Monday, 14 December 2020

HRK 600 mn Allocated to Bail Out Croatia Airlines

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 -The government on Monday approved state aid for the national flag carrier, Croatia Airlines amounting to HRK 600 million, HRK 350 million of which refers to investing fresh capital in the company and HRK 250 million as an equity loan.

The decision was made in line with the European Commission's temporary framework allowing member states to provide additional support to the business sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, CA has been given support in an effort to resolve the its liquidity problems and to boost its capital.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said that the pandemic has had and still has a destructive impact on the global airline industry which is faced with the most difficult crisis ever.

Croatia Airlines is not an exception, said Butkovic, explaining that other airlines have recorded a decrease in traffic of 65% to 90% compared to 2019.

The national flag carrier has a strategic role in Croatia's transport infrastructure which was evident in these times of crisis.

The government's decision resolves the company's urgent problems, adding that money for this was ensured in this year's budget revision.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said that this model of injecting fresh capital and providing an equity loan will financially stabilise the CA airline.

The government authorised Minister Butkovic to increase the airline's stock capital at a meeting of the shareholders' general assembly.

An extraordinary general assembly was convened today for shareholders to decide on increasing the company's stock capital by HRK 350 million by issuing shares and that the state would participate in that. That would increase the airline's equity from HRK 277.88 million to HRK 627.88 million by releasing 35 million new ordinary shares at a nominal price of HRK 10.

The equity loan of HRK 250 million should stabilise the airline's business operations and prevent negative consequences to the population and economy, which will be felt directly by the airline and tourism sectors and indirectly by other economic branches, the government said.

(€1 = HRK 7.542016

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Operates to 11 International Destinations from Zagreb in December

December 3, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines operates to 11 international destinations from Zagreb in December. 

Croatian Aviation reports that in December, Croatia Airlines will operate to 11 international destinations from Zagreb. As before, the largest number of weekly flights will be to Frankfurt, then to Amsterdam, while the smallest number of flights will be to the airport in Sarajevo.

The Zagreb - Amsterdam - Zagreb line operates daily in December, with a morning departure from Zagreb.

The Zagreb - Vienna - Zagreb line operates once a week, every Wednesday, December 9, 16, 23, and 30.

The Zagreb - Brussels - Zagreb line operates twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays. Instead of on Christmas, the line will run exceptionally on Wednesday, December 23.

The Zagreb - Frankfurt - Zagreb line operates two to three times a day, and on Saturdays once a day.

The Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb line operates twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Additionally, direct flights are on sale on Wednesday, December 16, Saturday, December 19, and Monday, December 21.

The Zagreb - London - Zagreb line operates once a week, on Mondays. Additionally, direct flights are on sale on Saturday, December 19, Wednesday, December 23, and Wednesday, December 30.

The Zagreb - Paris - Zagreb line operates twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays. Additionally, a direct flight is on sale on Tuesday, December 22.

The Zagreb - Rome - Zagreb (via Split) line operates three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Instead of Thursday, December 24, a direct flight is on sale on Wednesday, December. 23.

The Zagreb - Sarajevo - Zagreb line has been temporarily suspended. It will be in traffic again from December 17, with two flights a week, on Thursdays and Sundays.

The Zagreb - Skopje - Zagreb line operates twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. It is not on sale for Christmas.

The Zagreb - Zurich - Zagreb line operates twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. Additionally, direct flights are on sale on Friday the 18th, Saturday the 19th, and Saturday the 26th of December.

The Split - Frankfurt - Split line operates once a week, every Saturday. The airline offers daily flights from Split to Frankfurt with a short transfer in Zagreb.

The Split - Munich - Split line operates twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Additionally, flights are on sale on Saturdays (December 19 and 21), and instead of Christmas, the line will operate on Wednesday, December 23.

The Split - Rome - Split line operates three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays. Instead of Thursday, December 24, a direct flight is on sale on Wednesday, December 23.

