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Croatia: Pushing Ahead With Croatia Airlines Restructuring

Published: May 3, 2013; 17:08 · (FriedlNews)

Despite of protests of employees restructuring measures will be continued.

Croatia: Pushing Ahead With Croatia Airlines Restructuring / Picture: © Croatia Airlines

On May 2, Croatian Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic announced the country did not have the intention to cancel the restructuring of national carrier Croatia Airline despite of a strong opposition from the company’s employees. "There's no giving up on the restructuring plan, there's no going back," Doncic told journalists.

Furthermore, Doncic announce that the airline’s management would start replacing some of the cabin crew within the next two weeks. About a quarter of the cabin crew took a sick leave on May 1 which led to 13 flights having to be canceled. Kresimir Kucko, CEO of Croatia Airline told at a press conference on May 1 that in investigatin had been launched due to so many staff member having called in sick. “We have reason to believe that this is a kind of work to rule and protest by the cabin crew union as a result of their disagreement with the proposed collective agreement," Kucko said. More flights had to be canceled on May 2.

Even with the protests, Doncic announced the disturbances to the airline’s operations were “minimal” and the resistance would not affect the restructuring plans.

In November 2012, the government announced that it would provide HKR 800m ($ 136m) for Croatia Airline to become cost-effective from 2013 on. The government is now looking for a strategic investor but has not yet been able to carry on with the process as other airlines in the region have been struggling as well.

The restructuring plans of the airline to become profitable again have cause strong opposition from employees, since the company has announced that the plan involved cutting its workforce (1,130 staff members) by ten percent withing two years. The decision of 25 % of staff to take one day off is believed to be a protest against the plan which foresees a change in rules in holidays and annual leaves.