Friday, June 29, 2012

Ljubljana Airport struggling

Adria and the economy affect Ljubljana’s performance
Passenger numbers at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport have taken a battering over the past few months, with the airport expecting disappointing end of year results. Passenger numbers are tipped to plummet by 4% compared to 2011, marking the hub's fourth consecutive year of decline. For its poor results, the airport blames Adria Airways’ reduced network as well as the economic crisis which has gripped the country. Revenue is also expected to drop by 5%. In 2011 Ljubljana Airport slipped into fourth place, behind Priština, as the busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia. Ljubljana Airport hopes that Wizz Air’s arrival later on in the year will turn some of its fortunes around. The airport has also stressed the importance for talks to be revived between Adria Airways and Air India in order for potential flights from Mumbai to New York via the Slovenian capital to be launched.

Ljubljana’s disappointing results could have an impact on the airport’s major expansion project, which entails the construction of a brand new terminal. The price tag of the project, due for completion by 2017, amounts to 115 million euros. Some 70 million euros are planned to be invested into the new terminal building. Analysts believe the project should be reconsidered as it would be viable only if passenger numbers picked up and if there were to be a sharp turn in the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, Adria Airways, which holds a 70% share of all flights at Ljubljana Airport, is set to take out another loan to boost its struggling finances. The Slovenian carrier is reportedly planning to take out a nine million euro loan in September. It comes after a 50 million euro bailout was granted to the carrier last year. It is expected that the carrier’s privatisation process will begin next month. Today, Adria is to hold its general assembly at which shareholders will review restructuring efforts and plans for privatisation.


  1. economic crisis? leisure travellers from Slovenia flying around are more and more every year (compared to previous years) ... but they are flying from nearby airports (Italy, Austria and even (which what not a huge practice just fev years ago) Zagreb);
    business travellers are a littel less but many (not government paid) are flying -again- from nearby airports
    even some returning foreign businessman are using nearby airports not Ljubljana: for convenience (despite car transfer following arrival), price etc.
    Adria unpoductive cancelled routes do not bring many passengers in Ljubljana. Banja Luka etc. are they amking any differences?
    Adria AIrways just bullshit ... just no sense talking ... to give the impression they they are busy finding new opportunites, solutions
    Expansion project at airport? please First make more competitve conditions for foreign airlines flying there! If yo uwant traffic no monopoly ... always the sam
    Adria Airways privatisation? who will buy you public money from Slovenia agian? money transfer from one pocket to another pocket in the same trousers..
    get a life!

    1. i agree, it's incredible how much has the business of airport shuttles from Ljubljana (and other towns in Slovenia) grown in the last few years, there are many many shuttles daily to Venice, Treviso,Trieste, Munich and Vienna.for sure LJU can't compete with some long hauls from MUC,VIE,and so certain extent VCE too, but i'm sure there's a potential for flights inside airline has to offer flights at affordable prices though!in the past years airlines left LJU because of Adria's nasty games!!

    2. Adria's nasty games?

      After a winter season cancelation of London, Adria brings very good prices for London Luton and operates during summer and what Aerodrom Ljubljana does? Brings Wizzair =) and you call that Adria's nasty games. At least AL could arrange that Wizz operates to other destionation than Adria + easy already do.

      Can you list which airline left because of what Adria's nasty games =)

    3. well maybe i've expressed myself a bit's just that JP has done many times (i know LJU market isn't very big, but some competition is good): SN Brussels airlines, LOT, Swiss, Jat, Aeroflot,OS etc; ok SN,OS,LOT&Swiss are also part of *alliance, but never the less, all of those companies used to operate to LJU, then started to cooperate with JP, after some time signed an agreement so they code share with JP on those flights, leaving only JP to operate those flights.again, LJU is not LHR,CDG, AMS, it never will be, so there is not space for many airlines to operate the same route, but the problem is that we end up with Adria's usually insane prices.

  2. LJU is probably the most scenic airport in ex YU. Flying over the Alps and then quickly dropping the altitude to land gives you an amazing view of the area. I fly to LJU from the US every year. Although I love Adria, their prices have become outrageous and this is the first summer I will be flying Air France instead of LH/JP. For many years, Adria took advantage of the Balkans isolation and made LJU as a mini-hub for all those passengers from the region flying to Europe and onward to the rest of the world. With the economic and political conditions improving in the ex YU countries and the arrival of many new airlines, Adria's dominance in the region has diminished. In addition, the financial crisis in the Euro Zone has put even more pressure on Slovenian economy, further reducing the travel demand. Once so energized and prospering country has found itself inflexible and unwilling to change in order to address the new economic circumstances. People in Slovenia and also in the rest of ex YU often forget that the World is not going to change for them, they will have to change for the World if they want to survive and prosper. Good luck to LJU and Adria. Hope things get better and they find the way out of this mess.

  3. Very good comments on the subject. I agree, combination of high prices on Adria and the relatively small market have taken a toll. Also, I am hearing for the first time people from Slovenia driving some distance for a more affordable air fare but it makes sense. Adria trully took advantage of the markets in Ex-yu durig the darkest days for JAT and the formation of Croatian Airlines etc. They knew the market and they did well. They leveraged flights out of Prishtina, Skopje and even Ohrid to bring the workers to Central and Western Europe. All that changed in the last few years. Macedonia lost all domestic carriers but gained first central european airlines (Austrian, Czech, Malev) and now the newest wave of low cost airlines and the influx of Turkish airline business. Adria remained, well, high cost traditional airline. JAT and Croatian have come strong against the Adria market. Ljubljana still is a sleepy alps destination. But unlike Insbruck, lets say, it has a low winter tourism draw. I am maybe mistaken about Slovenian tourism but like Macedonia (roughly 2 million population) without tourism, the aviation market is not very sustainable. Unlike Macedonia, Slovenian diaspora is smaller or is concentrated in countries that may be a more comfortable driving distance.

  4. Well, second comment is not usually polite but nonetheless something has to be said about the good old days of Adria Airways. In Ex-Yu they did a very good job by remaining at a managable size and with flights that always made sense. I remember that JAT had flights from Sarajevo to Belgrade and if you wanted to go to Skopje you would tranfer at Belgrade. Adria held a regular Sarajevo-Skopje line that just fit the bill on destination and price. They also had a lock on the Adriatic coast charter market. As a more advanced of the Ex-yu economies, Slovenian corporations had a very good advantage of having Ljubljana as a hub. In all, the market was protected, management decisions were sound and the size of the airline and its operations were kept at a sustainable level. It seems that once the airline had to swim in the larger ocean without protection it made strategic mistakes. It grew larger and it forgot the role it played in providing niche market flights that it can sustain for a long period of time. You cannot grow large enough to compete against the strongest airlines but you can stay smaller to survive any market storm. Where is the old management and the old Inex Adria?

  5. I still cannot believe they intend of getting Air India to launch flights to the USA via Ljubljana. It's a small airport, not a large market, and the airport is in bad shape as it is. If anything Belgrade seems like its the logical choice for such flights. Why isn't Belgrade trying to get this deal? They have enough funds to start it, so why not pursue this?

    1. We are waiting for AZAL to receive its 787, the flight from Baku will go via BEG.


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