and we understood that Croatia has big potential for two reasons. First, it is a destination that is really interesting for travel from Asia, Australia, China and Taiwan. Therefore, there is a lot of incoming traffic to Zagreb and the entire country in general. From Croatia it is a way to offer the local population a link to our Dubai hub. There is a lot of demand from Croatia to the world. This is primarily to Dubai but also beyond, for example, to destinations in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, such as Phuket in Thailand,” said Emirates’ Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations in Europe, Thierry Aucoc.

Aucoc added:

“I was checking the results of airports in Croatia and I was amazed to see that many have double-digit growth. I noticed that Zagreb is now at 3.5 million passengers per year, which is a very good result. We are monitoring other airports in the country too. We are closely following the performance in Dubrovnik because we are offering seasonal flights to this city through Flydubai”. Aucoc went on to say that 258 Croatian nationals work at Emirates.

On October 26, 2019, the Emirates seasonal service between Dubai and Zagreb concluded. Emirates’ partner flydubai operates the winter service. Aucoc said that Zagreb was the first to implement the new route-sharing strategy between the two airlines. 

“Zagreb is an example of how much our cooperation with Flydubai managed to improve our results. We served the route in winter with our Boeing 777 aircraft. Then last year, the route was maintained for five months by Flydubai aircraft. This winter, Flydubai will operate for the entire winter season because it emerged that this route is not as strong in winter, so we can still continue serving Zagreb well,” said Martin Gross, Emirates’ Area Manager. 

Gross also spoke about reducing the number of flights to Zagreb this winter, which is down to four flights per week. 

 “Zagreb was operated with Boeing 737 MAX equipment but had to be moved to the B737-800. Therefore, the entire flight plan had to change and has been partially reduced. Now we have to see when the B737 MAX is allowed to fly again.”

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