Adria Airways has posted improved numbers during the first quarter, with the Slovenian carrier handling 198.084 passengers over the three-month period, an increase 6.81% on 2015. The figure was achieved despite the cancellation of its Ljubljana - Istanbul service in January. Passenger numbers on charter services fell 33% to 12.205, the airline said. It attributes the weaker figures to the suspension of its charter flights to Egypt following last year's downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai province, in an apparent terrorist attack. On the financial front, the carrier said that low fuel prices and a stronger dollar had a positive impact on its performance, although no further data has been released. Adria's management has also refused to comment on its 2015 annual results, which are yet to be published. It is believed the airline recorded a net loss of some five million euros. Adria's 2014 annual results were made public in September 2015.
In March, Adria was acquired AA International Aviation Holding, an affiliate of the German turnaround fund 4K Invest. The holding acquired a 96.1% stake in Adria from state-run shareholders in line with an agreement which also envisaged a capital injection of 4.1 million euros. The new German owner recently published a takeover bid to acquire all of the outstanding shares at fifteen cents apiece. This values the 3.9% stake at less than 45.000 euros. Jan Palmer, who advises 4K Invest and urged the Estonian government to ink a commercial alliance with Adria over Nordica's operations late last year, says, "Adria has a very long history but it must become cost-effective now. Dare I say that Estonian Air was operating much more efficiently in its last months of operations than Adria is today. The investors [4K Invest] want to make changes at Adria and move forward quickly". Mr Palmer is also an advisor to Nordica.
The new management at the Slovenian carrier has made a number of changes over the past two months. In addition to suspending flights from Ljubljana to Stockholm and planned services to Cologne, it has also discontinued flights from Tirana to Brussels and Paris. On the other hand, the airline will launch flights from Lodz and Rzeszow in Poland to Paris next month, as well as from Olsztyn to Munich. It recently leased a Bombardier CRJ900ER aircraft and will operate a number of flights on behalf of Austrian Airlines and Air Serbia this summer season. Adria has also continued its cooperation with Nordica, which uses its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). According to an agreement between the two sides, the cooperation is set to last until the end of 2017, however, Nordica has said the deal is likely to be extended and deepened.