Will there be flights from Dubrovnik to New York, Beijing, and more international destinations in the near future? According to Pragusa.One there will be, as the new Croatian start-up is looking to serve the United States, China, Japan, and more from bases in Dubrovnik and Prague.
“We are going to start as a travel agency but in the next three years, we will make the transition towards becoming an airline, since AOC [Air Operator’s Certificate] certification will take some time. In Croatia, we are going to apply for an AOC which will take ten to twelve months. Until then, we will operate with our partner on a full charter basis. We expect to sign an agreement with them in the next couple of days. We will convert the wet-lease into a dry-lease by 2024. We expect to launch our booking and reservation system by the end of April, but the start of operations will depend on travel restrictions,” said the Pragusa.One CEO, Krešimir Budinski.
Namely, Pragusa.One will sell seven and fourteen-day tour packages to Dubrovnik and Prague, while offering point-to-point flights through a wet-lease arrangement with a partner.
“We have hired a former CEO from one big airline. We will be releasing more information on that soon. We will initially start operations with wet-leased A330s and A350s. We are in advanced talks with Airbus to get brand new A350s in a single class all premium economy configuration by 2024. The A330s will be used for medium-haul destinations and the A350s will be utilized for long-haul flights. We decided to launch an all premium economy airline because there is a team of aviation and travel professionals behind Pragusa.One who have studied how airlines used this configuration in the past. We saw an opportunity, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, to offer point-to-point flights for premium passengers, which is why the A350s will have an all-economy layout”, Budinski said.
Fights from New York and Los Angeles to Dubrovnik could be the first to launch.
“New York and LA to Croatia may be launched first. There is big demand from South Africa and China too. We also have partners in China supporting this project, among which are tour operators and the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority. At this point, fifteen people, mostly aviation and travel professionals, have been working on this project since last summer. It is backed by private investors from the aviation industry. Our investors have over twenty years of experience in aviation investments. We also conducted market research and saw a small niche of travelers who are keen to pay more to get premium service, which is what we are aiming to offer. We will provide seven and fourteen-day trips to Prague and Dubrovnik, which will be our main source of revenue, but we will also sell long-haul flights which will be available in major GDS systems,” Budinski concluded.
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