Chinese investor grows Slovenian aviation empire


Chinese businessman Kai Dai, who last year registered a new airline in Slovenia, recently became the part-owner of the Adria Airways Pilot Academy, fuelling speculation his company, Kylin Prime Capital, may become an important player in the country’s aviation sector. The Chinese-backed company established European Prime Airways last year, with Slovenia’s business registry indicating its main activities as being passenger and air transport. A former Adria Airways pilot, Blaž Berdnik, holds a 10% share in the airline. In a statement, Kylin Prime Capital told the “Finance” daily this week, “We are at the very beginning and we cannot comment on plans for European Prime Airways. We can neither confirm nor deny the company’s involvement in the EU air transport industry”.

Last month, the Adria Airways Flight School was sold for 7.500 euros as part of the former flag carrier’s bankruptcy procedure. The purchase was made by Slovenia’s former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Peter Jambrek who joined forces with Kai Dai. Their Institute for Constitutional Systems and Human Rights formally acquired the school. Mr Jambrek said his plan was for the flight school to become the biggest in the world. "We are targeting a large pool of countries - in China for instance there is a tremendous shortage of pilots, and the same is true for India and Indonesia", Mr Jambrek said. The plan is for the school to start operations next year, once all bureaucratic matters are settled. The flight school’s biggest asset is a still valid but inoperative ATO (Approved Training Organisations) license, enabling the buyer to continue training future pilots. The developments come in the lead up to the first anniversary of Adria Airways’ bankruptcy.

Chinese investments in Slovenia’s aviation sector have so far been unsuccessful. The Chinese-backed SHS Aviation won a fifteen-year concession for Maribor Airport in 2017. It planned to turn the airport into a European hub for the arrival of Chinese tourists. In order to aid its vision, the company established a new carrier - VLM Slovenia - which commenced operations from Maribor to several European destinations. However, after a number of difficulties, the carrier went bankrupt, with the Chinese investor later pulling out of Maribor Airport as well, accusing the state of not holding up to its part of the agreement to adopt a new airport spatial plan in order to allow for its development. To this day, a new spatial plan has not been adopted.

Comments

  1. "Slovenian aviation empire"
    Seriously?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:17

    Chinese Businessmen, banana kings... Slovenian aviation business seems very verstatile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:51

      Whatever happened to the banana king? He bought the AOC?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:55

      That AOC will likely become void if it is nor used within a year of acquisition.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:18

    Slovenia really needs a replacement for Adria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Why?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:53

      Because we have very little/no connectivity by air?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:57

      We have all the connectivity that we want. If there is more demand there will be more flights and routes serving LJU.
      Please, stop thinking of ways to get hired by the government and get payed by our taxes.
      Kind regards.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:36

      Connectivity is absolutely amazing. How many routes are served from Ljubljana again?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:14

      Anon @ 9:57
      +1

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:35

      Really? I guess you don't travel very often.

      Why were people sitting at home during the lock down getting paid while I was unemployed (getting nothing from the government) and I have zero prospect of finding a job in the next couple of years? All because I was in aviation. You got my money (through taxes) now it's time to pay it back.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:00

      @Anonymous 12:35
      No thanks! I am not under ANY obligation to offer you a well paid job for life! Get it?
      Thankfully Socialism is kaput.
      So you just like ANY other employee in the private sector and specifically any other employee in the travel and tourism industries all over the world will have the option to either ride the crisis out or change employment sectors.
      Nobody else became a government because of Covid-19 employee and neither should you.
      Kind regards.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:02

      @Anonymous 10:36
      Connectivity is exactly at the level our market supports.
      If there is more demand there will be more flights.
      So you should start travelling a whole lot more to stimulate the creation of new routes and increased frequencies.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:41

      Anony 9:57, 14:00 NOBODY COUNTS ON YOU TO ENABLE ANYTHING.

