The CEO of Adria Airways, Arno Schuster, has said he does not see the airline operating as a low cost carrier in the future. This is despite the company currently utilising a hybrid business model, where passengers have to pay extra for a number of additional services. Speaking at the recent Star Alliance meeting in Ljubljana, hosted by the Slovenian carrier, Mr Schuster said, "We invest a lot in order to meet the needs of our passengers and want to offer the best possible fares to all our travellers. The future of Adria is not in the low cost model, since we are members of Star Alliance, which has high standards. The alliance enables Adria to improve its connectivity, lower its prices and gain more visibility".
Adria's former management began the carrier's transition into a hybrid/low cost airline in 2014 by charging economy class passengers for food and beverages. This was followed with the introduction of low cost car park options at Ljubljana Airport, as well as a new approach to online sales including first-minute and last-minute fares. Most recently, the airline introduced "hand-baggage only" fares, charging passengers fifteen euros per every checked-in item with the aim of reducing ticket prices. However, Adria has also relaxed some of its policies over the past few months and no longer charges economy class passengers for water and has rolled out a free of charge in-flight entertainment platform which can be streamed to passengers' laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other hand-held devices.
The airline says its current business model is based on industry research showing that passengers prioritise pricing and scheduling over amenities. Adria's former CEO, Mark Anžur, who oversaw the introduction of the hybrid concept, previously said, "With the option to purchase on board, we do not earn much. However, we significantly reduce the need to stock our aircraft with supplies. As a result, we achieve substantial savings. Using this approach we are shifting towards other low cost airlines. When a low cost airline lands at an airport it does not have many expenses, only the bare essentials, which is fuel". He added, "Analysis of our competitors, as well as trends among regional carriers, to which Adria belongs to, indicate that the passenger value safe, fast and competitively priced transport to their final destination the most".