State grants €5 million in aid to Ljubljana Airport operator

The Slovenian government has approved state aid amounting to five million euros to the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport - Fraport Slovenija - 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. Fraport Slovenija is wholly owned by Germany’s Fraport Group. The Slovenian operator estimates it will lose some 15.3 million euros this year as a result of Covid-19. The calculation is based on the decrease in operating profit (EBIT) compared to 2019. Passenger numbers this year are set to decline by 80%, with the airport achieving just 18% of last year’s result. Currently, only three airlines maintain scheduled flights to the Slovenian capital, which handles 97% of all air traffic in the country. 

In a statement, the Slovenian government said, “State aid will be essential to ensure Fraport’s liquidity and the development and operation of infrastructure at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. It will cover existing operating costs (materials, services, salaries, taxes) and necessary investments”. The airport is in the process of developing a new terminal building, which is set to open in July 2021. It has implemented a number of austerity measures in an attempt to cut costs with all investments planned for this year being halted, except for the new terminal. Projects which have been shelved for the time being include the expansion of the apron and the development of a staff car park. The airport has also reduced its workforce. 

The funds granted to Fraport Slovenija meet the European Union’s state aid legislation. It will be granted in the form of a one-time non-refundable payment. However, the European Commission will have to review and approve the aid before it can be forwarded to Fraport Slovenija. The Slovenian government recently allocated five million euros to stimulate foreign airlines to maintain flights to Ljubljana and is mulling the creation of a new national carrier with a 76-million-euro investment. The European Commission has approved the subsidies aimed at foreign airlines but is yet to receive a proposal for the new flag carrier which will form part of the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, to be funded by the EU through 1.6 billion euros in grants and 3.6 billion euros in repayable funds. The state has completed a draft of the plan and hopes to formally submit it to the EU for review by the end of the month.


  1. Anonymous09:01

    Bravo Fraport!

    1. Anonymous11:42

      State is giving aid to LJU airport operator. Funny thing because I doubt we have any airport operator at LJU, the only one which I know operates a parking place. There is no sign of an airport anymore...

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Wow that's generous

  3. Anonymous09:05

    So the government, not the airport, is stimulating airlines to fly and now the airport also gets money.

  4. Anonymous09:06

    Wish they helped out Adria this way.

    1. Anonymous09:08


    2. Anonymous09:12

      A different government was in power then

    3. Anonymous10:00

      5m wouldn't make any difference when it comes to Adria. Just look at the debt they had when the company went bankrupt.

    4. Anonymous10:37

      It wouldn't be enough for the whole debt but it would get them through six months for sure

    5. Anonymous11:00

      Until which point Corona hit and they would need even more money. Some solution.

    6. Anonymous11:11

      Yes because this is so much better, especially on days when LJU has no flights.

    7. Anonymous11:15

      People can't wait to travel with all the self-isolation rules in place. It's so nice to go on a weekend city break, with all the restaurants closed, and a nice little quarantine when you come back.

      Too bad there's no flights, they'd all be full.

    8. Anonymous11:39

      Situation from September till February was really remarkable, we had 10 departures every day so it was really difficult to decide which hub you will use for your connection flights...

    9. Anonymous12:16

      Winter schedules were made long before JP went bankrupt. You can't expect other airlines to just have an aircraft or two on the ground just somebody goes bust.

    10. Anonymous12:24

      I doubt that capacities are 100% used in winter even by big players. But ok lets forget about W19, what happened with S20 where there was still huge deficit in terms of flights? Was that also prepared already before JP bankruptcy?
      Slovenia is simply to small to attract big players (except in case of giving them space to park their unused aircrafts) so we need national carrier.

    11. Anonymous12:40

      Actually I think it will be easier for LJU to attract big players because they have large networks and hubs. It will be much harder for smaller players to survive there.

    12. Anonymous18:07

      Maybe they can attract big players but can they convince them to base aircraft in LJU? That's what Slovenia needs because only with early morning departures to EU hubs and late evening arivals from EU hubs can improve connectivity significantly. That's what it seems to be impossible..

    13. Anonymous19:25

      You don't need a based aircraft for that. It's the standard way of hub operation - get transfers out to regional airports in the evening, and get them to hub in the early morning for onward connections.

      Aircraft arrives to outstation in the evening and leaves for the hub in the morning.

    14. Anonymous21:53

      So basically you have base aircraft on outstation during the night. How many of those we seen before covid? Only LH and even their afternoon schedule was a disaster. So to expect from SN, LX, LH while they had one flight per day (even that one in the middle of the day) to base aircraft during the night? Not even a small chance.

  5. Anonymous09:14

    Hope it helps

  6. Anonymous09:15

    Of course EU will approve. It's giving money to a German company.

