New terminal for better times
Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport has opened its new fifteen million euro terminal in hope of turning its fortunes around. The much delayed new terminal, originally planned for completion in 2011, opened its doors on November 21 with an Adria Airways flight to Athens, carrying the Maribor football team for a European League match. Recent attempts to auction off the airport have failed as it remains in the ownership of the bankrupt car seat maker Prevent. Last week the airport was put back on the market with non binding bids now being acquired. Whether the new terminal will have an impact on the sale process remains to be seen. The old terminal has now been closed and will go under reconstruction.
The CEO of Maribor Airport, Marko Gros, says the opening of the new terminal marks an important milestone for the airport, located in the country’s North East. Further investments are planned with the construction of a cargo and logistics centre, to be completed by July 2013. Plans are also being made for the expansion of the existing runway in four years time. All of the infrastructure projects are being funded by the European Union. The new terminal has the capacity to handle 600.000 passengers per year.
Unofficial sources claim the airport is in talks with Adria Airways to launch flights from the city in 2013. “We are trying hard to revive the airport”, the Slovenian State Secretary for Transport, Sašo Murtič, said. Edvard Rusjan Airport hasn’t seen scheduled flights for the past four years. In late 2011, Golden Air, a private start up airline owned by Indian businessmen Harjinder Singh Sidhu, launched services from the city only for it to cease operations a week later. In 2010, Adria Airways used Maribor Airport as its hub while its home base Ljubljana was closed for a runway overhaul. Ryanair operated flights to the city in 2007 and 2008. Ultimately, the service was terminated due to light loads. Maribor Airport currently employs 27 people with another ten set to join the team next year.