Croatia ETF Airways to take delivery of first plane
Croatian start-up ETF Airways will take delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, in the coming weeks. The plane, leased to AerCap, is seventeen years old and was previously operated by a number of carriers, including Malev and S7 Airlines. The aircraft recently received the ETF livery in Shannon, Ireland and is expected to carry the Croatian registration 9A-ABC. The aircraft will be used for charter flights under a rental agreement covering aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI). The ETF intends to focus on the links connecting the Croatian Adriatic coast with Western Europe, its main base being Dubrovnik.
ETF has also finalized an agreement for the lease of a second B737-800 jet which will join the fleet this summer. There are plans to add a third aircraft next year and for the carrier to have up to seven aircraft by 2025. As the airline will be registered in Croatia, it will have the ability to fly to all markets from the European Union. The company recently completed the hiring of future cabin crew members, who are currently in training. He is now looking for new partners, companies and brokers for ACMI and charter business opportunities around the world. Private investors and investment funds based in Croatia would support the initiative and the airline would have stable and secure funding.
Commenting on its operations, economic analyst Velimir Šonje, who is an investor in the airline and a member of the supervisory board, said recently: “ETF does not aim to become a large scheduled carrier. Our main objective is to exploit the opportunities that we expect in the coming years through charters and similar agreements, mainly in the European market, through a flexible and reliable service ”. Mr Šonje added that the post-Covid world would open up a number of opportunities in particular market niches. Croatia has had many charter and scheduled airlines in the past, each with varying degrees of success.
Cover photo courtesy of Malcolm Nason