Advisors suggest smaller fleetThree consultancy firms, Dutch based KPMG, international conglomerate BDO and Intel, who have been selected to advise Croatia Airlines during its restructuring and recovery programme have proposed for the carrier to downsize on its fleet in order to save costs. The recovery plan, leaked by the Croatian media, suggests the airline should retire two Airbus A320s. Croatia Airlines currently has three aircraft of the type in its fleet with the capacity to seat 164 passengers. The aircraft have already been earmarked for retirement as they are due to be replaced by new Airbus A319s. However, the arrival of the A319s has now been delayed by several years until 2015.
In contrast to the advised, Croatia Airlines has been forced to lease aircraft this summer due to its fleet already being stretched over the busy months. The airline is using one of Adria Airways’ Airbus jets for weekend flights while a Trade Air Fokker F100 has also been operating some flights on behalf of Croatia Airlines this summer. The aircraft is currently being used on flights from Zagreb to Rome, Split and Copenhagen. It is also utilised on services from Split to Dusseldorf and the Italian capital.
The news comes after it was suggested the carrier will need to shed its international network to make a profit. Many have insinuated that Lufthansa, which already carries a large portion of transit passengers from Croatia Airlines, would benefit most from the carrier’s downsizing. In January, the Union of Croatia Airlines Pilots slammed its employer, suggesting that the Croatian carrier is being mismanaged and controlled by Lufthansa. “All of our services are adjusted to Lufthansa as can be seen with flights to Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich. Croatia Airlines serves as a classic feeder airline which, through the abovementioned cities, fills Lufthansa’s flights. Croatia Airlines has only seven code share agreements with Star Alliance member airlines, four of which are owned by Lufthansa and the remaining two are heading in that direction”, the union said at the time.