|Adria considering year-long flights from Maribor following successful start|
Adria Airways, which launched seasonal flights from Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport to London Southend this Monday, is satisfied with the route’s performance and will consider exteding the service throughout the winter months by the end of June. The Slovenian carrier has sold over 5.000 tickets on the route so far. The inaugural flight from Slovenia’s second largest city, operated by an Airbus A319, had 105 passengers on board. The airline plans to maintain services three times per week with a mix of A319 and Bombardier CRJ900 jets, although the latter will be more widely used. The airline has said it will be flexible with its equipment and will deploy aircraft based on demand. According to early booking figures, the average cabin load factor on each flight amounts to around 60%. Adria is satisfied with the figure seeing as ticket sales were launched only recently and that the peak of the summer season is yet to come.
The new flights, which mark Adria’s first scheduled service out of Maribor in fifteen years, have naturally generated the greatest interest among Slovenians, however, the flights have also been selling well in Croatia, Austria and the United Kingdom. Services from Maribor could particularly be of interest to travellers across the border from nearby Graz, which is less than an hour’s drive from Maribor. A decision on whether to extend the service on a year-long basis will be made by the end of the month and will be based on ongoing ticket sales. If the flights are performed during the winter as well, Adria will look at adding frequencies on the route during the 2016 summer season.
The CEO of Adria Airways, Mark Anžur, says there is still a real possibility for Maribor to become the airline’s low cost hub, with a single aircraft to be based in the city. This would lead to the launch of new routes. “Flights to Germany are being considered and we see great potential there due to Graz’s close proximity. Even Spanish holiday destinations would be of interest. In the long-term, Maribor would be very appealing to eastern markets because of its short distance from many tourist destinations that would be interesting to Russians”, Mr Anžur said. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Berlin and Barcelona are being considered for next year. Maribor Airport’s Managing Director, Marko Gros, said, “We had to start somewhere so we started with London. We are hoping for an increase in the number of routes”. Maribor Airport handled some 18.000 passengers last year, the majority of which were flown on charter flights. It estimates to handle 35.000 passengers in 2015.