ETF Airways was established last year with the signing of the first permanent contract on connecting destinations in Southeast Europe with those across the EU, it was said.
“The market is recovering quickly after the spring easing of the pandemic. The demand for our services outside Croatia is growing above our expectations. We have a great team of people who have managed to respond to every challenge and prepare our company for the first season of operations with two Boeing airplanes. This is the first time in the past 30 years that Boeing is appearing on the Southeast European market,” ETF Airways CEO Stjepan Bedić said.
“Beginning operations outside Croatia does not mean that ETF Airways won’t become an important bridge for Croatia’s tourism. It’s a big world, but we are first of all a Croatian company. A charter plane is an irreplaceable air motorway and we are sure that the opening of new markets and bridges to high-income travellers will continue in the years ahead,” said Velimir Šonje, deputy chair of the airline’s supervisory committee and one of its investors.
ETF Airways will not be a line carrier but base its business strategy on charter flights and wet lease contracts, i.e. leasing aircraft and crew to other airlines or businesses.
“For smaller airlines it’s almost impossible to compete with giants like Ryanair and Lufthansa. However, there are many niches on the market, in part related to tourism, in which there is more than enough room for companies like us,” said management board member Marko Banković.
Among the guests at Pula Airport was Boeing’s director for Europe, Matthew Bull, and an envoy of Croatia’s tourism minister, Ivo Bašić, who said that enterprise initiative like this one were important from a number of aspects as they strengthened Croatia’s position on the air destination map.