Maribor Airport left without flights


Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport has been left without any scheduled commercial flights after the Slovenian and Belgian-registered VLM Airlines brought forward the suspension of its flights from the city to this week. VLM scrapped its two weekly service from Antwerp to Maribor via Munich due to low demand. The flights initially operated five times per week with a Fokker 50 turboprop before being reduced and ultimately discontinued. The airline did not wish to disclose how many passengers it had carried on the route. VLM Airlines' spokesman, Yves Panneels, said that options for potential new flights from Maribor or Ljubljana were being considered, but that no firm decision has been taken.

VLM Airlines is no longer owned by the operator of Maribor Airport. 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. The operator is now seeking to extend its concession over Maribor Airport to fifty years. The 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.

Last year, SHS outlined plans to invest 660 million euros into Maribor Airport by extending its runway and overhauling its facilities, after which services to China would commence. The government is currently working on a zoning plan that would allow for the expansion. However, the fate of the plan is unclear, as airport infrastructure is owned by the state, while Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek has likened the plan to a tenant renovating an apartment without telling its owner. However, Maribor Deputy Mayor, Saša Pelko, said, "The fact that the investor transfers 100.000 euros to the state each month gives credibility to the story". SHS was due to present its expansion plans to the public in late July but cancelled its presentation just half an hour before it was due to begin. Maribor Airport recorded a loss of 1.7 million euros last year, up from the 35.000 euro loss in 2016. It was generated as the airport handled only 6.000 passengers in 2017, while the operator also had to cover its monthly concession fee.

Comments

  1. Poor Maribor. Just can't catch a break.

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  2. They should have done what Osijek, Tuzla and Nis did and not get tied down.

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  3. Adria should station a Saab 2000 in Maribor. If they can do it from Paderborn they should do it from Maribor.

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    1. I completely agree but it won't happen. There is little or no sentiment in business, the least of all in aviation.

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    2. Why, oooo why, would they do that? What for? People from that region are always complaining about this; but when there are flights, they tend not to use them. Face it, MBX is not an airport that anyone would need. Maybe some Chinesse guy for god know what kind of money laundring business.

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  4. Do we need in the triangle of ZAG GRZ LJU an additional airport. NO
    Not every village needs an airport

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    1. Rijeka-Trieste 60 km
      Rijeka-Pula 100 km
      Rijeka-Ljubljana 130 km
      Rijeka-Zagreb 150 km
      Rijeka-Venezia 180 km,
      all on highways, except for 30 km in Slovenia and Opatija-Pazin,
      yet RJK somehow manages , not spectacular but not that bad either, especially lately.
      So geography cannot be exclusively blamed.
      Just my opinion.

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    2. Rijeka is on a similar level as Maribor during the winter.

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    3. That's just not true.

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    4. Also, Rijeka is a touristic destination with its vicinity.

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    5. Its actually a Square if you add KLU to this eqation

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    6. During winter Rijeka has:
      - Rijeka-Dusseldorf 2 per week by Eurowings
      - Rijeka-Osijek 2 flights per week by Trade Air
      - Rijeka-Split-Dubrovnik 2 per week by Trade Ar
      - Rijeka-Munich 2 per week by Croatia Airlines in code-share by Lufthansa
      = 8 flights per week
      + many cargo flights
      Something lot of airports in region just can dream about. Maribor is not even near to that even in middle of top season.

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    7. @frishki
      Rijeka with its surroundings is tourist destination, but with the highest seasonality within HR due to its northernmost position, furthermore over 90% of tourists in Rijeka region come from Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Bavaria ,Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and almost exclusively by their own car or bus, again because of the proximity and good highways. Also weather-wise, a location of RJK is not ideal and airport is often closed, especially in winter, because of northern crosswinds and ghusts. On the other hand, MBX has Pohorje and thermal springs which makes it tourist destination as well. The cities are of similar size and importance within the region, so yes, MBX should be at least at numbers of RJK, if not even better, considering GRZ and ZAG are with almost no LCCs

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    8. And yet again, RIjeka has around 150k passangers, so they must be doing something right.

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    9. JP umesto da razmatra operacije iz MBX razmislja o sirenju na CRO aerodrome - ima li tu pored komercijalnog faktora i politike ?

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  5. Airport like Maribort would be perfect for LCC...Unfortunately it did not work out with FR, otherwise it would have been great low cost alternative to all other surrounding airports and at the same time it would boost tourism in that part of Slovenia

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    1. I'd like to see Wizz Air flying MBX-LTN. Their departure times at LJU are really bad. Parking is free at MBX and GRZ doesn't have flights to London...

