Croatia Airlines in talks over Ljubljana base


Croatia Airlines is considering establishing a base in Ljubljana and has held talks with the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure, as well as airport operator Fraport Slovenija on the matter. According to the daily “Delo” newspaper, the carrier is ready to base one or two aircraft in Ljubljana but would also expect some form of incentives from the state. “Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport in order to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations”, the Croatian carrier said. Fraport Slovenija noted, “There is interest for cooperation on both sides, but we cannot reveal more at this point”. According to the operator, talks are being held with several carriers in a bid to revive traffic at Ljubljana Airport following the demise of Adria Airways last year.

According to the Ministry for Infrastructure, the conditions under which Croatia Airlines could establish flights from Ljubljana have been discussed with the company but no deal has been reached. Furthermore, no specific destinations that could be served by the carrier have been discussed so far. However, according to “Delo”, flights to cities which are no longer served from the Slovenian capital, including Sarajevo and Skopje, are being considered. The Slovenian Tourist Board, which provides funding for marketing activities, have also confirmed they are aware of talks between Croatia Airlines and the Slovenian government over a potential base.

Speaking at the Aviation Arena webinar last week, the head of Croatia Airlines’ Commercial Division, Slaven Žabo, said, “We have had some gain on the Slovenian market since Adria Airways’ bankruptcy where we offered certain solutions in order to react to the demand that was there. However, we had not added any flights to Slovenia because our hubs are nearby and we were more focused on our sales and marketing activities in Ljubljana at the time, which helped us significantly increase our market share in Slovenia”. Croatian charter carrier Trade Air plans to base an aircraft in Ljubljana in order to operate charters from the Slovenian capital to Dubrovnik and the Greek islands this summer.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    This would be a very smart move.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:57

      It's risky. Not sure it would pay off in the long run. But we will see.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:57

      If it materlizes off course.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:08

      Don't think it's risky at all. Croatia Airlines would get paid to operate a few routes while its costs would be minimal. Zagreb is less than 2 hours by car from Ljubljana meaning they wouldn't have to base crew in Ljubljana or have a technical base in Ljubljana.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Kucko is back! Let's not forget OU bases in PRN, TIA, SJJ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:16

      Now they have to do that

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:56

      Circumstances are completely different now and then.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    They can't cover their territory and market share is dropping and want to start Slovenia...
    Yeah, right

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:40

      +100000000 That is called money laundering. Like Slovenian polititians and Government. Copy - Paste method

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:58

      How does having a declining share from increased competition on your home market and wanting to expand your operations in another market constitute money laundering???

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Smart. With state support from Slovenia they could base a Dash which has lower operating costs and launch a few routes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    Makes sense

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:05

    Great, they are struggling in ZAG, they were destroyed on the coast so now they think that they will succeed in LJU? The last thing Slovenia needs is OU blocking the market, Fraport needs to make a deal to bring in more LCCs, not a loss-making dinosaur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Someone is irritated. Calm down. They can do what they want. Being in the EU brings benefits that your airline doesn't have.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:10

      Every airline in Europe is a "loss making dinosaur".

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:17

      OU has been for a long time. If they have to pay someone then why not make it someone who can make a positive change like W6 or FR? I Have a feeling OU will just fly to Star Alliance hubs for next to nothing like they do from ZAG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:19

      ^ First of all read the article. They discuss flights to Sarajevo and Skopje. So it will obviously be some cities that are currently not served. And there is no point in flying only to Star hubs since there are already airlines flying to Star hubs. But why not? I would be very happy for them to start Vienna, a second flight to Zurich etc.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:38

      Actually it would make point to fly to SA hubs as current schedule is suitable only for P2P traffic, you miss most connections with afternoon flight with LH group flights. So I believe that they will use morning and evening rotations for SA hubs, midday rotations for Balkan (SJJ, SKP, PRN, TIA,...). Same way as JP used to fly.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:04

      Don't get your hopes up

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:32

      At this point everything is uncertain and we don't know what will happen. Introducing flights to SJJ and SKP for 5 daily passengers will be a disaster. Remember, JP flew these mostly for transfers. In the end I think Slovenia will just subsidize some foreign airlines that will be it.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:35

      There will be transfer options via Croatia Airlines too. I'm sure flights will be scheduled to connect onto Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Lufthasnsa (that's four destinations) plus I have a feeling OU would introduce Vienna and perhaps another European destination. More than enough connections.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:35

      *lufthansa

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:13

      So basically OU would operate unprofitable routes no one else wants to? That sounds promising.

