“Plan B” if Croatia Airlines sale fails

Alternative plans for Croatia Airlines’ future

The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, says he is under no illusion that it will be difficult to find a part owner for Croatia Airlines following last year’s failed privatisation tender, adding the government has a “plan B” in store. Mr. Hajdaš Dončić says that another tender will take place, most likely during the summer, but insists this time Croatia will send direct invitations to interested parties to put forward their bids. This is because companies from the far East rarely participate in tender procedures due to their corporate culture, but even so, the minister admits it will be difficult to attract investors.

“Croatia Airlines is important to us but investors see it as a Lufthansa feeder. You can’t persuade someone to invest in a company if they see no interest in it. We have to forget these stories that investors will spend their money in Croatia just because it is beautiful. They won’t. They will invest in Croatia only if they see an opportunity to make a profit”, Mr. Hajdaš Dončić says. Questioned as to how Jat Airways managed to bag Etihad Airways as its part owner, the minister replied, “That privatisation is under investigation. I didn’t see a tender for the sale of Jat. They are not in the EU”.

The Croatian government has a plan B if its second attempt to sell its national carrier fails. The airline will continue its restructuring program which has already seen the carrier cut its fleet by one aircraft, reduce its destination network by 7% and cut down on employees. In the coming year the airline would sell some of its slots and infrastructure and continue the search for a strategic partner. “If we find such a partner, if they give us a letter of intent, we are ready to adopt a special law regarding Croatia Airlines’ privatisation which would see it fast track the process”, the minister concludes. A government delegation will soon visit China where they will look to spur interest from China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines for the purchase of a minority stake in the Croatian national carrier.


  1. Why doesn't Lufthansa show any interest?

    1. Anonymous09:56

      Lufthansa is not buying any more for 3 years now. They are just saling

  2. Nikola09:16

    “That privatisation is under investigation. I didn’t see a tender for the sale of Jat. They are not in the EU”.
    Why didn't he say under whose investigation? Since Serbia is not in the EU, we don't have to stick to their rules "k'o pijan plota", as we say

  3. Anonymous09:20

    Beacuse OU gives them what they want... unfortunately... I don't think that this will go well, they should shut it down, they've done everything possible to ruin it, too late to regret now

  4. Anonymous09:44

    I don't see any savings as they still have the same Ceo Mr.Kucko .If you want to save or restructure airline you must fire him and get a new CEO with knowledge of the airline business and with out any personal interests and most important no political contacts .The Croatia Airlines will be on a good path

    1. I totally agree. This man is killing OU! He must be replaced at once. It is so sad that he is CEO with no knowledge of the airline industry.

  5. Anonymous09:45

    If they sell some slots, they can easily shut down the company! They should fire the CEO (Kucko) and put someone who knows how to do the job on his position!

    1. Anonymous16:02

      They're not selling any slots, no idea where this came from and why this admin blog posted this nonsense, its an utter lie.

      There won't be any sale of any slots, there are plans to sell part of OU to someone, who is the question.

      Sadly Blog admin never posted link to the original article and my assumption is that he is guessing things in regards to sale of slots. #

      back in late 2012 there was a brief moment where OU considered selling its slot at Gatwick (would have netted around £20 million) for OU but this was considered too drastic and slots is still being used from time to time, mainly for charters (Split, Dubrovnik - London)

      No other slots were considered, EasyJet did want to buy OU's Gatwick Slot for undisclosed sum, but nothing came of it, for OU demanded that part of the sale EJ would need to maintain year round service from Gatwick to Split and Dubrovnik, which financially wasn't prudent for EJ.

      OU slots are very valuable commodity, and have been bought way back in early 1990s.

      Gatvick slot was bought for $4 million at the time, now same slot is worth around $32 million, pretty good investment, Heathrow Slot for 8 million, same slot is now worth close to $50 million and allows OU max of 14 weekly flights, Gatwick even more 21 weekly flights.

      If Gatwick slot was sold just on off chance, it wold netted OU at least $40 million easily,

      That being said, no slots are for sale, worst comes to show OU will sell its assets in Zagreb city center, its representative offices in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Vienna and Frankfurt and this should net OU at least $30 million or around 160 million kuna. OU must find 400 million kuna by the end of 2015 to pay back Croatian Government for a loan it took at the end of 2012.

      Selling Gatwick slot would net another 40 million or 220 million kuna, but that is the last resort, if there are no takers for 49% steak in OU which is literally being sold for next to nothing (400 million kuna + commitment to new aircraft, expansion and recapitalization) .

      however, I do agree, Kucko and his cohort of parasites must go, I only hope USKOK starts to investigate their little set up soon.

