Solinair outlines Air Slovenia plans


Cargo operator Solinair has outlined its proposal for the creation of a new national carrier in Slovenia at a public consultation attended by both the government and industry stakeholders.  According to the "Sierra5" portal,  the CEO of the cargo airline, Janez Jelenc, said Solinair is seriously considering establishing the country’s new national carrier under the name Air Slovenia. According to Mr Jelenc, now is the right time to set up a new airline as larger carriers are withdrawing from markets and shrinking their operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “We conducted a study on how much it would cost to set up an airline and we estimate it would be close to five million euros”, Mr Jelenc said. He added that aircraft such as the Mitsubishi CRJ900, Dash 8 Q400 and the ATR72 turboprop would be ideal for the Slovenian market. The company would have a four to five member fleet.

Solinair has already held talks with the Slovenian government over the potential creation of a new national carrier and expects some sort of financial assistance from the state, which is still undecided whether it should fund a new airline or provide subsidies to incentivise foreign carriers to fly to Ljubljana. Mr Jelenc noted that Solinair would seek an agreement with the Lufthansa Group for the new airline to take over their routes to Ljubljana, including Lufthansa’s flights from Frankfurt and Munich, Swiss’ from Zurich and Brussels Airlines’ service from the Belgian capital. In addition, Air Slovenia would link Ljubljana with Amsterdam, Skopje, Tirana and Pristina.

Attending the debate, Ljubljana Airport again expressed its support for the government to provide subsidies to airlines rather than invest funds into a new flag carrier. Last November, the Slovenian state-owned Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) drafted a business plan for the country’s potential new national airline. Under the proposal, the carrier would reportedly operate a fleet of five CRJ aircraft and count some 200 employees. Based on the Assets Management Company’s calculations, the airline was estimated to record a twenty million euro loss in its first year of operations. The Slovenian Economy Minister, Zdravko Počivalšek, said last month, "I'm optimistic that we'll find a solution which will better connect Slovenia with the world by improving its air connectivity, and as part of this, I believe we will find an adequate and EU-compatible solution to encourage airlines. We will opt for a solution that will best connect Ljubljana with destinations that are important to us in terms of business such as Brussels, Frankfurt and Zurich”.

Solinair was established in 1991 as a flight training organisation and air taxi operator based in Portorož. Over time it acquired Let L-410 Turbolet aircraft and partnered up with DHL to provide cargo services. It has since relocated to Ljubljana. It currently operates a fleet of two Airbus A300-600 freighter jets. In 2008 it was acquired by Turkish cargo operator MNG Airlines. Solinair also provides maintenance services, maintenance training and flight planning.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Fingers crossed :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marko10:17

      I really hope they start SJJ again as that route did have some demand.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:50

      Air Albania can serve those lines. Slovenians don't need neither ask for those destinations...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Please don't replace LH group. I would prefer flying with Lufthansa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      That's a sound business plan right there. Base everything on the hope established competition in form of the biggest airline in Europe will go away.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:30

      ^Well they didn't even think about operating any flights to Ljubljana while Adria was around. They were quite happy for Adria to service these routes.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:51

      ^ 1000*

      @Anon 09:03

      Probably FRA is your final destination, but in case that passengers needs conx flight via FRA than you realize that current schedule is a disaster.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    But all of the mentioned possible destinations are already served. Good luck then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Who serves Skopje, Tirana and Pristina? Did I miss something?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      I think the LH group would be more than pleased to hand over their LJU routes.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:14

      Well, Wizz Air has a base in both SKP and TIA so if there was sizable O&D market between those places and LJU they would have launched flights. I guess Adria carried mostly transfers.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:43

      Not even one destination is served as it was before. And for Balkan destinations and dreaming about LCC, do you really think that they could fill up a320 between LJU-PRN/SKP/TIA? LCC does not have fleet for Slovenian market, but there is more than enough demand for CR9/Q400.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:50

      rubbish, you just have no idea how big the macedonian diaspora in Slovenia is which is stil totally untouched by the aviation market. True Adria carried some 60%-70% transfer but so did Malev (how much 99%? ) and yet Wizz manages to fill 2 weekly year round with virtual zero gasterbeiters in Hungary. As if Larnaca and Malta and Turku and Bremen had O&D before Wizz launching it. Austrian has probably 90% transfer passengers which suggest there is no O&D between MK and A yet there are Salzburg and Bratislava plus Vienna to Ohrid

