Four carriers to run Ljubljana flights in January

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will be served by four commercial airlines next month, as one of the toughest years in its history draws to a close. At this point, the airport is set to offer just 104 departures for the entirety of next month, with Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Montenegro Airlines and Turkish Airlines serving the Slovenian capital. Jointly, they will offer 12.218 seats each way from Frankfurt, Belgrade, Podgorica and Istanbul. Despite the relatively low volume of flights, if all operations are carried out as scheduled, it will represent an over 50% increase on the current month. However, Ljubljana will still offer the lowest number of departing commercial flights among the capital cities of the former Yugoslavia, pipped by Sarajevo with 107 departures. 
Ljubljana Airport frequencies by airline in January

During January, Lufthansa will operate fifty flights each way from Frankfurt, Air Serbia 26 from Belgrade, Montenegro Airlines fifteen from Podgorica and Turkish Airlines with thirteen flights from Istanbul. In terms of capacity, the most will be offered by the German carrier with 5.000 seats each way, followed by Turkish Airlines with 2.232 seats, Air Serbia with 1.716 and Montenegro Airlines 1.635 seats. Lufthansa will maintain its operations with the Embraer 190, Turkish with a mix of Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft, Air Serbia with the ATR72 turboprop and Montenegro Airlines with the Fokker 100 jet. The Montenegrin carrier will restore operations to Ljubljana later this month, and for now plans to continue operating the service for the foreseeable future. 
Ljubljana Airport capacity by airline in January

Low cost carrier easyJet, which initially planned to return to the Slovenian capital in January has postponed its service resumption. Flights from London Gatwick have been pushed back from early January to February 12, while plans to inaugurate its new service from London Luton to Ljubljana has been delayed from early January and then February to March 28. The Slovenian government approved state aid amounting to five million euros to the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport - Fraport Slovenija - last week pending approval from the European Commission. The amount corresponds to about a third of the estimated losses the operator expects as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The aviation sector in Slovenia has been hit hard by the latest wave of the virus with travel for Slovenian nationals severely restricted.


  1. Anonymous09:06

    EK will surely follow in the coming months.

    Why don't you do us all a favour and just make LJU a cargo-only airport? At least we won't be spending any more taxpayers money on useless projects such as LJU.

    1. Anonymous09:08

      Well that is a stupid comment

    2. Anonymous09:09

      Yes but then Fraport will complain to the German government and the embassy in Ljubljana will complain how their financial targets are not met and that taxpayers need to give more money.

    3. Anonymous09:10

      Slovenia is the second most visited ex-Yu country according to the official Eurostat figures.

    4. Anonymous09:14

      That's irrelevant as those visitors obviously don't come by plane otherwise LJU would have more flights even before covid.

    5. Anonymous09:20

      Slovenia is more or less transition country, it can't be compared in number of tourists to any ex-country. Regarding 4 carriers operating in January, let's first wait for 20.12 if YM will really start to operate to LJU again.

    6. Anonymous12:13

      @9.20 you again! you first need to learn a definition of "tourist"
      Slovenia has 6.22mio arrivals in 2019 that made 15.77mio overnight stays.

    7. Anonymous12:44

      As tourism is sector in economy, the only thing that matters is turnover. its actually better to have less tourists who spend more.

    8. Anonymous12:58

      Not if you are an airport.

    9. Anonymous13:32

      anon 12:44

      This is a highly philosophical comment. And how do you want to judge that turnover, if not by referring to the number of foreign arrivals/overnight stays?

    10. Anonymous15:56


      Well, Mr. Skobir, if you were doing your job properly, I wouldn't have to post stupid comments, now would I?

    11. Anonymous16:53

      Anonymous13:32 - if you see that as highly philosophical comment that you dont know much about economy.

    12. Anonymous17:20

      Yes. It is better to be healthy than ill and better to be rich than to be poor. Is this all you wanted/were able to say?

      Or do you want to say that countries that have more tourists make less money off tourism?

  2. Anonymous09:08

    Are all these flights one way or return? If JU has 26 flights does it mean they will have 13 return flights to LJU? That would be three weekly if I am not wrong.

    1. Anonymous09:20

      No, it is 26 flights from Belgrade and another 26 flights to Belgrade based on current schedule. Probably will get revised. But there are extra flights operating during the first half of January because of holidays.

