Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Windrose to launch Ljubljana service


Ukraine's Windrose Airlines will commence scheduled services between Kiev and Ljubljana this winter season, becoming the second airline within weeks to announce flights between the two cities. Predominately a charter carrier, Windrose plans to operate two weekly services between the Ukrainian and Slovenian capitals, each Tuesday and Saturday, starting December 16 with a 50-seat Embraer E145 aircraft. The carrier runs charters between Boryspil Airport and Maribor from time to time and this summer operated into Tivat, Pula and Split within the former Yugoslavia. Although tickets are still unavailable for purchase through the airline's website as it is yet to launch its winter season sales, the flights have been listed in the Global Distribution System. Ljubljana and Kiev were last linked with nonstop flights six years ago.

Windrose's announcement comes after Adria Airways recently unveiled plans to launch three weekly services to Kiev from October 29, each Thursday, Friday and Sunday from Ljubljana and on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from the Ukrainian capital. Windrose's scheduling will be more appealing to tourists, while Adria's late night and early morning departure times are aimed at transfer passengers connecting onto flights via Ljubljana. However, the Slovenian carrier itself has said it is targeting both holidaymakers and transfer passengers. Ukrainian airline Dniproavia previously planned to introduce three weekly flights between Kiev and Ljubljana in late June with tickets put on sale, although the service was cancelled prior to its launch. Windrose has since taken over most of Dniprovavia's fleet, including the E145s that will operate on this route, as the latter prepares for nationalisation.

The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure recently noted 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". Ljubljana Airport has seen strong passenger growth this year due to the arrival of new carrier and a significant capacity increase by Adria Airways. This August, the airport handled 196.416 travellers, representing an increase of 18.9% on last year. This is despite the number of aircraft movement decreasing by 2.9% to 3.393. During the January - August period, the airport welcomed 1.117.497 passengers through its doors, up 20.6%. A total of 7.637 tonnes of mail and freight were processed in the first eight months of 2017, representing an increase of 15.1% on last year.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN89.396 21.5
FEB89.995 15.4
MAR108.964 16.0
APR132.239 31.5
MAY146.257 25.5
JUN156.092 15.0
JUL198.138 21.4
AUG196.41618.9

Further flight details for Windrose Airlines' new Ljubljana service can be found here.

120 comments:

  1. wow. Well I think two airlines on this route is one too many.

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    1. Definitely and I think Adria is in a much better position here.

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    2. I think the E145 is better for this route than the CRJ900. Has a better chance of filling up.

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    3. Adria will carrying transfer passengers on this route, and Windrose probably tourists so I think there is enough space for both.

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    4. Does Windrose sell connecting flights? They have a domestic network so we can assume that they will have transfer traffic too.

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    5. CR9 is more cost effective meaning cheaper to operate meaning cheaper fares can be offered to the public.

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    6. I think one will definitely drop out from the route. I doubt the market between Slovenia and Ukraine is that big to sustain two airlines.

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    7. Of course CR9 would be more economical than E145, provided you can fill the seats.

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    8. @Anon 9:40
      Kiev has a population of around 2.8 million and Ukraine around 45 million. So I would not say it's a small market.

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  2. I wonder if JP would have introduced flights to Kiev if Dniprovavia launched those in June like they planned.

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    1. Why did they cancel the flights in the first place?

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    2. They didn't get a permit from Slovenian authorities.

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    3. Apparently number of bookings was way below what was planned at time of cancellation.

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    4. But why would they try again if it failed the first time for peak summer travel?

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    5. I don't think poor bookings was the reason. They didn't get a license from Slovenian authorities because of their nationalization process so they could not guarantee they could accommodate passengers if their flights were cancelled. Since the private owner of Dniprovavia and Windrose is the same, he transferred Dniprovavia planes to Windrose now.

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    6. Interesting, thanks.

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    7. Any evidence for the claim that they did not get a license? They already sold tickets.

      Also, no matter if an airline is privately
      owned or state owned - that does not make a difference regarding flight cancellations. Actually, it is more likely for airlines in private ownership to become bankrupt.

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  3. From 0 to 5 per week... and during winter season.

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    1. I guess they won't code share on each other's flights...

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  4. Great news! LJU should work on attracting more and more airlines.

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    1. Yes but it should be preferably to new unserved destinations. Not covering what we already have (will have).

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  5. Ljubljana Airport is getting close to Skopje again. Good results.

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    1. 2 million next year?

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    2. Some new airlines will have to start flights for 2 million to be reached.

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    3. I also doubt LJU will manage to overtake SKP this year.

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    4. Unless wizz doesn't base a craft here and launch like 3 new routes I doubt Ljubljana could reach 2m

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    5. According to Fraport's projections, they expect 1.8 million only in 2020!

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    6. Skopje will have 2 million passengers next year.

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    7. @10.55 it's more realistic for them to hit 2.5 million by 2020

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    8. 1.7m in 2017, 2.5m by 2020?
      50% in 3 years?
      Tell me how?

