Croatia Airlines is in negotiations with European plane manufacturer Airbus over the cancellation of its order for four A320neo aircraft. The first two A320neos were scheduled to arrive in Zagreb in 2022, while the other two were due a year later. The carrier has so far deposited 8.5 million euros for the four jets. The total value of the deal has never been made public. The carrier commenced negotiations over the termination of the order just prior to the coronavirus pandemic. “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”, Croatia Airlines said.
Croatia Airlines successfully converted a 2008 order for four A319s to the neos in 2015. Although the new aircraft were originally to be delivered by the end of 2013, their arrival was put on hold and the deal was renegotiated. The carrier put off the arrival of the jets due to the company’s financial situation at the time. The Croatian carrier currently boasts a fleet of five A319s, two A320s and six Dash 8 Q400 turboprops. The latter’s operating lease agreement was extended in 2018. In addition, the airline has been wet-leasing two CRJ1000 aircraft from Spain’s Air Nostrum over the summer season between 2016 and 2019. Plans to lease an additional Dash 8 this summer have been cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
Based on the company’s five-year business development plan (2020 – 2025), it intends on renewing its fleet with mid-age A319 and A320 aircraft, as well as replace wet-leases with long-term dry-leases. The current average age of Croatia Airlines’ fleet amounts to 15.7 years. The A320s are currently the oldest, averaging 20.8 years, followed by the A319s at nineteen years and the Dash 8s at 11.3 years. Out of 255 carriers operating the A320 aircraft, Croatia Airlines ranks 223rd in terms of the age of the jets, while out of the 125 A319 operators, the Croatian carrier ranks 113th in the world. Among airlines utilising the Dash 8s, Croatia Airlines has one of the younger fleets of this type in the world, ranking 31st globally.