Ljubljana poised for UAE service in 2018


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will be linked with the United Arab Emirates next year according to the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure, with further details to be revealed next month. It comes following talks between State Secretary, Jure Leben, and a delegation from the United Arab Emirates at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event in Sri Lanka earlier this month. "There are good prospects for the establishment of flights between the UAE and Fraport Slovenia's Ljubljana in 2018. UAE carriers are interested. More will be known in January", Mr Leben said. A representative from Fraport also attended the meeting. Ljubljana Airport has been seeking nonstop flights to the Middle East despite increased competition from nearby rivals in Zagreb and Venice, which has made it increasingly difficult to secure such operations.

The Slovenian government and Ljubljana Airport launched an offensive last year to attract Gulf carriers. The airport held talks with leading airlines from the UAE, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Flydubai and Air Arabia. Furthermore, Slovenia and the UAE signed a Civil Aviation Agreement, which enables flexibility on routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft between the two countries, for both passenger and cargo flights. Asked last month whether it intends on introducing services to Ljubljana, Flydubai noted it plans to unveil a range of new European destinations by the end of the year, which may or may not include the Slovenian capital.

Emirates recently extend its reach into Ljubljana after finalising an agreement with the Slovenian shuttle bus company GoOpti. Customers are now able to book tickets to Ljubljana Airport or Ljubljana's railway station through the Emirates website. Passengers are shuttled from either of the two locations to Zagreb Airport, from which they transfer onto Emirates' service to Dubai. The Emirati airline has targeted the Slovenian market since introducing flights to the Croatian capital. The carrier previously told EX-YU Aviation News that Slovenia is the strongest contributor to its business in the former Yugoslavia. Ljubljana, which is in close proximity to a number of larger airports, is looking to increase its competitiveness by offering more direct flights. Besides Emirates, Zagreb Airport is served by Qatar Airways, while Etihad, Emirates and Qatar link Venice to the Middle East. In April, the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure noted that it is concentrating its efforts on boosting the country's air connectivity and linking Ljubljana Airport with new destinations.

Comments

  1. Emirates announced the launch of Zagreb in January. Maybe something simmilar for Ljubljana coming up.

    "UAE carriers are interested. More will be known in January", Mr Leben said

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    1. I can't believe they would open flights to Ljubljana with a B777 since they already fly to Zagreb.

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    2. I agree, that's very unlikely to happen.

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  2. Imagine if it is Etihad :D

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    1. I doubt it because I don't think they are looking to expand at this moment. My money is on Fly Dubai.

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    2. There is always the possibility of Air Arabia.

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    3. It's going to be Flydubai.

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    4. Any of them would be a nice addition in LJU.

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    5. I'll bet on GoOpti for ME connections in 2018 :)

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    6. Guys it's FlyBosnia en route Dubai-Ljubljana :)

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  3. And people here were saying how LJU had no chance of getting flights to the Gulf. So much for that.

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    1. Tell them sister, put those dusmani right where they belong.

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    2. Hope it happens but not getting my hopes up.

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  4. Brilliant news! Fraport have been doing a great job lately. The fugures have been doubling during the last months, new investments will be made, JP will expand, etc.
    A 3 weekly flight to DXB is quite realistic.
    Well done LJU!

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    1. I would not agree that Fraport has done a great job. The growth at LJU is down to Adria and its network expansion which has little to do with Ljubljana Airport. Fraport has managed to attract one new airline - Transavia for the last 3 years. New terminal won't start construction until 2019...

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    2. Actually they attracted Aegean as well but it didn't work out for them.

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    3. easy jet introduced another route (yes it's another airport in London but still).

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    4. Forget about attracting. Fraport cannot even cater the current traffic attracted by Adria. I see consistent delays every day due to lack of airport staff or setup when I fly. I cannot imagine they did not expand this building facilities like stairs even with huge growth of traffic.

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  5. I don't understand why Gulf carriers have avoided LJU for so long. I know Ljubljana is close to bigger hubs but it can also attract passengers from smaller cities like Graz and Slovenians would travel from LJU if there were options.

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    1. Probably because of the small demand?

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    2. Yep that's why Emirates said the Slovenian market is the biggest contributor to their network in ex-Yu.