      I'd rather have Wizz Air operate SKP-LJU.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:15

      ^ Swiss, Brussels and Lufthansa all operate to LJU.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous23:00

      Had Wizz Air seen a viable option to operate SKP-LJU with an A320 or A321, they would have started the route by now. The issue is that the plane is too big and with no transfer options, the route can't work.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous07:13

      Just because LH and LX operate flights doesn't mean they are happy with their performance. Remember how long it took them to launch LJU? Obviously show how low priority it is for them.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    The current crisis has shown that opportunities have to be taken where they open up. This would be an excellent development for both OU and LJU.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:05

    So Slovenian taxpayers will be paying for a company that's kept alive by Croatian taxpayers?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:06

    This would be excellent for both Slovenia and OU!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:08

    I'm surprised they didn't do it earlier. But better late than never.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too I wanted them to be more aggressive but with Covid crises, they got lucky staying out of Ljubljana for now.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:04

      No wonder they didn’t react to Adria’s bankruptcy. They will be paid to fly.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:08

    I hope it works out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:09

    Fraport mentions they are in talks with a few other airlines too. Wonder which ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Weren't there rumors last year that LOT was interested in investing in a new Slovenian airline? Maybe them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      It could be Wizz Air. On the news here a few days ago it was reported that Wizz said that a lot of airports are approaching them.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:12

    So, instead of keeping Adria alive, Slovenes will be paying Croats to fly their passengers around?! Wow, talk about business sense (or lack thereof).

    Thank you Mr. Serpentinsek and Mrs. Bratusek for not saving Adria. I'll probably see you on Friday, circling around the parliament on your bicycles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Yes, because it will be much less expensive.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:25

      @Anonymous 09:13:

      So, I guess you did some calculations? Hope your calculations also include all the money 560 employees payed into the budget from their salaries. You won't be getting anything from the Croats.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:28

      I think you really need to calm down. Your highlighting of nationalities in each of your comments says a lot and shows why you are actually irritated.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:30

      @9.25 and you know they won't hire locals in Ljubljana? You know they won't generate additional revenue for the tourism industry, airport, business community? Seems all that concerns you is whether they are "Croats".

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      yes, because the budget is from the promotion fund and is some 150 or 200k EUR large. Far off from the millions range.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:34

      Uff, completely misunderstood. Actually, I am glad they are in talks with OU.
      However, I am against a*holes who were cheering for Adria's demise. Do you really think OU will be hiring new people just to base them in LJU, given ZAG proximity?!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:39

      why on earth would you hire SLO staff for 1-2 aircraft? ground handling is outsourced, OU is for its size quite beefy on the salaried staff and don+'t have a shortage, they are hired on croatia's wages (in general term a bit lower than SLO) and are only sent to LJU on EU rules.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:45

      Of course not

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:49

      @Anonymous 09:32:
      Where did you get that info? Let's do a quick calculation: A320 burns approx. 2400 kg/h of JET-A (price approx. 0.23 EUR/kg). Let's assume 6 hours of flying per day, 30 days per month. The total cost of fuel is 100k euros. So with an all time low fuel price, they would have a margin of 50k-100k euros (to pay for the crews, landing fees, maintenance, ...). Not a lot, is it?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:51

      @Anonymous 09:39:

      Of course they won't, but Adria haters have to justify "everything is better than Adria".

