|Adria Airways bounces back in 2014|
Adria Airways has started the year off strongly with the airline posting improved passenger numbers and a better financial performance. In addition, during the first quarter the carrier launched several new routes, made a multi million euro order for new aircraft and kicked off its hybrid full service - low cost business model. During the first three months of the year, the Slovenian national carrier welcomed 188.594 passengers on board its aircraft, an increase of 10% compared to last year. The result comes despite a 3.4% decrease in the number of scheduled flights as the airline focused on offering more capacity and less frequencies to its key destinations. On the other hand, the number of operated charter flights increased by 26.4%, primarily as a result of ad-hoc operations.
Adria maintained its dominance at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport as it held a 69.1% share of all passengers passing through Slovenia’s busiest airport. As a result, Adria welcomed 163.605 passengers on its flights to and from Ljubljana, while the other 24.989 came from its Pristina operations and charter flights outside of Slovenia. Adria’s main competition from its base are easyJet, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. The carrier can boast of having the best average cabin load factor among the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia during the first quarter as it stood at 67.5%, an increase of 2.8% on the same period last year.
During the first three months, the national carrier made an 92 million dollar order for two new Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft and leased a further two jets of the same type, the first of which entered service in early April. Furthermore, the airline saw its finances improve by 2.1 million euros. Adria’s CEO Mark Anžur recently said, “Adria’s main commercial objective is profitable growth. For an airline, growth means carrying more passengers and introducing more flights. Last year saw us surpass the magic number of one million passengers. This year we are aiming even higher - a 12% increase in passenger numbers”.
In the coming few weeks the European Commission will finally hand down its judgment on whether the carrier received state aid over a period of three years contrary to European Union competition laws. The verdict is significant as it could affect Adria’s finances, however, the airline’s management anticipates a positive outcome. The Slovenian carrier is also soon expected to take delivery of a second leased CRJ900 which has not been previously used.