Adria Airways has seen its passenger numbers decline during the first five months of the year. The Slovenian carrier handled 381.300 passengers during the January - May period, a decrease of 8.8% compared to last year. The Slovenian carrier attributed 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. Furthermore, its figures were impacted by the suspension of a number of services to the Belgian capital in the wake of the Brussels bombings. Adria also discontinued services from Ljubljana to Istanbul and Stockholm, as well as from Tirana to Brussels and Paris earlier this year. On the other hand, it has introduced flights from the Polish cities of Lodz and Rzeszow to Paris, as well as from Olsztyn to Munich, with a new seasonal service from Pristina to London to be launched today.
The Slovenian carrier is in the midst of a restructuring process, following its recent acquisition by German turnaround fund 4K Invest, through its subsidiary AA International Aviation Holding. The new owners plan to swing the airline back into profitability. As a result, services to Berlin will be discontinued at the end of the season, in late October, and turned into a seasonal summer only route. Furthermore, the number of employees will be reduced. There have been some layoffs and replacements already, although no large-scale redundancies are planned. The new owners have not given a timeframe as to when the carrier would turn profitable. Last year's financial results are expected to be published during the first half of July, with the airline tipped to post a loss of several million euros.
In the coming period, Adria is set to focus on improving its passenger services. Late last year it introduced in-flight entertainment on board its aircraft and last week rolled out a new fare structure, allowing travellers with hand baggage only to book fares at a discounted rate. The carrier plans to conclude codeshare agreements with Sky Team-members Air France and KLM, on its services to Paris and Amsterdam. Adria recently leased a Bombardier CRJ900ER aircraft and is operating a number of flights on behalf of Austrian Airlines and Air Serbia this summer season. Furthermore, it has continued its cooperation with the Estonian national carrier Nordica, which uses Adria's 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.