Croatia Airlines: Twenty new destinations and turboprop aircraft rental in consideration

Amid the unveiling of its new visual identity and the presentation of its first Airbus A220, Croatia Airlines has announced ambitious plans for future development.

At the presentation ceremony of the first A220, it was noted that one of the company’s strategic goals is to reduce the seasonality of traffic, potentially by expanding its flight network to southern European destinations. On this occasion, Croatia Airlines confirmed to AvioRadar: “The renewal of the entire fleet by 2027 is the largest project in the history of Croatia Airlines. This initiative will enable the company to fully realize its potential for growth and development. It includes a gradual expansion of the flight network, with approximately twenty new destinations, primarily in Europe, currently under consideration. The possibility of establishing long-haul flights in the future is also being explored.”

The public is also focused on how the carrier, which currently bases a significant portion of its traffic on 76-seat turboprop aircraft, will manage routes with the new aircraft, which have capacities of 127 and 149 seats, respectively. The biggest concern involves destinations like Sarajevo, Mostar, Zadar, Pula, and others, which are currently served almost exclusively by DHC 8-400 aircraft. In response to our inquiry, Croatia Airlines states: “As part of the strategic plan to phase out the Dash-Q400 aircraft fleet, the company will initiate the process of finding a wet lease turboprop partner to operate short flights that are not suited for the Airbus A220 aircraft. The number of planes and the duration of this arrangement will depend on various factors, which will be communicated once appropriate decisions are made and a partner is secured.” 

Croatia Airlines expects to receive 15 new Airbus A220s (13 A220-300s and two A220-100s), with the first aircraft scheduled to enter regular service in mid-July 2024. The second aircraft is expected in November and will be named “Split,” carrying the registration number 9A-CAF. In 2025, six more aircraft are expected to arrive, followed by four in 2026, and the final three in 2027. As these new aircraft gradually join the fleet, the existing Airbus A320, A319, and DHC 8-400 aircraft will be phased out.

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