Thursday, December 28, 2017

Criminal investigation into Darwin collapse


Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the collapse of Darwin Airline, operating as Adria Airways Switzerland, which declared bankruptcy earlier this month. The prosecutor's office will investigate the circumstances surrounding the airline's demise, after being informed of irregularities in the carrier's financial books by the external bankruptcy manager. "We are investigating if a bankruptcy offence/crime was committed", a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said. The investigation will particularly focus on the period between mid-November, when the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) revoked Darwin's license due to uncertainty over its financing, and mid-December, when the carrier declared bankruptcy.

Adria Airways Switzerland purchased a majority stake in Darwin Airline from Etihad Airways and other minority shareholders through its owner 4K Invest this summer. At the time, the Slovenian carrier said, "Adria Airways, with its extensive expertise, its strong route network, especially in the Southeast European market, will be very beneficial not only to the future of Darwin but also to the Ticino region, which needs good connections with the rest of Switzerland and throughout Europe. Darwin Airline is well capitalised and solvent, thus able to honour all of its commitments to creditors". It has now emerged that Darwin has not paid wages to its 225-strong workforce since the end of October, although some crew members are said to be negotiating to transfer to Adria. The airline is also indebted towards its former base, Lugano Airport, and other creditors.

Commenting on the probe, the Mayor of Lugano, Marco Barradori, said, "We will have to wait to see what happened in Darwin. Its incomprehensible that the company was said to be in good shape in July and was developing new investment and growth plans. Today we know it is an empty shell. Someone will have to explain this to us". 4K Invest transferred some of Darwin's aircraft to Adria Airways in Ljubljana during its short stint at managing the Swiss company. However, the Slovenian national carrier is currently unable to utilise them until bankruptcy proceedings are finalised. Adria drafted its 2018 summer season expansion, which will see the launch of six new routes, based on the usage of Darwin's turboprops.

122 comments:

  1. Is it just me or it seems 4K just used Darwin for the planes.

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    1. The planes have been under a mortgage, so they were taken by the bank and supposedly already sold to an american company. Adria thus cannot go through it's planned expansion.

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    2. So can someone tell me what is the alternative if Adria does manage to secure the Saabs by April when they are supposed to start all these new destinations?

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    3. Wet lease equipment like now.

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    4. What are they wet-leasing at the moment?

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    5. They will also wetlease Go 2 sky B737 for charters from PRN and TIA. It was mentioned in this article from last month here. http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/11/adria-anticipates-network-growth-in-2018.html

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  2. Will Etihad's involvement also be examined?

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    1. Well it says they are focusing on mid November to mid December. So it doesn't look like it.

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    2. Why should it. Adria said they were left a solvent company with good perspective. So something went very wrong during 4K's adventure.

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    3. I highly doubt Etihad left a well performing company.

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    4. Etihad has killed everything it has touched so I would not rule them out of responsibility in this case.

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    5. Well they have not killed ASL instead making it a leader in the region. Although many here would like to see ASL going bankrupt. Sorry guys, that will happen only in your wet dreams.

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    6. Killing off Alitalia and Air Berlin is more than enough for now.

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    7. Clueless people on comment. Etihad took over AB and AZ when they were estimately loosing approx 100mio per month. Etihad took over Darwin in 2013 just before they bancrupt, again.

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    8. I'm not sure is Etihad killed them or Alitalia and Air Berlin killed itself. As I remember Etihad had minority stake in these companies and unlike in Air Serbia they had it's own management not Etihad's.

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  3. 4K bankrupted a Finnish company too so nothing new.

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    1. Anyone know some of their other acquisitions expect for that Finnish supermarket chain?

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 28, 2017 at 10:40 AM

      Oh yes!

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  4. Not surprised. The whole fleet of Adria Airways Switzerland was grounded after only 4 months of existence...Some kind of world record. Congratulations!

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    1. Sad what they did to the company.

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    2. I'm trying to work out if this was intentional or if it was just an investment gone wrong.

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    3. This investigation will probably find out.

