The national flag carrier Croatia Airlines had to cancel 180 flights this year, including 106 flights cancelled due to aircraft maintenance.
The company's management said on Wednesday that cancelled flights were the result of maintenance works falling behind schedule, as two of their Airbus aircraft were undergoing comprehensive maintenance checks at the same time that two of their Dash 8 planes had unexpected repairs, Vecernji List daily reported on Thursday.
Apart from cancelling flights, the lack of available aircraft also meant the company had to lease aircraft from other operators, which were used on 106 flights. Considering that another Dash 8 is out of service, and is expected to return within the next eight days, the leased aircraft would be used for another 34 flights in that period.
The company's management said that although the number of cancelled flights and those serviced with leased aircraft doubled from last year, it was at the same level as in 2016.
They added that out of more than 8,000 flights in 2017 only 1.7 percent were cancelled. The company would not disclose how much would aircraft leases cost, but admitted that those flights are not profitable, adding that transporting passengers to their destinations was a more important priority.
The management's press briefing on Wednesday took place in response to recent allegations by the company's pilots' union, which blames the management for disruptions in scheduled service.