|Croatia Airlines upbeat on future prospects|
Croatia Airlines plans to introduce 100-seat aircraft, launch new routes, boost existing frequencies and initiate additional codeshare agreements with Star Alliance partners in 2016. It comes after the airline completed its restructuring process in 2015, which saw it end the year with a net profit. The carrier's spokesperson, Davor Janušić, tells EX-YU Aviation News, "The successful completion of the restructuring program enables Croatia Airlines to grow on a sound and sustainable basis. Given the positive business results and new opportunities, we are starting 2016 with optimism. Tourism, as Croatia's most important economic sector, has been recording excellent results, primarily due to the recovery of our traditional markets, such as Germany, Austria and Italy, and a steady growth in the number of tourists from new markets. For this reason, and because of signs of recovery of the Croatian economy and an increase in consumer spending, we expect even better traffic and financial performance this year".
The airline is still tight-lipped on potential new services, with two routes being considered by the management. In addition, talks concerning the resumption of its Dubrovnik - Frankfurt service for the 2016/17 winter season are ongoing. "The company plans to expand its fleet with a new aircraft with 100 seats, as well as expand its network of European destinations and introduce new routes in the summer schedule. On the eve of the Easter holidays, which traditionally represents the beginning of the tourist season in Croatia, seasonal routes to many European markets will be introduced, while the number of weekly flights on existing domestic and international routes will be increased", Mr Janušić explains, adding there are also plans for new codeshare cooperation, primarily with fellow Star Alliance member airlines.
Croatia Airlines considers 2015 to have been a successful year. "In 2015, Croatia Airlines continued the positive trend of its business operations. In the beginning of the year, a two-year collective agreement was signed that guaranteed social peace, while at the same time a consensus was reached regarding the implementation of Croatia Airlines' business strategy, the fundamental goals of which are the further development of the company and long-term viability. Last year, new codeshare agreements were signed with Singapore Airlines and Air Canada, which enable us to offer our passengers an even greater choice of routes and additional benefits while travelling. A third hangar has also been built, thus enabling the further development of the Technical Centre, as a high-profit sector of the company, as well as a significant expansion of the technical maintenance services performed on foreign airlines’ aircraft. The third hangar allows for an even greater export of Croatian know-how, which will further contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the Croatian economy", Mr Janušić concludes. According to preliminary financial figures, Croatia Airlines will post a profit in 2015 for a third consecutive year. In 2014, its net profit amounted to 921.000 euros.