|FlyEth to inaugurate flights from Maribor in 2015|
Start-up airline FlyEth plans to launch operations from Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, in Slovenia’s north-east, to Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Croatia. The airline intends to inaugurate flights on January 15, 2015 with a fleet of two Dornier 328 aircraft and two to three Bombardier CRJ200 jets. According to “Austrian Aviation”, the start-up will operate two daily flights from Maribor to both Amsterdam and Rome via Klagenfurt (with exception to Saturdays), as well as four weekly flights to Berlin via Linz. In addition, FlyEth will run six weekly flights from Maribor to Cologne and twice weekly to Split and Zadar. Finally, it plans to operate a one weekly service each to Brač and Linz.
FlyEth was set up by Fakete Shabani earlier this year with plans for the airline to be initially based in Klagenfurt in Austria. However, Mr. Shabani has now decided to move operations to Maribor. FlyEth will still offer one weekly flights from Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Insburck and Munich to the Croatian island of Brač. Reportedly, the two Dornier aircraft will be acquired from the United States while the CRJ200s will be purchased from Lufthansa CityLine, which recently retired the type from its fleet. FlyEth currently operates in the lease and charter sector using a fleet of fifteen aircraft - seven A320s, four ATR 72-500s, two Dash 8-400s and two Do328-100s.
This is not the first time an airline has made plans to set up a base in Maribor. In 2011, the newly established Golden Air launched flights from the city to London Stansted Airport via Vienna. Headed by Harjinder Singh Sidhu, a British businessman of Indian decent, who had previously purchased Air Slovakia, Golden Air was grounded within a week of launching flights, citing problems with its aircraft leasing arrangement. Last year, German-operated Express Airways announced plans to resume services with a single Airbus A320, which was to be based in Maribor. However, the airline never took off. Maribor Airport has struggled to attract passengers over the years and relies predominantly on seasonal summer flights to the Greek islands and Turkey. The airport handled some 14.000 passengers last year.