Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Slovenia anticipates China flights in 2018


Slovenia expects to establish flights with China next year after an airline expressed interest to launch services between Xi'an and Ljubljana. The Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, said, "We are especially interested in improving land, sea and air connectivity with China. We expect that direct flights between China's north-western city of Xi'an and our capital city Ljubljana will be established soon". He added, "Connectivity with China will enhance bilateral tourism and people-to-people exchange, which is another very important aspect of our cooperation. Slovenia wishes to establish itself as one of the major logistic hubs of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in this part of the world". The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an initiative proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road and maritime trading routes.

Last month, Slovenia's Minister for Infrastructure, Peter Gašperšič, visited China where he held talks with China's Minister for Transport, Li Xiaopeng, and the head of the Chinese Civil Aviation Agency, Feng Zhenglin. They discussed improving airline connectivity between the two countries, as well as cooperation in the production of small aircraft. Ljubljana has been attempting to secure flights to China for several years. In 2013 the airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, sent an invitation to China Southern Airlines to introduce services to the Slovenian capital. Last year, the Chinese Embassy in Ljubljana launched an initiative for flights between the two countries to be established, with a proposal for Hainan Airlines to operate its service from Beijing to Prague via the Slovenian capital. Ultimately, Hainan will now use Prague as a stopover on its new service to Belgrade starting September 15.

Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport also expects to link Slovenia with China after SHS Aviation took over and established an airline with the aim of launching services to the Far East. Andrej Fištravec, the Mayor of Maribor, said, "The international investment group SHS Aviation purchased operator Aerodrom Maribor and with that obtained a fifteen year concession to manage the airport. They also announced plans to commence flights this year. The initial plan was made with knowledge of Slovenian legislation, although, unfortunately, in Slovenia it takes more time to be granted all the necessary licenses to create conditions for them to fulfil their investment plan". He added, "VLM Airlines, a subsidiary of SHS Aviation, received their air operator's certificate (AOC) in May instead of April as initially planned. I believe that, during the second half of the year, SHS will start with flights inside Europe and once the infrastructure at Maribor Airport is developed, I think they will start continental flights to China". SHS has previously announced plans to commence services from Slovenia's second largest city to Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang in China.

122 comments:

  1. Hainan Airlines has a base in Xi'an and operates international flights from there. It is possible that it's them.

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    1. Hainan should have flown PEK-BEG-LJU or PEK-LJU-BEG.

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    2. And you would get 100 passengers tops.

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    3. Hainan won´t be starting BEG nor LJU nor any other destination in the former YU.

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    4. They start Belgrade on 15th September. Deal with it.

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    5. Ok I deal with it- and you fly with it! Flights booked?

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    6. Wow, people are still clinging to the notion that Hainan might not start BEG? Pathetic.

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    7. The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them. This one is a particularly nasty strain.

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    8. Of course they'll start, why not? It's quite a fair bribe to increase the group companies' chances to win the tender. At the end, they'll operate a few flights between PRG-BEG, as the equipment already had 7-8 hrs of ground time in PRG.

      But please note that a lot of fun and critics are on the way. At the end, these flights are originally PRG flights, and most of the pax will disembark in PRG. And everyone (except fanatics) will mock on the project once it is noticed that there aren't more than 10-20 pax arriving to BEG.

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    9. Guys read the text. Hainan did not say they were going to fly to Ljubljana at all. It just says that last year Slovenia proposed for them to fly to Prague via LJU which they have not.

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    10. Da li neozbiljni isto tako pisu za Qatar A. koji je poceo sa Sofija Beograd, a sada prelazi broj linija za Aziju preko 50 nedeljno?

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    11. Мала исправка, Катар је првобитно летео за Београд преко Анкаре. Софија је тек накнадно уведена.

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    12. @AnonymousJune 28, 2017 at 9:18 AM

      Can you book the flights ???

      It is almost July, flights should be bookable by now. Normally 3 months ahead of the first flight, should be bookable through skyscanner and google flights.

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    13. You don't know much about Chinese airlines. Ease up. You were barking the same way how Air Serbia will never launch New York. Focus on the actual topic which is Slovenia and leave your Belgrade doom comments for another day

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  2. This would be great if it happened.

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  3. I heard rumours that China Southern is interested in launching double daily flights with A380 from Guangzhou starting in September 2017.

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    1. Hilarious...

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    2. China Southerns double daily A380 flights will be as successful,as Hainan 2 x per week flights to BEG via PRG

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  4. Where is Croatia?