  7. Anonymous09:18

    This would be hilarious if it wasn't tragic. So basically Slovenian taxpayers are giving a lot of money to German companies. First Lufthansa gets the most from foreign airlines then Swiss gets it as well even though they are not eligible for it and now Fraport gets as well?

    How is all this even possible.

    1. Anonymous11:36

      Before LH aid Slovenia gave JP for free to another German company 4k..

    2. Anonymous12:16

      And JP was worth how much before the sale? What assets did it have?

    3. Anonymous12:20

      It was priceless for Slovenian economy what we could see in months after JP demise. Those companies you simply don't sell (including Fraport!). Huge mistake by former government.

    4. Anonymous13:08

      I think only 49% should be sold, and to an aviation company.

  8. Anonymous09:27

    Thank you Slovenian government (and Slovenian taxpayers). Eventhough a small amount, it is an important message to Fraport shareholders that it would not be left down the drain.
    Now hopefully the Greek Government will follow suit and I can look forward to an even higher return.
    Disclaimer: neither a Slovenian nor Greek here.

    1. Anonymous09:33

      Huh? You do realize that there are days when LJU has no flights? Are you aware that these restrictive measures won't work in the long term because once the situation calms down people will start moving again and we are back to square one.

      Fraport has been taking money out of Slovenia and into Germany. It wasn't enough they did it over the years now they also need it during the crisis?

    2. Anonymous09:48


      It is our pleasure. Not so long ago, I was the one who was flying you in and out of LJU. Being unemployed now, with no prospect of working as a pilot anymore, my wife (who is still paying taxes) will be more than happy to sponsor wealthy Germans, Swiss and the rest. Lufthansa and Fraport need the money, not our two children.

    3. Anonymous10:28

      Germany insists on the environment, rule of law and so on but not when it comes to their interests. AF had to cut many short flights in order to get aid while LH stll operates 30 minute regional flights. LH got €9 billion from the government and another €1 billion after the German government took 25% of its shares. Who cares if they go bust because the German government is guaranteeing €10 billion for LH!

      Remember the AB saga? Germany purposely delayed the suspension of their AOC even though they didn't have enough money on their account because LH wasn't ready to react. Only when LH and OS could step in were they grounded.

  9. Anonymous09:35

    Wow, we are witnessing the penultimate stupidity.

    Those poor Slovenian taxpayers, who are whining on here every time Adria is mentioned, are now giving THEIR money to some very wealthy foreign counties. Will someone explain to me, why that is alright with them? I am sure that, if that money went to Adria, people would be screaming their lungs out. Is jelousy really the only reason? How would one explain stories about nepotism and lazy, overpaid workers?

    1. Anonymous09:40

      Not to mention that many airlines that got money from Slovenia didn't even resume flights. Yesterday we read LO postponed flights to March while a few days before that Air France did the same. Lufthansa isn't even bringing back MUC-LJU meanwhile LX isn't coming back any time soon to LJU.

      Basically this is Slovenia paying airlines to eventually, maybe, at some point restore flights. What they should have done is said: here is the money thanks to which you will not lose money in Slovenia. We expect your flights, at least 2 weekly, from December 15.

    2. You do realize that Adria was also owned by a German company?

    3. Anonymous09:48

      No one is speaking about 4K owned disaster that dragged the JP corpse with it. We are talking about Slovenian owned Adria which was professionally run company.

    4. Anonymous09:49

      Yep, sure do. But not before it was sold to the phoney Germans. What's your point?

    5. Anonymous09:59

      "We are talking about Slovenian owned Adria which was professionally run company."

      Ah, so before the sale to 4K, it was a successful and profitable airline with a clear vision, large list of assets, including owned fleet etc.?

    6. Anonymous10:05

      Anon 9:59 govt owned Adria was much better

    7. Anonymous10:17

      Even if government didn't plug the holes with millions per year?

    8. Anonymous10:23

      And Adria was the only airline in ex yu to get millions? Atleast other nations have flights cuz of national airlines, unlike Slovenia

    9. Anonymous10:29

      Since you are one of the supporters of the "no need for a national carrier, let's rather give our money the to foreigners" idea, would you care to answer my question? How is the aforementioned idea a good one?

    10. Anonymous11:02

      "Atleast other nations have flights cuz of national airlines, unlike Slovenia"

      Kids can't go to schools, you can't leave the municipality, yet I'd be so great if LJU had 30 flights a day these days. I'm sure every single one of them would be sold out.

    11. Anonymous11:07

      Anon 11:02 and how many flights were between adria bankruptcy and corona? A lot less

    12. Anonymous11:15

      Anon 11.02

      That's why the Slovenian government is making another stupid decision. They closed the country for months only to reopen it for a few weeks before numbers explode again.

