Flydubai in talks over Ljubljana service


The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure has revealed that hybrid carrier Flydubai is negotiating with Ljublana Airport's operator Fraport Slovenia over the introduction of flights. The Slovenian government and Ljubljana Airport launched an offensive last year to attract Gulf carriers, however, this is the first time that concrete talks with a particular airline have been confirmed. Slovenia and the United Arab Emirates previously signed a Bilateral Air Agreement, which enables flexibility on routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft between the two countries, for both passenger and cargo flights. Ljubljana Airport has been seeking nonstop services to the Middle East despite increased competition from nearby rivals in Zagreb and Venice, which has made it increasingly difficult to secure such operations.

Flydubai has significantly expanded its network across the former Yugoslavia over the past few years. Apart from Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo, which it has been serving since 2011 onwards, it also introduced seasonal operations to both Tivat and Podgorica last year, as well as a Sarajevo - Podgorica service over the winter. This summer, the airline will launch flights to Dubrovnik. Flydubai is also working with Emirates to better optimise its network. Apart from a wide-ranging codeshare agreement between the two airlines, which now covers all routes in the former Yugoslavia, both are seeking ways to better coordinate their schedules and even swap some destinations, either permanently or on a seasonal basis.

Last year, Emirates extended its reach into Ljubljana after finalising an agreement with the Slovenian shuttle bus company GoOpti. Customers are 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 last year. 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, both Zagreb Airport and Venice are served by Qatar Airways.

Comments

  1. If slovenia is the biggest contributor to emirates's business in ex-yu, then why didn't they start flights earlier?

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    1. Because it probably contributes passengers to Trieste, Zagreb and Budapest.

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    2. Slovenian passengers fly on Emirates flights from Zagreb, Trieste and Budapest.

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    3. lol EMirates and Trieste. sve znas

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    4. Sorry you are right. I thought I was writing Venice. I wrote Trieste by accident.

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    5. Plus even Vienna (Emirates A380)

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    6. Will all Emirates flights in vicinity it would be great to have at least FlyDubai fpr direct flights.

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  2. It will be interesting to see if these flights will be nonstop or joined up with another route.

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    1. They could link it with Thessaloniki for example and offer Thessaloniki-Ljubljana too.

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    2. They fly to Thessaloniki?

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    3. As of 15th June. And since it's planned as a year round destination Anon 9.11 might be on to something.

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    4. Oh nice. Didn't know that. And I think Qatar starts SKG too this summer.

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    5. What about linking it with Dubrovnik? To me that would make even more sense.

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    6. I doubt they will keep Dubrovnik over winter.

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    7. has anboydo flown Podgorica SJJ-TDG?

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    8. Yes I'm also interested to know did they actually manage to sell any tickets on this sector.

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    9. I doubt it. A good indication is that Sarajevo will be reduced by Flydubai next winter and there is no tag to Podgorica.

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    10. had a couple friends fly SJJ-DXB-SJJ during the winter. Loads were not bad (~100 and less) while the TGD tag barely had pax. I dont see TGD happening again next winter to be honest.

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    11. If they start flights from LJU and link it to somewhere else then the flights won't be successful! Why wasting about 2 hours flying from LJU with a stop somewhere else when you can use that time (or less) to drive to ZAG and enjoy a much superior product.

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  3. Yes, LJU is definitely an underrated destination by the Gulf carriers. I think Fraport needs to negotiate not only with FZ but with QR too. Yes, Slovenia is a small market, but also the richest ex-YU country.
    But anyway, LJU is heading on the right direction that's for sure. After all, the expansion of JP and new U2 route are worth mentioning.
    Good luck LJU!

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

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    2. The airport has really woken up lately. A lot of new flights from Adria, added frequencies by Trasavia and easyjet and hopefully Flydubai to follow.

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    3. I doubt there will be Qatar. Yes, Al Baker said they were looking into Ljubljana - the key word being "looking into". But he says a lot of things. Anyway QR has released its list of new destinations for 2018 and 2019 and Ljubljana is not on it unfortunately.

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  4. Good news. Fraport have been doing a great job lately. The numbers prove it.

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

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  5. New routes for summer have already been announced. Hopefully then it could start in the winter.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they will start in august or something like that

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  6. Wouldn't this affect their Zagreb flight though?

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    1. I mean Emirates' Zagreb flight?

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    2. Well, remember that DXB-ZAG is reduced to 5 frequencies per week in winter so, if those flights coincide with this period, then I would say yes. Flights from ZAG-DXB will be hurt because LJU-DXB will be much cheaper.

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    3. By that logic, the new FZ flights from DXB to DBV will also hurt EK in ZAG.

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    4. Don't think either will hurt the DXB-ZAG. The market is large enough to sustain all three routes.