    2. Anonymous09:27

      Good, it means that demand is picking up. If I remember correctly Serbia is on Slovenia's green list so maybe some tourists are going there for New Year celebration?

    3. Anonymous09:31

      There will be no New Year celebrations in Serbia this year. All are cancelled so I don't think so. But there are a lot of Serbian people living in Slovenia. Quite a few Slovenes living in Serbia too due to business. For example NLB is just about to take over Serbia's biggest bank.

    4. Anonymous09:37

      True what anon said above. There is a reason LJU was one of the first destinations JU resumed this year.

    5. Anonymous09:55

      So far the government in Serbia has not made a final announcement regarding new year festitivies. Sure there won't be a massive organisation like each year but I am sure they are going to allow restaurants to organise it with certain restrictions. Otherwise festivities will happen in homes which would be even worse.

    6. Anonymous09:56

      Ok, I'm just telling you not to expect some mass influx of tourists. Especially since the government is considering introducing mandatory PCR test to enter.

    7. Anonymous10:03

      Government also announced new measures the other day and in the end nothing happened. Also they were worried about gastos coming back but since Switzerland, Austria and Germany introduced quarantine for those coming from red zones I don't think Balkan government have anything to worry about.

    8. Anonymous10:06

      JU plans 8 return flights in the first 10 days of 2021, that's actually not too bad. I guess they get some transfers from Qatar Airways in BEG as well.

    9. Anonymous10:22

      Good to see JU sticking around LJU! They are not letting go of this market.

  3. Anonymous09:23

    So the maximum number of passengers LJU can have in January is 12,218 if all planes are full which is impossible. Scary.

    1. Anonymous09:25

      Sorry meant 24,436. Still very low.

    2. Anonymous10:05

      How many passengers did Ljubljana have in January 2020?

    3. Anonymous10:23

      A lot actually

    4. Anonymous11:43

      Around 75.000

  4. Anonymous09:26

    I understand it's a pandemic, I understand the travel restrictions, but having the least number of flights of any ex-Yu capital city airport while being the most developed... it can't just be the virus.

  5. Anonymous09:29

    I don't understand the urgency for flights between TGD and LJU. Is this diaspora?

    1. Anonymous09:29

      Yep. Lots of Montenegrin students in Slovenia.

    2. Anonymous09:52

      Someone wrote yesterday that we won't be able to buy tickets on YM and it's true, there is even an announcement on their website. Supposedly their bank has some issues. Let's see what happens on Monday. If I were LJU I would take YM's annoumcecnet with a grain of salt.

  6. Anonymous09:53

    Not surprised.

  7. Anonymous09:59

    Let Wizz set up a base!

    1. Anonymous10:05

      Do they even want to?

    2. Anonymous10:14

      LCC fanboy's are here again...

    3. Anonymous10:15

      I'm not an LCC fanboy. I just don't see any other solution to the problem.

    4. Anonymous10:16

      Wizz could not make Brussels work and now you expect then to have a base?

    5. Anonymous10:41

      Of course you are, it was explained several times why LJU will never be LCC base. Only solution to get better connectivity is to establish national carrier.

    6. Anonymous11:22

      That or to encourage airlines to launch more flights. For example once covid is gone to do the following:

      1. Have JU increase BEG to 21 and to keep 2 flights from INI.
      2. Have LO introduce BUD-LJU.
      3. TK to increase, as planned, IST to 21.
      4. Negotiate with Pegasus to introduce 3 weekly from SAW.
      5. Get MAN flights back on whoever wants to operate them.
      6. SU to go triple daily on SSJ or A319 to boost connectivity.
      7. Get those KBP flights as well.
      8. Boost charter operations.

      All those would be cheaper than to have a new Adria.

    7. Anonymous11:44

      So actually if I understand correctly your proposals, LJU would remain unconnected with MUC, ZRH, BRU, AMS, CDG, CPH, VIE in EU and SKP, PRN, SJJ in Balkan? In addition to have only one flight to FRA and even that in the middle of the day?

      We just gave 5 mio to foreign airlines and result of that is 2 flights per day (maybe we will even have 4 carriers operating in January). How much do you think it would cost to have all those flights you mentioned?

      In addition, Adria with that amount of money would make profit (and we would have 10 aircrafts based in LJU).

