Adria unveils fleet, network and corporate plans


Adria Airways will be focusing on growth in the coming period with plans to further expand its fleet. The Slovenian carrier is looking to add at least three new aircraft next year and will not limit its operations at to its existing bases. The airline's CEO, Holger Kowarsch, spoke to EX-YU Aviation News, touching upon a range of issues including the company's financial performance for last year, the carrier's existing hybrid business model and owner 4K Invest's strategy for the airline.

You can read the full interview below:

Adria launched seven new routes this summer. How satisfied are you with their performance and will these routes be maintained over the winter (with exception to coastal operations)?

We have high expectations for the new routes. However, as the routes were just launched at the beginning of the season, they still need some time to mature, but are progressing quite well. This confirms that we perfectly observed the needs of the market as our chosen destinations are seeing a lot of interest. With the new routes we connected both business and leisure destinations by offering passengers with even more choices.

What are some other markets Adria is currently exploring?

Slovenia is a limited market and thus we are looking for business opportunities in a wider international environment. Since our network just got bigger with seven new routes, most of our attention is focused on the optimising these new destinations.

Generally, our focus is on growth and, in line with the trends in the aviation industry, we are intensively checking the possibilities for the expansion of ACMI services.

You recently noted that Adria should grow its fleet. Is Adria focused on further adding Bombardier jets to its fleet or is it considering other types as well?

Adria faces growth in practically all segments of its business. Yes, we are increasing our fleet of aircraft. We have already added three new aircraft this year, and now operations are carried out with fifteen aircraft. We have great expectations towards the upcoming arrival of six Saab 2000 aircraft, and we will no doubt continue to increase the fleet next year. In 2019, I expect at least three new aircraft Bombardier regional jets. This is due to the capacity of these regional jets, so at the moment we are not planning on adding any other type of aircraft.

The entry into service of Saab aircraft has been delayed for some time. Do you know when these aircraft could be added to the fleet and explain the reason for their delay?

It's true, the Saab 2000 aircraft were planned to be in our fleet earlier. I am convinced that the process will be completed quickly, as there is no basis for any more delays. I am optimistic that the Saabs will be flying for Adria soon and I do not expect any more complications.

Saab 2000s to join Adria fleet "soon"

Adria was one of the first airlines in the region to introduce a hybrid business model. Are you satisfied with its outcome and will Adria retain this model?

For the current time being we have a well-balanced hybrid business model between Scheduled operation, ACMI and charter. All three pillars are essential for our business. Our business model evolves with the market demand and we have proven to be fast in adapting to changing requirements. So we rely on our strength to be agile and we will adapt whenever needed in the future.

Adria has recently put a lot of focus into Ljubljana. Are there any plans to expand from the airline's second base in Pristina, or open new bases in Europe? In relation to that question, Paderborn Airport confirmed several months ago that it was in talks with Adria over becoming a base although there has been little news on this matter since. Is this linked to the arrival of the Saabs?

In Ljubljana we are faced with the optimization of our current destinations. Today, we can say that Ljubljana is one of the strongest hubs in the region and we have managed to connect Central and Western Europe with the Balkan region; we have created numerous efficient connections and this is something that our passengers appreciate.

In the long term, we are focused on growth, so we do not limit ourselves to existing bases. We are exploring the market outside of Slovenia and looking for potential partners to achieve our goals.

Adria is yet to publish its financial results for 2017. Although I understand you cannot comment on the specifics at this point, can we expect for the financial results to be positive?

In 2017 there were many changes in the airline industry, which subsequently affected Adria as we were also forced to make changes. We strongly focused on further improvement of our operations, while at the same time we set a clear vision of growth in all segments of our business.

We are satisfied with the previous business year. Despite a very demanding environment, we managed to increase the number of passengers by almost 10%. Financial indications are also encouraging, and this gives us confidence that we have built a good foundation. More than in the past, we are focused on the future and further growth, and in line with the trends in the airline industry, we are already making more decisive steps, especially in the segment where we see our competitive advantage.

