Croatia Airlines to sell aircraft, slots and downsize on employees
Croatia Airlines has been given approval from the Croatian Competition Agency to carry through its restructuring program. The decision comes two weeks after the Agency sent Croatia Airlines’ proposal back for further clarification. The approval will now allow the Croatian carrier to continue on with its cost cutting measures, which are scheduled to be completed by 2015, by which time the airline expects to be operating with a profit. “Encouraging results from the first half of the year further confirm the effectiveness of the restructuring program and Croatia Airlines’ potential to operate as profitable business in the future. Our management is determined to implement all the necessary measures and goals and we believe the restructuring will have a positive outcome”, Croatia Airlines’ CEO, Krešimir Kučko, said following the Agency’s decision.
The restructuring program given to the Agency outlines the airline’s plans to downsize on the number of employees. Croatia Airlines will close its representative offices in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. Furthermore, it outlines “a change in the carrier’s fleet structure” and a reduction in the number of operational jets. The airline is looking to sell some of its Airbuses as well as spare parts for the aircraft. The sale of slots at various European airports is also part of the restructuring program which should help the airline return to profitability.
During this week Croatia Airlines held talks with Airbus in an attempt to cancel its 2008 order for four Airbus A319s. Following this year’s discontinuation of several routes, the airline further plans to cancel some loss making services in 2014 and 2015. “It is important to note that the European Commission is keeping a close eye on what is happening at Croatia Airlines. It is encouraging to see that the management realises that restructuring is the only way Croatia Airlines can stay competitive in the future”, Olgica Spevec, the head of the Competition Agency, says.