Ljubljana Airport anticipates full recovery in 2021


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport expects for its passenger numbers to decline between 100.000 and 200.000 this year in the wake of the collapse of its busiest airline - Adria Airways. Operator Fraport Slovenija estimates the airport will handle between 1.5 and 1.7 million travellers in 2019 but believes it will be able to replace most of the former national carrier’s routes within a year and a half. “Fraport Slovenija is working with airlines to meet the traffic demand left by Adria’s exit from the market. This includes quick-start capacity increases, as well as new scheduled flight services in the near future. Furthermore, Fraport Slovenija remains strongly committed to developing Ljubljana Airport and to further growing passenger and cargo traffic”, the operator said. Since Adria’s demise, almost all foreign carriers serving the Slovenian capital have increased their capacity, while some have also boosted frequencies. In addition, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines have announced new flights to Ljubljana starting this winter season.

Ljubljana Airport is still seeking a solution to cover Adria’s destination network in the Balkans and is especially working on establishing flights to Skopje, which it says is an important business destination. “Fraport Slovenija has been working closely with all existing and new airlines to increase destinations, flight frequencies and/or seat capacity via the Slovenian capital. In the expanding European aviation market, airlines have been undergoing consolidation in recent years. Other carriers are expected to quickly pick up Ljubljana’s traffic and routes, that are no longer served by Adria Airways”, the airport operator said. General Manager, Zmago Skobir, noted, “For us, the biggest unknown isn’t whether airlines will come, but when they will come and find available capacity and crew”.

Despite the expected steep decline in passenger numbers in the coming months, Ljubljana Airport will record a profit by year’s end. Adria’s debt of over four million euros owed to the operator will be partially compensated. “Currently, Fraport Slovenija is investing more than twenty million euros into a new passenger terminal, which will be fully integrated into existing infrastructure and scheduled to open in early 2021. This terminal complex will increase capacity, enhance the travel experience, and offer more growth opportunities for airlines in the future. With the recently opened Fraport Aviation Academy and planned new airport city developments, Fraport Slovenija is also expanding other aviation-related business opportunities at Ljubljana Airport”, the operator said. It added, “We deeply regret Adria Airways' initiation of bankruptcy proceedings. It was our important and valuable business partner since the airport’s opening in 1963“.




Comments

  1. It's interesting that they mention Skopje as a route they want to cover as soon as possible. Opportunity for Wizz Air?

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    1. Yes quite interesting over PRN or TIA for example. But I agree that Wizz would be the best option there.

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    2. Was mentioned i believe at the Fraport press conference: PRN and TIA are (on top of my head) 90% transfer routes, whereas Skopje has a more significant O&D status.

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    3. That's very interesting. They say SKP is a business destination so I assume there is Slovenian investment there - banking probably.

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    4. in recent times i've personally noticed a lot of workers from n.macedonia in the recent 2-3 years. particularly a lot of medical personnel came - doctors and nurses. also quite a bit of students study here (ok, smallish number, but nevertheless, they usually then stay here). for the sake of interest i'll try to look up SLO's major investments in N.Mac.

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    5. to tp up my previous comment: major investments are pharmaceuticals (Lek), banking (NLB), insurance (Triglav, Sava Re), telecoms (Telekom Slovenije), etc.

      According to SLO data slovenia is the leading foreign direct investor in n. macedonia, ahead of turkey, usa and austria. per data in the years 2003-2019 the slovenian direct investments vere valued at 1.253 billion EUR, ahead of turkey's 962 million EUR. so it seems there really is quite a lot of business connections there.

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    6. SKP was always strong from LJU. During ex-yu Adria operated daily LJU-SPU-SKP and LJU-SJJ-SKP, on DC-9/MD-80, and after breakup they had up to two daily nonstop on MD-80 /A320.
      And the perfect one to operate SJJ and SKP from LJU would be OU : ZAG-SKP-LJU-SKP-ZAG and ZAG-SJJ-LJU-SJJ-ZAG, SKP on A319 and SJJ on Q400, but that would be if we had an airline in Croatia, but we have sanctuary for Party aparatchiks, mistresses and netjaks

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    7. Telekom Slovenije left Macedonia 2 years ago, as it did almost all ex -yu (except Kosovo, where they are also trying to pull out), Lek does not have any investments in Macedonia, except probably an affiliate.
      There is some manufacturing (car batteries in Probistip) but major Slovenian players on the Macedonian market are insurance and NLB (which as I recall is not a Slovenian company anymore)
      Slovenia is not a leading foreign investor in Macedonia- it is Greece.