      To conclude: if this Air Slovenia continues with Adria fares much of the mk diaspora will continue going back with their cars or stay on the bus. you need to see the amount of buses from Macedonia to small Sovenian towns that I have never even heard of. We are talking about a 40k diaspora which is probably the biggest outside the usual D-A-CH-Scandinavia migration

      its more likely that Wizz just dont care about east-east connections in regards with ExYu and LJU an expensive airport

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:59

      ^ % of conx pax was around 50% on Balkan route. Even stronger than Macedonian diaspora is Kosovo's diaspora. In addition Slovenian companies has invested huge amount of money in those two countries so it's not only diaspora which is strong but also business travels (IPKO - Telekom, MORS - Slovenian army, NLB, Petrol, etc...)

      Delete
    7. @An.09.43
      Back in 2003, long after break-up of ex-yu, and in changed and new market conditions, Adria operated LJU-SKP TWICE DAILY on A320. I was using the service often and know it for sure. So, people after your are correct about the size of the market. If we count one of those two flights was for transit pax, we can count one was for P2P. Not sure about PRN/TIA, but LCC from SKP to LJU or vice-versa could work, no doubt about it. Completely other question is why was successful, high quality and innovative company which Adria was in the period I talk about, brought to bankruptcy, but let's leave it aside for now.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:43

      Of the ones you mentioned only NLB is present in Macedonia- there may be other smaller companies though, but if that justifies a separate flight connection based on business travel demand is debatable.
      On the other hand, it is representatives of LJU themselves who were/are continously repeating that LJU-SKP is a priority so I guess they know what they are talking about.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:01

      @anon 10:34

      thx a lot, i did not know about that.

      @anon 10:43

      We can see in almost every statement that LJU representatives does not know s**t about traffic demand. If SKP had more passengers than PRN that does not necessary mean that SKP has more demand. You should also take in consideration other parameters, one of the most important is pricing policy. For example LCC in SKP have huge amount of passengers from Kosovo (less than one hour drive between PRN and SKP). Also p2p fares between SKP-LJU were much cheaper (it was 100 eur for return ticket) than PRN-LJU (lowest 170 eur). So most bigger families used to fly from SKP, even if they were Kosovo. With such difference in price you can switch demand from one airport to another and that's what Skobir and Co does not have clue about it.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:02

      @10:34: 2003 was nearly 20 years ago, markets have changed (mainly Bulgaria entering the EU), Adria did not adapt and wasn't able to survive without large financial support regardless of the management or ownership.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:10

      ^ who did adapt in a way that does not need financial support?

      Delete
    12. Anonymous11:12

      So much demand but no one flies. Sure. Also Larnaka and Turku from SKP are subsidized.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous11:59

      @11.12 how many times one should repeat: subsidies doesnt make a route profitable. Subsidies are only a vehicle for Wizz to launch routes. Even F*cking BASEL the biggest cash cow got subsidies when it was launched

      You are living in illusion if you think Budapest, Malta and the rest have more demand then Ljubljana from SKP. Slovenia is the last large gasto-market that is untapped by low cost. Blame it on the high LJU-fees

      Delete
    14. Anonymous14:45

      OMG. One way tickets for Albanian diaspora, please.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    The more time passes the less of a possibility there is to establish a flag carrier.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:07

    Could work same as what TK did in Albania with Air Albania.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      Exactly and look at air Albania now serving many destinations already

      Delete
    2. Marko10:24

      I hope LH can do something like what TK did with Air Albania.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:27

      I think with the bailout LH has received from the German government, they have been obliged not to invest or takeover any other airline for a certain number of years.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:13

      Only difference is that TIA is the size of ZAG while LJU is smaller than SKP. That's why Air Albania makes sense and Air Slovenia doesn't.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    Sounds good to me

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:09

    This will not work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      I hope the government realizes this is a waste of money and a pointless idea.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:45

      indeed, 99% of world is simply stupid as they are wasting money on national carriers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:50

      @anon 09:45 - +1, not everything should be up to the market

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:51

      yup, not everything should be up to the market

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:56

      we can see the effect of "Market will take care of itself" mentality...

