It's time for another trip report from Croatia. In early spring this year, Silver Air (https://www.silverairtravels.com
) in cooperation with Lošinj Hotels and Villas (https://www.losinj-hotels.com
) announced new scheduled flights between Lošinj Airport (LSZ) and Zagreb (ZAG), Pula (PUY), Split (SPU) and Lugano (LUG). Lošinj is the smallest airport with scheduled air traffic in Croatia with just over 6000 passengers in 2017. For a few years now, after the collapse of European Coastal Airlines, the airport has been primarily focused on general aviation and air taxi services.
As soon as I found out about these new flights I wanted to get on-board. These flights offer a unique opportunity to fly to Croatia's smallest commercial airport and to fly on-board the Let L410 Turbolet which is becoming a rare sight in western part of Europe, at least when it comes to scheduled passenger services. Flight are easily bookable through Silver Air's website (https://silverair.worldticket.net/en/booking/
). This was my first L410 Turbolet flight and my first flight to Lošinj as well. How exciting!Date: June 29th 2018
Flight #: SLD102
Aircraft: Let 410 Turbolet OK-SLD
Route: Zagreb (ZAG) - Lošinj (LSZ)
Journey started at the new terminal building of Zagreb Airport, which opened in March last year.
Flights to Lošinj depart from separate A check-in area, which is not commonly used by other airlines. The agent was very friendly and asked if I was really traveling to Lošinj. He told me that there was just 1 other passenger scheduled to fly on today's flight.
Quite spacious departures hall area
Domestic departures gates
At the gate I found out that I am the only passenger on-board today's flight to Lošinj. Other person on the manifest was also a crew member. Another first time for me (as the sole passenger on-board). Gate agent (the same guys that was doing the check-in) told me that there were 3 other passengers travelling in the opposite direction that morning. This is definitely not a very good load factor, but since this was just the 2nd flight of the season there is still enough time for improvement.
OK-SLD is one of 2 Silver Air's Turbolets, manufactured back in 1990. We are the same age
Old Zagreb Airport apron is used for cargo flights but also when the new apron close to the new terminal building is full. This is a quite common case, especially duing summer months.
The weather was not very good, with quite heavy rain and low visibility. L410 is one of the smallest airplanes I have flown on so far and it was quite interesting to experience such weather conditions on-board such a small aircraft. On our way to Lošinj we didn't climb completely above the cloud line.
Decent legroom given the size of this aircraft. This particular Turbolet can seat 17 passengers.
As soon as we overflew the Lika region the skies partially cleared, so I could enjoy the beautiful views of the Kvarner archipelago. Here visible is the island of Rab, followed by the northern tip of Pag island (Lun) and Trstenik islet.
Another cabin view during approach to Lošinj Airport
View of Cres and Lošinj islands on our approach. Two islands are connected by the small Osor bridge.
Town of Mali Lošinj, the destination of our flight.
Final approach and landing
Cockpit view just before disembarking. The crew consisted of a pilot, first officer and a mechanic.
OK-SLD, parked for the day and apron of Lošinj airport, quite busy with general aviation aircraft
Small terminal building of Lošinj Airport and its ATC tower
I will now post a few photos of Lošinj and the surrounding archipelago. Town of Mali Lošinj (Lussinpiccolo in Italian) is a very popular tourist destination in the northern part of the Adriatic. It's famous for its pine forests and is also known as the island of vitality, due to its very mild and beneficial Mediterranean climate throughout the year.
I also had the chance to visit the surrounding islands of Unije and Susak, just about 1 hour boat ride away from Mali Lošinj. Unije Island has a small airstrip which has been closed for a few years now.
Island of Susak has quite unique terrain configuration and vegetation compared to other Adriatic islands.
Premuda, one of the oldest active ships in the Adriatic is my ride back to Mali LošinjDate: July 2nd 2018
Flight #: SLD101
Aircraft: Let 410 Turbolet OK-SLD
Route: Lošinj (LSZ) - Zagreb (ZAG)
As there is no public transportation available one has to arrange it's own to reach the airport which is located about 20 min away from the town. It seemed to be a quite good day for flying.
At the check-in counter I again found out to be the only passenger on board the flight to Zagreb.
The best looking and most relaxing boarding gate area I have seen so far. A few airport staff members and passengers waiting for general aviation flights. Minutes ahead of my Silver Air flight there was a Beech King Air (9A-SET) air taxi departure to Zagreb.
As many general aviation flights arrive from other European countries Lošinj is a designated international airport, therefore there is an airport police station and an "official border crossing". It definitely must be one of the smallest international airports in Europe.
My ride for today is OK-SLD, the same aircraft that brought me to Mali Lošinj just 3 days ago.
Just before the take-off
View of Mali Lošinj and the airport, just after take-off from runway 02.
Beautiful views of southern tip of Cres Island, also known as Punta Croce.
As soon as we crossed Velebit mountain range and reached Lika region the clouds showed up. We climbed just above the cloud line and kept that altitude for approximately next 15 minutes or so before starting our descent towards Zagreb.
Foggy city of Karlovac in the distance
Just before our landing in Zagreb. Unlike Lošinj, the weather in Zagreb was not very nice with clouds and light rain.
As soon as we landed the crew started preparations for refueling. The plane wouldn't depart back to Lošinj until later that day (14:00).
It's not that often that you find yourself being the only person in the airport bus.
9 in the morning is not a very popular time for arrivals at Zagreb airport which is clearly visible here in the baggage reclaim area and the arrivals hall.
I hope you enjoyed my trip report. I certainly enjoyed flying the Turbolet and visiting Lošinj for the first time. Hopefully these flights will become more popular as the summer tourist season progresses as they offer a wonderful and very convenient opportunity to visit one of the most interesting and beautiful Adriatic archipelagos.