Thursday, October 5, 2017

Croatia Airlines CEO resigns


The President and CEO of Croatia Airlines, Krešimir Kučko, has resigned from his post and will step down on November 4 following five years at the company's helm. In a statement, the carrier said, "As the CEO of Croatia Airlines, Krešimir Kučko successfully carried out the company's restructuring process and overturned its financial losses by posting a net profit for the past four consecutive years. During the last two years, he expanded Croatia Airlines' route network by adding eight new routes and solidified the company's position as a regional leader". The carrier added that Mr Kučko will take on a new role at another company. On the other hand, Mr Kučko's critics argue that the airline achieved profitability in large part due to the sale of its valuable assets, including landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport, which will be factored into this year's performance. Furthermore, plans to expand the fleet by adding six 100-seater aircraft and the opening of several bases across the Balkans did not materialise despite numerous announcements. During Mr Kučko's term in office, the airline also witnessed its worst industrial action, paralysing the carrier and its operations for eight days in 2013.

The state is now expected to appoint a new CEO, with a decision possible as early as today. Over the summer, the Croatian Centre for Restructuring and Sales ran an open call for a new head of the company. Although Mr Kučko himself applied for the post, others included aviation expert Josip Milošević, the Director of Controlling and Internal Audit at Croatia Airlines, Jasmin Bajić, the head of the London representative office of the Croatian National Tourism Board, Tonko Rilović, who previously worked in Croatia Airlines' marketing division, as well as the former General Manager of Zagreb Airport, Boško Matković. Some media have suggested that the process may now have to be repeated. Intense lobbying by all the candidates and their backers is said to have taken place over the past few weeks. 

Krešimir Kučko

Mr Kučko's successor faces several challenges which will include navigating the airline's privatisation process following a previous failed attempt, combating increased competition and declining market share, which will amount to 27% this year, as well as maintaining profitability. The airline's new CEO will also have to renegotiate contracts with the carrier's staff who recently agreed to put off industrial action until further notice under the condition for fresh talks to take place with the management following the busy summer season. Furthermore, the airline has seen a number of its pilots and mechanics leave this year. The Supervisory Board of Croatia Airlines will meet on Friday when they are expected to endorse Mr Kučko's resignation from his posts as a member of the Management Board and President and CEO.

137 comments:

  1. Good luck to the person who takes over. They will really need it.

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  2. The man is smart, he sold all the assets and is leaving now when there is almost nothing left to sell. Wonderful.

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  3. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Sve ovisi o tome koga se postavi. Neće svi biti isti. No, da će onaj koji dođe imati ozbiljnog problema, o da hoće.

    U svakom slučaju stvar nije tako jednostavna. Ima tu jako puno toga u pozadini.

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    Replies
    1. Alane po vasenj misljenju kakav bi Boso Matkovic bio CEO Croatie

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 9:04 AM

      Da se mene pita ja bih njega birao. Bez razmišljanja.

      Jedini koji može nešto napraviti of Croatie, kao što je napravio i od tada prezaduženog i kreditima opterečenog zagrebačkog aerodroma.

      Uz to ima i podršku radništva.

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    3. Možeš malo napisati ko je taj čovjek? Za nas koji smo manje upućeni.

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    4. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM

      Boško Matković je godinama radio na rukovodećim funkcijama ogromnih projekata u Njemačkoj, a posljednji projekt prije povratka u domovinu je bio razvojni projekt Fraporta na Frankfurtskom aerodromu. Od 1999. do 2001. bio je savjetnik za strategiju i razvoj Zračne luke Zagreb, a od 2001. do 2009. bio je CEO ZL Zagreb. U isto vrijeme bio je i član Nadzornog odbora Croatie Airlines. Za vrijeme svog mandata u ZL Zagreb vratio je 6,1 milijun EUR dugova, 2,1 milijun kuna duga u tvrtkama kćerima i 9,3 milijuna EUR kredita koje je imala ZL Zagreb, investirao 37,3 milijuna EUR u obnovu i povećanje kapaciteta starog aerodroma, navigacijsku (CAT IIIb) i drugu opremu, izradu novog master plana (2007.), te je uveden napredni sustav kvalitete ISO9001 i 14001. Kada je preuzeo ZL Zagreb firma je bila gubitaš, a kod odlaska firma je stvarala značajni godišnji profit. Iza sebe je ostavio 32 milijuna EUR akumuliranog profita na računu ZL Zagreb. Istovremeno je povećao putnički promet za duplo, sa 1,1 na 2,2 milijuna putnika, te cargo promet za 72% (sa 7.388 na 12.897 tona, što do danas nije dostignuto). Završio je sve radnje potrebne za početak izgradnje terminala, uključujući i međunarodni arhitektonski natječaj, kao i sve administrativne obveze za izgradnju. Bio je smijenjen radi neslaganja sa koncesijom, smatravši da ZL Zagreb može sama iznaći sredstva za novi terminal i razvoj, te je na isto mjesto postavljen Tonči Peović, dotadašnji CEO ZL Dubrovnik. Nakon odlaska iz ZL Zagreb radio je na projektima Lufthansa consultinga.

