|Adria to compensate Istanbul suspension with three new routes in 2016|
Adria Airways will suspend services between Ljubljana and Istanbul from January 1, 2016, the Slovenian carrier said in a statement yesterday. On the other hand, it will introduce flights from the Slovenian capital to Cologne, as well as services from Pristina to London and the previously announced Tirana - Munich route. Adria’s Istanbul service ends following strong competition from its Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines, which is maintaining daily flights between the two cities this winter season. Adria will continue to codeshare on Turkish’s service. The Turkish carrier was the third busiest airline operating out of Ljubljana in 2014 and is believed to have edged past easyJet to become the second busiest this year, operating ten weekly flights during the summer. Istnabul was Ljubljana's third busiest route last year. As a result, from the New Year, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will no longer see Adria serve Turkey’s largest city, nor will Swiss International Air Lines operate its Zurich flights, as it will suspend the service on January 3.
On the other hand, Adria will compensate for its Istanbul suspension with the introduction of three weekly flights to Cologne next summer season. “The Monday, Tuesday and Thursday departures will be suitable for both business travellers and those wishing to spend a long weekend in the famous capital of Rhineland”, Adria said. Furthermore, it will operate two weekly flights from Pristina to London, complementing existing services from the city to Frankfurt, Ljubljana and Munich, as well as seasonal routes to Malmo and Dusseldorf. The airline is yet to put tickets on sale for the two new services. From Tirana, Adria will introduce four weekly flights to Munich, which have been scheduled and put on sale through the airline’s website.
Adria says it is continuing to expand in the Balkans with its two new routes from Pristina and Tirana and will “continue to support and facilitate travel in this part of Europe”, The Slovenian carrier positioned itself as the second busiest airline in Kosovo last year with some 180.000 passengers handled on its flights to and from Pristina. Adria benefited from the demise of Belle Air Europe in late 2013 and saw its passenger numbers grow over 20% in Kosovo last year. In 2014, the airline’s CEO, Mark Anžur, said, “The Slovenian market is small and is not growing. We now receive 70% of our revenue outside of our main market”. Earlier this week, the Slovenian Minister for Transport, Peter Gašperšič, said the carrier was eyeing entry into the Hungarian market in 2016.