LONDON – Following the news this week from Croatia Airlines and their order for six Airbus A220-300 aircraft, let’s take a look at the carrier’s fleet.
The Aircraft Order…
Croatia Airlines, Croatia’s national flag carrier based in Zagreb, has signed a firm order for six A220-300 aircraft.
Croatia Airlines plans to lease an additional nine A220s, taking its total commitment for the type to 15.
The A220s will replace previous generation aircraft in the company’s fleet, reducing operating costs as well as improving environmental efficiency and competitiveness while offering passengers unrivaled comfort throughout its fleet.
Today’s signing of a contract for the purchase of the state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft marks a special moment in the airline’s history, says Croatia Airlines.
“It marks the beginning of a new period of aviation, a new period in the life of Croatia Airlines, a new period for our passengers, and a new period for Croatia’s tourism and the economy as a whole,” said Jasmin Bajić, CEO and President of the Management Board of Croatia Airlines.
“We are thrilled to add Croatia Airlines as a new A220 customer. The Airbus A220 is ideally suited to Croatia’s aviation needs, providing operational flexibility and efficiency”
“Allowing its airline to pursue its ambition for both regional and international connectivity without compromising on any aspect, be it passenger comfort or trip and seat cost economics,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.
The Croatia Airlines – Airbus relationship
Airbus and Croatia airlines have had a long-standing partnership starting 25 years ago when the airline first became an Airbus operator.
Today, the Croatian carrier operates an Airbus fleet of seven single-aisle aircraft from the A320 Family (five A319s and two A320s).
With currently more than 230 A220s delivered to 16 airlines operating on four continents, the A220 is the optimal aircraft for regional as well as long-distance routes and will enable Croatia Airlines to further contribute to the development of tourism in the region while providing flexibility to the right-size their operations.
To date, more than 70 million passengers have enjoyed the Airbus A220. The fleet is currently flying on over 800 routes and 325 destinations worldwide.
As of the end of October 2022, around 30 customers have ordered 780+ A220 aircraft – confirming its breakthrough in the small single-aisle market.
Outside of the Airbus relationship, Croatia Airlines also operates a fleet of six De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 aircraft, which brings their total fleet count to 13 aircraft.
A Big Step Forward for Croatia Airlines…
Such plans for Croatia Airlines with the A220 do represent quite a massive expansion in the brand, which also shows how far they want to take things.
The lower costs compared to its current aircraft will no doubt enable better profit margins and even additional investment to expand its network elsewhere.
Croatia Airlines already operates services to 38 destinations but is currently at a loss of 288.2 million HRK, based on 2021 financial reports.
Even after all of the aircraft have been replaced, Croatia Airlines would still have more aircraft in their fleet than they did in 2021.
It remains clear that Croatia Airlines’ decision to go for A220s was quite a well-thought-out strategy and that the delivery of these types is going to produce a positive change for the carrier.
With the Republic of Croatia owning 98% of this carrier, they must also believe that this fleet renewal strategy will help the carrier return to some form of strong profitability as we bounce out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Either way, all eyes will be on Croatia Airlines to see what destinations they intend to serve with these A220s and whether it will result in any new markets moving forward.