Croatia Airlines has its headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia. Their main hub is the Airport of Zagabria-Pleso. It is a member of the Star Alliance, one of the most important alliances between airlines in the world.
Founded on August 7, 1989 under the name of Al Zagal (Zagreb Airlines), the company started its activity of air transportation with a Cessna 402aircraft. Initially the activity was carried out only for cargo service. Then on June 23, 1990 after the first democratic elections in Croatia, Al Zagal changed its name to Croatia Airlines.
Since 1991 the company initiated regularly scheduled connections between Zagreb and Split with the use of a McDonnell Douglas MD-82.
During the course of 1992 this route underwent a brief interruption due to the conflicts in the Balkan States during that time period. In that same year came the entrance of the airline into the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the start of the first international connections made with the use of three Boeing 737’s purchased from Lufthansa.
In 1993 two ATR 42 and two other 737 were added to the fleet.
In 1994, the airline carried its one millionth passenger and shortly after the Pope John Paul II was flown on the airline for a pastoral visit to Croatia.
In the course of 2000 was inaugurated a system of automatic ticketing.
On 18 November 2004, the airline becomes a regional Star Alliance member together with Adria Airways of Slovenia and the Finnish Blue. In 2007, the airline carried 1,715,027 passengers and according to some estimates 2007 was the year in which it registered the best traffic and profit (25 million Croatian kuna).
In 2008 there was a renewal of the fleet with the withdrawal of the ATR 42 replaced with Bombardier Q400 aircraft, the fleet now bearing the names of towns and regions of Croatia.