Ljubljana Airport records long awaited passenger growth
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has seen its passenger numbers rise for the first time since May 2011. The airport has just recently made public its April 2013 results, recording a significant increase compared to the same month last year. In April, Jože Pučnik Airport welcomed 97.807 passengers, an increase of 5.1% compared to last year’s 93.078 passengers. Aiding Slovenia’s busiest airport in April was the Easter public holiday which last year fell during the month of May. However, it is the first sign of recovery for Ljubljana in over two years.
The airport’s growth is directly linked to Adria Airways which holds a 70% share of all flights from Ljubljana. Its network downsizing has hit passenger numbers hard, with both the airline and its main airport unable to recover up until now. Adria Airways, which does not make its passenger figures public, is also believed to be recovering and recording improved numbers. The airport’s management estimates it will end the year off with a 2% passenger increase. In the first four months of 2013, Ljubljana Airport has handled 309.650 passengers, a decrease of only 0.3% compared to the same period last year.
All signs point that Ljubljana Airport will continue to recover during the year with strong growth projected for September when the country hosts the European Basketball Championships, with travel expected to spike. Furthermore, it hopes that Wizz Air’s aggressive expansion throughout the region will include Ljubljana to which the low cost airline launched flights last year. Ljubljana Airport has been selected as one of fifteen government owned companies set to be privatised this year in order for the country to avoid an international bailout. However, time is running out to launch the privatisation process. Earlier this year Venice Airport expressed interest for its nearby rival.