Friday, March 3, 2017

VLM Slovenia to launch eleven routes from Maribor


The new operators of Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, the 60% Dutch and 40% Canadian-owned SHS Aviation, have announced the launch of a new Slovenian carrier which has plans to overtake Adria Airways as the country's main airline. Outlining the company's plans, the head of SHS Aviation announced yesterday that the new carrier will commence operations this summer and is in the process of acquiring six Airbus A320 and fifteen Airbus A330 aircraft, all of which will be registered in Slovenia. Their arrival is expected from June onwards. The company intends to commence eleven routes out of Maribor this year, including Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split and Zurich in Europe, as well as Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang in China. The Mayor of Maribor, Andrej Fištravec, said Slovenia's second largest city will become a global player and specialist for Asian travellers.


SHS Aviation has two subsidiaries. One is SHS Antwerp Aviation (registered in Belgium), which bought VLM Airlines that went into bankruptcy last June. SHS Antwerp Aviation is based in Antwerp and will remain in the city with seven Fokker 50 aircraft. SHS Aviation Slovenia (registered in Slovenia) will develop airport activities in Maribor. The company recently registered VLM Airlines Slovenia. According to the head of SHS Aviation, Pang Siu Yin, the new operators of Maribor Airport will invest at least 300 million euros into the city, which will include the construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport and the lengthening of the runway. SHS foresees Maribor Airport handling 1.54 million passengers and 82.000 tonnes of cargo by 2022. This number is expected to grow to two million passengers and 160.000 tonnes of cargo by 2028. According to Mr Pang, the new airline expects for an Air Operator's Certificate to be issued by Slovenian authorities swiftly.


Some 139 million euros will be invested into the airport, including the development of long haul flights, over the next five years. Mayor Fištravec noted, "We have been working together for more than two years and we have reached several agreements on co-financing flights to Chinese cities, while building up a fleet that will be larger than that of our national carrier". In time, the airline plans to introduce services to India and Iran as well. The Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure, Peter Gašperšič, said, "The plans are very ambitions and I am certain they will be mostly realised. This is an important day for the airport's development. With its location, Edvard Rusjan Airport undoubtedly has the potential to become an important logistical hub and the arrival of important investors such as the Austrian automotive giant Magna, which will be in close proximity, will surely contribute to this". SHS purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros last December. The operator yesterday won a fifteen year lease of Maribor Airport's infrastructure. It came at a cost of 95.000 euros per month (VAT excluded) with the option of a five-year extension. Maribor Airport handled some 11.000 passengers last year but has no scheduled flights.

A full presentation of the company's plans can be found here.

141 comments:

  1. Would like to see it happen in reality...

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  2. Replies
    1. No doubt about that!

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  3. wow is this for real?! Very interesting if it happens.

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  4. Replies
    1. Let's hope this is Maribor's year :)

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  5. There was an article on another blog about this, the owner of SHS is a bit...shady
    Not just regarding VLM

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    1. Well they do seem to have the support of the government here which is interesting.

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    2. Yes the involvement of the mayor and the Slovenian government does give me more confidence. Like it says in the article they have been planning for this for 2 years. Here's hope.

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  6. Didn't see this coming. How will they finance all of this. If this happens Maribor Airport would overtake Ljubljana!

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  7. Good news for Podgorica, Split and Belgrade too if this happens :D

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  8. Considering it's Chinese capital (Dutch and Canadian is just for show), they might actually make sense in relation to the Chinese connection. Let's see it get an AOC and take off first though.

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  9. With that fleet it would make them the biggest airline in ex-Yu not just Slovenia.

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  10. This is absolutely crazy, but it would be fantastic if it happened.

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  11. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 3, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Maybe they can joint together with Sea Air, dalmatian.hr and Express Airways. Also so successful companies with huge planes! To form joint venture to destroy Lufthansa, Air France and British in just one year.

    Just 15 long-haul planes? One can see they are so modest. But than reality can be seen in plan to fly ancient F50!

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    1. haha gave me a good laugh :D

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    2. Ne namjeravaju letjeti sa ičim
      SHS nije dobio AOC, a od 7 F50 jedan je sigurno kanibaliziran

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    3. Pity they did not announce this a couple of weeks earlier. They would have definitely won the 1st prize in the Ludicrous Projects section of Purger's article published on T6 :)

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    4. U forgot Air Croatia :-))

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 3, 2017 at 10:39 AM

      No, I did not. They were not on their level, as their plan was just to start with one regional plane and to build it to 2 planes in 2 years.

      So, Air Croatia was much to small company for those visionary mags.