      Not a @hater@ just posting this for the sake of clarity.

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    8. a nice opportunity for ZAG ali su oni tromavi ko slon. They have not added a single frequency to SKP in the aftermath of JP. Not having the courage to lease an additional aircraft (AirNostrum-type) because lacking of having a vision.

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    9. i was usung officiel SPIRIT's data: https://www.izvoznookno.si/drzave/severna-makedonija/pregled-gospodarskih-gibanj/

      they got their data from FDI intelligence. Googled a bit and saw some other numbers from different sources. perhaps it's the metrics what is counted as an direct or indirect investment or the aggregate calculation is skewed. not gonna get into detail's whos number are more precise, cause it doesnt really matter.

      Lek opened a business center for south eastern europe in Skopje in 2000 for quite a couple of million USD. If there is any production I don+t know. It was proposed back then to produce 2 types of antibiotics there, but don't know what happened since Novartis took over. But for the sake of airline a business center is what counts, so the suits can fly to LJU for meetings. The production workers are irelevant in this regard.

      Telekom...hmm..i believe they did indeed leave in 2017. but hey, they did generate some traffic until then.

      NLB is still a slovenian company in the sense that the HQ and the decision making is in LJU. In the IPO it got spread out ownership and no mother corporation as owner (i.e. strategic owner) where meetings of directors would be held. for airline business sake this is important not who the owner is.

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  2. Maybe Wizz Air could operate SKP-LJU if either side gives subsidies. Seems like that's their modus operandi these days. Until then there are flights via BEG or from ZAG.

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    1. It is possible some went onto the LJU-INI flights as well and then bussed the rest of the trip.

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    2. Could very well be especially since tickets to INI are so cheap. Skopje is really not far.

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    3. Wizz would want millions in subsidies for this routes. Adria could fill a CRJ but good luck with a 320/321

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    4. The SKP passengers from LJU were more connecting passengers from other European destinations. No matter how much SKP is connected to Europe through Wizz Air, there are plenty of passengers that prefer traditional airline to fly with...

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  3. It would have been a record year for LJU. Pity.

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    1. They would have had 1.9 million. I think management is overly optimistic if they expect 1.7 million this year.

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    2. I agree, in midterm very probable, but i can hardly imagine this figure for this year.

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    3. To reach 1.7 million this year we need 250.000 pax in three month, that is approx 83000 pax per month. I think it is realistic
      In 2018 LJU had over 380.000 pax OCT-DEC

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    4. We will know next week. We will see how Adria impacted LJU's figures, although we should keep in mind that Adria stopped flying in late September so the effects will be felt much more in October.

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  4. Wish them good luck! Other airlines will step in!

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    1. I must admit I was expecting a quicker response from some, especially LCCs. It's not as if no one saw Adria's bankruptcy coming.

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    2. Austrian will probably eventually come, but until the summer. Maybe we see SAS as well.

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    3. https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/10/austrian-rules-out-ljubljana-service.html

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    4. I was expecting Eurowings to start flights but they are nowhere to be found.

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    5. LH Group is currently reshuffling airline positioning, Austrian will take over several Vienna routes from Eurowings etc. It looks they are currency occupied with internal reorganization, Eurowings has a massive loss.

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    6. we'll see about austrian. it was the thinnest of the routes to LH's hubs passenger wise. For transfers VIE doesn't offer anything significantly what MUC or FRA couldn't offer. Works for lju and west of Slovenia passengers. The ones from east are quicker there with a car.

      And OS is having capacity problems with even existing routes. They still haven't fully compensated the lack of metal. And financials are too not great at OS, especially in winter. Q1 of 2019 they made a loss of 99 million EUR. So they are really not that excited to start a new route in the winter. Especially if the on this blog mentioned 37 passenger average load per flight is correct.

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    7. Anon 09:05: Serious airlines do their schedules more than 1 months in advance and LCCs tend not to have aircraft parked around in case any airline goes bust, and they could deploy them at short notice.