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    3. Biggest contributor in terms of what? Average price per passenger? Overall revenue? Overall length of flights beyond Dubai? It is a bit strange they fly daily to ZAG and daily to BEG through FZ. If they make the most money in ex yu with sales on the Slovenian Market EK is the most stupid company on earth- but i would really doubt these claims ;)

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    4. Great if you doubt it. EK was just lying. And it was their General Manager for Austria and Balkans who said it. I remember reading the interview here.

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    5. To su price za malu djecu.
      2 puta mjesecno sam na liniji DBX-ZAG i nisam zamjetio toliki broj Slovenaca koji bi poduprli tu tvrdnju.

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    6. Ma tako je. Ovi iz EK lažu.

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    7. You are forgetting that Zagreb is not the only destination Emirates flies to in the region which is used by Slovenians. There are also Venice and Budapest. Zagreb just started while the other two have been operated for years.

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    8. Anon 09.34

      Hmm... is it because Slovenians are usually wearing their national costumes and have a big sign 'Slovenian' on their forehead?

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    9. They are soo stupid at EK. My god who employs these people. Demand is in Slovenia and they fly to Tivat :D

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    10. Hm...a ti putujes s zapusenim usima?
      Ja ne.
      Ja putujem sirom otvorenih ociju i usiju.
      Ako ih ne srecem po aerodromskim sankovima, ne znaci da ne cujem dok cekam na gateu.

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    11. There are quite a lot of Slovenians when I fly BEG-AUG-BEG with Etihad.

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    12. The two simply do not go together.

      Highest contributor = No flights

      DBV with with 40.000 Population is getting flights!

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    13. DBV is getting them on a seasonal basis, LJU could get them the whole year. I think FZ was staying away because of ZAG. Now they are afraid QR might launch them so they have to do it.

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  6. I think Qatar might come as well. Al Baker said himself they are looking into LJU.

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  7. Maybe Wizzair to DWC? They fly from various EU capitals.
    Meanwhile W6 is upgrading INI-EIN to A321 starting next March!

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    1. They made it clear it's a UAE carrier. An no, there is no upgrade, Eindhoven-Nis is being suspended in March, which was been reported and you can see on their website too.

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    2. Da da prvo najavili upgrade pa ukidanje linije...

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    3. W6 would first need to open a base in LJU, they can't do a W rotation to DWC through LJU.

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    4. They can operate it with a SOF or OTP aircraft.

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    5. How? Nobody would fly with a LCC to DWC that needs to stop in SOF or OTP...

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    6. No. They would operate:
      SOF-DWC-LJU-DWC-SOF

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    7. You know what is almost 24h of flying, right? They would need to swap the crew in LJU or DWC

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    8. They already do. They fly to DWC from Cluj, Bucharest, Budapest and Katowice which are all longer than SOF.

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    9. All of which are bases. Range is not a problem, crew time limits are.

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    10. They can't operate most of these with a single crew. That said, it's time for Wizz Air to open a base in LJU!

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  8. It would be about time since Slovenia is the only one in ex-Yu without flights to the Gulf.

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    1. There are no flights to Pristina either.

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    2. Air Arabia flew to PRN and it was a disaster, same like with their TZL flights. I guess demand is just not there.

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    3. All of Air Arabia's routes on ex-Yu have been a complete failure.

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    4. Truth be told they only sold tickets to Tuzla through a local travel agency and not on their website.

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    5. EK hopes to start DXB-PRN-JFK, same way back JFK-PRN-DXB coming summer 2018.

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    6. This is great! EK is going forward good job!

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    7. Yeah sure. They will fly DXB-PRN-JFK with the A380.

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    8. NO! They will made brand new model A390 3 stairs just for that route. Will fly that 7 times per day.

      By the way they do fly to Newark via Venice and Athens not to JFK.

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    9. What a pointless post. It's Milan, not Venice too.

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  9. Good luck Ljubljana. I am happy they managed to find someone to operate these flights having in mind that there are so many larger nearby markets.

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    1. The market is growing across the region. Routes that might have not worked in the past now have potential.

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  10. This has flydubai written all over it. They have been expanding like crazy in recent days. I mean if they plan on flying to Catania then I don't see why they should overlook LJU.

