ZAGREB, March 2, 2019 – Preliminary figures show that Croatia Airlines incurred a loss of 82.2 million kuna in 2018, which is a much poorer result than in 2017 when the flag carrier posted a profit of 25 million kuna, which was owing to the partial sale of slots at Heathrow Airport in the amount of 138.6 million kuna.
Excluding the sale of slots, the loss in 2018 was down by 28% or 31.4 million kuna compared to 2017, while fuel expenses rose by 71.3 million kuna due to an increase in oil prices, the airline’s financial report for 2018 shows.
Operating revenue in 2018 amounted to 1.7 billion kuna, 4% more than in 2017, after one-off items are excluded.
Total operating expenditure amounted to 1.77 billion kuna, an increase of 3% on 2017. The cost of fuel, which accounted for 18% of total expenses, was one of the main reasons for the increase in operating expenditure.
The airline flew a record-high 2.169 million passengers in 2018, a 2% increase on the previous year, with the average occupancy rate being 73.5%.
Croatia Airlines is currently looking for a strategic partner, for which the government formed an interdepartmental commission last week. The process of hiring a financial consultant to define a model for the company’s recapitalisation and find a strategic partner is nearing completion.
Zagreb’s Franjo Tuđman international Airport (MZLZ) expects positive business results again this year and an increase in the number of passengers from last year’s 3.3 million, and will continue upgrading its operating processes and expanding its capacity, MZLZ said.
Noting that preparations for the season are going according to plan, MZLZ said that the summer flight timetable would start on 31 March and continue until 27 October.
MZLZ announced several projects to improve the airport’s facilities, including a new baggage conveyor belt as well as the construction of additional parking space and an additional 15 passenger registration counters and the implementation of the automatic boarding pass and passport control systems.
MZLZ said that in the past five years the airport’s passenger traffic had increased by 36% and that in that period 15 new airlines had arrived at the airport.
“Today, 30 airlines have regular flights to the airport connecting Zagreb with 50 destinations in Croatia, Europe and the world. MZLZ is in intensive talks with a large number of airlines to open new destinations,” MZLZ said.
MZLZ said that its business results for 2018 would soon be published in a consolidated annual report, noting that MZLZ had paid almost 200 million kuna in concession fees into the state budget over the past six years.
According to data for 2018, the airport logged 3.3 million passengers, an increase of 244,200 or 7.7% on 2017, almost 43,600 flights, up 5%, and almost 14,000 tonnes of freight, an increase of 16.7%.
In January 2019, 191,200 passengers used the airport, similar to January 2018, the number of flights increased by six or 0.2% on the year to 3,045, and the amount of cargo fell by 2.3% to 924,000 tonnes.
More news on Croatia Airlines can be found in the Business section.