Turbulent year for Croatia Airlines
Croatia Airlines has seen its passenger numbers decrease by 5% so far this year and its losses increase, a report to the Zagreb Stock Exchange states. The Croatian carrier recorded similar passenger numbers on domestic flights compared to last year but recorded a 7% dip in numbers on international flights. With over 23.100 passengers welcomed on board its charter services, the airline saw a 1% passenger increase so far this year. In addition, Croatia Airlines recorded a 3% increase in ticket sales over the Internet, however, overall sale figures have been disappointing. The Croatian carrier noted an 18% drop in ticket sales on the European, American and Australian markets.
Croatia Airlines explains the slump is a result of its cost cutting measures, which have seen it lease out one of its Airbus A320s and discontinue some services. Furthermore, the airline notes the eight day strike, staged by pilots and cabin crew in May, also attributed to its losses and led to negative publicity both at home and abroad. Despite plans to lay off some of its employees, Croatia Airlines has 1% more workers than last year, totalling 1.096. More alarming for the carrier is that it recorded a loss of 10.3 million euros in the first half of the year, up on 2012.
The Croatian carrier will continue to implement cost cutting measures in the coming months and years in order to return to profitability by 2015. The airline has signalled further cuts to its route network with services from Dubrovnik to Paris and Frankfurt to be cancelled this winter. Furthermore, the airline’s CEO has tipped at the possibility of the carrier’s fleet structure changing. Croatia Airlines estimates it will end the year with a 4% passenger decrease on last year’s record numbers.