Dozens of Aircraft Mechanics Leave Croatia Airlines

Total Croatia News

The company is bringing in mechanics from Serbia and other countries to substitute those who have left.

In the last five years, the engineering department of Croatia Airlines has lost dozens of aircraft mechanics. According to the Croatian Trade Union of Aircraft Mechanics, about 70 employees have left the company, while the company management claims that the actual number is about 50. Due to this outflow of people from the engineering department and the increased amount of work on aircraft maintenance, Croatia Airlines has decided to employ foreign aircraft mechanics, mainly from Serbia, reports Večernji List on November 19, 2016.

Trade union president Ivica Turčin says that his colleagues have left Croatia Airlines because in other countries they can get salaries which are four times higher than in Croatia. “However, salaries are not the main reason for leaving. The main problem is that there is not enough mechanics and they change the work schedule on a weekly basis, so we cannot plan our daily lives. The organization of work is poor due to the wrong selection of managerial staff. People do not see any prospects here and that is the reason why they leave the company”, says Turčin.

He adds that Croatia Airlines currently employs 62 licensed aircraft mechanics and warns that by the end of the year many of them could also leave. According to him, currently there are about 20 aircraft mechanics from Serbia who are paid 17-25 euros per hour, and they also have paid accommodation in Croatia. There is also about a dozen mechanics from other European countries.

Turčin says that net salaries of licensed aircraft mechanics working for Croatia Airlines are between 7,500 and 12,000 kuna a month, and that the cost of “imported” mechanics is several times higher. However, the company management claims that the average net salary of mechanics is about 16,000 kuna, and that the cost of hiring foreign workers is roughly the same.

The management also claims that all vacancies have been covered with new employees and that number of aircraft mechanics employed today is at the same level as in 2011. The department currently employs around 300 people. They add that Croatian accession to the European Union meant the opening of the market for aircraft mechanics, which has led to large fluctuations similar to other airlines. The management also explains that the reason for employment of foreign workers from different countries is an increased scope of contracted works on aircraft of other airlines.


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