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  5. Goes to show that national carriers do have an important role, despite what many think here.

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    1. No one is saying otherwise. That doesn't mean they are a net benefit for the country though.

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    2. Exactly what last anon said. Look at Brussels Airlines prices from BRU to LJU. Compare them with Adria! Now ordinary people can actually use this route.

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    3. Passenger numbers can increase with or without a national carrier. But connectivity without a national carrier is significantly affected.

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    4. @anon 9:19

      totally agree. and the wining of the "national interest, everything is doomed, etc" folks that now it would cost us more that the lazycrats paid by the government will have to probably spend one night in a BRU hotel for 100 eur per night. If you add the 100 eur to the SN return ticket price, it's still cheaper than the 452 eur JP return ticket price from the government contract. even if you add one more per-diem for the lazycrat it's still cheaper. so I really fail to see the downside. :)

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    5. @9.24 Even with Adria, Slovenia's connectivity in Europe in 2019 was ranked 40 out of 43. So I don't think we will loose much.

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  6. Realistically speaking, what other airlines could we see come to LJU?

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    1. I would have thought Wizz Air but obviously I was wrong. Not only are they not opening flights, they are withdrawing from the market, for the winter at least.

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    2. Wizz has some >150 aircrafts on delivery. so who knows

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    3. Why not Ryanair or Easyjet?

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  7. I hope they recover as soon as possible.

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    1. In the short term it won't be easy, that's for sure.

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  8. There is apparently a rumor going around that an EU airline plans to open a base in LJU. Not sure who it is though. My guess is either LOT or maybe even Croatia Airlines.

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    1. Although it would make more sense for it to be Croatia Airlines, I don't think they have the capacity needed or the willingness to open a base in LJU.

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    2. Lol in the end no one will come. LJU market is too small.

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    3. @9.18
      Which is a real shame, it could have been a turning point for them. Never seen an airline waste such a golden opportunity.

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    4. There is one airline that already announced goal to open additional base in EU due excess number of airplanes - it's AirBaltic.

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    5. That would be interesting. Their fleet structure is perfect for Ljubljana.

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    6. Rumour is just a rumour. Don't take it at face value.

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    7. Well, there are similarities between markets, and that Estonian turnaround expert is already present in Slovenia...

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    8. @Anon 09:27: AirBaltic's long term plan is to operate A220 only, which has too high capacity for most routes out of LJU.

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    9. Does it have to be EU airline?

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    10. @Anon 16:52 Any non-EU (non-ECAA) airline would be highly unlikely to be allowed operating on EU-EU routes and any airline with an EU AOC needs to be 51% EU-national owned.

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    11. ok so it's a problem for someone like Mesa Airlines or Air Bosnia

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    12. Yes, FlyBosnia can probably establish SJJ-LJU, but operating LJU-SOF would be nigh impossible. Air Baltic or LOT could, however, fly from LJU to any EU destination and from LJU to many non-EU ones (bilateral or openskies agreement dependent) if they were to establish a base in LJU like LOT did in BUD. I doubt they're likely to do that though.

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  9. Are LJU workers still going ahead with that planned strike in November?

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    1. fraport workers are currently chasing boredom, so no arguments for striking at the moment.

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    2. Adria's pilots are still deciding whether to go on strike. You know, seeking better conditions and more days off.

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    3. @Anonymous 8 October 2019 at 15:25:

      Everything all right with you? Sure doesn't seem so.

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  10. LJU needs a greater LCC presence, primarily to destinations that are not London.

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  11. Even with Adria, Ljubljana was still missing many major European cities. So this is not good for them.

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  12. They need to work on some early morning departures to 1 or 2 Star Alliance Hubs, so biz people can fly morning ex LJU and returning same day or next day. For example night stop oh LH in LJU. Novartis had to cancel meetings for SLO employees since currently no convenient flights available and they are pushing for morning and evening flight LJU ZRH.

