Two low cost carriers plan to commence services to Ljubljana this year, as budget airlines continue to expand their presence in the Slovenian capital. The head of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, said last week to the "Uporabna stran" portal that one of the carriers in question is headquartered in northern Germany. The airline is tipped to be Eurowings which is based in Dusseldorf and has expanded significantly across the former Yugoslavia this year. Previous media reports have suggested that the airport is also in talks with Ryanair, Iberia Express and Vueling. Ljubljana Airport noted, "We have introduced an updated and flexible tariff system which has improved competitiveness, as well as incentives available for attracting new airlines. The system will contribute to the introduction and expansion of new and existing flights, as well as to the engagement of new carriers". Details of the new flights are expected soon, as services are tipped to commence this year.
The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure noted last week that it is concentrating its efforts on boosting the country's air connectivity and linking Ljubljana Airport with new destinations. "In our opinion, it is important for Slovenia to be connected with the rest of the world, no matter which airline provides the service. As long as they are safe and offer affordable fares to the public". In a recent report, Ljubljana Airport noted, "By working on marketing, we aim to encourage airlines to launch new routes and increase passenger numbers at the airport, particularly from neighbouring countries and thus reduce the outflow of local passengers to neighbouring airports". It added, "We will focus our marketing activities on raising our profile and strengthening the airport’s competitive position in the region".
Low cost airlines have recently increased their operations to the Slovenian capital. Late last year, easyJet launched flights from London Gatwick, while the Dutch-based Transavia commenced services from Amsterdam earlier this month. Furthermore, Wizz Air recently outlined plans to boost capacity on its London Luton - Ljubljana service by upgrading its equipment on the route from the 180-seat Airbus A320 to the 230-seat A321 aircraft this September. Mr Skobir has said that the airport is doing its best to attract new carriers but warned that fuel prices, state taxes and other charges, which it has no control over, continue to act as a deterrent for airlines.