Lufthansa has dismissed reports by Tportal that it may take over Croatia Airlines, stating, "we have very good cooperation with Croatia Airlines that we hope will continue. At present, we are concentrating on the integration of Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels Airlines into the Lufthansa Group" (Balkan Insight, 22-Feb-2010). Croatia Airlines Board Chairman, Ivan Misetic, last week stated the carrier's financial problems could be resolved only by its sale to another airline.
Lufthansa dismisses interest in Croatia Airlines
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Dubrovnik Airport: providing essential tourism support for a region. Croatia Airlines' 3rd base
Dubrovnik, in the far south of Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, has the country’s third busiest airport after Zagreb and Split. The airport is leisure-oriented with a mix of FSC/network carriers, LCCs and charter carriers.
The economy of the small city is heavily reliant on tourism, which the airport supports by way of handling almost two million passengers annually. Because of the unique nature of that tourism Dubrovnik Airport has no outright competitors either within or outside Croatia with the exception of Split Airport to the north, whose profile is very similar.
This report examines Dubrovnik Airport by way of several sets of metrics, looks at the airports that are rivals to it, at its construction activities and its current and projected ownership.
Chinese long haul secondary city air routes: BA's Chengdu exit does not reflect the broader market
The fastest long haul airline growth is not occurring with Gulf airlines but rather, with services to and from secondary Chinese cities. It is not a secret that local incentives and subsidies, generally common in any market, are especially large in price and duration for secondary Chinese cities. An airline might expect over a third of revenues to be subsidised. This drastically alters the business case in a low-margin industry, hence the proliferation of secondary city services. This extreme dependence on subsidies raises the question of how long governments are willing to issue generous subsidies, and how many routes can be sustainable without them.
British Airways' decision to exit its only secondary Chinese route to Chengdu, in Jan-2017, might suggest the music is ending and the secondary long haul bubble is popping. There is added colour given the recent UK-China air service agreement expansion, and Brexit/British pound depreciation overhangs.
BA's exit does confirm market fundamentals: secondary city yields are low, and some routes are ahead of their time. Yet a number of factors unique to British Airways suggest caution in concluding that BA's Chengdu exit could foreshadow other withdrawals.