Greece’s leading carrier Aegean Airlines has confirmed it launched a bid to acquire Croatian Airlines, submitting a non-binding bid.
In a statement, the Greek airline stated, “Aegean has participated in the non-binding indicative offer stage of privatisation of Croatia Airlines, which does not include any commitments from the company.”
Adding, “Any significant decision on whether or not the company is likely to participate in the next phase of the privatisation process will be taken in the coming months, following the provision of information and discussions, in accordance with the procedure set by the Republic of Croatia”. The next phase of the process is expected to involve the government announcing a tender for the submission of binding bids and setting out the number of shares it is willing to sell in the company. It previously noted it would offer a stake of up to 70%.”
Aegean Airlines had participated in the previous attempt to privatise Croatia Airlines back in 2015. As an airline registered in the European Union, it can purchase a majority stake in its fellow Star Alliance member.
As an airline registered in the European Union, Aegean can purchase a majority stake in its Croatian counterpart. The two carriers share a similar fleet structure, with both operating Airbus A320-family jets and Dash 8 turboprops. Furthermore, both have A320neo aircraft on order, with Aegean taking delivery of its first jet of the type recently. However, the similarities between the two mostly end there.
Aegean has been continuously profitable since 2013, recording a 67.9 million euro profit last year. Aegean employed some 2.700 people in 2018, carried 13.9 million passengers and registered an average cabin load factor 83.9% with a fleet of 63 aircraft.