Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines to swap jetsCroatia Airlines and Adria Airways have reached an agreement on a common business plan model. The two airlines will strengthen ties and have agreed to cooperate in jet leasing as a means of improving efficiency and streamlining fleet utilisation. The agreement outlines that the two airlines will provide short term leases of their aircraft to each other. Adria is interested in leasing some of Croatia Airlines’ Bombardier Dash 8s while in return, Croatia Airlines would have the ability to lease Adria’s CRJ900s. Adria is also keen on getting rid of its larger aircraft such as the Airbus A320 as it looks for ways to cut costs. Whether Croatia Airlines would be interested in this type of aircraft remains to be seen. The Croatian national carrier already operates 3 Airbus A320s and 4 A319s with another 4 jets of this type on order, to be delivered from 2013.
Besides the swapping of aircraft, the two airlines are also looking at code sharing on certain routes and leasing out their own cabin crew to each other. The aim of the deal is to save money. “We are primarily interested in regional cooperation and integration, which is in the interest of both companies”, Srećko Šimunović, the CEO of Croatia Airlines said. Both Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways are members of Star Alliance. Croatia Airlines is having its best year on record when it comes to passenger numbers but is still struggling with finances. On the other hand, it has been a horror year for Adria with the hope that 2012 will bring better fortunes.
Meanwhile, Adria is a step closer to finalising an agreement with the banks which would save it from bankruptcy. The final agreement is expected within the next few days after which painful cost cutting measures should begin to be implemented at the expense of both employees and passengers. The Government of Slovenia held an emergency meeting last week to discuss ways in which to help Adria survive one of its worse crises.