According to recent reports, it seems to be that an exciting update in the aviation world might be waiting around the corner. More precisely, it has been circulated in the media that the global giant and world's fastest growing airline, Turkish Airlines, is contemplating the acquisition of Croatia's national carrier – Croatia Airlines.
The initial spark that gave way to such speculations was the latest Croatia-Turkish Business Forum that, among other leading figures from the business world, featured Turkey's President Recep Erdogan. The President's visit, as well as the Forum itself, served as a confirmation of excellent economic and political relations between the two countries. The rumours acquired an opportunity to gain further ground last week, when Turkish Airlines introduced a direct flight route between Istanbul and Dubrovnik, linking the two cities of major cultural and touristic significance. What allowed for such a deal to be made was the fact that Croatia Airlines has suspended the same route from their side, with its slots now being taken over by Turkish Airlines. Furthermore, the two enjoy a codeshare partnership on the service, which was recently expanded to the extent of covering domestic flights in Croatia as well. It was during the inaugural ceremony of the new Dubrovnik – Istanbul flight that Abdulkerim Cay, Turkish Airlines' HR Director, proclaimed the possibility of the Turkish giant acquiring an equity stake in the Croatian company, to the mutual satisfaction of both companies.
Moreover, even though it should be noted that Croatia Airlines has not officially been listed for sale, the Croatian government has lately emphasised their willingness to start selling off state-owned companies, as soon as they come to terms with parts of the general public that are still against such an action.
On the other hand, such a move on behalf of the Turkish company would further enhance their strategic position between East and West, and in doing so, continue to utilise their naturally given geographical location which, according to Mr Cay, is the main reason behind the company's growth from having a fleet of five aircrafts in 1933, to becoming one of the strongest forces in commercial aviation globally.