Ulrich Schulte Strathaus, Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines revealed to Slovenian daily “Dnevnik” that air carriers of the former Yugoslavia need to unite in order to stay afloat. Once a single market capable of supporting in country players, the former Yugoslavia demands a single regional carrier to meet the growing needs.
The Balkans market for air travel is a complex one, Strathaus went on to explain how key players like Adria Airways, given their range of experience within the market, might best be served joining forces with other players. The secretary also reflected doubt as to any such agreement being reached due to the harsh political atmosphere and tempers involved.
The 34 members of the Association of European Airlines, besides Adria Airways, includes; Croatia Airlines, Jat Airways, and others. One big problem Strathaus focused on was the inability of some of these airlines to garner funding internally or from outside sources. Support of the individual players being obviously less attractive than for a larger group with greater scope. At least this logic seems to apply.
Previously, Strathaus had been in the news over still more discontent among European airlines in lieu of this Winter’s devastating effect on so many independents. IATA had forecast Europe’s airlines as having lost in excess of $600 million this year, due to the bitter Winter and other groundings. It seems clear, that without cooperation, many more localized services my flounder in the coming months without actions. We will update this news as stories come in.