Air Croatia increased its number of flights by 7% during 2008, and carried 9% more passengers than in the previous year. Nevertheless, Croatia Airlines posted a loss of HRK89.2 million (USD17.2 million) for 2008.
The negative bottom line was primarily caused by high fuel prices, but also to a drop in market demand in the 4Q2008. In 2008, Croatia Airlines’ fuel expenditure was HRK357 million (USD69.2 million), some 30% more than in 2007 and accounted for 22% of the airline’s operating costs.
The higher fuel prices had a particularly sharp effect throughout the tourist season when the number of flights was the highest and when, coincidentally, global fuel prices also reached their peak.
Croatia Airlines carried a total of 1,868,869 passengers, 9% more than in 2007, and a company record for a single year.
Fleet enhancements and network expansion will continue
The upgrading of the short-haul fleet started in 2008 with the introduction of two new Dash 8-Q400 aircraft, and during the year Croatia Airlines launched four new routes to Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Podgorica and Pristina.
While fearing its bottom line bottom line will suffer in 2009 as a result of the crisis, Air Croatia has stated this year’s early indicators were encouraging, as 2% more passengers were carried than in the same period last year, despite Croatian airports recording a 4% decrease in passenger traffic.
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