10 February 2019 – Smile Air, a Croatian start-up airline with headquarters in the capital Zagreb, hopes to launch commerical operations next year.
Smile Air is currently in the process of securing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) which it requires to commence commercial flights. The start-up is targeting a launch date of next year and plans to initially lease two E190 aircraft before leasing an Airbus A321 for the summer season.
“The airline will initially operate in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while worldwide operations are also planed. The E-jet family of aircraft is the most popular line of regional jets. E190 is especially appealing due to its range, capacity, airport performance and CASM (Available Seat Miles)”, Smile Air said, reports Ex-Yu Aviation News.
Smile Air was set up by three aviation professionals and co-founder Nino Borić, who also owns US aircraft leasing company AvioNova and is a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading, says the airline hopes to launch in 2020.
“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”.
Apart from Borić, Smile Air co-founders also include former Croatia Airlines pilot Bernard Lukač, and Krunoslav Djumlija, a former Flight Operations Inspector at the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency.