|Adria Airways records strong passenger growth in 2015|
Adria Airways carried 1.045.442 passengers on scheduled flights in 2015, representing an increase of 14% compared to the year before, the company said in a statement. It operated a total of 17.931 flights, up 8.3% year-on-year. However, the average cabin load factor declined from 70.5% in 2014 to 68% last year. The carrier says it used larger aircraft in a bid to cut costs, which resulted in the two point decline in occupancy. Adria hasn't published its financial results, although it is believed to have recorded a net loss of five million euros. Due to the ongoing economic slump in Russia, the airline saw revenue drop by 75% on its Moscow service over the past two years. Adria also experienced problems with its Zurich flights after Swiss International Air Lines launched services to the Slovenian capital. However, Swiss suspended its Ljubljana flights this January, with the Slovenian carrier retaining a monopoly on the route.
Adria Airways plans to handle 1.128.000 passengers this year on 18.000 flights. While the airline suspended services from Ljubljana to Istanbul last month, it will launch flights from the Slovenian capital to Cologne, from Pristina to London Luton, from Tirana to Munich and from Olsztyn in Poland to the Bavarian capital this summer. In addition to charters from Ljubljana to Greece, Turkey and Egypt, the Slovenian carrier will also launch leisure flights from Klagenfurt and Graz in Austria to Kefalonia and Kavala in Greece, between June and September. A total of 209 scheduled flights per week are planned to operate this summer season, of which 161 will originate from Ljubljana.
The Slovenian carrier is awaiting the completion of its privatisation process. The German turnaround fund, 4K Invest, which is expected to become Adria's majority shareholder by the end of April, plans to optimise the carrier and reduce the airline's costs per passenger, while maintaining the airline's hybrid business model, Star Alliance membership and its focus on the Slovenian, Albanian and Kosovo markets. 4K Invest signed a contract for the purchase of a 91.58% stake in Adria at a price of 100.000 euros. The new shares will be distributed by April 20, after which the German fund is to complete the acquisition pending regulatory approval and the implementation of a series of suspensory conditions. In addition, the fund will provide a one million euro cash injection.