Slovenia continues pursuit for Gulf flights


Slovenia is continuing to seek nonstop flights to the Gulf region, in particular to the United Arab Emirates ahead of next year's World Expo in Dubai, which begins in late October. The Ministry for Economic Development and Technology has already held talks with all of the UAE's main carriers, however, such measures are yet to produce concrete results. The Slovenian Tourist Board recently allocated funds aimed at advertising and marketing services which will be provided on behalf of airlines establishing new flights to Ljubljana from Gulf Cooperation Council member states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among several other European markets.

Ljubljana Airport has said that the small size of the Slovenian market acts as a deterrent for major airlines to launch new services to the country's capital, which is the reason it is putting a greater effort in its negotiations with carriers. "We are working closely with the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology concerning flights to the Arab world. We also have good cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board, with which we are jointly identifying markets of interest and coordinating sales and marketing activities", Ljubljana Airport said recently. It added, "We are constantly working on the Gulf area, so we are very active in that respect. It is one of the most important goals not only for Fraport and the Slovenian Tourist Board, but also for the country and the airport itself. The Gulf is our priority but we have very strong competition for these markets in Zagreb, Belgrade, Venice and Vienna".

The UAE's Economy Minister, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, said he saw synergies between Slovenia and his country in numerous industries, especially tourism. He noted that nonstop flights between Dubai and Ljubljana would open up the Slovenian market to over eighty million passengers who pass through Dubai Airport on an annual basis, which, in his view, would be "excellent for Slovenian tourism". The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure said last year, "There are good prospects for the establishment of flights between the UAE and Ljubljana, UAE carriers are interested". Emirates extended its reach into Ljubljana after finalising an agreement with the Slovenian shuttle bus company GoOpti. Emirates gives customers the opportunity to book tickets from Ljubljana Airport or Ljubljana's railway station through its website. Passengers are shuttled from either of the two locations to Zagreb Airport, from which they transfer onto Emirates' service to Dubai.




Comments

  1. With EK and FZ not so fabulous experience in ZAG, I doubt anyone will show interest in launching LJU unless they are ready to cash out big time. The market in Slovenia is just too small, they are punching way above their waist.

    In the end, seeing how desperate they are, I wouldn't be surprised if we see someone like EW or W6 launch DWC from LJU.

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    1. Wizz would be a good option.

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    2. Maybe it's time for W6 to finally open a base in LJU and launch these flights. They could also launch LJU-TLV another route that would be a smashing success. I don't know why they are avoiding the richest city/region in ex-Yu!

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    3. Because of high costs.

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    4. As JP comes closer to bankruptcy fees will also come down.

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    5. It's not so much about airport fees as it is about state taxes and the cost of fuel at LJU. The airport can't influence either.

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    6. Is it a government company that provides fuel? But when JP goes bust the state and the petrol company will lose the most.

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    7. They were talks about another petrol provider at the LJU. Fraport was giving away a property right for another provider some time ago.

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    8. What happened with the talks? I think Petrol is still the only one providing fuel.

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  2. With Flydubai decreasing frequencies to Zagreb this winter I find it hard to believe that Ljubljana will manage to get flights. It would have an impact on the Zagreb route which it does not need at the moment.

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    1. Zagreb barely works.

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    2. The market is there but FZ can't compete with QR. The only way they can is with double daily flights, until then ... nothing will change.

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    3. @An.9.04
      Saying "barely works" for the daily widebody service with over 90% LF and decent yields for 7 months and a bit worse numbers and 2 less frequencies for remaining 5 months, is not fair and simply not true. Actually the service is similar to BEG-JFK in numbers. Do you think that one "barely works" as well?

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    4. Flydubai is not decreasing frequencies in Zagreb. If 737MAX will come till than it will stay 7 flights per week, if not, Emirates will have 4 flights per week with 777. That is why they put 4 weekly rotations as they don't know what will happen with MAX. Same think they did last year, first they put 7 rotations on Emirates, than they decide it will be flydubai. Tim Clark said that he predict 737MAX will not be in service till end of year.

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    5. That's not what Flydubai said concerning Zagreb. Also how is it that they didn't decrease Belgrade but instead increase it from 5 weekly last winter to daily next winter despite MAX problems. Wouldn't it be logical to keep it at 5 per week if they don't know what will happen with the Max? But it's always good to have an excuse thought out.

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    6. Because they are sure it will be flydubai. In Zagreb they are still not.

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  3. Qatar Airways said they will announce 8 new routes in the second half of the year. With them opening flights to cities like Izmir, I'm hope Ljubljana will be one of their newest destinations.

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    1. Some time ago they did say that they are looking at LJU as a potential destination.

