Slovenian carrier decision looms as Ljubljana hits historic low


The Slovenian government is expected to soon submit its Recovery and Resilience Plan to the European Union which is believed to include a proposal for set up of a new national carrier with 76 million euros in funds. It comes as Ljubljana Airport registered its slowest year since 1992 by handling 288.235 passengers in 2020, representing a decrease of 83.3% on the year before. The rate of decline was above the European average. Aircraft movements stood at 12.980, down 58.8%. Slovenia’s capital is currently served by just three carriers - Lufthansa, Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines. Plans for two airlines to restore operations next month - Air France and easyJet - from Paris and London have been postponed until March, with further changes possible. 

The European Commission recently noted it was looking forward to further dialogue with the Slovenian authorities with the aim of making the best possible use of funds which will be provided through the Recovery and Resilience Plan in order to support economic recovery, in line with the European Union's priorities. If the government chooses to provide funds for a new airline, and it receives the EU’s approval, it would likely do so jointly with a private partner. The government has so far provided financial support to carriers maintaining flights to Ljubljana through subsidies and has granted aid to Ljubljana Airport’s operator Fraport. 

Previously, Slovenian cargo carrier Solinair held talks with the Slovenian government over the possibility of launching scheduled flights or establishing a new national carrier. The airline has proposed two strategies for improving the country’s connectivity following the bankruptcy of Adria Airways and has asked for financial support from the government for the project. The company noted it would operate a five-member fleet consisting of either the Mitsubishi CRJ900, Dash 8 Q400 or the ATR72 turboprop, which it said would be ideal for the Slovenian market. The cargo operator said it 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.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:05

    The results are dire. A new carrier is really needed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:05

    The government has tried to give money to foreign airlines and it didn't work. Only 3 are flying. Now it is time to try and get a national carrier to start flights.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:08

    If there is a demand Slovenia should support Slovenian air company and not foreign

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      The big IF...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:51

      LJu had 2 mio figures before Covid so there isn't any IF. Demand in Slovenia is, at least for carrier for few planes in this situation..

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:09

    Now it's just a question of who will prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:11

    I doubt the government will choose this option in the end. It is more expensive then giving subsidies for foreigners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      We can see in the yearly results what is the outcome of relying on foreign carriers. Slovenia desperately needs it's own national carrier.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      2020 is really good year to compare the results. Nothing major happened, such as people not being allowed to travel or similar...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:50

      You can compare LJU figures with other airports, unless we were the only one affected by covid, travel restrictions and similar..

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:08

      it was the only airport dealing with covid + missing based aircraft ...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:40

      So you admit that missing of based airline has an effect to those poor figures?

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:11

    What happened to the banana king?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:17

      He is still producing bananas.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:53

      Just selling I think.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    This is the best chance for locals to get new employment opportunities. So I really hope they agree to provide some funds for Solinair to set up an airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      +1000

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:26

      Solinair is a great company but has no capital nor know how to run scheduled airline pax.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:34

      Or how to run an customer-facing (as in individual persons) business as well.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:41

      But there are experts in Slovenia who has that knowledge and Solinair can easily employ them. That's not even an issue...

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:57

      Experts running a profitable scheduled pax airline?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:17

      I did not say scheduled, but they can run well standing airline which could bring much more to Slovenian economy than those parked aircrafts at LJU airport...

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:12

      profitable*

      Delete
    9. Anonymous22:01

      Everyone can run an airline, if it doesn't need to make a profit. Just throw more money at problems, simple.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:57

      It's not only about airline but strategic investment of certain country. If you can provide same connectivity with foreign carriers be my guest. For now that actions did not provide any results..