On Christmas, Croatia Airlines aircraft will not operate to international destinations

Expecting a slight increase in passenger demand, Croatia Airlines. increased the number of flights on the route to Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Paris and Zurich in December. The increases are minimal, which is expected on the one hand, given that new measures are in force that will force a larger number of passengers to cancel their trips to Croatia during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The line from Split to Munich is currently the only direct line between Croatian airports and the capital of Bavaria, after Lufthansa canceled the Munich - Zagreb line on December 1. Croatia Airlines does not currently operate on this line.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

EC Approves State Aid for Croatia Airlines

ZAGREB, Dec 1, 2020 - The European Commission has approved state aid to Croatia Airlines in the amount of HRK 88.5 million (€11.7 million), awarded as compensation for losses incurred by the company due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The European Commission has found a Croatian grant of €11.7 million to the state-owned airline Croatia Airlines to be in line with EU State aid rules," the EC said.

The Croatian government in mid-November granted Croatia Airlines state aid in the amount of HRK 88.5 million as compensation for losses the company incurred in the period from March 11 to June 30.

The money was secured through a budget revision.

The EC says that the measure aims at compensating the airline for the losses directly caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions introduced by Croatia and other destination countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

An independent external audit firm will verify that the aid does not exceed the amount of damage suffered during the period between 19 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Following the audit, any public support received by Croatia Airlines in excess of the actual damage suffered will have to be returned to Croatia, the EC said.

Friday, 27 November 2020

Flights to Croatia: British Airways Returns to Zagreb for Holidays

November 27, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as British Airways returns to Zagreb for the holidays, and Croatia Airlines boosts traffic on the same route.

Croatian Aviation reports that British Airways will briefly re-establish the London Heathrow-Zagreb route at Christmas and New Year. Croatia Airlines is also increasing the number of flights on this route.

This year, British Airways very often changed its schedule on the London-Zagreb route. Recall, the route was suspended in September until the end of October, then it operated for a very short time, only two weeks, and stopped traffic to Zagreb again.

By mid-November, the company had offered a significant number of direct flights between Zagreb and London from mid-December. However, the closer we get to the announced flights, the more significantly the airline reduced the number of departures on this line, just in time for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

British Airways has confirmed that this line will operate from December 20 to January 5 and will perform only 5 return flights on this route, far less than originally planned. The London Heathrow - Zagreb - London Heathrow line will operate on December 20, 22, and 29. Only two flights are available in January - on Sunday, January 3, and Tuesday, January 5.

Departures in both directions on all announced British Airways flights are very well filled.

The question remains as to why British Airways did not sell more departures on this route in time for the holidays when all flights were well booked almost a month in advance. The airline has time to open additional sales on certain departures, but so far it has done just the opposite, and instead reduced the number of flights to Zagreb for the upcoming holidays.

Croatia Airlines, which operates once a week (Monday) between Zagreb and London, is offering a second flight a week on this route from mid-December. This is a good move by the national airline, which is obviously following what the competition is doing on this route and opening sales on time.

From December 14 to January 10, there are 4302 seats for sale between London and Zagreb.

In addition to flights on Mondays, Croatia Airlines has direct flights on sale on December 19, 23, and 30. In January, flights are available on Saturdays, on January 2 and 9.

Croatian Aviation adds that anyone who wants to spend the holidays in Croatia will have a rather difficult time organizing this trip, given that flights between London and Zagreb will be quite rare for this time of year. Apart from British Airways and Croatia Airlines, there is no doubt that a large number of passengers will travel with other airlines, with stops, for example, in Amsterdam and Warsaw.

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Saturday, 14 November 2020

350 Million Kuna "State Injection" for Enfeebled Croatia Airlines

November the 14th, 2020 - Croatia Airlines has been struggling since long before the coronavirus pandemic became an additional, extremely heavey burden. The Croatian company has been on the search for a strategic partner to help pull it out of the proverbial mud for a significant amount of time now, and as losses continue to be posted and the multitude of problems continue for the airline, the state has decided to step in with a ''state injection'' worth an enormous amount of cash.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes on the 13th of November, 2020, in one month's time (more precisely on December the 14th, 2020), Croatia Airlines will hold a General Assembly at which the main item on the agenda will be an increase in share capital. This enfeebled state-owned airline will be recapitalised by the state with an enviable state injection of 350 million kuna.