      OU needs a smart person at helm, not a crock, it'll never be able to make money with thieves taking their share and ruining airline's chances of recovery.

    2. You should read the article more carefully. It does not say Croatia Airlines is selling slots it says that part of the government’s plan B is to sell some slots as announced by Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic yesterday. I don’t have such an imagination to make things up such as slot selling or putting words in people’s mouths.

  6. Anonymous10:22

    Restructuring or saving I fly personaly once a week BRU-ZAG flights mostly are not full and they have 2 flights a day , here you can save at least one flight and not talking what sort of passengers all politicians. My question is why so many staff of OU there .Here you can cut 1 flight a day and staff, this way you start a restructuring programme and cutting staff.
    from a puur business prospective , nothing political, nothing personal .That how easy it is .

  7. Anonymous10:40

    So, basically, they're going to start choping off parts of the companies and selling them to keep it liquid unless they find a partner. And by selling slots and aircraft, they plan to keep it afloat until the white prince appears? After 1 year of this, there most likely won't be anything to sell remaining.

  8. Anonymous10:56

    I don't think they have that much time, until summer, what's with the deadline that Zagreb Airport gave them?

  9. Anonymous11:33

    Purger, where are you? Any insider infos about OU?

  10. Anonymous11:40

    I am wondering what do you expect from Purger. He has already said a lot about OU. Same history repeating.
    Zagreb airport gave them a "deadline" of a year.
    Anyway, the minister was very sincere about OU. No frills.

    1. Purger11:54

      Nothing new from last week when I was asked same question.

  11. Purger11:53

    exYU 16.228.332 passengers
    1. Croatia 6.304.089 (39%)
    2. Serbia 3.564.894 (22%)
    3. Kosovo 1.628.678 (10%)
    4. Montenegro 1.549.277 ( 9%)
    5. Slovenia 1.309.000 (8%)
    6. Macedonia 1.067.467 (7%)
    7. Bosnia and Herzegovina 804.927 (5%)

    exYU 0,75 (21.736.548)
    1. Montenegro 2,48 (625.266 inhabitants)
    2. Croatia 1,47 (4.284.889)
    3. Kosovo 0,94 (1.733.872)
    4. Slovenia 0,64 (2.055.498)
    5. Macedonia 0,52 (2.058.539)
    6. Serbia 0,50 (7.186.862)
    7. Bosnia and Herzegovina 0,21 (3.791.622)

    1. JU520 BEGLAX13:34

      thanks Purger. interesting!

    2. Anonymous14:11

      Thank you very much Purger. And congratulations to Croatia, more than 6.3 million passengers is really great achievement for such a small country.

    3. Nice statistics, thank you for it!
      Can you please, explain me how do you count my return ticket from Dubrovnik to Paris via Zagreb? I guess in Dubrovnik you count me twice (when I depart and arrive back after 5 days) and in Zagreb 4 times (on the way to Paris I arrive to ZAG and depart afterwards to CDG, also on the way back twice). So, all in all, I guess you have 6 passangers from my return ticket...

    4. Anonymous16:20

      No its counted as 2, transfers are counted separately, there are around 20 000 transfers from Zagreb each year.

    5. Anonymous16:23

      He counts it like everyone in the industry counts it. Should LJU stop counting its transit pax since they don't actually enter or leave Slovenia?

    6. Interesting data. It seems that Serbia has ways to go compared to its population. If the economics improve long term and they actually manage to get some tourist for winter centres Serbia could have big potential and JU with it as well.

      Impressive numbers for Croatia, they did an awesome job with tourism. I know in Canada it became a this special destination, kind of like Thailand before just closer.

    7. Anonymous22:38

      Pure facts - no fog. Very transparent figuers that show real situation

    8. gasterbajter23:49

      Thank you for that data. Interesting! That shows that Belgrade figures are not so impressed concerning that Niš including number is almost the same.

    9. gasterbajter23:51

      impressive instead impressed

    10. Anonymous02:08

      Well serbia can never catch croatia or montengro for that fact, their numbers are massively inflated by seasonal tourists going to the sea, something serbia doesnt have, if you just looked at passengers from year round scheduled flights there wouldn't be as drastic a difference... maybe purger has those figures also...

      Whats more interesting is how amazing kosovo is doing, nearly double that of belgrade on a per inhabitant basis and they dont get ANY transit passengers, just o&d, well done.

    11. Well, these conclusions about Belgrade would have made sense if we still had Jat Airways which relied on the O&D market. However, the situation has changed with Air Serbia as we could have seen during the last couple of months. Even without Air Serbia, Belgrade's growth has been solid over the last several years.

