|Adria commits to developing Maribor into a low cost hub in 2016|
The CEO of Adria Airways, Mark Anžur, has announced plans for the carrier to add additional new routes from Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport in 2016, after it initially launches seasonal flights from the city to London Southend Airport this June. Mr. Anžur says the airline aims to develop Slovenia’s second largest city as its low cost hub, which is in line with Adria’s strategic shift towards a low cost business model. Last week, Slovenian media speculated that up to three new destinations could be launched from Maribor this summer, however, the airline committed to London only. The CEO rejected claims that Adria’s focus on Maribor comes in response to increased fees at its hub in Ljubljana, following the airport’s takeover by Germany’s Fraport. Mr. Anžur notes that Ljubljana Airport offers a different set of services that entail higher costs.
The Slovenian national carrier will launch three weekly flights from Maribor to London Southend Airport from June 1 until September, with return fares starting at 69 euros. The planned service will mark the resumption of Adria's scheduled flights from Maribor for the first time in fifteen years. It is also the first time the airline will operate flights to Southend Airport, which is located in Essex, some sixty kilometres north-east from Central London. The carrier estimates it will carry some 10.000 passengers on the new flights and will cater not only to travellers from Maribor but also from Zagreb, Graz and others parts of Austria as well. London Southend’s Chief Commercial Officer, Roger Clements, says “We are absolutely delighted Adria Airways chose London Southend Airport above all the other London airports and we look forward to the start of a great partnership with the airline. Maribor has a wealth of things to offer travellers from Essex, London and beyond looking for everything from a weekend break to longer holidays at any time of the year. I am sure these flights will prove popular”. He adds “And there’s good news for passengers arriving here at London Southend too, as for June and July every single one of them will be offered a complimentary standard train ticket to London”. Ticket sales for the new route begin next Monday.
Maribor Airport is bullish on its future prospects. The airport, which handled only 17.568 passengers last year and is used for charter flights only, says that three to four new “low cost routes” will be launched next year. Mairbor Mayor, Andrej Fištravec, notes that Adria’s new service to London marks the beginning of the airport’s development into a hub. “Regional competitors may have a head start but they are running out of room for development, while Maribor has plenty of space”, the Mayor says. Edvard Rusjan Airport opened a new terminal in 2012 with the capacity to handle 600.000 passengers per year. Maribor – London Southend marks Adria’s sixth new route this summer with the airline to launch flights from Ljubljana to Stockholm and Berlin, Tirana to Brussels and Paris, and services from Lodz to Amsterdam as well.