will lose their jobs due to the wrongdoing of administrational entities.
Only wrongdoing is grounding one year to late / Year after Lake LA-4 tragic crash...
Published here ->
http://www.total-croatia-news.com/item/ ... her-notice
will lose their jobs due to the wrongdoing of administrational entities.
Four separate expert investigations into the grounding of Croatian seaplane operator European Coastal Airlines by the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority come to the same conclusion: the grounding was unjustified and the issues found by CCAA broadly dismissed, according to documents obtained by TCN on October 17, 2016.
The plot is beginning to thicken and there is a smell of fish in the air regarding the story of Europe's first seaplane operation in modern European history.
European Coastal Airlines was grounded by the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority on August 12, following a three-day inspection, with the agency finding 9 Level 1 and 3 Level 2 findings against the airline. Level 1 means that passenger safety is in danger and the plane needs to be grounded. Level 2 means passengers are not at risk, but procedures or documentation at the airports needs amendments. In the case of a Level 2 finding, the airline is given some time to recitify the situation, which usually means producing some missing documentation, while a Level 1 finding requires the aircraft to be immediately grounded. It is my understanding that while a Level 1 finding in any airline would be grounds for an immediate suspension of operations for that aircraft, Level 2 findings are not uncommon in most airlines, who operate in an industry which is highly regulated and bureaucratic.
Much has been written about the ECA seaplanes being dangerous, an assertion which seemed to be justified by the CCAA finding of no less than nine Level 1 findings during the three-day inspection.
But it is interesting to see what the aviation experts think...
Below, the summary of four expert opinions, two of which are signed and stamped by certified court experts in the field of aircraft accidents and air traffic. Expert opinions which paint a rather different picture...
Seaplane operators European Coastal Airlines (ECA), who halted all operations in Croatia two months ago, have announced that they will be back connecting Croatian islands with the mainland in 2017.
ECA Managing Director Klaus Dieter Martin issued a press release in October saying that all domestic and international flights were cancelled until further notice after shareholders saw no other alternative following the grounding of their planes by Croatian authorities.
Back in August this year one of Croatia’s leading portals, Index.hr, published an article questioning the safety and maintenance of the seaplanes.
The portal, quoting a former ECA employer, said that maintenance procedures that should be routinely carried out were done in a sloppy manner and only just enough to satisfy requirements.
Despite ECA insisting their planes met all requirements, they remained grounded during the busy summer period resulting in a loss of millions of euros.
Martin said in October that until the administrational situation had been cleared giving them the opportunity to operate in a safe and trustworthy marketplace, ECA would not operate in Croatia. (read the full press release here)
Today ECA confirmed the appointment of Zdravko Delic, who will take up the role of Accountable Manager, overseeing day to day operations of the business.
ECA told Poslovni.hr that they will again be flying in 2017 and will introduce a number of new flights also. ECA connected 15 locations in Croatia before they suspended operations.
“All destinations will again be in operation in 2017, and ECA will add more connections such as Mali Losinj – Trst and Mali Losinj – Ancona”, Martin said.
ECA will continue to use their existing fleet of 4 Twin Otters, whilst adding to their fleet with three extra planes next year.
ECA flew to Split, Pula, Vela Luka, Lastovo, Jelsa, Novalja, Rab, Dubrovnik, Korcula, Zadar, Rijeka, Lumbarda, Hvar, Mali Losinj, Vis and Zagreb in Croatia, and Ancona and Pescara Airport in Italy.
ECA Files for Pre-Bankruptcy. But...
Will they? Won't they? The chances of the first scheduled seaplane operator in Croatia taking to the skies this summer looks a little more remote on May 5, 2017, as European Coastal Airlines initiates the pre-bankruptcy process. However...
It was the tourism project which had (and has) the potential to set Croatia apart from the rest in the Mediterranean.
An integrated network of seaplane connections along the Croatian coast and islands, slashing connection times and truly delivering the quality transfer service to do justice to the top tourism destination Croatia claims to be.
First the bad news...
After 17 years of trying - including two years of operating - it would appear that the European Coastal Airlines story is heading for a sad end. Finally launched in August 2014, with the first scheduled seaplane flight in modern European aviation history from Resnik near Split Airport to downtown Jelsa, it would appear that the ECA Twin Otters will fly no more over Croatia's coastal skies - at least in their current ownership.
It was a project full of potential, which took its passengers to hitherto improbable angles and views of Croatia. That inaugural flight to Jelsa took in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a low flyover of Zlatni Rat near Bol, and a summer's worth of spectacular memories. Memories which were repeated en route to Korcula, Mali Losinj, Rab, Pula, Lastovo, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, and even internationally to Ancona and Pescara.
It was a project which sadly - at least in its first phase - did not succeed.
After a decision to ground the planes by the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority in August 2016 at the height of the season, the airline never recovered from an estimated loss in seven figures from the more than 5,000 cancelled tickets as a result of the grounding. Although one plane did briefly take to the skies once more, ECA's CEO Klaus Dieter Martin then announced that he would suspend operations until "the administrational situation has been cleared and giving us the opportunity to operate in a safe and trustworthy marketplace."
Fast forward a few months and the anticipation of a new season with seaplanes, and it would appear that ECA will not reappear, at least in its current format. A legal directive from the Croatian courts has announced that ECA has iniitiated pre-bankruptcy proceedings, surely the beginning of the end of the company's aspirations in Croatia.
There are of course creditors waiting to be paid, passengers waiting to be refunded. In the public interest, we publish below a tanslation of the court document in full.
A very sad day for an innovative and ground breaking project, but is it the end of the seaplane story? Not quite...
Stay tuned for more details, for my information is that talks are ongoing, and an announcement of The Croatian Seaplane Story: The Sequel is on the way, a totally separate company and business philosophy. More news - and we will only publish official concrete news, as there has been so much speculation - as we get it.
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