Korean Air and Eva Air Possible Investors in Croatia Airlines

Total Croatia News

Asian investor interest in Croatia Airlines. 

The government is looking for a strategic partner for Croatia Airlines. Earlier this year, it hired IFC, a World Bank fund, which has checked the interest of European and international airlines for the Croatian national airline company. For the time being, the greatest interest has been expressed by South Korea’s Korean Air and Eva Air from Taiwan, reports Vecernji List on September 15, 2015.

Korean Air is one of the largest Asian airlines with a fleet of 153 aircraft. Its aircraft fly to 128 destinations in 45 countries. Last year, Korean Air had revenue of 13.24 billion dollars and transported 23.26 million passengers. If the Korean airline were to become the strategic partner of the Croatia Airlines, then the Croatian company would have to exit the Star Alliance, the airline association which it now belongs to, since the Korean Air is a member of the competing association Sky Team.

However, if Eva Air were to become the investor, Croatia Airlines would not have to change its “team”, since the Taiwanese airline is a member of Star Alliance. Eva Air is 20 years younger than the Korean Air, which was established in 1969. The Taiwanese company has last year carried 8.9 million passengers in its 65 aircraft. The revenue in 2014 amounted to four billion dollars.

Croatia Airlines has 12 aircraft in its fleet. Last year it generated revenues of 1.59 billion kuna (237 million dollars) and carried 1.82 million passengers.

Advisers from the IFC should by the end of September or early October suggest to the government the best model for the privatization of the Croatian national air carrier. The public tender should then be published, but only if there are indications that someone will apply. The first tender for the privatization failed because there were no interested partners. At the time, Indonesia’s Garuda and some Chinese airlines were being mentioned as potential strategic partners.

According to the EU regulations, companies from outside the EU cannot acquire more than 49 percent of the share in an airline. The interest of European airlines for Croatian Airlines is almost non-existent. Advisers from the IFC will receive up to two million kuna for their services, and the final amount depends on how successful they are.


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