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  12. Ambitious? VLM couldn't make it work in in Belgium but I guess they have a strategic business plan to make Maribor work. I'm somewhat surprised that long haul routes to Abidjan were included

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  13. If those aircraft do actually come I don't think all would be used from Maribor. Because I remember reading somewhere that they plan to develop a major base in Antwerp as well. The issue in Belgium is that they haven't received an AOC like they planned. But they can still fly from there with a Slovenian AOC.

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  14. Let's hope this doesn't end up like that airline with Indian capital that was supposed to start flights from Maribor.

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    1. This seems a bit more serious.

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    2. That airline was called Golden Air :D i think they did fly for 5 days.

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  15. Well I was expecting a lot of negative comments which I see I was right about. Give it a chance. There will be no money lost even if it doesn't work out. SHS is paying a fee to use the airport like it says. Their plans are ambitious but like the Infrastructure Minister said even if a part of it is realised it will be a major and important change for Maribor Airport, which has been overlooked.

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  16. With expected economic development in the area (incl. the Magna plant), this might have the potential to work. VLM, just make it happen, and save those of us from the region who regularly fly to Spain from having to travel in a minibus to Venice or Vienna.

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  17. brand recognition, sales distribution, marketing, tour operators etc. etc. is all they lack and will be lacking to be able to start something like this by S17. you need a confidence of pax, and not just some extra cash. whoever is going to supply cash is doubtedly so naive as to believe in this unrealistic story. many more serious airlines can't come even closer to realizing this, let alone this one. Too many strong airports in the near vicinity for this to be able to work...

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  18. Usually whenever it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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

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  20. Is this from The Onion http://www.theonion.com/ or the Borowitz report http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report ?

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  21. I'm not a big fan of fairytales and this looks like one. I can only imagine how much money the city has given for "co-financing" flights to China. Better that they invested that money and given it to Ryanair or Wizz air to fly to Maribor.

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    1. Whatever happens Maribor Airport's fate is sealed for the next 15 years. These guys will never allow any LCC or any other airline for that matter to fly to MXB.

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    2. 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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  22. The interesting thing that while this all sounds unbelievable it is on a high level. Their press conference yesterday was packed. The Minister for Infrastructure was there, so was the mayor and the CEO of SHS Aviation.

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    1. It could have been attended by St. Peter in person for all we care. Come on people, 15 A330s based in Maribor?? That is not even a fairy tale - that is an insult to one's intelligence.

      In the best case scenario these guys will stop flying after a couple of weeks due to disastrous loads. In the worst case scenario someone will take a lot of money in advance and then disappear.

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    2. Well these 15 A330s won't arrive in the same day. They will be arriving in the next couple of years and like someone said many of these aircraft are destined for their Belgian operations.

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    3. Not a SINGLE long haul destination can work from Maribor. It is a damn known fact - and yet they announced 3 routes to China!

      And I would give 50 euro to see their business plan on filling an A320 to BEG, TGD and SPU. Maybe if the city of Maribor buys 50% of available seats and gives them away in a lottery or something.

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    4. Maybe they use the Fokker on these intra-Europe flights :D

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    5. F50 is a very good aircraft to start flights out of Maribor to several European cities actually. Anything else would be absurd.

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    6. So why non of Western companies flies with those F50. There is some 50-60 F50 still flying in Africa and other 3rd world countries.

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

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

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  25. This is just bizarre

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

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  27. Honestly, I just hope that this is not another fairytale which we have become accustomed to in this region from many "investors".

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  28. So much negativity in the comments today...

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    1. People in the comments here are negative no matter the news. Even the best news is met with criticism, failure scenarios etc.

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    2. You'll get over it. Negativity? No just responses to a ridulous business concept that deserves a little negative innuendo. Have a good weekend

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    3. It is true that people in exYU prefer hate over optimism, however from time to time come certain things that really deserve nothing but despise. For example, various scam operations such as this SHS thing. "Come on people, have some hope" may apply on real airlines with real aircraft - but this is scam and should be treated as such.

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  29. I can't believe it! I burst out laughing!

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  30. Just looked over their presentation and yeah... this looks pretty unrealistic. A list of nice dreams.

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  31. People of MB are used of this kind of BS. They were pranked many times in the last years but this one is the best prank so far. And the mayor... what a joke. The thing he said... it's a financial prank done together with the shady sloveninan union bank.

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  32. SHS is an interesting name for an airline. Does it stand for Kingdom of Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca?