  10. Ingvarsson10:01

    Private profits, socialize losses for foreign owned companies, bankrupt domestically owned ones. Capitalism, Slovenian edition. Hip-hip hoorah!

  11. Anonymous10:32

    Typical Slovenian hypocrisy. If Adria was to receive 10 million in state aid, everyone would be against the idea. Now, everything is fine.

    1. Anonymous10:35

      That is so true

    2. Anonymous11:04

      Adria couldn't make it when other airlines were making billions in profit every year.

      Helping an aviation company in 2019 vs 2020 is like comparing apples to oranges.

    3. Anonymous11:32

      @anon 11:04

      please enlighten us with who from this are had a profit of 1 cent in "those" golden year?
      Adria was doing find (even with incompetent managers) all those years. Those 5 mio were drop in the ocean in comparison what JP brought to Slovenian economy.

      I am happy for Fraport as well, I just hope that EU commission will not have double standards when they will decide about 70 mio for new national carrier.

      Good luck Fraport and hopefully Air Slovenia soon!

    4. Anonymous11:40

      From exyu, not many, but Slovenia has been in EU from 2004 and Adria had access to the entire EU market for 15 years.

      Now don't tell me all airlines in EU were loosing money all these years?

    5. Anonymous11:46

      I would say that there are more airlines in EU which were losing money than those which were profitable.
      I am quite sure that Adria could be profitable if they had competent managers but even those 5 mio were nothing as mentioned before.
      We have to admit to ourself that LJU is to small to attract bigger airlines who will base aircraft here and without that schedule will always be weak.

  12. Anonymous11:59

    Slovenia in ex-YU is done, they made their choice and now they have to live with it. Unfortunately there are not so many gastos like in North Macedonia so there is less demand for LCC. Now all eyes are on Montenegro which got a new and democratically elected government. There are rumors YM will be shut down and subsidies given to foreign airlines. Personally I hope they allow JU to operate charters from TIV like they did in the past. JU can easily base one A319 there in summer and fly flights.

    Slovenia made a huge mistake giving away its national airline. Now it has to pay others to be at their mercy. I find this humiliating. Demand for LJU is not big, I doubt we will see a situation with more than 20 flights a day, even in summerwith chaster.

    1. Anonymous12:03

      I think we could see more than 20, maybe even 30 flights per day with new national airline, if they establish it

    2. Anonymous12:14

      30 flights? To where, the moon?

    3. Anonymous12:16

      5 aircraft from national carrier so this are 15 flights, then all other scheduled + LCC. 30 could be easily done..even without moon :)

    4. Anonymous12:40

      If Adria was still a thing and if there was no corona: only Adria would be flying up to 31 flights a day, if they wouldnt cancel new routes they announced in 2017. Plus all other airlines that are flying to LJU. AirSerbia, Aeroflot, Air France, BA, EasyJet, Finnair, LOT, Montenegro Airlines, Transavia, Turkish and Wizzair. Also bunch of airlines that would be flying new routes in 2020/2021: Tunisair, SunExpress, Iberia, Windrose, Israir and new Ego Airways, if they launch flights. FlyDubai would probably launch flights if MAX wouldnt get grounded. Also all charter flights, also some cargo flights. It could be up to 40 or 45 flights a day in summer.

    5. Anonymous12:42

      Yes but I meant now, after JP I doubt we will have more than 30 flights per day. Also at the rate at which the government is spending money left and right they won't have enough money for Air Slovenia. Once covid passes airlines will start slowly returning to LJU and the government will move on.

  13. Anonymous13:07

    So, the main arguments of the "anti-national carrier, no to Adria" brigade are:

    1) Adria wouldn't have any passengery during the covid crisis, so we're better off with out it.

    The pax numbers would surely be disappointing, but company could migitate cost the same qay every other airline is doing (paycuts, redundancies, better leasing terms, lowering of airport costs - we can now see how desperate LJU is). Post covid (yes, there is a such a thing in not so distant future), Adria would have been in much better position than pre-covid.

    2) Adria was never profitable.

    See argument above. LJU is a niche airport. It will never be an LCC base. Destination, yes, but not a base. A small, regional airline was all that LJU needed if they wanted to have an airline based in LJU. Overnights are an expensive thing for an airline. Daily checks have to be carried out prior to the evening departure, if anything goes wrong during the night stop, the aircraft is AOG. Crews' duty limits get stretched to the maximum if they operate additional sectors after the night stop (not to mention it's inhumane to sleep for three hours in a hotel then wake up at 4 AM and do another 3 sectors, finishing at 10 AM - like we did in Adria).

