Maribor Airport operator threatens to pull out


Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport's operator, SHS Aviation, has threatened to pull out of its fifteen-year concession just two years in and has not paid its fees to the state since late September. Despite not delivering on most of what it promised, including transforming Maribor Airport into a hub for Chinese tourists, the operator is unhappy with delays by the central government in adopting a zoning plan, which would allow it to begin its massive 660 million euro redevelopment of the 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. It is also obliged to pay an additional 100.000 euro concession fee each month.

Edvard Rusjan Airport has been without any commercial flights since VLM Airlines went into liquidation this September. The carrier initially planned to link Maribor with Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang, however, none of the routes materialised. Last year, SHS outlined plans to invest hundreds of millions of euros into Maribor Airport by extending its runway and overhauling its facilities, after which, it said, services to China would commence. However, the government, which was to adopt a new zoning plan for the area by March is yet to do so. SHS has also demanded for its concession to be extended to fifty years but the government has not responded to the request. The concessionaire was due to officially 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.

Locals living near the airport have responded angrily to the planned expansion and voiced their concerns about the effects such development could have on the area. The Miklavž Civil Initiative said, "This area already suffers extreme negative environmental effects. Some days schools and kindergartens are advised to keep children indoors. This is alarming and we need to make it clear that we will not stand for it". The initiative has urged the government not to issue zoning and construction permits to the airport's operator. The government has the right to unilaterally terminate the concession agreement with SHS if it fails to make its fee payments two months in a row, which is likely to occur on November 26.

Comments

  1. And all of this is happening 2 weeks before local elections...

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    1. i think that everything is political plan to wash money

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  2. Surprise surprise

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  3. The Chinese have done nothing that they promised.

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    1. Well they can't do much until they get the permits. And the government either doesn't want to give them the permit or it's not their priority.

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    2. The government was clueless at running ANY airport in the country. Ljubljana went to the Germans, Portoroz to the Serbs and Maribor to the Chinese.

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    3. Maribor as a long haul hub for Chinese secondary cities- sorry to ask but who believed in this fairytale?

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    4. Just to remind people what they promised

      https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h8CPEIGHzKU/WLkwe6RvVVI/AAAAAAAAccA/pgQG1TjRc3sqdaSz3kb4BA2YdKL2cKs4wCLcB/s1600/Untitled.png

      https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-18XclvYLbkU/WLkw6eHwNJI/AAAAAAAAccE/mIlLu4qQmJg4D6MmVKHdJGLfTOYggqV_gCLcB/s1600/Untitled.png

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    5. ^ A list of nice dreams.

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  4. 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. 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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    3. Too bad. FR would be great choice for Maribor taking in consideration it would be perfect alternative for Ljubljana, Graz and Zagreb.
      Additionally it would bring a lot of tourists to that part of Slovenia full of thermal waters and village tourism

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    4. I agree with Nebohsa. MBX is perfect for Ryan. They could cover 1.5m+ people within 2hr drive: Maribor,Celje,Ljubljana,Graz,Zagreb .

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    5. Ryanair will come when the airport/city/region/someone like that will cough up some cash.

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    6. Graz is very well covered by VIE. Furthermore, theres also KLU in that region, and its also struggling, so, theres obviously too many airports in a relatively small distance from eachother- thus a need for consolidation

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

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  6. This is a smoke screen. The government has only begun developing the spatial plan for the airport. 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.

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    1. So you think the Chinese will leave?

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    2. The sooner, the better ... they for sure didn't come to MBX to develop anything !

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  7. Give the airport to Fraport!

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    1. E pa da. Naravno. Jer LJU je procvjetao otkad su švabe tamo. Možeš letit izravno na Mars

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    2. pa ti jesi vec na marsu

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  8. Just close it 4ever!

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  9. This airport can do much better. It might be best that the Chinese leave.

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  10. Better that the city invested some money and given it to Ryanair or Wizz air to fly to Maribor.

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    Replies
    1. What about Adria? They could have started flying too.

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    2. They did and it didn't work.

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    3. real shame about Adria not returning. I was still hoping they would.

