Slovenia to transform Maribor Airport into a “smart hub”


The Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure, Jernej Vrtovec, has presented parliament with a new vision for Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, which has not been served by scheduled flights for over a year. The Minister noted that he has been working with local mayors on plans to transform the airport into a “smart hub”. This would entail turning the airport into a modern multimodal cargo logistics centre. “If someone thinks the airport will thrive based on strategies that have been used so far, they are wrong. So far it has not worked”, Mr Vrtovec said. Maribor Airport saw no cargo traffic this year. However, it handled 2.414 passengers during the first three quarters, all of which were travelling on charter or private flights. 

If the proposed plan receives necessary approvals from local authorities and the Slovenian government, work will begin on extending Maribor Airport’s runway and building a rail link between the airport and the Magna car company in the Hoče-Slivnica municipality. Furthermore, a modern logistics centre, the largest in Slovenia, will be built at the airport, which would serve as an inland warehouse for port operator Luka Koper. “The Maribor area has an extraordinary logistic opportunity to develop such activities and we must take advantage of this”, Mr Vrtovec, who is still in talks with potential investors, said. A letter of intent to get the project off the ground is expected to be signed by the end of the year, while an international architectural competition would be launched in 2021. 


Two countries have shown interest in investing in Maribor Airport’s redevelopment. Maribor Airport is currently being operated by the state-run Investment Management Company (DRI) until the end of the year. In 2019, a fifteen-year concession of the airport, awarded to Chinese investors, was terminated after they failed to meet obligations set out in their contract with the state, with each side blaming the other. The Chinese claim the state dragged its feet over the adoption of a spatial plan which would have enabled the operator to extend the airport’s runway and thus turn it into a European hub for flights from China. To this day, the state is yet to adopt a new spatial plan. Mr Vrtovec noted it would be required in order for the airport to be transformed into a cargo hub.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    The Minister noted that he has been working with local mayors on plans to transform the airport into a “smart hub”.

    “Maribor Airport saw no cargo traffic this year.”

    Sounds like a great plan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    Yawn... nothing will become of it because at the end of the day Slovenia is too small to have two operational airports. These are just empty promises being repeated for over 20 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:48

      +1.

      If only people remembered why MBX was created in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Why was MBX created in 1976? I was wondering the same thing. I know that nowadays the Slovenia has excellent road network and the MBX is somewhat reduntant given the proximity of LJU, GRZ and ZAG, but what was the situation in the "best years ever"? I don't recall MBX has ever had an important role in JAT or Adria networks.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:12

      Because it was a different time, where people couldn't freely travel from Yugoslavia to Austria.

      Fast forward to present time with Schengen, and if you live a bit north of Maribor, it's quicker to drive to GRZ than MBX, which is located south of Maribor.

      Realistic scenario for MBX to close it and convert it to something more useful. But that will never play with the local political sheriffs.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:12

      @13.12 are you for real?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:28

      Why not?

      MBX hasn't seen a proper scheduled operation for more than a decade and there is no sign of this improving.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Well nothing else worked. Might as well give it a try

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Before they waste millions might be worth doing some sort of feasibility study.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:05

    They still haven't adopted the spatial plan???? They have been talking about it for 2 years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      Yes, and still nothing

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:06

    Ryanair flew to MXB when locals were interested in giving subsidies. Had they persisted a bit longer it could have done wonders for the region.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    Such a sad outcome for this airport. Hopefully they manage to find a partner for this cargo venture

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:10

    My money is on another Chinese company getting the project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Wouldn't be surprised. Don't see who else would invest at this time...

      Delete
    2. Hungary for example.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:10

    Will this be a PPP?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      That's the plan

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:11

    Add it on the list of another useless ex-Yu airport project.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:14

    They may as well shut it down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      If the airport is shut down before November 2021, all money the EU gave for its reconstruction will have to be paid back. It's part of the contract

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      Interesting, didn't know that.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:08

      To Anonymous09:18

      You are right. They know it so they will keep it for some time.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:15

    But isn't LJU also trying to attract cargo? Government should have consulted with Fraport before making any decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      Why should they consult a German company that has nothing to do with Maribor what they should do with Maribor?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      Because they run the country's main airport 130km away.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:16

    I feel like Maribor could have attracted LCCs if they made a bit of an effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Which route would have the most potential from MBX?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:24

