Croatia Airlines will announce its expansion plans for the 2017 summer season in the coming days. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News the carrier said, "By Friday, or the beginning of next week at the latest, we will announce novelties in our summer 2017 timetable". The airline is considering new services to Stockholm, Moscow, Dublin and Oslo. In 2016, the carrier rolled out four new seasonal routes out of Zagreb (Lisbon, Prague, Milan and St Petersburg), which are all to resume this summer and will be extended into the winter months. "The new destinations all proved so successful, that we are going to keep them all", the company said recently. It is also likely that the airline will introduce seasonal flights between Split and Milan.
Croatia Airlines has previously operated flights to both Stockholm and Moscow. The two weekly service to the Swedish capital was maintained during the 1990s with a Boeing 737-200 aircraft but the route was later suspended. Yesterday, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it would introduce up to two weekly flights between Stockholm and the Croatian capital from June 10. On the other hand, plans to launch flights to Moscow were initially made in 2011, however, the implementation of the restructuring program put an east-bound expansion on hold. Currently, Aeroflot maintains flights between the two cities. Late last year, Croatia Airlines operated charters between Osijek and Dublin to evaluate the route's potential. There is a growing Croatian diaspora in Ireland. It is unclear whether the planned new destinations would run on a seasonal or year-round basis.
The airline has previously said it is looking to add a 100-seat regional aircraft to its fleet, which would be required in order for the carrier to expand its network. The company will lease a Trade Air Fokker 100 jet for a second year in a row, however, it is uncertain whether additional planes will be taken up. Meanwhile, the Croatian carrier will continue to maintain nine weekly flights to London Heathrow Airport this summer despite selling its slots to Delta Air Lines, with the deal to come into effect from April 1. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Croatia Airlines has leased back the slots until the end of October.