Sunday, July 14, 2013

China Southern eyeing Adria and Ljubljana

Minister avoids China Southern talks

One of the world’s largest airlines, China Southern, has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing both Adria Airways and its base Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. A delegation from the Chinese carrier is in Ljubljana for talks with government officials, however, the country’s Minister for Infrastructure, Samo Omerzel, took surprising pride in announcing that he did not attend the talks despite being invited to take part. He added that tender procedures should take place for the sale of Ljubljana Airport as more interested parties could apply. “Everything must be in accordance with privatisation regulations. This means we can find a partner willing to further develop the company and thereby create added value to Slovenia itself”, the Minister said.

The Slovenian government recently approved plans to sell fifteen state companies in an effort to cut the country's budget deficit and avoid becoming the latest euro zone member to seek a bailout. Both Adria and Ljubljana Airport are among the companies earmarked for sale. China Southern is initially interested in launching charter flights to Ljubljana and eventually turning them into regular services. China Southern is the world’s sixth busiest airline and Asia’s largest in both fleet size and passengers carried. It currently operates flights to 121 destinations with a fleet of over 420 aircraft. Despite its size, China Southern has a limited presence in Europe with flights to Amsterdam, Paris, London, Moscow and Istanbul. Ljubljana Airport hopes passengers would use the service as a transit point to South Eastern Europe and the flights would also attract a sizable amount of tourists.

In August 2012, the Slovenian government offered 74.8% of Adria’s shares with interested parties having until September to submit non binding bids. The Assets Management Agency (AUKN) confirmed that ten parties submitted in their offers but declined to give out their names. Since then, there has been no information on the progress of the privatisation process. It is believed financial investment firms made up the majority of those seeking shares in Adria, which is not what the national carrier was hoping for. In March it was announced that an Air Berlin affiliated company, Intro Aviation, was close to purchasing the majority share package, however, these plans never materialised.


  1. This story's reminded me of the same story regarding Banjaluka Airport from more than a year ago. It might've been China Southern haven't used proper resolution and mixed the airports up.

  2. I always wondered if or when larger airlines like Air China for example might start to look at shifting their long haul services from the more traditional destinations like Paris, Frankfurt, Heathrow or Schiphol to a less traditional / cheaper alternative.

    When you consider how expensive it is for airlines to operate a 777 to Frankfurt for example, flying instead to an airport like Ljubljana might be a new strategy for airlines to save money.

    Of course there would have to be plan in place to ensure passengers get to their final destination with minimal inconvenience.

    This way Air China could increase their presence in Europe to a number of destinations served by Adria using a single 777 service.

    I guess the only way this would work is if the savings made in handling fees at Ljubljana compared to Frankfurt for example is big enough to justify the second flight to final destination.

    1. Correction, 'China Southern'

    2. OK...
      But why Ljubljana and not for example Zagreb?
      Or even BUD?
      Well BUD at least would make most sense.

    3. I to agree, why is it not Zagreb or Belgrade? Zagreb or Belgrade is more suitable then Ljubljana. Also Zagreb and Belgrade has more connecting flight to major European cities Ljubljana.

    4. orst thing about that is that Zagreb and Belgrade are not connected...

    5. Why BEG or ZAG isn't their choice?
      BEG and ZAG are not for sale.

    6. Dont forget cities like Frankfurth, Schiphol etc. are maingates to everywhere, if they arrive with pax or cargo in Slovenia, they are stuck in middle of nowhere.

      I work at SPL and know that flowers from Africa arrive in the morning, short time later they are on another flight so it's all connected tight. When you only have one player at Slovenia, your stucked when you get everything there, so in the end it will cost you all more...

    7. So right...

    8. Why not Ljubljana? Someone needs to save LJLJ and Adria does have connections to most of popular cities in europe..

    9. But if you buy LJLJ and Adria, you can get your psx to Slovenia and then spread the adria network so it suits you best. There has to be something benefitial for them at Ljubljana otherwise they wouldn't even be having the talks.

    10. I used Ljubljana as an example because it is related to today's topic.

      Korean Air is doing something similar at Prague.

  3. Nice collection of private jets at Dubrovnik.


  4. I am happy when I hear new like this. I hope Croatia Airlines, B&H Airlines, and Montenegro will find someone to. As it was seen in Jats case, none of this airlines can handle their problems on their own.

    1. Lucky us, since we have you to tell us all about it. :)
      You are cute btw.

  5. Typical Chinese tactic - using Ljubljana in their negotiations for best commercial terms with airports to which they already fly and really intend to fly to.

  6. It's just bullshit talking.
    Expressed Interest .. not meaning selling.
    Don't be fooled by monkey business.

    China Southern interested for charters not more for now and no more for later.

    There is NO interest to really sell Adria to a "real" foreign company.
    It's just talking (one thing and waiting for othe
    hoping for the opposite)
    Staus quo
    as long as possible.

    For the Adria system (and not only) based on
    - clientelism,
    - corruption money that is assumed as essencial part of the business deal
    ... arrival of a real partner (not from ex Yu area or strange "tropical island connection") is seen as a dead treat
    that must not come true.

  7. I wonder when the Government of the Republic of Srpska will announce the sale of Banjaluka Airport.

    1. And who would wand to buy it and for what should it be used for ?

  8. Dear ex - yu admin:

    here you're quoted as a source of information:


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