Maribor to get unusal Northern Cyprus link
Adria Airways will launch seasonal summer charters to the breakaway state of Northern Cyprus, in what will be a first for the airline, the “Finance” portal reports. In collaboration with the “Kompas” tour operator, Adria will operate services from Maribor to Ercan International Airport in Northern Nicosia. The airport is exclusively served by airlines from Turkey. Northern Cyprus declared independence from the Republic of Cyprus in 1983 after Turkish troops had to push back following their invasion of the island in 1974. It is recognised as an independent state only by Turkey. While the whole island of Cyprus is considered to be part of the European Union, EU laws and regulations are not enforced in the north.
The news will be warmly welcomed by Maribor Airport which hopes to turn its fortunes around this year following the opening of its brand new terminal. The airport, which has seen little traffic over the past few years, has also secured the arrival of Aegean Airlines which will operate seasonal services from the Greek island of Kos. Besides services to Northern Cyprus, Adria will also operate summer charters from Slovenia’s second largest city to holiday destinations in Greece and Turkey. Adria’s recent spike in charter flights has significantly boosted passenger numbers for the airline as it looks to claw back customers following two difficult years for the national carrier, during which it was forced to downsize its network.
Meanwhile, Adria will shake up its fleet as the airline looks to retire three out of its five Bombardier CRJ200s. The airline currently has a fleet of twelve aircraft, with a CRJ900 on order. Recent reports suggest that German based Intro Aviation is close to finalising a majority takeover of Adria Airways. The company is said to be negotiating a 74.8% stake in the airline.