Friday, June 16, 2017

Croatia Airlines staff to go on strike


The union representing Croatia Airlines' pilots, cabin crew and mechanics, ORCA, has announced that its members have voted in favour of industrial action after mediation talks with the company's management failed over an impasse concerning a new collective bargaining agreement. The union noted that while the walkout is yet to be scheduled, it is "likely to take place in July", at the height of the busy summer season. Croatia Airlines' management said they are yet to receive official word from ORCA informing them of the strike but added, "Since November 2016 we have called upon our social partners to take part in a constructive dialogue and collective negotiations, with the aim of reaching a new agreement. This option still remains open".

The planned industrial action will be the first in four years at the airline. In May 2013, unions staged an eight-day walkout, paralysing the carrier and its operations. It ended with the signing of a new collective agreement which has now expired. Croatia Airlines' CEO, Krešimir Kučko, previously said that the management proposed to extend the terms of the 2013 agreement until the end of this year and for negotiations over a new deal to resume after the summer season, during which the airline generates the bulk of its profits and revenue. Mr Kučko noted that ORCA came to the negotiating table with 150 demands, which would set the company back 6.7 million euros per year. "All of the demands are of a financial nature. If we, for example, reduce their work hours, it would generate losses for the company because we would have to hire more people. I think their objective was for the mediation talks to fail as soon as possible, so they could pressure us into doing something", Croatia Airlines' CEO said. Late last month, twelve of the airline's captains resigned from their pilot instructor positions following the dismissal of one of their colleagues, in a sign of growing discontent between staff and top tier management.

Croatia Airlines' financial performance and passenger numbers have improved during the first quarter of the year, with the company registering a net profit of 1.2 million euros. It anticipates handling over two million passengers this year, making it its busiest on record. The growth will be fuelled by the recent introduction of four new routes out of Zagreb, on top of the four new services launched from the Croatian capital last year. Furthermore, the airline has wet-leased two Bombardier CRJ 1000 aircraft for use during the summer. At the height of the season this year, Croatia Airlines will operate up to 105 flights per day. During the 2013 strike, the airline maintained 37% of its scheduled operations.

143 comments:

  1. Didn't think I would ever agree with Kucko but they should have just extended the agreement until the end of the year like he suggested and try to negotiate something by then.

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    1. Completely agree. The management reached out to them but it does seem they just wanted a strike to get their own way.

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  2. Are they crazy? They could have at least waited until the end of summer.

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    1. What sort of logic is that. They are standing up for their rights, and so they should.

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    2. Agree with 9.03 but somehow I can't see the management sitting and watching half of their flights grounded in July.

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    3. Ne, jako su pametni. Sad je vrijeme za strajk, kad drugoj strani najvise stete mozes nanjeti

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    4. @ Anonymous June 16, 2017 at 9:12 AM

      The issue is he management sat last time and let it go for 8 days.

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    5. But that was in February. I doubt they will have the same attitude in July.

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    6. Trust me Kucko won't give in easy.

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    7. They have the right to strike!

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  3. This could really hurt OU's finances. They can't afford it. I would suggest Kucko sits down and starts talking to them.

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    1. I think they will and will manage to avoid it in the end.

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    2. I don't think there will be a strike. That's why they scheduled it for July. Kucko MUST find a solution as a strike in July could prove disastrous for the airline which is already walking on thin ice.

      Btw if they go on strike, does it mean that the CRJ will also not fly? I know the pilots are Spanish but the crew is local, well one of them.

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    3. ^^ I think the CRJ will operate. Only one crew member is Croatian and since there will have to be a minimum of staff available I'm sure they would put them on the CRJ so those planes (which already have pilots) could fly.

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    4. If the strike happens they will wet lease more planes and crew like Adria did a few months ago when its pilots went on strike.

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    5. 3 Airbuses will have to stay operational plus the 2 CRJs would stay in service.

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    6. I'm not sure how easy it is to find planes and crew to wet lease in the middle of summer.

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    7. It's not that difficult.

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    8. Not difficult, but not cheap either.