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  6. What a shame for such a nice terminal to go to waist.

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  7. Nothing worse for an airport. Hope this forces the Chinese to attract sone airline to fly there.

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  8. So basically the government in Ljubljana doesn't care about this while the local government is hoping something will work out. This is so typical of Slovenia where the capital only cares about the capital. Meanwhile Maribor will keep on rotting away.

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    1. Maybe the central government realized straight away that this is a scam.

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    2. Maybe at least somebody is smart enough and see that two airports are just not needed in Slovenia. And don't speak about LCC...Ryanair was there..and left. It didn't leave because people at FR don't like Maribor. But because there was simply no demand.

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  9. It's ok, LJU is on an expansion spree. They ate them alive.

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    1. Sure it is, with 0,4% growth in July

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    2. And do you mind writitng their growth so far this year. ;)

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    3. Sure, its 11,8%
      I wouldn‘t call that an ‚expansion spree‘

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    4. No, double digit growth at an airport the size of LJU is a joke I suppose. Right.

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  10. Funny thing is, the Chinese have put up Chinese signage at Maribor Airport :D

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    1. Just don't know who for since their "China hub" plans are years away.

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    2. Here they are
      https://static.vecer.com/images/slike/2018/07/17/4876610-1300.jpg

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  11. I have heard that Mr Djurdjanovic and his team are vacant now. They should give them a chance I think. Niš was also basket case airport lost in space.

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  12. Surprise surprise.

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  13. Nobody in Maribor even knew that this route was on offer.

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  14. Belgijski VLM je suspendiro većinu svoji linija, a zadržati će tek dvije linije iz Antwerpena za London City i za Zurich. Ukinute su linije iz Antwerpena za Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cologne-Bonn, Maribor, Munich, Rostock i Manchester, te kiz Ostenda za Manchester. Ukinuta je i linija Maribor-Munich koja je prvotno letjela 5 puta tjedno, a potom samo 2 puta tjedno. Iako je VLM najavljivao pokretanje letova iz Maribora za Beograd isto se nije ostvarilo, kao što se nije ponovila linija iz Maribora za Dubrovnik i Split koju je ovaj prijevoznik prošle godine održavao manje od mjesec dana.

    VLM naglašava da će smanjiti flotu svojih 6 starih (prosijek 28,3 godine) i neisplativih F50, te se koncentrirati na charter i ACMI tržište.

    VLM je krajem veljače prošle godine obećao čudesa. Od Maribora je u kratko vrijeme obećao napraviti veliki aerodrom, veći od Ljubljane. I tresla se brda, rodio se miš, ma zapravo nije se rodio ni miš, rodilo se jedno veliko ništa. Knjiga nije spala ni na dva slova, nego na jedan zarez.

    VLM je najavio čak 11 linija iz Maribora do 6 mjeseca prošle godine. Najavili su da će letjeti za Beograd, Podgoricu, Split, Berlin, Barcelonu, Hamburg, London i Zurich, te, pazite sad ovo, ni više ni manje nego za čak tri kineske destinacije, za Xi'an, Chongqingi i Nanchang. Prošlo je godinu dana od kada su se te linije trebale letjeti, a ne leti se ni jedna od njih. VLM je najavila da će u floti imati 6 Fokkera 50, 6 Airbusa A320 i čak 15 Airbusa A330, te je izjavila da će ih sve upisati u slovenskih registar. No, kompanija u ovom momentu ima 6 Fokkera 50, od kojih je do nedavno koristila samo 3, a više ni toliko. Nema najava nabavljanja daljih A320, niti A330.

    No, da biste shvatili što je to VLM morate ozbiljno zakopati u ovaj „kompliciran“ sustav. Iz objavljenih informacija belgijska kompanija SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V. od rujna 2016. je podružnica (subsidiary) nizozemske investicijske kompanije SHS Aviation B.V. koja je 60% u vlasništvu nizozemskih investitora i 40% u vlasništvu kineskih investitora. Slovenska kompanija VLM Airlines d.d. je pak podružnica belgijskog SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V, a obije ove kompanije lete pod jedinstvenim brendom VLM Airlines.

