Air India in Ljubljana from 2012After Zagreb and Belgrade, Ljubljana will also be getting direct flights to the United States, to be operated by the Indian national carrier Air India. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will serve as a stopover for Air India’s North America flights under a memorandum of understanding that the Indian and Slovenian national carriers, as well as Ljubljana Airport, signed in New Delhi yesterday. The two airlines will soon begin to codeshare on each other’s flights. This will pave way for Adria Airways to access Air India's network by generating traffic beyond Delhi, and likewise, provide Air India with access to the East European market. It will also provide for better commercial viability, and contribute towards yield improvements.
Ljubljana Airport says that Air India’s flights to the US via Ljubljana would begin either at the start of the 2012 summer season in March or the 2012/2013 winter season which begins in October next year, depending on when the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner whose rollout has been delayed by the aircraft manufacturer several times. There is also potential for cargo traffic between the two countries. The news comes as the Slovenian Prime Minister, Borut Pahor, met with his Indian counterpart.
Only a week ago news surfaced that Adria Airways would be taken over by Air India, although the management of the Slovenian carrier denied the reports saying only that cooperation between the two airlines would be strengthened. Air India will become a Star Alliance member this summer, joining Adria. The Indian carrier operates flights to Chicago, Newark and New York City in the United States. It recently closed its European base in Frankfurt from which it operated several US bound flights.