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  4. Shame. This could be very costly.

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  5. I hope the government picks a new CEO as soon as possible. There are a few candidates now. Kucko is unfit to be CEO. His employees can't stand him, he is being very arrogant. Time to go.

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    1. Do you know who are the candidates?

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    2. Jasmin Bajic, Bosko Matkovic, Tonko Rilovic, Josip Milosevic, Kresimir Kucko

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    3. Thanks. Interesting list. And when will we know the outcome?

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    4. Public call finished at the start of May. Then talks have to be held with all candidates which I think has happened. Now they have to pick someone. I assume soon.

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    5. First link
      http://www.mppi.hr/default.aspx?id=7103

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    6. Hopefully we will have results soon.

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  6. I can understand the employees. They are the backbone of the company and do a very good job. You cannot always give but not receive anything in return, especially after ist been promised for so long.

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  7. Bravo Hrvatska!

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  8. The right to strike is absolutely legal in many countries, the exact purpose is to tell the company you are not paying enough for me, while the numbers are green.
    Out of the roughly 1000 employees, how many are expected to go on strike, does somebody know?

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    1. It is not only a legal right but it is an achievement that should be valued very highly in our societies as it represents the social partnership. So it is their moral and legal right to stand up for their rights

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    2. Yes Comrade ... you need to relocate to North Korea or Cuba with this sort of thinking... there you will find nirvana

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    3. It's an open market. With an EU passport, you can work anywhere in the EU. There are other airlines than Croatia, so people can easily change jobs.

      1 job for life situation doesn't exist anymore.

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    4. @AnonymousJune 16, 2017 at 3:58 PM

      exactly, even @Lufthansa they'll hardly get any better conditions. In fact they'll get less.

      In Croatia, state workers, or workers who work for the state, tend to be the laziest, slowest and most arrogant workers. I had to get my new passport issued, they took their time, even though I paid 700 kuna, which should take 3 days, before they'll issue me new passport they wanted whole bunch of documents... Took 2 days more to get all the paperwork in order.

      Everywhere you go, staff is unkind, rude and gives you that nasty look, like you're worthless. Cause they have their cushy jobs and they couldn't care about the world.


      Almost all staff behave like that, cause they've got safe jobs. I look forward to when all government departments are itemized and everything is online, perhaps by 2020.

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    5. But how many employees are expected to carry the strike? After all OU has a reasonable number of staff - 900 is not bad (according to Wiki, of course)

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM

      Passport in Croatia is 355 kunas (all together with "biljezi"), urgent issue 560 kunas all together. And you get it in maximum 48 hours, but even you can ask to get it next day. I did it for my team so many times and get them next day. So don't say this, it is not true.

      Quantity of paper are high, but all of them you can get by e-citizen, if you are registered, without spending a minute for those, just print it at your home. Easy, fast and it is on for several years now for all the documents you need.

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    7. @Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM

      Alan, when was the last time you took passport ???

      http://stari.mup.hr/223478/39.aspx

      630 kuna, and you have to few other bits that aren't related to putovnica, that comes to arund 677 kuna. I said 700 kuna as a round figure as I had to raise few documents and they each cost around 20 kuna in biljesci stamps.

      So question stands when did you apply for your passport last time !!! Alen, come off your high horse.

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  9. I hope they manage to resolve their issues before the planned strike.

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  10. I think the main problem are not the demands but the very foundation of the airline's business model.

    Their priority should be to look for new markets towards which they can fly on a year-round basis.
    Anyone who works in the private sector knows that there is nothing worse than revenue oscillations.

    These oscillations are especially dangerous because costs remain more or less the same throughout the year while the revenue, which is used to cover these expenses, is not. This means that they make money in summer but once winter comes they are forced to use these reserves to pay their bills.

    By introducing year-round destinations they will increase their revenue and with it, hopefully, their profit (or at least to reduce their overall loss). In such a way they will be able to reduce the negative effects of the winter season.

    Once there is more more money coming in and hopefully there are less losses, it will be easier to meet the demands of the workforce.