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    1. Still where it was yesterday. Right next to Slovenia and Bosnia ;)

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    2. I think it's Zadar Airport to represent Croatia in this Chinese obsession :)

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    3. Croatia just joined the Schengen zone.

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    4. ^ umm no it has not.

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    5. Chinese Ambassador in Croatia was quite frank and said the state has done nothing to attract Chinese carriers.

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    6. @AnonymousJune 28, 2017 at 12:36 PM

      Any links to that ambassador's comment ?

      And you have Emirates, Qatar, Iberia, Austrian, Lufthansa, Swiss, BA, Air France, KLM.... Why would Croatia need to attract Chinese carriers to start with. If Chinese carriers see Croatia as a potential for their passengers they'll come soon enough.

      Lets not force flights cause politicians want it, let the market dictate the terms. Korean air is only flying seasonal charters to Zagreb, 400 000 South Korean visitors in Croatia, 80 000 in Zagreb. 175 000 Japanese visitors to Croatia, not a single direct flight to Croatia with a Japanese carrier.

      When you have plethora of global carriers landing in Zagreb, yo really don't need direct links to Zagreb as long as there are good connecting flights. Yes direct flights are better, but if they're not commercially viable, why force it.

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    7. So you are saying ZAG and Croatia are somehow smarter than ATH, BEG, BUD, PRG, VIE... for not trying to attract Chinese airlines? Also, ZAD seemed pretty desperate and so did ZAG

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    8. You would probably be the only airport in the world that would not want direct flights but just connecting flights. Then you should get Lufthansa to fly 50 daily flights so you can connect in Frankfurt to the rest of the world.

      Anyway the ambassador said. "It is important to establish direct flights, as well as simplify and speed up the issuance of visas. Last year, 100.000 Chinese tourists visited Croatia, which is almost nothing considering the Chinese travel market, however, it was an improvement of 20% compared to 2015. I would really like for Croatia to approach China in a different way and view it from a different angle".

      What I don't get about some Croatian participants here is that they deny that anything can be done better, that anything can be improved. The line of argument is that everything is the best, everything is world class, everything is amazing. In actual fact it is not. But instead of discussing about it and suggesting ways to fix things you present as if everything is top notch. Unless you are being paid for PR services, I don't see much point in being here. At the same time some of you here seem to be competing who will be more condescending and arrogant towards others creating a toxic environment for any sort of discussion. But when people unfortunately start responding to you in the same malicious way you do to others, you are the first to cry foul.

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    9. @AnonymousJune 28, 2017 at 1:55 PM

      A link to the website would be nice.

      As to lay back attitude in Croatian mentality, why rush things?

      We know things aren't great and we know things can improve, however when you rush things, it never ends good. So if Chinese want to come to Croatia they'll come when they're good and ready.

      I'd rather have good links via Frankfurt, London or Paris at first, than be subject of whiff and whims of some airline. Good steady year round links are vital.

      Emirates, Qatar, Turkish are doing brilliant job in Linking Zagreb with Asia.

      London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich. Amsterdam and Madrid offer great connecting flights worldwide.

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    10. Austrian, Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Turkish, Emirates... are doing an even better job in BUD yet they didn't mind 'rushing' to get theri own flights to China

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    11. You can not compare BUD which has 4 times more passengers with ZAG. There they have more options because of more passengers.

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    12. @AnonymousJune 28, 2017 at 2:44 PM

      Well Budapest had a massive head start and also four times more traffic than Zagreb.

      There are only 4000 Chinese living in Zagreb, 6000 in Croatia, 140 000 Chinese, 100 000 Taiwanese, 30 000 HK visitors are expected in Croatia this year. Still not enough to warrant direct link just yet.

      When we have 250-300 000 Chinese visitors from Mainland, yes then it would be nice to start a direct seasonal flights, and with 500-550 000 visitors, that would require year round service.

      Linking Shanghai and Beijing with Zagreb by 2025 would probably be desirable and warranted.

      If Croatia can attract 300 000+ Taiwanese visitors, then yes a nice service linking Taipei and Zagreb would be nice.

      As is Emirates and Qatar provide great connections to Asia.

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    13. So what if BUD is several times larger? This demand did not fall from the sky, it was created into what it is today.

      I am sure you are talking like that now because there is no indication of these flights happening. If there were then you would be singing a different song.

      Anyway, I think HR like MKD, HU and MNE should have worked with Serbia for these Chinese people to go to eastern Croatia and Zagreb as well. It's a missed opportunity.

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    14. Last anon - that's really unrealistic. You forget the different visa regime. Croatia can't do much about it - EU member and Schengen candidate!

