|Croatia Airlines to see boost in profit and passenger numbers in 2015|
The Croatian State Management Office (DUUDI) has published its outlook for Croatia Airlines for 2015, during which it believes the carrier will see a significant increase in its net profit and passenger numbers. According to DUUDI, the Croatian carrier will record a net profit of 12.4 million euros next year, up from a projected 730.000 euros in 2014. This will be achieved through an increase in revenue as well as sales and leaseback agreements of its aircraft and engines. Furthermore, the airline is expected to handle 1.987.231 passengers in 2015, of which 1.908.644 should come from scheduled services, and the other 78.587 travellers on charter flights. In addition, the State Management Office forecasts an average cabin load factor of 72.4% next year. The carrier will receive subsidies amounting to 10.6 million euros from the Croatian government in 2015 in order to maintain its domestic network.
In its report, DUUDI notes, “During 2015 Croatia Airlines will continue with its restructuring program and will be partially or fully privatised - depending on market conditions. During 2015 a further rationalisation of the airline’s business is planned through a cut in employee costs and the closure of international offices”. The State Management Office also adds, “Bearing in mind the strategic importance of Croatia Airlines to the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian government is seeking a strategic partner which will secure its future development and position the carrier as a regional leader”. The Croatian carrier will launch seasonal summer flights from Dubrovnik to Nice and Rijeka to Munich next year.
In October, the Croatian government formally relaunched the airline’s privatisation process and appointed a commission, headed by the Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, to handle the sales procedure. It is expected for a tender for the submission of bids to take place in early 2015. The government foresees for a company from the European Union to acquire a majority stake in the airline but those from outside the bloc will be limited to a 49% share. It expects from the new owners to invest funds into Croatia Airlines, modernise its fleet, expand its route network and market share, further develop its profitable maintenance division and support the development of Zagreb Airport.