Slovenia moves to secure Japan flights


Slovenia and Japan have resumed talks over the introduction of scheduled services between the two countries. The Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry for Economy and Technological Development, Aleš Cantarutti, hosted Japan's Minister for Economy, Commerce and Industry, Yoshihiro Seki, yesterday during which the two discussed the necessary steps for the establishment of nonstop flights. It involves the swift conclusion of a bilateral Air Service Agreement, which would pave way for Japan's largest carrier, All Nippon Airways (ANA), to initially conclude a codeshare agreement with Adria Airways. Last year, ANA noted the two carriers plan to mutually exchange flight numbers and designator codes on services from Japan to Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, as well as from these European points to Ljubljana.

Last year, ANA expressed interest in upgrading its annual charter operations to the Slovenian capital by introducing scheduled flights to Ljubljana. It came following talks between the airline's President and CEO, Yuji Hirako, and the current Slovenian Minister for Environment and Spatial Planning, Jure Leben, who was the State Secretary within the Ministry for Infrastructure at the time. ANA has also sought a temporary arrangement in order to allow the Japanese carrier to operate regular services to Ljubljana, if it wishes to exercise such rights, until an Air Service Agreement is finalised. The Japanese carrier has been maintaining summer charters to the Slovenian capital for several years. This year the flights will take place on August 31 and September 14 with a 787 Dreamliner jet.

Slovenia has seen a steady flow of Japanese tourists over the past few years, with the Slovenian Tourist Board putting Japan amongst the country's key overseas markets. Over 32.000 Japanese travellers visited Slovenia last year, which is up some 6% on 2018. They are most likely to visit the country in May, August and October and spend almost half of their time in Ljubljana, followed by mountain resorts and seaside resorts. However, it is tourists from South Korea which are most plentiful in Slovenia from the Far East, followed by China and then Japan. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure recently noted that it is concentrating its efforts on boosting the country's air connectivity and linking Ljubljana Airport with new destinations. "In our opinion, it is important for Slovenia to be connected with the rest of the world, no matter which airline provides the service. As long as they are safe and offer affordable fares to the public".




Comments

  1. If LJU get Japan flights ZAG can forget them!

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    Replies
    1. There were 142,043 Japanese tourists in Croatia in 2018 and 32,000 in Slovenia...

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    2. And all of them could be flown to LJU.

      There will be no need for ZAG flights if any Japanese air carrier decides to open non stop LJU route

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    3. LJU has the best location for tourists to arrive. Venice, Budapest, Istra, Plitvice, Vienna, Budapest ... are all close.

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    4. Trieste airport location is even better.

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    5. They fly to Wienna so by that logic we can all forget these flights to Japan...

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    6. But they negotitate with LJU and all the other ex- YU airports are not candidates.

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    7. They are negotiating with ZAG/CRO as well. There was news about it here just a few weeks ago.

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    8. I think even Dubrovnik alone has more Japanese tourists than Slovenia.

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    9. Japanese tourists are not really into beaches. They prefer mountains and lakes, rural tourism which is exactly what Slovenia has. They can then hop to Venice and the surrounding areas.

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    10. Also LJU is a much cheaper airport compared to ZAG.

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    11. Croatia is not all about beaches and sun anon 9.57.

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    12. For starters, Croatia have 5 times as much Japanese tourists as Slovenia

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    13. I think there's market in Croatia and Slovenia... It all depends if fares are competitive enough for people in northern Croatian and Zagreb using Ljubljana instead of Zagreb or Vienna.

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    14. Croatia is precisely about beaches and sun and that is reflected by the yearly traffic figures.

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    15. And yet, there are almost 5 times more Japanese tourists in Croatian compared to Slovenia.

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    16. They're just going to Slovenia and Western Europe.

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    17. Dude, have you ever walked the streets of Zagreb or visited Plitvice? They are literally packed with Japanese tourists. ZG has the most tourist arrivals of all Croatian cities, Croatia is most certainly not just a transit point for these tourists, nor is it just about beaches. When I moved to UK I was surprised as well when I saw just how many people here have visited Zagreb and Plitvice (and to a lesser extent Krka). Mountain tourism (hiking) is also popular, specially among Czechs and Poles.

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    18. 160 124 Japanese visitors to Croatia in 2018, sadly less than 177 000 Croatia had in 2016 and 2015. This year three's a 10% growth, so it might be around 185 000 visitors. If Japan secures flights to Ljubljana there won't be direct flights to Zagreb.

