|Adria considering up to four new operational bases|
Adria Airways has detailed plans to hit two million passengers and a 220 million euro turnover by 2020, supported by a fleet of sixteen aircraft and several new bases across Europe. Even though the Slovenian carrier handled just under one million passengers last year and recorded revenue of 150 million euros, Adria’s CEO, Mark Anžur, is confident the airline will reach its goal within six years by reducing frequencies, increasing capacity and serving “unpopular routes”. “Last year was the first year we were profitable at EBIT level, with a one million euro profit, but we still had a three million euro net loss due to historical reasons”, Mr. Anžur says.
The results achieved last year are still a marked improvement on 2012 when the airline posted losses of 67 million euros. “During 2012-13, we started a restructuring program, which set the airline on the path of future growth”, Adria’s CEO says. He adds that faced with stiff competition from low cost airlines such as Wizz Air and easyJet, both of which operate flights to the Slovenian capital, Adria has been forced to reorganise its business, cut 200 jobs and decrease frequencies while increasing capacity. “We now specialise in serving unpopular European routes with aircraft which have the capacity to seat less than 100 passengers”, Mr. Anžur notes. The airline’s six year growth plan foresees the opening of three to four new bases across Europe. Outside of Ljubljana, Adria has a base in Pristina and plans to open one in Tirana next summer season. “The Slovenian market is small and is not growing. We now receive 70% of our revenue outside of our main market”, Mr. Anžur explains.
The carrier’s CEO believes opening new bases, without creating subsidiaries in different countries, is a sound business plan which will see the airline double its passenger numbers within six years, even without a strategic partner. In order to support such growth, Adria is looking into growing its fleet. It will retire all of its unprofitable Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft by the end of next year and its fleet will consists of sixteen CRJs and Airbuses by 2020. However, Adria’s CEO says the exact type of aircraft to be operated will depend on the carrier's destination network. The airline recently grounded one of its CRJ200s leaving it with only two in its fleet. Adria is now seeking out a buyer for its grounded Bombardier jet.