Business News

New Adria Boss Promises Far-Reaching Measures

Ljubljana, 17 January (STA) - Klemen Bostjancic, the newly-appointed chief executive of Adria Airways, is confident that the ailing flag carrier is not beyond saving and is promising a series of far-reaching measures to get it back on track.

"We have to sort out current operations and provide short-term liquidity...Secondly, there are huge reserves in expenses. Thirdly, we have to expand the business and increase the number of flights, not only from the domestic airport," Bostjancic told Monday's edition of Finance newspaper.

Noting that the coming six months will be crucial to Adria's survival, Bostjancic said he first needed precise data on how the former management came up with the figure EUR 4m that it said Adria needed in the form of a bridging loan.

"I can't imagine what would happen if the sum wasn't correct and we'd come back to the banks begging in a few months," he said.

Similarly, he said he needed hard data to see which routes are profitable. "I don't think there's even precise data on that. One of the short-term measures will be to calculate route profitability."

Bostjancic also said he had a somewhat different view than his predecessors about a tie-up with a strategic partner. "It is key to whip the company back into shape so that someone wants you, instead of putting yourself up for sale," he said.

Indeed, he said the quest for a strategic partner, which had been high on the agenda for the previous management, would be put on the back burner. "Activities will proceed, but restructuring is the priority."

Bostjancic was named chief executive and Robert Vuga executive director on 14 January after their predecessors, Tadej Tufek and Marjan Ravnikar, resigned over mounting pressure from creditors.

His previous postings included a stint as state-appointed supervisory board member at bankrupt builder Vegrad, where he is credited with resisting the former boss blamed for bringing the company down, and as the boss of Mineral, a small quarrying firm.

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