Croatia Airlines changed the order for Airbus A220

Amidst the excitement surrounding the arrival of the first Airbus A220 in the Croatia Airlines fleet and the unveiling of the new livery, one detail has been somewhat overlooked (though not by Avioradar). Of the 15 A220 aircraft ordered, Croatia Airlines will only receive two A220-100 models, rather than the originally planned three.

All 15 A220 aircraft are expected to join the Croatia Airlines fleet by 2027. These aircraft have been contracted through operational leasing agreements with three leasing companies: Air Lease Corporation (six aircraft), Azzora (three aircraft), and Griffin Global Asset Management (six aircraft transferred from a direct order to a leasing arrangement).

If we look at individual contracts with leasing houses, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Air Lease Corporation (6 aircraft) – 4x A220-300 and 2x A220-100
  • Azzora (3 aircraft) – 3x A220-300
  • Griffin Global Asset Management (6 aircraft) – 6x A220-300

Ultimately, Croatia Airlines fleet should consist of two A220-100 and 13 A220-300 aircraft.

It will be interesting to follow what purpose the A220-100 aircraft will serve in Croatia Airlines, considering they comprise a small portion of the fleet. There is speculation that the A220-100 might be intended for special routes or specific operations.

When comparing the fleets of other European airlines that operate the A220, only Swiss and ITA have the Airbus A220-100. Both airlines use the A220-100 on a specific route to London City Airport. Perhaps London City is a new destination that Croatia Airlines is preparing to serve. Currently, the largest aircraft that can land at London City Airport is the Airbus A318, which is nearly phased out. The next largest aircraft are the Airbus A220-100 and the Embraer E195-E2. Special certification is required to land at London City Airport due to its steep 5.5° approach, compared to the standard 3°, and the runway length is also a limiting factor.

The only destination in Croatia with similar runway restrictions is Brač Airport, which has a runway length of 1,760 meters. This length is too short for an Airbus A220-300 to operate without weight restrictions, necessitating a reduced capacity.

These airport constraints may have driven the decision to acquire Airbus A220-100 aircraft instead of a unified fleet of A220-300 models, as seen with Air Baltic. Additionally, the A220-100 can be used on flights with fewer reservations, providing Croatia Airlines with greater flexibility in aircraft deployment.

In the Croatia Airlines fleet, the Airbus A220-100 will have a capacity of 127 seats, while the A220-300 will accommodate 149 passengers.



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