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    These times showed the importance of having a national carrier, even when they have a small fleet of 2-3 planes. I support any of the ideas which will lead to the set up a national carrier but they will need to partner up with a major airline to survive though, similarly like Albania did with Turkish. It's a good business model for the small Balkan countries.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:13

    Slovenia is a beautiful country and they deserve to have good national air carrier connecting Ljubljana but also Maribor to the other European cities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Agree!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      Maribor is dead. The sooner the airport is closed, the better. Modernisation was a big waste of taxpayers money.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:31

      EU taxpayer money in fact. It was funded by the EU.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:15

    Given that LH group forgot Slovenia real quick, I think Slovenia indeed needs an airline as it will be recovering for Adria for years to come

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:15

    Televisa presenta

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:16

    Honestly, I cannot think of any other European capital with such numbers. They'd better get their act together very soon and hopefully all goes well after the terminal is opened in summer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:21

    There's simply no market for many of the routes, including most of the Balkan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:52

      Fraport's guys woke up, please go and check those parked planes you have there and stop posting nonsense here...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:16

      @09:52:

      Don't pay attention to Skobir a.k.a Annon 09:21. He's always posting nonsense.

      His only job is to keep clinging to his position and ask for tax payers money, so zee Germans can ship it back to mother Deutschland.

      And some of the commentators actually agree with it. Go figure.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:21

    This cooperation with Solinair would be the best solution for Slovenia and Slovenians.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:22

    If the government is now willing to create a new airline, why did it give up on Adria? Why didn't it bail it out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Adria bailout would be more expensive. Around 100m just to cover all the debts.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      Government was different back then, and it would be cheaper to establish new airline

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:27

      Because Adria would need more than 100m EUR just to repay its debt, let alone develop into an eventually profitable carrier.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:33

      4k were crooks. Whatever money they would have given them they would have come back asking for more within a month.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:39

      Well they could have nationalized it. I remember that 4K was prepared to leave.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:48

      Remember the EU state aid rules. It would likely be determined to be illegal later on.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:48

      4K actually asked for a loan, which the government could have provided, but didn't want to.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:19

      @09:48:

      As was expected from a former comedian who was after popularity votes. He did not care about Slovenia's connectivity but it sure had a nice ring to it. Closing loss making Adria, that is.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous20:41

      Adria was insolvent. Even a large loan wouldn't have solved that.

      Not to mention, how would this loan be paid off?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:10

      The government was never asked to bailout Adria, especially not 100 million euros. Adria was just looking for a 4 million eur bridge loan that would have been payed back in 1 month by the would be new owners of Adria, the parent of cityjet. Former PM Sarec didnt want to give the loan because he wanted privatisation to have a bad look for political reasons.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous13:10

      Haha. OK, 4 million that would be paid off in a month. And who would pay the rest of the debt?

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:23

    Does anyone know when this investment plan will be sent to EU? They should send it till end of 2020!? Maybe they are waiting for the outcome of vote of distrust which will take place this week in parliament.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      First they said they would send it in early December, then by the end of 2020, then first half of January. The EU has given a deadline by April. I think many members are now trying to wait and see how the covid crisis will develop so they can modify their plans accordingly.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:33

    So AF has also delayed return :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:53

      it was expected...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      I doubt these flights will start before 28 March.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:58

      Have you seen the covid situation in Slovenia?
      It's in the top 5 (mostly top 3) worse covid infected countries in all Europe for every single week from late October 2020 till now.
      It's a record already.
      So not a surprise...


      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:39

    No surprise

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:43

    Puno se prica i malo radi!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:48

    I hope it materializes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      If this gets off the ground it will be another VLM Slovenia with the same outcome.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:49

    And in 1992 the result was the worst because of the war. Otherwise it would have been the worst result since the 60s.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:49

    Would be nice to have a passenger airline based in Slovenia.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous09:58

    Hope for the best

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous09:58

    Could a new Slovenian airline work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      Yes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:08

      What that mean work? To be profitable? I doubt that especially in first few year, but that carrier can bring so much to Slovenian economy that it's loss is drop in the ocean compared to all other benefits. But I agree will managers from aviation results could be really good.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:40

      Only as a money losing venture.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:22

      But that venture will bring much more to state economy we don't see issue about that...

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:58

    It would be great to have a local airline back in business

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:05

    Bad idea

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous10:06

    Ex-Yu area is too small and too poor for all these micro national airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      There are few national airlines left. Just 2.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:18

      What do you mean with micro national airlines? what is the line between micro and those which could actually exist (by your opinion)?

