Croatia Airlines

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Croatia Airlines d.d. is the national airline and flag carrier of the Republic of Croatia. Based in Zagreb,[1] the airline is a member of Star Alliance and operates domestic and international services. Its main base is Zagreb Airport, with focus cities being Dubrovnik and Split.[2] In 2008 Croatia Airlines posted a net profit of 38 million Croatian kuna and transported 1,870 000 passengers (2008).[3] Croatia Airlines is the leading airline (in terms of passengers) from the former Yugoslavia, coming ahead of Jat Airways and Adria Airways.



The airline was established on 20 July 1989 under the name of Zagal – Zagreb Airlines, and started operations using a single Cessna 402 aircraft on cargo services for UPS. After the first democratic elections held in Croatia, Zagal changed its name to Croatia Airlines[2] on 23 July 1990.

In 1991 Croatia Airlines signed an agreement with Adria Airways which allowed it to lease a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 to commence domestic jet services between Zagreb and Split. Due to the ongoing military conflict in the region and the closure of the airspace over Croatia, the airline was soon forced to suspend operations. As soon as flights restarted, Croatia Airlines acquired three Boeing 737s from Lufthansa and became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). That year also saw the airline open its first international route to Frankfurt.

In 1993, two new ATR 42s and two more 737s joined the fleet and representative offices were opened in several European cities and the company bought the travel agency Obzor to organize travel packages for groups and individuals. By 1994, Croatia Airlines had welcomed its one millionth passenger. Later that year, Pope John Paul II flew the airline on a trip to Croatia.

In 1995, another ATR 42 was welcomed, as was the two millionth passenger. In 1996, Croatia Airlines became the first airline to fly to Sarajevo after the Bosnian War. In 1997 the airline's first Airbus A320 arrived and was named Rijeka. In 1998, another first plane of a new type arrived when the airline's first Airbus A319 joined the fleet. This airplane was named Zadar. In the same year, Croatia Airlines became a member of the Association of European Airlines (AEA). By 1999, two more Airbus jets had arrived and Croatia Airlines started selling the Boeing part of their fleet. The airline flew its five millionth passenger.

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