Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ljubljana Airport’s downturn continues


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has seen its passenger numbers decline for a fifth consecutive month on the back of a poorer performance by its main customer Adria Airways. Slovenia’s main airport handled 165.137 travellers in August, down 8.1% compared to the same month last year. This comes despite an increase in the number of aircraft movements, which grew 5.6% to 3.496. Overall this year, Ljubljana Airport handled 926.675 passengers, down 5.3%. At the same time, the number of flight operations stood at 21.816, a decrease of 1.9% during the same period in 2015. Ljubljana Airport will handle its one-millionth passenger for the year this September. In 2015 it managed this feat on September 2, while in 2014 it achieved the figure on September 25.

Adria Airways has proved as the main culprit for Ljubljana Airport’s poorer performance this year, with the carrier’s passenger figures declining over 12% on its flights to and from the Slovenian capital. It comes as a result of the airline’s network cuts, which have seen it discontinue several routes from Ljubljana since the start of the year. The airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, recently said, “Personally, I am worried about their [Adria’s] development. The figures are showing that it is not good. We understand that that some routes are not profitable and that they can't be maintained just because it is nice to have them in the network or because it benefits a third party. We will see how things develop. We hope that the story will end successfully although it does not look good at first glance".

The Slovenian carrier recently outlined plans to return to growth by putting a greater focus on Ljubljana as a transfer hub for passengers from the Balkans and eastern Europe towards the continent's main airports in the west. “Adria has assured us that they have an entirely new concept through which they plan to strengthen the network in a different way and now we are waiting to see whether this will come to fruition", Mr Skobir said. Adria plans to boost frequencies on several routes out of Ljubljana this coming winter season, including Amsterdam, Paris, Sarajevo, Warsaw and Zurich, but will not launch any new destinations by year's end. On the other hand, it will discontinue services to Berlin which will become a seasonal summer route. Coupled with a stronger performance by foreign carriers, Ljubljana Airport could return to growth this winter. Earlier, the airport estimated it would handle some 1.5 million passengers by the end of 2016.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN73.567 0.6
FEB77.976 7.9
MAR93.923 3.3
APR100.549 10.5
MAY116.499 9.3
JUN135.757 9.2
JUL163.267 5.0
AUG165.137 8.1

75 comments:

  1. Thank you Fraport!

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    1. That was quick.

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    2. They have done an ok job. They brought in a number of foreign carriers. Have they not done that, the decline would probably have been 20%.

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    3. I don't think this is a Fraport issue.

      The bottom line is Ljubljana has had only 3 years of growth since 2009. Their numbers are still well below 2008 level. So there is something wrong with Ljubljana as an airport, not Fraport as its manager for 2 years (and those were two years when it actually had some growth).

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    4. They brought new carriers? You mean like Aegean which is totaly useless thing for slovenian bussines? Fraport sucks big time. They are incompetent and possibly corrupted. Im pretty sure that they have some fishy deal with Adria. LJU airport realy is one of the worst thing in Slovenia.

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    5. Just this year LOT started flying and Aegean too. Turkish and Easy Jet have increased frequnecies.

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    6. The only problem they have is the proximity to several other airports. Their small market is not a number one issue as there are people from Croatia and Italy flying from Ljubljana.
      And even that, being in the catchment area of airports from 3 other countries wouldn't be such a problem if they didnt rely so much on a weak carrier. If Adria goes under then maybe we will see more low-cost in LJU. But I have a nagging suspicion that ZAG will overtake even in this area.

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    7. We already had flights to Poland, so why bringing LOT and their StarAlliance crownies? It was a big mistake selling airport to the State of Hessen and Lufthansa (10% shareholder of Fraport AG). I honestly don't know why the even bought the airport. Maybe they had too much money. Tourism is booming in SLO but the PAX are falling. Retarded.

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    8. But why cant management try some low-cost lines ? They wouldnt hurt Adria, just because Adria doesnt fly there, eg. Barcelona. It makes no sense.
      Think the management doesnt even want to hear about LCC.

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    9. @ AnonymousSeptember 14, 2016 at 9:18 AM

      That decline during the financial crisis was again caused by Adria and its restructuring.