Adria a long-term investment for 4K

What are 4K Invest's plans for its involvement in Adria? Does it plan to turn the company into a stable and sustainable business and then sell it, or is it a long-term investment?

The investment in Adria Airways is long-term and we always aim for a sustainable and stable business. I am proud of what we have achieved in the first two years and also convinced that this positive trend will continue.

Do you see opportunities to cooperate more closely with other airlines in the former Yugoslavia?

I strongly believe in synergies among partners and thus we continuously seek for opportunities. We are always open for closer cooperation, new markets, greater efficiency and faster growth – without jeopardizing sustainability. The success of such cooperation depends on more complex factors, so our decisions and future directions are and will be cautious.

What are some of Adria's short-term goals for the coming period?

Sustainable growth is our primary goal; with our valuable experience and knowledge in aviation this goal will continue to be achieved. The company has a tradition of being well trusted and respected in its long serving markets which is of great value to the company, along with our employees, who with full dedication, fulfil our goals and are investing in our development and innovations..


Comments

  1. wow so another 3 CRJs next year plus the Saabs. Impressive. I wonder if we will see more new routes

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    1. They will have the largest fleet in ex-Yu.

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    2. That would be 24 planes in total in 2019.

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    3. Someone mentioned they might start LED in 2019.

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    4. Hopefully this will mean they will no longer need to wet lease equipment.

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    5. The real question is how many of these planes will actually be operated by Adria for Adria and how many will be wet leased to others.

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    6. The 3 CRJs will be CRJ900s. They already signed a lease agreement for them for next year.

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    7. Crazy growth from Adria and they do it so quietly.

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    8. ^ True! If it were other companies in the region they would be talking about it every day.

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    9. Good to see more CRJs being added. Good airplane type.

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    10. Hope they consider A220s in the future :)

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    11. Too expensive. Better fit for Croatia Airlines.

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    12. And Croatia Airlines has the money?

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  2. Very interesting response to this question. Could 4K take over another ex-yu airline?

    Do you see opportunities to cooperate more closely with other airlines in the former Yugoslavia?

    I strongly believe in synergies among partners and thus we continuously seek for opportunities.

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    1. I think all of them are in contention - Croatia, Montenegro, Air Serbia.

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    2. Or all of them. Yugoslavia united under German rule :D

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    3. Well it was reported that 4K is looking into Croatia Airlines.

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    4. 9.20 United under Lufthansa you mean?

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    5. I'm really interested to see if there is any prospect of them integrating with Croatia Airlines. There are so many rumors that this will happen

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    6. Croatia already invited LOT to bid for OU. What if LOT gets OU and Adria buys Montenegro Airlines? Then next year or in two years, LOT buys expanded Adria/Montenegro from 4K? LOT would open flights to the USA from ZAG, LJU, DBV and control most of the USA flights between Adriatic and Baltic, with expanded regional coverage and feed in this area. That would also benefit Star Alliance and to some extent Lufthansa.

      Is that the reason Air Serbia was prevented from regional acquisition?

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    7. Air Serbia was prevented from regional acquisition? By hum? And when?
      Only prevention was on shortage of money in Air Serbia!

      LOT was not invited, they approach to Croatia Airlines by themselves, it was their initiative.

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  3. Also interesting comment about hybrid model. Indicates we might see a change sometime down the line.

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    1. Any chance they will go back to being a full service airline?

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  4. congratulations Adria!

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    Replies
    1. Great news for LJU too.

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  5. good interview. thanx

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  6. So they will obviously post profit for 2017.

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    1. But not as big as last year.

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    2. Whaf was the profit in 2016?

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    3. €3.2 million.

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    4. With the help of some creative accounting.

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  7. '...that Ljubljana is one of the strongest hubs in the region and we have managed to connect...'

    Someone needs a dose of reality here. They are sandwiched between ZAG and VIE, two hubs that are much larger and competitive than LJU.
    LJU is a second-tier hub, they are far from being a major player...anywhere.

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    1. I think under such circumstances (close distance to larger airports), they have done relatively well.

