|Croatia Airlines to grow fleet by ten aircraft|
Croatia Airlines has revealed plans to lease up to six 100-seater aircraft in the coming years, while the first two of its four ordered Airbus A320neos are set for delivery in 2021. After converting its 2008 order for four A319s to the more efficient A320neos last month, the airline says its other two jets from the European plane manufacturer will arrive in 2022. "Croatia Airlines is very pleased with this latest order amendment that will allow us to renew our fleet with four new aircraft, by one of the world’s most prestigious aircraft manufacturers. The negotiations with Airbus, who showed great understanding, took more than two years but we have concluded them in a mutually satisfactory manner", the carrier's CEO, Krešimir Kučko, says. He adds, "The delay in the initial 2008 order was inevitable due to the company’s demanding restructuring program. We are very glad that we have come to an agreement with Airbus that fits perfectly with our ambitious future business plan".
Airbus' Vice President for Central and Northern Europe, Kimon Sotiropoulos, notes, "Airbus is pleased that Croatia Airlines has become the latest customer for the A320neo. It will give Croatia Airlines access to the most modern aircraft and extend the partnership between both companies well into the next decade". Croatia Airlines says it negotiated better terms and conditions for the neos than it did for the 2008 order for the A319s, which cost 175 million euros with an additional increase of 3% on the purchase price for every year until their delivery. However, the airline did not disclose the value of its neo order, saying only that the aircraft at list price cost 400 million USD.
Croatia Airlines says it will kick off its fleet renewal next year with the lease of two 100-seater jets. A further four will join the fleet in the coming years. "As the restructuring process is successfully coming to its end, Croatia Airlines can turn back to growth, primarily through fleet expansion and new flights and destinations, already in 2016 with introduction of two 100-seaters, followed by four more in the years to come", Mr Kučko says. The Croatian carrier has previously said it aims to add flights to Eastern Europe next year. "At first, Eastern European countries within the European Union are our priority. At a later stage we intend to fly east outside of EU boundaries”, it noted. Croatia Airlines currently has a fleet of twelve aircraft – two Airbus A320s, four A319s and six Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s.