|Adria sees double digit passenger growth as capital injection decision looms|
Adria Airways has recorded double digit passenger growth during the first ten months of the year. During the January - September period, the Slovenian carrier welcomed 1.090.034 passengers on board its aircraft, an increase of 13.4% compared to the same period last year. Of those, 904.731 travellers were carried on scheduled services, up 15.1%, while the remaining 185.303 were handled on charter flights, representing an increase of 5.7% compared to last year. The growth was fuelled by the launch of new routes from Ljubljana and the development of the carrier's bases outside of Slovenia. The airline's average cabin load factor stood at 69%, which is down 2% on the same period in 2014. Adria says the decline comes due to the utilisation of larger aircraft.
The Slovenian carrier is satisfied with its performance on all of its routes with exception to Moscow, where it saw a sharp decline in passenger figures as a result of a volatile rouble and western-imposed sanctions on the country. On the financial front, the airline says it cannot foresee whether the company will turn a profit by year's end. In 2014, Adria handled 1.113 million passenger and managed a net profit of 921.000 euros. It has been pointed out that profitability was achieved thanks in part due to the sale and leaseback agreements made on its aircraft. Otherwise, it is believed, the airline would have ended last year in the red.
On November 23, Adria's shareholders will meet to vote on an eight million euro capital injection. This has raised prospects that a potential buyer will participate in the capital hike. According to the daily "Večer", if a single investor takes part and offers the eight million euro sum, they could be granted up to a 69% share in Adria. The Slovenian carrier is in the midst of a privatisation process with the government offering a 91.58% stake in the airline. A public call for the expression of interest was published in July, while binding bids were submitted by the end of September. The state is believed to have received several offers, while three companies are said to be interested in participating in Adria's capital injection, in order to secure the airline's liquidity over the slow winter months.