New owner for better times?
Four companies have submitted non binding bids for the takeover of Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport in Slovenia. Recent attempts to auction off the airport have failed as it remains in the ownership of the bankrupt car seat maker Prevent Global. Talks with the four interested parties will last throughout February in hope that a deal will be reached. The Prevent Global administrative receiver, Boris Kastivnik, says one of the potential future owners is a Slovenian company while the other is foreign. The remaining two companies that submitted their offers are believed have mixed domestic and international capital.
Maribor Airport recently opened a brand new terminal, making it more attractive for prospective buyers. The fifteen million euro terminal was opened in November last year. Further investments are planned with the construction of a cargo and logistics centre, to be completed by July. 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.
However, 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 this year.