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:13

    Hope they set up the new company on some healthy foundations and I wish it much luck in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:13

    They money they set aside is sufficient. Together with an investment from a private partner.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:18

    Hope it happens! Makes much more sense than paying foreign airlines to fly out of LJU. This way, the state can collect taxes from the company and the employees.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:19

    Like the phenix it will be reborn and SLO economy will get to work again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      Yes, because the Slovenian economy depands on home carrier. Wake up. The Slovenian economy was reaching great results, also in time when with AA you needed longer to get to the Bavarian capital as with the car or train.

      It is the Slovenian economy who supported AA and will support the new flag carrier if this happens, by this I mean companies making profits and paying tax by the end of the year - it is a one way ticket it doesn't go the other way around.

      Sure, there are positve effects having a flag carrier (pls don't answer with the same answer as in the past 12 months topics on ex-yu), but - however you turn and twist it, you need a profitable companies in Slovenia, paying tax, to support this/ such projects.

      And please spare us the comment of train/bus subsidies in Slovenia. How many people are using public transport to get to work? How many were flying AA? Put this in your tax/benefits equation.



      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:22

      We can clearly see that it's the other way around. JP did bring much more to Slovenian economy than it was their yearly loss. There was even analysis made from Oxford University on what was the effect of JP demise and you can see there how many people and companies were affected by JP demise.
      I am happy that other public transports are getting subsidies, but on other hand we need some serious investments in air connectivity as well. If this can be provided by foreign carrier then ok I agree that national carrier is not needed. But those foreign carriers should base aircrafts (4-5) at LJU and start flying. We all know that this would be much more expensive than having out own national carrier.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:51

      @12:22: Do you have a link to that analysis?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:16

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/slovenia--value-of-aviation/&ved=2ahUKEwjKt97ZuqXuAhVW2SoKHbEED-gQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw2ynCBbmREJeB7BnJUOOv1H

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:42

      @Anonymous 11:37:

      Why don't you want to hear about buses/trains comparison again? Because it doesn't fit your agenda?

      The truth is, if Slovenia wants air connectivity it will have to pay for it (the tax payers that is). Now, there are only two options. A national carrier or a foreign one. I am for the former.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:46

      the oxford analysis is for someone who knows SLO economy in this sector a bunch of crap. totally overestimated and inflated numbers, because the baseline model is skewed and not totally applicable for business constelation in SLO. it works quite well on some countries - UK, Germany, etc, but for slo the real numbers are maybe 1/3 or 1/2 at the most.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:56

      Of course, they only have one analysis model where they just type country and results just pop out...It's much better that government calculate effect on economy due to disconnections of Slovenia with other countries like they did in 2019. Those figures were really bunch of crap!

      Delete
  32. Anonymous10:59

    I thought that maybe Air Dolomiti will open a base in LJU as they get some Embraer 190 from Lufthansa Cityline (100seats). Then they could at least offer flights the LHG hubs to BRU, ZRH, MUC, FRA, VIE and as well some P2P destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous10:59

    What was the point of closing Adria then? Better to have given money and let the company stay afloat. Now you have to secure new leases, staff, IATA desingation etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:02

      Back then there was other govt and it would still be cheaper to establish new airline

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:05

      There's no problem getting aircraft or staff at the moment, there's literally hundreds of aircraft parked and tens of thousands of unemployed former airline staff around Europe.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:25

    Just give some money to Solinair and let them set up an airline as they planned.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous11:26

    Only thing that's certain is that after more than a year since JP died the government still doesn't know what to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26

      And that the market didn't take care of itself.

      Delete
    2. notLufthansa12:21

      one of the problems in recovery is defenetly weekly chaos with govt anti-corona measures. Nobody knows for sure what measures are valid and not valid any more. Handling of outbreak has been total disaster in all regards. And that is reflected in the need for flying as well.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:25

      From September till February there was no sign of Covid here and schedule at LJU was really poor. Ok you will say (as always) that airlines did not have time to adjust to JP demise, but on other hand we already know what would be Summer schedule 2020 and guess what, even that was complete disaster compared to what we had in 2019. So it's obvious that only national carrier can get thing better..

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:03

      @notLufthansa:

      And other EU countries are handling situation much better than Slovenia?