    3) We just don't like Adria, because of nepotism and people were overpaid and lazy.

    Troll talk.

    The bottom line is, they have no sound arguments. Uneducated talk, nothing more to it.

    1. Anonymous14:21

      Sadly, all ex-Yu carriers are far from being profitable. Slowenia needs to become an LCC base similar to many EU capitals. If there are no gasto routes like SKP then there is room for leisure and business travel. For example, Baltic capitals and Iberian Peninsula, Egypt, Jordan, Ireland.

    2. Anonymous14:30

      Anon 14:21 i still think a national airline will be better for connections. In Slovenia we will probably never see LCC base, only routes from other bases. Or maybe only MBX as a Ryanair base with one aircraft. For LJU new Air Slovenia is the best option.

    3. Anonymous14:38


      Like I said before, LJU is a niche market. It's not a place for an LCC base. Ryan and Wizz have been opening bases during the covid crisis, yet neither of them approached LJU (at least not according to my information). Sadly, LJU is just a small, unimportant market. National carrier is the only way to go. If you want at least some connectivity by air. Otherwise, Slovenes are free to use the rediculous service provided by zee Germans.

    4. Anonymous19:29

      "Daily checks have to be carried out prior to the evening departure"

      This takes less than half an hour and can be done every 48 hrs for most modern aircraft.

      "if anything goes wrong during the night stop, the aircraft is AOG."

      If only there was a CRJ (which is what LH normally operates) MRO or two in LJU that could sort these things out.

    5. Anonymous20:36


      Interesting argument, kinda convinced. Guess the idea of establishing a LCC that will rely on mass tourism isn't something for Slovenia. What a pity that JP went bust because of its criminal management. And yeah, well Germany basically indirectly owns the Balkan region, so nothing new here.
      But in the case of LJU - German dominance is quite evident.

    6. Anonymous21:02

      JP would have hone bankrupt even before the sale to 4K if government stopped the cash injections.

    7. Anonymous21:47

      There is no such thing as a free lunch.

      The flights from LJU are generally loss making and that is for many reasons.

      Some hub airlines may offset losses they sustain on legs from/to LJU by selling long haul tickets from/to LJU through their hubs (and carrying some other pax from/to LJU on this occasion as well, just to fill the planes and get some extra money). But the demand for this is mediocre and thus offering (also in non-covid times) is and will be very small.

      If the offering were to be bigger, somebody needs to cover these losses. There is only one entity available: the state of Slovenia.

      The technicallity of how this is implemented is secondary: whether these will be losses of JP 2.0 met by the state or these will be losses of foreign carries met by the state (via subsidies) is secondary.

    8. Anonymous21:59

      @anon 21:47

      Exactly! Some people really thinks that if big airline is operating on LJU that this route is profitable. It's not, they are using those flights to fulfill their longhaul flights which are profitable then.
      I believe that best chance for Slovenia and it's connectivity is to set up JP 2.0 and to change parking place at LJU to airport once and for all.

    9. Anonymous22:05


      "This takes less than half an hour and can be done every 48 hrs for most modern aircraft."

      True, but still prone to delays (as was the case of Adria) due to waiting for passengers from connecting flights. Sometimes more than an hour.

      "If only there was a CRJ (which is what LH normally operates) MRO or two in LJU that could sort these things out."

      Hehe, so LJU is stuck with a CRJ. It wasn't good enough for Adria, but suddenly it makes sense for LH. Oh, wait. Maybe they'll start flying with an A319 (you know, the one Adria didn't have), since there's an MRO or two in LJU. Give me a break.

      And you just proved my third argument. Basically, Adria was good enough for LJU.

    10. Anonymous22:09


      So would all the other ex-yu carriers + Alitalia + TAP + Air France. What's your point? Apparently, Slovenia is much poorer than the rest of ex-yu or we have many other important investments (which ones, I have no idea).

    11. Anonymous22:48

      I personally see Slovenia creating a second Adria and deploy more apt aircraft such as the AT7 similar to Tarom or Windrose or the A220, although it is indeed a more expensive yet extremely efficient aircraft.
      The CR7 or CR9 is a good aircraft too, but the ATR on my opinion has proved to be one of the best and reliable regional aircraft that have been used for decades.
      The biggest problem is the current aviation situation that has struck so many countries. The return of the MAX, the confidence of people to return and take back the plane to fly. If the vaccine proves to be efficient, then we might expect a quicker recovery but this will definitely not be the case for the next couple of years.
      To restore flights, you will first need to restore jobs & universities - many people lost their jobs and many universities are still closed. We also tend to forget that students travel quite often as well.


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