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:09

    Good idea

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:10

    I;m a bit surprised at LJU's stance. Wouldn't it be beneficial for them to have an airline based at the airport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      They have bad experience with Adria.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:18

      Not at all cost. Look at SJJ. They have an airline based there but logically they would profit more if the airport/government provided subsidies to other airlines to launch flights. LJU is probably worried that a local airline would lead the market to stagnation especially under current market conditions.

      I mean Solinair said that now is the perfect time to act because airlines are shrinking and withdrawing from various markets. Someone should inform them that they are doing it because there is very little demand. Slovenia is already a small market and I doubt that now is the time to act.

      LJU needs to wait for the storm to pass before they can act. They shouldn't rush with anything.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      ^ new airlines is not set up in 2 month, if preparations starts today then maybe we could see Air Slovenia flying next year.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:14

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:17

    They should just spend the money to subsidize any missing routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      You mean actually all routes which we had before?

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:23

    In the past the Slovenian government said they would coordinate their plans based on LH's own plans and interests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      Crazy. Why with LH???

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:25

    Seems like they will really go ahead with this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      We will probably have a decision by the end of the month.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:00

      So if they decide by the end of the month to create a new airline, when could it realistically take off?

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:36

    The worst idea ever...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Why is it so bad?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      From you side, I'm really satisfied that more and more people like this idea, including me! Go Air Slovenia

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:59

      Better Air Slovenia than paying Croatia Airlines flying from LJU

      Delete
    4. Anonymous07:35

      +100000000000000

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:38

    Several months too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      Don't think so. Other than the pandemic nothing else has changed on the Slovenian market. The arrivals of LH, LX and SN is not a major development in my opinion. I think they would be more than happy to hand over the routes to a new national airline.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:39

    they are still sticking with the name Air Slovenia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      In my opinion they should just keep it Solinair :)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:57

      Air Slovenia is just a working name

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:46

    How come there is suddenly talk about new Slovenian carrier all of the sudden again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Because the effects of not having one are now being seen.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:52

      ^ and its gonna be even worse in next months/year if they don't act now.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:48

    5 million is substantially less than 20 million DUTB had calculated (as mentioned yesterday by someone). I trust Solinair more than some government employees with no experience in aviation.

    No matter what people are saying, it make much more sense to set up a new carrier than subsidising foreign carriers. That way, you create jobs and employees and the company are paying taxes whereas you get none of those things from foreign airlines. Not to mention the fact they start blackmailing as soon as there is no competition (like Ryan or Wizz).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:27

      the 5 million is only the setting up costs, not the operating costs. you pour in 5 million and then start flying. the outcome is ...well who knows.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:08

      Exactly, who knows, yet "experts" are certain it will fail.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:08

      As long as solinair is playing with their own money, i don't give a sh**t what they do and where and how they fly. But if public/government money is to be used, it better be on sound grounds with positive caluclation and not who knows option. And we all know what the track record is so far.



      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:33

      Slovenian government will have to invest in air transport either you like it or not. Or this will be with incentives to foreign airlines or to establish Air Slovenia. So I really dont give a sh*t if you like it or not...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:12

      Why is (almost) everyone so upset about spending Slovenian tax payers money on an airline? I might be wrong here, but there is not nearly as much ranting going on when it comes to Slovenian Railways, DARS, medical equipment, ...