      London probably

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      Why London? Diaspora? Tourists?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:27

      Tourists

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:15

      and one-two routes for the large exyu-diaspora: SKP/SJJ

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:52

      Most tourists come to Slovenia for Bled, Bohinj, Ljubljana and the coast. All of which LJU is closer.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:26

    Maribor's main problem is that Graz is 60km away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      Exactly. Graz Airport does the job.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:32

      not at all. theres no Wizz or Ryanair at Graz

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:21

      Why isn't it a problem for Graz that MBX is 60km away?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:38

      Because Graz actually has traffic. They handled 1,036,929 passengers last year!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:52

      MBX could do a study to find out which are the busiest routes from GRZ and then invite Wizz or Ryan to launch them from MBX. So MBX could 'steal' some of that traffic.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous23:09

      Year-round routes from GRZ are: FRA, MUC, VIE, AMS, BER, ZRH, IST, DUS and STR.

      Can't see any significant LCC market from GRZ/MBX for any of these routes.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous07:02

      Maybe AMS.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:56

    Molimooooo.....(let's pray....)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:19

    How many passengers did Maribor handle last year?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:26

    Why are people so negative about this? I never saw so much negativity about other useless projects in ex yu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:33

      then its your first time on this blog ;)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:52

      I saw a lot of people supporting usuless projects as building 3.5 km runway in a village, or building cargo hub in one of the poorest regions.

      Delete
    3. anon 10:33 hahahaha he has not read any comment under the articles about Trebinje.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:22

      ... or Bihać ...

      Delete
  17. Anonymous12:48

    Slovenia is full of hubs and big projects everywhere.

    Yet the reality is that they have four flights a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:14

      Now inSlovneia they have: 2, 1 or zero flights per day, charters included.


      Zagreb with all it's problems seems another planet.

      Delete
  18. Hope13:58

    It will be great if Slovenia pay for Ryanair or Wizzair and make same routes from Maribor.
    Barcelona,Cyprus,Canary Island...
    I think People will came from Graz,Ljubljana,Zagreb,Keszhtely,Nagkaniza....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Why should they pay? What for? Should the slovenian tax payers boost the profit of FR and Co? Look at HHN: they had last year around 17.000 operations, around 1,5 mil. passengers and around 172.000 tonns od cargo, still losing a lot of money. The peak was in the year 2007 with almost 4 mil. passengers making no profit, just losing money... Same thing on FMM... You can't make any money with FR and Co. ...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:45

      Then why is macedonia paying wizzair to fly to skopje. For wizzair to make profit? No, its becouse of connections

      Delete
    4. Sure, but you have to think about geography: MBX has 3 Airports within 1 to 1,5 hrs, even VIE ist only 2,5 hrs away, from SKP to the next airport with good connections is much more... Sure: if FR and Co. come, they will generate some traffic, but, again: why should the slovenian taxpayer pay so that a croatian or austrian passenger can travel cheap from MBX?

      Delete
  19. Dingbats missing the point17:22

    Slovenia is trying to copy the idea from plans for Serbia's KVO Kraljevo Morava airport: extending the runway, transforming the airport for cargo operations, Just In Time logistics for nearby car manufacturer and supplier ecosystem...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:56

      LJU has 11.368 tonnes cargo (2019).
      ZAG has 12.881 tonnes cargo (2019).
      BEG has 20.064 tonnes cargo (2019).
      SJJ has 13.671 tonnes cargo (2019).
      ...

      And some people are thinking about separate airports for cargo...

      VIE has 283.806 tonnes cargo (2019).

      Delete
    2. Well said.

      Waste of time and money. All air cargo is concentrated at LJU, where it should be. MBX can be used as an emergency alternate airport to LJU, a few charters, and hopefully some regular scheduled low cost fights, and for private flights.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:45

      @Anonymous19:56 :
      Would be great if you check your numbers before writing them down next time... LJU had 24,875 tonnes in 2019 (annual report, page 3). The year before had 26K tonnes (-4,5%; mainly attributable to the bankruptcy of the national flag carrier). So if your other numbers are correct (i didn't check them) than LJU had more cargo than BEG and even twice as much as ZAG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:11

      According to Wiki LJU had 11,365 tonnes cargo in 2019.
      BEG had 25,543 tonnes in 2018. in 2019 it must have been a few thousand more.
      I think it is safe to assume that BEG has surpassed LJU in 2019.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:28

