Saturday, May 26, 2018

State labels Maribor Airport project "misleading"


The Slovenian government has labelled plans by Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport's operator SHS Aviation to invest 660 million euros into its infrastructure as misleading, likening the matter to a tenant renovating an apartment without telling its owner. The Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, recently noted, "It is necessary to say loudly and clearly that the planned investment is misleading because the signatories, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and SHS Aviation, do not have the power to conclude such a contract, although they probably have an interest in the investment, just as we do". He added that the state has not been informed of the planned investment and that parts of the envisaged project take up areas not owned or operated by the concessionaire.

Under a preliminary contract signed between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and SHS Aviation last November, Maribor Airport is to lengthen its runway and expand its facilities. The first phase of the project includes the extension of the runway from 2.500 to 3.300 metres, the expansion of the apron, as well as the construction of a de-icing platform. "This project will be implemented in several stages, and will affect cargo and passenger traffic, as well as the services sector. The funds will be allocated for the extension of the runway, as well as the expansion of the passenger terminal and cargo depot. Furthermore, new hangars and a hotel will be built", the airport operator previously said. The Slovenian government noted that in order for any work to take place, a national spatial plan must first be adopted by the state.

SHS Aviation purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros in December 2016 and won a concession to run the airport for a period of fifteen years. Originally owned by Dutch (60%) and Chinese investors (40%), the company's ownership structure recently changed. The Dutch SHS Aviation stake has been taken over by Villa 1, owned by the Chinese co-director of Maribor Airport, Lingkun Meng. SHS Aviation is also the owner of SHS Villa Mari, which manages residences near Pohorje, in north-eastern Slovenia. Maribor Airport's concessionaire had previously outlined plans to develop Slovenia's second largest city into a hub for Chinese tourists by securing a number of nonstop long haul flights. Currently, Maribor is served by two weekly services from Antwerp via Munich through VLM Airlines.

65 comments:

  1. Surprise surprise

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  2. The government should be quiet. They were clueless at running ANY airport in the country. Ljubljana went to the Germans, Portoroz to the Serbs and Maribor to the Chinese.

    If you sold them to cover losses in your budget then you lose the right to complain and nag.

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    1. +1 completely agree

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    2. Keep in mind that the government gets 95000€ from SHS every month... As long they get payed so good they will not care what is going on on the airport, which is sad.

      Haplek

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    3. Exactly, this is just for show so that people in Maribor think something is going on.

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    4. To be honest, LJU was quite well-run before Fraport. Airlines-wise however, different story.

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    5. If even the Chinese with money can't make money out of it because of burocracy and corruption in Slovenia: Chinese investors, for your sanity, just go out of this murky business! You are loosing to much time, energy and of course money.

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    6. Are you anon@12:21 who wrote about the most corrupt country in the EU? How about a reity check?

      It's very easy to come up with an absurd plan and then complain about bureaucracy which is killing you.

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  3. The Chinese have done nothing that they promised.

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    Replies
    1. The entire deal is very murky.

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    2. As if this wasn't expected from the beginning.

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  4. '...the matter to a tenant renovating an apartment without telling its owner.'

    Just in this case the owner agreed not to care for the next 15 years after the Chinese paid for this privilege.

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  5. What a shock!
    So the "haters" who were laughing at the whole "Maribor becoming a hub connecting China with Europe" were right and the idiots claiming that it was possible to become reality were proven wrong.

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  6. In the light of the recent developments at smaller airports in ex-Yu such as Tuzla, Nis, Banja Luka, Osijek, I feel like Maribor could have gone the same way and attracted LCCs. Now it has nothing.

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    1. Didn't Ryanair fly there at some point? I know JP failed to London.

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    2. But how? It is small airport serving small catchment area and close to many other airports already offering many travel possibilities. Portoroz on the other hand makes more sense as it is seaside airport.

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    3. The flew there for a few months but local tourist authorities that were funding the flights didn't have enough money and the flights stopped.

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    4. @9.19 Portoroz is limited by runway length which can't be extended because of terrain and the boarder.

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    5. And it's between Pula and Triest.

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    6. Yes, Ryan flew to STN. But the local tourist board did not want to subside the flights so Ryan flown away and have not returned since.

      Haplek

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    7. Too many airports in the region with a relatively small catchment area (KLU, GRZ, ZAG, LJU, MBX, TRS) and with highways and Schengen area it just can't work for all the airports.

      It is important to know, Maribor Airport was a political project in Yugoslavia, when there was a hard border between Austria and Slovenia. Nowadays, if you live north of Maribor, it's faster to drive to GRZ than to MBX.

