Croatia eyes post-corona privatisation for national carrier


The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, has said the government will resume Croatia Airlines’ privatisation process once the coronavirus crisis stabilises, but noted the state would first financially assist the carrier. “At the start of the year we had two parties interested in Croatia Airlines and that process was advancing quite well. We were about the enter the second phase of negotiations, which included finalising details. However, corona came, and everything was halted because the entire industry has been hard hit”, Mr Butković said. He added, “When the situation begins to improve and normalise, we will resume the search for a strategic partner. There was interest, it’s not as if no one was looking at Croatia Airlines, but we will have to wait a bit more”.

The Croatian government previously set a deadline to privatise or recapitalise the airline by June 2020. Greece's Aegean Airlines and Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum had both expressed interest in acquiring shares in Croatia Airlines. In January, Aegean said, "Any significant decision on whether or not the company is likely to participate in the next phase of the privatisation process will be taken in the coming months, following the provision of information and discussions, in accordance with the procedure set by the Republic of Croatia". The next phase of the process was to involve the government announcing a tender for the submission of binding bids and setting out the number of shares it was willing to sell in the company. It previously noted it would offer a stake of up to 70%.

Mr Butković reiterated the state would provide aid for the flag carrier. “We share the same faith as all other countries, where governments are saving their airlines. We will, jointly with the European Union and Commission, certainly provide assistance for Croatia Airlines, which will be in line with EU aid rules”, the minister said. Croatia Airlines registered a net loss of 23.1 million euros during the first half of the year. The company has drafted three different scenarios as to how the ongoing pandemic may affect its business, with estimates ranging between a loss of thirty million to 73 million euros by year’s end. The airline has denied recent reports that it has leased an additional Dash 8 turboprop, which arrived in Zagreb last week, noting that the aircraft was just undergoing maintenance at its technical division before being returned to its owner.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    After corona, i dont think anyone would be interested in buying OU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Not even before pandemic there was no interest and especially not after

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:40

      Aegean? Air Nostrum?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:43

      Aegean was as interested as Garuda was.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:45

      Well do you know that Air Baltic also showed interest in Jat Airways back in 2012? They even purchased some documentation and of course nothing came out of it...

      It was the same here. Do not forget OU had many privatisation attempts in last 10 years when air traffic was booming as well as income from tourism in Croatia. And nothing.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:46

      "Greece's Aegean Airlines and Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum had both expressed interest in acquiring shares in Croatia Airlines. In January, Aegean said, "Any significant decision on whether or not the company is likely to participate in the next phase of the privatisation process will be taken in the coming months, following the provision of information and discussions, in accordance with the procedure set by the Republic of Croatia"."

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:56

      Do not forget following

      2013
      "The Indonesian national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, has confirmed its interest to purchase a 49% stake in Croatia Airlines."

      2015
      "According to EX-YU Aviation News, sources close to the privatization process told the Večernji list newspaper that the firms include Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l), Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New), and Aegean Airlines (A3, Athens Int'l)."

      2018
      "LOT Polish Airlines and turnaround fund 4K Invest, which owns Adria Airways, have reportedly expressed interest in taking a stake in Croatia Airlines"

      So much about it.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:20

      Jatovanje

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:17

      Can someone explain what Jatovanje means? Isn't this a derivation from the former Jat Airways? You mean the same model and style?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous13:21

      It means when unfulfilled announcements are constantly made.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:53

      Kroatovanje

      Delete
    11. Anonymous20:27

      Don't be so sure no one will be interested. There will always be a 4K Invest in this world.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous07:22

      I hope those investment funds suffered greatly during the crisis.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:06

    OU did take delivery of a former Austrian Q400 last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Read the last sentence. They denied it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:14

      It didn't go tO OU. It just went to get maintenance. OU said numerous times they have terminated the planned lease of another Q400.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:47

      It is definitely for OU, but sources from OU still do not want to tell details about deal.

      Delete
    4. According to Croatia Airlines it is not:

      STATEMENT

      Croatia Airlines did not lease a Dash 8-Q400 aircraft bearing the registration OE-LGR, which landed in Zagreb under the markings of Austrian Airlines. The said aircraft was taken over by the Technical Centre of Croatia Airlines at the Franjo Tuđman International Airport in Zagreb in connection with technical maintenance services. The details of the contract between Croatia Airlines in its capacity as provider of MRO services and the owner of the aircraft, i.e. the lessor, have yet to be specified.

      CROATIA AIRLINES

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    Bravo Hrvatska!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:08

    Such a shame Aegean didn't buy then. Would have been fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      I wonder what they would have done.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      Shame about Garuda, too. It invested heavily in its image and even operates nonstop from AMS!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:19

      Garuda plans were just a huge nosense. Buying a carrier for codeshares in 21st century.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:28

      It wouldn't be so great for Aegean if they had bought OU just before the Corona situation exploded.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:40

      Shame about Garuda
      shame about Lufthansa
      shame about Turkish
      shame about LOT
      shame about Aegean...