      We understand you, do not have the means or the skill to offer anybody a job.
      We understand that your only interest is your wallet.
      We understand that for you the only metric is “how much money government gives me”.

      This is because we understand the logic of typical self-centred, non-ethical Slovenian.

      "IF THE GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN LONG TERM PROJECTS, THERE IS LESS MONEY FOR MY WALLET"

      “THE ONLY THING THAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT I HAVE A BETTER TIME THAN MY NEIGHBOR”

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:40

      @Anonymous14:00:

      Was I under the obligation to finance you and the likes during the covid crisis?! What the hell are you on about?

      What socialism?? Why the hell do we have railways and bus connections? They suck, yet we have them. We have NO connections by air since Adria went bust. Maybe that is why we should consider setting up a national carrier.

      Ride the crisis out. Give me a break. What do you think, I made a ton of money?? I am glad it's not up to you, if the government decides to launch a new carrier.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous16:59

      I can understand personal perspective of someone who lost job with the downfall of Adria. The prospect of not being able to find a job in aviation industry in Slovenia is definitely not a nice future. And not everyone is willing to move, I can also see a lot of reason why someone cannot simply move wherever the next job opportunity exist.

      And yes, downfall of Adria was emotional thing also for me. I still vividly see a picture of Adria planes parked at Klagenfurt Airport in fall and winter of 1991/1992 and I remember my numerous car drives to Klagenfurt airport to take Adria flight to Frankfurt.
      Never the less, argumentation with personal loses is not something I would base anything in public discussion. What might be my personal loses might be personal gains for someone else.

      As far as connectivity of Ljubljana airport (or Slovenia in general) is concerned, we can have long discussions. My friends from Novo mesto, Krško, Brežice (south of Slovenia), see their window to air travel more in Zagreb airport then Ljubljana. They do not see any particular need for more connections out of Ljubljana airport from their perspectives. I might wish to have a connection or two more from Ljubljana.

      So…

      Delete
    12. Anonymous18:30

      Anon 16:59 if you remove political part 2/3 of your text, you have a interesting point

      As far as connectivity of Ljubljana airport (or Slovenia in general) is concerned, we can have long discussions. My friends from Novo mesto, Krško, Brežice (south of Slovenia), see their window to air travel more in Zagreb airport then Ljubljana. They do not see any particular need for more connections out of Ljubljana airport from their perspectives. I might wish to have a connection or two more from Ljubljana.

      Is this possible with new reality of corona ?

      Delete
    13. Anonymous21:50

      @Anonymous 16:59:

      Nobody is even thinking about a job in aviation in Slovenia. Hell, finding a job as a pilot on planet Earth seems to be too far fetched for the next couple of years.

      So why not establish a new carrier. People would get jobs and Slovenia would get back its connectivity. Win/win situation. If profitability is all that "worried" tax payers are concerned about, let's start applying the same criteria to other state owned companies. We'll have to liquidate half of them.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:20

    Let's see if they buy the Adria brand

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      Why would they? What's the value of the Adroa brand?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:48

      Brand recognition in Slovenia I would say.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:22

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:24

    They really weren't too successful with Maribor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Because all investors are the same and are simply defined by their nationality???

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      Slouvenci and big bussinees goes in same sentence only in SFRJ. They are too small. Same for the rest exYu.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:31

    as long as this playtime is financed without a single public eurocent, have at it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      They may ask for subsidies from the state. In the end VLM for too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:42

      *VLM did too

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:57

      Adria did as well but got nothing in the end.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous10:39

    Slovenia needs a decent small carrier that provides connections to a few European cities. Relying on the Lufthansa group hasn't really worked out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:41

    Another money laundering scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous10:47

    I miss Adria :(

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous10:47

    Who in their right mind would launch an airline now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:50

      Who said they were launching it now? Read the article again.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous10:47

    Failed project in the making

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous10:56

    I do hope someone serious eventually comes along and established an efficient little airline in Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:44