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  5. I just hope something like this does not happen with Adria.

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    1. You shouldn't be surprised with these amateurs.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 28, 2017 at 10:41 AM

      Oh, no, no, no... they are not amateurs! They are huge professionals, but for the goal they have and are paid for.

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    3. In the long run they will sell AA, but for the time being they remain JP's shareholder. They entered into JP to turn in around and sell it afterwards (and make money with that), which is completely legit. They usually turn companies around in 5-7 yrs.

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    4. By which time they bankrupt most of them.

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    5. Purger I hope that you see and I am 100 percent sure that 4K is acting alone. No Lufthansa behind them.

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 29, 2017 at 8:57 AM

      Good for you that you can be 100% sure those days of anything in air traffic. I can not!

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    7. Well lets say I have more inside knowledge of the story than u. So your speculations are just that. Speculations and nothing more. While I dont speculate. Regards

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  6. Does that mean no SAABs for JP anymore? Fantastic news.

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    1. They are still sitting in LJU though.

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    2. With turbo-prop fleet, Adria could have positioned themselves as a feeder for Star Alliance, flying to small secondary airports. These smaller planes were also being used to add needed frequencies. We will see what will happen to that now.

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    3. Od svega sto je Purger rekao jedino tacno je da nema leba od malih turbopropova.

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  7. So they could potentially find 4K to have committed a criminal offence?

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  8. Jedini koje treba pohapsiti su direktori LH, ali to se nece desiti. Adria ce leteti jos jedno leto. Bez novih linija.

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    1. Mogu da iznajme avione i uvedu te linije.

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    2. Bas se inace pretrzu od zarade. Ceo blok exYu je tezak gubitnik novca.

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    3. otkako postoji ovaj blok mogu citati i slusati kako ce ADRIA prestati sa letenjem...neznam sta vam ta ADRIA toliko smeta.
      Toj Adriji niko ne daje pare iz vana kao Air Serbiji, Croatiji ili Montenegro airlinesu...
      Slovensko trziste je nekoliko puta manje od srpskog ili hrvatskog i nema nikakvog turizma gde bi Adria mogla leteti charter....

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    4. To o prestanku letenja verovatno pise jedno te ista osoba.

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    5. Tko daje Croatiji pare izvana?

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  9. Gluposti nije to kriminalni prestup to je investicija, švajcarski amateri.

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  10. Are the rumours that Adria will get additional CRJs true? Would make sense if those Darwin Saabs won't be operated by Adria anymore.

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    1. It would explain all the job openings for CRJ pilots at Adria.

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    2. Yes the plan is 3 new CRJs in spring apparently.

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    3. They have a serious pilot shortage, and virtually no one applies to Adria's job openings, since there are currently many better options. This is not good, what's also not good is the dead silence from the management.

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    4. molim te nemoj da pises lazne vesti da se niko nije javio na natecaj za pilote kod adrie jer nije istina...

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    5. One CRJ900 of three are already in LJU (ex. Air Nostrum). All Saab's goes in Adria's fleet with S18.

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    6. @AnonymousDecember 28, 2017 at 10:34 AM: Actually, two out of three are already in LJU. The first one is S5-AFA, which hasn't been utilised on regular basis until now.

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    7. So when will they enter operations?

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    8. and what will they do with all the extra planes?

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    9. 1 sas crj900 is also in lju airport for 2months now

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  11. There is one famous Anon who regularly reminds posters from Serbia on super-high and morally superior EU standards that would make any kind of Jat-Etihad deal impossible. This looks a fine example of those high standards and I am eager to read his comment today.

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    1. When did Switzerland joined the EU?

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    2. Hahahaha, bravo 4:11 :) :) :)

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  12. And standing behind this entire debacle is Lufthansa :)

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  13. So what has 4K actually done for Adria since they took them over except for unnecessarily buying Darwin and probably blowing a whole load of cash.

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    1. Grew their fleet, grew their operations, increased passenger numbers, grew the average cabin load factor and the airline actually made a PROFIT!

