Sunday, January 8, 2017

Maribor Airport to develop under new owners


The new owners of Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, the 60% Dutch and 40% Canadian-owned SHS Aviation, who last year became part-owners of Belgium's VLM Airlines (though subsidiary SHS Antwerp Aviation), following the carrier's bankruptcy, could move the company to the Slovenian city in order for it to restart operations, the daily "Večer" reports. SHS recently registered VLM Airlines Slovenia, with two of its board members, Siu Yin Pang and Yeung Gillian Yuen, also serving as directors of SHS Aviation Slovenia. Mr Yin Pang is expected to become the General Manager of Maribor Airport in the near future. VLM Airlines still owns seven Fokker 50 aircraft, which could be moved to Maribor. Furthermore, VLM is now seeking a new Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) in order to restart operations. No decision has been made yet on the name of the future airline. Either VLM will be retained or another name will be selected. However, SHS has denied claims that VLM's Fokkers will be moved to Maribor and notes that the tubroprops will continue to operate from Antwerp Airport. On the other hand, SHS Aviation Slovenia will develop airport activities, it added.

The Belgian regional carrier was previously based in Antwerp and operated flights to Germany and the United Kingdom. The new owners intend to purchase suitable aircraft in order for the airline to link Europe with secondary cities in China. "We would be delighted for Maribor to be connected with some cities in China and for both passenger and cargo traffic to be developed", the Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, said recently. VLM ceased operations and declared bankruptcy last year after accumulating six million euros in debt. The Mayor of Maribor, Andrej Fištravec, has hinted at the possibility that the new owners of Maribor Airport would establish an airline as well. "As far as I know, the investor has much bigger plans in mind than just the airport", Mr Fištravec said.

SHS purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros last month. The actual purchase price amounted to ten million euros, however, the remaining three million is being held in a neutral account and will be deposited when and if SHS, through its newly acquired operator, secures a fifteen-year lease of Maribor Airport's infrastructure from the Slovenian government. A public call for bids for the lease of infrastructure has been published by the government and will run until the end of January. Edvard Rusjan Airport handled some 11.000 travellers last year, which is down almost 50% on 2015. In its heyday in the early 1990s, it welcomed some 85.000 passengers per year. The airport attributed the slump in 2016 to the refugee crisis, terrorist threats, Adria Airways' decision not to resume seasonal services to London Southend Airport and the cancellation of Express Airways' planned service to Dusseldorf.

49 comments:

  1. Odd but very interesting. I wish Maribor the best of luck with the new owners.

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  2. I feel the only way Maribor could sustain passengers is if they attracted a large low cost airline to start flights there. Either Ryanair or Wizz Air.

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    1. Well they had Ryanair for a short period.

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    2. Specialy for Spain.

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    3. You are right :)

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    4. MBX is perfect for Ryan, not sure why they left. They could cover 1.5m+ people within 2hr drive: Maribor,Celje,Ljubljana,Graz,Zagreb .

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    5. You are apsolutely right.

      Haplek

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    6. Ryanair will come when the airport/city/region/someone like that will cough up some cash. How many times must we tell you that?

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  3. This could be a good opportunity for MBX. Hope for the best. They have one of the best unused terminals.

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  4. Who on earth is going to fly between Maribor and China

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    1. Chinese tourists?

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    2. In that case any European village airport could be linked with China.

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    3. if there will be a good connection with a better price as in neighourhood airports... why not!

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  5. Capacity wise, F50 is a very good aircraft to start flights out of Maribor to several European cities.

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    1. I think a Dornier 228 would be more suitable to cater for the demand of MBX! An F50 is right for P2P routes out of LJU to be honest!

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    2. F50 is too small for p2p routes from LJU. Maybe ok for winter. It is ok for MBX in my opinion.

      Haplek

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  6. Finally some good news about Maribor airport! Wish them all the best!

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    1. LMFAO!! You can't be serious - Maribor as a long haul hub for Chinese secondary cities- sorry to ask but do you believe in Santa Claus?

