|Adria to add new destinations from Ljubljana and Tirana|
Slovenia’s national carrier, Adria Airways, has announced it will expand its destination network next summer season to include new routes from its hub in Ljubljana, as well as from the Albanian capital Tirana. The airline will launch flights from the Slovenian capital to both Stockholm and Berlin and introduce new services from Tirana to Brussels and Paris. Adria will fly twice per week to the Swedish capital starting April 23, 2015. The first flight to Berlin, where Adria will fly three times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, will take place on April 24. The Slovenian carrier has also confirmed it will maintain seasonal summer flights to London and Manchester, which will run from May 16 and May 30 respectively. Tickets for the new routes have already been put on sale.
In line with earlier announcements, Adria will continue to expand its presence in the Albanian capital with new nonstop flights to Brussels and Paris, which will complement its existing services to Frankfurt. Flights to the Belgian and French capitals will be inaugurated on March 31. Earlier this year, Adria Airways’ CEO, Mark Anžur, said in a statement, “Tirana is very important to us and we will continue developing it. We want to grow because it is easier to manage expenses that way. We need to increase the number of destinations and we are planning new direct flights to new destinations”. He added, “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 subsidies offered to Wizz Air”.
In addition to its expanding route network, Adria recently announced it would grow its fleet of ten aircraft next year. The Slovenian carrier will record a 10% increase in passenger numbers in 2014, with additional aircraft needed in order to accommodate the growth. In the short-term, Adria plans to wet-lease several A320-family aircraft in 2015 while a total of five or six jets will join the fleet by 2016. Mr. Anžur says Adria is also considering leasing aircraft larger than the A320. Meanwhile, by March next year, the Slovenian carrier will phase out its two remaining CRJ200s from scheduled service. The airline will scrap one of the jets while the other will be used for charter flights. The airline phased out its last A320 in late October. Adria faces growing competition in Ljubljana with Air Serbia to add a second daily flight from Belgrade starting December 12. On the other hand, Turkish Airlines will boost services from Istanbul from daily flights to ten per week next summer.