      "efficient little airline" - nice oxymoron.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:24

      Why is this an oxymoron? There are bunch of little profitabile airlines around the world in private hands.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:02

      'cause airlines are the epitome of the economy of scale. there is no such thing as a regular/schedule airline that is small and profitable. All the small-ish airlines are in a niche or do some PSO. Regular airlines are profitable only when the economies of scale kick in. ANd it's been that way for a long long time.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:18

      Here is one example.
      Aegean Airlines began its first commertial operations in 1999. with 2 Avro Rjs on routes from ATH to Heraklion and Thessaloniki. And they were profitabile in these years without any PSO or large fleet. And they were an example of small profitabile airline.

      Size does not matter in aviation sector when we are talking about profitability, the way you do your job does. There are many big profitabile airlines same as there are many big unprofitabile airlines.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:41

      Remind me in which country is Aegean operating? And in which country would this ''small profitable airline'' would operate?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:08

      Aegean has 65 aircraft and an annual turnover of 1.3 BILLION Euros!
      It is also based in a global tourism powerhouse and its main hub ATH is the sole airport of a city of 4 million. THAT is why it is profitable.
      Now which other Balkan market can support an airline of this size? None!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:27

      14:08
      I was talking about Aegean Airlines in 1999. when it was an airline with 2 region jets, not about todays Aegean. Then it was a small profitabile airline. So plese next time first try to read a comment and then make a comment with CAPITAL LETTERS!!! And of course there is no country in this region which can sustain airline like Aegean but I do not understand where did you find a connection between sustaing big airlines and making small profitabile airlines.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:45

      Do you have the financial reports of Aegean in 1999 and 2000?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:19

      They reported profit in 2002. while they started operations in 1999. So i dont see any problem why airlines here cannot do the same.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:41

      Because starting up an airline in Greece and starting up an airline in Slovenia is exactly the same

      Delete
    11. Anonymous16:12

      Well its not because in Greece you have a bunch of local competition while in Slovenia you have 0 slovenian based airlines with scheduled flkghts.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous16:29

      The fact that there is competition means that there is actually a sustainable market where you can rely on. The state of Ljubljana's number of airlines and passengers is a clear representation of the Slovenian market potential, not to mention that it is surrounded by competitor airports. If you want a new flag-carrier, the Slovenian people must be ready to pay, as in Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:57

    Never trust a Chinese for business. What they did with Maribor is disgraceful.
    Also those guys from Hainan group whom their chief passed away suddenly in Paris. They could've done more damage.
    In Europe, whatever involved Chinese was trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:42

      They should trust Germans

      Delete
  15. Anonymous11:19

    this was registered last April :o
    https://www.bizi.si/EUROPEAN-PRIME-AIRWAYS-D-O-O/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:09

      It's interesting that they now bought the flight school. Let's see if they buy anything else.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous12:26

    " Mr Jambrek said his plan was for the flight school to become the biggest in the world"

    Are they serious?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:21

      I truly hope people will be wiser and reconsider a career in aviation. There are hundreds of unemployed, experienced pilots currently on the market willing to work for free. Why would anyone pay 100k eur for training with zero chance of landing a job?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:29

      A lot of airline pilots will just retire and this will not last forever. Flights in China are normal.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:13

      Yeah but you forgot to mention that a lot of pilots have already been fired and that number far exceeds the number of retired pilots. Besides, companies have first retired the most senior (more expensive) pilots and yet, they were still forced to fire others.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous14:01

    Could a new commercial airline in Slovenia work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:39

      depends on how powerful the budget mentality of "this and that costs money, so we don't need it" is among those who will decide on whether or not we need a new commercial airline

      Delete
  18. Anonymous20:08

    It seems that Slovenia will have few airlines in next few month (Rastoder, Solinair and Jambrek). If only one will succeed that will be huge benefit for Slovenia in terms of better connectivity which is crucial for state economy.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.