    8. Anonymous12:20

      Yes, it means no flights to MUC, ZRH, CDG and CPH, but there would be 2 flights to INI ;)

    9. Anonymous12:29

      Smart move! :)

    10. Anonymous12:46

      OMG, Anon 11:44, "once covid is gone" wrote Anon 11:22. And it was an idea of increase number ob flights, without explicitly mentioning planned ones. I also support that kind of approach.

    11. Anonymous12:59

      Pegasus wouldn't really start LJU from Istanbul SAW since TK is very strong in the LJU market.

    12. Anonymous13:01

      Anon 11:44 i dont really know if Adria would make profit with 5 mio €, but i agree that a national airline would be much better for connections with Europe. Slovenia would have to invest more than 100 mio for a national airline, and at its best it would probably be lossing 5 mio each year, which is not a lot. Market in Slovenia is really underserved and i think it has a lot of potencial. Iberian peninsula, 16k tourists from Portugal, almost 90k from Spain, and another 45k from South America, plus all Slovenians who visit these countries, so new airline could be flying to Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona and codeshare with Iberia and TAP and to fly other charters in Spain. Italy has a lot of potencial, Milan and Rome, France with other routes and not only Paris, almost 170k tourists, UK could work with other destinations, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, with 3 or 4 p/w in summer, as Slovenia is getting more and more popular between Brits, with 160k tourists. Ireland, Dublin maybe 2x or 3x p/w, more than 21k tourists. More destinations in Germany, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne could work, 600k tourists. Netherlands, Amsterdam could be atleast double daily, 200k tourists. Belgium has potencial, 115k tourists. Scandinavia would work with daly Copenhagen and some maybe 3x p/w to Oslo and Stockholm in summer. Other routes in Balkan, Sarajevo, Pristina, Skopje, Tirana, with daily flights on ATR72 and Sofia and Bucharest with 3x or 4x p/w in summer. And maybe Air Slovenia should lease two or three a330, as aircrafts are half the price, and maybe open routes to New York, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. 150k tourists from US, 140k from S. Korea, 100k from China, well Japan with 35k tourists could work maybe 2x p/w, others 3 could be 4x p/w. Air Slovenia could fly to Dubai or Doha, to bring 55k tourists from Australia and New Zealand that would fly to Doha or Dubai with Qatar and Emirates. Plus if all the prices were normal there would be way more passengers, I dont see why this couldnt work. If Air Slovenia would have nice service on board, with normal prices (unlike Adria), if LJU would reduce their costs, it would be amazing

    13. Anonymous13:03

      Exactly last Anon, it includes what other things need to be done. The last thing LJU needs now is more flight to LH Group hubs.

      Also it's disgusting that some are still bothered by LJU-INI.

    14. Anonymous14:44

      Anon 13:03, do you know the meaning of the word "disgusting"?

    15. Anonymous16:25

      Of course, do you?

      Before covid LJU-INI was extremely successful but of course that bothers some on here.

    16. Anonymous16:42

      I don't believe that anyone here bothers INI, I am really happy that JU did not leave LJU unlike some carriers.

      @anon 12:46

      Would you be happy with planned EU flights? Even before Covid EU connectivity was disaster from LJU, what do you think it will be "after" Covid times, probably it will take 10 years before we get MUC/ZRH/BRU back on track. Not to mention that it's science fiction to expect at least two daily flights to those EU hubs. If that is achievable than I'm against national carrier as well, but we all know that this is not going to happen.

    17. @An.13.01
      Croatia (country) has double, triple, or more passengers, mostly tourists, coming from all long-haul destinations you mentioned, plus some others. And whenever I mention OU should have done long ago what you now suggest for Air Slovenia to do, I got spit at. I will say nothing else, the one who needs to make the conclusion, hopefully received the message.

      LJU was the worst performing destination out of INI, before covid, with some 35% LF. And I am not bothered by the service, on the contrary I used it (never more than 40 pax per flight on 150-seater), but you cannot simply write something which has nothing to do with the true and with reality

    18. Anonymous20:03

      @16.25 None of INI's JU routes have been succesful. its ok to be a fanboy but be realistic

    19. Anonymous20:38

      If Air Serbia would base ATR72 it would be better

    20. Anonymous21:22

      And how would Air Serbia operate inter-EU flights from LJU?

      @Anon 13:01: What you are suggesting is completely insane and you probably need to add another zero to the estimated yearly loss for such an airline.

