Analysis 25 Oct 17

Changing CEOs will Not Fix Balkan Airlines' Troubles

Overburdened by micro-managing governments, most of the Balkan's state-owned national carriers struggle to survive in an increasingly competitive air transport industry.

Akin Nazli
BIRN
Belgrade
Illustration. Photo: Pixabay

Croatia Airlines CEO Kresimir Kucko’s unexpected resignation on October 4 was part of an almost regular trend in the Balkans' airlines business. On the same day, the Romanian government announced a new chief for its national flag carrier TAROM.

“It is a well-known fact that governments, by definition, are bad managers. This is especially true in the aviation business where national airlines - also known as flag carriers - are often suffering from the government-imposed populist decisions that are far from commercial logic,” said Igor Bozinovski, a Skopje-based aviation industry analyst.

“Balkan governments have a tendency to control all aspects of social life. It is slowly improving, but that is the general feeling still.”

For years, Croatia has been one of those Balkan countries trying to privatise its national airline.

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