Adria’s passenger numbers recover after five years
Adria Airways is on track to record its first annual growth in passenger numbers since 2008. The Slovenian national carrier handled 808.370 passengers during the first ten months of the year, a 2% increase compared to the same period last year. The result comes despite a 6% drop in flights. The airline’s average cabin load factor stood at 73.5%, an increase of five points on the same period in 2012. July, August and September proved to be Adria’s busiest months of the year with the airline handling 359.943 passengers. In August alone the Slovenian carrier saw its passenger numbers soar 17% while its average cabin load factor amounted to 81%.
More importantly, Adria recorded 700.000 euros in operating profit, an improvement of almost seven million euros compared to last year when it saw a 6.1 million euro loss. Its improved financial performance comes on the top of a 6.7% reduction in costs. Over the past few years the airline has undergone severe cost cutting measures which has seen it reduce its route network, fleet and passenger numbers but has ultimately improved its finances.
Adria has officially confirmed it has sold some of its property to Ljubljana Airport in an effort to offload unnecessary assets and raise capital. The contract involves a 2.357 square meter hangar, a 2.773 square metre apron and several workshops covering an area of 1.668 square metres. The price of the deal has not been disclosed. Several other assets, including its office building, flight school and a flight simulator, are still up for sale as there have been no interested buyers. Questions have been raised whether Adria’s latest deal with Ljubljana Airport is in breach of European Union competition laws since both companies are state owned. The European Commission is already investigating Adria for the sale of its maintenance division to Ljubljana Airport in 2011. However, Adria says the sale has been carried out in line with regulations.
Meanwhile, the tender for the expression of interest in Croatia Airlines came to an end at midnight. While the results are unlikely to be known for some time it is believed there has been little to no interest in the carrier, which could be a sign of things to come for Adria as it too plans to kick off its privatisation process soon.