Croatian start-up ETF to take first jet


Croatian start-up carrier ETF Airways (Easy To Fly), is expected to take delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 next month. The jet will be leased from AerCap. The carrier is expected to commence operations in April, if necessary permits are received by then. The aircraft will be used for charter flights under lease arrangement covering aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI). ETF intends to focus on routes from the Croatian Adriatic coast such as Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Zadar to airports in France, Germany and the UK. The Croatian coast is one of the most competitive markets in the region during the summer months, with numerous airlines maintaining seasonal and charter flights from Europe and the Middle East.

ETF’s fleet is expected to comprise of two B737s over the coming summer, with plans for it to grow to three jets early next year and up to seven aircraft in 2025. As the airline will be registered in Croatia, it will have the ability to fly across all markets within the European Union. The company recently completed hiring future cabin crew members and is now looking for new partners, companies and brokers for ACMI and charter business opportunities worldwide. Private investors and Croatia-based investment funds are said to be supporting the initiative and the airline is said to have stable and secured financing.


Commenting on its operations, economic analyst Velimir Šonje, who is one of the airline’s investors and members of the Supervisory Board, said, “ETF does not aim to become a big scheduled carrier. Our main goal is to utilise the opportunities which we expect in the coming years through charters and similar arrangement, primarily on the EU market, through flexible and reliable service”. Mr Šonje added that the post-Covid world will open a number of opportunities in particular markets niches. Croatia has had numerous charter and scheduled airlines in the past, each with varying degrees of success. Among them are Dubrovnik Airline, Anic Airways, Air Adriatic, Air Croatia, Sea Air, Limitless Airways, AWEX Croatia, Libertas Air and European Coastal Airlines, while others such as Dalmatian and Smile Air never took off.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    This is developing much faster than I thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Comparing to the other failed startups, these guys actually have money to make it possible. They have capital of 7.558.200 kunas.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    This type of airline seems to be the only feasible one in this day and age. Hope they succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Will this be the first Boeing operator in Croatia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      I think it will currently be the only Boeing operator registered in Croatia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      First Boeing operator was OU in the 90s when they got 737-200s from LH i think. After they get rid of them there was no more boeing operators in Croatia. I think that EFT will become the first 737 NG operator based in the exyu.

      Delete
    3. The first Boeing operator in Croatia was Croatia Airlines. They had 5 B737-200, acquired from Lufthansa, perfectly maintained and in excellent shape. Even better, they were owned by OU, and sold 10 years before it became impossible to operate them within EU, to be exchanged for leased A320, at the time far to expensive and far too big for current needs. It was the second biggest mistake in OU history. The first was introducing to the fleet ATR42, literally overnight, and dropping plans to operate long-haul on ex- LH DC-10, which flights (NewYork, Chicago, Toronto) were already published in the timetable.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:54

      Would long haul in the 90s from a war destroyed economy in quite poor 4 million population country with even poorer neighbours even work? And airlines like Czech Airlines, Malev, Tarom and Balkan Bulgarian did same thing that was planned at OU as you said, and they failed.

      Delete
    5. Yes it would work. You are right about the carriers you mentioned which tried and haven't succeeded in long-haul. But every market is specific. If there was no long-haul potential, Croatia would have never had profitable long-haul and it had it. In big numbers. Even before the war. With JAT, PanAm, Air Canada. And all of the others did not have it, except for CSA and Tarom, symbolically, two weekly on narrow body. Concerning economy, war made much less damage compared to criminal privatisation, theft, and corruption which came during and after the war and part of which, with the exception of privatisation, has been, and still is OU

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:28

      "And all of the others did not have it, except for CSA and Tarom, symbolically, two weekly on narrow body."
      Do you want to say that Malev and Balkan Bulgarian didnt have it?