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    15. Hungary is working with Serbia and unlike Croatia they are in Schengen so what's so unrealistic?

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    16. @An.7:21
      Yesterday, Croatia joined Schengen Information System, has about 90% technicalities done, and is expected to become full Schengen member next year. And having their "own" China flights, I don't believe Hungarians "work" that lot with Serbia about potential Belgrade Beijing flights.

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    17. So just because you believe something it has to be true? The Serbian Tourism Organization has said it themselves, they have no reasons to lie. The point is that you are coming up with excuses here to justify some of your own shortcomings.

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  5. Maybe if it were seasonal it could work. Remember ANA is flying B777 charters to Ljubljana this summer.

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    1. Are they operating charters this year?

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    2. 19 AUG NRT - LJU - KIX with B777-300ER.

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    3. Great thanks :)

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    4. Is it just one flight or are there more? Last year I think they had a few in September too.

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  6. Everyone seems to want flights to China now.

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    Replies
    1. Ali samo BEG dobiva letove.

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    2. Jedini nacin da dobijete letove je preko Maribora.

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  7. It makes me laugh so hard!😂

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  8. I can't believe Maribor mayor is still taking SHS seriously.

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    1. I can not believe that anyone in Maribor take their mayor seriously !!

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    2. I can only imagine how much money the city will give to "co-finance" flights to China.

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  9. Wow at all the negativity. First the guy who can't deal with Belgrade getting flights to Beijing then the rest who can't deal with Ljubljana possibly getting flights to China. What a group of jelous haters, instead of being happy for each other or at least taming your frustrations.

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    1. I guess the guys will be happy when it is bookable and the first flight touches down. They are really negative, instead of being happy about all those rumours.

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  10. Well it would be great. Does any nearby airport offer flights to China?

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    1. Vienna and Budapest (via Minsk)

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    2. In the Balkans flights to China will be offered by IST, ATH and BEG. Nice to see BEG being on top with the other global players.

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    3. "being on the top with other global players", for the airport which does not serve AF,BA,KL,SN,IB,TP,AY,EI, neither (yet) one single airline from the Far East.

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    4. SN? BA? IN? EI? These are all glorified lowcost carriers and it's not like BEG is losing much by not having them.

      Also, when looking at the situation at an airport, you look at the overall connectivity and BEG has little to complain about.

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    5. And seems like you missed the news, BEG is getting direct flights to PEK this September!!! :)))

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    6. But of course. And Air France is another glorified low cost. KLM another one. Finnair, of course. Air Portugal, the biggest. And actually I shouldn't have written anything, as you yourself said everything, pretending that major, real global players among airlines are nothing, simultaneously calling global player the airport which has ONE long-haul route. Evenue if the second one starts to Beijing from September, it will still be in the league of, for example Leeds/Bradford, which has 2 long-hauls, and so so so far from real global players. Sorry to spoil your feast, but those are the facts.

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  11. This will end up just like the Zadar plans.

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    1. Never say never

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    2. Or it could end up like the Belgrade plans. If there is a political will there is a way. Currently no ex-Yu city has enough demand to generate full flights to China but with increasing Chinese investment in the region and stronger political ties, Chinese will discover this part of the world.

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    3. "If there is political will" = "If the state pays for it?" Unfortunately no company will start any business adventure based just on political will. It might get it started but in the end its a matter of profitability.

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  12. Chinese tourists represent a large market potential for Slovenian tourism.

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    1. There is currently not enough infrastructure to accommodate influx of tourists in Slovenia.

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    2. ^^ Where did you get that from?

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    3. How many Chinese tourists visited Slovenia these last couple of years?

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    4. 37.796 Chinese tourists in 2015. I don't have data for last year.

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    5. Great, thank you :)

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  13. Ako ste pazljivo pratili exYuov tekst videli ste da su Kinezi prvo prisli Ljubljani ali njihov slepac od ministra nije reagovao. Sada isti pise bezvezne propagandne pamflete kako su zainteresovani da lete do tamo. Toliko o efikasnosti EU vlade u Ljubljani.

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  14. Priorities should be flights to the Middle East and better connections to the Scandinavian and Russian markets. When they do that then they can think about China.

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    1. Qatar will be starting flights soon.

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    2. And they should attract more low cost airlines and make flying more affordable.

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    3. norwegian is a must. 1 weekly to either oslo or stockholm. then vueling barcelona or madrid or something spanish. rynair with ireland service maybe or literally any destination, doesn't matter. And finally easyjet and wizz could ramp up some new routes as well. berlin, malaga, ... tons of opportunities for low costs.