    Regarding SKP, I think best solution is JU. I checked their schedules, SJJ TIA and SKP are reachable within 4.5h ex LJU via BEG. Thats ok

    LH lowered rates to LJU now too. You can fly ZRH to LJU return for 145 via MUC or FRA
    Swiss offers one ways for 49 CHF and returns for 89 CHF ZRH LJU. Go grab it!
    With LX and I booked this already, you can buy now nice one ways tariffs ZRH LJU and VCE ZRH which is also interesting for tourists visiting Istria, SLO and Friuli

    Btw LH flight on 27oct FRA LJU arr 1030h is LH first ever commercial passenger flight to LJU. I hope we will see some water cannon salute after landing

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    1. Didn't realize LH never flew to LJU. Not even during yugo times?

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    2. During YU times only LH B737F freighters operated to LJU, think that was around mid 80s as later on LH RFS took over
      LH Cargo has since over 30 years an office at LJU but never any commercial passenger flights.
      In YU JU operated DC9 flights LJU FRA and JP with Dash7 to MUC

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    3. Thanks for the info and piece of history, didn't know that :)

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    4. DC-9 was only until B737-300 arrived. LJU - FRA was among the first services to be transferred from DC-9 to B737-300

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    5. Meanwhile business pax in TRS business pax are fuming as the recently introduced FRATRSFRA connection will be canx and substituted by FRALJUFRA. It’s a pity coz all flights are fully booked

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    6. Interesting, I was booked to go via Frankfurt to Trieste for Christmas, and got the change of reservation today. Not via Fra anymore, but via Munich.

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  13. Don't see anyone taking over flights from Sarajevo.

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    1. Fly Bosnia could. They would do better than with their flights to London which currently have an average of 10 passengers per flight.

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    2. Aren't their London flights crazy expensive?

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    3. the SJJ flights of JP were mostly import-export of empty air in the cabin.

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    4. Why did Adria fly the route if it was empty?

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    5. some small transfers and because the president of the supervisory board had lectures at university there (his statement) and had to get there by plane. it's my garden&convenience kind of politics.

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    6. Sorry, but it's very hard for me to believe that an airline would run daily flights for one man lectures - despite all my anymosity towards ex-yu politicians and "businessmen/thieves" it's really almost impossible to be the case, not even in Croatia and even less possible in Slovenia. And if inert and incompetent and uninterested Croatia Airlines can fill two SJJ per day from ZAG, which is geographically closer, and hadn't offer that many more connecting possibilities than LJU in Adria time, than I really doubt flights LJU-SJJ were "empty"

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    7. you failed to catch the point. The point is it was a political decision, not based on economics. In some TV show the former CEO Boštjančič blatendly admitted that the board proposed cutting some routes when he was CEO, but the next day a call from the political circle came and "suggested" (in the sense i suggest if you want to keep your job) that they should discard this kind of blasphemy thoughts. you have the show - i belive it was Tarča on RTVSLO in rtvslo's archive.

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    8. They should re-introduce BNX. Now that was a true success story, worthy of an airline with 60 years of experience.

      Shame most of that experience is how to get the government to sink more money, not how to plan and operate profitable routes.

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  14. I'm noticed that this year there were significantly more charter flights from LJU then before. Who will take those over?

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    1. Simple. Slovenian tour operators will have to find foreign partners.

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    2. because JP needed money and lowered their fees to the tour operators to get some piece of the pie. in the past when a319's were out of LJU, there weren't that much charters. Some tour operator even useb MBX and GRZ with other airlines.

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    3. Thanks. Makes sense. That's why there was a sudden increase in charters.

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    4. Nomago which sells the most tickets in Slovenia had to charter flights to bring tourists home after Adria went bankrupt. I wonder how this works. Did agencies pay Adria up front for charters or after the flight is performed?

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  15. I think Aegean might come back to Ljubljana. I know there were no Adria flights to Athens but they could have more transfer passengers now.

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    1. What sort of transfer options can Aegean offer for routes that were served from Ljubljana? Not many.

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    2. Sadly, I doubt it until they substantially increase their fleet and build a larger network. There aren't many such destination indeed - SOF, SKP and TIA are the only viable ones that come to mind (and give a reasonable *A option in competition to JU), while there might also be some interest in transfer traffic to LCA, TLV and the islands. Since they operate Dash8s to ZAG, they could well operate them to LJU as well. The problem for A3 is that their island destinations are much more interesting in the summer, but they are also stretched thin every summer as a particularly seasonally affected airline. They already flew to LJU twice weekly for a summer some years back, but it seems not to have been worth it as they haven't continued that service.