      Both markets are too small to sustain flights to Japan. The fact Zagreb has direct flights to Seoul, soon to have China flights, 2020 probably, and North America will be covered with Canadian and US carriers, things are ok for Zagreb right now. Would be nice to get Japanese carrier in Zagreb, but it is not necessary, Vienna is only 4 hours drive from Zagreb, or 3 if traffic is light, also there's a possibility of flying via Seoul for Tokyo with Korean air. I like the number of carriers that are currently in Zagreb, would like more European based carriers

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    19. Croatia has nearly 150.000 Japanese tourists per year compared to just 30.000 in Slovenia and i am reading a comment above that Japanese ppl is not about beaches, sun bla bla, Croatia has more national parks than entire exyu

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  2. Could their really be enough traffic to sustain scheduled seasonal flights?

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    1. I think charters are enough for now.

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    2. I'm a bit surprised that only two charters are planned so far. Last year it was 5.

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    3. Are these flights only for japanese people or can anyone book those flights(for example slovenian people)??if that’s possible does anyone know how much those tickets cost?!

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    4. You can only book them from Japan through Japan's largest tour operator.

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  3. this would be fantastic!

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  4. If Belgrade cannot secure those flights, how could Slovenia?

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    1. No ExYu country can sustain Japan flights. If BUD, PRG or OTP can not support them then definitely neither can BEG, ZAG or LJU.

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    2. That is correct

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    3. But to me it looks as if ANA wants to serve either ZAG or LJU, which makes sense since these are Star * airports and they obviously want to have some agreement with either Adria or Croatia Airlines.

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    4. Anonymous at 09:10
      +1000
      The best we can hope is for some charter flights which will carry 99% Japanese package tourists during summer.
      And that would probably be in Croatia.
      Normal scheduled flights, even seasonal are completely out of the question.

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    5. ANA already flies to LJU.

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    6. Yes,they are flying two charter flights!

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    7. Why do you guys compare Srb &Slo airports with anything Croatian? How can Korean Air fly nonstop from Seoul to Zagreb & Japanese Ana can not? This year Croatia's gonna have more than 12million passengers compared to Serbia 5,5 mil, or Slo 1,5 mil

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    8. Both Serbia snd Slovenia had more passengers than you listed last year.

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  5. Will JAL operate charters this year too?

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  6. This would be great if it happened.

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  7. Why does it seem that the ASA's are taking so long to conclude with Japan? Same thing with Croatia-Japan. Talks have been going on for over a year.

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    Replies
    1. I always thought that air agreements were regulated by the EU and is applicable to all EU states. Obviously I was mistaken.

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    2. Some are negotiated as a bloc, like the one with the US but almost all are on a country to country basis.

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  8. Honestly I think LJU needs to pull something out of the bat to remain competitive against all the nearby airports which are attracting a lot of Slovenians. This would be a very good start.

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    Replies
    1. They need to pull the plug on JP's debt.

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    2. @ 9.10 I think you meant to say hat :D

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  9. Foes any nearby airport offer scheduled flights to Japan?

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    Replies
    1. OS at VIE and AZ from MXP.

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    2. VIE has double daily flights to Tokyo both on Austrian Airlines and ANA.

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    3. OS is seasonal only. ANA is year round.

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    4. Is there still a scheduled service between Venice and Japan? Alitalia once offered flights between VCE and NRT, but that services were discontinued.

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    5. No there isn't. Alitalia is almost nonexistent in Venice anymore.

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  10. Yaskawa, the world's leading manufacturer of industrial robots, opened a new robot factory and a European robotics R&D centre in Kočevje. Slovenia-based company will cater about 80% of the European market's demand for Yaskawa Motoman robots.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. So we might see more business travel between SLO and JAP.

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    2. Moreover, Helios, a company specialized in coatings is owned by Kansai paint.

      "With the purchase of Helios Group, Kansai Paint intends to increase presence across the Europe and to consolidate the position as the premier coating company, also with Helios brands under its umbrella. Being under the wing of strategic owner Kansai Paint, presents various new opportunities to Helios. It will become the Kansai Paint’s European centre of innovation, R&D, production and distribution."

      ... and Sumimoto is opening a new factory for elastomers for medicinal applications in Logatec.

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    3. Vse je to ok, ali reci mi koliko ovakve investicije mogu generirati putnika? Ajmo reći da svaka ima 10tak nekih top managera koji će letit jednom mjesečno. Nije to baš neka potražnja.

