Passenger numbers down while losses steadyCroatia Airlines carried 295.014 passengers in the first quarter of 2012, a 2% decrease compared to the same period last year. The airline welcomed 212.727 passengers on international flights while 80.607 passengers boarded the carrier’s domestic services. Another 1.680 passengers were carried on charter flights. The airline blames the global financial crisis and strong competition for the passenger slump. However, over the past three months, Croatia Airlines saw its staff stage a 24 hour strike, cancelling numerous flights, and endured negative publicity at the beginning of the year as the spat between pilots and the management became public.
In the first quarter of the year, Croatia Airlines’ overall loss amounted to 12.3 million euros, which is roughly the same as last year. The airline warns that the price of fuel has increased in 2012. During the same period last year the airline had to fork out $962 for a tonne of fuel while this year it spent $1.069 for the same amount.
Croatia Airlines is currently undergoing a restructuring process aimed at decreasing losses and increasing efficiency. The government has said that after the restructuring is completed it will consider privatising the national carrier. Restructuring began on March 26 and will last for up to a year. It will entail financial and operative restructuring as well as the creation of a strategic development plan, which will be drafted by the consultancy firms KPMG, BDO and Intel following detailed analysis of the carrier’s business.