Zagreb, 15 September 2014
The 25th anniversary of Croatia Airlines, the Croatian flag carrier and a member of Star Alliance, was marked at a ceremony organised at Zagreb's Gradska Kavana.
The ceremony was attended by the Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, senior representatives of Croatian political life, CEO Star Alliance Mark Schwab, representatives of international airline associations and organisations, many Croatia Airlines business partners from Croatia and abroad, as well as its employees headed by the CEO and President of the Management Board Krešimir Kučko.
In his speech, Mr. Kučko reminded the audience that the history of the Croatian airline company began on 7 August 1989, when the company registered with the Commercial Court in Zagreb under the name of Zagreb Airlines d. d. (Zagal), company for air transport. Zagal was the first joint stock company in Croatia, and in July 1990 it changed its name to Croatia Airlines d. d., national air traffic company for passenger, cargo and mail transport.
Passenger transport started on 5 May 1991, when the first flight in domestic traffic was performed on the Zagreb-Split route on a leased MD-82 aircraft. A year later, on 5 April 1992, the company performed its first international flight (Zagreb-Frankfurt), which marked the beginning of Croatia's connections with Europe and the world.
- Those who know the situation in the airline industry know very well that it was not easy to make history in such a sensitive environment. But Croatia Airlines did it. The outlines of our history are already very clear and it has been tightly woven into 25 years of hard work and creation, sacrifice, successful landings and take-offs, ups and downs, which the entire industry has been exposed to for years - said Krešimir Kučko, President of the Management Board of Croatia Airlines and added:
- Croatia Airlines possesses something more powerful and more important than technological potential, and that is our employees. Only people, their professionalism, loyalty and work attitude make a company unique and different from all others.
In the past quarter of a century, Croatia Airlines has become a member of the most important airline associations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Association of European Airlines (AEA) and Star Alliance, the largest airline association.
Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance, congratulated Croatia Airlines on 25 years of successful operations, as well as the 10th anniversary of its membership in this most distinguished global association.
- When the company joined Star Alliance, it upgraded its services by offering flight connections mainly through the European hubs of the Star Alliance network which now covers 1,316 airports in 192 countries - said Mark Schwab.
In the 25 years of its existence, Croatia Airlines has grown into a medium sized airline company which is recognised by passengers for flight safety, quality of service and professional staff. As the national airline company, it contributes significantly to the development of Croatian tourism considering that, annually, one third of all tourists arriving in Croatia by plane fly with Croatia Airlines. Moreover, in 2013 the company was the country's fifth largest exporter.
Congratulating Croatia Airlines on its silver jubilee, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Siniša Hajdaš Dončić said:
- We look with pride at the company and its employees who have linked Croatia with the world and participated in the creation of its international reputation. Their efforts contribute significantly to Croatia being well connected, the development of tourism, as well as the strengthening of its overall economic and social potentials. I am pleased that, through a consistently implemented programme of restructuring, Croatia Airlines has been successful in coping with the challenges of air traffic in Europe, so as to position itself as successfully as possible and continue implementing its mission in the future.
Because of the successful implementation of strategic, financial and operational restructuring measures, Croatia Airlines achieved a positive financial result in 2013 amounting to HRK 721,000. This is the first time that profit was generated after 2007, and a positive shift totalling HRK 65.5 million compared to 2012. This positive trend has been maintained this year as well. The business results recorded so far suggest that Croatia Airlines will end 2014 with a positive net result.
Since its first commercial flight, Croatia Airlines' aircraft performed 470,000 flights and transported over 29,000,000 passengers, more than 20,000,000 of whom were passengers on international flights, and approximately 9,000,000 on flights within Croatia.
This season, Croatia Airlines aircraft directly link the Republic of Croatia with 32 European destinations in 18 countries, while in domestic traffic they connect Croatia's capital Zagreb with six airports (Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Pula, Osijek and Bol on the Island of Brač).
Croatia Airlines' fleet consists of twelve aircraft: four A319 Airbuses, two 320 Airbuses and six turboprop Dash 8-Q400 aircraft.