      Delete
    11. Anonymous12:03

      @anon 9:49

      doesn't matter which aircraft and what's the fuel burn. the budget for promotion of airlines to fly to SLO is known and is fixed for this year. This was talked about. Everything else must come either from Fraport (so no slovenian taxpayer money), or some other new government scheme. But so far Spirit agency and Slovenian tourist board have the budget that is well known and it does not matter if they fly SR-71 blackbird or Cessna 172.

      Everything else would have to be arranged in other means and if public funds are in question a tender according to EU rules issed, to which all interested parties can apply. They cant make so that fraport would chose OU and the government would be obliged to chip in to their decision. it is not how the rules work.

      Delete
    12. Don't forget many Slovenians would be Miles and More members so it would make sense for OU to capitalise on this and Slovenians might be happy to be able to use their points and benefits instead of loosing them.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:15

      How many European airlines successfully operate multiple hubs that are not LCCs? Only LH comes to mind, even SK struggles to keep both ARN and CPH functional while they gave up on OSL a long time ago. LO also gave up on their regional hubs while BUD survives only thanks to major subsidies

      Delete
    14. Anonymous12:40

      Anon 12:15
      Swiss has a hub in Zurich, and a base in Geneva with many regional and leisure desinations + long haul year round flights to JFK.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous12:54

      @Anonymous 12:03:

      The point I was trying to make was, it would have been wiser to keep Adria around than to throw money at foreign carriers. How much money will be spent is anybody's guess. You can keep telling me there is a fund of 150k euros, but the fact is, you have no idea what the end deal will be. I seriously doubt that OU will base an aircraft just to brake even (and with your budget, I don't think they'll even manage that).

      But it would be nice for them to fly with the Blackbird.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous12:57

      Alitalia with FCO and MXP and Iberia with MAD and BCN. France and KLM are more of a separate thing and one airline with two hubs. And the rest of europe's countries are too small. Additionally SU with SVO and LED.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous16:47

      @anon 12:54:

      You kidding right? have you seen the debt that JP has left? 90 million EUR claims in the bankruptcy, and that is before the slow winter season and before corona.

      Some of you really think that money grows in the ATM machine.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous17:14

      @Anonymous 16:47:
      No, I'm not. As I said before, how much money will be spent subsidising foreign carriers is anybody's guess.

      Money doesn't grow on trees, but hey, anything is better than Adria, right?

      Delete
    19. Anonymous21:53

      @Anonymous16:47
      90 mills was debt 4K made while deliberately pumping out money, otherwise JP needed much less subsidies than OU.

      @Anonymous17:14
      I totally agree with you.
      And if this happens we will know for sure that we have complete idiots in our government.
      Slovenia should wait for Fraport to sell low (or go bust) as there is almost no traffic on the airport and costs are even bigger for operating just a few empty flights a days. Than we need to establish new airline as planes are getting cheaper by the day.
      This way subsidies will go for Slovenian workers and we will be paying off for our own aircafts instead of subsidizing some foreign airline.
      And on top we would be able to make schedule as per Slovenian needs and not as per crew/plane availability from some foreign airline.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous00:11

      Two low costers already present, get another one, preferably Pobeda. Not interested in paying prices like it was with AA. Destinations to Saraevo and Skopje run from Zagreb.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous12:03

      I see the JP dreamer's section of the Communist party is still alive and kicking on this forum :D

      Delete
    22. Anonymous15:07

      @Anonymous 12:03:

      Nah, I wouldn't call myself a communist. Rather an unemployed pilot, whose company went bust at the most inappropriate time.