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  16. Any chance BA will come back next year?

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    1. i've heard their loads were quite good. don't know about the yields.

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  17. I posted this before, but wouldn't hurt for this article either.

    This was Adria's share at LJU

    2010 - 77.4%
    2011 - 72.9%
    2012 - 69.5%
    2013 - 66.9%
    2014 - 67.8%
    2015 - 65.0%
    2016 - 60.5%
    2017 - 58.4%
    2018 - 56.0%
    2019 - 50.0%

    Foreign airlines definitely ate into Adria's share but having to cover 50% of your traffic is still a difficult task.

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    1. And now in 2020 - 0% :(

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    2. I'm surprised LJU's growth was not impacted by all the Adria cancellations up to September.

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    3. Foreign carriers were all up significantly, that's why.

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  18. I wish LJU all the best. They have an uphill battle ahead. Won't be easy.

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  19. I would have though Ljubljana Airport would be better prepared for this moment. I mean Adria's bankruptcy has been on the cards for months if not years.

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    1. Yes, but what exactly can they do? They can't force airlines to fly there.

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  20. I hope sleepy FB reconsiders SOF-LJU. After all, JP was planning to increase the frequency on the route before its demise.

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    1. it was 99% transfer...
      an embraer has too much capacity for this route

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  21. Aeroflot should consider LED from Ljubljana.

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    1. actually there are rumors in this regard, as the SVO route is doing very well. we'll see what the summer schedule will bring.

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    2. In 2004, Aeroflot closed its branch in Slovenia. It was registered again a few days ago.

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  22. LED-VIE-LJU makes for almost direct flying if SU could obtain fifth freedom traffic rights between VIE and LJU. Smilarly, this could work for AY on the HEL-VIE-LJU route. Talking of fifth freedom traffic, there are so many combinations that *A could make up by including LJU, e.g. CPH-PRG-LJU, or IST-LJU-ZRH. I could come up with several more combinations with a simple tool such as 'great circrle mapper'. Try it for yourselves ... http://www.gcmap.com/

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    1. Predlazes im da se igraju? Cool.

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    2. A Russian carrier certainly won't get fifth freedom to fly inter EU flights, same with Turkish flying IST-LJU-ZRH.

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  23. LOL, I love economy:) Lehman Brothers expected all sorts of things ... until the unexpected happened.

    Meaning, there is a recession around the corners. Wish all the best to LJU.

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  24. With the return of LH Group to LJU, long-haul fares via FRA, MUC and ZRH are now much cheaper, close to prices from VCE. I wouldn't be surprised if many Slovenian leisure travelers start using LJU instead of VCE again.

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  25. The web page of Ljubljana airport says there is a flight with Enter Air to Skopje tomorrow.

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    1. Charter for slovenian national football team, they are playing with Northern Macedonia on thursday

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    2. I wonder if it would have been operated by Adria if it was still around.

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  26. I'm glad they are not cancelling the new terminal.

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    1. Too late for that now. Work has already begun.

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  27. We need new LCC routes, we might not have a big diaspora but we Slovenes love to travel around Europe.

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    1. Maybe if the airport reduces its fees.

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  28. Seems like Windrose will connect LJU with Kiev 3 times per week, from 21.12. to 28.03.
    https://www.fraport-slovenija.si/sl/potniki-in-obiskovalci/info-o-letih/vozni-red/
    https://www.fraport-slovenija.si/sl/potniki-in-obiskovalci/info-o-letih/letalske-druzbe/

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    1. Not bookable on the windrose website yet, but sounds interesting! Not mentioned in the fraport-slo news either yet.

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    2. LJU airport web page is a mess. No Munich flights on the timetable, no Swiss between airlines. It's not a rocket science to put together a coherent web page with only few flights.

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  29. They are relaying too much on Slovenian turn to lead EU to rebuild the numbers. Short sided move.

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  30. This is good news. Of course there will be other airlines and even more connectivity to Slovenian citizens and visitors in less than a year. If they are smart enough, LCCs should definitely be invited to develop the air traffic and connectivity in Slovenia.

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