    21. Anonymous21:34

      Anon 21:22 then tell me why this couldnt work.

    22. Anonymous21:43

      It was verified in real life by a company called JP that even 10% of that could not work. Sorry.

    23. Nemjee21:55

      Anon 20.03

      Absolute and utter rubbish, the only route that was truly disastrous was INI-BUD followed by INI-FCO. Other destinations performed ok, especially in summer.

      INI-LJU did really well in summer months. I think there is long-term potential here especially since most Serbs in Slovenia are from the south. Nis Express has a daily Nis-Ljubljana line.

    24. Anonymous22:13

      Anon 21:43 and since when was JP a normal airline? With their high prices, bunch of flights were canceled, not only in their last year, their service was absolute trash, ranked as one of the worlds worst airlines, of course it failed almost everywhere and now they are gone. Now imagine what would happen if there was a normal airline, normal prices and with a normal service. Oh yeah, way more passengers. And now you guys would ask why are airlines avoiding LJU. For that you guys will have to ask Skobir why they cant attract airlines. Actually i can tell you. High costs. Bunch of airlines in the past said that LJU has very high costs. What would happen if they would decrease the costs? Oh yeah, more airlines. But it looks like some of you will never understand.

    25. Anonymous22:21

      @Anon 21:34: Reality, that's why.

      Slovenia has 2m people, not 20m.

      Sure, number of tourists look great, until you add the fact that average tourist stay in Slovenia is 2.5 nights, meaning that most people don't spend their entire holidays here, and therefore are unlikely to chose LJU as their point of entry/exit to Europe. Not to mention people from USA will rather fly to MUC/FRA with one of their home carriers than with some no-name airline called Air Slovenia.

      Also,Seoul? How many flights from South Korea did Slovenia have in the past 20 years? Less than what your suggested weekly frequency is.

      This megalomaniac project would be completely insane. You'd probably also need at least 3 types of aircraft (ATR, A320/B737, A330), if not an additional regional jet. 3-4 types for a small airline is a financial disaster.

      It's nice to dream, but here and there we do need to be realistic as well.

    26. Anonymous22:21

      JP was more or less as the market at LJU allowed it to be. Operating at extremely low margins, often negative, it was far from perfect, just as any other company in its place would be. Shiny new planes cost money, better service costs money.

    27. Anonymous22:35

      Don't forget that JP operated TIA and PRN flights for Lufthansa, I can't imagine those were profitable for them.

    28. Anonymous22:55

      That sounds like an naive idea that you can only think for one of those airline management games. There is a reason why JP turned into the state it was when it got sold for peanuts to the Germans. And it's not because all of this ''tourist potencial''. Slovenia is a very limited market. Focus on having minimal stable connections first then about Doha and Seoul

    29. Anonymous07:41

      @anon 22:35

      What are you talking about? Those flights were normal scheduled flights which had nothing with ACMI business which JP did for LH. The only thing those flights had in common with LH is codeshare, but there was also codeshare with SK (maybe even some other, I don't remember now).

      What Slovenia need is several good connections to major EU hubs with departures early in the morning and arrivals late in the evening. in the middle rotations some flights to Balkan and that's it.

      Dreaming about longhaul flights is just illusion and has nothing with reality.

    30. Anonymous12:11

      @Nemjee sorry but what you declined as "utter rubish" is actually what you wrote yourself there. Numbes for the german routes are publicily available on the net so go and see.

      I had the chance to fly INI-LJU one way in Sept 2019 and it was roughly 40%.

  8. Anonymous14:47

    I hope all the airlines will stay even with potential Air Slovenia. LH Group should stay and provide their own service to all their hubs. The worst case scenario would be Air Slovenia without competition.

    1. Anonymous16:43

      If LH group will remain to fly with that schedule than I don't think that's any competition at all for potential Air Slovenia.

    2. Anonymous19:33

      I'm fine with their schedules and I'm fine with Air Slovenia as long as they all stay (LH, LX, SN) since their schedules combined work perfectly fine with me. Otherwise I will switch back to LH from Trieste if LH will be back with all pre-covid flights and LJU will stay only with Air Slovenia.

    3. Anonymous23:58

      It would be interesting to know the load factor for the 3 airlines flying to Ljubljana in November 2020....

    4. Anonymous13:58

      124,5% :P


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