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    2. I was actually talking about development of the airport in general, things moving, etc. No need to be angry, sweety ;)

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    3. And what is wrong with idea to bring long haul pax from secondary Chinese cities to a totally empty and free, maybe even cheapest airport and then ferry them in one hour flights to final destinations in EU?

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    4. MBX's passenger tax is 15 EUR. Hardly the cheapest around with W6/FR flying to airports that charge 3 EUR/pax (i.e. 1/5 of what MBX is charging).

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    5. its funny how armchair posters who have no real connection with the airport or the airline speculate on what will or will not work, I am confident the plan for the airport will be a huge success with a development of the area, it will also provide jobs and security for the local region

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  7. Let's hope this is Maribor's year :)

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  8. lol I'm sure the refugee crisis had an impact on Mairbor Airport's passenger numbers. Have they no shame? The reason they failed in 2016 is because they couldn't attract a single airline and made a deal with the questionable Express Airways who are similar to the famous Sea Air.

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  9. Good luck to Maribor. An airport with such a nice terminal deserves some action.

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    1. MBX is the most underrated airport in EX-YU.

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    2. I strongly agree. But I believe that the management is to blame.

      Haplek

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    3. Ni aerodrom Kraljevacke Morave u centru Srbije ne zaostaje po lepoti. Ali zaostaje po volji ljudi koji donose odluke. Jednog dana u buducnosti,nada ce prestati. Sa Morave ce se poceti da se leti. Sto se i sa Edvarda Rusijana cini...
      Rod.
      Kraljevo

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  10. It is in the interest of the new owners to develop the airport. I'm sure we will be having a lot more news from Maribor this year.

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    1. Hope on good news tho. I am not so optimistic about these new owners.

      Haplek

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  11. Svakako je dobro za MBX da dobije letove i sto ce im dobro doci za rast putnika.
    A kad vec nece JP dobar je i VG za MBX da poveca broj putnika.
    INN-NS

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  12. Excellent news Maribor! I really hope the new owners take it into a new direction.

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  13. Honestly, I just hope that this is not another ExYu fairytale

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  14. There is also talk that the reason Chinese bought it, is because the interest of Magna Steyr building car factory right next to it. Thus Magna will use MBX for transporting parts and cars.

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  15. OT: Why are there two JP flights to SVO today less than 10 min apart? Flight JP914 with A319 and JP922 with CRJ9.

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    1. Orthodox Christmas with Russian Tourists
      In the good years they had up to 3 flights

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    2. Ohh.. thanks!

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    3. Russian usually come for Christmas holidays to Slovenia..

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  16. Isnt that a sensitive issue that airport and airline are the same owner?

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  17. Has anyone noticed that OS has downgraded BEG to Dash 8 for all 3 daily flights during summer season. A few years ago we had almost 4 daily flights with a mix of Fokker 70/100 and Airbus 320 family. I always chose OS instead of JU only because they flew with jet aircraft which I find more comfortable and faster. In the past I usually travelled with either A319/320 or Fokker 100.

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    1. Faster, how faster on such a short segment?

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    2. 20 mins means a lot when you have an important business meeting to attend.

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    3. Yeah, sure, or you could use those to do extra work and preparation in-flight.

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    4. ATR is more noisy than say A319, so hard to concentrate ;)

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    5. All planes are quite noisy.
      There is no glider or zeppelin in the offer :)
      I use headphones. Always.
      Btw. the most annoying thing are neither turboprop or jet, but loud passengers. Not so much kids. More boasting loud adults.

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    6. I also dont like turbo props, especially when there is thunderstorms. Most of them fly on 6 to 7000 metres, on that flight level Thunderstorms can exist where u hardly hve any at FL330 or higher

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    7. OS downgraded BEG while LH upgraded its MUC-BEG flights, maybe it has to do with LH Group shifting passengers towards Bavaria?

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