Monday, September 27, 2010

Race for the top

The battle for Ivan Mišetić’s successor begins
Ivan Mišetić, the CEO of Croatia Airlines, resigned a week ago with the managing board expected to approve his resignation within days. Meanwhile, the race for who becomes the new CEO has begun. “” has named 35 year old Danijel Mileta as the front runner in the race. Mileta, who is currently working at the Ministry for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, has a clean record and the backing of aviation experts. Mileta has worked on many projects in the field of transportation, his latest being the “Corridor X” project – a new, united, EX-YU rail company. Experts believe that Mileta has the energy to bring Croatia Airlines back onto the right path.

It is certain that whoever takes on Croatia Airlines has a difficult job ahead of them. In a recent nine page document, the Union of Croatian Pilots blasted Croatia Airlines and its managerial practices. The pilots are unhappy with the extremely low average cabin occupancy, the financial problems the airline has encountered and its decreasing share in the charter market. The document states that “While 102 charter companies operate to Croatia, the management of Croatia Airlines states that charter flights are not economically viable so it only operates 10 charters per week”. The document also reveals that Croatia Airlines only has a 2.4% share of flights from Croatia to Scandinavia, 7.7% to Spain and Portugal and no flights to Russia. Furthermore, lucrative ad-hoc charters operated for sports teams are decreasing rapidly as they flock towards other airlines. The document concludes that the only route Croatia Airlines dominates on is to Brussels.

Who should take on Croatia Airlines and which direction should the airline go in? Leave a comment with your thoughts.


  1. Who should take on Croatia Airlines and which direction should the airline go in?

    Someone competent who will grow the airline!

    OU being the leading airline in the exYU despite all its mismanagement and lack of direction sadly illustrates the condition of the airline industry in the exYU at present.

    A leader with vision, growth, no political attachment, and the ability to manage staff and resources would be an excellent move.

    Ideally, the airline needs to look to expand its fleet with another Q400 and 319, expand its destination list extensively both within Europe and possibly the Mid East, and look to wet lease its fleet in the quieter winter months rather than shuffling planes between ZAG and SPU...

  2. privatize it! Like Carriers in the Middle East and Asia, get aviators from abroad such as Germany, UK, the States who are well experienced in this sector.

    get in good shape again, start cost cutting programs, so u can better compete the LCC. Moderate growth of destinations and fleet as OU has a similar problem than the summer they need plenty of a/c to fly all the leisure traffic, in Winter this a/c are surplus.

    Schedule is important to have good connections from the coast and YU Region to the EU flights (which basically already exists to destinations such as ZRH, FRA etc)as well they should try to have BCN and CPH as all year destinations and add SVO.

    They have some good codeshares via MUC and VIE as well as on the nonstop flights to BLQ, LIS and IST on TAP and THY.... So I don t think they have a bad network. It includes even destinations such as Lyon, Düsseldorf

  3. At the moment the airline seems to have no sense of direction. First they have to decide on what their short and long term goals are then set up the means to reach them.

    Some of my suggestions would be:

    The situation with the work force is not desirable when you have what seems to be low morale with the employers of the company, then this will definitely reflect on the customers and do harm to the airline’s image. Fixing this should be a priority of the new CEO.

    Also, increasing the cabin load factor is an obvious priority as well as playing a key roll in the charter field. I would like to see a real effort in making the aircraft available to charter operations around the world in the winter months. Why not appoint a charter sales team with the job of finding work for the aircraft in the winter months. Maybe even set up a separate company and website for this.

    Improve the domestic and local network using the Q400s. This aeroplane has proven to be a money maker for many airlines and if used by Croatia Airlines properly can do the same here.

    Set up a campaign which will encourage people in the region to consider flying as a convenient and cheap way to travel, for this, competitive prices should be available all year round along with a proper advertising. In my opinion, there is no reason why aircraft travelling domestically during the peak season should be half full, which they are, when trains and buses are not and at a similar price.

    Cooperate better with Zagreb airport. Understand that increased traffic by low cost carriers can bring more passengers to the airline as long as OU is in a position to compete so,

    Finally, change the set up of the airline from a full service to a semi low cost carrier. This will be very important for the airline to compete with the new competition and increase cabin load factor and revenue.

  4. Q400 and JU520 prescribe very good receipt for almost each and every airline in our region, with more or less modifications of course. There are no busniess which can work without your own well trained and motivated people on one, and customers and on the other hand side.
    Governments cannot motivate personnel neither create and pack good service for the customers.

  5. guys, I have terrific News for Belgrade !!!

    Swiss will start 2nd daily operation to BEG as of 17DEC2010:

    Timetable as follows:

    Days 1,3,5,7
    LX 1412 ZRH-BEG 0715-0900 A319
    LX 1413 BEG-ZRH 0940-1135 A319

    LX 1416 ZRH-BEG 1220-1400 A320
    LX 1417 BEG-ZRH 1440-1635 A320

    Days 2,4,6
    LX 1418 ZRH-BEG 1730-1915 A319
    LX 1419 BEG-ZRH 1955-2150 A319

    means following long haul flights are reachable via ZRH

    1240 DEL LX 146
    1250 YUL LX 086
    1255 ORD LX 008
    1300 JFK LX 014
    1300 NRT LX 160
    1305 MIA LX 064
    1305 PVG LX 188
    1310 LAX LX 040
    1315 SFO LX 038
    1330 BKK TG 971
    1330 YYZ AC 879

    2240 GRU LX 092
    2245 JNB LX 288
    2245 HKG LX 138
    2245 BKK LX 180
    2245 TLV LX 256


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