Ljubljana negotiates with Ryanair as Adria faces a tough weekLjubljana Airport’s management is finalising an agreement with Europe’s largest low cost airline Ryanair. Worried that the airport will be hit by Adria’s massive network reduction, the airport has proposed for Ryanair to operate flights out of Dusseldorf, Madrid, Oslo and London to the Slovenian capital. While airports across the former Yugoslavia report a significant passenger surge, Jože Pučnik in Ljubljana saw only a 3% increase in the first 6 months of the year, thus handling 574.740 passengers. Numbers began to slide after February despite the fact that the airport was closed for 2 weeks in April of 2010 for a runway overhaul. Nevertheless, the airport did see an operating profit of 2.1 million Euros, which is up by 78% on last year. Adria Airways is responsible for 74.9% of passengers using Ljubljana Airport.
Ryanair is also conducting talks with other EX-YU airports. There are negotiations under way for the no frills airline to commence flights from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt to Tuzla and flights to Podgorica from London and Glasgow. Flights to Ljubljana are expected to commence in April, at the start of the 2012 summer season.
Meanwhile, it will be a do or die week for Adria Airways. On Wednesday, the airline’s shareholders will decide on a capital injection and a restructuring plan to rescue the indebted flag carrier. Last week, all of the major banks participating in the talks said that they are unlikely to further support Adria. Such a decision, Adria says, will see the airline out of business by October. The restructuring plan entails a fleet, destination and employee reduction. The airline’s network cuts will be announced in September. Short listed for suspensions are flights to Paris, London, Istanbul, Warsaw and Copenhagen. Latest inside information points that the airline is also considering suspending flights to Belgrade and Podgorica.