To me (and yes I will admit I am an arm chair CEO), it looks as though the airline along with other carriers in the region has a business model not suited for the market they are in.
I think it is necessary they make drastic changes to the product they offer. Wages is not the issue here as OU
staff are already paid probably less than half, maybe even as low as a quarter of their European counterparts. The number of people they employ could be an issue but then again, because the wages are already low I don't think employee wages is the reason for the huge losses of the airline.
In my opinion, even if the government pays off the airlines debt, it will be very difficult for the airline to find a buyer because it simply makes no money so the only option is to bring in people, from outside Croatia if needed, who can make the changes the airline needs to become profitable and list the carrier on the Croatian or European stock exchange, this way people will be held properly accountable by stock holder if they are doing a lousy job.
The airlines strategy the past few years has been to concentrate on feeding Star hubs. That would be fine if it worked well for OU
but clearly this has not been the case and the airline has good reason to shift slightly away from this by opening lines to places like Moscow and Dubai.
Smaller regional aircraft need to be introduced into the region. An aircraft such as EMB-120 Brasilia would be perfect for some of OU
domestic routes, and could used to assist in expanding the airlines network. Belgrade and Venice from Zagreb will be well served by this aircraft type.
In saying that, it looks as if the employees were out played this time. Having 5 different unions not united with each other was easy picking for the management. A pay freeze is one thing but a reduction when the wages are already so low compared to the EU is something that all the unions if they were worth the fees there members paid should have never have agreed to. It's a real joke that they could not stick together especially now when it is clear that the airline due to all its assets was never really so close to being bankrupt as they lead us all to believe.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return