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    2. seriously you compare Izmir with Ljubljana?? a 3mio city, stvarno?

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    3. I didn't mean to compare but I wanted to highlight that in their last expansion they launched a few secondary European cities.

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    4. The comment regarding Ljubljana was made by Al Baker at the Paris Air Show in 2017 but still nothing.

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    5. Was this statement made before or after the blockade?

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    6. Just after it started.

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    7. I think there is a greater chance of Qatar Airways announcing seasonal Dubrovnik flights then flying to Ljubljana.

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    8. @9.13 The original anon has a point. Qatar Airways is also introducing Luxembourg and Tallinn!

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    9. Agree with @9.39. They are starting or just started Malaga, Mykonos, Bodrum, Antalya, Valletta. So DBV or SPU would make sense.

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    10. Well they will probably reveal their new destination at the Paris Air Show in a few weeks so we will see.

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    11. One of them might actually be Varna:

      https://www.novinite.com/articles/196430/By+the+End+of+2019+a+Direct+Airline+Between+Varna+and+Doha+Will+be+Opened

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    12. It's nice to see Fraport being so proactive with its airport in Varna but not in Ljubljana.

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    13. Fraport has done quite a few things differently at Varna then at Ljubljana.

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    14. I disagree. Fraport has done quite well in LJU too. VAR needed badly new routes to lower its dependence from SOF, OTP and IST. W6 will position their 2nd Airbus next month.
      I think LJU deserves to be a W6 too.

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    15. And are you telling me that LJU doesn't need to lower its dependence on Zagreb, Venice and even Trieste?

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    16. That's also true. But Venice is Venice, plus it has not 1 but 2 airports making things even more complicated.

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  4. When Air Arabia cancelled its planned flights to Belgrade, they should have come to Ljubljana. They already fly to Prague and despite the competition there their flights seem to be performing well.

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    1. Only plausible option in my opinion. EK/Flydubai already fly to Venice, Zagreb and Budapest so I don't think they will be adding Ljubljana any time soon. Etihad has codeshare to LJU through Belgrade and Air Serbia, so Air Arabia would be a possible option.

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    2. you compare Prague with Ljubljana?

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    3. Just saying that they have a lot of competition in Prague and I mention it because of flight length. Meaning Ljubljana is within reach for them even though they are an LCC.

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    4. In Slovenia they would have no competition.

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    5. Turkish Airlines is a strong competitor.

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    6. Not a direct competitor.

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    7. Gulf flights to LJU make no sense and are not economical, everybody knows that, except of course for Slo politics. Before they call for more tourists, they should do their homework first and build infrastructure such as e.g. int. standard 4 and 5 star hotels in Bled (currently none matches this criteria), add some at the coast as well or elsewhere as Lipica
      Upgrade public transport infrastructure, shape up roads (some of them are in miserable condition), build a new terminal at LJU AP.

      SLO is well connected to gulf flts such as VCE ZAG VIE, more is not needed. Asian and Gulf Tourists spend just.1 to 2 days in SLO and continue than with their restprogram

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    8. Why doesn't it make sense? If they can fly to SKP and TGD then surely is enough demand from LJU.

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    9. They suspended TGD, but they do fly to TIV.

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    10. Slovenia needs to build also railroads.

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    11. wrong. SKP serves also Kosovo and southern Serbia. ZAG serves HR&SLO

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  5. How much money is the tourist board offering for these airline advertisments?

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    1. "150.000 euros in marketing and promotional activities on an annual basis for each new route launched, while 90.000 euros will be offered to airlines increasing frequencies on existing flights."
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/03/slovenia-to-subsidise-new-ljubljana.html

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  6. Why are Gulf flights their biggest priority? I don't get it. And I'm genuinely asking.

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    1. Big market, excellent transfer options, good tourism potential, increasing trade and cargo opportunities.

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    2. It is literally the only country in the region without nonstop flights to the Gulf.

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    3. According to EUROSTAT Slovenia has the worst air connectivity in the EU so I don't know why you are surprised?

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    4. It is also a good look for the airport. While airlines ultimately make decisions on flying to somewhere based on their analysis, the more, if I dare say "prestigious", airlines fly to an airport, the greater the chance other airport will even consider them.

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    5. Also the only EU country without presence of the largest airline in Europe.

      But it has excellent Adria, cheap prices and great service. What else do you need...

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  7. Yes Air Arabia is the best options for Ljubljana.

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    1. If Adria wasn't in the constant mess it is in, to me it would make most sense for them to start flights with A319 or A320.

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    2. It would have made sense for me if Croatia Airlines did the same before Emirates started flights.

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  8. Economic cooperation between UAE and Slovenia is on the rise. Flights would make sense.

