The government of Croatia has announced that it aims to find a new strategic partner for Croatia Airlines.

This is the third time in the past five years that the small central European state has tried to find a way of divesting itself of a controlling interest in the national carrier. The previous two attempts, in 2014 and 2016, failed to find any suitable suitors.

A new National Reform Plan, announced last week, foresees a radical restructuring of the country’s transport sector, including privatization of its railway system and a new partner for Croatia Airlines. The government has for some time been trying to sell off state enterprises to reduce the level of public debt.

Croatia Airlines has been modestly profitable in recent years. It operates a small fleet that the company website lists as comprising two Airbus A320s, four A319s and six Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

The carrier’s business is seasonal, with an influx of tourists to Adriatic resorts such as Dubrovnik over the summer season, together with a quieter winter period. Like most European national carriers, it has come under sustained pressure from LCCs in recent years.

Alan Dron