|Busy summer season ahead for Maribor Airport|
Greece’s Aegean Airlines will launch seasonal summer flights to Slovenia’s second busiest airport, Maribor Edvard Rusjan this Friday. The airline will operate one weekly service from Kos to Maribor starting June 6 until September 26. In addition, Greece’s largest airline will inaugurate one weekly flight from Corfu, which will run each Thursday starting June 12 until September 18. It is the second year in a row that Aegean will serve Maribor. However, unlike in 2013, it will operate flights from two destinations throughout the summer season. The new route launches will be warmly welcomed by Maribor, which suffers from a lack of customers throughout the year, like most other small airports in the former Yugoslavia. On top of Aegean’s flights, Turkey’s Onur Air will run seasonal services from Antalya in Turkey starting June 19 to August 28, while Adria Airways will also operate charter flights from Maribor to Antalya and the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Maribor Airport’s CEO, Marko Gros, says passenger numbers are expected to reach between 20.000 and 25.000 this summer season, an increase of up to 40% compared to the same period last year. During 2013, the airport served 13.000 passengers from June through to September. The airport is now actively seeking to attract airlines to operate year long flights to Slovenia’s second largest city. “We are trying very hard to attract both commercial and cargo airlines to Maribor”, a government official said. Aegean Airlines has recently been eying the former Yugoslav market. Originally, the carrier looked into the possibility of flying to Ljubljana, Dubrovnik and Banja Luka but instead opted to operate summer flights to Maribor, Ljubljana and Belgrade.
Despite Maribor Airport opening a brand new terminal in 2012, the Slovenian national carrier believes it would be unprofitable to maintain year long flights from the city. In a recent interview, Adria’s CEO Mark Anžur, said, “Adria attempted to fly from Maribor but it is difficult to operate flights out of secondary airports in Slovenia because it is a small country with well developed road infrastructure”. He added, “You can drive from Maribor to Ljubljana within an hour and a half”.