Too many empty seats on Adria’s A319sThe newspaper “Poslovni dnevnik” has published a critical story on the Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways calling it a “relic of the past”. In its piece, it also revealed that the airline is having difficulty utilising its newly acquired Airbus A319 jets. The newspaper revealed that the two aircraft will pose as a big problem for the airline as they can only be properly used during the peak summer period. Furthermore, the new aircraft are not spending enough time in the sky and are grounded in Ljubljana most of the time. “Adria is having trouble achieving a 60% occupancy rate on its A319s, which is unsatisfactory for the airline’s management”, the “Poslovni dnevnik” writes. The problem is highlighted by the fact that the aircraft are being deployed on charter flights and recently even flew all the way to South Africa to carry Slovenian football fans to the FIFA World Cup. This summer, the airline’s occupancy rate across the entire fleet stood at an average of 63.4%. The airline plans to increase it to 68% by the 2012 summer season.
Tadej Tufek, the CEO of Adria Airways has defended the airline’s decision to purchase the A319s saying that they are more cost effective. Tufek denied rumours that the airline will lease the 2 A319s during the winter to other airlines.
2010 has not been kind to Adria. In the first quarter the airline transported 247.300 passengers, down almost 8% from last year. The airline comes third after Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways in the number of transported passengers but has the strongest cabin occupancy index out of the three.