Croatia Airlines' CEO, Krešimir Kučko, has said the airline is in contact with financial institutions and investment funds concerning its future and could draft a proposal to the carrier's majority owner, the Croatian government, over plans to seek a new strategic partner by year's end. Mr Kučko noted that following the company's successful restructuring, Croatia Airlines is now a "stable and prospective company with a clear direction for future development". He added that the carrier will likely handle over two million passengers this year, which would mark its busiest on record. The Croatian airline is set to launch four new seasonal routes out of Zagreb this year - Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Bucharest - and will resume all four of its summer routes launched out of the Croatian capital last year.
The privatisation of Croatia Airlines is back on the agenda after the government adopted plans to raise over 200 million euros from the sale of state-owned companies over the next three years. Businesses which have not been classified of strategic importance to Croatia are all in contention for sale. The state's former administration removed the Croatian carrier from the list in order to pave way for its privatisation. Croatia Airlines was put up for sale in 2014, however, no interest was expressed during an international tender. The former Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure in the Croatian government, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, said that a total of six companies had previously expressed interest in buying a stake in the national carrier and has urged the country's Prime Minister to resume Croatia Airlines' privatisation process.
Croatia Airlines anticipates ending 2017 with a profit and thus continue its trend of profitable operations. This year, the airline will wet-lease two Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft from Iberia Regional. Mr Kučko noted that the aircraft have been contracted on a trial basis and will be considered for the carrier's planned fleet expansion next year. Commenting on Zagreb Airport's new passenger terminal, which will officially be opened this evening and put into operation next Tuesday, Mr Kučko said, "Testing is more or less going according to schedule. We still have concerns over some aspects, primarily passenger flow. The new terminal has fewer gates and parking positions than the old one. As the volume of flights and travellers increase, parking positions at both the old and new terminal will have to be used. This could cause problems in meeting the expected passenger transfer times. However, the airport is working hard so we hope to jointly resolve any issues".
Croatia Airlines CEO commenting on the airline's new routes and Zagreb Airport's new passanger terminal (Croatian only)