      But I would call you a bitter, grumpy Slovene knowitall.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:21

    Wow

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:22

    Good idea

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:24

    Finally some strategic thinking from Croatia Airlines!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:25

    About time

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:26

    I'm not against this but I wonder if it would be wiser to attract Wizz Air to open a base. Looking at how many routes they have opened in just the last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      and where to do you think wizz would fill up an A320 at least 4 times a week. a lower frequency is for the sake of the passenger subpar. sarajevo? vienna? cph? all destinations that had an average load around 40 persons in JPs times.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:37

    The Slovenian government weren’t willing to give a bridge loan (that would have been paid back in 1 month) to Adria to transfer ownership from 4K to Cityjet’sowner, but they will subsidize Croatia Airlines to fly from lju; this doesn’t make any sense and would be really stupid. They would be better off getting LOT with a more global network to set up a base in Lju.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:39

      There is a different government in power now.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      why would government need to give loan to some 2 private companies? that only indicates that the new owner/buyer didn't have any cash even then (today cityjet is in bankruptcy proceedings). so thank god they saw through that scam.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:25

      +1 last anon

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:41

    bring back SKP & SJJ

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:04

    What a stupid move. Routes such as LJU-SKP or LJU-SJJ made sense when there was a hub in Ljubljana. Today there is no hub and those markets are served by JU, OS and OU. If they decide to start those routes they will cannibalize their loads from ZAG hub. Only OS and JU will benefit from this because OU will not be profitable on those markets. Instead of opening another base, they should consider introducing shuttle buses from ZAG to Slovenian cities.

    As for LJU airport, if they want to connect with SKP, TIA and SJJ they should make a deal with easyjet or Wizz.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:10

    Lol people get real this is an airline that can't fly to Prague and Milan the whole year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:11

      Have you maybe thought that they don't fly the whole year because there is not sufficient demand? Or do you think they should fly routes and loose money for the fun of it?

      Delete
  23. Anonymous10:16

    Sounds exciting. Hope it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:21

    This is the best time to do it. There is little competition in LJU, they have surplus aircraft, they could ask (and get) support for the government and with a Dash they could make the routes profitable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:21

      Agree. Turn the downturn into an opportunity. Like Wizz Air is doing (obviously on a much bigger scale)

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:36

    They will fly maximum twice a week to both destinations and that will not be enough for business passengers who are always ready to pay much more to fly.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:43

    U čemu je promblem s ovim potezom OU? Osim toga OU je već najavio čarter letove iz LJU pa ovo ima poprilično smisla iskoristiti priliku za otvaranje linija koje više ne postoje nakon propasti Adrije.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:57

      Ocigledno ne shvatas da ove linije ne postoje, nema dovoljno putnika na njima. Ni sa parama poreskih obaveznika. Mozda neka kompanija sa ATR 42.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous11:01

    I am sure with Q400 they could at least break-even. And in winter it's better flying from LJU than keeping some planes grounded.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous11:02

    They should have done this in October 2019!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      I don't think the government would have been willing to give them money back then. But circumstances have changed.

      Delete
    2. All things considered now, they were lucky they didn't move late last year.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous11:34

    Is this really OU thinking independently or is LH behind this. This 'base' seems like it is going to consist of feeder flights to LH group hubs which is more or less a lot of what Adria did in the past "enable passengers from Slovenia to CONNECT to European destinations". This would be a clever way for LH to basically go back to how it was when Adria was operating and to have OU fly the flights for them for next to nothing instead of bothering with their own metal. If this is the case, watch OU opening up bases at other former Adria stations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:00

      "the carrier is ready to base one or two aircraft in Ljubljana"

      With 2 aircraft they will be able to serve much more than Lufthansa hubs.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:59

    How many routes could be opened?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:16

      With 2 aircraft they could easily have 8 routes.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous12:00

    This could improve LJU's connectivity. Good news.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous12:03

    Its gonna be either OU or Wizz

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous12:15

    Interesting

    ReplyDelete
  34. OU could finally find a home for their NEOs lol

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous12:30

    In my opinion it could be a good move only if destinations are chosen well, pricing is adequate, and they could maintain the schedule well. We have witnessed some insane prices out of LJU on JP in the past.

    There is also an additional PR issue. With JP gone, most of other companies sold to foreign owners, I see a certain level of resentment among Slovenians towards foreign ownership. Since JP is no more, and with excellent highway network they certainly rely more on options from Trieste, Venice, Graz and Vienna. JU is also surprisingly popular. OU could be seen as dancing on Adria's grave... yet another asset "given to foreigners".

