Qatar Airways Schedule Change Brings Non-Stop Link to Zagreb

Under the revised timetable, Qatar Airways will continue to operate four rotations per week on the Doha – Budapest – Zagreb linked flight routing using an Airbus A321, but every Monday, Friday and Saturday will operate separate flights to both Budapest and Zagreb.

Qatar Airways is to introduce a new non-stop link between Doha and Zagreb from October 1, 2014, although it will continue to offer a daily service to the Croatian capital after tweaking its schedule on its current network in Eastern Europe. The new direct flight will provide a more convenient alternative to the current daily flights to Zagreb, which fly via Budapest before moving onwards to the Croatian capital.

Under the revised timetable, Qatar Airways will continue to operate four rotations per week on the Doha – Budapest – Zagreb linked flight routing using an Airbus A321, but every Monday, Friday and Saturday will operate separate flights to both Budapest and Zagreb. These will be operated by an Airbus A320 configured with 12 Business Class and 132 Economy Class seats, but the new route schedule will boost the capacity offering in the two cabins by 42.9 per cent and 17.0 per cent, respectively, to 240 Business Class and 2,640 Economy seats per week.

“In the two years since we began flying to Zagreb we have watched it grow into one of our most popular destinations in Europe. This is why I am so pleased that we are now able to provide our passengers with a new and more convenient option by offering a direct flight to this beautiful city direct from Doha,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways.

Passengers flying into and out of Zagreb will benefit from a new six-hour non-stop route which will cut journey times by around two hours and will provide reduced overall travel times to and from many of Qatar Airways’ 141 destinations around the world. The Zagreb route is a good example of a destination supported by the Gulf carrier’s wider network.

Qatar Airways’ network strategy has been to establish an increasing number of spokes from its Middle Eastern hub and its latest network expansion will support this. It is not just about how many passengers want to fly from Zagreb to Doha, but how many want to fly to destinations across the Middle East, Africa and further afield into Asia and Australasia.

Ahead of the opening of the new route in May 2012 the annual O&D demand between Zagreb and Doha was around 2,000 passengers due to the current absence of a direct service. However, the wider demand to Africa was around 18,000 passengers; the Middle East approximately 45,000; Asia around 41,000 and Australasia an estimated 17,000 and these are all areas that Qatar Airways has been targeting.

In our analysis, below, we compare O&D demand in all of these markets between 2011 and 2013 and how the introduction of Qatar Airways into the Zagreb market has influenced demand changes.  According to this data O&D demand on the Zagreb – Doha city pair rose 83.5 per cent between 2011 and 2013. During this same period passenger demand between Zagreb and Africa increased 41.9 per cent, between Zagreb and Asia grew 54.3 per cent, while numbers between Zagreb and Oceania remained static. Interestingly, the Zagreb – Middle East market declined 10.9 per cent, although when you remove Cyprus and Turkey data from the Sabre Airport Data Intelligence report, the market is relatively static over the three year period with numbers up by 3.4 per cent.