Adria Airways is in talks with Lviv and Vinnytsia airports in Ukraine over possible flights next year, Ukrainian media have reported. It comes days after the airline confirmed it was considering introducing services to the country. The Slovenian carrier is studying the possibility of linking Ljubljana with the two cities, as well as a “smaller city in Poland”. Adria currently maintains operations from both Lodz and Rzeszow in Poland, while services from Olsztyn will be discontinued by the end of the month. The airline last operated to Ukraine five years ago when it ran two weekly seasonal flights from Ljubljana to the capital Kiev.
Lviv is Ukraine’s seventh largest city and the largest in western Ukraine. It is located some seventy kilometres from the Polish border. Austrian, LOT and Turkish Airlines are some of the better known carriers which serve the city. Lviv has a notable Polish minority. On the other hand, Vinnytsia is also located in western Ukraine, although further inland from Lviv and is the country’s thirteenth largest city. Its small airport primarily caters for charter flights from Turkey and Israel, while Ukraine International Airlines is the only carrier to maintain scheduled year-round services with flights to Istanbul and Tel Aviv.
In an outline of its future growth strategy published last month, Adria Airways noted, “The airline will increase scheduled services by expanding its network, which will include the development of secondary airports, as well as growth in charter traffic and ad hoc charter services”. Furthermore, last week, the carrier’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Hoess, said, “Ukraine has potential. We are now in negotiations with Ukrainian airports and are exchanging ideas. I cannot go into detail at this moment but we are discussing a direct service between Ljubljana and Ukraine”. Adria is also believed to be looking into possible new services to the Middle East as it works on developing Ljubljana as a transfer hub for passengers heading between east and west.