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    4. Well with 2 ferry flights every day and then the SEN fiasco on top I'm sure everybody was VERY surprised it didn't work out.

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  11. It's sad that such a nice terminal is sitting empty.

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    1. It also has very good and new equipment.

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  12. Had Maribor started growing it could have finally forced LJU and ZAG to lower their charges.

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  13. Blaming the government is just a lazy excuse for the Chinese. If they really wanted to invest in airport and add so many flights, they would at least start with launching some of the promised short-haul routes for which no airport expansion is necessary. But we saw what happened with Munchen flights on a Fokker 50.

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    1. Completely agree.

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    2. If there are no passengers or at least to little, there are no chance for any operator to operate regular flights. Even if it was offered free of charge, it would not work if nobody need connection. I have listened so many times aboutthis, but when it comes, nobody's there to travel.
      It is a long story of tries but always fail after only few almost empty flights.

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  14. Maribor's main problem is that Graz is 60km away.

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    1. Exactly. Graz Airport does the job.

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  15. MBX needs a serious airline.

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    1. All Maribor needs is a bus transfer to LJU.

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    2. +100, if fast and appropriately priced.

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  16. The Chinese leaving could be a good opportunity for MBX

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    1. If they do leave it will be the same as if they didn't. But this way the government won't get any money.

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  17. And what happens if they leave. The city take over again?

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  18. Never trust the Chinese for business.
    They promised wonders for Plovdiv and suddenly walked away.
    Hahn Airport is also another epic Chinese failure.
    I hope MBX returns to normality soon.

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    1. And what normality would that be?

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  19. Not a good winter for Slovenian aviation.. in addition to problems with Maribor airport, Adria is cancelling flights to Bucharest, Warsaw and Kiev during the winter.

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    1. Što to znači? Da se otkazuju pojedinačni letovi ili baš otkazuju linije?

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    2. I think they are cancelling the whole line during the winter. You can't find any of those destinations on the timetable : https://www.fraport-slovenija.si/en/passengers-and-visitors/flight-info/timetable/

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    3. Verjetno da Bukarešte, Waršave in Kijeva ne bo več, vsaj v ponudbi ni napisan za naslednje poletje

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    4. Vidi vidi. Stvarno. Amaterizam par excellence. Objavit red letenja, pa par dana nakon što stupi na snagu micat linije. Zar nisu najavili sve ove linije kad su objavljivali 18/19 red letenja?
      Sad. WAW imaju ispriku da ih je izgurao LO koji ima više frekvencija, a WAW sigurno većini nije interesantna kao p2p nego za presjedanje.
      OTP su prožvakali već prije jedno 10g i ispljunuli. Zašto su probali još jedanput ne znam. Ne mogu ponudit Rumunjima ništa što već nemaju. RO leti na vse destinacije na koje leti JP (uz iznimku SJJ, TIA, SKP, PRN koje pak vjerojatno nisu tržišno zanimljive), a prisutne su tamo sve europske aviokompanije koje nešto vrijede.
      KBP ne kužim zašto nije išlo. Južno od VIE i između VCE i BUD su jedini koji su tamo letili. Loša priprema mislim. Trebalo je više suradnje s turističkim agencijama.
      Možda sam naivan, ali meni se čini da su KBP i LED najveća prilika za MBX. Trebala bi biti nekakva suradnja između aerodroma, turističkih agencija (Renee Tours i ostali), grada Maribora i hotelskih poduzeća pa da dovedu recimo Pobedu ili S7. Nije tamo samo Habakuk. Za sat vremena ili manje dođeš u Rogašku, Moravske, Laško, Rimske Toplice i vjerojatno sam još nešto izostavio.

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  20. Usually whenever it sounds too good to be true, it is.

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  21. I think they need to have another go at attracting Ryanair. They are doing really well in BNX, all flights so far have been sold out in both directions!!

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  22. SHS is an interesting company name. Kingdom of Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca?

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    1. Or it might be The State of Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba, the entity which united with Serbia to form the Kingdom you talk about

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    2. Yes and the airport ended up like the kingdom and the modern republics, a big failure and disappointment built on empty promises and lies.

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