The announcement of the assembly states that the purpose of the increase in share capital is to return the state of capital and reserves of the company to the pre-crisis levels caused by the ongoing global pandemic, ie, as it was on the 31st of December, 2019. Despite the fact that, as previously mentioned, the airline has been experiencing serious issues for some time now, things were at least more stable before the pandemic turned the world, and as such this company, on its head.

The explanation from Croatia Airlines states that this state injection, which us undoubtedly much needed, is "one of the applicable financial assistance measures of the Republic of Croatia based on the document of the European Commission (EC) which defines the Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support the Economy during the COVID-19 Pandemic.''

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Saturday, 31 October 2020

Croatia Airlines Recorded Almost 1.2 Million Fewer Passengers, Net Loss of HRK 243.5 Million

October 31, 2020 - A closer look at 2020 for Croatia's national carrier, as Croatia Airlines recorded almost 1.2 million fewer passengers and a net loss of HRK 243.5 million.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines ends the first nine months of 2020 with a financial result directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the deepest crisis in civil aviation history.

The epidemiological crisis has drastically reduced the demand for air transport services, which, together with the resulting traffic restrictions, has imposed the need to reduce capacity and drastic cuts in the scheduled flight schedule by reducing crashes, that is, by canceling or reducing flight operations on existing routes or by abandoning the introduction of new planned routes.

In the current market circumstances, Croatia Airlines made an operating loss of HRK 222.4 million in the first nine months of this year, which with a net financing result, gives a net loss of HRK 243.5 million.

The increase in the net loss of HRK 195.1 million compared to the same period in 2019, which is a direct consequence of the reduction in demand for air transport service in the context of a global pandemic, directly reduced the company's revenues by 70 percent between April and September 2020.

As a result, there was a reduction of 11,709 flights and a drop in the number of transported passengers of 69 percent (-1,168,190 passengers). The structure of the crash was additionally adjusted to the needs of reduced traffic. Given the market circumstances, greater emphasis was placed on using the Dash 8-Q400 fleet, whose capacity is smaller compared to the fleet of Airbus 319/320.

Due to reduced demand for air transport services during the coronavirus crisis, Croatia Airlines recorded a drop in passenger traffic of more than 90 percent in April and May, 80 percent in June, 70 percent in July, 67 percent in August, and 80 percent in September.

In the first nine months of 2020, the number of passengers in domestic regular traffic (142,958 passengers transported) decreased by 64 percent; in international regular traffic (384,712 passengers), this decrease was 69 percent, and in extraordinary traffic (5,700 passengers), there was a decrease of 91. A total of 533,381 passengers were transported in the first nine months, i.e., 1,168,190 fewer passengers than in the same period in 2019 (-69 percent).

Given the worsening epidemiological situation and a further decline in bookings in the coming period (autumn and winter), no significant improvements are expected. These are low season months (winter season) when the company makes losses under normal conditions. An additional problem in maintaining liquidity is the unpredictability of the duration of the crisis caused by the pandemic and the pressure on its cash flows.

The company's operations until the end of 2020 will largely depend on external factors, decisions and recommendations of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters, which directly affect the possibility of travel in domestic and international regular traffic, reciprocity in abolishing or facilitating measures at the interstate level and the achieving optimal occupancy and average tariffs in conditions of reduced demand caused by COVID-19 directly (public health restrictions) or indirectly (financial and security reasons).

As the Croatian national airline, Croatia Airlines represents a strategic part of the Croatian transport infrastructure, which came to the fore in this crisis period because the company contributed to maintaining transport connections with the Croatian economy and citizens.

From the beginning of the crisis until May 2020, the company helped 23,000 Croatian citizens return, made itself available to the Republic of Croatia to transport humanitarian aid, returned Croatian soldiers from Afghanistan, and performed several repatriation flights from different parts of Europe.

In the conditions of the crisis and the consequences for the tourist season, the additional importance and contribution of Croatia Airlines to tourism is in connecting Adriatic airports with European destinations in the season when the arrival of foreign airlines was significantly reduced. In the autumn-winter period, and especially due to the current deterioration of the epidemiological situation, the importance of Croatia Airlines will be further emphasized by maintaining Croatia's connection with major European destinations, as a large number of foreign airlines have already withdrawn from the Croatian market or reduced flights. 