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    10. Why can't LJU become a LCC alternative to Zagrab?

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    11. Cause it's being operated by a private company, and private companies generally cannot make money from LCC operations.

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    12. I think Ljubljana should do what Tuzla and Skopje did, invite low cost operators and make a deal, I'd invite EasyJet to start flying out with more routes at first. Riga and Vilnius prove the concept can work with domestic carrier not losing in the game.

      I think Ryan and EasyJet should be invited to set up bases @Ljubljana.

      Numbers would go up really fast 20-25% yoy for 5 years, hitting 2.5 million by 2020 would be relatively easy.

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  2. Well, if airport management is worried about Adria's business strategy then they are more than welcome to offer incentives to other airlines which could step in.

    In my opinion they should strike a deal with either Wizz Air or Ryanair so as to have a base there. Look at INI and how much it grew once their management became realistic.

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    1. +1

      I do not get why LCC are so weak at LJU. Maybe Ljubljana could have capitalised on the fact that most low costers are avoiding Zagreb.

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    2. Is it possible that the reason is that there is not a lot of Slovenans left the country in early nineies to go to Germany or Sweden? It seems to me that success in INI and TZL was largely fueled by expats who now had a cheap alternative to buses and driving long distance

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    3. True but at the same time we are not talking about a mega hub, maybe another two, three destinations to key European cities.

      Like Anon above wrote, they could attract a lot of people from Zagreb to use LJU, especially since charges have gone up at ZAG.

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    4. The only problem is that the airport is not being run to be a public service, but first and foremost for a profit. Fraport invested +200 mil euros and they didnt do that to subsidies some LCCs in order to catch up to ZAG

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  3. What's a bit concerning is that flight ops are up quite a bit while numbers are down. How did that happen?

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    1. JP's numbers are probably catastrophic while others performed ok but overall the numbers dropped.

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    2. Finnair/Turkish Airlines fly mostly with A319 and A320 (and only occasionally with A321) – I believe their numbers are not as good as last year.

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  4. If Adria goes bankrupt other airlines will just come instead. There would probably a large short term decline but things would recover.

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  5. Such a shame after really good figures last year.

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  6. Is it still possible that they reach 1.5 mill by the end of the year? Seems a bit of a stretch at this point.

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    1. It will depend on the winter but it is looking more and more unlikely. Their numbers this year are similar to 2014 when they handled 1.3 million passengers.

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  7. Which airport is that ?
    Could have sworn I heard about it

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  8. Does anyone know how Aegean did to LJU this summer? Would be nice if they kept flying during the winter.

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    1. Wondering about that too. It would also be good to see Finnair start all year flights.

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    2. I assume their numbers are OK (they always use A320, and not the mix of A319/A320, as it was said at the opening of the route).

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    3. Would be great if Aegean kept flying during the winter. Most passengers to Athens and Thessaloniki from Ljubljana are currently flying with Air Serbia via Brlgrade.

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  9. It's surprising that Lufthansa doe not fly to Ljubljana at all. Eurowings would be a good fit for LJU.

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    1. Not just Lufthansa, but also there are not Austrian (I think that is the only mid-size airport in SE Europe not to have Austrian flights), Swiss, Brussels, SAS and Eurowings!!!!!

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    2. BEG is in SE Europe and it doesn't have SK, SN or EW.

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    3. BEG has EW. But what is your point? BEG does not have BA, AF, KL... eider. So?

      Please do read my comment again. I said that OS has flights to all mid-size airports in SE Europe), not LH, SK, SN, LX or EW.

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    4. Small correction Purger, BEG doesn't really have EW. We can't take one month flight in August seriously. Especially now when JU flies daily to STR and W6 flies to Baden.

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    5. But still EW is in Belgrade, at least symbolic. In Ljubljana, not even symbolic.

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    6. I wish that would change in BEG though.

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    7. OS has codeshare with JP and cooperates closely! Furthermore, OS does not want to cannibalise it's own routes to KLU, GRZ, ZAG, VCE. Due to codeshare, absolutely no reason to fly to LJU with own metal too.

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    8. And why than they don't have same deal with Croatia?

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    9. Because Croatia is a bigger plus more important market!