      Delete
    7. I speak of period before the war in Yugoslavia. At that time Malev and Balkan did not have any long-haul aircraft and they did not have any north America flights. The biggest plane in both fleets was Tupolev 154. And all other countries mentioned did not have North American carriers on nonstop flights. PanAm flew to BUD, BUH and PRG via FRA, the same as to DBV and BEG. The only "socialist" destination served nonstop with wide body plane was ZAG. Also the only one in "eastern Europe" served by Air Canada. And afterwards MA and LZ tried and did not succeed, but once again, those two markets are completely different from Croatian.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:53

      "And afterwards MA and LZ tried and did not succeed, but once again, those two markets are completely different from Croatian."
      And? They are larger by population, air passangers and most imporatntly for the 90s, they had (at least Hungary) better and not war destroyed economy.

      Delete
    9. pozdrav iz Rijeke11:55

      For the flights :The base of JAT was BEG. That's were planes had maintenance, where main operational center was and from where all crews were starting their duties. So no long-haul flight was commencing in ZAG or LJU, all flights were starting in BEG, but almost all of them operated via ZAG, LJU, and DBV, mostly ZAG, where actually most of the passengers were boarding and disembarking.

      Delete
    10. @An.11.53
      Absolutely, you are right, no criminal happened in Croatia, everything is the consequence of the war, Croatia Airlines is excellent company led by experts and the market for long haul in Croatia does not exist because before covid American Airlines and Air Canada did not fly to Croatia and thanks God Croatia Airlines did not start long haul 25 years ago and turned to ATR'S, for what nobody received no bribe, and I quit now because I don't have any more energy to try to convince you to change your mind . Cheers!

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:24

      So when you are losing an argument you start humiliating others and accusing them for things they didnt say. And your comment is a totally nonsense. I said they had better economy and markets but still their airlines failed in long haul, so i said; i dont know how would in the 90s long haul even work for OU if these airlines failed. And you also confirmed that economy was terbible, worse then Hungary ones, because of criminlas which made economy even worse. Thats why it wouldnt work in the 90s, because economy was a mess. You didnt make any point. (AA and AC started flying to Croatia in the 2010s, same as AC towards Bucharest, Budapest, Prague and AA towards Budapest and Prague, not in the 90s)

      Delete
    12. Anonymous13:05

      Yes, there was a lot of passengers from ZAG on JAT's transatlantic flights. Still, there was a lot of flights that were originating in BEG without stop in ZAG or LJU. Some of them were ORD/LAX, JFK, etc... It was JAT's business model to have stopovers in ZAG and LJU and some other cities and then onward to US or Europe instead of feeding pax to BEG and flying directly to North America and Europe. It was simply en route to stop there and take pax. There was a lot of passengers to Australia from Croatia too, yet the flight was never going trough ZAG as it was going in the opposite direction. Also, even though I'm NOT and Air Serbia fan, today we have a a lot of pax to/from JFK, directly. BEG is hub for a good reason. The only thing lacking is domestic market due to parting of the truly wonderful Yugoslavia.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous13:10

      JFK and ORD operated out of ZAG nonstop and JFK out of LJU nonstop too. It's just that they had nonstop flights from BEG too. They had daily flights to JFK but a few times per week they had stop in ZAG and a stop in LJU while on other days it was nonstop. Sound logic.

      Delete
    14. 5 OU flights daily to FRA, 3 out of ZAG and one SPU and DBV. 150 seats offered per flight, is 750 daily. One third deducted for bad LF and we come to 500 passengers OU transports average daily to/from FRA. 200 are P2P, 100 are to other destinations, 200 daily to North America. One Dreamliner ZAG-NYC. No transfers via VIE, MUC, ZRH, BRU or other star hubs counted. No other alliances OU destinations transfers included. No OU north America codeshares on SK via CPH included, no other airlines transfers included. Only FRA. Only OU. One Dreamliner, or even better one A321XLR. That's for today. Now imagine the service(s) started 25 years ago, with immense flow of journalists and politicians on the direct route, guaranteeing yields, unlike Hungary, precisely because of post-war situation, Plus rich immigrants wishing to invest starting returning and frequently traveling to Croatia expecting it to become serious and open market country. Plus regular immigration. Plus entire Balkans, if properly connected with regional network. Plus all the passengers from Slovenia/Istria using, even today VCE for their North America flights. In the times when competition was less, aircraft cheaper, labour cheaper, and tickets more expensive. Plus the fact that at that times 2 or weekly flying, unlike today, could have still been profitable. Plus cargo which I usually forget to mention. Now imagine such service maturing for 25 years, with all the increase in croatian tourism, and widening of regional network. And everything I just wrote confirms how much I left without arguments and how much I enjoy humiliating others.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous17:58

