|Adria plans flights from Tirana to Brussles and Paris|
Adria Airways plans to expand its newly opened base in the Albanian capital Tirana next year with the addition of several new routes. In an interview to the “Sierra5” portal, the CEO of Adria Airways, Mark Anžur says, “Tirana is very important to us and we will continue developing it. It is likely that we will launch flights from Tirana to Brussels and Paris next year”. This summer season Adria inaugurated services from the Albanian capital to Frankfurt, complementing its existing flights from the city to Ljubljana. In addition, the CEO explains the airline could base an aircraft in the Polish city of Lodz in 2015, “We want to develop some other European destinations as well including Verona. Klagenfurt is not of interest to us. In Pristina, we have a 10% market share and we want to maintain that. In Skopje, we have a 6% market share which is declining as a result of the subsidised Wizz Air”.
Adria has started the year off on a strong note as it added two leased CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to its fleet, launched several new routes and recorded an increase in both passenger numbers and revenue. “During the first quarter, and in accordance with plans to reduce the number of scheduled flights by 3.4%, we recorded a 10% increase in passenger numbers. Operational revenues were higher by 0.5%. We plan to record a profit of 2.7 million euros by the end of the year”, Mr. Anžur says. He adds, “This year, we increased the number of aircraft in our fleet by 10%. We aim to have a more economical fleet. Larger aircraft mean lower costs. The challenge is to fill the increased capacity. Therefore, we have reduced the number of flights on some routes. As a result, we have larger aircraft with bigger capacity and fewer frequencies which, in turn, lowers operational costs”.
However, Adria is still waiting on the European Commission to rule on whether it received state aid contrary to European Union regulations. The decision, expected this month, could decide the fate of Slovenia’s national carrier. However, the airline’s CEO is confident the ruling will be in Adria’s favour, adding there is no “plan B”. The sale of Adria has been put on hold until a decision is reached. “It is most important for Adria’s future owner to be a responsible one, someone who will develop the brand and enable the airline’s continued development. This can be a financial investor or a strategic partner in the aviation sector. It is important to follow the objective of developing the company”, Mr. Anžur concludes.