Croatia Airlines begins shedding its network
Croatia Airlines is still considering which services it will suspend and which routes will see frequency reductions this summer as the carrier looks to cut costs. The airline’s spokeswoman, Ksenija Žlof, says, “In line with Croatia Airlines’ restructuring process, changes are taking place in the planned summer timetable. Changes to the timetable are still ongoing, with more details on the status of certain routes to be known in the first half of March. After the reduced timetable is complete the airline will inform the media and passengers of the changes”. The 2013 summer season begins on Sunday, March 31.
So far, Croatia Airlines has suspended flights to Podgorica. The struggling route, which operated three times per week with the Dash 8 turboprop, was discontinued last week. Ticket sales for flights from Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split to Istanbul and London Gatwick have been suspended for the coming summer. However, there is still hope that the airline might cling onto its Gatwick flights at least once per week with the service still visible in global ticketing systems, though bookings have been suspended. Planned seasonal flights from Pula to Hamburg, Frankfurt and Paris, as well as services from Zadar to the French capital have also been cancelled. The network reductions also come as a result of a loss of one aircraft, with the airline planning to reduce its fleet from thirteen to twelve in the coming months.
Croatia Airlines’ network cuts are comparable of those introduced by Adria Airways some two years ago. In order to cut costs, the Slovenian carrier made the radical decision to suspend high profile routes on which they were losing money, including Paris, London and Warsaw. Ultimately, its decision payed off since the airline has managed to cut its losses and plans to break even this year. However, the carrier has suffered a significant drop in passenger numbers. This year it will resume flights to both London and Paris, although on a seasonal summer basis only.