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    5. So Matkobic is also a Lufthansa guy. Great... More of Ivan Misetic coming I guess.

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 9:20 AM

      Could be, but I don't think so. I could not see that from what I heard from him. But one can not be sure.

      But what I am sure is that you can not say "More of Ivan Misetic". Misetic has his own interest in Croatia Airlines and for sure Matkovic is not the one.

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    7. So what will happen next Alen with Croatia Airlines? Your predictions?

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    8. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      Actually it depends on Government. What they want.

      Here are scenarios:
      - Government will sell Croatia to Lufthansa

      - Government will sell Croatia to some other company

      - Government want Croatia to be independent company as that is important for Croatian tourism

      They will choose one of candidate depends what they want from that list.

      But what I see is that Government does not care. Croatia is not important for them as they can not make simple decision for 5 months now.

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    9. Hoping for the best outcome.

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    10. Alene, budući da si ga fino nahvalio, i budući da čovjek ima znanje ali očito i svoje ja, bojim se da nema šanse da bude izabran. To vladi RH neće odgovarati. Čovjek koji zna i misli svojom glavom.

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    11. Danije lOctober 5, 2017 at 10:18 AM,

      that's what I've wanted to say.

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    12. Izbor gosp.Matkovića bio bi stvarno presedan!
      Kako je sjećanje kratko,naravno kad nekom to odgovara!
      Jedna od "zasluga"Gosp.Matkovića bio je i dio problema i gubitaka Croatia airlinesa!
      Upravo je Matković i Zračna luka Zagreb bila kažnjena od Agencije za zaštitu tržišnog poslovanja RH zbog korištenja monopolne pozicije preme Croatia airlinesu!!!!
      Godinama nije investirao u Zračnu luku Zagreb,te tako "ostvarivao"veliku dobit,a naravno koristeći bonuse zbog iste,kako je to tadašnji Ugovor s NO ZLZ dozvoljavao!
      No ko se još toga sjeća!
      Sve mi liči na geslo:"Što započe Kučko,nastavi Boško!"

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    13. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 9:59 PM

      Matković je investirao u ZLZ 280 milijuna kuna. Lista stvari koje su napravljene je velika. Od potpune obnove terminala (potpuna reorganizacije prostora, ne samo face lifting), preko obnove piste, stajanke, izgradnje VIP terminala, dogradnje stajanke poslovne i generalne avijacije, novih autobusa, komunikacijske opreme, informatičke opreme, novog parkirališta, preuređenja prilaza...

      Anon. 10:18
      Nekako se bojim da niste u krivu. Nadam se da neće biti tako, ali ništa mi ne govori da niste u pravu. Možda je to i razlog toliko maratonskog prolongiranja odluke.

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  4. After selling all the family jewels what's left? Once you start selling LHR slots it's game over.

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  5. What options will his successor have? Kucko left right after spring and summer months when airlines receive most of their bookings, that is money.

    On top of that, due to EU rules the government can't provide OU with a fresh dose of capital it desperately needs. Kucko has sold almost all valuable assets leaving the airline with next to nothing.

    Unless they bring someone competent who can both secure a loan and then use those funds wisely, I don't see a bright future for OU.

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    Replies
    1. He left a sinking ship just before it sinks to the bottom.

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  6. I pity whoever comes after him.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, it's going to be very difficult. Very little space for maneuvering.

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  7. Boli ga, isisao što je išlo i fino ide dalje, vjerojatno pod svojim uvjetima. Mislim da tko god dođe, da će u OU sve ostati isto. Gdje je država gazda nema pomoći.

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  8. Replies
    1. Bolje je cutati i biti smatran budalom, nego progovoriti i odstraniti svaku sumnju.

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  9. Svaka mu cast fircao vas je do kraja i presao u drugu firmu.

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  10. Replies
    1. If they reopen the CEO job posting like the article says they might you could apply :)

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    2. Who do I send my 2 page resume to?

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  11. To me this looks like political pressure. Why would he have applied to run for OU again if he knew he was going to leave? The government probably already has its favorite and they had to get rid of Kucko somehow since he probably had a good chance of being reelected.

