Ljubljana Airport hopes for a busier 2013
With 2012 slowly coming to a close, it has been a year to forget for Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. A victim of Adria Airways’ network cutbacks, Ljubljana has seen passenger numbers slide throughout the year. Now at an eight year low, there is reason for hope at Slovenia’s busiest airport. Wizz Air recently launched flights to the city from Charleroi and London Luton. Furthermore, Adria will resume its services to Paris next year and there is hope the Slovenian carrier might start planning for new routes as its finances stabilise. Furthermore, the construction of a new 72 million euro terminal is set to begin in 2013 and should be completed in time for the 2015 summer season. The airport has said it could see benefits from Adria’s partnership with Air India if the two manage to come to an agreement over potential flights to the United States.
Zmago Skobir, Ljubljana Airport CEO, says airlines are weary of launching flights to the Slovenian capital. “Airlines are very careful when considering launching new flights to Slovenia because of the high risks associated with poor load factors. Airlines launch new routes not only based on the prices and quality of our services, they also require investments in promotion and these represent big limitations for Slovenian tourist organisations and Ljubljana Airport”, Skobir says. He adds, “The general economic and political situation in Slovenia and across Europe is reflected in declining numbers of business and leisure travel”.
The latest figures show that Ljubljana Airport welcomed 126.808 passengers in September, a decrease of 13.9% compared to the same month last year and its worst September result since 2004. In the first nine months of the year, Jože Pučnik Airport welcomed 933.365 passengers, down 14.5% compared to the same time last year when the airport saw 1.091.162 travellers pass through its doors. November’s passenger figures will be of great significance for the airport as it will show whether it will be able to maintain or even improve on last year, since Adria’s 2012/2013 winter network largely mirrors the one in2011.