Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lufthansa denies Croatia Airlines interest

Lufthansa rejects links to Croatia Airlines stake

Lufthansa has denied claims it is seeking to acquire a stake in Croatia Airlines, two weeks following media reports it was one of three potential investors. According to a Lufthansa spokesperson, the airline has "no interest" in acquiring Croatia Airlines while labelling the assertions as "untrue", the "Ch Aviation" portal reports. It is the second time in five years that the German carrier has had to rebuff similar claims. The Croatian government resumed its national carrier's privatisation process in November last year following a failed attempt in 2013. It is yet to decide whether it will sell an outright stake or recapitalise the carrier, with the airline's CEO in favour of the latter.

Two weeks ago, the "Večernji list" daily reported that Lufthansa, Aegean Airlines and Turkish Airlines were all interested in partnering up with the Croatian carrier. According to the report, the International Finance Corporation, which has been tasked with seeking out potential investors for the Croatian government, was in the process of entering a second round of talks with the three established carriers. Lufthansa and Aegean were identified as the most serious candidates. Furthermore, the report suggested that Lufthansa would offer Croatia Airlines necessary capital in return for a stake, with the carrier to have its own member on the Lufthansa Group board while at the same time retaining its own separate brand, similar to Lufthansa's other airline acquisitions. On the other hand, "Večernji list" claimed that Aegean is interested in purchasing an outright stake in return for effective control over the carrier.

Neither Aegean Airlines nor Turkish Airlines have confirmed or denied their interest in the Croatian carrier. However, in a statement to EX-YU Aviation News last week, Turkish said, "Any major issue concerning Turkish Airlines such as joint ventures require a board decision of our company, which must be communicated to the Stock Exchange in order to advise our shareholders. Since we don’t have such a relevant board decision, we are not able to comment on such rumours". In an interview last year, the airline ruled out any interest in acquiring stakes in carriers in the former Yugoslavia following its experience with Bosnia and Herzegovina's B&H Airlines several years ago. Croatia Airlines is in its final month of a four year restructuring program, which has seen the carrier return to profitability but also limit its opportunities for growth. It plans to expand operations early next year with the lease of Embraer jets and the development of its east European network.

58 comments:

  1. well it was fun while it lasted

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  2. Like I thought. Makes sense. They can base a Eurowings aircraft in Zagreb anytime they like. Why would they bother buying OU and tying themselves up in another investment.

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  3. I doubt that Aegean or Turkish is interested either. This entire privatization process has been a mess, for a second time in a row.

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  4. It's been 3 days already and no one has posted pax figures for BEG so far. Is it really that bad? It sure is minus but how much?

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    1. It's been 3 days already and no one has posted pax figures for ZAG, LJU, SKP so far. Is it really that bad? It sure is minus but how much?

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    2. Someone reported on here that they will see roughly 290.000 passengers which is -5%.

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    3. Fraport usually posts its results after 10th of the month.

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    4. ZAG has just published its statistics for November : passengers +5%, movements +1,5%. Moderate success.

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    5. ^^^

      BEG for November 2015: 299.100 pax, roughly 5% drop.

      Foreign carriers reduced 10% of flights while only 3% pax. JU reduced roughly 7% of flights as well as pax.

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    6. BEG -5%
      ZAG +5%

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    7. BEG 2 puta vise od ZAG .
      INN-NS

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    8. Hrvatska više od Srbije

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    9. Prestanite da se ponašate kao desetogodišnjaci sa tim "moja igračka je veća" foricama.

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  5. I hope Hajdas Doncic won't be transport minister again.

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  6. This is a comment from the article where it said they were interested. It was spot on.

    "This reads more like fan fiction than anything else. Lufthansa is neck-deep in union disputes over salary and benefits. Spending cash on acquiring a foreign carrier would send the unionists into a frenzy. I doubt they'd risk that at this time, the size of the prize just isn't big enough."

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  7. thank you, thank you, thank you Lufthansa.....

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  8. In the end it will be that pension fund that's interested. No one else.

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    1. I agree with you. I doubt that Aegen or Turkish are intrested. That is only imagination. And I think that could be good if funds invest money. If managment do good job, I think Croatia can be sucesfull.

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  9. Actually I think this is great news. OU would have become even a bigger feeder if they were bought by LH.

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  10. Sto bi purgeri rekli - VRATNICA !

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    1. 'em ti jarca, vrata i uža i niža neg' sam si mislio!

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  11. At the end of the day it's a report from Večernji list...

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    1. Ajde oladi covece. Da pratis bilo sta drugo video bi da su vest preneli svi medjunardni sajtovi vezani za avijaciju. Mogu da zamislim pljuvacinu u komentarima da nije preneto.

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  12. I really hope they find a buyer. It is getting harder and harder to compete each year.

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  13. Good luck Croatia Airlines. You will need it.

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  14. ma samo politika. cini mi se da im je to i u cilju..unistiti CTN.!

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  15. Hope AirSerbia will not bid with serbian tax payers money on behalf of Etihad.

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    1. I highly doubt that. If they bid for anything it will be MGX.

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  16. I think that OU will remain state-owned or state-controlled for a considerable time. One can see that most small EU countries tend to keep grips on their airlines (Air Malta, Estonian-Nordic Aviation, Baltic, CSA). The exception was Cyprus Airways which went bust, but this was political (Aegean lobbying against CY). Croatia had and has the potential for a good national carrier, but unfortuntalely (if politically influenced by LH group or not) the government did nothing to develop the airline beyond being a feeder for Star Alliance. Most amazing is, that an airline that was established from scratch zero and therfore had all chances to avoid mistakes turned out into a balcanic machinery (state influence, family connections, strong unions). If well run with low costs and lean structures it would be very interesting for LH to integrate them into the WINGS concept.