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Sunday, 11 October 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Announces 15 Active International Routes for November

October 11, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines announces 15 active international routes for November.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines has announced its network of destinations for November this year. In the first month of the winter flight schedule, the company will operate on 12 international routes from Zagreb and 3 from Split.

In November this year, when the winter flight schedule is in force, Croatia Airlines continues to connect Croatia with European capitals and transport hubs, while air connections within Croatia will continue to be provided to passengers by domestic scheduled flights.

We bring you the planned flight schedule on Croatia Airlines until November 15 this year.

International lines from Zagreb

Zagreb - Amsterdam, daily,

Zagreb - Brussels, twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays,

Zagreb - Copenhagen, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays,

Zagreb - Frankfurt, two to three flights a day,

Zagreb - London, once a week, on Mondays,

Zagreb - Munich, Lufthansa flights are available in the first 15 days of November,

Zagreb - Paris, twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays,

Zagreb - Split - Rome, twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays,

Zagreb - Sarajevo, three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays,

Zagreb - Skopje, twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays,

Zagreb - Vienna, once a week, Wednesdays,

Zagreb - Zurich, twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays.

International lines from Split

Split - Frankfurt, once a week, on Saturdays,

Split - Munich, twice a week, Mondays and Fridays,

Split - Rome, twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

Due to the impact of the global pandemic, the company has significantly reduced the number of departures on its international routes. Also, there will be no international flights from Dubrovnik Airport (Frankfurt) and Rijeka Airport (Munich) in the winter flight schedule, which were in regular operation in last year's winter flight schedule.

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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Cancels Several International Departures

September 30, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines cancels several international departures next month. 

Croatian Aviation reports that the Croatian national airline has made operational changes on international routes departing from Zagreb. Due to weak demand, certain departures on many lines were canceled. We bring you the flight schedule for 10 international lines of Croatia Airlines from October 1 to 16, 2020.

Croatia Airlines has made some changes in its flight schedule for the first half of October this year. The company will continue to operate almost three times a day to Frankfurt, allowing passengers to continue their journey to a number of destinations in Europe and the world with a single stop in the German city. Recall that this was the only international line to Zagreb during the lockdown by which the national company actually enabled the continuous repatriation of Croatian citizens.

Certain departures were canceled on the following lines:

Zagreb - Amsterdam: flights on October 7, 8, and 11 were canceled,

Zagreb - Brussels: flights on October 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 14, and 15 were canceled,

Zagreb - Dublin, the last flight is on October 4, as announced earlier,

Zagreb - Munich route: flights on October 7, 12, and 14 were canceled,

Zagreb - Paris: announced two flights - October 3 and 16,

Zagreb - Sarajevo: announced two flights - October 2 and 16,

Zagreb - Skopje: announced four flights - October 2, 9, 12 and 16,

Zagreb - Zurich: flights on October 2, 6, 7, 9, 12 - 14, and 16 were canceled,

Zagreb - Copenhagen: flights canceled on October 2, 6, 7, 10, 12 - 14.

The Zagreb - London line will operate more often than in September. Croatia Airlines will offer two flights a week, every Monday and Friday, through the first half of October.

There have been some reductions on international routes from Dubrovnik and Split, which will be announced next.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Flights to Croatia: Croatia Airlines Cancels More International Lines this Month

September 15, 2020 - The latest news for flights to Croatia as Croatia Airlines cancels more international lines at the end of this month. 

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines has made changes to its flight schedule and canceled certain flights between September 21 and the end of this month. A list of lines with canceled dates can be found below.