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    5. Very probably Emirates and Qatar will cancel ZAG as soon as LJU gets Flydubai, since those flights are packed with Slovenians. Just saying.

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    6. So, anon 10:27, EK and QR will both leave ZAG with their double daily 320 with daily or 5 weekly 777 once FZ 737 will come to LJU...not sure if you're being sarcastic or having serious issues with math :)

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    7. Sarcastic, hun.

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

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    1. It is amazing how accessible ex-Yu has become to the Gulf over the past few years.

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    2. right?
      the coolest thing is you can fly to wherever worldwide with just 1 stop (& short transfer times).

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    3. Like one-stop to HNL for ex.?

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    4. perhaps not HNL, but you can still fly far away places like AKL, KTM or FIH (yeah, google them!) with just 1 stop. Until QR and FZ/EK showed up... u needed at least 3 stops to each of these destinations

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    5. I know Auckland and Kathmandu but come on: Ndjili, Congo? U serious :)

      And u wrote: to wherever worldwide with 1 stop :)

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  8. 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. I hope the negotiations end successfully.

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  9. Expected. FZ has been expanding a lot in the region. It was just a matter of time.

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  10. Hope they reach an agreement soon.

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  11. 3 weekly service Dubai-Ljubljana nonstop would work without a problem.

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

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  12. The Ljubljana Gulf saga. Hope they finally get the flights from Flydubai.

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  13. Ljubljana needs more direct flights. With the new fast rail line opened between Ljubljana and Trieste, it becomes even easier to fly out of there. So it needs to become more competitive not to loose passengers.

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    1. Fast rail??? Hahhah r u serious? There is NO fast railway in slovenia, the average speed is still around 40-50 kmh.

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    2. i dont get the hype about Trieste (its probably a citizen of Triest). it has even less destinations then LJU!

      The one that is far more important is Venice

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    3. They have Ryanair.

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    4. Bari, Catania, London-Stansted, Rome-Ciampino, Valencia

      not that much

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    5. Just Italian cities and London. And with so many flights from Ljubljana to London I doubt anyone goes to Trieste catch a flight.

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    6. Well, of course they have less routs than Ljubljana, they are a regional airport with a huge competition from Venice airport. On the other hand Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. Even if they have less routs, there are lot of Slovenes and Croats from Istria flying through Trieste. And the new railway stop at the airport is definitely a big plus.

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    7. Well, Italian cities where Slovenes like to go during their holidays plus Valencia in Spain.

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    8. we all know where the Slovenes are holidaying ;) Istra and bellow

      I dont think Trieste is a treat. not at all

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    9. Trieste attracted 70k slovens last year. That's not that little.

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    10. Would be interesting to see how many slovenians used Marco Polo and Treviso?

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    11. @Sloavio probably around 200k annualy or even more. I know there was talk of this number in the past.

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    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    13. Thanks! Well, i expected this number to be even higher. Its not even that bad, thats more or less “just” 10% of the annual traffic at LJU airport. Even if LJU manages to keep all these pax here, nothing really big will happen, but it is enough to attract some new routes and/or companies

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    14. Anonymus 10:13, lots of Slovenes from Obala use Ts for London. It's nearer. And maybe from Nova Gorica area too.

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  14. Less words more action. They have been talking about UAE airlines coming to Ljubljana for almost a year. Let's finally see it happen.

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  15. @Admin: Could you please clarify the phrase ".. Slovenia is the strongest contributor to its business in the former Yugoslavia".

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  16. Have there ever been flights from Ljubljana to the GCC?

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    1. In 2014 for a just over a month Adria operated seasonal charters from Ljubljana to Kuwait. But that's about it.

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    2. Ha didn't know that. Interesting. Did they ever run those again?

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    3. Not that I'm aware of.

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    4. For those interested, this was the schedule:

      JP 186 ----5-- LJU KWI 1935 2335 A319
      JP 187 -----6- KWI LJU 0120 0640 A319

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    5. That was a good schedule but there was probably not enough demand at the time. Maybe it would work this time around if they offered some good connections to Sarajevo.

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  17. I think these flights will be a major success.

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  18. Would be nice to see their B737 MAX 8 in Ljubljana :)

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    1. Their new business class sure looks good in those planes.

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    2. that is true- they are described a "hybrid carrier" but at least their old premium product is same as what you get with some legacy carriers, and now with the new planes and the lie-flat seats it would be even better

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    3. I have flown Flydubai in business (on the old seats) and they definitely do not resemble hybrid in their premium product. In fact they have really above average service. In economy it is hybrid with buy on board but a cool feature on these MAX planes is that you can do all the ordering through your tv screen and you pay by taping your card right under the screen.

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    4. Actually now if you have a connecting flight with Emirates you get full service in economy for free on Flydubai.