    However, the employees need to understand in what state the airline is now. I do wonder if they are aware of the fact that the sale of the LHR slots is financing a great deal of the airline's day to day operations? Or do they not care because they believe that the government will not allow for OU to go bankrupt?

    p.s. does OU have any crew based outside of ZAG?

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    1. Partially disagree on opening new year round routes equalling cost reduction or even financial gain/more revenue. You do remember that they said that none of their winter services would not be loss making (some more, some less)?
      However, every airline in Europe deals with seasonality issues, i guess only a handful of them (if at all) can make money during winter season.
      That's why every carrier needs to earn enough in summer to cover all losses in winter+earn a bit more in summer to be in the black at EoY.

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    2. @NemjeeJune 16, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      OU has staff in Dubrovnik and Split, i think around 100 staff in each city, half of it cabin crew pilots.

      As to flying year round, yes this is what they're doing, they'll be adding more and more routes. Plan is to fly to at least 40 destinations by 2020, and 32 of these year round.

      Athens - s
      Barcelona
      Berlin
      Brussels
      Bucharest
      Cologne - s
      Copenhagen
      Dubrovnik
      Düsseldorf - s
      Frankfurt
      Helsinki - s
      Lisbon
      London
      Lyon - s
      Milan - s
      Munich
      Nice - s
      Osijek - s
      Oslo - s
      Paris
      Prague
      Pristina
      Pula
      Rijeka
      Rome
      Saint Petersburg
      Sarajevo
      Skopje
      Split
      Stockholm
      Stuttgart
      Tel Aviv - s
      Venice - s
      Vienna
      Zadar
      Zürich
      Zagreb.

      s = seasonal

      Here OU flies to 37 destinations in summer months. If they have enough planes by 2020, they could fly to all these cities year round if there's good demand for these destinations. Problem is lack of planes.


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    3. * Amsterdam

      PS

      Adding these cities in short and longer term is a must. However, this is when airline has enough planes.

      Gothenburg
      Istanbul
      Dublin
      Budapest
      Madrid
      Marseilles
      Palma
      Casablanca
      Cairo
      Sofia
      Kiev
      Hamburg
      Tallinn
      Riga
      Vilnius








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    4. I would exclude TLL and PMI and definitely BUD being just round the corner.
      You forgot TLV where there is a boom from all CEE cities, MLA and believe it or not, quarter of a million Croats in Argentina. So imagine DY code share with OU add ZAG-BUE. A dream!

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  11. Just fire them all and get people who will actually work for that pay and those hours. I am sure thousands would.

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    1. They have the right to strike. The management who brought the company to this situation should be replaced.

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    2. I agree. Airline strikes are so 1990s. If you're not happy with your conditions move on through and find alternative employment. Successful airlines are focused on improving productivity not decreasing while increasing wages.

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    3. Successful companies make sure their employees are happy as that's the best way to guarantee your business' productivity and competitiveness.

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    4. I believe it wouldn't be hard to find new pilots and cabin crew, there is a lot of people looking for job...

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    5. lol I don't think there are too many unemployed pilots roaming around the streets of Zagreb.

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    6. Why only Zagreb? Anybody with european passport and european licence can fly in Croatia Airlines.

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    7. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 16, 2017 at 6:37 PM

      Even Norwegian, Ryanair and Austrian can not find enough pilots, but Croatia will? Are you real? Today companies, especially in Middle East, Asia, USA... give so huge salaries and other benefits, because they hardly find enough pilots.

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    8. Alen is right, there will be so much "hunger" for pilots, especially with so many new planes due to be built by 2020. It is one of the hardest and most stressful jobs in the world.

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    9. Pilot shortage would result in flight cancellation. Can't see it so far.

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    10. Uskoro ce avioni leteti sa samo jednim pilotom.

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  12. I'm surprised how many people here are backing the management. I mean seriously...

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    1. Me too. I thought there would be more support for workers.

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    2. Solidarity Balkan style :D

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    3. No one has anything against a modest say 1.5-2% pay rise but seems that workers union is having very, very, very many additional demands.