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:41

      LH was in plans? Really?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:45

      It was reported on here that EW wanted to open a base in ZAG but they didn't because of high charges (read protectionism of OU). This shows LH Group doesn't see OU as a long-term solution in ZAG. They probably understand that the government is only buying time and delaying the inevitable.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:46

      Croatian daily Jutarnji list reported that Lufthansa might be interested in acquiring Croatia Airlines after an interview with Croatia Airlines board chairman Ivan Misetic last week, who said his company had financial problems and could be saved only by its sale to another airline.

      https://balkaninsight.com/2010/02/22/lufthansa-croatia-airlines-rumors-false/

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:52

      Might be.... in reality they were never intrested and they will never be interested in buying an airline size of OU.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:25

      Seeing what LH Group is doing (or not doing) in LJU should be a warning to ZAG not to let OU go.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous20:28

      Since when does LH own LJU???

      Delete
    13. Anonymous07:23

      No one said they owned LJU.

      Delete
  5. Not gonna happen at least for the next five years.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    Privatisation once again? How many times? Oh this is jatovanje, OU style!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Would have happened this year without corona.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      Anon 09:14
      You probably do not understand what Jatovanje is. Before Air Serbia was made, here in Serbia nation carrier Jat Airways was anouncing very hilarious plans which got name "Jatovanje". Like plans for hubs in Western Africa, long haul with Uzbekistan Airways.... there is nothing bad about privatising part of OU. Air Serbia did it and it became far usefull carrier then Jat.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      Exactly, they flew with B767 and those flights were moved to Riga when Jat planned on launching their own flights to North America with B777.

      This OU privatization saga is becoming jatovanje because every two months the government presents a new solution for OU and in the end nothing becomes of it. Like now, of course they blame corona. It's the easiest thing to do in reality.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous10:34

    Good luck. But I also agree it will be difficult to find a partner in the post corona period.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous10:34

    Butkovic should have sold the airline in the past 4 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:29

      And Hajdas Doncic before him.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous14:15

    Neverending story part 635353.... Corona is a nice excuse to continue with state control and tax payers money. Being part of the EU they need to tell such little stories about privatization every couple of months, but nothing changed before and will NOT after Corona. OU is just another sinkhole for taxpayers money without any visible contribution for the economy. That would be only one, if OU would finally start to bring more tourists and visitors from untapped markets around the year. Nobody needs them to fly 4 times a day to Frankfurt. In worst case (see LJU) good old LH would do it on their own. I would stand in for some losses of OU if they would on the other hand contribute to promotion and tourism and abroad much more then they do now. This summer proven that tourism is the lifeline for Croatia, a matter of life or death for the economy. I strongly believe that the job of OU is not to fly daily to BRU or AMS (they can codeshare) but to finally station planes on the adriatic and start to finally do their job and shuffle masses of tourists to the coast. Even in pre and post season. Full stop. I cannot believe that managers in the days of "stupid" old Yugoslavia seem to have been more clever, sine every single plane (JU, JJ, JP) was in the air to bring tourists to Croatia (remember many times we had no chance to book a flight from FRA to BEG, because all bigger planes and frequencies were diverted to Croatia). Dalmatia transformed from one of the poorest regions in less then two decades into a prospering region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:28

      Dalmatia was poor 2 decades ago? Was that really the case?

      Delete
    2. "remember many times we had no chance to book a flight from FRA to BEG, because all bigger planes and frequencies were diverted to Croatia"... Bigger planes??? At that time allmost all the flights to Europe were BEG-ZAG-XXX, mostly operated by a DC9 (as far as I can remember, only ORY, LHR and MAD were operated by 727). So the capacity was with 115 seats (later after the "Adriatic Class" was introduced I think only 109) very low and planes always fully booked. So that was the reason why you had have no chance to book a flight, not because "bigger planes" were transfered to Croatian coast... Me myself flew at that time at least once a month from ZAG to MUC and I had sometimes problems to become a seat, especially on short notice...

      Delete
  10. Anonymous16:16

    No one will buy an airline. They are all waiting for weak airlines like OU to fail so they can take over the market.

    Privatisation is used by politicians as a distraction for taxpayers. If taxpayers get angry their money is used to subsidize OU, politicians will throw them a bone in a form of future privatisation that will get the airline off taxpayer's back. Just an empty promise.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous16:23

    It is no doubt that the virus would have tipped anyone against buying OU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:30

      Who in their right mind would buy an airline anywhere at the moment?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:21

      If the airline was being run by James Hogan it might happen :D

      Delete
  12. Anonymous16:23

    Everyone is experiencing a slowdown. The last thing they need is a loss making airline on their plate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:27

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:31

      Exactly! Purpose of privatisation talk is only to calm down masses.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous16:24

    I'm now really worried about Croatia Airlines. PSO tender process still hasn't even started while current *extended* contract ends in 3 weeks, no privatisation,loan from government has to be repaid... I think they will struggle for survival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:28

      The government will save them. It is the government, after all, that extended existing PSO contract.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous16:24

    Last year Bajic said company will go bankrupt if they are not sold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:26

      No, he said it would go bankrupt if they didn't get 33 million, which they did.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous16:25

    Here comes Kresimir Kucko.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:29

      Honestly, it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:30

      Are you for real? Part of the reason OU had problems before corona was because of him.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous16:25

    So, what next for OU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:26

      A "restructuring plan" is on the horizon.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:26

      A proper restructuring of the company wouldn't be such a bad idea.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous20:27

    If they privatize it, I hope they privatize the entire company. The worst thing to be to start selling OU piece by piece until the actual airline is worthless

    ReplyDelete

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