Croatia Airlines' CEO, Krešimir Kučko, has said the carrier will focus on three profit centres in the future and expand its fleet to ensure it maintains its position as a "regional leader". Speaking to the "Regional International" magazine, Mr Kučko said, "Croatia Airlines is one of the few European companies that has successfully implemented a restructuring program in accordance with EU rules on state aid. It is now a restructured and profitable company". He added, "Our strategic objective is the development of three basic profit centres: network flights, seasonal and charter flights, and the company's technical centre. We plan to expand our technical maintenance operations for foreign airlines and widen the existing capacity of the technical centre in Zagreb".
The head of Croatia Airlines noted that the introduction of two wet-leased Bombardier CRJ 1000 aircraft this summer is the first step in the carrier's plans to expand its fleet. "In accordance with the company's development plans, we plan to introduce aircraft of similar capacity to the CRJ as an addition to our existing fleet. This will bridge the difference in the capacity of our Airbus aircraft, which have 144 to 174 seats, and the Dash 8 Q400 with 76 seats", Mr Kučko explained. He added, "The introduction of a third type of aircraft (100-seater) will further optimise the entire fleet and allow even better adjustment to capacity on the Croatian market, which is highly seasonal. In 2021, we will begin the renewal of the Airbus fleet by introducing the first two Airbus A320neo aircraft. Two more of this type will be introduced in 2022".
The airline is bullish on its financial prospects for this year after recording a net profit of 1.2 million euros during the first quarter, which was generated primarily as a result of the sale of its London Heathrow slots. "We want to continue our positive financial trend, which we have recorded four years in a row (2013 - 2016). In the medium term, we will invest in our core business and flight services, aircraft maintenance and operations, as well as in activities which ensure a high level of security. In order to strengthen the company's position as a regional leader, we are planning new business partnerships with other airlines, in particular with fellow Star Alliance members", Mr Kučko concluded.