|Passenger numbers improve as financial losses widen at Croatia Airlines|
Croatia Airlines has posted mixed quarterly results, with passenger numbers improving and losses widening. The carrier handled 302.053 passengers during the first three months of the year, an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2014. As a result, the airline positioned itself as the second busiest national carrier in the former Yugoslavia. A total of 82.123 passengers travelled on domestic flights, down 1%, while 215.345 travellers were welcomed on board international services, an improvement of 6%. The remaining 4.585 passengers flew on charter flights, down 26% year-on-year. However, charters accounted for only 2% of overall traffic. The average cabin load factor stood at 61.1%, which is 1.1% higher than last year.
Overall, Croatia Airlines saw its passenger numbers improve on flights to and from France (+57.4%), the Netherlands (+29.4%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (+13.9%), the United Kingdom (+13.1%), Switzerland (+7%) and Belgium (+3%). On the other hand, the carrier recorded poorer results on services to and from Austria (-13.2%), Macedonia (-5%) and Germany (-3.7%). Passenger numbers on other markets increased a total of 5.3%. Ticket sales were up 5%, with the greatest increase recorded in North America (+21%) and Europe (+11%, excluding Croatia). The greatest decline in sales was registered in Australia and New Zealand (-49%) and Croatia (-12%). During the first three months, the airline operated 5.079 flights, down 2% on the same period last year.
|Q1 passenger numbers by market|
On the financial front, the Croatian carrier’s consolidated net loss widened 17% to 12.6 million euros, up on last year’s 10.8 million euro loss. Unlike its counterparts in Serbia and Slovenia, Croatia Airlines provides quarterly profit figures. The airline says its financial performance is usually poorer in the first half of the year due to the strong seasonality of the Croatian market. The carrier increased expenditure by 2%, while revenue fell 6% on last year. It spent most on flight operations, passenger services and promotions and sales. At the end of the first quarter, Croatia Airlines had 890 employees and twelve aircraft. Due to both planned and unscheduled maintenance of its aircraft, the airline has been forced to conclude short-term leases of additional jets over the past few weeks including Montenegro Airlines’ Embraer E195, Trade Air’s Fokker 100 and Moldavian Airlines’ F100.
EX-YU airline Q1 2015 passenger numbers:
|Air Serbia||453.000||▲ 26|
|Croatia Airlines||302.053||▲ 3|
|Adria Airways||203.663||▲ 8|