|Air Croatia to inaugurate services on Thursday as Sea Air prepares for May 18 launch|
Newcomers Air Croatia and Sea Air say they are ready to launch flights from Zagreb and Osijek, respectively, this summer season. Following several delays, Air Croatia, which is a Swedish, Cypriot and Israeli joint venture, will inaugurate services from Zagreb this Thursday. The company’s flights from the Croatian capital to Budapest, Prague, Rome and Milan, will be operated by Dutch-based Denim Air. “Denim Air has requested and received slots at all airports, including Zagreb, and there will be no more cancellations or delays for any flights in April or at any other later date”, Air Croatia’s Mehmet Akif Borucu says. An ATR 42 aircraft, which has the capacity to seat up to 52 passengers, will operate the planned services.
Denim Air, which is running the flights on behalf of Air Croatia, will launch operations on April 2. Originally, flights were to be inaugurated last summer, but were delayed until December before being pushed back to March and then again to April this year. At first the company planned to wet lease a ČSA Czech Airlines Airbus A319 and then an Estonian Air Embraer E170 jet, but only recently decided to switch to Denim Air instead. Air Croatia, based in the United Kingdom, has been selling tickets for its flights for several months. It faces no direct competition on any of its routes and will be the only one to offer nonstop flights between Zagreb and Rome. Croatia Airlines currently operates services to the Italian capital via Dubrovnik and Split, depending on the departure day.
Meanwhile, Osijek-based newcomer Sea Air is set to launch flights on May 18 to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna. Tickets are to be put on sale next month. The airline plans to operate flights with a mix of Boeing B737-500 and MD 82 aircraft. “We at Sea Air are delighted to inform that we will commence regular scheduled air services from May 18 and operate to Munich, Frankfurt, and Vienna, utilizing Boeing 737-500 series aircraft and MD 82 aircraft. In addition to these city pairs, Sea Air will extend its operational network to include other European destinations in the second and third phases of its development”, the airline says. It adds, “Sea Air will operate as a low cost airline, however, this will not reflect on our service. Our passengers are our guests will be treated to an experience where safety and efficiency is our priority”. According to the airline, passengers will be served cold meals and beverages on all flights at no additional cost and will have the opportunity to check-in twenty kilograms of luggage free of charge. Osijek Airport, which handled almost 30.000 passengers last year, anticipates to welcome some 100.000 travellers in 2015 as a result of the new services.