|Croatia Airlines to remain profitable in 2014|
Croatia Airlines is expected to post a net profit for a second consdecutive year and see a modest increase in passenger numbers, the carrier said at a gala event in Zagreb this week to mark its 25th anniversary. “In 2014 we expect to handle 1.88 million passengers, an increase of some 4.6% compared to the same period last year. Results recorded during the first eight months of the year indicate we will end the year with a profit”, Croatia Airlines’ spokesperson, Davor Janušić, said. In 2013 the Croatian carrier posted its first net profit in six years totalling 87.450 euros. During the first six months of this year Croatia Airlines handled 801.288 passengers, down 1% on the same period in 2013. On July 28, it handled its millionth passenger for the year, just three days behind 2013.
The positive financial outlook comes as the airline enters the final stages of its restructuring process, which has seen it cut costs and rationalise its business. Croatia Airlines is set to end its restructuring in 2015. Furthermore, the Croatian government is tipped to put the airline on sale next year as it seeks a strategic partner for the state-run company. The Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, said, “The Croatian government wants to find a strategic partner which will help the company achieve its development plans. Our aim is for Croatia Airline to expand its route network and increase its market share, support the development of Zagreb Airport by turning it into a strong regional hub, renew its fleet in line with future expansion and further develop its maintenance division”.
Croatia Airlines is in the process of building a third maintenance hangar at Zagreb Airport, which will increase capacity by 30% and provide additional revenue. Croatia Airlines’ maintenance division is one of its most profitable branches as it serves a number of foreign carriers. ”Our airline is the first in the region to offer D-checks. This is a new revenue stream for us. It’s going well and we are planning additional capacity to handle the demand”, the airline’s CEO, Krešimir Kučko, said. He added, “There are new challenges out there and there is potential for commercial cooperation. So it is important that an airline considers the other side of the equation too and continues to innovate and find new revenue streams”.