Ljubljana Airport in talks with China Southern

Ljubljana hopes for China flights

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport CEO, Zmago Skobir, has sent an invitation to China Southern Airlines to launch flights to the Slovenian capital with the two sides set to hold talks this week. The news comes after the Slovenian government announced last week it would finalise a bilateral air agreement with China. China Southern is the world’s sixth busiest airline and Asia’s largest airline in both fleet size and passengers carried. The airline currently operates flights to 121 destinations with a fleet of over 420 aircraft. Despite its size, China Southern has a limited presence in Europe with flights to Amsterdam, Paris, London, Moscow and Istanbul. Ljubljana Airport hopes passengers would use the service as a transit point to South Eastern Europe and the flights would also attract a sizable amount of tourists.

Ljubljana Airport has served other Asian based airlines in the past. Japan’s JAL operates summer charters to the Slovenian capital, catering primarily to tourists. Slovenia’s busiest airport is also hoping to attract Qatar Airways to launch services to the city, though it is already present at nearby airports such as Zagreb, Budapest, Vienna, Venice and Belgrade. In the first quarter of 2013, Ljubljana Airport welcomed 211.843 passengers, down 2.7% compared to the same period last year. However, trends are improving with the passenger decrease amounting to less than 1% in March while second quarter figures saw numbers increase for the first time in months.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Slovenian government signed an air traffic agreement with Kuwait in order to establish air links between the two countries. The government notes the agreement will help promote economic ties between the two countries. The Head of the Kuwaiti Civil Aviation Directorate, Fawaz Abdul-Aziz Al-Farah, said he hoped the agreement will result in actual flights between the two. Kuwait Airlines will operate charters to Sarajevo this summer, starting in August, but is not present in the region. The Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning said the agreement shows the country’s growing importance as a regional aviation hub.


  1. Anonymous10:02

    Maybe we will see an A380 in Ljubljana.
    He, he....

  2. Anonymous10:12

    China Sothern has a close cooperation with KLM and Air France. There are at list 3 passenger and 1 Cargo flights per day to Amsterdam (I can see 2 jets from the place where I'm seeting now)

  3. Anonymous10:12

    Bla-bla-bla, šuć muć buć i truć. In same time Qantas, Emirates, United, Air Canada, SAA and TACA will come to Lubljana. Inauguration flights will be same day with freueqencies 4 times per day.

  4. Anonymous10:23

    Adria will fly LJU-KWI Aug-Sep this year, A319 overnight THU-FRI.

    1. Anonymous10:50

      The same A319 that "is leased" to Jat! Hahahahahahahaha!

    2. Anonymous10:51

      Why? Is it a charter flight or..?

    3. Anonymous13:49

      No it will be regular flight ones per week.

  5. Anonymous11:42

    he news comes after the Slovenian government announced last week it would finalise a bilateral air agreement with China.

    China SOuthern to Ljubljana?
    No way
    Ljubljana airport conditions for foreign airline operators BAD.
    Chinese beware!

    It's just bullshit toking from SLovenia CEO
    signing an agreement it's not meaning flights will be done.

    Chinese take care.
    Full of cheaters in SLovenia.
    YOu wil realize for yourself if you want adventure.
    Talking, faces, smiles is one ... on the back it's reallv NO business area.
    DO you need to try for yourself?

    Ljubljana knows China SOuthern will not come it's just dust in the eyes for who?

  6. Anonymous12:55

    Makes more sense than Etihad taking over Jat.

  7. Anonymous14:07

    more sense than Etihad taking over JAT? Im not from any ExYu country, however I see that Etihad buying and managing JAT is a wonderful thing which will be full succes, what I hope and wish for, but flights from China to Slovenia? Yeah, sure, together with Sydney, Tokio, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro... If they can't manage to attract airlines from Europe to fly to Slovenian's capital, how can they convince Chineese airline to fly there? To sum up, idea is great, but i can't see this coming... sorry, maybe in the future (crossing my fingers for that)

  8. Anonymous14:22

    Slovenia must realise it is a small airport in a small city, in a small country surrounded with several big airports in some big cities in the strong countries all around.

  9. Anonymous15:46

    Anybody knows what happened to Jat's ATR in Split today? Seems like it cannot return as planed.....
    Flight to Dubrovnik is set to pass by and collect passengers.
    Any info?

    1. I noticed the same thing today. They sent JU720 to SPU first, then on to DBV and back to BEG. ATR was on the apron all the time in SPU and now I checked BEG arrivals and it apparently arrived at 19:50 instead of 13:40. Probably some kind of problem with the plane. I had to fly on Jat's ATR a few times (when I didn't have other options) and there was always some kind of delay or problem with the aircraft.

  10. Anonymous18:31

    OT: jedna stvar je sigurna, Wizz se ne sali!


  11. Anonymous20:25

    One more thing's for sure too. Wizz Air doesn't care about airports neither in the region nor those it uses but itself only. This way, Wizz Air's destroyed Nish Airport.