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    5. Agree! I have flown with flydubai C class (old configuration) on the route Jeddah (or Riyadh i dont remember anymore) - Dubai. Their product in the C class is not different from the one u get on TK (same distance route of course) or QR.

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

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    Replies
    1. Why do you need an alternative to TK? They fly virtually everywhere and their prices are extremely competitive. Not to say that their service is also at a high level.

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    2. More flights, more competition, lower prices and/or more destinations?

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    3. @ 11.31 IST can be a nightmare.

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    4. I avoid TK at any cost and I know I am not the only one.

      http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/turkish-airlines/

      Not more than 3 stars airline no matter where they fly.

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    5. you have such reviews for virtually every carrier.
      I've flown with TK both in premium and in economy and both are fine, or definitely not worse than Lufthansa or BA
      Same with FZ:
      this winter was my first ever flight with them, and i got terrified by the reviews, and yet, i had very pleasant flights with them.

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    6. I regularly fly On the route LJU - IST - JED/RUH with TK in business class. TK has one of the best service, there is only thing I dislike, they mostly send A321 on IST-RUH/JED leg which means u dont get a full flat seat/bed, having in mind all these flights are during the night (leaving IST at 1am) and last approx 4h, i would prefer something more comfortable. Its the only reason i will go via FRA next time with LH, which flies with A330 and full flat seat is offered! All other aspects of TK are great!

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    7. prije sam s turcima redovit bio na liniji ZAG-IST-DMM
      Od kad je Emirates uletio, 0 bodova

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    8. TK needs to be avoided at any cost if you like to live. Their safety record is the worst in Europe. Even if they paid me I would never set a foot in a TK operated aircraft.

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    9. the 63 mio pax carried by TK in 2017 seem to disagree with you (actually it was 63.1 mio, but lets suppose the 100k agree with you)

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    10. Yes - that's what TK counts on. 98% of passengers are not informed about their safety record, info in Turkish media for example is censored - and some even still fly with them - you know why - because it is only money that counts for these 98%. They deactivate their brains if they can save a few bucks.
      Plus so many go via IST to the US or Canada which is the most craziest I have ever heard. Three hours the wrong direction, then three hours back plus 3 hours layover. Almost 9 hours of additional travel time per way - just because you save not even 100 EUR.

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  20. Nice and these will be probably codeshared by Emirates.

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    Replies
    1. Don't get ahead of yourself. They haven't actually scheduled the flights, they are just in talks.

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  21. I'll believe it when I see it

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  22. Flydubai are the best fit for Ljubljana for Middle East flights for the time being.

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  23. What's the obsession with Mid East flights? I would rather we get Ryanair to be honest.

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    1. Agree! The Slovenian market can be served with TK to the East.

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    2. Slovenians are in large numbers using EK service from Zagreb and Flydubai before that. Better to have them fly from LJU don't you think?

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    3. I dont get all this negativity. I mean, if u dont usenit or need it, that does not mean noone wants it 🙄 and saying why not ryanair has abs no sense, these 2 options r not excluding each other

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    4. I also don't understand the obsession with the Middle East flights. Like you travel there every month or so. Would really prefer cheaper European flights, Ryanair or some other with a base there.

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    5. Something tells me that airports and airlines don't start certain routes because of the "obsession" of a few, but because of the demand and profitability.
      Just guessing here.

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    6. @anon 8:56am: i do travel there every 2months, but anyway, each new connection, it brings u closer to another new airlines to come - more paxs, more transfers, more rotations, more options and more potential to “steal” some pax, so opening route to the ME doesnt mean “doors” are closed for Ryanair etc - ur post sounds like, if we get a flight to the ME, there is no space left for LCC?!

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  24. What about JP spreading its wings a bit and starting DXB? They have the right equipment and I think, with smart scheduling, they could link the flights to the rest of its network.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, but probably for 850€ return .... special offer 😂

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    2. A319 is hardly going to profitable on such a sector, not to mention lack of any connecting flights.

      With FZ you can connect to Emirates, which itself is reason enough to go with them instead of JP, if both would be flying the route.

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  25. I think FZ could have a lot of success in LJU. The catchment area is much wealthier than from other ex-Yu cities as they could attract passengers from neighboring Croatia and Italy.

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    Replies
    1. I don't understand that Ljubljana Airport does not take advantage of it's catchment area. It is true that around LJU there are many airports within two hour driving range but still the potential is about 5 million inhabitants and the road infrastructure is great.

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    2. Hahahaha 5mo? Yes sure 😂 u expect ppl from VCE and VIE will drive down to LjU 😂😂😂

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    3. Start flights and people will come

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    4. Not Venice, but people from Friuli come to LJU quite often. Also people from Klagenfurt and Karinthia.

