Croatia Airlines crew too sick to work
Croatia Airlines cabin crew forced the cancellation of several flights yesterday and today as a significant number of employees have called in sick. The action is believed to be in protest of a new collective agreement which the management has been unable to sign with both pilots and crew. A total of forty cabin crew members called in sick cancelling yesterday’s flights from Zagreb to Brussels, Munich, Vienna, Zadar, Pula, Paris, Zurich and Sarajevo. This morning’s services from Sarajevo and Pula to the Croatian capital have also been cancelled as well as the Zagreb - Vienna flight. Further cancellations could occur during the day.
Croatia Airlines CEO, Krešimir Kučko, held a press conference yesterday in Zagreb to comment on the latest unexpected developments at the airline. Mr. Kučko said the large number of employees taking sick leave will be investigated and that something like this has never happened in the carrier’s history. “Croatia Airlines has officially asked for an investigation to be undertaken by the authorities”, Mr. Kučko said. He added that 350 passengers were affected by the action yesterday. “In the following days passengers will be rerouted onto other Star Alliance airlines”. The CEO also noted that the action undertaken by cabin crew will hurt the company’s image and impact on its losses.
A total of three out of six trade unions at the airline have signed the new collective agreement which sees a reduction in pay, holidays and other benefits. Pilots and cabin crew have been the most vocal against the new agreement. Earlier, crew called for “stress and danger” payments for working on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 which they deem unsafe. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, says the latest tactic by Croatia Airlines’ cabin crew is a case for Dr. House. “There is no alternative to the restructuring of Croatia Airlines. If it does not happen the airline will go bankrupt”, the minister concludes.