    1. Anonymous20:59

      I don't think that they directly destroyed the airport in Nis. I believe that the airport offered good conditions to Wizz, but it's obvious that there is something going on in Serbian Aviation that doesn't go in favour of Nis airport. Sad, but true.

      Having in mind that I travel ZRH-INI every 2-3 weeks, I would love to see some regular flights to Switzerland, Germany or Austria (which could be profitable with a smaller plane like an EMB170), but it is how it is...

    2. Anonymous22:51

      @Anonymous at 8:59 PM

      Just curious, has anyone ever done a study of INI potential, estimated demand, etc.
      Would you fly on turboprop for 2.5 hours (ATR 42/72, Q400 or even smaller ones EMB120 or Dornier 310 ?

    3. Anonymous23:29

      Beside the local carriers, like JU or YM (that for sure have some numbers), the TAM programme of the EBRD (the guys that finance the TRS-INI-route) made a kind of a study that estimated a demand of 200.000 passengers a year. But nothing really serious in my opinion. They are always too optimistic. INI would only work if you establish diaspora-routes and in the same time combine them with a "transfer-possibility", so ZRH, FRA or VIE would be the first ones I can think of. Of course, it's also a thing of seasonality. For example, 3-4 weekly flights during summer and 1-2 during winter time.

      I wouldn't mind flying on turboprops, as long as the costing/pricing is done correctly. And I think that a lot of "Juznjaci" wouldn't mind also. 6 months ago, you had a Saab 2000 flying ZRH-INI respectively GVA-INI and despite the very expensive tickets (cheapest return CHF 400.-), the plane was pretty loaded during the last 10 days in December 2012 and the first two weeks in January 2013. But the other flights (beginning of December) were cancelled (because no one wanted to pay CHF 500.- or more for a return ticket).

      Now, we have a pretty sad situation. YM, despite being a company that itself owes a lot of money, "plays" with the Municipality of Nis and receives money for 40 seats each flight. So, one part of the passengers, that is not travelling via BEG, goes mostly via TGD. A small part via SKP and a few LLC-passengers via SOF. YM planned to introduce 1-2 direct weekly flights INI-ZRH, but the Swiss authorities denied the request.

      So, in my opinion, the perfect solution for INI would be:
      1. Pay subsidies to a domestic airline and let them fly to ZRH, FRA or VIE
      2. Let the LCC's come in and introduce routes to BSL, FMM or DTM

      With the current situation, INI won't change.

    4. Anonymous01:37

      Which airline was flying ZRH-INI ? was this a charter ?

    5. Anonymous09:41


      This case was like a charter where Darwin sold the plane to a swiss travel agent (www.feral.ch). The tickets were sold by them or Darwin.

      I spoke to the agent some three months ago asking if there would be summer flights to INI. He answered that they were in talks and that he will communicate the decision in April 13'. So far, nothing happened.

    6. Anonymous14:48

      Thanks! I take that Darwin obtained rights from Serbian CAD.
      Is there any difference if a charter airline (as opposed to scheduled airline like Darwin) operated flights, in terms of obtaining the rights from CAD to fly a given route?
      I wonder why none of the Serbia based travel agents would offer such flights. Definitely in the high season (Summer, Xmass/New Year, Easter).

    7. Anonymous00:29

      I asked myself the same thing a few times. But it is probably the unwillingness or some kind of fear, that the serbian travel agents have. Mr. Davidovic from Feral Travel sounded pretty disappointed after the Darwin flights...

      To answer your question. In my opinion, there should not be an essential difference. Here you have the Serbian Air Transport Law for example: http://www.cad.gov.rs/docs/regulativa/Air%20Transport%20Law.pdf

      You can find the details in Article 78. I hope that I could help you. Best regards from Zurich!

    8. Anonymous09:30

      Many thanks! Regards from London.

  12. Anonymous22:57

    Do it for the spotters please!
    Anyway like all talks with international airlines in the past this is just a good night story, most likely.

  13. Anonymous16:00

    Three years ago the same CEO thriumphantly announced the arrival of Indian Airlines flights to Ljubljana airport ......... and not one flight materialised.

    1. Anonymous16:01

      This is sience fiction!

  14. Anonymous03:32

    Good news! Etihad is new VIDOVDAN for Serbian commercial aviation, in very positive way. No question to ask. Vin-vin for over take airline of
    Serbia the Jat Airways. Salvation for poor Serbian taxpayers, but they (taxpayers of Serbia)
    must pay all loans, a few hundred of million's of euros or wot ewer that maybe. It is new don for Serbian aviation but not for nepotism, political appointment, corruption... Etihad Know How.
    Let professional people doing they business with
    people of Serbian aviation circle. Let union out of management exclude for working conditions...
    Anyway, "samoupravljanje-self management" is over! For Etihad at list. let see happening!.
    Rodney Marinkovic Aircraft Mmechanical Engineer. (ret.) Sydney / Kraljevo.


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