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  11. I can't decide if I should laugh or feel sorry for Slovenians (let's say Slovenian politicians and bureaucrats). Expecting an upgrade from two charter flights annual (more or less 500 tourists in total) to scheduled flights from 9,500 km. away. And they believe (or at least announce officially, except PM's move two weeks ago) that Adria is doing good and will survive. And they also believed that Maribor airport could be a hub for Chinese tourists, hosting 15 wide-body aircraft, they even let a funny fake Chinese company to officially operate the airport for more than a year. Are they really too naive, stupid or corrupted and acting stupid to cover it?

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    1. To Anon 09.21 majority have no clue, few just pretend so they organize events, meetings so they can write in the annual report what they did to justify the salaries they are getting without problems. It's just burocracy: from the head to the toe. Official travels abroad are a bonus and fun (if you speak English) but please don't ask these questions now: it's hot outside and everyone among them is hardly planning shifts for the summer vacation time so it will be at least one left in the office at any given time. Why they don't close the offices when they can't take any decision (in summer) is a mistery.

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  12. There was a nice trip report from an ANA charter on here to Ljubljana. It was a cool read.

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    1. https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/03/trip-report-ana-tokyo-ljubljana.html

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  13. ANA only fly to UK, Belgium, France, Germany in Europe (maybe I’m wrong), but on the other hand, it may serve as another gateway to discover this part of Europe.

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  14. Japanese tourists represent a large market potential for Slovenian tourism.

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  15. Priorities should be flights to the Middle East and better connections to the Scandinavian and Russian markets. When they do that then they can think about Japan and China.

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    Replies
    1. And they should attract more low cost airlines and make flying more affordable.

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    2. Aeroflot already increased LJU to A320. Same capacity as BEG or ZAG in ex-YU region.

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    3. @9.47
      LCC offer is not bad from Ljubljana - Wizz, easyjet, Transavia. Could be better but its not bad.

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    4. Norwegian is a must though

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  16. Congrats, Ljubljana, hope this materializes!

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  17. yes, ANA A380 to Maribor soon...

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  18. For scheduled flights you need bigger market in 2 way. Some Japanese toursts is not enough to introduce long range flight in LJU.

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    Replies
    1. We don't know the traffic flow between Japan and Slovenia. Slovenes have the money to travel.

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    2. Japan people as well. And with 130m people there's bound to be enough to travel to niche destinations like slo

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    3. Oh c'mon, stop this Slovenes have the money to travel thing! Yes, if compared to other ex Yu republics, they earn more money. But if you look at Statisticki urad RS, the vast majority still choose one country during the summer: Croatia.
      So the argument they have money and they travel, in the ANA scenario is totally not important.

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  19. ANA is a Star Alliance airline like Adria. If I were Adria I would lobby the government to seal this deal. It could provide a great feed to Adria's network.

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    Replies
    1. In case you missed it, Adria is currently lobbying the government to save it from bankruptcy.

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    2. Sure, lots of Japanese will go to TIA/SKP/PRN/TDG via LJU.

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  20. If BUD managed to make YYZ year round this year, then there is no reason why LJU cannot have year round flights to HND or NRT.

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  21. This will never happen, the market is simply to small to justify scheduled longhaul to Japan. These routes are hardly sustainable even from bigger markets.

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  22. Doesn't Fraport operate some Japanese airports?

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    Replies
    1. No they don't. In Asia they have them in China, India and Turkey.

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  23. That is all nice and well, but is it realistic? Is there enough potential?

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    Replies
    1. ANA seems to think so.

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    2. I will be happy when ANA actually touches down in LJU. Until then, wishful thinking.

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  24. It would definitely make the airport more competitive. If you attract a major carrier especially operating long haul it attracts other airlines.

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  25. The main reason Japanese tourists could be drawn to fly to Slovenia is the nature and outdoors.

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    Replies
    1. It is actually a great market for the Japanese. Has absolutely everything they want to see.

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  26. The cheapest, quickest and most convenient way for a Japanese to reach Europe is with SU. They have amazing prices via SVO.

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  27. Maybe ANA wants to introduce some other European destination with a stop in Ljubljana.

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    Replies
    1. Highly doubt it. There are more lucrative destinations in Europe.

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    2. And how would you know what's lucrative for them?

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    3. If it were they would have been flying to Ljubljana for a while now.

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  28. This could maybe be a route of JAL's new long haul low cost airline which is launching next year I think.

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  29. Would be good for LJU and Slovenia.