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    2. Pax numbers are down, the profit was due to the fact they sold their own brand name to themselves.

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    3. How is it possible that passenger numbers are down? They have increased 10% this year.

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    4. Increase based on what? One year they include pax flying on Nordica and announce growth, following year they exclude Nordica figures from previous year and announce growth again :D The whole business there seems like a joke, and people taking them seriously are even more funnier

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    5. Ok I agree that them including Nordica figures to display last year how they had growth was a marketing ploy. But I don't think that Nordica's numbers should be included and if you just compare Adria's passenger numbers this year and last year, they are up 10%

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  14. conspiracy theories "LUFTHANSA IS BEHIND THIS" starting in 3,2,1...

    what an incompetent bunch

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    1. I would not be surprised if it is. They have become quite an expert at destroying companies. Big and small.

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    2. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 28, 2017 at 10:48 AM

      And they did not that in Augsburg, Contactu, bmi?

      Also Air Dolomiti and Eurowings are not regional companies any more with hubs in their founding cities but just a name (first one just part of LH Regional, second LH LCC)

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    3. Oh, hi Petar. I see you are back on track with your comments....

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    4. to me it is not imaginable that somebody from lufthansa would use black funds to pay a couple of scoundrels to bankrupt companies using illegal practices.

      why in the world would anybody risk their career for small fry companies as darwin and adria are?

      nonsense

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    5. @Petar Čelik: I agree with you completely. There is no bigger picture here. Adria was bought by an investment fund (with a suspicious track record and no experience in aviation). Their goal is to turn around the company and sell it with a profit. Forget about Lufthansa, Iranians or other conspiracy theories. Just take it as it is.

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  15. OT:

    Lets see what people think.

    Who will win the BEG concession?

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VTBZBXP

    I will post the results after the winner is announced.

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    1. Today there are more cargo flights in BEG than at some Ex-Yu airports in total:
      http://www.beg.aero/strana/13121/odlasci-kargo?brojLeta=&destinacija=&datum=2017%2F12%2F29&vreme=&timeZone=1&type=ID&flightSearch=true

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    2. a total of 4 flights to "Riyadh Airbase". I suppose its a weapons transfer? Can anyone confirm

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  16. Darwin was bought by JP and not by its owner 4K. JP founded a subsidiary in Switzerland, Adria Airways Switzerland, who then bought Darwin. Although the money for the transaction most likely came from 4K.

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    1. No, Darwin was bought by a company called Phoenix, which is owned by Adria, which is in in turn owned by 4K.

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    2. That sounds fishy within itself :D

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    3. @Anon 9:53 AM: yes it does :D

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    4. let's not forget that adria swiss ceo is ex CFO of adria slovenia so the guy probably knew exactly what he was doing when making this mess

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    5. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 29, 2017 at 12:31 AM

      Darwinovi kabinci koji su u Ljubljani dobili su 6.12. ponudu na ugovor na godinu dana u švicarskoj kompaniji Growing, sa bazom u Luganu, koji bi letjeli ove letove iz Saarbrukena. Pod uvjetom da se dragovoljno odreknu sadašnjih ugovora o stalnom radnom mjestu.

      I onda se postavlja pitanje, zašto nisu dobili ugovor od slovenske Adrie? Odgovor je u informaciji da je vlasnik Growinga Manfred Bruner, koji je bio dopredsjednik maintenance & engineering u Adriji od 7. mjeseca 2017. i u Darwinu od 8. mjeseca 2018.

      Growing se bavi konzultacijama u avio-businessu, edukacijom u avijaciji, te savjetovanjem u nabavci, eksploataciji i održavanju aviona. Sukob interesa? Naravno. Vrlo je poslovno neprihvatljivo obnašati managersku funkciju u jednoj kompaniji i biti vlasnik srodne kompanije. Nelogično sa poslovne strane Adrije? Naravno. Kome će tako nešto donjeti uštedu i zaradu? Adriji?