      Now ask again why people take certain sides on here.

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    4. You do know that they did not have any rise since 2002. Even more on 2009 and 2011 company reduce their incomes for some 10% all together. And promise that they will get it back after good times will come. Now, company is profitable. Is that good times? By CEO those times are more than good. So, they should get at lest what they had in 2002.

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    5. They have a job yeah, while many others in Croatia don't.... unhappy people don't stay, they go where it is better. The fact that they don't, probably says more about them than it does about the company

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  13. But do we actually know what the union is demanding?

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    1. Fewer hours, more pay, longer holiday leave.

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    2. Well we all have dreams...

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    3. Why don't they join a company that would provide them that?

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    4. So many of them did so. More than 100 mechanics and pilots and even more cabin crews.

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  14. Would be interesting to here Purger's take on this.

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    1. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 16, 2017 at 6:57 PM

      Poprilično su mi podjeljeni stavovi.

      1.Iskreno mislim da bi kompaniju moglo pokopati štraj ustred sezone, kada nema alternative (avioni su prezauzeti, ogroman novac na kompenzacije, kratak lizing u top sezoni košta enormno puno), kada kompanija uzima jedin ozbiljan novac, konačno to će imati ogromne posljedice i po hrvatski turizam i ostale grane gospodarstva vezane uz turizam. To ne podržavam ni na koji način. Čak štoviše zgražam se nad time.

      2. Mislim da su radnici trebali pričekati izbor novog CEO i sjesti sa njim. Ili nisu? Hm, hm, hm... ovisno koje informacije imaju.

      3. No, razumijem i radnike. Međuljudski odnosi u firmi su katastrofalni. Uprava nije smjela dozvoliti da zbog čiste inercija istekne kolektivni ugovor, radnici imaju pravo na isti, a nemaju ga već pola godine. Radnici su isfrustrirani nad činjenicom da su im primanja manja nego početkom tisučljeća. Da im primanja ne rastu, a skidana su im sa recesijom i restrukturacijom. Firma je profitabilna, dakle vrijeme je da im se primanja vrate nakon tolikih rezanja.

      4. Još više su frustrirani sa pay to fly (koji je jedan od glavnih razloga štrajka). I tu imaju potpuno pravo. Struka je energično protiv tog robovlasničkog i sigurnostno neprihvatljivog sustava "školovanja".

      5. Stotine primjera katastrofalnih međuljudskih odnosa je iznjeto, radna atmosfera je zatrovana. Posljednji primjer kapetana Šarinića, samo je kap koja je prelila čašu. Uprava je prepotentna, ne želi razgovarati, koristi neprimjerenu silu, koristi civilizacijski neprihvatljive metode. Konačno uprava koja ratuje sa svojim radnicima ne zna svoj posao. Radnici su naveće blago, oni stvaraju dobrobit firme. Sadašnji predsjednik SAD-a je prije par godina rekao "nitko se nije obogatio svojim radom, nego samo ako je imao dovoljno sposobnih radnika koji rade za njega".

      6. Egzodus u inozemstvo desetaka mehaničara i pilota jasno govori kako stvari ne valjaju. Zbog toga je firma bila prisiljena zapošljavati čak i mehaničare iz Srbije, što je država protumačila kao nelegalno. Sada se angažiraju vrlo skupi stranci jer nema alternative za ljude koji su otišli. I to, kako sami kažu, ne prvenstveno radi novaca.

      Puno je toga tu loše. Jako puno. Jel štrajk odgovor? A što da vam kažem???

      P.S.
      Ovo je moj privatan stav, i nema veze sa HSPP-om ili neki drugim sindikatom.

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  16. I would advise staff to look at the finances of the airline they work for before going on strike.

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    1. If they look at official reports, airline is doing well financially. Even a profit in first quarter for the first time in a decade. Why not ask for better pay and rights?

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  17. No problem hope Adria will fly instead of them like they did for Adria when pilots were on strike....

