New Slovenian start-up eyes summer launch


SouthEast Airlines has been established in Slovenia with its initial focus being on charters and ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) wet-lease flights. The carrier is being set up by former Adria Airways pilot Blaž Berdnik. According to the “Sierra5” portal, Mr Berdnik has joined forces with former Adria employees. as well as the Chinese investor who last year became the part-owner of the Adria Airways Pilot Academy. “In early 2019, me and the team decided it might be time for a new and fresh approach to the aviation sector in Slovenia. Preparations for such a major project are very complex. which is why it took us between eighteen and twenty months to reveal our plans to the public. In January we had an interview with the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency where we officially confirmed our intention to establish a new airline based in Slovenia”, Mr Berdnik told “Sierra5”.

SouthEast Airlines is in the process of obtaining an Air Operator’s Certificate which will enable it to commence operations. The carrier is aiming to launch in June and has already finalised contracts for a demanding charter season this coming summer. Its initial focus will be on European Union markets. The airline will acquire an Airbus A320 jet in order to commence operations but intends on growing its fleet by adding another aircraft of the same type by the end of the year, with a total of six planned by 2023. Cabin crew are currently undergoing training. “This year will be a year of opportunities. especially for those who have a good plan and good business connections. Europeans want to travel. which was on display last summer when certain countries reopened for a short period of time”, Mr Berdnik said.

The start-up is yet to decide whether it will be based in Ljubljana or at Maribor Airport but will not limit itself exclusively to Slovenia. It will put an emphasis on the entire Southeast European region, hence the name. On the other hand, Croatian charter carrier Trade Air has one A320 based in the Slovenian capital, as well as extensive cooperation with local tour operators. Ljubljana Airport’s General Manager, Zmago Skobir, recently said there were plans to increase charter operations from the Slovenian capital. noting there was strong interest for destinations such as Dubai, the Seychelles, Maldives, Zanzibar, the Caribbean but also Sarajevo due to nearby ski resorts.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:08

    As a Slovenian, I hope they succeed, but the odds are stacked against them. I wish them well tho. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:08

      I wish them success. Realistically, unfortunately, I don’t see much of it, but the desire remains.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:09

    Can it work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      I think it will be difficult with Trade Air around. Can Slovenia sustain two charter airlines?

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:09

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:15

    Those tour operators that already signed with them put a lot of trust in the project. Hope they manage to launch.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:23

    Good Luck and happy flying

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:26

    Good luck to them but that will not solve Slovenia issue with connectivity, we need regular airline based at LJU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      But if they are successful I think the plan is to become a scheduled airline eventually.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      They might be up for some competition with a more suitable metal for the routes served from LJU: https://simpleflying.com/mesa-airlines-new-european-airline/

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:37

      If they become a scheduled airline, an all A320 fleet will be difficult to fill.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:42

      Yup, that's why combination of scheduled and ACMI mostly does not work. JP went bust immediately when they put more focus on ACMI and left schedule traffic aside.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:38

    Why from Maribor? I would assume there would be more traffic in and around the Ljubljana area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      They would probably give them a cheaper price for handling, landing and other fees.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:48

      MBX can currently be only used during daytime, so that's out of the question.

      Delete
    3. yes MBX can currently be used only at daytime but its far nearer to an international trainline that can connect in next stage the new hub of the airline...

      Delete
  8. JU520 BEGLAX09:47

    Nice branding and logo. Simple but elegant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      They took parts of Adria Airways rebranding concept from Pit Palmer: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12704011/Adria-Airways-rebranding-concept

      Delete
    2. JU520 BEGLAX19:37

      I remember that one, I liked it as it was creative and more than just the usual boring minimalism

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:59

    Demand to Dubai, Seychelles, Maldives and especially Zanzibar is crazy nowadays. Only ZNZ received 30,000 European tourists last November.
    FZ increased frequencies to various SE European capitals to DXB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      30,000 sounds a lot, but that's only about 1,000 pax/day for the entire continent, or about 3 when you normalize it to the population of Slovenia.

      Can't escape the realities of a small market that is Slovenia.

      Delete
    2. @10.19
      Very good comment.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous10:40

    How come so many start ups are popping up? I would imagine this would be the worst time to start a new airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:47

      Cheap aircraft, crew, kerosene and desperate airports.