      Does it have something to do with the belief that ex-Adria employees were spoiled, overpaid, underworked individuals?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:31

      to make things more weird ... in 2018 278M eur went into rail-stuff and 3M eur into aviation. Have fun exploring this: https://proracun.gov.si/Public/BudgetVisualization

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:53

    PRN and TIA would surprise me as choices if there are no western destinations where they would connect to

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Well they say they plan to start Amsterdam plus the Lufthansa Group hubs. So there would be connections.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:18

      Adria had Flights to Frankfurt and Munich from TIA and PRN since now TIA has many airlines going Frankfurt, Munich is still not served so they could possible get transferring passengers from there

      Delete
    3. Marko10:31

      The best thing for Air Slovenia is too fly to the same destinations that Adria did

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:08

      @10:31: Definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, expecting different results.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:24

      @11:08 Regular flights which JP used to have were fine, there were other factors which had fatal impact on business.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:55

      So they were profitable with their scheduled flights?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:29

      They were not but the loss was much lower when the focus was on schedules flights. And even then there was many ways to improve situation but management had their own vision.
      If we are talking about profitable airlines, please name me one in our region? Regular one...

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:29

      wizz, just across the burder in BUD

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:06

      omg..It's LCC. Next one?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:42

      If LCCs can be profitable and "legacy airlines" not, why not go for the LCC model? Why stick to a loss-making business model?

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:55

      Business model is totally different and in our environment LCC can not survive (small country, not enough diaspora, limited in terms of tourist trips,..).

      Delete
    12. Anonymous19:14

      In SLO only the "will fly for food" (so no 600k per month airbus leases, 10 - 20k monthly salary and consulting contracts in the hundreds of thousands) & the intested parties (hotel chains, regional tourism offices, etc) are paying for "advertising" model could maybe-maybe be profitable or break even.

      a classic model as was adria 1.0, no way, and especially not with 5 aircraft, as you need basically the same support staff and structure as with 20 planes, and escpecially not with that cost base.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:58

    If they manage to create a small profitable airline then I'm all for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:22

      Small, profitable airline.

      That's not how it works.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:30

      ^ please share with us your wisdom on how airline (small or big) could be profitable? In whole world probably you could find 5 of them, and none in our region.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:49

      Tradeair ? Luxair ? ....

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:01

      We all know where Tradeair belongs to, its not regular carrier.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:26

      Luxair? They have almost 20 aircraft and their GDP per capita is *slightly* higher than that of Slovenia.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous07:44

      Luxair actually loses money every year but LUX airport is profitable; both are owned by the same entity so it looks like Luxair makes money every year. This is what the government should have done when they were privatizing LJU airport and JP, put them in the same company.

      Delete
  21. JU520 BEGLAX09:59

    Fingers crossed it wont happen. I dont want to see them taking over the routes of LH group. We had more than enough shit with JP. Definitely no need for Air Slovenia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      Some people are still comparing 4k's JP and JP which was state owned. You should not fly with any German owned airline as actually all shit which has happened were under German leadership...

      Delete
    2. @An.10.05
      + 1000
      I keep saying it but some D/*/LH cheerleaders keeping convincing me Adria was always bad and losing money, which is of course BS. Germans are guilty for the Adria's bankruptcy as well as Croatia's missed opportunities. If those two merged some 20 years ago, and took over ex-yu market, they could have been at least the size of Austrian. But Mummie needed them both to feed her, and that is where the story ends, with generous help of corrupted politicians

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:48

      I guess because their CRJs are nicer and they offer better on board products on their MUC and FRA flights? What a joke.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:09

    Well, this tiny airline could actually work and connect Slovenia well to the Balkans and main western markets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marko10:21

      Exactly!. But they really should not take over LH group as mama lufti has belonged to the Balkans for decades

      Delete
  23. Prepelica11:59

    If OU wouldn't be rotten to the core, the ideal solution would be them to base 2xQ400 and 1xA319 and together with LH group provide double daily flights to MUC, FRA, ZRH and then cover all other destinations which could potentially work, both in ex-yu and in Western Europe. YU already provides decent network to the east. After that, LJU would only need direct connection to one of the MEB3 hubs. As a Slovenian taxpayer I wouldn't mind OU getting some incentives for opening the base in LJU. But as I said at the start, OU as a political project needs to die. It would be ideal if someone would be crazy enough to buy them, but as that's not really possible they need to go to "ropotarnicu povijesti" and make room for someone with some basic business skills.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous12:05

    a low cost airline like Wizz, Ryan and Easy can be a gamechanger for east european routes from LJU:
    SKP, BEG, SJJ, ATH, KBP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:11