      2013: 3.543.194
      2012: 3.363.919
      2011: 3.124.633
      2010: 2.698.730

      So in a period of four years the passenger numbers at Belgrade airport have increased by almost a million. If you want to talk about statistics then you can't just use one year, you need to use at least a few so as to see the trend.
      Without Air Serbia, Belgrade would have probably stagnated around 4 million passengers, as is the case with Sofia. It's still early to see what real impact Air Serbia will have on passenger numbers at Belgrade airport. I wish January would be enough but it's not.

      By the way, something very interesting happened at Belgrade airport yesterday. I was told that there were two buses from Bitola which disembarked passengers at Belgrade airport. I always though Skopje, Pristina or Sofia would be more convenient for them as Belgrade might be a bit far away.

  12. zoran_j13:45

    Purger, first Your data are wrong. Serbia has one more airport (INI in 2013 27000 pass.) Second, the structure of passengers vary as the most oc CRO are tourist, little less domestic passengers and the least business ones. In SER it is quite contrary even the presence of Servian workers in West Europe. KOS has no opportunity to travel by car so plane is the main choice. It would be more interesting if You can count N of pass per foreign tourist as it will conclude about using plane as mean of transport.
    If there is no obvious conclusion it is always in doubt the intention of publishing data. Your intention Purger was not to give us the valuable data but to confuse readers about level of development ex-yu countries.
    Everyone can notice that Purger has changed having worse comments to AS as it grow with some side-effects putting in the spot. Thats not good as I felt You have been declared as expert and respected all achievements of former YU.
    I'm form Serbia, but that do not prevent me to check first ZAG-LIS possibility next month as I have some business in Portugal. But the price was much higher then I had expected and that was the only reason I made another choice. That would be motto for all ex-yu passengers to get most comfortable flight with decent price, and it would be achieved by the any kind of joint ventures of all or nearly all ex-yu carriers. Wish all of them good business year.

    1. Purger14:07

      INI number was 21.700 in 2013. BEG 3.543.194, together 3.564.894. So number is OK.

      Croatian Diaspora is huge (more than 50% of all Croats live abroad), so you can not say that there are no migrant workers in that number. Most of Germanwings routes, and you have some 70 flights per week in season and 40 out of season, are just fulfilled with Croatian workers.

      Your comment about my "changing" especially on JU is totally wrong and I will not comment on that. You are not real and I can not help you.

      I don't understand your comment about choosing ZAG-LIS. I will fly BEG-OTP in March with JU, and I don't find that as something spatial and important for publishing. That should be normal.

    2. Purger14:43

      spatial = special

  13. Anonymous14:47

    They say that you changed because you criticize Air Serbia as well. so not only compliments, this is the problem.

    1. Anonymous15:15

      Attacks of delusional Serbs on Purger are pathetic (not as stories about agricultiral land, but still pathetic). However I think the data he shared is a bit more complex then what he offered as explanation. The fact that the number of pax per inhabitant is by far highest in Montenegro and Croatia clearly indicates that coastal tourism makes all the difference in ExYU. Since no country is a financial or business hub, and no airport is a true hub either, it is only tourism that brings in serious numbers of pax. And not just any tourism - it has to be coastal. Kosovo numbers prove the importance of diaspora but all exYU countries have it and Croatia is not that much ahead. The huge difference in pax per inhabitant simply comes from tourist pax.

    2. Anonymous00:31

      Of course tourists are important in Croatia and Montenegro. Most of numbers are from there.

      Diaspora is big part of number in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, but also in Macedonia and Montenegro.

      But for sure standard is important in number of air travelers. In Serbia medium salary is 383 EUR (saopštenje RS 350 od 25/12/2013 Službeni glasnik RS 115/13 od 26/12/2013). In same time medium salary in Croatia is 751 EUR (državni zavod za statistiku Prvi rezultati za studeni 2013. www.dsz.hr). For sure that makes Croats in better position to use air transportation more often.

  14. Anonymous16:02

    did you count

    1. Purger02:30

      Yes. Every airport in country was count in!