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    1. Maybe he just got an offer too good to refuse. I assume the guy was looking elsewhere as well since his job at OU wasn't guaranteed.

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  12. The notion of the government selecting someone to run an airline is so silly. I thought Croatia had moved past that communist style of management.

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    1. Well Croatia Airlines is still state owned so who do you expect to select the management?

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    2. The conclusion being that the company should be privatized ASAP.

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    3. The issue is that no one want's to buy them. During the last tender no one applied.

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    4. That was years ago when the company was going through restructuring which had a lot of restrictions.

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    5. *EU imposed restrictions I might add.

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    6. Sure, they are not restructuring anymore but most of the things of value have been sold.

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    7. They are in a much better position to be sold now then 3 years ago.

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  13. Why do all of OU's CEOs seem to leave the company after they are replaced. I mean all of them worked for Croatia Airlines before they became CEO, can't they just get their former position in the company?

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    Replies
    1. Once you have reached the top, it's difficult to go back down ;)

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  14. It's going to be some Ivan Misetic inspired candidate. His daughter is part of the government and he is very much still interested in Croatia Airlines.

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    Replies
    1. Was he the guy that also sat on the Lufthansa board while he was CEO?

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    2. Was he the longest serving CEO at OU?

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    3. From 1997 - 2010 so yes.

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    4. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 10:03 AM

      Unfortunately you are absolutely right.

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    5. So he won't do anything. He will keep feeding Big German Mother like a colony. Nothing new.

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  15. MA blokiran, Adrija lupa gluposti, CA uskoro novog sefa, AS u smanjenju obima letenja, ne zvuci da im ide dobro u regionu dok nikada vise putnika.

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    Replies
    1. +1 zato stranci rasturaju.

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    2. No surprise. Market is growing, while this region has always been incompetent so it's no wonder companies in the region are in the dumps, while foreigners are exploiting the situation. It has always been that way around here.

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    3. Osim LH ja ne vidim da neko prosperira ni LOT ni WIZZ ne zaradjuju dovoljno da pokriju nabavke novih aviona. Muljavine sa preprodajom aviona postedite me.

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    4. An.9.35 "region has always been incompetent" - simply not true: region during ex-yu, with JAT Jugoslovenski Aerotransport, Adria and Aviogenex,especially during 1980's-Ante Markovic as PM-was among the leading regions not only in Europe, but in the World. Only JAT was number 10 in Europe and number 30 in the World, bigger and more developed than Emirates, Turkish or Austrian Airlines, with plane orders for fleet renewal and plans for new destinations worldwide. And it could have continued like that, with the changes needed for the country. Unfortunately some politicians didn't realise new reality. And the consequences we still have today, including banana "flag-carriers" of banana ex-yu countries

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    5. +100 last anon!

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    6. @last last anon; typical Yugo statement. Once upon a time ... we were ... nemoj da pricas gluposti brate, molim te! Complaining about politicians, ask yourself who wotes them?!

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    7. Of course JAT was bigger than Emirates in the 80's, seeing how Emirates only started flying in 1985...

      The world and the airline market is however a moving business and one cannot rely on old victories for the future. But as is very common, when things were great, it was Tito/whoever who made the country great. When things went worse, it was always somebody else's fault.

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    8. Anon @ 11:23AM JAT was a typical communist, state-owned company and this talk about JAT having been so viable, or the region being among the leading ones not only in Europe, but the world, is utter nonsense. The entire economy was suffocating under the weight of old obligations and debts due for repayments, as well as hyperinflation. The "business" model was ridiculous also, lacking any responsibility, or guarantees for any furure repayments. In short this was a situation on the verge of collapse, which indeed followed shortly thereafter.

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  16. Hoping to read the same news about Air Serbia soon.

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    Replies
    1. Me too but I fear the replacement would be much worse.

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    2. I'm hoping I read the same news about Belgrade Airport's CEO soon.

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  17. What will a new CEO do for Croatia Airlines? What are its options?

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  18. I'm interested to see how the fleet will develop under a new CEO. Will they finally get 100 seat aircraft and what will happen with the neos. If they struggle financially it is always possible to cancel the deal.

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    Replies
    1. You incur penalties if you cancel your aircraft order this late.

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    2. When are the supposed to come?

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    3. Why they should need 100seater?