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    1. During the strike in 2013 many Croatia Airlines flights were operated by Adria.

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  18. Do they state when on which date will they strike?

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    1. It says in the article: "The union noted that while the walkout is yet to be scheduled, it is "likely to take place in July", at the height of the busy summer season."

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  19. Workers in public owned companies (financed through the budget) should not have a right to strike, particularly in critical services such as aviation, railways, etc. Other way, this so called industrial action, will destroy the company and then some people would realize, what a nice life, we have had.

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    1. Such progressive thinking ... NOT.

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  20. It is being reported in a few German and Italian media too.

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  21. They are digging their own graves. See you all at the unemployment office.

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    1. How about instead of airline personnel we see Kucko & co. at the unemployment office.

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    2. Croatia is a EU member state. As such workers have the right to protest.

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    3. Kucko is cashed up. You won't see him there

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    4. FYI, in non-EU memeber countries, workers also have the right to strike
      actually, Croatia was on of these countries not so long ago and there were strikes back then too.

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  22. Not directly related to the strike but related to OU. They seem to have scheduled the CRJ1000 to LHR from ZAG on a one time basis in October.

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    1. Nice. Do you know the date?

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    2. 8th October.

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    3. Ah thanks now I see it too :)

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    4. It would be nice if they took a dry lease of those planes. They are excellent and have proved very good for the airline.

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    5. Well they said they will use this period to test them and then decide whather they will take a long term lease next year.

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  23. Can someone actually explain to us what is going on between OU management and its staff? First we have this strike, then we have a whole lot of mechanics leaving OU, then we have pilot instructors resigning!?

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  24. It really wouldn't be good for the company if this goes ahead but then again I understand the workers. I'm still hoping for a last minute deal.

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  25. Things have been going really good for Croatia Airlines this year. Q1 profit, passenger growth, new routes, new planes. I hope this strike won't derail it.

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    1. Profit in the first quarter was the result of selling the Heathrow slots. The airline said so itself.

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    2. True. Usually result in Q1 must be deepred.

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  26. Ma da Q1 profit, kako da ne.

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  27. I think we might see Wizzair or Ryanair or Easyjet spreading in ZAG very soon....

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  28. S konja na magarca, s magarca na Kucka.

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  29. Http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/die-story/video-profit-auf-kosten-aller-der-gnadenlose-preiskampf-der-billigairlines-100.html

    OT and in German only

    Watch this report about LCC, mainly Ryanair how they cheat the social systems in Europe or how they are an increasing danger factor to the skies of Europe with tjeir fuel saving practise and internal rankings ob intranet which pilot leads the lowest fuel consumption.
    Scary and definitely time to stop supporting LCC. Dont fly them if you dont have to!

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    1. I don't think there is any strong evidence than LCC airlines are uplifting less than minimum fuel.

      But at least they are not flying 30+ year old B737-300 with mechanical instruments in the cockpit, unlike a "legacy carrier" from exyu that shall not be named.

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    2. You might have not named the airline, but you have said a lot about yourself and your frustrations.

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    3. Wasn't there a case about 7 to 8 years ago when there were similar claims made about Wizz Air?

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    4. Cheating the social systems to increase profits and to be cheaper than those who respect the rules is worse than any 30 or 40 year old aircraft. Why should i pay who never flies FR for O'Learys Bonus?? F... him that crook
      And btw DL AA fly them to. LH just retired their 733 last year only



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    5. I think Ryanair still pays better than any exyu airline.

      And the oldest LH 737 was 5 years younger than YU-AND.

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    6. Ryanair employs and pays no pilots. Done thru mailbox companies

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  30. Is this serious?!

    http://www.b92.net/putovanja/vesti.php?yyyy=2017&mm=06&dd=16&nav_id=1272664

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    1. Regional leader.

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    2. yeah...right.....
      srdacni vozac traktora ga je odbacio od aviona a jos srdacnija posada pustila u avion....mozes misliti.

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    3. Verujes Jutarnjem? Svasta to je shoder rang Informera, Kurira i Blica.