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    1. Probably ��

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    2. Suggested logo
      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/58/Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kingdom_of_Yugoslavia.svg/400px-Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kingdom_of_Yugoslavia.svg.png

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    3. No, it actually represents older emtity - Država Slovencev, Hrvatov in Srbov ... ;)

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  33. Is it normal that the airport operator also owns the main airline at the airport?

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    1. And how is this case different from BEG, ZAG or LJU (2 years ago)?

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  34. Replies
    1. Sure, with 15 A330 SHS can fly 4 times a day from Maribor to each of the three destinations in China. For example flights could depart at 7AM, 11AM, 3PM and 6PM. Almost like LHR-JFK shuttle service.

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    2. But can such secondary cities in China handle so many flights?

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    3. They are expanding their terminals to handle all the demand for travel to Maribor!

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  35. I would be satisfied if only 5% of their plan materializes...

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  36. Odavno se nisam ovako ismejao citajuci tekst

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  37. Magna will use MBX for transporting parts and cars. It's all related to this so there is a bigger picture.

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    1. Parts. Sure. Maybe. Cars? That's not cargoed through planes, but ships and trains.

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    2. Good thing that railroad LJU-MB goes right next to Magna complex. Which is right next to MBX.

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    3. Even parts is the stretch. Maybe just some small light stuff. Car manufacturing is high volume low margin business. Air transport is too expensive for that

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  38. "...Slovenia's second largest city will become a global player and specialist for Asian travellers."

    I thought this kind of "business venture" is only possible east from Slovenia.
    Guess I was wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Don't be so close minded.

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    2. Don't be do gullible.

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  39. OT

    SPU in February:

    2016: 23.830
    2017: 23.932

    So yet another airport with absolutely no growth. January was fantastic, extra 5.000 passengers.

    SPU so far: 54.355 passengers

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    Replies
    1. So you were actually expecting growth from a very seasonal airport?

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    2. Yes because there are more and more efforts to make the coast a year-round destination.

      Just look at DBV's efforts to secure additional flights in winter.

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    3. SPU is still sleeping in that regard, just DBV is active there with medium success

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  40. What's wrong with bringing tourists from secondary Chinese cities to an empty and freeairport and then ferry them in one hour to their final destinations in EU?

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    1. What is wrong? The fact that it doesn't work like that anywhere in the world - and Maribor will damn sure not be the first successful example.

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    2. Not only that, but regulatory bodies of China have to approve those flights. Let's see who will get approval for flights from China this summer. So far we have following options:

      Beijing Capital Airlines: Beijing-Zagreb

      Air China: Beijing-Belgrade

      Hainan:Shanghai-Belgrade

      SHS: Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang-Maribor

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    3. Because Chinese Tourists have better things to do on their holidays then get bussed around. They're not the Ryanair kind on travellers

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  41. You can see the company is serious, when they use the term aircraftS.

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  42. OT

    Croatia Airlines, 4 new destinations now in system.

    ZAG-ARN: 1,3,5 let OU 484, Launch: 19.05. (Air Nostrum)
    ZAG-OSL: 4,7 let OU 488 , Launch: 25.05. (Air Nostrum)
    ZAG-HEL: 2,4,7 let OU3386, Launch: 21.05. (Air Nostrum)
    ZAG-OTP: 1,3,5 let OU316, Launch:19.05. (Dash 8)

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    1. OTP
      08.30-11.30
      12.10-13.15

      ARN
      14.55-17.25
      18.10-20.45

      HEL
      08.45-12.20
      13.00-14.45

      OSL
      15.30-18.00
      18.50-21.35

      OTP will be seasonal and with this schedule JU will live to see another day in Zagreb.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 3, 2017 at 1:20 PM

      And it is like I said. Air Nostrum CRJ-1000, OPT, ARN, HEL, OSL. 100% true information.

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    3. Alen, will it be a totally white aircraft? Who will operate the aircraft?

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    4. Joj, Alene, pa niste bili jedini koji ste to znali.

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    5. nije, ali su ga mnogi ismijavali da priča gluposti i bajke...

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    6. Aha, da, to je istina.

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    7. a sta ste hteli reci sa "JU will live to see another day in Zagreb"? (imamo svi problemi s englskim)

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    8. Well people claimed OU will kill JU' transfer passengers from ZAG to OTP

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    9. Why would anybody care about the operating carrier here? Why is that so interesting? I mean, if there was significant distinction in products, I would get the point for exclusivity and 'wow' effect. Why would that information be that important anyway? Cause of the fact A/C are leased all the time as it is perfectly normal, especially during high season or due to some other fact? Am not mean or sarcastic, but fail to see some actual significance here?