      All you need to make money is passengers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:07

      Yes, but are there passengers?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:34

      there are just a few. far too little to cover an a320 regular flights

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:24

      Agree with above comment. Very difficult to start scheduled airline from Slovenia only with A320s.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous04:54

      The first comment mentioned some factors already. But I think the most important aspect is strategic: it's the great advantage you have over existing airlines. Existing airlines are now dealing with mounting debts and losses, staff cuts, network reductions, fleet reductions, restructurations, government influence/demands etc. If you start a new airline now, you can start clean-sheet and the only way is up.

      Another factor is that several airlines went bankrupt while other airlines abandoned some routes. Since (potential) demand does not simply disappear overnight, new airlines can step in those hiatus. Think of how Norwegian was forced to massively shrink their operations. That's a huge opportunity for new airlines. Hence Flyr was founded.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous11:07

    Good luck but they will need it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous11:09

    I don’t understand, though, that we had a well-established airline, we destroyed it, and now we are waiting for breadcrumbs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:23

      Well the Germans destroyed it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:37

      Many Eastern European carriers were destroyed: JAT, Malév, CSA, MAT, Balkan Airlines, Olympic (used to fly all the way to America and South Africa)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:00

      Sure, everyone knows Adria was a well-run, profit-making airline before the Germans...

      Delete
    4. Yes, they were. During the "dark times" and at least decade after, while influence of the "dark" was still present, Adria was excellent, innovative, modern, well run and profitable airline. And then the light, pardon, the Germans, came. And not only in Slovenia. In Croatia as well. And much wider. Unfortunately.

      Delete
    5. notLufthansa14:52

      It was, until wonderboy Mark Anžur came along, and started nailing the coffin. Some captains with great ambitions sans need for self-regulation, modesty and responsibility helped him in that endevour.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:11

      So Adria made profit (disregarding 2008) under previous CEOs?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:41

      here we are again with profit...if that would be the only reason then only 10% of airlines would exist. none in exyu area!

      Delete
  13. Anonymous11:10

    Very good and encouraging. I like the branding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:15

      Wasn't it better if you gave the name SloveniaAir or AirSlovenia?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:24

      They say themselves they don't want to focus only on Slovenia, but on larger SE European region.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:23

      Ok makes sense

      Delete
  14. Anonymous11:10

    I wouldn’t like to be “Nostradamus” but somehow it seems to me that I already know the fate of this company

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous11:11

    I’m not going to take this seriously at the moment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:22

      Well they are in the process of obtaining an AOC.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous11:15

    Funny, when there was article about ETF airline, comments were not that negative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:22

      I think it has more of a chance because it will be based on the Croatian coast.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:48

      did u even read the article?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:03

      ETF has every experienced team including pilots and economists with long carrer and background so it doesn't suprise me people as positive about them...on the other hand SEA has only one aircraft at the beginning, in combination with unexperienced P2F pilots I don't see it as a good combination. Chances for an error is very big in early phases of pilot's career, it is quite easy to do hard landing when previous aircraft you flew was C172... Hard landing and AOG in the middle of summer time with no spare aircraft... Good luck! If the business plan is based on workforce paying 50k+ euros for 500h, it doesn't sound like long term and promising airline.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous11:31

    Hilarious.

    This is the name we had in mind for Air Serbia before the re-branding.

    SouthEast European Airlines SEEA.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous13:29

    Juzno-istok Aerotransport.....JAT.....

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous14:13

    Yet another P2F outfit ... Just what the airline job market in Slovenia needs these days ... Great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:30

      Horrible, yes. Back in Adria times this has never happened. Or it did?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:06

      https://saa-aero.com/
      https://www.pprune.org/interviews-jobs-sponsorship/637847-saa-slovenian-aeronautical-academy.html

      People behind SAA academy and Southeast Airlines are the same. They even announced SAA will be the exclusive pilot feeder for Southeast Airlines.

      Adria was far from perfect. But at least they paid for all the flight training above frozen ATPL (i.e. MCC, A320/CRJ TR, ...) and every First Officer was earning a salary from day 1. That's a minimum requirement for an honest airline employer where a pilot can make a living.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:08

      Oh did they?

      There was no Spanish P2F guys on the CRJ? Or a ton of people on the Airbus? Even before the 4K times...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:17

      I remember a group of Spaniards approaching AA in the late 00s, they were desperate, cash-rich, eager to get a photo of themselves on the flight deck for their family & friends ASAP ... That was before I left.