    It's a well known fact that Slovenes travel a lot and FZ is the right fit for them.

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    1. Really they will fly to Catania? Interesting.I really do hope LJU is on the cards for them.

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  11. I think the Slovenian market can be served with TK for the East sufficiently.

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    1. There is enough demand for a nonstop flight.

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  12. Excellent news. I wonder if it will be nonstop or linked with some other destiation.

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    1. I don't see who it could link up to. They (FZ) fly to every major city in the region.

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    2. EK flight DXB-BEG-LJU would be nice ;)

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    3. That would be perfect as far as I'm concerned :)

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    4. It would be a welcome change to JU's AT7 :)

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  13. What so attractive on Dubai? I dont like it at all, it s so artificial, superficial, has no real urban soul. Just an arabic jurassic park full of skysrapers.
    LJU is well connected to the Middle East and Asia with AY TK and JP connections to Star Alliance hubs nearby

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    1. It's not about the beauties of Dubai, it's about having a whole lot of points to connect to via Dubai at more competitive prices. Transferring through Istanbul is not a great experience.

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    2. Dubai is artificial, everyone knows that. No one goes there for its cultural aspect. People go there to shop, experience something different and enjoy the wonderful weather while their homes are covered in snow and ice.

      Look at FZ in Belgrade, half of their flights are filled with Serbian holidaymakers.
      Everyone has its preferences. For example I will never understand people who go for holidays to Germany but that doesn't mean there is nothing to see and/or do there.

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    3. Exactly what Nemjee said.

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    4. Dubai is fun because it's Dubai. It has millions of tourists so there gotta be something there.

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    5. Ne nasmijavajte me.

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    6. Anon 06.20 all of your posts now are full of arrogance.

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  14. 3 weekly service Dubai-Ljubljana would work without a problem.

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  15. Excellent news for Slovenian consumers.

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  16. The airport has really woken up lately. A lot of new flights from Adria, new flights from Trasavia and hopefully Flydubai and Qatar to follow. It would also be nice for Finnair to go year-long :)

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    1. Next year will be huge, mostly because of Adria but I'm glad we are seeing some new airline too.

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  17. Kladim se na FlyDubai 3xpw i to ovako DBX-DBV-LJU-DBX

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    1. Tesko. Vec imaju red letenja i odmah je povratak
      http://www.exyuaviation.com/p/flydubai-dubai-dubrovnik.html

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    2. Nista nije u kamenu zapisano

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    3. Anon 10:22, to bi se moglo reći i za LJU.

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  18. LJU's recent growth only goes to show that the airport is finally learning how to attract the market around it. Three weekly on FZ would represent a natural progression of things.

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  19. Dubai- Ljubljana - New York by Emirates would be great :D

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    1. I think you are getting a bit ahead of yourself.

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    2. @anon 10.14. Unfortunately that is not likely to happen from anywhere in the ex-Yu.

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    3. Both Serbia and Croatia have open sky agreements with the UAE and would make much more sense to fly DXB-ZAG-JFK if they were ever interested in something like that - which they are not.

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    4. USA has the most important say there, not Serbia, Croatia or UAE.

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  20. The Ljubljana Gulf saga. Hope they finally get the flights, they have been talking about it for years.

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    1. This might be a pre-emptive strike against QR.

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    2. Agree. Flights to the Middle East are way overdue. They have been holding talks for years. Time to the money where their mouth is.

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    3. The bigger issue is that LJU is not attracting any new airlines, not just from GCC countries.

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  21. The source is not reliable. Jure Leben is lying all the time. He is in and out as needed. He fakely presented his education level acquired in Uk to get his position in Slovenia, then he played dump like "oh really I don't know it". Surprised he is still around. They can't find anyone else in Slovenia who can speak English? Slovenians are well educated I can't get it.

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    1. Regarding his education, the way I got this it was not him lying, but a stupid Slovenian administration that doesn't recognize foreign education such as Masters or Science. In the real world he correctly translated his education as magister znanosti, but Slovenian laws do not agree on this, so he now has to present himself as Master of Science, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland...

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    2. Regardless of Leben, the meeting did happen. Fraport rep was also there and flights to Dubai and Doha will happen in 2018 or 2019 the latest.

