Croatia ETF Airways unveils its launch plans
The Croatian start-up ETF Airways is preparing to take delivery of its first plane, a Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats, next Wednesday with a second plane of the same type which will follow soon. The carrier recently received the designation code “EZZ” from the International Civil Aviation Organization, while its call sign will be “Enterprize”. The ETF intends to eventually operate up to five aircraft, although it initially plans to have one based in Dubrovnik for charter flights, while the other will be leased with crew from other airlines. aerial, if circumstances permit. The company has yet to sign any deals with tour operators, but said there was interest.
ETF is now looking for partners, companies and brokers for ACMI and charter business opportunities in order to be able to park a plane on the Croatian coast. The airline argues that the country’s tourism industry would benefit from a charter carrier. “To think that we are world famous in tourism and that everyone will come to us is counterproductive. Antalya has thirty million passengers a year. All the coastal airports in Croatia combined have fewer passengers than Ibiza. What we have are peanuts. We are talking about basing a plane in Dubrovnik. By taking a guest to Dubrovnik, everyone will be able to enjoy it – the hotels, the city, the tourist attractions, ”said company CEO Stjepan Bedić.
Croatia-based private investors and investment funds support the new airline which has stable 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 EU 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.