Croatia Airlines farewells Istanbul, Gatwick and coastal flights
Croatia Airlines will discontinue services from Zagreb to Istanbul and London Gatwick this summer season, in line with the carrier’s cost cutting measures. The final service to Turkey’s largest city will be operated on March 30. Croatia Airlines was planning on serving Istanbul with daily flights this summer. The airline has already suspended ticket sales on the route. Consultancy firm BDO, which is advising Croatia Airlines on its restructuring process, earmarked Istanbul for suspension as early as last year due to the losses the carrier has been incurring on the route. Croatia Airlines will code share on Turkish Airlines’ flights between Istanbul and Zagreb. After a twelve year break, the Croatian carrier resumed flights to Istanbul from March 27, 2011.
From April 1, Croatia Airlines will also discontinue flights to London Gatwick Airport. However, the airline will continue services to Heathrow. The London route is struggling and flights to Heathrow themselves will be reviewed next year. While Croatia Airlines continues to record losses on flights to Paris and Copenhagen, the two will be kept in the network at least for the summer. Croatia Airlines was planning on launching seasonal flights from Pula to Hamburg, Frankfurt and Paris this summer, as well as services from Zadar to the French capital. All of the planned flights have now been cancelled. Services were scheduled to begin at the end of April and were announced last October.
Croatia Airlines will shed its fleet by a single Airbus A320 this summer. The airline’s employees have written a letter to the Croatian President, Prime Minister, Parliament and media criticising the carrier’s management. They note that the entire restructuring process has been secretive and are calling for a change in management. The Croatian carrier plans to cut 20% of its workforce this year after it recorded a deficit of 62.6 million euros at the end of 2012.