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    6. Da ti objasnim jos jednom. Growing se kao prvo bavi CAMO servisom za biznis aviaciju a Bruner i od pamtiveka bio je ukljucen u Darwin kao postholder kad ga je Etihad izbacio
      zbog nepredvidljivog renomea kojeg ima. Kad su se 4K ukljucili u firmu, nasli su se pravi ljudi skupa i poveli covjeka sa sobom. Na zalost Bruner ima izkustva kojih oni nemaju, pa je i njih dobro nagazio. Znaci, svi su ti ljudi iste reputacije, znano u nekim drugim krugovima. A jos jednom, sve to ni po malo nema veze sa LH

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    7. dobro insajderisanje, svaka čast.

      problem je što ovi nesretnici iz 4k ne znaju gde su se obreli

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  17. Meanwhile they took down the Adria Switzerland website.

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    1. Well there is not much point in keeping it up is there? I still find it interesting that they were planning on opening a base in Bern a week before they stopped flying.

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  18. Why doesn't Adria apply for a Swiss AOC and set up its own airline in Switzerland?

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    1. Why would they?

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    2. Well why would they buy Darwin there if they had no intention to enter the Swiss market?

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    3. To destroy it for someone, like they did.

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    4. Yes, because the mighty Darwin Airlines was the biggest threat Lufthansa has faced since the RAF.

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    5. No but it is part of a bigger picture. Like Purger rightly said look at what they have done to BMI, Augsburg airlines and others.

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    6. There's no bigger picture here. When JP goes bankrupt, Purger will simply say, he was right all along, it is Lufthansa. If JP doesn't go bankrupt, he will say the same.

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    7. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 29, 2017 at 12:34 AM

      Adria will not bankrupt. But it will be part of Lufthansa.

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    8. Purger I can assure U that there is no Lufthansa behind 4k. And I know that for sure not speculation...

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    9. Alen Šćuric PurgerDecember 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

      If you sign here a name (like myself) or give me any proof and document I would believe you. Till then...

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    10. Well, you should give a proof as you’re claiming this is LH strory. Which is not.

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    11. Of course I will give my name and surname and my position in Adria just to prove my point. Well in the end you will see the truth and I wonder how will u defend your credability in your sayings. Regards

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  19. This is not going to end well.

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  20. I really hope Adria will launch those new routes despite the Darwin trouble.

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    1. It's not just about the new routes, it's also about the increase in frequencies on many routes which are now in question.

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    2. Do the new routes still display Saab's as equipment?

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    3. I mean Saab's as equipment for the new routes *

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  21. Ovde nije moglo da se zivi od ljudi koji su vikali bravo Adrija koji su se agresivno ponasali iako je Adria na staklenim nogama. Ceo posao smrdi od pocetka i ne moras da budes ekonomski ekspert ili investitor to da vidis.

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  22. Say what you will about 4K and Adria but they have managed to grow the airline this year. On 24th December Ljubljana managed to surpass its all time passenger record from 2008 and it is almost exclusively thanks to Adria.

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    1. What, they have? I haven’t noticed announcement anywhere! Congrats LJU!

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    2. Yes they did.. so from 24.dec we are breaking record

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  23. Disappointing. I think Adria could have done quite a few good things for itself by developing Darwin.

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    1. I guess it could have fed some of Adria's routes to the east of Slovenia.

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    2. I don't think there was a big enough opportunity there for Adria to have substantial feed. Geneva is a big hub and is well connected with Eastern Europe.

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    3. With the right price you would be surprised how many people would make a short stop.

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    4. We will see how Adria's new GVA-LJU flights work out next year.

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    5. They have lost the 6 SAABs, so the question is more if they are going to start the new routes.

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  24. "Today we know it is an empty shell"

    Best description of the state the company was left in.

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  25. This finally puts in the perspective the privatisation of Adria Airways who was another fail of Slovenian politics.

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  26. Loosing the six Saab's probably has increased costs and expenses at Adria because they are already wetleasing extra capacity to make up for those grounded planes.

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