|Adria looking to expand outside of Slovenia|
Adria Airways is considering expanding operations from its base in the Polish city of Lodz, as the airline looks to grow outside of Slovenia. Adria currently offers eighteen weekly flights out of the central Polish city, with twelve weekly services to Munich and a further six weekly flights to Amsterdam. In late March, the airline based a 70-seat Bombardier CRJ 700 aircraft in the city and employed local pilots and crew members. “We are very pleased with the performance of Adria’s new routes, especially with Munich”, Lodz Airport's spokeswoman, Ewa Bienkowska, says. Paris is among the new services being considered, according to sources close to the airport.
The CEO of Adria Airways, Mark Anžur, previously noted that the Slovenian carrier will put a greater emphasis on its operations in Poland in the coming period. “The question is, what are the chances for further expansion out of Ljubljana. We should not rush from Ljubljana, I think Lodz has much greater potential at the moment”, Mr Anžur said. He added, “Strategically we want to be a European carrier and not only a Slovenian carrier. We are embracing internationalisation. There are many reasons for this. One of them being that the Slovenian market is very limited. Through this segment of our strategy, we expect a 5% increase in our passenger numbers”.
Apart from Lodz, Adria also boasts a base in Pristina. Furthermore, the carrier has announced plans to station an aircraft in the Albanian capital Tirana next year. “We have a 5% market share in Tirana and we are the third busiest carrier. Albania is fast growing and traffic is mainly focused on Italy. On the other hand, there is also strong growth in traffic between Albania and Germany”, the CEO said. He added, “Next year we plan to base an aircraft in Tirana and have three daily flights to a number of destinations. We are considering at least two new routes. Italy is a very real possibility”. In addition, later this summer, Adria will make a decision on whether to push forward with plans to open a low cost base closer to home, in the Slovenian city of Maribor. Adria, which posted its first annual profit in 2014 following seven consecutive losses, plans to increase its passenger numbers by 20% this year and improve its revenue by 15%. At the same time, the Slovenian government is seeking to sell a 91.6% stake in the carrier.