Flights from Zagreb

Zagreb - Dubrovnik - Athens: flights canceled on September 22 and 29,

Zagreb - Brussels: flights canceled on September 22, 23 and 29,

Zagreb - Copenhagen: flight canceled on September 30,

Zagreb - Dublin: flights canceled on September 22, 24 and 29,

Zagreb - London: flights canceled on September 23 and 30,

Zagreb - Munich: flights canceled on September 21, 23 and 30,

Zagreb - Paris: flights canceled 21 - 23, and 27 - 30 September,

Zagreb - Split / Dubrovnik - Rome: flights canceled on 21, 22, 25, 27, 28 and 30 September,

Zagreb - Sarajevo: flights canceled on September 21, 23, 27 and 30,

Zagreb - Vienna: flights canceled on September 23, 26 and 28,

Zagreb - Zurich: flights canceled on September 23 and 24.

Lines from Split

Split - Frankfurt: flights canceled on September 22, 25 and 29,

Split - Vienna: flights canceled on September 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30,

Split - Zurich: flights canceled on September 21, 23, 28 and 30,

Split - Rome: flights canceled on September 21, 22, 25 and 28.

Lines from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik - Athens: flights canceled on September 22nd and 29th,

Dubrovnik - Frankfurt: flights canceled on September 22, 25, 27, and 29,

Dubrovnik - Paris: flight canceled on September 24,

Dubrovnik - Zurich: flights canceled on September 21, 23 - 25, 28 and 30,

Dubrovnik - Munich: flights canceled on September 21, 27, and 28,

Dubrovnik - Rome: flights canceled on September 27 and 30.

A total of 70 operations (140 return flights) on international routes from Zagreb, Split, and Dubrovnik were canceled between September 21 and 30, 2020. International routes not listed in this list operate regularly, and there were no cancellations of departures in the mentioned period. In the first 20 days of September, Croatia Airlines canceled a total of 160 flights; in the whole of September, the company will have 300 canceled return flights from the three mentioned airports.

It is important to note that passengers are not entitled to the fee that is otherwise prescribed by EU Regulation no. 261/2004 in case of flight cancellation. Namely, the mentioned regulation clearly states that the fee will not be paid if the carrier canceled the flight due to force majeure. It is precisely the global pandemic that is considered a force majeure, which is reason enough to cancel a flight without paying passenger compensation.

You do still have certain rights as a passenger. In the event of a canceled flight, the airline must offer you two options: a flight to your final destination with a transfer at another airport or a refund of the full amount of the value of your ticket in cash or voucher. According to readers, Croatia Airlines solves passenger requests very quickly, offering exactly the options mentioned.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Croatian Football Federation and Croatia Airlines Continue Flying Together

September 2, 2020 - An agreement on continuing cooperation between the Croatian Football Federation and Croatia Airlines was signed today at the Croatian Football Federation's headquarters, by which the Croatian national airline remains the official airline of the World Cup finalists and HNS.

The contract was signed by Davor Suker, President of HNS, and Jasmin Bajic, President of the Croatia Airlines' Management Board, announced HNS.

After the Croatia national team returned to Croatia on a special Croatia Airlines flight with silver medals won at the World Cup in Russia, in September 2018, a cooperation agreement was signed between HNS and Croatia Airlines. Given that the cooperation took place mutually, both organizations' leaders decided to continue the partnership for the next two years.

"I am happy to continue cooperation with Croatia Airlines because I consider it natural that the Croatia national team flies with the Croatian national airline. We are in demanding public health circumstances, and that is why I am glad to continue our cooperation with Croatia Airlines because I am sure that the health of passengers comes first and that as our partners, they will do everything to ensure that the team has the best and safest possible conditions for travel. I sincerely hope for a large number of joint, safe, and winning flights," said the president of HNS Davor Suker.

"The continuation of the partnership with HNS is further proof of the strong connection between the Croatian national airline and the Croatia national football team, which has lasted for more than two decades. I believe that further cooperation between two recognizable Croatian brands, aviation, and football, will contribute to the successful promotion of our country around the world," said Jasmin Bajic, President of the Management Board of Croatia Airlines.

The tradition of transporting the Croatia national football team from major competitions began 22 years ago, in July 1998, when the football team returned home on a Croatia Airlines plane with a bronze medal won at the World Cup in France. Twenty years later, in July 2018, a specially branded Airbus 319 aircraft with the inscription 'Bravo Vatreni!' returned the silver-medalists from Moscow to Zagreb on a solemn flight, over the crowded Ban Josip Jelacic Square.

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