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  6. Ok, when they already operate occasionally charters to SLO it will most likely mean that a good chunk of the seats on their flights will already be sold to TOs - so TOs/agencies take over the risk to sell these seats and airline has some safe income and secured min LF. This surely gives Windrose a competitive advantage

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    1. I agree and with a 50 seat plane I think they will manage to fill them easily.

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  7. Why did the number of flight operations frop in August? How come there were less flights when Adria is flying more frequencies than last year, plus we also have Transavia?

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    1. Yes, that's odd. Maybe fewer charters by Adria?

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    2. No, Adria's charter flights have been quite strong this summer.

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    3. And also charters by foreign airlines are up on 2016.

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    4. Number in flight operations didn't drop. It's the matter of statistics. These numbers include all the traffic, commercial and general aviation. And numbers in general aviation sector are significantly lower compared to last year's. On the other side are numbers in commercial part slightly higher. Combined you get those mentioned numbers.

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  8. I'm waiting for the day when an actual real airline will start new flights to LJU. One that more than 10 people has heard of to a destination people actually want to fly to.

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    1. I doubt no one wants to fly to Ukraine if two airlines think they can make it on this route.

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  9. Congratulations Ljubljana. I'm glad it's recovering.

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  10. Whatever happened to LJU airport's promise that 2 new LCCs would start flights by the end of the year? Seeing as it's mid September I doubt there will be any new flights.

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    1. And one of them was apparently Eurowings.

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    2. I was hoping Wizz might introduce some new routes to Ljubljana but nothing. They have also stopped selling London past winter.

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    3. I heard, they were talking with Eurowings and Vueling (disagreement with landing/departure time).

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    4. Argh, they should give them whatever times they want. What's the point of extending the terminal and turning one part for LCCs if there are no LCCs.

      Anyway thanks for the update.

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    5. I just think they didn't update their entire summer 2018 timetable yet. I doubt they'd stop London service when it's so good that they just upgraded to a a321

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    6. Yes they usually add summer flights for next year during late September or even early October.

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    7. It seems that Wizz Air has cancelled plans to operate A321 to LJU. All flights are back to A320.

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    8. Attracting more and more LCCs is the best way to compete against Zagreb at the moment. And also the best way too boost passenger numbers.

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    9. Boosting passengers numbers doesn't equal more money.

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  11. Dniprovavia was selling tickets at 250 EUR. Hope these guys will be more competitive.

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    1. And what are Adria's fares like?

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    2. Around 220 euros, depending what dates you pick.

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    3. Ok, so that seems to be the price then.

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  12. Still no flights to Spain, the Middle East, Italy, Greece, but two airline to Ukraine? o.O

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    1. Agree. There are much more pressing markets to cover other than Ukraine!

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    2. Those markets are already covered.

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    3. By who exactly?

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  13. Yet Air Serbia said there is no market to Ukraine ;)

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    1. They didn't say there was no market, they said they can't make money on the route.

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    2. /Dniproavia/Wind Rose's next destination will be Belgrade :) They are covering already Sofia, Bucharest and Ljubljana coming next soon. It's a pity Air Serbia is not able to make money on this route...

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    3. Aerosvit used to fly to Belgrade for quite some time a few years ago.

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    4. @10:18 - In order to make money you need to invest money promoting your brand first, something that Air Serbia wasn't ready to do.

      They were only after easy cash.

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  14. Excellent news for Ljubljana. Is there anything new on Qatar airlines flights?

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    1. I doubt QR will be starting Ljubljana anytime soon.

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    2. Al baker said they were looking into LJU.

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    3. And with the Qatar blockade holding up, it is very likely they will start Ljubljana soon.

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    4. Maybe they will start Ljubljana but I don't think it will be soon. This is the list of destinations they have announced and are still to launch

      Sohar, Oman
      Chiang Mai, Thailand – (Four times weekly)
      Sarajevo, Bosnia – (Four times weekly)
      Douala, Cameroon – (Three times weekly)
      Libreville, Gabon – (Three times weekly)
      Medan, Indonesia – (Four times weekly)
      Las Vegas, United States – (Four times weekly)
      Canberra, Australia – (Daily)
      Santiago, Chile – (Four times weekly)
      Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – (Four times weekly)
      San Francisco, United States
      Cardiff, United Kingdom
      Utapao, Thailand
      Chittagong, Bangladesh
      Mykonos, Greece
      Málaga, Spain
      Accra, Ghana
      Lisbon, Portugal
      Abidjan, Ivory Coast
      Mombasa, Kenya

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    5. I doubt it will happen in any near future as they now upgraded zag to double daily whole winter.

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  15. So at the end of the year we can expect about 1.7 million passengers?

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    1. truth be told Ljubljana should be handling 2 million pax by now.

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    2. @ Anonymous September 12, 2017 at 10:02 AM

      Yes!

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  16. Fewer aircraft movement but a large increase in passengers indicates that the loads were much better.

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    1. Not necessarily. It means more passengers per flight, but 40 passengers on CRJ200 has higher PLF than 50 passengers on CRJ900 although passengers figures would be up by 25%.

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  17. Other than Kiev are there some other perspective destinations from Ljubljana?

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    1. In my opinion, Manchester, Madrid, Barcelona, Oslo, Dusseldorf, Rome, Sofia, Dubai...