  15. Anonymous16:03

    Ван теме (извор:www.aviokarta.net):
    Jaт eрвејзoвo зaвиснo прeдузeћe зa пружaњe услугa зeмaљскoг oпслуживaњa aвиoнa СУ-ПOРT прoмeнилo je нeдaвнo имe у Ер Сербиа граунд сервисиз (AСГС). Кao зaвиснo прeдузeћe Ер Србиje, AСГС oбaвљa услугe зeмaљскoг oпслуживaњa лeтeлицa, путникa, пртљaгa, тoвaрa и пoштe, a пружa и услугe зeмaљскoг oпслуживaњa шпeдитeрских услугa у склoпу aвиoсaoбрaћaja. Зa пружaњe oвих услугa AСГС je дoбилa oбнoву уверењa o испуњaвaњу стaндaрдa зa квaлитeт, eкoлoшку зaштиту и зaштиту нa рaду, кao и зa упрaвљaњe бeзбeднoсним структурaмa, a првa je вaздухoплoвнa кoмпaниja у рeгиoну кoja je дoбилa сeртификaт зa Интeгрисaни систeм мeнaџмeнтa (ИMС).Oвaj сeртификaт дoдeљуje сeртификaциoнa кoмпaниja СГС, вoдeћa свeтскa кoмпaниja зa инспeкциjу, вeрификaциjу, тeстирaњe и сeртификaциjу. У сaoпштeњу Ер Србиje, пoвoдoм дoбиjaњa oвих уверења, нaвoди сe дa су oна издaта нaкoн супeрвизoрскe рeвизиje кoja je спрoвeдeнa 27. дeцeмбрa 2013. гoдинe. Рeвизиja je пoкaзaлa дa сe "Ер Србијa придржaвa нajвиших стaндaрдa у пoглeду систeмa упрaвљaњa". Прoдужeнa je вaжнoст сeртификaтимa: ИСO 9001:2008, ИСO 14001:2004 и OХСAС 18001:2007. Mилaн Mojoвић, управник зa квaлитeт у Ер Сербиа граунд сервисиз, oвим пoвoдoм je изjaвиo: „Oви сeртификaти су вeoмa битни зa кoмпaниjу, jeр пoтврђуjу нaшу пoсвeћeнoст дa oбeзбeдимo врхунски квaлитeт и пoтврђуjу дa ми пoслуjeмo у склaду сa нajвишим свeтским стaндaрдимa“.
    „Чињeницa дa je Ер Србија jeдинa тaквa кoмпaниja у рeгиoну кojoj су дoдeљeни oви сeртификaти прeдстaвљa нeштo нa штa мoжeмo бити пoнoсни. Жeлимo дa сe зaхвaлимo пoсвeћeнoм тиму кoмпaниje Ер Сербиа граунд сeрвисиз нa успeшнo зaвршeнoм прojeкту“.

    1. Actually, from Monday they will start servicing Etihad flights. It's the first time they will handle an airline other than JU since they were formed (2006?).
      Nice competition for Belgrade airport handling especially since they plan on getting more customers. I guess that's why they are going for more check-ins.

  16. Anonymous17:14

    A lot of you guys are so pathetic on this blog. This is my first and hopefully last post as its not my thing. You cannot wait for someone to publish some interesting facts, take them out of the context, and butcher them into political rivalry argument. No wonder shit in Bosnia is happening right now. Each side interprets the demonstrations in their own way. Have you ever considered taking things at face value?
    I am simply glad Purger posted these numbers, as I always wanted to know: how many passengers does ex-yu market handle a year-now i got my answer, how many passengers each ex-yu country handle a year, now i got my answer. For all of you that think Purger called on you and your country by these numbers, i think you should leave your nationalism elsewhere as this space is reserved for aviation.
    I think a lot of people living in ex-yu have frustrations from the period of last 30 years. Why everything posted here has to have an ulterior motive, hidden message, conspiracy theory.
    Relax people, enjoy life, care for your own sake, respect and care for your neighbours sake and earth will be a better place.
    Peace out from Sarajevan living in Canada.

  17. JU520 BEGLAX19:07

    Leave Purger alone and dont be so chicken

    For me interesting to see that YU inhabitants nbrs down fm 23.3 mio in 1991 to 21.7

    And in Switzerland we grow annually by 80000 and it makes people vote like last Sunday

    btw JP claims today that they never signed CS agreement with RJ

  18. Anonymous19:28

    I agree with Anonymous @ 5:14.

    We are all aviation geeks here, who have some particular interest in Ex-YU aviation.

    But can we try to keep the petty rivalries, jealousy, and nationalism out of this blog. There are thousands of other forums where you can go. But here we are lucky to have Ex-YU aviation, which produces interesting articles, news, and statistics. Let's try to respect that and each other a little more.

    Peace out.

    -- Charlie

  19. Anonymous20:15

    What do you think will happen to OU?

  20. Anonymous20:21

    OU sent its A319 to Vienna tonight! :) Nice upgauge.

  21. JU520 BEGLAX20:45

    @ ex YU aviation

    Where do u get all these nice historic pictures from? I google a lot but there is so many of them I never saw. U re like a museum and an important wit of those times

  22. Anonymous21:47

    Anyone who received a reply for the cadet test program today?

  23. Anonymous23:07

    Right here :)


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