    Postoji i četvrta kompanija VLM Airlines (Brussels) koja drži AOC za A320 operacije i koja operira Airbusevima. Svi radnici i oba A320 VLM Airlinesa (Brussels) su prije radili u Thomas Cook Belgium, koja kompanija je zatvorena 27.10.2017. U veljači 2018. nepoznata danska investicijska kompanija je preuzela VLM Airlines (Brussels) od SHS Avaiation B.V. Ne zna se hoće li ova nova kompanija i dalje koristiti ime VLM.

    No, lokalno je stvar i još kompliciranija. Osim VLM Airlines d.d. koja pripada SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V, a koja pak SHS Aviation B.V, a koja je registrirana u Sloveniji 29.11.2016. sa sjedištem u Ljubljani, postoji i kompanija SHS Aviation d.o.o, registrirana 7.11.2016. sa sjedištem u Mariboru. U prvoj je član Upravnog odbora bio Harm Jan Prins. U Mariboru postoji i još jedno poduzeće sličnog naziva SHS Villa Mari, koje se bavi turizmom.

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    1. Nizozemski poduzetnik Harm Jan Prins, bio je CEO tvrtke SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V, poznat je zrakoplovnoj javnosti po umiješanosti u projekt Holland Exel (Nizozemska) i Air Exel (Francuska). Holland Exel je nastao preuzimanjem flote od jednog Boeinga 757-200 i četiri 767-300 bankrotirale kompanije Air Holland. Kompanija je počela sa letovima 2004, a već iduće godine je prekinula sa operacijama. Holland Exel je imala sestrinsku kompaniju Belgium Exel koje je bankrotirala u 1. mjesecu 2005. manje od godine dana od početka letenja. Harm je povezan i sa tvrtkom Air Exel koja je također nastala 2004. godine, preuzimanjem flote KLM Exela a koja je imala 2 ATR 42, 2 Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, 3 Embraer ERJ 145, te jedan ATR 72 cargo. I ova kompanija je nakon manje od godine dana prestala sa operacijama. Harm Jan Prins je bio predsjednik i suvlasnik, uz kineske investitore, a potom i glavni direktor mariborske kompanije TAM-Durabus, da bi se na iznenađenje javnosti nakon 2 godine povukao iz kompanije i prodao svoj udio kineskim investitorima. Potom je kao osnivač i direktor 2014. upisan i u mariborsko poduzeće Vinmar, gdje su osnivači još i Tamura Natsuki, Wei Sang i Pan Shun Nsin Robin. Portal Maribor 24.si piše da je Vinmar 20.1.2017. bez likvidacije ispisan iz sudskog registra. Vinmar je imalo u najmu poslovni kompleks Vinag, no od istih je odustao zbog visokog najma. 7.4.2016. u slovenski registar upisuje se poduzeće Vinag International d.o.o. kojeg je osnivač gore spoemnuti Wei Sang, a kojeg je direktor David Pu, stručnoj javnosti poznat kao prestavnik Chen Yinshena kod kupnje Aerodroma Maribor. Prema pisanju „Večeri“ ljudi povezani sa kupovinom Aerodroma Maribor povezani su i sa neuspješnim projektom Tvornice baterija Maribor.

      I kao po obrascu gornjih primjera, Harm Jan Prins u listopadu prošle godine odlazi sa čelnog mjesta SHS Antwerp Aviation N.V. a na njegovo mjesto dolazi Karl Rickard. No, ni Rickard u veljači nije bio na promotivnom letu iz Maribora za Munich jel je 14.2. i on otišao iz kompanije. Stoga je u Mariboru na inaugurativnom letu kompaniju predstavljao COO Carl Runge. No i Runge odlazi sa mjesta člana uprave 26.3.2018. a na njegovo mjesto dolazi slovenka Anja Poštrek iz Marjete na Dravskem Polju.

      Tog 14.2. u upravu SHS Antwerp Aviationa N.V. su imenovani kinez Rui Yang i slovenac Boris Bobek. Kada je Aerodrom Maribor kupljen to je učinjeno preko kompanija Rim projekt, a u kojoj je na čelu bio Boris Bobek, tada nadzornik općine Maribor. Rim projekt je kompanija upisana u registar Općinskog suda Maribor 24.6.2016., dakle par mjeseci prije kupnje, a osnivač joj je Sheng Yi Investments Limited BVI, kompanija registrirana na Britanskim Djevičanskim otocima. Na stranicama Mariborskog aerodroma kao direktor vode se Lingkun Meng i upravo Boris Bobek. No, tijekom 2017. na čelu aerodroma bio je gore spomenut Carl Runge, dok je Harm Jan Prins vodio sigurnost i razvoj aerodroma. U listopadu (oktobru) Carl Runge je otišao iz aerodroma.

