Croatia Airlines has announced that it will order six Airbus A220s after reaching an agreement with the European aircraft manufacturer. Deliveries will be made over the next four years to 2026, with the carrier expected to operate a single-type fleet. Although the airline has not specified which variant of the two A220s it will order, EX-YU Aviation News learns that it could involve three A220-100s and -300s with options for six additional jets. Both will be configured to accommodate up to 127 and 148 passengers respectively. Croatia Airlines’ current fleet consists of five A319s, two A320s and six Dash 8 turboprops, all of which need to be replaced.
Details on the value of the deal or how it will be funded have not been released, however, the carrier declared a landmark A319 order, which was later converted to an A320neos order, which were to be delivered this year and in 2023. , have been replaced by the A220s. Croatia Airlines would have deposited more than eight million euros for the previous order. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the flag carrier said its post-Covid-19 strategy, which was approved in August last year with the aim of increasing business efficiency, its commercial operations and to improve its competitiveness on the market, obliged it to replace and renew its fleet in the coming years, culminating in the agreement with Airbus.
Airbus has clearly been a forerunner in securing an order from Croatia Airlines since showcasing the A220’s capabilities in Zagreb in September last year. At the time, the carrier’s commercial director, Slaven Žabo, said: “This is an aircraft that was designed today for the next thirty years, which is what we need. They are narrow-body jets that delight with their comfort, and I think they would fit perfectly into the Croatia Airlines fleet.” Airbus single-aisle market development manager Claude Debaquenne noted that the A220 would allow Croatia Airlines to launch a number of new routes, with its range allowing the carrier to cover all of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
The A220 family is considered the most efficient small single-aisle aircraft. It has a range of up to 6,390 kilometers, as well as the widest seats, largest windows and 20% more overhead storage space per passenger than other narrow-body aircraft. Its windows are larger than those of the Boeing 777. Currently, there are fourteen operators engaged in this type, including airBaltic, Swiss, Korean Air, Delta Air Lines, Air Tanzania, Egypt Air, Air Canada, jetBlue, Iraqi Airways and Air Southern. It is powered by two latest-generation Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines (geared turbofans), belonging to the same engine family as those powering the A320neo family.