Around a month ago, it was announced that Croatia might get a new domestic airline – Smile Air. The information was comfirmed and according to the EX-YU Aviation News, they plan launching operations in 2020 with two Embraer E190 jets for year-round operations, which would be followed by the lease of an Airbus A321 for seasonal purposes. The next step will be adding a wide-body A330 for long haul services.
The company is being established by a three-member team comprised of aviation professionals – Nino Boric, who owns US aircraft leasing company AvioNova and is a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), captain Bernard Lukač, a former Croatia Airlines A320 pilot, and Krunoslav Djumlija, a former Flight Operations Inspector at the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.
-We would like to start operations at the end of this year, but it will be difficult to do so, as we need to secure the right aircraft for the market. Prices are currently too high. We are in no real hurry but we want to make this a sustainable and long-term project void of any mistakes. In addition, obtaining flight permits also takes some time, so we hope to launch in 2020 – commented Boric for EX-YU Aviation News.
As they report, the Zagreb-based start-up said it is in the process of obtaining an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), enabling it to launch commercial operations. The airline will initially operate in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while worldwide operations are also planed.