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  30. Hope it happens. There are a lot of Japanese tourists visiting Slovenia and they could also use Slovenia as an entry point to Croatia.

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    Replies
    1. So interesting to hear how Croatia , which actually is the only exyu country with decent number of tourists from faraway markets, should have Japanese coming via LJU.

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    2. That's not exactly true. In 2018, 145,000 South Korean tourists visited Slovenia.

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  31. If I'm ANA I would fly to Trieste first: excellent position, close to Venice and the Alps, friendly airport with a train station and excellent parking capabilities for buses, cars etc.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. So all in all they would have 10 flights per day. Brilliant.

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  32. Regular flights Japan-Slovenia just a dream..mission impossible. Only charters are feasible as usually.
    The slovenian market is too small.

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  33. I think Slovenia as a country has a lot to offer. It's already doing well in attracting Japanese tourists. It is also close by to many countries so a good entry way to Central/East Europe. We will see.

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  34. LJU has not even a proper terminal size, how the heck they wont to process 280 passengers for one single flight or at least how they want to do it in a for the passenger convenient way. Not possible. So build first infrastructure and then lets dream on

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    Replies
    1. 100 komentara ali jedino tvoj konstruktivan! Slažem se. Pokušavam samo zamisliti ljubljanski bagage claim kako 280 od jednom čaka na kufere. Pa kontrola putovnica itd.

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    2. Thanks and yep baggage claim, check-in or Security control would very inconvenient. ANA is a 5 star Skytrax airline, I doubt they would agree to such service

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    3. Well, If they can do and they did it with B777 and B747 they will manage also with B787. And it was ANA B777, the same 5 star airline :)

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    4. They managed it at LJU without any problems before with charters from Japan and Japanese are very satisfied with the services at LJU, otherwise they would change the airport. But they didn't, since they know it is not only the size of a terminal that matters. Compare NRT and HND in relation to convenience for the passangers. HND wins big time ALTHOUGH it is much smaller.

      Don't be jealous !

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  35. People, please. When debate goes around ZAG, no one posts silly comments about LJU. The fact is that Ljubljana DOES have an airport which did and will co - exist along with ZAG. There is no need to post things such as "even ZAG doesn´t have this" or "it´s no way it would work for LJU if it won`t for ZAG". People, really? It al seems like you all would like to just close LJU airport, which still has 1.8 million passengers per year and the number is increasing year by year. Sorry but Slovenia will still have it`s own airport, which isn´t ZAG. And it will have some airlines and routes which ZAG doesn´t have. You can`t just comment under every topic about LJU how even ZAG doesn´t have something and therefore LJU also can´t have it. Well, newsflash people. LJU will have what it will have. If LJU will be the first with flights to Japan than it will be. I don´t care how many tourists visit Croatia each year. Just because of that it doesn´t mean Slovenia won´t have it`s own airport which it´s own routes. And yes, many Slovenes use ZAG but also many Croats use LJU. Some southern Austrians use LJU. LJU will exist and attract airliners so please don` t comment the same boring stuff about ZAG about every Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik and Belgrade section. Zagreb isn´t the centre of the world and will never be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who said, but you that Zagreb is the center of the world? Calm down.

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    2. LJU airpot is just fine, on the other hands Adria is a total mess, an unreliable, at least. Just for this morning Prague is cancelled and there are even no flights to *hubs, both Zurich and Munich. On the other hand they are flying a charter to Kos and Dole.

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    3. Indeed, today 17 out of 22 planned regular flights out of LJU, cancelling even several flights to ZRH and MUC.

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    4. Adria indeed is worsening the image of LJU. Let's hope that along with new terminal and possibly new carriers, if Addia goes bust (apparently that would even help LJU image) things get even better.

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    5. List of cancelled flights in the next few days:

      15JUN
      JP376/7 LJUBRULJU
      JP810 LJUSKP
      JP726 LJUTIA

      16JUN
      811SKPLJU
      727 TIALJU
      JP376/7 LJUBRULJU
      JP324/5 LJUSOFLJU
      JP890 LJUPRN
      JP726 LJUTIA

      17JUN
      JP891 PRNLJU
      JP727 TIALJU
      JP852/3 LJUTGDLJU

      18JUN
      JP838/9 LJUPRNLJU
      JP510/1 LJUCPHLJU

      19JUN
      JP568/9 LJUPRGLJU
      JP838/9 LJUPRNLJU
      JP364/5 LJUZRHLJU

      Well done, Adria.

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