      So whats your argument that in the 90s long haul out of Croatia would work? Todays number of flights towards Frankfurt? Just lol

      Delete
    16. My argument is that the market always existed.
      Even during and after the war. That OU flights to JFK, ORD and YYZ were published in summer timetable 1994 with ex LH DC-10. That pilots, engineers and cabin crew who already flew /worked the type were waiting to be sent to FRA to renew the licences. That initial Croatia Airlines plans were containing flying long-haul flights. That only crime and corruption led to OU becoming the feeder for LH. You may never accept it, because of various reasons, the same as I will never accept your claim that OU flying to the US has never been and would not be profitable. Over and out.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous22:23

      So your argument that OUs long haul in the 90s would work is based on, if i understand you good, that crime and couruption exists and existed in state owned companies? Nice, no argument again,just pointless comment with some truths that doesnt mater at all in this conversation.

      Delete
    18. It takes two to dance. I gave at least 10 information why those flights were supposed to happen, and function well, but you decided simply not to comment on them, like they don't exist, and you chose to comment on only one, why they didn't happen, because of crime and corruption. I would really like you to explain how the truth about crime and corruption doesn't matter at all in this conversation, if some people took the money in order to stop the flights which were already arranged, approved and published for sale, and buy regional turboprops instead, despite the fact that introduction of long-haul was part of the company development strategy and there was no single word about regional traffic, in time when air travel was completely different compared to today. But you are applying today's parameters of feasibility and profitability on the situation which you are not familiar with, or deliberately pretending not to be familiar with. It is not possible to talk to someone who is not listening to you and does not want to hear what you say and that's why you are absolutely right again - my comments are pointless, obviously just for you, because you simply don't want to hear them and think about them. And I don't see anyone else here opposing me so hard which indicates that you have strong reasons to defend crime and corruption in OU, which I was saying from the first moment and you denied. In the future, please be so kind not to post as Anonymous because I will discuss only with the people who are not hiding behind Anonimity, insulting others, and at the same time claiming being insulted, attacked and humiliated. Good night!

      Delete
    19. Anonymous08:16

      Ok, nice. They supposed to happen so automaticly they would work while same flights out of PRG, OTP, SOF and BUD didnt work. Great argument!

      Delete
    20. Anonymous08:38

      Here is for you a text from 1995. about OUs long haul and why it didnt happen:
      "CROATIA AIRLINES has shelved plans to buy long-haul aircraft this year and is instead seeking a code-sharing partnership with a US airline.

      According to senior vice-president Kresimir Magdic, the airline had intended this year to purchase either an Airbus A340 or an extended-range Boeing 767. While insisting that the carrier still hopes for future long-haul purchases, Magdic says that it is impossible to finance them.

      The airline is already encountering problems with interest payments on domestic loans taken to cover the deposits paid on its five ex-Lufthansa Boeing 737-200s.

      Croatia Airlines acquired these aircraft in 1992 and 1993 under a lease-purchase deal financed by German institutions and is now suffering under what it sees as the unfavourable terms of repayment. It also operates two ATR 42 turboprops, bought new in 1993.