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    4. Ne verujem, zato i pitam... Ali opet, nije ni Jutarnji Newsbar, nešto je tu bilo kada su već pisali o tome.

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    5. Some might call this good service lol! Can't wait to read his Skytrax comments.

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    6. This is a SERIOUS security breach and somebody should be made accountable

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  31. Unfortunate for Croatia Airlines.

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  32. It's no biggy if this happens. Other airlines will just increase capacity to take care of those that were supposed to go with Croatia Airlines.

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    Replies
    1. it's a "biggy" for the airline itself.

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  33. Feeling so sorry for the OU staff, hope they reach a reasonable agreement for all.

    Btw, W6 announced today that it expands next year from SOF by launching NCE and LIS! Hope they do the same with BEG and INI who definitely need more French airports due to the diaspora.

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    1. You think there is untupped source of passangers in France? Lyon maybe.

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    2. Yes, LYS sure! But NCE is now served by other cities BUD, WAW, VNO. According to Wiki 120000 Serbs live in France, so yes, much potential.
      Focus is now on France I guess after Brexit

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  34. OT

    EK downgrades ZAG to B772. I fear next step might be 5 weekly in winter.

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    1. Starting when? It´s too early to become pessimistic, the route is 16 days old.

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    2. Only temporarily, the reason is not their LF, which is getting better and better, especially on their DXB-ZAG route.

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    3. @AnonymousJune 16, 2017 at 7:04 PM

      B777 200LR was original aicraft on the route to start with, however first week or so B777 300ER was used as bookings were high.

      Zagreb should have had B777 200 LR from the start. B777 200 LR is now fully booked or almost full on flights to Zagreb, which is how it should be, return flights are also good.

      In winters it should be max 6 days, as on Sunday no one really flies. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays are really busy in Croatia. Sundays only coastal airports are busy.

      Emirates is very happy with their Zagreb service and load factor is around 80-85% to Zagreb and 50-55% return to Dubai, this was with B777 300ER, with 200LR it'll be near 90-95% full.

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    4. Just as expected. It is winter time in Australia so many Croats come back home, so maybe in winter in Croatia it will be the other way round·

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    5. Will use EK from ZAG to Sydney in October!

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    6. Do they mix 777 300 with 777 200, seems to me I saw that on flightradar?

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    7. lol has EK dispatched its PR service within minutes of the original comment being posted? :D

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    8. Bookings have not been strong enough to warrant a B773. One poster here was more than kind to share the loads with us. :)

      This only goes to show that EK needs narrowbodies for routes such as ZAG, same as Qatar which has also downgraded its flights.

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    9. The trickiest part will be to fill 2 huge aircraft to/from ZAG and BUD during the winter being close to each other, not mentioning ICE and VCE.

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    10. ICE? Did you mean VIE?

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    11. Their site still shows 777-300 ER both in summer and winter. So when is this change actually happening (if it is happening)?

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    12. Your frustration is so high.
      Today it was 300 and tomorrow and so on. Check out the EK system. From time to time EK mixes 200 and 300, an it has nothing to do with downsizing or reducing.
      Why are you people so negative?

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    13. Check the flights these days, both EK and QR are sending smaller planes to ZAG. We've seen on here that the EK flight has been arriving with 160 passenger and departing with even less. The market is obviously not big enough for two airlines.

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    14. What if QR goes to double daily in ZAG? They have spare birds now?

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    15. No way... especially not now when they downsized their equipment. Unfortunately seems like EK has affected them quite a bit.

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    16. As far as I know, QR sees very nice loads...would be interesting to see them double daily, especially to see of that would affect EK development as QR would then have really big capacity and perfect connectivity every day...

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    17. LOL
      Serbs are so frustrated with EK flights. :D

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  35. Hmm...don't know enough about the internal dealings of OU, but I do know that Croatian airports should work 24/7. I'm referreing to the night OU flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, which got redirected to Rome due to heavy wind. All because none of the Croatian airports were open after midnight. Including the one in Zagreb. That is shocking! And in the tourist season?!!

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