Croatia Airlines has posted mixed results for the previous year, with its net profit declining by 42%, while passenger numbers improved to reach record levels. The carrier's consolidated net profit totalled one million euros in 2016, down from 1.9 million euros the year before. Despite the weaker result, the figure represents the company's fourth consecutive year in the black. The carrier blamed high seasonality and increased costs during the winter months for the decline in profit. "The key factor to achieving profitability throughout the year is to minimise expenses during the winter by optimising the flight network", the company said. The airline's revenues edged up slightly to 217.9 million euros.
The carrier handled 1.94 million passengers during the year, up 5% on 2015. Over the course of 2016, Croatia Airlines operated 26.848 flights, an increase of 3.8%. The carrier recorded a decline in cargo operations, with 2.591 tonnes of freight and mail uplifted in 2016, representing an annual decrease of 5.2%. Network capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), grew 5% year-on-year, from 1.97 to 2.07 billion. The average passenger load factor, a measure of seat capacity utilisation, increased to 70.0% in 2016, compared to 69.7% the year before, making it its best result on record. Croatia Airlines' market share in its home country averaged 29% during the year, although it grew up to 60% over the winter months (December and January). Its lowest market share was recorded in July when it averaged 19%.
Croatia Airlines has again expressed its concerns over Zagreb Airport's new passenger terminal, which is set to open at the end of the month. In its preliminary 2016 financial report, the carrier said, "The current state of the new terminal is such that it causes deep concern, primarily in the context of maintaining the quality of our product, i.e. the existing flight schedule and its associated operative costs". Despite its alarm, the Croatian carrier plans to launch four new routes out of Zagreb this summer. They include the previously reported Bucharest and Helsinki, while the operator of Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Swedavia, has also confirmed to EX-YU Aviation News that the airline will introduce services to the city this summer. Tickets are expected to go on sale this week.