      I've been trying zo get to Belgium for two weeks, yet no one knows if there is mandatory quarantine when staying less than 48 hours. It's a mess eveywhere, not just in Slovenia as some are trying to portray.

      Delete
  36. What would be some of the first destinations that the new airline would fly to?
    Would they get automatic admission to star alliance, or does that take some time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:59

      Probably *A hubs to start. Don't see them flying to ex-yugo cities.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:58

      Morning/evening flights to EU hubs, mid rotation to Balkan destinations.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:02

      I remember Solinair said they would try to takeover flights to LH hubs (like it says in the article) plus fly to Skopje, Pristina and Tirana.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:03

      As for Star membership it would not be automatic. It would take time and someone would need to sponsor them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:07

      And if the Lufthansa group stays with its flights? What if Lufthansa group airlines just follow the needs of the market and adds flights themself? Than what?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:12

      Which flights? Actually for LH it's much better if someone else carry passengers to their hubs and catchment area of Air Slovenia would be much bigger then LH's because it would bring passengers from Balkan destinations as well.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:59

      The question was, what if.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:31

      And I am asking which flights? This one flight to FRA which they have now?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous10:43

      Anon 21:07 clearly asked "What if" Lufthansa group airlines just follow the needs of the market and add flights themselves? So, if in the future, they will add flights according to the market need. Now one flight per day is more that is needed. What will be the strategy of Air Slovenia in that case? You cannot force LH group to work with and not compete with you. Do we know what will be the post-covid strategy of big players? Probably not. You cannot build the strategy of the new Air Slovenia on the assumption that the LH group will simply leave all its flights to their hubs to you if you do not have this information.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous11:52

      So you basically got the point, that this Adria 2.0 is a bunch of crap idea. They want take over FRA, MUC, ZRH and BRU. And add maybe SKP (as was mentioned from theri side). So basically NOTHING WILL CHANGE. What better connectivity bull** we hear on this forum. The same routes. Only if they receive some other slot, the time of departure will be tweaked. So in the end no gain, only the risk is shifted to the new airline.

      And I really hope that the commentors here wake up to the real numbers and don't fantasise about ex-yu connectivity or some grand trasfer through LJU hub nonsense. It never worked and the sure as hell won't be doing it now.

      So I see no point investing in something that will be a money black hole, if you just exchange already flying airlines on the same routes.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:52

      If they will overnight aircraft for FRA as they did for few months then FRA is covered (of course it could be better especially with afternoon schedule but it's more than nothing). You have to know that Slovenia has so many uncovered destinations (ZRH, MUC, AMS, CPH, VIE, BRU,...) that Air Slovenia can easily replace FRA. But I'm still 99% sure that LH would be more than happy if someone transfer passengers to their hubs and they don't use their own resources.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:49

      So, strategy based only on speculations.

      Delete
  37. Anonymous20:11

    The Slovenian government said that money for the airline would be given in some form of a loan. So the money would be paid back eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:19

      Good luck with that.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:20

      Of course, I cross my heart and hope to die :)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:20

      Well the EU recovery plan is supposed to be used as an investment so I see no issue.

      Delete
    4. With all those billions worth bailouts of European carriers across Europe Slovenia should ask EU if it can sponsor new national airline? Go figure 😡
      Just do it

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:16

      EU member states investment plans should be in line with a new EU industrial strategy that is "green and digital Europe". How green is an investment in an airline?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:02

      Yup it's much better if all those passengers drive cars across the world then travel with planes..

      Delete
    7. Anonymous08:52

      Please, read the strategy: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_416 or look at a projecta that are in line with this strategy, e. g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_Baltica

      Delete
  38. Anonymous20:12

    If they were going to create an airline they wouldn't have given money to foreign airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:18

      That's just a temporary measure. The fact that they decreased the funds says a lot.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:19

      And giving money to foreigners worked out well. Total of 3 airlines flying to Ljubljana. I'm sure they would be flying regardless of the money. So the policy failed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:21

      That was actually briliant move from government, they will just say that they have tried to fund foreigners but it did not bring any result.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:54

      There is no "foreginers" in EU terms when talking about EU based airline.

      Delete

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