Wednesday, August 17, 2016

European Coastal Airlines' AOC suspended

NEWS FLASH


Croatian-based European Coastal Airlines (ECA), Europe’s first scheduled modern seaplane service, has had its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) suspended by the country's regulator following an audit of its safety practices and maintenance procedures. It comes just a week out from the airline's second anniversary. The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency launched an investigation a week ago, with ECA forced to temporarily suspend operations over the weekend. It was hoping to resume flights this morning, however, this is no longer possible with its AOC revoked. Denmark's Nordic Seaplanes has also been affected as it utilises ECA's license to operate its own flights. During the weekend, Croatian media published photos showing corroded cables and wiring on the airline's five-strong fleet. Last year, an ECA aircraft used for training purposes crashed into the sea.

In a statement issued this afternoon, ECA confirmed that its AOC has been suspended and noted that all flights have been cancelled until at least Friday as the airline looks to resolve its issues. The full statement can be read in full below:


23 comments:

  1. What a shame! Shame for a lot of people who used the services, for many islanders, for a lot of tourists who enjoyed very pretty and scenic flights and trips. Shame also for the tourism industry in general!
    But most of all, shame on ECA for handling the maintenance in such an unprofessional way. They should have known better.

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    1. What's the probability of getting the AOC back?

      They will have to adjust a bunch of internal processes, maintenance handling and overhaul several planes.
      Question arises if they have the financial assets to do this.
      They also need to be aware that they lost a lot of trust which will not be easy to regain from the locals at least, the tourists probably wont care so much about it as most will not hear/read about ECA problems prior to booking tickets.

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    2. do you know what is a shame?
      in my book, shame is when you have two (2) aircraft docked at Mali Losinj, fuel truck near by and you are not able to transfer fuel from truck to aircraft.
      it is a shame to have dozen pax.waiting for 6 hours for departure on high noon sun in the middle of summer without a single glass of water.
      btw, half of those dozen were children.
      now, that's a shame.

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    3. Hey anon at 12:50pm and 1:22pm from below (not sure why you replied the same twice),
      I am sorry you had a bad experience when you used ECA on Mali Losinj - but there are a lot of people out there who had a really good experience and fun flying with them.

      Delete
    4. (Sorry I meant 12:50pm and 1:34pm from below)

      Delete
  2. We have to keep in mind that Craoatia is a developing country with a very hight corruption level. as long as some people cant earn mony by exploiting others this country will never have any chance- regardless of the so often cited potential it has. A good business Idea which will hopefully soon move to Greece where Tourists will go th experience such an adventure as seaplan flying poses. GO Croatia- destroy yourself!

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    1. this has nothing to do with Croatia. I had, not so present, privilege to see and feel their efficiency from 1st hand.
      they had 2 aircraft docked, fuel truck near by...and still not able to transfer fuel from truck to aircraft.
      6 hours of delay....6 hours on high noon sun in the middle of summer without a glass of water with 2 children (2 and 5).
      so, pls, don't preach about Croatian ways.

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    2. Croatia is a developed country, problem of corruption is present in every society not just Croatia.

      What happen with ESA and losing their license showed the system works and the authorities have slept. At least media didn't and did their part, it was Index.hr who unconquered the true state of the Airline.

      I noticed pilot never wore a shoes when he flow and had relaxed nature about him, too relaxed for a pilot if you get me. (drunk or high, or both)


      And this worried me when I flew with them first time, we did land, but after that I never flew with them again.

      Croatian Airlines must maintain all its aircraft and has regular check by the authorities and the plane manufacturers and insurers... If they failed once they'd lose their AOC licence, same goes for ECA.

      Croatia is in the EU, must maintain EU laws, ECA is not immune from these laws. Clearly a German and a Danish guy who are behind ECA thought they'd be able to get away with their little charade for ever.

      Once the meet AOC requirements, inspections and high safety standards they'll be allowed to fly a passenger flights once again. The fact they already had an air crash does not bode well for them though.

      They'll need to work very hard to prove they're fit to fly.


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  3. Judging by the photos in the article, the corrosion seems to be a major issue and could ground the airline for sometime unless not all aircraft are affected. The other issue is the alleged fixing of the maintenance logs to cover up the above issues. This could make it problematic for them to have the AOC reinstated anytime soon or without major structural changes which again could take time to implement.

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    Replies
    1. Naravoucenije u Rvatskoj mozes svasta podmetnuti drzavnoj komisiji dok se ne umesaju mediji. Nije to zardjalo za mesec dana ovogodisnje sezone. Zna Svabo sa kim ima posla.

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    2. da..mediji se umjesali...psebno index..to ti je ista stvar kao da u srbiji jedan kurir pise o sigurnosti mostogradnje (pise, a ne prepisuje)...
      i da, ne da moze zahrdjati u mjesec dana negu u tjedan dana korozija je itekako vidljiva.

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    3. Da da Twin Oteri se prave od najgrdjeg materijala.

      Delete
  4. RIP.

    I liked the idea and I am sad to see that the company was so rotten.

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    1. It definitely is a good idea and from the outside looks like a great operation and very popular. Total investment so far is said to be nearly 50 million Euros so either they will want to do whatever they can to get up and running again as soon as possible as long as they can afford too.
      Personally, I doubt we will see them flying again this tourist season, next year I'm sure they will be back.

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    2. Who on earth gave them 50 million?

      Even in the best case scenario, nobody was ever going to see that money ever again. It would take a millennium to recover that investment when they are flying half empty planes on fares that are like 20-30 euros.

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    3. oooo, fares are lot higher than 30 EUR. Round trip Split-Mali Losinj costed me 2000 kuna or 267 EUR

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    4. @ Aleksandar.

      People who have that cash and love aviation. The guy who started the company is a private businessman and if he was able to convince people to invest or used his own cash than good on him!

      But we have an old saying in aviation, if you want to make a million dollars you start with 5 million.

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    5. So then it isn't a business but rather some particularly expensive flying club for the owners?

      Anon 9:15 how full was the plane? From when I went on their website I noticed some extremely cheap fares.

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    6. flight from Split to Losinj was full.
      but, flight from Losinj back to Split was a disaster.....6 hours of delay on departure. so, from Losinj to Split the plane took of only with me and my family on-board.

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    7. If it's private / personal money and all involved know how it is being spent, it can be whatever they want it to be Aleksandar.
      As long as they follow the regulatory requirements to ensure the safety of the passengers, or is it club members??

      Delete
  5. What of Croatia Airlines 'bought' 'took over' 'absorbed' ECA and integrated into their operations?

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    Replies
    1. That would be a very interesting business model. They could base 2 or 3 twin otters in ZAG and fly to LSJ and other islands with seaplane ports. Base more in ZAG during winter to offer possibly PSO services to the islanders and in summer use the planes increasingly from SPU and DBV. That seems lucrative with almost all infrastructure already in place.

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    2. to expensive to operate. Keep seaplanes on cost, offer islander PSO privileges and use seaplanes from islands to Split, Dubrovnik or even Rijeka and onward use existing routes

      Delete

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