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.
Lufthansa and Etihad: equity tie up could further align mutual strategy, but marriage unlikely
Greater cooperation between Lufthansa and Etihad reflects their local and global challenges growing in quantity and complexity. Contact between the two has led to speculation that the partnership could radically expand to include an equity tie up, with rumoured merger talks.
Their initial Dec-2016 codeshare announcement was, in practical terms, small but showed the possibility, as they stated, to expand cooperation. However, it would be a leap to go from their handful of codeshares to a 17-Jan-2017 article from Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero that Etihad could invest in Lufthansa on the way to a possible merger between the two. A subsequent denial in a Reuters story that "A financial stake is out of the question at the moment", does little to dispel the rumour. Were it not for the last three words of that statement the rumour would lack credibility.
There is certainly logic for a deeper partnership - and the two have danced this waltz before. Equity involvement from airlines can cement partnerships, add to board influence and partially allow one side to gain financially from any matter it feels it is compromising away. Nevertheless, there are obstacles to a full blown merger, and even to Etihad's taking a 30% to 40% stake. A marriage between the new bedfellows does not seem an immediate prospect. Nonetheless the logic is there for a move; and the mere fact of a potential move is sufficient to rock the equilibrium.