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  8. Impressive growth strategy in my opinion. Think Adria is definitely in a better place than it was 2-3 years ago.

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    1. +100 agree. I have a lot of criticism concerning some things but I think they definitely have a clearer strategy then when they were state owned.

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    2. The new owners have some vision.

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    3. and they have managed to grow the company year after year. Much better than before.

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  9. "In the long term, we are focused on growth, so we do not limit ourselves to existing bases. We are exploring the market outside of Slovenia and looking for potential partners to achieve our goals."

    This is key. It would be great if they partnered up with an ex-Yu airline and did more in certain markets.

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    1. I highly doubt they have ex-Yu in mind. Money is to be made in the west.

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  10. What I like about LJU is that it is experiencing solid and stable growth but also that it manages to keep flights year-round unlike some around it. This growth means that LJU is finally attracting its own catchment area. Go LJU, go!

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    1. Interesting. Maybe LJU should work on bringing the charter business to Turkey and Greece by attracting passengers from Italy, Austria and even Croatia.

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    2. But LJU airport is a disgrace to the city. With its tiny and limited infrastructure it prohibits any expansion to the existing carriers forget new carriers. It is the biggest bottle neck even for adria I believe.

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    3. Things should improve with the new terminal.

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    4. Which is not for another 2 years

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    5. Well actually just under 2 years. The next summer season will be the last one using the old terminal so I think they'll do just fine. Current terminal still has enough breathing room to survive one more season.

      I mean sure, at peak times there are big lines for check-in and security, but even then you never wait for more than 30 minutes. Also, departures area is decently sized already, which enables them to grow in transfer traffic.

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  11. Adria is becoming much more competitive then before. Could provide some competition to OU.

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    1. They will probably buy OU in the end. I think it's more realistic than LO.

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    2. Croatia Airlines' closest competitor is growing but I still think they are competing for different markets. Croatia Airlines doesn't really focus as much on transfer passengers (other than transferring them on domestic flights during the summer).

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  12. Good news for Adria.

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    1. Overall it's a very good summer for Adria in my oppinion. They have the most CRJs in the fleet in this region I think.

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  13. Any hint about Pula base ?

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    1. Is there really a demand for someone to have a base in Pula? What would they do over the winter?

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    2. Is they do open a base in Pula then they have definitely declared war on Croatia Airlines.

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    3. Again with this Pula nonsense, you people believe whatever you find on internet. Get real.

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  14. They need to to do something about the lack of pilots quickly. Otherwise it will limit their future growth plans.

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  15. Bravo Slovenija!

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  16. Regarding new routes, my question is had Brac been reduced to one weekly because poorer than expected performance or because of a lack of aircraft/crew? Thank you.

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    1. They have tickets on sale for brac for all sommer sezone19 with 2 weekly flights

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    2. Didn't they reduce it once per week?

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    3. It has been reduced to once per week. There is a flight only on Saturday.

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    4. It's because of crew shortages.

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    5. They have also reduced some high frequency routes like Skopje because of this.

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    6. Now they will get saabs and from august they will once again having night flights to PRN,SKP,TIA, KBP

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    7. and Podgorica is reduces.

      But, nooo, Brač to be reduced? I tote United will start flights to America from Brač and Qantas to Australia too. But now reduction by Adria. How comes?

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    8. Ha ha ha very funny

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  17. "The company has a tradition of being well trusted"

    Until this year when so many flights are cancelled, delayed, operated by other carriers and crew...

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    1. Those few cancelations should not affect it a lot. 2 weeks ago I read interesting story about, how LOT has cancelled its flight from Tel Aviv to WAW and moved its passangers to Austrian's flight via Vienna. Unfortunately those passangers made big troubles to Austrian because they were orthodox Jews, who did not want to seat next to women. LOT could be sorry, for missing such good chance for free commercial.

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  18. Interview had nice questions, but they were only selectively answered. Some of them completely skipped, most of them answered with general statements.

