STA, 27 June 2019 - Addressing the press in the face of mounting criticism on Thursday, the management of Adria Airways said it was aware of the carrier's issues but was also working hard to resolve them. CEO Holger Kowarsch said talks with potential strategic partners were under way, but he added Adria could also survive on its own.
Adria, Slovenia's former flag carrier which is in German ownership since 2016 and has struggled with liquidity problems, will do all it can to reduce the number of cancellations and delays, Kowarsch said, but he added that these were normal for all airlines and could not be avoided entirely.
Chief operating officer Tadej Notersberg said the challenges had gotten tougher in May primarily because of an unexpected protraction of maintenance work on aircraft and staff issues.
Now, only one plane remains subject to maintenance work, while 50 pilots and 70 cabin staff members were employed in the past year, with training taking a while.
Adria rejected media reports of a high pilot turnover rate, saying staff turnover had not increased and was lower than at comparable companies in Europe.
Meanwhile, Kowarsch did not wish to talk about any names, but said Adria was in talks with several potential partners. While the company was allegedly seeking state aid recently, Kowarsch added it could also survive without a strategic partner.
Adria did not negotiate a new contract with aircraft maintenance firm Adria Tehnika after the old one expired, but it has already picked a new partner, whose name will be revealed next week. Media reports suggest a Scandinavian company will take over maintenance in September.
Notersberg said Adria parted ways with Adria Tehnika because it was not happy with it, while he said the change will definitely not affect safety.
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