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    4. 2021 according to this article
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/02/croatia-airlines-to-raise-funds-for-neo.html

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    5. @ AnonymousOctober 5, 2017 at 9:53 AM

      Because they would be able to use 100 seaters during the winter instead of the larger Airbus aircraft on a lot of routes and this would allow them to offer its surplus Airbus capacity to the ACMI market. Also they need a plane to bridge grap between Dash 8s and A319s

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    6. Interesting, the article also says that they have to start making payments for the plane this year. I wonder how they will manage it financially.

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    7. I see. So, you have a fleet of ten and should have at last 3 different types of a/c?! So should they lease an A321 for the overbookings this summer?I suggest you google for RPK and ASK and talk to someone internal about their liquidity issues. This airline cannot buy new trolleys, neither think on changing metal.

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    8. it is hard to understand how any ex-yu company can afford new plane. it would be better for their finances to fly leased 10+y planes.
      OU had negative cash flow for the last two years, so it beats me how they plan to finance it.

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  19. Finally! Good riddance.

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    Replies
    1. I agree! He has been a disaster, sold off all the assets, cut a lot flights to the UK while other airlines are growing connections between the UK and Croatia.

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    2. Like Monarch or Ryanair? Croats are the first who will take a ride by bus to VCE, LJU, BUD, sleep over night at the airport, than train from LTN or STN instead to pay 50eur more to fly to LHR. But in the end they will all cry over the reducing operations to LHR like they were using that route once a week. And there is no way that you can fly to LHR with the same prices like LTN or STN. Croats will always choose foreign airline over flag carrier. Well known patriots.

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  20. Oh fantastic another REGIONAL LEADER!

    "solidified the company's position as a regional leader".

    What is it with the Balkans and regional leaders?

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    Replies
    1. I'm just asking myself based on what is Croatia Airlines a regional leader?

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    2. well, they are the only company in ex yu that doesn't have a structural flaw to be profitable. all other are questionable.
      mgx & ju are heavily unprofitable, and adria's profitability is a joke.
      OU's 2016 positive results were without selling anything.

      but in general i agree.
      in some dark place dane is reading that line and ordering his PR to prepare a statement to reclaim the throne of REGIONAL LEADER

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    3. Didn't they do sale and leasebacks of engines last year?

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    4. OU never makes an operational profit without selling something.

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    5. novembar 2015. nije ušlo u 2016.
      opet, malo sam alergičan kada čujem "plešo prevoz" jer ne znam kako je taj posao mogao da se proda za više od par desetina hiljada evra, što je smešno za cifre o kojima pričamo, a croatia je imala samo 50% udela.


      "Pored navedenog, Društvo je do studenog
      2015. g. je posjedovalo 50% udjela u zajednički kontroliranom društvu Pleso prijevoz
      d.o.o., Zagreb...Udjele u Pleso prijevozu d.o.o. Društvo je u cijelosti prodalo u studenom
      2015. godine, te ovo pridruženo društvo nije uključeno u konsolidaciju za razdoblje
      siječanj – prosinac 2016. godine."

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 10:05 PM

      Te godine prihodovali su od prodaje imovine 3,9 milijuna EUR, dobari do toga je Pleso Prijevoz. Pleso prijevoz je daleko više od par desetaka tisuća. 2014. Croatia je investiala u Pleso Prijevoz 730.000. Teško da bi ga onda prodala za par desetaka tisuća.

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    7. gledao sam izveštaje, ispada da su imali oko 49mil HRK od prodaje asseta u 2015. 33,8 od toga je ovaj GE motor. znači sve ostalo ima potencijal za 15mil HRK ili 2 mil EUR. pitanje je samo šta je još otišlo u toj godini i po kojoj ceni. ako nije ništa drugo otišlo to znači da su kancelariju i 50% u plesu prodali za 2mil€, ali mi to deluje kao suluda cifra.

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  21. Maybe we will now finally see Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines cooperate and codeshare on each other's routes.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps. Air Serbia approached Croatia Airlines when they started flying to Zagreb and they wanted to make a codeshare with them but Kucko kind of blew them away and didn't want anything to do with them.

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    2. Not defending Kucko here but what was he supposed to do? Air Serbia is competition, especially at the time when it was growing like crazy. By making a codeshare with them, Croatia Airlines would have lost passengers.

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    3. Air Serbia could have offered the Croatian coast via ZAG, that would have helped. Not to mention that OU would have extra income from selling its code-share flights to BEG like JP does. Adria makes serious money like that.

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    4. To sto pricas bi bila nova Jugoslavija, a covek je iz HDZa. Ne ide.

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    5. Kucko je SDP-ov kadar.

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  22. Regional leader in Croatia ;-)

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    Replies
    1. This "regional leader" idea should be given up by all airlines/airports in the region.

