Airbus will present and pitch its narrow-body A220 aircraft to Croatia Airlines in Zagreb on Tuesday next week. It comes as the carrier’s new post-Covid strategy, which is awaiting approval from the government, outlines plans for the renewal of the airline’s fleet. The A220 is being seen as a potential replacement for the carrier’s ageing Airbus aircraft. Next week’s presentation will include a short demonstration flight around the Croatian capital. The A220 comes in two variants, with the A220-100 having the ability to seat between 100 and 135 passengers, while the A220-300 can carry between 120 and 160 travellers, depending on the cabin layout.
Croatia Airlines is in the process of negotiating the cancellation of its order for four A320neo aircraft with the European plane manufacturer. The first two jets were initially to arrive in Zagreb next year, and the remaining two in 2023. Talks with Airbus regarding their cancellation were put on hold last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, at the time, Croatia Airlines said, “Negotiations concerning the Termination Agreement, which will result in the cancellation of the A320neo order and the use of the deposit for other Airbus services are currently on hold due to Covid-19 and will resume as soon as possible”. The air carrier is believed to have deposited over eight million euros for the aircraft, which it now aims to use on other Airbus products.
The current average age of Croatia Airlines’ fleet amounts to sixteen and a half years. The A320s are currently the oldest, averaging 21.7 years, followed by the A319s at 19.8 years and the Dash 8s at 12.1 years. Out of 258 carriers operating the A320 aircraft, Croatia Airlines ranks 229th in terms of the age of the jets, while out of the 122 A319 operators, the Croatian carrier ranks 111th in the world. Among airlines utilising the Dash 8s, Croatia Airlines has one of the younger fleets of this type in the world, ranking 30th globally. Prior to Covid-19, Croatia Airlines adopted a five-year business development plan (2020 – 2025), which foresaw the renewal of its fleet with mid-age A319 and A320 aircraft.