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    1. Ne lupaj gomilu gluposti, pogledaj probleme AF i LH sa sindikatima. LH interesuje samo NEMACKE zemlje ostalima kako bude.

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  17. Drago mi je ovo pročitat, neka je LH odustala!
    Samo naprijed Aegean!!

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    1. I also believe that Aegean will develop OU the most compared with LH or TK.
      They have proved that they can do a lot in difficult conditions and also are not capital city focused but develop also the other airports in a country.
      It would be beneficial for the Dalmatian coast airports.

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    2. Zar vi mislite da ce A3 da ulaze silne pare da popravi CTN pa da se bori sa raznim LCC na moru =D jedina vajda ce biti da preuzmu flotu i nista vise.
      INN-NS

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    3. Kid go play with your toys.
      This is adult discussion.

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    4. To INN-NS at 3:33 PM,

      Hello humble!

      What a stupid thought, Lufthansa needs no any additional fleet, especially an advanced in years as the Croatia Airlines'. Off you go.

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    5. @10:01 PM
      Vi da se razumete ili da znate i jedan IATA kod znali bi da pisem o Aegean-u ;)
      INN-NS

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    6. Pa ti se pravis da kao znas kodove a svaki put moras da proveris kada pises neki ovde. Ajde klinac pali.

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    7. Za INN-NS December 3, 2015 at 11:25 PM

      Svejedno, što se tiče preuzimanja flote Croatia Airlinesa, sve što vrijedi za Lufthansu, vrijedi i za Aegean i za Turkish. Uz to, navedi mi bar jedan razlog zašto bih pažljivo čitao tvoje postove.

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    8. Ko vas tera da citate vi nemate bas sve koze na broju izgleda .
      Ja znam 80 % kodova napamet posto kad jednom procitam upamtim a vi sto ste ljubomorni pa ne znatenisam ja kriv

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    9. INN-NS, zaboravio si navesti bar jedan razlog zbog kojeg bi neko pažljivo čitao tvoje postove.

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  18. Polako se Croatia bliži po broju "kupaca" Jat-u. Kako se sada to zove. CTN-ovanje? ;)

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  19. Told u, A3 if interested, will be the most realistic option for keeping both Croatia's and OU's interests.

    Croatia targets if not mistaken 20 million tourists by 2020, that's a lot of seats and a lot of potential income. Croatia shouldn't let the sector most important aspect, air transport, without presence.

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    1. I think it'll be most likely Lufthansa who'll buy OU, but won't be in 2016, most likely in 2017, either mid or late 2017. Lufthansa won't disclose its plans to anyone before they're ready to purchase, but from looks of it, OU is holding talks with Lufthansa, but it'll take a while before any concrete plans are announced.

      best buyer for OU IMHO would be Korean Air or Canadian, offering base for both carriers in Europe, but we'll see what happens.

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    2. You know that KE already owns 44% of OK? I think it's safe to say that the chance of either KE or AC buying OU is zero.

      Also, when you mentioned Canadian you probably meant Air Canada not Canadian Airways (dead since 2000).You brought back some memories. I flew with them from Rome when I first came to Canada.

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  20. Something to consider. This news showed couple of weeks ago, was all over the news and LH denies it only NOW. Doesn’t make sense, if they are so worried about their unions reaction they would‘ve denied it right away. I think that the report was credible at the time. Since then there was probably a lot of talks and everything just fell through. I would bet that they couldn’t agree on a purchase price and/or who takes care of liabilities (debt).

    If you think about it, for LH this totally makes sense. For next to nothing they get 1M pax market, some planes, money making maintenance arm and some valuable slots. SO, if their plan is to base some Eurowings planes at ZAG, they could do just that by buying and killing OU, repainting planes, selling what they don’t need and transferring slots, MRO to the mother company. Win-win deal for them if you ask me.

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    1. +1

      Let's not forget, IFC is still negotiating with other companies and these are just talks at the moment, no tender published yet. OU is a good opportunity, I honestly don't understand possible lack of interest, suppose the market is just too small, but there are all these tourists coming to Croatia... Hope for a good ending for OU, but Kucko needs to step away!

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    2. I wouldn’t agree with you 100%. I think it’s a good opportunity, but only for some. Think about it, if you buy it you inherit a lot of issues, politically a bit of a hot potato, seasonality, competition etc. I just don’t see anyone coming in and investing a lot of money to fight off all the LCCs that flood the market in summer.

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    3. Even though Croatia is the largest airline market in Ex-Yu, the problems with seasonality and decentralization cannot be easily overcome.

      When it comes to geography, Serbia is ideal for creating an airline hub.

      If I was a potential airline investor, there is no doubt I would first invest take over JAT compared to CTN simply because of the geography.

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    4. What do you mean by an airline hub? What has buying OU got to do with creating a hub? At least in this sense since you talk about geography. When one talks about creating a hub in that sense, they usually mean an air traffic hub, which has to do with airports, not airlines. In any case the plan is for Zagreb to become the hub for this part of Europe. And even though Belgrade would not be a bad choice either, Zagreb as a capital of a tourist country, which already is a member of the EU, country which by far is the largest market in the Balkans and beyond and with the new, large terminal which will be opened for traffic in 2017. is a better choice, I think.

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  21. Croatia Airlines Privatization Fail

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  22. QR is non stop from March bot reduced to 4 p/w.

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    1. QR already fly nonstop and it is 7 p/w

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