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  9. It is interesting that the biggest group of tourists from that region visiting Slovenia are Saudi Arabia, then UAE, then Kuwait.

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    1. FlyBosnia should launch Sarajevo-Ljubljana and shuttle passengers through Sarajevo :D

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    2. Yep, and they would kill JP on that route.

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  10. Would love to see Emirates in Ljubljana :D

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    Replies
    1. Keep dreaming.

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    2. Never say never. No one expected them to start Zagreb either.

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  11. Anyone have an idea which flights Slovenes use most to get to the Gulf from nearby airports?

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    1. Emirates from Zagreb without doubt.

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    2. Emirates advertised the Zagreb flights throughout Slovenia.

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    3. Yes only in July from ZAG.

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    4. And what about other months?

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    5. The loads are really bad from ZAG on EK and FZ stops flying there, so ther cannot be any Slovenes :D

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    6. I believe you the loads are bad on FZ during the winter.
      It must be the reason thy they reduced ZAG to only 4 pw during the winter.

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    7. Considerable biz travellers flying with EK from VCE

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    8. LF on EK from ZAG is 88,2%. On FZ is 78,4%. That is not bad loads at all.

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  12. Sorry don't see it happening any time soon.

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    1. Flights will start sooner or later. It's just a matter of whether it will be Doha or Dubai.

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    2. I've been hearing that for years.

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  13. They could always try to attract Oman Air. They have a growing network to the region and Asia so it could work.

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    Replies
    1. Do they fly anywhere close by LJU?

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    2. Closest they fly to is Frankfurt, Munich and Milan.

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    3. They also launched Athens a few days ago.

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    4. They fly too few routes to be a viable transfer option. Slovenians need visas for Oman and far few people know much about it to visit the country. Everyone would rather go to Dubai.

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  14. It's time for Ljubljana to quit the EK dream and think outside of the box in trying to get these flights. Wizz Air to DWC would be a good choice.

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    1. Wizz Air won't be introducing Dubai until they open a base in Ljubljana.

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    2. And they won't open a base in Ljubljana until Adria goes bankrupt.

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    3. From where does W6 fly to Dubai?

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    4. Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj–, Katowice and Sofia. All Wizz Air bases.

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    5. They can only serve it from a base because of crew.

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  15. I'm sick of these explanations how Zagreb, Belgrade, Venice have flights to the Gulf so it's difficult for Ljubljana.

    Bratislava which is more or less a suburb of Vienna has Flydubai to Dubai.

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    1. Amen! Where there is a will there is a way.

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    2. Bratislava also handles half a million passengers more than Ljubljana despite proximity of airports and despite having no national airline.

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  16. For those thinking Flydubai will come, there is very little chance of that happening with the MAX debacle ongoing. They have pushed back the start of their Budapest flights as well.

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    1. Wait FZ is starting BUD and Emirates already flies there?

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    2. wow I can only imagine the demand.

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    3. Budapest is Budapest. No surprise.

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    4. yes i had booked fly duabi 9 sep 11 pm flight to duabi , emirates code share.And thety hae cancelled and shifted me to 4 pm emirates flight.

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  17. I don't get why Slovenia is so "obsessed" with them flights to the Gulf if there is generally no demand from both sides.
    It was more than clear that LJU needs more LCC options as the ones launched by W6, HV and U2 are obviously doing very well.
    Time to expand the W6 operations or U2 adding more UK ones.

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    Replies
    1. It needs more LCCs other than on the Ljubljana-London route.

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  18. And yet there is Sarajevo with tons of Gulf flights and bosnians who are complaining about it :)

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    Replies
    1. Fu*k yes, we do that way too much.. when it comes to anything actually.

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  19. Well at least they are no giving up :)

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  20. What about Gulf Air?

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    1. Dubai and Doha are the only two viable in my opinion due to the fact that they could also attract point to point traffic and not just transfer. Dubai more so than Doha but since Doha will host the 2022 world cup and they are doing a load of things to attract tourists Qatar would also be plausible.

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  21. Air Arabia should have operated Sharjah-Belgrade-Ljubljana like they planned a few years ago. Would work.

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    Replies
    1. What would make that more appealing to Slovenian passengers than other one stop options with Turkish Airlines for example?

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    2. The fact that they wouldn't have to leave the aircraft or that there is no risk of them loosing their luggage.

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    3. Air Arabia would not be a good choice from SLO because it offers too few transfer options. And on top of everything it flies to Sharjah,

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  22. I think LJU needs to focus on connections with major European destination with the most frequent rotations and become less dependent on connections. We had to travel on business to Dusseldorf from LJU and it was a scheduling nightmare.

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  23. We in Bosnia, don't have a problem with middle east flights. Abundant, which is great.

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  24. What about EY?

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