UPDATEDCroatia Airlines strike begins

Flight delays and cancelations at Croatia Airlines
Croatia Airlines has been forced to cancel many of its flights today as the union of Croatia Airlines pilots, cabin crew, airline technicians and the “Novi sindikat” planned to begin a 24 hour strike. However, late last night they announced they were cancelling today’s strike. Nevertheless all of the planned flight cancellations remain in place. Despite spending over a year discussing the terms of their collective agreements with the airline’s management, no solution has been found. Today's strike was only supposed to be a warning to the management and further industrial action could be taken in the coming months if no agreement is reached. Despite the fact that the strike was supposed to last from 06.00 this morning until 06.00 tomorrow morning, the Croatian national carrier was forced to cancel its evening service to Sarajevo yesterday, since the aircraft would be unable to return to Zagreb in the morning and several flights will be cancelled tomorrow as well. Furthermore, passengers can expect delays on early morning flights tomorrow until operations resume to their full capacity.

The unions note that Croatia Airlines will be operating 80% of its scheduled services. Today, the airline has cancelled its flights to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich, Dubrovnik, Split, Rome, Priština, Vienna, Munich, Pula, Zadar, Sarajevo and Skopje. As a result, return flights from Pula, Zadar, Sarajevo and Skopje, which are scheduled to operate on March 9 have also been cancelled. It should be noted that on some of these destinations, Croatia Airlines operates more than one daily flight and in most cases only one of the daily flights has been cancelled.

Croatia Airlines’ management is fuming over the planned walk out by staff saying that the industrial action is unnecessary. It has been further angered after employees said that they wouldn't strike with the airline unable to resume normal operations today. The carrier claims that the terms set out by the unions go against the airline’s cost cutting measure while seven of the eleven conditions set out by the unions go against Croatia’s state laws. Furthermore, the management says the strike will cost the airline 200.000 euros. Croatia Airlines is offering passengers the opportunity to be either rebooked on other flights or compensated to the full amount of their ticket price. Latest strike details can be found on the carrier’s website here. Those interested in viewing the collective agreement from 2011 that unions want to be changed can view it here (PDF document - in Croatian).


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