      Magdic says that Croatia Airlines sees much potential in the Australian, Canadian, South American and US markets - initially from ethnic passengers. "We would like to discuss the code-sharing idea with an American carrier which is not yet 'married'," says Magdic, stressing the importance of establishing a presence on the long-haul market, even if Croatia Airlines itself does not yet have long-haul capabilities."

      Delete
    21. This article comes two years after, and is actually formal excuse for what has already been done - damage for teh company. What I was talking about was happening two years before, when OU was supposed to take over DC-10 from LH, at the same time when it was decided to "operate two ATR42 turboprops bought new in 1993." With the most favourable price of ex-LH DC-10, the ship sailed later for much more expensive A340 and B767 mentioned here. However it's only cementing my point that the market always existed and if there were no personal benefits for "percentage" in contracts for "bought new" aircraft, and "rewards" for providing feeder services, long haul in OU could have worked.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Good that they have their finances covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "ACMI does not exists nowadays and it is obvious that airlines will not need ACMI for quite a long time."
      -This is completely wrong!! There is.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    Hope it can work, but what will they do in winter when the coast is more or less dead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      ACMI in other parts of the world (or Europe)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:48

      ACMI does not exists nowadays and it is obvious that airlines will not need ACMI for quite a long time.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:05

    Why not just call it Easy to fly instead of ETF? Cool idea but that name really needs to be improved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Easy2Fly

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      Agree, that would be better branded.

      Delete
    3. Illiteracy became fashion09:22

      Tired of these stupid use of digits and lower cases in brand names.

      Be literate.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:59

      They could have went with a better name, something more local, or even regional.

      Delete
    5. It has become acceptable to be illiterate in branding campaigns nowadays, even cool, to show how hipster your company is.
      When in reality they are highly structured companies.
      Calling it something local or regional says you are not thinking beyond the box, to use marketing lingo.
      Anyway, very stupid name.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous00:26

      True dat.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:37

      ETF stands for exchange-traded funds, Easy to fly is just their commercial name.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:06

    I like the logo and livery if they stick to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      Agree, its very modern and stylish. Definitly nicer then of most of the european carriers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:55

      Anyone know where is the livery inspired from?

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:07

    Why hasn't Trade Air ever tried flying charters from Croatia for tour operators? They only fly PSO routes in Croatia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      Interesting question. They do vacation charters from Ljubljana but not from Croatia. Why?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      Just my thoughts. Resembles the model of C3

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:29

      Because charter market in Croatia is quite small, thats why you dont see them operating many charters. They usually operate charters in other coutries or just lease jets.

      Delete
    4. Trade Air flew a lot of coastal charter chains for different tour operators. Split to Bergen, Oslo and Bristol, Dubrovnik to Norwich, Pula to Copenhagen and Billund, Zadar to Milano. Actually in the beginning of passenger operations, idea was to have one Fokker operating steady coastal charters and the other one to be available for adhoc subcharters. With the change in management, coastal charters were not interested any more, as the other type of operations usually brings bigger income

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:31

      Becouse in LJU there was Adria, which had a lot of charters in summer, and Trade air replaced them

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:54

      The question is why has Croatia Airlines never started operating charter flights on a wider scale from the coast?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:06

      No. 1
      Quite bad managment
      No.2
      Quite small charter market
      No.3
      Capacity

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:53

      Thanks @pozdrav iz Rijeka. I wasn't aware of that.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:15

    This is exciting. I wish them all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:16

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:17

    They should try to get a contract with one of the Kosovo tour operators. It seems to have worked for Orange2Fly and Air Mediterranean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      and a tons of other that didnt work ...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      Actually very risky to work with these family tour operator. Just ask Smartlynx.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      Anon 9:24
      Why is problem?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:45

      Because they are often cheated by the tour operators.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:17

    What a time to launch a new airline. Can it work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      I think yes, especially as leasing terms are good, but the big question remains the demand with wihch all hangs.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:50

      Crazy in this economic climate if you ask me.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:53

