Funds needed for fleet upgrade

8 million Euro fleet upgrade planned
The Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways has called on existing shareholders to buy up shares offered as part of an offer aimed at raising 4 million Euros in cash. The company is planning to sell nearly 122.000 shares at 32 Euros a share as part of a new issue. The money will be used to upgrade its fleet. The new shares have been offered to existing shareholders proportional to their existing stakes. Together the state-run Pension Fund Management (KAD) and Restitution Fund (SOD) currently own nearly 90% of the company. The shareholders have until January 23 to sign up. If they decide not to buy the new shares, they will be made available to the other shareholders.

Adria plans to invest as much as 8 million Euros in its fleet in 2009. It is currently adding two 90 seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets 900 to its fleet, thereby expanding it to 14 aircraft. Adria's passenger numbers have been rising dramatically in recent years. In 2008, the airline carried nearly 1.3 million passengers, 15% more than in 2007. However, the carrier has forecast a stagnation in passenger numbers for this year due to the economic slowdown. Adria says it has finished 2008 with an operating profit of 1.9 million Euros, a drop of 62% compared to the year before. It blamed the fall in profit on the high fuel prices.