      Unless they offer some serious subsidies to LCCs or play the 3EUR/pax game, there is no future for this airport.

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    8. In what sense the border with Austria was a hard border? People from Slovenia were travelling to Austria all the time in ex YU.

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    9. Travelling yes, but not nearly as easy as it is with the Schengen regime.

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  7. @anon 9:22
    Tnx
    I was not aware of that! So there would have to be some expensive buying/demolishing of nearby properties or not possible even with that?

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    1. Kostic bought the airport so that filthy rich people can land their jets before going to one of the fancy hotels there. It was never meant to be a busy international airport.

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    2. When riviera is short makes sense to have it as expensive as possible.

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    3. Well at least they made it, people love to go there and the numbers are not as affected by global events. Croatia should have done the same with smaller struggling airports like Rijeka.

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    4. Portoorz had 25.450 passengers last year which is amazing considering it has no scheduled flights.

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    5. That is impressive!

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  8. Wow. I'm shocked lol

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  9. This airport can do much better.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. But now it's too late.

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    2. Why would it be too late?

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  10. Was a fairy tale from the beginning.

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    Replies
    1. true. sounded too good to be true.

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  11. Wasn't it going to be a global hub with A330s flying in and out? I'm surprised anyone took this seriously. Money laundering perhaps?

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  12. Give it a chance people. There will be no money lost even if it doesn't work out. SHS is paying a fee to use the airport like it says. Their plans are ambitious and even if a part of it is realised it will be major and important

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    Replies
    1. +1
      However I do not believe that there are any major changes to happen for the airport.

      Haplek

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  13. This was a comment someone posted months ago about this (not mine) but they were completely correct.

    This is a smoke screen. The government has only begun developing the spatial plan for the airport a few weeks ago. It will take at least a few years before the spatial plan is adopted, and then there's the design phase and only after all of it is complete can they start construction.

    Who on earth signs a construction contract worth 660 million before they even know what they will be building or even be allowed to build?

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  14. I can only imagine how much money the city has given for "co-financing" flights to China. Better that they invested that money and given it to Ryanair or Wizz air to fly to Maribor.

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  15. How many passengers did Maribor have last year?

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    Replies
    1. Like a lot.

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    2. 6,000. They did worse than Portoroz!!!

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    3. At least this year they let some charters to operate from Maribor to Greece.

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    4. 6,000 is a terrible results since Chinese were promising 100,000 in first year.

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  16. "Last year Aerodrom Maribor generated a loss of 1.7 million euros"

    https://live.finance.si/8934260/Aerodrom-Maribor-lani-pridelal-17-milijona-evrov-izgube

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    Replies
    1. Hope the Chinese can turn it around but they have done nothing so far.

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  17. No surprize for one of the most corrupt countries in EU

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    1. I agree 100%. Please close down this airport it will cost less than any investment. Even pay workers without working for years it's way cheaper than the situation currently. If it's a money laundering scam STOP IT!

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    2. What do you mean with "one of the most corrupt countries in EU"? There's a lot more corrupt countries in EU than Slovenia.

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    3. Yes, starting with it's southern and western neighbours.

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    4. Most corrupt country in Europe? Funny guy ...

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  18. Slovenia sometimes surprises with its performance, being so developed.
    First it was MBX-STN that never worked, second it was LJU that struggled during the last couple of years, third it´s all the fiasco with JP and then comes the Maribor project launching flights to "useless" destinations.
    I don't know, but other ex-Yu airports have done, and working really hard to achieve goals.
    Best examples: SKP/OHD, INI, TZL, Croatian coast.
    Yes, you always say there are many airports nearby, but you also forget that it is a densely populated area similar to the Rhine-Ruhr area.

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    1. Hahaha, I hope you're not serious with your last sentence anon. Rhine-Ruhr area has 5 times the population of Slovenia on an area 3 times smaller.

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    2. What are you smoking... Rhein-Ruhr area has more than 10 mio people, almost twice as Slovenia and Croatia together.

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  19. Maribor has a very nice and modern terminal actually. Shame it is so underutilized.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks to Slovenian taxpayers, who paid for yet another completely useless thing in the country.

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  20. This is what SHS promised

    According to its initial plans, VLM Slovenia intended to launch flights from Slovenia's second largest city to Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang this summer.

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    Replies
    1. So much for that.

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    2. For sure mbx will continue to organize weekly used car market thats all.

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  21. it took that idiot of minister almost a year to get that. many people knew that beforehand...

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    Replies
    1. Yes, airport is run in a different way than Olimje spa resort.

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  22. Typically Chinese.
    Only words not covered by any actions...

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