Venice and Treviso look to Ljubljana
Venice and Treviso airports are interested in an ownership stake in Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Italian media reports. It comes only two weeks after the Slovenian airport said it would seek for a partner in 2013 in order to keep competitive after a major decline in passenger numbers last year. Enrico Marchi, the CEO of the Venice Airport Management Company, is interested in creating a complex of interlinked airports in North Eastern Italy which could also include Ljubljana. The Slovenian capital and Venice are only 245 kilometres apart. Marco Polo Airport has for long been drawing passengers away from Ljubljana due to its close proximity and exceptional links to the rest of Europe and beyond. Venice Airport handled approximately nine million passengers in 2012.
The CEO of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, recently said, “We are looking for a partner who will be with us to develop our business. We do not need someone to manage the airport, but we need someone that will bring us new business, both passengers and freight”. The Slovenian government plans to retain ownership over the existing terminal building, runway and cargo facilities while the new owner would run the new terminal, scheduled for construction this year, and would have control over the airport’s commercial operations.
Recently, Italian airports have shown greater interest in the former Yugoslav region. Several airports from the country have partnered up with Mostar Airport in a bid to improve its services, used primarily by Italian tourists. Over the next few years the group of Italian airports, which includes Treviso, plan to expand Mostar Airport, improve airport safety, introduce scheduled traffic and assist with staff training.