Adria and the economy affect Ljubljana’s performancePassenger 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.