New year - new plans - new owner
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is looking for a new co-owner to turn its fortunes around after a disappointing 2012. According to unofficial data, the airport handled some 1.198.000 passengers last year, down 12.5% on 2011, marking its worst performance in eight years. Talks are under way to sell part of the airport, without its basic infrastructure. "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", Zmago Skobir, the CEO of Ljubljana Airport says.
Venice Marco Polo Airport is being rumoured as a potential partner. The airport has long been drawing passengers away from Ljubljana due to its close proximity and good connections. If the Slovenian government goes ahead with the partial sale of Ljubljana Airport, it is likely to split it into two parts. It would 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.
Meanwhile the European Commission has approved a fifteen million euro grant for the construction of Jože Pučnik Airport’s brand new terminal. The news comes after the European Union recently provided funds for the construction of Maribor Airport’s new terminal building, opened last November. Construction work on the 89.6 million euro Ljubljana Airport terminal is set to begin this year and should be completed by January 15, 2015 at the latest. Contractors will have one year and eight months to complete all work. The investment includes the construction of the new four storey building and the partial renovation of the existing terminal. Together, the two terminals will stretch over 36.086 square metres.