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    2. All ex-YU CEOs make grand statements and do nothing. Just look in the article everything that Kucko promised.

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  23. I think Croatia Airlines has HUGE potential. The only issue is the incompetent management and state interference. Hopefully a new CEO will do a a better job at expanding the airline but I'm not too optimistic.

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  24. Who knows, maybe the new management will want to take Croatia Airlines long haul :)

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    Replies
    1. That would bury them.

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  25. Enter 4K Invest :D

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    Replies
    1. 4K is up for lefovers or better what they get for free. Same style as Gypsies scrapping metal in metal industries.

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  26. Good. His employees couldn't stand him and he was very arrogant.

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  27. Public call for new CEO finished at the start of May and they still can't decide who should be the new CEO. Crazy!

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    Replies
    1. It shows that Croatia Airlines definitively isn't a priority for this government.

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    2. I wouldn't be surprised that governments knows for a while new who will be the new CEO, timing of the change is a different matter. Don't expect things to be transparent on that level, especially in this part of the world.

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  28. Kucko has accepted a new business challenge and left Croatia Airlines after 25 years of work at the company. I wonder which company will he go to.

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    Replies
    1. I presume he will go and work for the airport

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  29. Hope we get a decent CEO which Croatia Airlines and Croatia deserves.

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  30. I hope that politicians finally understand that they need a professional to run the airline instead of selling their assets and then claiming profit.

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    Replies
    1. The government doesn't really care about OU. It's the least of their worries.

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  31. So we can now expect that idiot that almost bankrupt OU and then wrote a book about "aviation management".He's from HDZ which are currently "the law" and yeah.Excellent.Good thing Technical Services are still going strong,especialy when they need to let people go.

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  32. No bases across ex-Yu, no new aircraft, no sustainable business operations, no strategic partner.

    Glad the guy is going.

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  33. Again with the "regional leader". It is a political statement.

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  34. I honestly dont beileve theres a regional leader, just regional losers whose days are numbered.

    In the end Europe will have three primary Airlines, and three LCCs period.

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    Replies
    1. Ako verujes Purgerovim glupostima. 500 miliona potencijalnih putnika nije lako upakovati u toliko kompanija. Kako rastu rastu im i problemi operativne prirode. Poslednji primer su RA i LH koja presipa iz supljeg u prazno Germanwings su Eurowings.

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  35. Pop them bottles ladies!

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  36. I just hope that in a years time we want be calling back Kucko.

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  37. Hire Hogan :) or sell OU to EY ;)
    Final possible solution: JU and OU merge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They could call the merged company Jatovanje :)

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    2. It will happen sooner or later but under Eurowings unbrella.

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    3. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 5, 2017 at 10:13 PM

      Unfortunately that is most real scenario.

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  38. I hope Croatia Airlines gets privatized. It's the only way it can go forward and counter the huge competition it has. I have no sympathy for Kucko but his hands were tied on many fronts because of the state. If the company was privatized it could do much much more.

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    Replies
    1. It would be ideal to get Hainan yo invest in OU.

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    2. With them being the likliesr winner of BEG airport's concession, I highly doubt they would also go for Croatia Airlines.

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    3. Although they do seem to be a company looking for ways to burn cash so who knows.

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  39. Concerning the discussion about Croatia Airlines' fleet, they should copy Adria. Airbuses plus some smaller capacity CRJs. The Q400 are suitable just for a couple of regional routes yet they send it even to Brussels.

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    1. As far as I am aware the financial lease for the first batch of Q400s ends next year so we will see if they extend it.

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    2. They should try to get up to 4 used 320/321s at a decent price and use them to crawl back some of the market share they are losing on the coast. If they don't pay too much for them they could park them during the winter. Maybe even creat a dedicatered charter company called Croatia Holidays or something.

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    3. Jeste piloti i stevke cuce po ofingerima c i d cek je djabe....

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  40. Now you will see that Croatia Airlines will move forward.
    His proteges in the company must also worry for their position
    Hand the company back to professionals

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    Replies
    1. With all due respect, when was OU run by professionals? Its problems started way before Kucko. They began during Misetic who brought the company to the state that it had to be restructured and it still hasn't recovered.

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    2. I agree but in Kucko era he made serious bad business decisions. And employees unsatisfied and not talking about his arrogance it was his way or the high way and he put some friend in crucial positions.

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    3. If had professional management on time of Matija Katičić (1991-1997).

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    4. Not really, Matija had a lot of help from abroad and from the new government which made his life easy.

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    5. Nothing compare to Mišetić, Šimunović and Kučko. State help to those 3 were much bigger. And results so modest.

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