      180+ pax to BEG, SJJ or SKP? Really?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:13

      Please read some comments above, there is not enough demand for LCC with their type of fleet to be profitable in LJU or even to place one aircraft here, it's simply not gonna happen in 1000 years.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:39

      @12.11 you are the high-density guy we know that

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:52

      @12.13 not quiet. LJU is in the same position as SZG. limited demand to the west if you say so but a large eastern diaspora with strong connection to their homelands. The SZG fanboys cannot believe the current Wizz expansion at their airport and are all whining why is it only east european cities... (all Eurowings efforts to connect major cities like CDG, BRU and so on flopped) btw. You are all underestimating intra-exyu travel possibilities when it comes to low-cost

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:12

      I am not entering the debate about whether or not Slovenia should have a new national carrier. However, I don't get the comments about it being a small market and that it cannot sustain a carrier based in LJU.

      How do you then explain Air Baltic ? Isn't Riga and Latvia an even smaller city/country that sustains an airline that is (was) twice the size of Adria ?

      I think the success or failure of a possible new airline - not withstanding the current shitty situation - all depends on the business model and network adopted.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:34

      Riga has a metro population of 1m and catchment area greater than that.

      Drive to Vilnius is about 4h, Tallin even longer. Ljubljana is a smaller market and in 4-5h drive you have MUC, VIE, ZAG, VCE, BLQ, TSF, BUD. That's a big difference.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:35

      and 3 countries (lithuania, latvia & estonia) have basically one normaln airport and one normal airlines -> air baltic @ riga airport. they all conenct there. plus latvia has some of the highest net emigrations to the west. so diaspora that keeps returning and visiting is large. per official data, i quote "Since 1990, in the result of migration, the number of population of Latvia has reduced by almost half a million (457 thousand). In the result of international long-term migration the number of population in 2010-2018 dropped by 126,1 thousand."

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:00

      air baltic is a really good idea, too bad something like that probably can't be set up here ...

      Delete
  25. Anonymous12:47

    Adria reborn, copy/paste?
    Another financial tragedy in making.
    When you never learn, never!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:29

      It's just a proposal by a company trying to get support from the state.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous13:02

    Klagenfurt aka Ljubljana-East i sve je gotovo

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous18:28

    Can't wait! I really hope this happens.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous19:22

    Slovenia is quite a peculiar case. A country with a very small diaspora, surrounded and easily accessible by rail & car from many countries. It is also possibly true that there is still not much demand for massive LCC traffic. The exception is London. In other words, it's quite difficult to sustain year-round LCC destination to say: BCN, LIS or BVA because it's a gasto airport - let alone those gasto German village airports. The other dilemma is the Gulf. QR are not stupid and would've easily included LJU in their network.
    I personally think that Fraport first concentrate on Europe then think of more far destinations.
    Lastly, having OU base an aircraft in LJU seems quite reasonable especially if it's a 320 to be more competitive with the rest.
    Last but not least, let's also be honest that most airports in ex-Yu have higher figures thank to the gasto routes. The perfect examples are SKP, TZL, INI.
    LJU is simply not such an airport and it will be interesting what Fraport will do to make an impact. I read an article how they worked well with Wizzair in Varna, which used to struggle with seasonality routes and now being connected year-round to more than 20 routes. I hope they can share the practice with LJU following the opening of the terminal in January. Let's see.

    ReplyDelete
  29. notLufthansa10:08

    obviously, nobody ever did a study why Slovenia needs own carrier. Slovenians love to travel. But for now, only business and Lufhthansa hubs are served. Slovenia is very good place to have vacation, but you need direct flights and it is not for everybody. Slovenia has alps, cousine and some other special places worth visiting. I will not mention the sea, which is dreadful. We need frequent connections to other places like Zurich, Brussels and Frankfurt.

    ReplyDelete

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