      You have to be kidding me - you just compared wiki source to official ANNUAL REPORT?!? well let me tell you, YES, Ljubljana had twice as much cargo as ZAG and NO, BEG did not surpass LJU just because it's a bigger airport. And please next time don't assume, just read official data from reliable sources.
      anyway let me help you this time - please click on this link bellow and check page 5.

      https://www.fraport-slovenija.si/pripone/2588/Annual%20Report%20FS%202019_zadnja%20verzija.pdf

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:47

      First you must give me official stats (link) for BEG before you claim that LJU had more cargo in 2019.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous23:14

      I was simply replying on your last statement "BEG had 25,543 tonnes in 2018". As i said, i didn't check other numbers, i believe you on that data. So if you have right numbers than LJU had more cargo in 2018 than BEG. and if Anonymous19:56 numbers for BEG for 2019 are right (which I strongly doubt) than LJU had also more in 2019. i tried to find any official statement for 2019 but tbh i didn't find any cargo numbers at BEG nor Vinci report.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous23:37

      Thanks for trying. I couldn't find any figures for BEG for 2019 either.

      But according to a few anony's above we have following info:

      LJU had 24,875 tonnes in 2019
      BEG had 25,543 tonnes in 2018

      Delete
    9. Anonymous00:34

      and this is the data i was referring to:

      LJU had 26.044 in 2018
      BEG had 25.543 in 2018

      Yes, if we assume BEG had more or less same numbers as in 2018 (freight market contracted by 1,7% in EU in 2019), than it was probably better than LJU (cargo drop was -4%, bigger than EU average). If your data is wrong and 20.064 tonnes for BEG in 2019 is right - like the first anon wrote - than LJU is better.

      And if you ask me, Ljubljana will probably bounce back with cargo sooner than with passenger numbers. Right next to the airport two big logistic centers were opened: Cargo-partner opened 30MIO € worth logistic center, Kuehne+Nagel opened first phase of their 50 MIO € worth logistic project - according to media the biggest pharmaceutical logistic center in their network and third biggest for Novartis.

      Let's see what 2021 has to offer us (I will definitely ignore 2020 because it's horrible) :)

      Delete
    10. Anonymous01:30

      Boys, are you still measuring who has the biggest, uh, number of tonnes? 'Cause that's irrelevant and shows how immature you are. Both KVO and MBX are to be separate from what LJU and BEG are doing. You think governments are unaware of all those cargo projects at LJU, and new multimodal project next to BEG? Of course they know and still want to go ahead with separate cargo projects for two smaller airports. They will have separate purpose regardless of how many tonnes BEG or LJU process.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous22:39

    Had Maribor started growing it could have finally forced LJU and ZAG to lower their charges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:54

      But Maribor itself is rather small, only some 100.000 population. PLus a few more 10ooos nearby region.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous22:40

    The same EU state aid rules that apply to propping up airlines should also apply here. Maribor is clearly unviable and the money wasted is better off spent improving infrastructure elsewhere in Slovenia.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous22:42

    Good luck to Maribor. It's just a shame that such a nice terminal is going to waste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:12

      It's a shame taxpayers had to pay for it, even though everyone knew MBX is never going to work.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:27

      It has never been economically viable since it became suitable for commercial international traffic 1976. In Yugo times it had flights to BEG and Adriatic coast. In SLO times it has mostly struggled. It will remain and alternate for LJU, which is good for SLO and for LJU, but not much else.

      Delete
  23. Hmmm looks like INI airport...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:33

    New slovenian airline should start working from mbx!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      Yes, because they definitely won't make money in LJU, they should lose some more by operating from MBX.

      Sound logic.

      Delete
    2. notLufthansa19:48

      again, just bedtime story....there is no cargo. They can build 10 railways and extend the runway to 10 kilometers, nothing is going to happen. What cargo in god's name? LJU is hub for courier services (UPS, DHL, ....). What is going to be shipped from Maribor? Jesus....the stupidity of current govt is just endless. On top of that, Chinese still own strategic plots, so Slovenia can dream on about doing anything. Only realistic option is creating of training centre or closure. Evertything else is just shoveling money into furnace.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:28

      Damn right!

      Delete

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.