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    2. SHS i kineski investitori su najavili i investiciju od 660 milijuna EUR u širenje aerodroma, iako novi nedavno izgrađeni terminal sa kapacitetom od 600.000 putnika zjapi prazan. Naravno, nikome u lokalnoj vlasti tada nije palo na pamet da je to investicija duplo veća od novog zagrebačkog terminala, svi su pljeskali i naslikavali se pred medijima hvalivši projekt i slavivši svoje političko vizionarstvo i poslovni sluh. Vlast je poduzela sve da se riješi komplicirana administracija i izdaju potrebni dokumenti, požurivši sve svoje službe i doživjevši ovaj projekt kao prioritetan. Sama dokumentacija će koštati porezne obveznike 125.000 EUR.

      I onda hladan tuš. Slovenski ministar za gospodarski razvoj i tehnologiju Zdravko Počivalšek izjavo je da SHS ima volje investirati u Aerodrom Maribor, no da SHS nema snage provesti ovu investiciju. Ne dvojivši u mogućnosti kineskih investicija koje jesu ogromne ipak ne mogu pronaći nikakvog ekonomskog rezona u toliko ogromnoj investiciji spram potencijala koje ima mariborski aerodrom. I ponovo se vračamo na prvu rečenicu ovog članka „Kada nešto zvuči savršeno onda se to u velikoj većini slučajeva ne desi”. Toliko novaca niti ima potrebe investirati, niti isto ima strukovnog rezona, niti se investicija može vratiti. To jednostavno nema nikakvog smisla.

      Stavivši u kontekst obećanja i najave koje su date, te činjenice da nije ostvareno doslovce ništa od najavljenog, iskreno više ne treba dvojiti u realnost ovog projekta. Sada treba tražiti odgovorene za to što je Maribor izgubio svoju ogromnu šansu postati LCC alternativa Grazu, Ljubljani i Zagrebu, aerodromima koji nisu skloni LCC. Nažalost nerealni i neostvareni projekti Maribor su nepovratno vratili mnogo godina unazad i potpuno uništili šansu koju je ovaj aerodrom imao.

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    3. So purger was right in his several articles one and half year ago about scam in Maribor airport. But still there were some optimist who support this scam.

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    4. 99% people on here knew this was a scam. Purger didn't write some revolutionary prediction.

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  15. How many passengers has Maribor handled this year?

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  16. LOL, what a money laundering skim

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  17. Maribor Airport's fate is sealed for the next 15 years. These guys will never allow any LCC or any other airline for that matter to fly to MXB.

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    1. And they want to extend it to 50 yrs!

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    2. That is a good sign because it shows they have long term plans. Rome was not built in a day.

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  18. Were VLM tickets expensive?

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    1. No. On the contrary, they were quite cheap. They had return tickets for 80eur with luggage.

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    2. So what then, nobody had guts to fly on these old planes?

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  19. I flew with dem this wednesday 15. 8. And friday 17.8. from MBX-ANR via MUC....Only 13pax from MBX-MUC and 15 from MUC-ANR (5pax came from MUC) and the way back only 7 pax from ANR-MUC and 5 pax from MUC-MBX (3came from MUC). So I was on private jet hehe.

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    1. What was the fare and service like?

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    2. Najveci prevaranti su Adria, CA, AS i MA, ne zna se koliko su para od poreskih obaveznika dosada sprzili... komunizam, kapitalizam nema veze samo udri po budzetu.

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    3. I paid tickets in february, whem they have promotion sale for 18eur one way...so 36eur

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    4. That's a good price. Did it include luggage?

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    5. Oh and do they have some sort of service? Drinks/food?

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    6. Of course, both luggage and food with drink