      As I said, Adria was far from perfect. But P2F @ AA was rather a case of few exceptions (for those who wanted or needed to choose that route) and not a general practice. Selection for everyone in my generation was solely merit-based; no one needed to pay for TR.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:57

      Why do some people on EXYUaviation always have to bring Adria name into every debate that has to do with aviation in Slovenia? No, it wasn't the golden standard. But that doesn't mean it's not possible for any startup to better than Adria. Topic is Southeast Airlines! Discuss their T&C.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:11

      T&Cs are sadly in line with the market reality - overflooded with unemployed pilots who will fly for peanuts, free or even pay, just to get some recency/hours.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:13

      @17:11:

      How true.
      A couple of days ago, an annon was preaching how Adria's pilots were responsible for its bankruptcy because they wanted free uniforms, medicals and sim checks. I'm pretty sure his flying for peanuts or even paying to pose with his Ray-Ban's that daddy bought him.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:52

      Wow ... Some people actually don't want to be paid for their work. And then there's others who think that's the only way to have a job ... Unbeliaveble, worse than feudalism!

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:55

      I am curious what will happen once P2F Cadet FO does simple mistake like hard landing with aircraft ending AOG and no spare aircraft... If cost cuts are made on pilots and profesional work force in the beginning, I wonder what else will they save their money on...

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:02

      Ah yes, experienced pilots never make hard landings...

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:14

      In previous airline we had safety newsletter coming out on monthly basis... Hard landings were pretty often with 200+ hour first officers. It can happen to everyone, even experienced pilots... But it is usually a combination of many factors (workload, weather, frequency of manual flts etc). For new FO, workload is already high, with no previous experience to rely on, it's quite easy to do a hard landing especially in bumpy atmosphere during summer time. Not that I am against low hours first officers gaining experience, I think it's a good idea but I am against P2F as most of these programs are not looking for quality but for money... These pilots are usually not assessed, they are working without pay and flying stressed because of no income. In situation where thousands of experienced pilots are unemployed, even in Slovenia, I think it's a disgrace for CEO who is a pilot to go for P2F. Pilots should support each other in these times, not support short-term profit methods and ruining pilot proffession even more.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous18:06

    It's a pity Trade Air didn't seriously step in LJU. They seem to be want to take a slice of the sweet PRN-Switzerland/Sweden traffic cake. They operate the flights quite regularly.
    As for SEA, wish them all the luck. I like the livery but not the font. They should have included red colour as well to represent Slovenia. Now it's more Greek with this blue, turquoise and white.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous18:41

    Unfortunately pilots have no idea how to run a successfuly airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:02

      Sure can't be worse than Bostjancic, Vuga, Anzur, Tufek, Grasek, ...

      None of the aforementioned were great managers for whatever company they were working for.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:39

      I don't have any affection for anyone from yor list. But! Check you facts before posting! Adria was profitable when Grasek was director. Same can be said for his successor Lucovnik. Both of them learned airline management within Adria. Thing only started to go south when Malacic was brought into the company. That was the first time Slovenian politicians wanted to run the company into the ground, but the pilot union pushed Malacic out of the company. The politicians finally succeeded when others from your list had been set to run the company.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous19:19

    Not a huge fan of Chinese projects in Europe especially after what happened in MBX, Hainan and many other examples. Should the new airline consider charters then the norm is to definitely look into Egypt, Tanzania, Maldives, Seychelles, Dominican Republic if they consider a cheap A330, which is now sold like candy given its extremely low price.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous20:50

    I personally think the person in charge of this effort will be successful.

    On the side note :

    Interesting how average logic about work positions goes.

    engineer should design
    pilots should fly
    cooks should cook

    but then switch the logic when it comes to leading a company

    pilot should lead an airline
    engineer should lead a factory
    cook should lead a chain of restaurants

    But what would happen if we actually would let

    People who have studied leadership and company management lead the company's ?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Adria lost their golden chance in mid 90-s to establish themselves as a leading regional carrier, when JAT was in ruins and Croatian at the beginning

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous13:57

    Even CockpitSeeker gives them respect ...

    https://cockpitseeker.com/2021/paytofly-covid/

    https://cockpitseeker.com/wp-content/uploads/goodies/p2f/SouthEast_airlines_A320-Crew_Redacted.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:43

      Wow, 65k eur "investment" required before you earn your first paycheck. Nice business.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous13:59

    will they have also the website?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous14:03

    For a Slovenian enterprise to use terms "south" and "east" in its name, they must be desperate. They had an excellent name and brand and destroyed it. [SK]

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous12:23

    As Sloveninan - sorry this will not work ... Mr. Pocivalsek is guilty for The end of Adria Airways ... in a few months they will find out that this was the biggest mistake ever !!!

    ReplyDelete

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