      If they can find the right niche it can work. And they obviously think they can.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:27

    Will this have an impact on OU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      I don't see how since OU does very few charters. Maybe it stimulates them to do more in this area.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:53

    I'm surprised Croatia doesn't have a second scheduled airline

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both Dubrovnik Airline and Air Adriatic lost their AOC few months after announcing scheduled services from ZAG. Some people say they were badly managed, especially Adriatic, and I can agree to that, yet they operated successfully for several years and ceased operations only after scheduled flights are announced, which make the things at least interesting. Concerning Dalmatian, after concluded plane lease agreement, announced empty positions, secured HQ space and started tickets Internet sales for scheduled LCC flights, everything had been stopped because CEO received life threats. Interesting as well. And you make your own conclusion.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:55

      Thank you. Interesting. I'm sad Dubrovnik didn't start scheduled flights. I think it would have been interesting to see OU have some real competition on local market (and I think it would have made OU much more competitive and responsive).

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:53

    I feel it will end up in the bag with the other unsuccessful airlines.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:54

    Any idea where they will be based?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      From what I've heard, Dubrovnik will be their main focus.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:58

      "ETF intends to focus on routes from the Croatian Adriatic coast such as Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Zadar to airports in France, Germany and the UK."

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:15

      They don't mention Zagreb in their plans. Money can't be made in ZAG, so it's only coastal airports to largest EU tourist markets.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:25

      They don't mention Zagreb because the airline's whole point to fly charters from coastal cities.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous17:49

      Good, finally a replacement for Dubrovnik Airline.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:50

      Lets hope this airline actually works out unlike Dubrovnik Airline.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:50

      Dubrovnik Airline did great with charters. They were shut down when they dared mention interest in scheduled flights.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:00

    I hope that these ideas will become a reality.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hope they come to LJU

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous10:02

    Good! Croatia needs an airline with aircraft based on the coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:02

      Preferably a scheduled one.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous10:08

    Elektrotehnicki Fakultet Airways

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      The abbreviation reminds me of that too haha

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:12

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:22

    Anyone who wants to start up an airline at this time must be very bold. Wish them good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      Actually with established carriers in a crisis and the price of leased aircraft at record low levels this is a time of great opportunity.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:41

      Starting an ACMI operator in times where airlines have hundreds of their own aircraft parked...

      Good luck.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:02

    There are so many ACMi airlines around the world that will be doing this and there will be much less need for ACMI leases in the years to come as so many aircraft are grounded.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous11:11

    I hope this succeeds and support any kind of enthusiastic idea, especially in aviation industry.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous11:11

    Due to low plane leasing rates, it is quite easy to set up an airline now a days.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Off topic question; are there daily flights from ZAG to FRA? thanks.
    (I am exporting something from Croatia to North America).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlie! Yes, there are two daily ZAG-FRA, 08.45 and 14.45. And in addition to AMS those are only daily OU flights now during covid crisis. And as far as I know, very rarely cancelled, actually I think FRA was never cancelled, not 100%sure but think. Cheers!

      Delete
    2. Thank you kindly my brotha from Riki! ;-)

      Delete
  27. Anonymous17:48

    Maybe they just set it up so they can apply for PSO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous01:09

      There are certain rules you have to meet to get PSO. A start up is unlikely to be able to.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous17:48

    At least someone is hiring in the aviation sector which is great news.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous17:49

    Wishing them the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous17:51

    Anyone know who is the CEO of the airline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:52

      His name is Stjepan Bedic

      Delete
  31. Anonymous17:52

    This will be good news for Croatian coastal airports in these corona times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:01

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:01

      Welcome change from all the sacking and furloughs at the moment.

      Delete
    3. Hopefully the succeed but the competition will be fierce in the future.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous01:08

      Definitely

      Delete
  32. Anonymous12:38

    Tradeair will have to fight now.

    ReplyDelete

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