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    1. I was about to post the same comment. The questions were very good and on-point, but the answers read like a simple PR release with zero concrete information and very selective responses, especially where negative features are concerned (such as the reason for SAAB delay). All this makes me even more convinced that 4K is simply there to put some lipstick on the pig and leave before it burns.

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    2. i didnt want to be the first one to post this. felt exactly the same way.

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    3. Dude hasn't exactly answered anything ...

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  19. All of this growth will have a great impact on Ljubljana too :)

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  20. Any chance to see them in Maribor again?

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    Replies
    1. No. They said recently they have no plans to fly from Maribor.

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  21. I'm still confused on how did they get all these planes and did anyone pay for them?

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    1. Me too! Is 4k pumping money from its other companies or are they taking loans or what?

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  22. He did not answer on any relevant question.

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  23. Adria Airways is expanding its fleet with six additional aircraft

    13. July 2018
    Author: Adria Airways
    Adria Airways has the largest fleet aircraft in its history. The company adds 6 Saab 2000 aircraft and will operate with total of 21, continuing with its positive trend in business and stable growth.

    Adria Airways adds six additional aircraft to its existing fleet of fifteen aircraft. In addition to three Airbus 319s, nine Bombardier CRJ900s and three Bombardier CRJ700s, the additional six Saab 2000s will fly to a selection of the 25 Adria destinations. Adria Airways will manage its flight operations with the fleet of 21 aircraft, which is also the largest number of aircraft in the history of the Slovenian airline. By adding 6 additional aircraft, the Slovenian carrier equals the largest fleet by number of aircraft in the Balkans.

    "I am extremely proud that today we have achieved a very important milestone in the history of the Adria Airways. The latest acquirement confirms our commitment to investing in the company's development since our acquisition of the company. Our goal is to keep growing and strengthening, and we believe that we are able to further transform the company into a stable, strong and important carrier in the region, by developing it for a prosperous future”, said Holger Kowarsch, Managing Director of Adria Airways.

    Under the private ownership of 4K Invest, Adria Airways is developing into a strong and important regional airline. The period of stabilization and optimization of operations after the acquisition will be followed by a period of intensive company growth. This year was already marked by the expansion of company’s existing scheduled network with seven new destinations, the number of weekly flights and the number of employees in the operational sector.

    Christian Schneider, Chief Commercial Officer at Adria Airways, also welcomes the acquirement of additional aircraft: "Being competitive in these demanding and dynamic market conditions, we are constantly looking for new commercial opportunities and, above all, continuously improving existing services. The satisfaction of our passengers is our priority, and by acquiring these six additional aircraft, we can absolutely deliver on this promise."

    Adria Airways will lease six 50-seat aircraft from American company Jetstream Aviation Capital LLC. Based in Miami, Jetstream is the largest global lessor of Saab regional aircraft. The Saab 2000s will carry out flights primarily on Adria’s scheduled routes, but also have the possibility of being leased out on an ACMI contract to other airlines.

    The additional aircraft are expected to begin operations at the beginning of September.

    https://www.adria.si/en/news/2018/adria-airways-is-expanding-its-fleet-with-six-additional-aircraft/

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    1. Well it was announced from the start here that those Saabs would be added in September.

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    2. And people were saying they wpuld never get them.

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    3. Trebaju da pregledaju glavu "najveca flota na Balkanu".

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    4. Slovenia considers itself now to be in the Balkans now?

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    5. at least 4K :D :D

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  24. I'm really happy for Adria. Keep up the good work.

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    Replies
    1. If they are not making profit, all of it is just a scam.

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  25. Promising news coming from Adria with some clear strategy. Good news.

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  26. I hope they keep all the new routes during the winter.

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    1. They will. All of them are already on sale excluding Brac and Dubrovik which were always planned to be seasonal.

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    2. Oh great! Thanks

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  27. Adria wil soon overtake JU! nice work Adria

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    1. You sure? Passenger and capacity wise?

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  28. Against all odds JP has survived. Let's see what will happen if 4K buys another airline in the region.

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  29. They need to grow in order to remain relevant both in Slovenia but in Croatia too.

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