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Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 20 August 1989
(as Zagal - Zagreb Airlines)
Hubs Zagreb International Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Miles & More
Airport lounge Senator Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 12
Destinations 27
Company slogan Više od udobnog leta.
Parent company Croatian Government
Headquarters Zagreb, Croatia
Key people Krešimir Kučko, President and CEO[1]
Employees 1070 (2013)[2]

Croatia Airlines Ltd. is the state-owned flag carrier of Croatia. It is headquartered in Buzin near Zagreb[1] and operates domestic and international services mainly to European destinations. Its main hub is Zagreb International Airport with focus cities being Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar.[3] Since November 2004, the airline has been a member of Star Alliance.


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Development since 2000 1.2
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Ownership 2.1
    • Subsidiaries 2.2
    • Business trends 2.3
  • Destinations 3
  • Codeshare agreements 4
  • Fleet 5
    • Current fleet 5.1
    • Historic fleet 5.2
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Early years

A former Croatia Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82 in June 1991

The airline was established on 20 July 1989, trading with the name Zagal (formally, Zagreb Airlines), and started operations using a single Cessna 402 aircraft on cargo services for UPS. After the first democratic elections held in Croatia, Zagal changed its name to Croatia Airlines[3] on 23 July 1990.

In 1991 Croatia Airlines signed an agreement with Adria Airways which allowed it to lease a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 to commence domestic jet services between Zagreb and Split. Due to the Croatian War of Independence and the closure of the airspace over Croatia, the airline was soon forced to suspend operations. As soon as flights restarted, Croatia Airlines acquired three Boeing 737s from Lufthansa and became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). That year also saw the airline open its first international route to Frankfurt.

In 1993, two new Pope John Paul II flew the airline on a trip to Croatia.

In 1995, another ATR 42 was welcomed, as was the two millionth passenger. In 1996, Croatia Airlines became the first airline to fly to Sarajevo after the Bosnian War. In 1997 the airline's first Airbus A320 arrived and was named Rijeka. In 1998, another first plane of a new type arrived when the airline's first Airbus A319 joined the fleet. This airplane was named Zadar. In the same year, Croatia Airlines became a member of the Association of European Airlines (AEA). By 1999, two more Airbus jets had arrived and Croatia Airlines started selling the Boeing part of their fleet. The airline flew its five millionth passenger.

Development since 2000

Croatia Airlines Airbus A319-100 wearing the Star Alliance livery

In 2000 two more Airbus planes arrived and an automated ticketing system was inaugurated. In 2001 the airline received maintenance and technical performing certificates from the German aviation authority Luftfahrt-Bundesamt. On 18 November 2004, Croatia Airlines joined Star Alliance.

By March 2009, the airline retired its fleet of three ATR 42 short-haul aircraft, after operating the type since 1993, and replaced it with a fleet of six Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s, the first of which was delivered in May 2008.

Airbus and Croatia Airlines announced on 22 October 2008 the order of four additional 132-seat A319 aircraft, to be delivered from 2013.[4]

The airline carried its 20,000,000th passenger in July 2009,[5] and has carried well over 1 million passengers annually from 2000.[6]

Croatia Airlines and maintenance partner Lufthansa announced on 23 May 2011 the introduction of new slim-line Recaro economy seats to be retrofitted into certain A320 Family aircraft from Summer 2012, increasing seating capacity by two rows.[7][8]

Losses have been made for several years; in November 2012 the government announced that it would provide HRK 800m ($ 136m) for Croatia Airline to become cost-effective from 2013 on. The government is seeking to restructure the airline, which includes plans to cut its workforce by ten percent within two years and it is also looking for a strategic investor.[9]

In 2015 the airline confirmed plans to lease 2 Embraer 190 aircraft from Montenegro Airlines and to acquire up to 6 new aircraft by 2018.[10]

Corporate affairs


Croatia Airlines head office in Buzin near Zagreb

The largest shareholder of the airline is the Government Asset Management Agency for the Republic of Croatia, with 97.02% of the issued capital. Zagreb airport LLC holds 1.72%, The State Agency for Deposit Insurance and Bank Rehabilitation owns 0.76% of the airline and 0.50% is publicly held.[11]


In addition to its main operation, Croatia Airlines maintains several aviation related subsidiaries:[12]

  • Obzor putovanja
  • Pleso prijevoz
  • Amadeus Croatia
  • Croatia Airlines-Technical affairs is a maintenance organisation placed at Zagreb International Airport. In 2001 the company received maintenance and technical performing certificates from the German aviation authority Luftfahrt-Bundesamt.[13] It is the line and base maintenance provider for Croatia Airlines but also provides a service of maintenance to Lufthansa, Thomas Cook Airlines, Sky Work Airlines and many others.[14]

Business trends

The key trends for Croatia Airlines group over recent years are shown below (as at year ending 31 December):

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Turnover (HRK m) 1.537 1,729 1,449 1,479 1,763 1,786 1,654 1,643
Net Profits/Losses after tax (HRK m) 1.0 −89.29 −198.5 −156.2 −113.1 −487.8 1.4 7.1
Number of employees (at year end) 1,052 1,113 1,131 1,117 1,101 1,086 1,041 908
Number of passengers (m)[15] 1.715 1.869 1.752 1.641 1.879 1.952 1.797 1.825
Passenger load factor (%) 64.9 65.2 61.4 62.0 67.0 69.1 68.8 69.2
Number of aircraft (at year end) 10 10 12 13 13 13 12 12
Notes/sources [16] [16] [17] [18][19] [18] [18] [20] [18][21]


Codeshare agreements

Croatia Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[22]


Croatia Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 Q400
Croatia Airlines Airbus A319-100
Croatia Airlines Airbus A320-200 arrives London Heathrow Airport (2015)

Current fleet

As of July 2015 the Croatia Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 11.5 years:[24][25]

Historic fleet


  1. ^ a b
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  3. ^ a b Flight International 3 April 2007
  4. ^ Croatia Airlines to acquire four additional A320 family aircraft 22 October 2008
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  7. ^ Business News Croatia Airlines to Introduce 23 May 2011
  8. ^ Croatia Airlines presents new economy class 20 March 2012
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External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
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