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    10. I sincerely doubt that JU in ZAG actually lives on OTP pax to the level to be THAT affected.

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    11. They should have better promo fares, €150 is not that cheap.

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    12. ^ it's not expensive tho.

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    13. Promo should have been like €90.

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  43. As there is also said something about Canadian funding i would like to mention that Magna is owned by Canadians.

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    1. MAGNA is actually multinational, publicly traded company based out of Aurora which is just north-west of Toronto. It's owned by a lot of people wirld wide but the founder and controlling shareholder is Frank Stronach (owns about 4% of the company but majority of so called class A voting shares). He is actually Austrian who came to Canada in fifties and built MAGNA into what it is. Lately is much more active in Austria even politically.

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    2. Thanks for the history lesson.

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  44. OT

    Dubrovnik in February

    2016: 22.615
    2017: 22.813

    So far 42.142 passengers.

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  45. the only thing which is going to be realised from those plans is going to be - plane scraping. They will melt them down for Magna LOL

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    Replies
    1. Ahaha oh god ahaha... you need to try the open mic....

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  46. OT:
    What happened with ASL A/C names?
    After 3.5 years only 5 out of 17(B737 excluded) have names.

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    1. Well jU can't find anyone else who is willing to pay to have his name put on an aircraft.

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    2. Yeah, I'm sure that Nikola Tesla paid A LOT so the A330 could be named after him.

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    3. Nikola Tesla was the exception, Djokovic, Divac and Stankovic did pay. I don't know about the others but Divac gave €1 million.

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    4. And what about Miki Manojlović?

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    5. Are they going to get money back when they return / scrap the respective planes?

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    6. Nobody paid a single € for naming rights, that anon is just trolling.

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  47. Really ??!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! You made my day oh gosh this is going to be a travesty!!!!!

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  48. They should have considered Banja Luka airport as well...

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  49. They will need to sink in at least a billion euros to come close realising this but if true I'm guessing the planned A330's could mostly be freighters??

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  50. Amateurs living in a dream world or money laundering. I don't know which one is worse. As for the major: he is definitely the former, the awakening will be rude.

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  51. I see and am very disturbed that there are actually people who believe any of that utter super extreme nonsensical bullcrap! Incredible!

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  52. Nothing but a scam to get public money.

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    Replies
    1. true dat for last three anons. ;-)

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  53. A Mr. Pang is well known in Germany, at Parchim Airport... Big plans, no results....

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  54. Okay, wish them all the best, but 6 A320 and 15 A330? And long haul routes from Maribor? WTF? Who will fly on that? Chinese tourists to Maribor? Are you kidding me?

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  55. Guys, I would really like to know, due to general negativity and professional assesment in all these comments - how many of you have actually started and succeded in real business, be it aviation or not, not just being experts and critics here? And all of you, who are thinking, MBX is too small and too poor to fill all those aircraft, you should maybe consider is the other way around - maybe they have bought MBX to have one of few only left open EU windows to transfer Chinese tourists via MBX to all EU interesting destinations? And not getting into low cost business for domestic travellers? So, not flying out of MBX, but into MBX?

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    Replies
    1. Don't be so naive Jackie!

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerMarch 4, 2017 at 3:01 AM

      Me. Have company for 26 years now, not a one day of brocade in that 26 years, not a cent of debts, employee lot of people, made well-known Croatian brand from nothing recognized in Europe, export 20% of my product and services.

      And I am telling you that is total bullshit! Not a 0,001% chance for success!!!!

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    3. Only admiration for people like you, Alen, of course, but majority are paper experts and this forum looks more and more like spittoon ...
      I am not saying that MBX project will eventually succeed, like in all areas one of thousand ideas normally work, maybe even much less in aviation. But bold ideas are the fuel of capitalism, at least, healthy capitalism. Like you Alen, you have created strong company out of nothing, your words ... maybe some of older population know the beginnings of WizzAir - google it and you will find what has been there first aircraft in AOC (LOL) - if this forum would exist at that time, I bet, the comments on their account would not be much different.

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  56. Who wrote this article, John Cleese? Is this Monty Python?? LOL!!!!!

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    1. Come on... the article is written really good. The informations given by SHS are abnormal.

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  57. I know that 300 mio € is a lot but they have already spent 10 mio € on MBX already.

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  58. Congrats Ex-Yu Aviation News! Your article was used as the baseline for an article on aerotelegraph!

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    Replies
    1. +1
      Congrats from Graz too

      Haplek

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  59. 注意不寻常的天气条件!http://www.ptuj.co.uk

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