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  20. Nažalost je MBX od začetka samostalne Slovenije žrtva dviju tabora. Onog lokalpatriotskog koji misli, da bi to mogao biti najbolji aerodrom na svijetu, ali oni tamo žabari ne daju i onog birokratskog kojeg naprosto nije briga. Ionako u Sloveniji (kao i u HRV) su bitni samo autoputevi. Sve ostalo je sekundarno. Dobro. U HRV možda još pomorski promet.
    Takva situacija otvara savršene uvjete za mućke, pranje love itd.
    U prošlosti već su se donijele krive odluke i potrošilo dosta novca.
    U prvi polovici 90.kad je iz istočne SLO LJU bila puno slabije dostupna nego danas (nije bilo autoputa), Srbija bila pod sankcijama, djelovi HRV pod okupacijom JP nije došao na ideju da iz MBX ponudi letove prema SKP, mada istočna Slovenija i j. Austrija imaju populaciju koja bi bila zainteresirana za tu destinaciju.
    Nakon normalizacije stanja, nije se pokušavalo od MBX stvoriti polaznu točku za stanovnike regije Graza prema SPU i DBV. I dan danes MBX mogao biti charter alternativa GRZ.
    Prije 15 i kusur godina nakon puno pritisaka JP uvela letove za MUC. Meni se uvijek činilo, da se to uradilo samo kako bi se pokazalo da se ne može. Letilo se malim Pieperom za 5 ljudi ili tako nešto. I još dosta loša vremena. Naravno da nije išlo.
    Ova VLM storija je slična. Zašto pobogu MUC? Autom dođeš za 4 sata, code sharea nema, dakle ne možeš letit dalje s jednim check inom. Vremena ovakva da teško u jednom danu dođeš, odradiš sastanak i odeš. Kad su započeli sam znao da neće ići.
    Uz spomenute chartere MBX ima još dvije prilike. Jedna je teretni promet. Već se desetljećima govori da će sagraditi kolosijek do aerodroma. Time bi MBX postao zanimljiv logističkim tvrtkama.
    A drugi je po meni Rusija. Oko MBX doduše nemaš more, ali imaš skijališta i kroz cijelu godinu lječilišta. Rogaška, Moravske, Olimija, Laško, Rimske pa i sa austrijske strane. Ako Karlovy Vary i Pardubice mogu imati letove može i MBX u to sam siguran.
    Pitanje je htjenja

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  21. Slovenia is considered Luxembourg of the Balkans. Luxembourg also has 1 airport and there is no drama. No need to maintain airports that do not serve anything.
    Check Lleida and Ciudad Real cases in Spain. Money wasted in the air...

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    1. Luxemburg is significantly smaller than Slovenia. It's surrounded with some of the biggest and bussiest airports in Europe (AMS, BRU, CRL, DUS, CGN, FRA)which is absolutely not the case of Slovenia /MBX, with except ion of VIE. And also it cannot be compared with je Leida and Ciudad Real as those airports were built quite recently compared to MBX which opened much earlier and had some decent traffic during ex-yu

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  22. It's a real shame that everything they tried out of Maribor failed including DBV and SPU, which I believe they flew last year.

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  23. The only airlines that could work from Maribor are Ryan and Wizz, eith some subsidies.

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  24. It's embarassing that Portoroz with no conmercial flights is busier than Maribor with a shiny terminal.

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  25. Maribor airport was failure from the moment some brilliant people decided, that it was high time for Maribor airport. Even in the so called "harsh" times, where politics had much more direct influence on how things were done, they coulnd't produce traffic. Much less now. There is absolutely no need for LCC, as much busier airports are within 2 hrs car drive. It was politicaly motivated project then and it is now. I'm sure that almost nobody gives a fume about the airport, but if they were to close it down, Maribor would see it as centralist move against it and feathers would fly. Maribor airport has no future as passenger nor as cargo airport. There is no interest, no mass tourism, nothing worth estabishing a route. There are some summer charters and that's it. Thus it makes it ideal for training facility, but it lacks some infrastructure, like radar service and so, reducing it to VFR training. And giving the fact, that Slovenians are just crazy about civil unrest, I doubt this idea would live long, making the closure only sensible result. Even though I do not support pure economistic point of view, meaning that only economical sensible projects should be put in motion (as State has the right to support non-economical, but important projects alive), there is no other reasoning against closure - 4000 passengers/year, no lines, little training, bad infrastructure, no passengers (London connection via Ryanair few years back was full outbound, empty back to Maribor), with Zagreb, Graz and Ljubljana within 1 hour drive...where is the sense in it? Almost nobody but aeroclub and some VFR traffic is using the airport....

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    1. and yes, why not LCC - Ljubljana was privatised, so State has no power over it any more, Maribor was privatised, same story. Somebody has to subsidise LCC if there is no mass influx of passengers. Who is going to do that? Maribor? Slovenia? Forget it. Budapest 3 hrs away with all the Wizzairs, Ryanairs etc...? Yeah right. Unless you want Maribor to become like Treviso, little dirty concentration camp like airport for LCC

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