Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ljubljana in talks with Air India

Soon in Ljubljana?
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has revived talks with Air India in order for the Indian national carrier to launch its once planned flights from Mumbai to New York via Ljubljana. Last year Air India and Adria Airways signed a memorandum of understanding which was to see Air India code share on Adria’s regional flights, while in return the Indian national carrier would operate some of its services to the United States via the Slovenian capital. The Managing Director of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, has said he is an optimist when it comes to talks with Air India. A recently signed air transport agreement between the two countries has removed bureaucratic obstacles for the flights to be launched. However, Skobir did not want to give dates as to when services could be launched since the planed flights did not materialise the last time around.

Furthermore, Ljubljana has also begun talks with Chinese partners over potential flights. Skobir says the airport will work hard to attract additional low cost airlines in 2013. In just over a month, Wizz Air will launch services from London and Charleroi to the Slovenian capital.

This year, Jože Pučnik Airport has been hit by a decline in passenger numbers and profits, which it puts down to the financial crisis and Adria Airways’ woes. The Slovenian carrier holds a 70% share of all flights to and from the Slovenian capital. In the first half of the year, Ljubljana Airport posted a profit of 14.5 million euros, down 5.8% compared to the same period last year. It handled 527.151 passengers, compared to last year’s 607.088, representing a decrease of 13.2%.

13 comments:

  1. 14.5 mil in the first six months I doubt it. That is like OTP, but look at traffic. Maybe It is cargo.

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  2. well it would be better to post some good receipt of delicious cake or just some simple minestrone as to write this fairytales....

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  3. Can't really understand how city cities like SKP and LJU are anticipating for such big ambitions. US market needs cities like PRG, WAW. If BUD, which has annual traffic of almost all ex-Yu capitals together in 2011 already stopped flights to US imagine how LJU can maintain this?

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  4. Probably Skobir has not noticed that Air India will not join Star Alliance and that a hub in LJU is complete garbage
    But let him dream on....

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  5. he talk craps Skobir who agree

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  6. Of course it would be a rubbish idea for Air India to operate via LJU. But that leaves us with two scenarios. Either 1. Skobir is out of touch with reality and genuinely thinks this is a good idea, or 2. he realises that it's a crazy idea, but knows that they are so mad at Air India that he might be able to convince them to do it anyway.

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  7. I firmly believe that the whole idea of direct U.S. flights will work once the traffic within the region normalizes.

    By this I mean that Zagreb and Belgrade would need to connect daily. Split, Dubrovnik and Pula also need to connect to Belgrade daily throughout the March-October season at least.

    This may take 3 or 4 more years, but once it gets up to that level, the entire regional traffic will further grow.

    I see Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade each take their part in participating/sharing certain flights, depending where those are coming from.

    For instance, it makes sense that most flights from North America would connect to Belgrade via Zagreb.
    The exceptions in which there may be individual direct connections may be 1 or 2 rotations a week where each Zagreb and Belgrade may see their own direct flight.
    Probably NYC - Zagreb, and Chicago-Belgrade in addition to NYC-Zagreb-Belgrade and Chicago-zagreb-Belgrade.

    Perhaps Belgrade, as it is the larger hub, may have more of these direct rotations than Zagreb...

    Here and there I see Ljubljana take part in sharing flights with Belgrade.


    Same goes for the Asian flights, although in this scenario, Belgrade is most likely to take most of direct connections.

    And this all may only happen once the entire region recovers and tourism in Croatia develops additionally which will probably happen within next 4-5 years.

    In that combination, you'll have business passengers, tourists, diaspora, transit passangers etc. etc.

    Everything else does not make economical sense.

    Forget individual efforts, especially those coming from cities like Skopje or Ljubljana by themselves...

    This whole process may take some time as there isn't any regional airline that plans to go long haul any time soon. Perhaps OU decides to do that by 2020 :)

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    1. At least I am hopeful.
      If this region had managed to have respectable aviation market share over 30 yrs. ago, I don't see why it wouldn't be able to do it again in some time...

      Further normalization of political relations is all that needs to happen. We have come a long way since the mid 1990s when I'd say we hit the rock bottom.

      With more pax traveling, better technology (Dreamliners for instance), I don't see why some of the market growth wouldn't trickle over to our regionally strong airports.

      Current positions of Belgrade, Zagreb, Skopje, Pristina, Split and Dubrovnik are interesting as each one of those airports has a certain set of opportunities and chances and obstacles on the other hand.

      Pristina, Skopje and Belgrade are the only airports serving large populations and that's where their chance lies.

      Belgrade is certainly in the best position, given that it's in the largest city in ex Yu. It's also the only real airport in Serbia. Interest from foreign airlines will always be there. On the other hand, an obstacle woulr be Jat. It's supposed to be a leader in paving the way of developing new routs, yet it has serious issues.

      In Croatia, you have Split and Dubrovnik as coastal airports that will most likely continue to grow aggressively in seasonal traffic. But that's not enough to make them a regional player.

      Zagreb is a hub of the best airline in the region and is the capital of a country that has 10 mil. foreign tourists. This number may very well grow to 14-15 mil. by 2020.
      However, Zagreb's potential is limited due to domestic competition that takes away seasonal traffic (Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar).
      It's chance to become a regional player lays in the long overhaul spring, summer and fall charter flight market.
      As well as in the business market where I'd say Zagreb's goal should be to become connected with each capital city in Europe, at least 3 x a week.

      Supposedly bunch of Chinese, Japanease, Korean and Indian citizens choose to come to Croatia and do their tours, such as Zagreb-Plitvice- Coast etc.
      That's where they'll probably use Zagreb airport to land their 747s, 777s and A330/340s.

      If Zagreb airport manages to offer good slot prices, great service, perhaps more and more of North American airlines may choose to avoid large hubs (for reasons of delays, prices, customer satisfaction) and fly tourists directly to Zagreb which is a great starting point to start touring Croatia.

      It all depends on the total future demand as European hubs will fight for those passengers, off course.

      Mind that this year, OU started code sharing flights with U.S. Airways, and also BA started code sharing flights with American on the flights that will originate from Zagreb to Heathrow this winter. And that's a start...

      So, let's not be so pesimistic :)

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    2. let's also not be unrealistic.

      Star alliance dominates trans atlantic travel

      Why would one of their carriers fly to Zagreb or Belgrade (Belgrade just cracked europe's top 100 airports. It's still behind Bari, Italy), when they can just sell tickets to one of the major hubs and then further earn a commission on selling the leg to the Balkans.

      There simply is no business case for direct flights from ex-yu, never mind the daily flights that seem possible in your imagination.

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  8. Unofficially, Wizz is holding a press conference in Belgrade tomorrow. Let us bet on new routes....

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  9. We don't trust Adria and Ljubljana Airport management. They are always disappointing us cheaters.

    Don't work with them or you will find for youreslf how situstion is.

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