Who Could Potential New Majority Owners of Croatia Airlines Be?

By 22 February 2019

Minister Oleg Butković has stated that the company's business has now been stabilised, but who could the potential new majority owners of Croatia Airlines be?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of February, 2019, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said that it was difficult to estimate what the potential ownership ratio could be in relation to the state, as well as with a potential strategic partner for the enfeebled Croatia Airlines.

"It's hard to say that this will be a 50, 60, 70 or 100 percent sale of the ownership of Croatia Airlines, and in any case, there are those who are interested, and international companies are coming and are interested. In that sense, we're waiting for the whole process to begin. Then we'll who will place an offer, who is the most serious, and how this whole situation will go further,'' Butković told HRT.

"It [Croatia Airlines] has transported a record number of passengers last year, and we're insisting that Croatia Airlines remains a Croatian brand, to keep hold of all the routes on which it is currently flying, the acquisition of new aircraft, the modernisation of the new fleet, and the opening up of new routes, that's in function with Croatian tourism and with the whole economy,'' the minister added.

Butković didn't want to talk about any possible solutions for Croatia Airlines for the time being. He believes that the commission which has now been formed must delve much deeper into all the information and operations of Croatia Airlines and see what is, and what isn't a healthy part of that company, or what else can be done from within company in order to boost its function.

Gordan Maras said that Croatia Airlines should find a strategic partner with which the burdened flag carrier would remain a Croatian company.

"We need to find a partner that would work with Croatia Airlines on the level of world-wide destinations, that they're strong and outside of the EU, and not in the situation in which we just end up as their distributor. My position is that we need to find a partner outside the EU in order to develop that destination story," Maras said.

Minister Butković said that Croatia cannot influence exactly where a potential strategic partner will come from.

"Of course, there are certain restrictions as far as EU legislation is concerned, nobody who isn't from the European Union can become the majority owner of Croatia Airlines. There are many things that we have to take into account before the final decision is made,'' he concluded.

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