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    5. @Sloavio Realistically if you include central and western Slovenia + FVG + Istra + SE Karnten/Koroska you get approximately 4mio. And that is excluding broader Zagreb area, E Slovenia and Graz area. Including also those you get much more than 5mio, mostly quite wealthy people compared to the rest of exyu.

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    6. Graz is very well connected to the Star alliance hubs: FRA, MUC + ZRH- I would not count on them.

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    7. Exactly! Italians have Venice, Bologna etc and they dont need to go anywhere to catch the flight. In theory there r 5mio potential pax, but only if there were no other airports. I regularly fly from LJU and mostly i leave my car at Adria’s parking and yes, there r some austrian (and zg) plates parked there, but numbers r not relevant. Anyone he knows the region, can tell that croatians n people from Klagenfurt are potential clients, everyone else not really, so 5mio is a far-fatched story

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    8. KLU airport generates as much traffic as INI for instance so I think people would definitely use LJU as an alternative.
      GRZ has barely 1 million as well. So those 2 Austrian airports are a "disaster" when it comes to connections.
      I think LJU can easily serve them.

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    9. Again, GRZ is very well connected to FRA, MUC, ZRH and btw. AMS too.
      Why would you travel to LJU, catch a plane there and then fly to FRA again, when you can do that directly from GRZ??

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    10. Why would someone from Graz go to fly out from LJU, when they have Vienna the same 2h away as is LJU with nonstop flights to almost anywhere in the world. And they also speak german at their airport. I just don't understand. Graz is outside the catchment area.

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    11. they dont even need to drive to VIE.
      there also quite a few direct daily flights GRZ-VIE

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    12. Nobody said nothing about KLU? It is 65km away from Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport International Airport.

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    13. @Anon 7:52PM: What about KLU? Klagenfurt is very strong catchment area for LJU as KLU barely has any traffic at all and connection options are non existent (except VIE).

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    14. The only two Carinthian cities Klagenfurt and Villach together only have 150,000 inhabitants. That's not much - why do you think there are no feeder links to KLU except for Vienna.

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    15. But the whole Carinthia has 550,000 inhabitants and they can basically choose beetween SZG, VIE and LJU. And LJU benefits a lot from those passengers as for many of them it's the closest one.

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  26. Flights to the Middle East are way overdue.

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    1. Air Serbia's morning flights to Ljubljana are mainly filled with transfers from Etihad's flights from Abu Dhabi (and I presume most are coming from a third destination). Slovenian's are quite big travelers. Flydubai would do well.

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  27. Ljubljana is not able to handle it's current traffic and there are soon elections in Slovenia.

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    Replies
    1. How do you mean it won't be able to handle current traffic?

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    2. @anon 11:32AM: please enlighten me how are elections relevant to LJU traffic and FlyDubai introducing flights to LJU?

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    3. To be enlightened, you need to learn how to read first.

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  28. Speaking of the Middle East, I am surprised that there are few flights to Israel. I mean most countries in CEE have faced extremely huge frequency increases and capacity to TLV/OVD. TLV is a year round destination and should work nicely for LJU.
    OVD is by the Red Sea and seems an interesting place.

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  29. Ne bi nazivao aviokomoanije nelogicnim.
    Ako je Slovenija toliko bogata i Slovenci toliko participiraju u brojkama......ako to da veliki igraci to nisu zamjetili?
    Qatar, Emirates, Ethiad????
    Ne razumjen.

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    Replies
    1. I am wondering that too. Except Turkish. On the other hand Macedonians are very rich having so many flights to Skopje and no access to Adriatic coast.

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    2. Puno Makedonaca radi u Turskoj.

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    3. not in Turkey- but i believe there are many who work in the middle east: Dubai and Qatar.

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  30. Ajde više da netko otvori liniju iz LJU.
    Više je dosta slušati kako Slovenci najviše putuju, najviše doprinose EK letovima, najbogatiji su, naj... a nijedna kompanija ne leti iz LJU.
    Racionalno objašnjenje je da nema potražnje, iracionalno je da svi ostali kradu putnike iz SLO. Zato pišem pismo:
    Dear EK, QR, EY - please open a new daily (double daily, if possible) route ex LJU. Thxs.
    ps - do it ASAP

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    Replies
    1. Well, there are passengers from Slovenia, although not as many as from ZAG or BEG. Problem is you don't have sufficient demand TO Slovenia to make it work vs ZAG for instance.

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  31. It will be nice Wizzair from Ljubljana- Dubai.If is so many travelers

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. At least one ex-Yu capital should be connected to DWC.
      SKP or LJU would fit nicely to DWC.

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    2. Wizz Air would need to open base first in LJU before operating DWC flights...

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    3. ... and Flydubai already flies from SKP to DXB, so no need for DWC

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    4. Wizz Air doesn't need a base in LJU to operate Dubai flights. They can rotate their plane that came from Sofia or Bucahrest.

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