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    4. I think LJU should work on expanding its cooperation with Wizz Air. They can offer super competitive prices and to attract even more people from neighboring areas.

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  15. That is all nice and well, but is it realistic? Is there enough O&D potential in LJU? Because connectivity is probably quite bad.

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  16. But Xi'an? Why not Beijing?

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  17. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    Kinezi, a posebno Hainan je poznat po "skorim početcima letova" koji se nikad ne realiziraju. Podsjetimo se

    1. Zadar - naveliko se pričalo o letovima prije 3-4 godine, odrađeni sastanci u Kini, izjave da je sve dotovoreno, iznjeta konkretna linija, frekvencije

    2. Ljubljana - prezentirano kao visoko odmakli pregovori

    3. Zagreb - znao se prijevoznik, frekvencije, avion, početka letova u 6. mjesecu, zatražene dozvole

    4. Beograd - zna se linija (Peking preko Praga), početak letova, prijevoznik, red letenja, avion, postoji datum početka letova

    5. Evo sad ponovo Ljubljana.

    Za sada beogradska priča izgleda kao jedina koja će se realizirati, posebno radi involviranosti politike. No, sa Hainanom nikad ne znaš.

    Puno previše otkazanih planova u zadnji čas, i puno previše otkazanih linija po otvaranju (do sada su zatvorili linije na 35 od 110 postojećih destinacija, što je 1/4 svih dosadašnjih destinacija)

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    1. Sto ce reci da prate kako im ide saobracaj i da ne drze nerentabilne linije iako se ne plase da ih otvaraju. Pametno.

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    2. Most useful info from Purger as usual. Thanks.

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    3. A po cemu to tacno BEG izgleda kao jedina prica koja ce se realizirat?

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    4. Колико сам ја схватио, летове ка Кини обично најављују челници аеродрома, не авио-компанија. Тако да опаска није на месту. Не криви Кинезе већ Балканце и њихов менталитет.

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      Ma istina, iako u slučaju Beograda i Zagreba to je učinila i kompanija.

      Beogradska priča će se vrlo vjerojatno realizirati jer:

      1. Involvirana je najviša politika, oni su potvrdili da to ide, a to znači da će napraviti sve da se ne izblamiraju, posebno Vučić.

      2. Zatražene su i dobivene dozvile (OK, to je bilo i u Zagrebu)

      3. Objavljen je datum početka letova (OK, i to je bilo i u Zagrebu)

      3. Objavljen je precizan red letenja (čak i to da će biti 5. slobode na legu PRG-BEG), isto je već objavljeno i u Pragu

      4. Peking-Beograd preko Praga sa 5. slobodom na PRG-BEG je daleko niži rizik nego Peking-Zagreb nonstop.

      Sve to ukazuje da će se ova linija destiti i da se rješavaju detalji.

      A to što još nema prodaje karata uobičajna je praksa Kineza. Nažalost. Jer da nije, ja i mojih 25 putnika u 10. mjesecu bi išlo tom linijom, ali mi je već prekasno čekati, pa sam se odlučio za drugačiju opciju.

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    6. Па добро, да су Кинези одлучили да полете за Загреб место Београда, имам осећај да би и та комбинација ишла преко Прага.

      У сваком случају, сви желе летове за Кину. Није их лако обезбедити и можда је Загреб морао погурати државну управу да она свој део одради... иза затворених врата.

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    7. dobili su peta prava? znam da su zatražili, ali ne znam da li su dobili

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    8. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 3:48 PM

      Za Zagreb je trebao letjeti Beijing Capital koji ne leti do Praga.

      Da, političari u Hrvatskoj ne odrađuju dovoljno dobro posao u lobiranju kompanija za letove prema Hrvatskoj. Ima dobrih primjera gdje su bili involvirani političari (Emirates, Monarch, Air Transat, PSO posebno za Trade Air), ali u slučaju Kine, SAD-a ali i još nekih drugih realnih destinacija gdje je Hrvatska superiorna (turisti, dijaspora) potpuno su zakazali.

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    9. Da ne moras ici sa EK preko Zagreba?

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  18. Oh God! Stop with this China, guys!
    It's becoming hilarious!

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  19. With Fraport operating the airport I wouldn't say it's impossible.

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    1. How many new airlines has Fraport actually attracted since it took over Ljubljana?

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    2. Lot, Transavia, Aegean (which didn't return after one season)... and during their time airlines such as Wizz Air and easyJet increased flights.