    Just my 2 eurocents.

    Regards,
    Eight

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous13:07

    Great news... hopefully some morning flights to LH hubs are then possible...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous14:26

    Exciting :D

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous15:02

    Will Slovenian and Croatian taxapayers be happy to give initially limited but later increasing amounts of money to support yet another failing airline on routes that didn't make money before pandemic and are less likely to work now? To survive (Star Alliance, OU, LH companies) and to pay for airport expansion investment (Fraport), they also needs taxpayers from SLO and CRO to subsidize aviation hinterland that is Slovenia. D*ck move.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous16:08

    OU stop spreading yourself too thin. Small airlines trying to operate from too many "focus cities" fail (JP in Poland, Kosovo, Albania and Germany is the perfect example). Focus on making Zagreb a hub with lots of connections and include an "OU" bus that goes from Zagreb airport to Ljubljana"s city center.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous17:13

    so many negative comments, calm down,this would be just interim solution, until normalization of air traffic in Europe..for big players smaller markets are currently not in focus, so something needs to be done in order to achive some traffic in LJU...and don't forget that currently there are many former JP staff that our now OU employees..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:10

      Many former JP staff now work for other airlines not just OU.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:03

      Actually, quite a few JP flight crew members lost their jobs for the second time in 6 months due to the virus.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:21

      It is not reasonable to justify subsidy to OU because of former JP employees.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:05

      If it isn't or weren't OU it would be someone else. It's certainly cheaper than establishing a new airline.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous02:49

      Croatia Airlines should be paying Slovenia for the opportunity to keep OU planes busy at LJU in a year where tourism demand colapsed. Croatia is one of the EU countries with highest GDP percentage share from tourism and will be affected by this crisis more than most other EU countries that have more diversified economies. Great job Slovenian taxpayers for supporting Croatian economy in a crisis!

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:12

      @Anonymous 23:05:

      Are you sure (especially in the long term). I am quite surprised how everyone just knows it's cheaper. Without any proper analysis.

      Delete
  41. Anonymous17:31

    On the one hand, it's a smart negotiating tactic by Fraport as undoubtedly they are talking with Wizz who will demand the world from them. On the other, with OU's high cost base and inflexible corporate structure and poor IT infrastructure, it's really not clear how they could offer a competitively priced offering from LJU that would lead to the sort of traffic boost that the stakeholders there (Fraport,SLO tourism board, etc) will expect. Also, there is this very bizarre notion that service should somehow be 'restored' to those Star Alliance hubs that Adria served before - WHY? What the market needs is direct and competitively priced flights to a range of other cities to tap the demand that exists there, on a POINT TO POINT basis. The likes of LH, Swiss, AF and others will handle the connectivity side to destinations further afield. Let's see how this plays out...

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous23:01

    I'm surprised that so many people are surprised by this development. It was published here a loong time ago (few months at least) that the Slovenian government was in talks with (I quote) "regional airlines" to launch flights to Lufthansa hubs. Voila.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous02:40

      Flights to those Lufthansa hubs where there is enough demand are or should be taken care of by LH group airlines without the need to waste government money on supporting Croatia Airlines.

      Delete
  43. notLufthansa10:07

    My guess is that if this materialises, we will no longer see Lufthansa flights to LJU, as they can't be making money on aircraft they are using now (Adria was also not making profit routes to FRA and MUC). Lufthansa has a habit of letting its partners the "better" part of the deal, they just skim the cream and let the parnters do the dirty job. It is beyond my understanding why every slo gov is so happy to pay money to others and will destroy any business which they think "belongs" to certain political group (which is stupid idea to begin with).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:58

      If I remember correctly, the FRA route was actually making money - it was the 3rd most profitable route for JP. MUC was there-there just a bit in the black. The profitable routes were BRU, ZRH, FRA, MUC in descending order of profit.

      Delete
  44. Anonymous20:51

    They fired ex-Adria pilots this month and now they want to fly from Ljubljana...ironic :)

    ReplyDelete

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