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  10. There are still a number of airlines Ljubljana could try to attract like KLM, Iberia, Lufthansa, SAS, Alitalia....

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    1. For Fraport it's better to fly us (Slovenians) over Frankfurt wher they can sell us some sausages on the airport. Even flying to Rome, you have to fly over some hub.

      I believe that's why they bought LJU. To slowly kill it and turn it into a Frankfurt puppet. They are evil.

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    2. Could try. But they wont. While ZAG grows, LJU is a Adria/Fraport milk cow

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    3. JP has codeshares with most *A members on flights to their hubs. I guess that's one of the main reasons why LH, LX, OS, SN, SK don't fly to LJU. Whether this is good or not is a different debate altogether.
      They would probably step in if JP would go bust.

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    4. So is Croatia but 50% of flights are made by OS, LH + lot of flights by LX, SN and EW.

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    5. bullsh*t. FRA is also experiencing -6% decrease in pax for August.

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    6. If JP went bust, OS would immediately fill the gap with 2x daily D84 flights

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  11. This is why I don't think it is a smart idea to be bought by a company that owns airports in close proximity to yours.

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  12. LJU airport fees are quite high and the market is relatively small and in close proximity to more affordable airports. So it is not surprising why a lot of foreign carriers are avoiding LJU.

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  13. So maybe we can expect growth again in November?

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    1. Not so sure about it. Although Adria will increase frequencies on some routes this winter (mostly by adding one weekly flight), if I have been correctly informed they will also cut frequencies on others. So more of the same...

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  14. Dissapointing numbers.

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    1. LJU is doing very, very well compared to Maribor, which has no flights (nula koma Jozef)

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  15. Unfortunately I don't think Ljubljana's numbers will improve until the end of the year. Adria might add a frequency or two on some of its destinations this winter but it is cutting Berlin. Also no Aegean which is flying seasonally and no more Swiss which was flying last winter but not this one.

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  16. LJU will bounce back.

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    Replies
    1. And it will be thanks to us

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    2. And it is obvious for everyone to see what a good job you are doing so far ...

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  17. OT: Air Serbia and Montenegro Airlines put same flight price between TGD and BEG. ASL 114.22, MGX 115.22
    Before agreement ASL 99.22..MGX between 102-109EUR

    Conclusion is that their share deal is bad deal for p2p.

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    1. typical monopolist behaviour. back on the train!

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    2. Is that the lowest or the average fare? It's a bit too much for a 35 minute flight.

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    3. lowest..and we can pressume that there will be at least 500,000 passengers between BEG - TIV/TGD (cant find how many ASL had..but found that MGX had 256,000 last year to BEG)

      So someone made a good calculation to increase price by 15euros and have few millions euros more profit per year. on this route. And yes, this flight is only 35/40minutes, so some fair price should be 79eur..if we can call that fair too.

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    4. I guess now we can only dream to have price back to 99euro?

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    5. Same like with Vienna when Niki entered he market some years ago. Both Jat and Austrian reduced their fares, OS from €200 to just €66. The moment Niki quit BEG fares went back to €200+.

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    6. If 115 eur to Adriatic is too expensive consider spending next vacation somewhere else like Baden Baden, 25 eur each way. Market forces at work.

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    7. Prices will increase more to I estimate 130-140 eur over next year, particularly in high season next summer. There is just no competition.

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    8. I just looked for prices in october, and MGX is 103€, while ASL is 109€... Sae for february next year... There are many ticket sites :D

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    9. Price should be cheaper not going higher..and you can go to Baden Baden for 25. i'm talking here about people who go several times by week between these two destinations..as driving by car or train is a madness.

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  18. LJU needs more airlines. Maybe Austrian

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    1. When was last time that Austrian opened a new scheduled short haul route?? Does anyone remember?

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  19. Amazing to think that few years ago that Skopje and Pristina would be ahead of Ljubljana Airport in terms of passenger numbers...

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    1. Both also have better passenger terminals than LJU

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  20. Mozda JP sprema neko iznenadjenje kad je Fraport toliko strpljiv .
    Ako ne ne znam zasto se ne potrude oko U2 da otvore vise linija.
    INN-NS

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    Replies
    1. Pa da, U2 samo ceka poziv.

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