Croatia Airlines enters privatization process
Croatia Airlines announced it would hire a privatization consultant. The Croatian government is looking to find a strategic partner for the struggling national carrier, it said on April 26, 2018, five years after their first attempt failed.
In November 2016, Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic claimed that five companies expressed interest in acquiring a stake in the company, including Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) , two companies from Greece and Cyprus, as well as Indonesian Garuda and Chinese Hainan Airlines. However since then, the slots held by Croatia Airlines in London Heathrow Airport (LHR) were sold, making the state-owned carrier a way less interesting investment.
Despite reporting a record number of passengers for May 2018, the situation seems alarming at Croatia Airlines. According to local media Poslovni Dnevinik, 180 flights representing 1.7% of the company’s activity were canceled since the beginning of the year due to a lack of available planes, which forced the company to rent aircraft from different airlines.
Unions also revealed that the airline was going through a staff crisis. Half of mechanics, a third of pilots and a quarter of flight attendants left the Zagreb-based company in the last months. Croatia Airlines ended the first quarter of 2018 with a net loss of €11.4 million.
However, the Croatian government is still determined to sell the national carrier, as part of its national reform program for 2018, which is aimed at boosting the country’s economic growth. A new management of Croatia Airlines is expected to be appointed in the coming months.
Croatia Airlines currently operates a fleet of four Airbus A319s, two A320s and six Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s.
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