ZAGREB, September 26, 2019 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić on Thursday said that the decision to bail out the national flag carrier Croatia Airlines was not just economic but that there were economic grounds for it because of the domestic air carrier’s importance for tourism.
Asked why the government was bailing out Croatia Airlines with state budget funds, given that Slovenia’s Adria Airways and the British Thomas Cook tour operator cannot count on that sort of support, Marić said that that was a “legitimate question that requires a responsible approach.”
“I am not happy or satisfied when situations like this occur because until then no one asks too much nor analyses the situation until it occurs, and then it is usually the eleventh hour or even past that,” he said.
Croatia Airlines has a big role in tourism and connecting Croatia with the world, Marić said, adding that the company and Croatia’s airports have big potential.
Asked whether the airline’s bailout was just an economic issue or a political one as well, Marić said that when a bailout occurs it can never exclusively be just for economic reasons, but in this case the economic criteria go in favour of preserving the national flag carrier.
We cannot, however, ignore the fact that recently there have been several challenging situations for airlines, he added.
The Croatian government today approved a payment of 100 million kuna from budget reserves to Croatia Airlines as the first instalment of a 250 million kuna grant in an effort to pave the way for the airline’s recapitalisation by stabilising business.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that he expects the company to consolidate so that it can prepare for changes, “keeping account of new partnerships that are essential.”
More news about Croatia Airlines can be found in the Business section.