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    2. I would add Dubrovnik and Split to that list (seasonal).

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    3. It was already said on this blog that while relatively those destinations are the top unserved from LJU, the absolute numbers are small.

      I think realistically LJU should aim for several daily flights to main *A hubs to connect to their waves (which it kind of has, ok, higher frequencies would be nice), and at least daily flights to places like Paris (I think it's more than daily already), CPH and AMS (which if I'm not mistaken is happening this winter). Other than that, good frequencies to Balkan/exYu, of they want to establish a decent transfer hub. Possibly non-London destinations in the UK could work as well.

      I mean, I would be very happy to have flights to places like Rome, Madrid, Oslo etc, but let's be realistic, the market is small in absolute numbers.

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  18. This might be a bit out of the box but I would love to see an airline like WOW launch flights to this region. In my opinion, Ljubljana would make most sense since Slovenians do travel a lot and go on holidays. Also I think they could get a lot of connecting traffic to the US.

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    1. This is region is waaay out of Wow's focus. No chance of that happening.

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    2. WOW air is not serving anything beyond Germany/SZG (in Europe), they already announced it a while ago - reason quoted was that flights to points further away would not fit in their waves to/from North America

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    3. One exception: KEF-TLV

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    4. ^How long does that flight take?

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  19. Don't get too much excited. Looking at the size of the market between Kiev and Ljubljana, I can see that Windrose won't even dare to fly on regular basis (except a few requested closed charters), where Adria would stop its operations by January (to resume during summer months, in order to give the route a second shot). Last direct flight is likely to be operated by October next year.

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    1. Unfortunately I also think it will end up like this. But let's wait and see.

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  20. I have a feeling this might end up like Dniprovavia and they cancel flights a few weeks before launch. Hope I'm wrong though.

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  21. Great news for Ljubljana Airport. I'm glad things are finally picking up with Adria growing, new airlines coming, plans for a terminal expansion and passenger numbers also growing.

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  22. What's with the sudden interest for Ukraine from Slovenia?

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    Replies
    1. Asking myself the same question.

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  23. Great. Kiev is a good city break destination. I agree that Windrose's times are much better than Adria's 1.40am arrival in Kiev or 6.20am arrival back in Ljubljana.

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    1. Hope the loads will be there to keep this route.

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  24. This is good news for Ljubljana Airport which desperately needs more destinations and airlines.

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  25. Perfect capacity for this route.

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  26. In the last few years it has not only been Windrose that has flown to Mariboe. Dniproavia flew to Maribor last winter from Harkov.

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  27. So this will be the second new airline at LJU this year after Transavia.

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  28. Is Windrose a reliable airline?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. They have been around for quite some time.

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  29. I see the overall air traffic in ex-YU is boosting dramatically. That's great.

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  30. I like their livery :)

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    1. I find Aerosvit to have had the better livery
      https://img.planespotters.net/photo/308000/original/ur-dsa-aerosvit-airlines-embraer-erj-190std-erj-190-100_PlanespottersNet_308276.jpg

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  31. OT: GDS indicates now QR double daily in ZAG also throughout winter schedule. Will be additonal challenge namely for EK with 5 weekly frequencies, althiugh with larger plane. Still, 5 vs 14 flights a week and QR will now have both more seating capacity and much more frequencies during winter.

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    1. Did BEG also get additonal increase over current one daily?

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    2. I still see daily service for BEG. MAybe it changes later to kore, who knows, but now it is still daily.

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    3. BEG downgraded from A321 to A320.

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    4. Change to 321 happened a while ago I think. For ZAG it is also better I think to have 320 (or nearly same for the airline) cause of payload penalty that ZAG had on 321, and ultimately 321 offered only couple of more seats compared to 320 from DOH.
      Generally I am more interested in frequency changes than changes 320/321.

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  32. 5 per week to Kiev in winter will be a challange.

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    1. Yep and 550 seats each week each way. Can't work. Someone will fold.

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  33. Ljubljana should first get linked with a number of EU markets before lines like Kiev.

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    1. LOL it should be linked with markets that can generate passengers. Ukraine seems to be one of them.

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  34. You probably forgot that Ukrainians now fly to Europe visa free. This also means that most likely, Slovenia will need to import workers just like it´s happening in Poland and Czech Republic.
    We always usually think that one destination cannot work out good but we saw very good examples:

    ZAG-MAN
    INI-ZRH
    BEG-OTP

    Ukraine has a population of 44 million, so there is market out there.
    Both Kiev airports saw an increase of nearly 20% and the trend is likely to increase as emigration also is an issue in the country.

    I am personally optimistic about the route which could turn to be very successful.

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  35. with all do respect,
    if Ukrainians emigrate, then it will be to western Europe.

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    1. ... or Czech Republic. For sure not to Slovenia.

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  36. ^Ukrainians will go anywhere where there's a half decent job for them. Slovenia would be a dream come true for them..and as for visiting Kiev, Slovenian guys will have the best shock of their lives if they take the opportunity to explore all the lovely things (on two legs!) that Ukraine has to offer.

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