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    3. @anon 11.51 +1

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    4. Slovenistan, where PhD from Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge or Stanford is worth less than doctorate from Univerza na Primorskem.

      Gotta love this country, really!

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  22. The only way this could happen is if they cut down on their capacity from Zagreb. Meaning, both become FlyDubai or Zagreb gets 3x weekly EK in winter.

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    1. Why would they cut Zagreb? It is performing well.

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    2. In summer it's doing well in terms of loads. In winter not so much, they always have some promotions and only with those fill less than 50%

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    3. Well, in summer only and with the feed from Ljubljana.

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    4. Prosli weekend, bome bio i vise nego dobro popunjen.

      Nego, pitanjce za sve vas mjerace prometa, tko su ti putnici namjernici koji pune avione vam sezone?

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    5. recently there was a promo to SE Asia from SKP via ZAG with EK. (SKP-ZAG leg with OU).
      The prices were approx. 300 euros return (!) to CGK.

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    6. EK has become the new king of dumping which is great for ZAG as now people can reach Asia for peanuts.

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    7. @AnonymousDecember 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM

      Talking out of your arse.

      Emirates is doing fine 65% load on most flights, December has proven very popular and LF is around 70-75% on most flights.

      November was poor, average 60-65% to Zagreb, 50-55% to Dubai.

      Emirates is happy with these loads, first year and winter, average for most destinations is around 55-65% in winter months.

      Emirates doesn't expect 90% LF throughout the year, they projected 80-87000 passengers this year, they'll have around 120-126000 or nearly 50% more.

      They couldn't be happier with the result.


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    8. Yes, I am sure they are always happy when they have to reduce flights on a new route.

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    9. O cemu vi to?
      Citate li vi sebe?

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    10. citas li ti sebe?

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    11. Da se razumjemo i ne lazemo, linije prema bliskom istoku pune expati, medju kojima je Slovenaca najmanje, dijspora (opet Slovenska najmanja) te turisti sa daleka i bliska istoka kojima opet Slovenija nije primaran cilj.

      U kojem to paralelnom svemiru LF na EK letovima pune Slovenci?
      Ne kazem kako ih nema, ali ne toliko kako bi moguca linija za LJU utjecala na postojece iz ZAG.

      Dajte se uozbiljite vec jednom.

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    12. Yes but with Slovenes they reduced to five in winter. Without them then it would be 4. B777 is an expensive bird. There are surely 20-30 Slovenes on each flight which isn't a small number my friend.

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    13. Podjeli to sa 10 i dobit ces realnu brojku.

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    14. And the rest of pax on those flights are?

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    15. Those making the most of the cheap fares. Also, EK/FZ both said Slovenes contribute greatly to the loads on the route and I am sure they wouldn't say that just because there are 3, 4 of them on the flight. So much arrogance.

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  23. FlyDubai maybe, Emirates and Etihad no way.

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    1. Flydubai would be the best fit for Ljubljana for the time being.

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  24. Less words more action. They have been talking about UAE airlines coming to Ljubljana for almost a year. Let's finally see it happen and not just commitments and nice words.

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    1. +1

      I will believe it when I see it.

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    2. I hate this stupid type of comment representing both a lack of faith and vision, notwithstanding intelligence. "I will believe it when I see it."

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  25. Bye bye Zagreb, finally LJU flights! Love my Ljubljana

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  26. Dubai-Ljubljana and Doha-Ljubljana in 2018

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    1. And Maybe LJU-BCN or LJU-ATH, Slovenians love to go on holidays.

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    2. so does everybody else in ex-yu

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    3. Yes but Slovenes have the most money.

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    4. Yes, but they are also the smallest nation. Which means that in absolute numbers you probably have more holidaymakers in Serbia and Croatia than in Slovenia.

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  27. Have there ever been flights from Ljubljana to the GCC? During Yugoslav times maybe?

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  28. This is good mainly because it will become a good alternative to TK.

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  29. This is interesting and it will certainly change the game rules in the LJU catchment area.

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  30. I remember someone wrote on here that EK might further reduce some ZAG flights in February and March. Maybe it has to do with FZ launching LJU?

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  31. the "line" will probably be signed with Goopti to shuttle people to Zagreb...

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