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    3. Also Swiss but they stopped after one season as well.

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    4. Ah yes, Swiss and their mostly failed ex-YU adventure.

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 10:52 AM

      Just 3 new routes survive for now
      - Transavia (Amsterdam)
      - Wizz (Cherleroi)
      - easyJet (2nd London)

      That is so far away from "lot". That is so disappointed. In same time just this year:
      - 12 new routes Split
      - 12 Dubrovnik
      - 12 Pula
      - 10 Belgrade
      - 9 Zagreb
      - 8 Zadar
      - 6 Skopje
      - 5 Tuzla
      - 5 Tivat
      - 4 Podgorica
      - 4 Priština
      - 3 Sarajevo

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    6. ^^ Swiss had good LF. Afaik, the reason for backing up was somewhere up high

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    7. Swiss pulled out of Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Skopje. Zagreb and Sarajevo became seasonal, the rest were suspended.

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    8. You can't compare LJU with DBV and SPU which are summer seasonal airports on top of which, they are seeing increased demand due to uprisings throughout the MENA region.

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    9. What you want to say is that you actually cannot compare any airport :D DBV/SPU are seasonal, BEG the capital of the larges EXYU country... So why are you comparing them . The fact is that SPU will soon handle 3 times more Pax than LJU.

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    10. I'm not happy with Fraport's performance either. I'm glad they didn't get Skopje and didn't a bid for Belgrade.

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    11. @AnonymousJune 28, 2017 at 11:15 AM

      Swiss to Zagreb, year round. They pulled out of Zagreb as they were retiring Avros, and didn't have enough planes for Zagreb. CS100 Service now, year round.

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    12. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 3:58 PM

      I don't understand why we can not compare SPU and DBV with LJU, but OK, without seasonal routes, new routes are:

      - 8 Belgrade
      - 7 Zagreb
      - 6 Skopje
      - 5 Tuzla
      - 4 Podgorica
      - 3 Priština
      - 3 Split
      - 3 Sarajevo
      - 3 Pula
      - 2 Niš

      And Ljubljana just 1. Is this something to compare, and to show how Ljubljana is doing lousy job.

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    13. But in terms of passenger growth LJU is on top of the list, so something is happening there.

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    14. Alen Šćuric PurgerJune 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM

      No, it's not. There is growth (more impressed in percentage than in real numbers), which is much better because of several years of increase, mostly because of more Adria frequencies (and that is because of too much capacity after canceling Lodz and other bases + one plane that was last year leased to Air Serbia).

      But here we are talking about Fraport and are they doing good job or not. And they are not! They don't have much influence on Adria more frequencies, but they are not bringing more companies to Ljubljana. Comparing to region they are making lousy job!

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    15. I am sorry but how do you know for a fact Fraport did not make a special deal with JP for them to finally focus once again on LJU? How do you know the deal did not include the airprot giving Adria a grace period of let's say two years?

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  20. It would definitely make the airport more competitive. If you attract a major carrier especially operating long haul it attracts other airlines.

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  21. Great news for Slovenia!

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  22. The main reason Chinese tourists could be drawn to fly to Slovenia is the nature and outdoors.

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    Replies
    1. It is actually a great market for Chinese. Has absolutely every they want to see.

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    2. Slovenia has a good Tourist Board that could market the country well to Chinese tour operators.

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  23. Sorry guys, but when you have a small market and you want flights from China politics HAS to be involved. The Serbs did it, and the Slovenians are doing it as well, hence government ministers holding talks with airlines and relevant authorities.

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  24. Is Slovenia waking up? Possible flights to China and Qatar. Good to hear.

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  25. Do you remember that a couple of years ago China Southern Airlines wanted to buy LJU? They were in the running against Fraport and Vinci. Had they won, we probably would have already had flights between Ljubljana and China.

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  26. Ljubljana airport conditions for foreign airline operators are bad. There is a bigger chance of those flights from Maribor starting then from LJU.

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  27. I will be happy when a Chinese airline actually touches down in an ex-Yu city. Until then, wishful thinking.

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    1. BEG is happening on 15.09

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    2. It is not happening. The argument Chinese carriers are known to be putting flights up for sale refers only to those that have never been started :D All serious destinations get flights announced well in advance like VIE or ZRH did.

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    3. I guess then you know more than their CEO who said last week that it is happening.

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    4. He knows everything, just like he knew about JFK

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  28. The Slovenians have the right idea to be used as a stopover to another destination in central Europe.

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  29. Would be great if it materializes.

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