Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has continued to recover following a six-month passenger downturn with figures increasing in November. Slovenia's main airport handled 99.082 travellers during the month, an increase of 5.5% compared to the same period last year. The solid growth came despite a significant decline in the number of operated flights, indicating better loads on existing services. The number of aircraft movements stood at 2.354, down 10.4%. Overall, Ljubljana Airport welcomed 1.309.496 passengers through its doors during the January - November period, which is still a decrease of 3.6%. Aircraft movements totalled 30.260, down 1.8%. The improved figures during the penultimate month of the year came as a result of Adria Airways, which has boosted frequencies on a number of routes, as well as the continued solid performance by foreign carriers.
Despite plans to handle 1.5 million passengers this year, the airport will fall short of the figure. Earlier this year it said, "Numbers will be heavily influenced by how Adria Airways' new owners manage the airline. Air traffic growth is forecast to be moderate, but stable. At the same time, changes in the traffic structure are expected to go in favour of an increased share of foreign air carriers". Meanwhile, low cost airlines have improved their passenger share at the airport this year, with Wizz Air and easyJet handling 14.2% of all travellers. This will further increase in 2017 with Transavia to launch operations from Amsterdam to the Slovenian capital.
Ljubljana Airport is expected to extend its growth into December with Adria Airways recently boosting frequencies on its Amsterdam service, while easyJet commenced four weekly operations from London Gatwick, complementing its well-established route from Stansted Airport. Since launching services to Ljubljana in 2004, easyJet has operated over 9.750 flights and handled 1.274.399 travellers to the city. Slovenian media recently reported that Ljubljana Airport is eyeing carriers such as Iberia Express, Vueling and even Ryanair but warned that talks were at an extremely early stage. Last month, Norwegian Air Shuttle told EX-YU Aviation News of its interest in the Slovenian market.