Slovenia drops national airline plans, enters talks with Air Serbia


The Slovenian government has dropped plans to establish a new national carrier using European Union funds. The Ministry for Economic Development and Technology confirmed the draft of Slovenia’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, which must be approved by the European Commission in order for it to allocate the country 1.6 billion euros in grants and 3.6 billion in repayable funds to soften the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, no longer contains a proposal to co-finance a new flag carrier. European officials previously expressed concerns over plans to allocate 76 million euros towards the creation of a new national airline.

The Ministry noted that plans to finance a new airline were not in line with the European Union’s green policies. "As aviation has not yet switched to renewable energy sources and predominately uses fossil fuels, this principle could not be met. As a result, we have withdrawn the proposal and we are currently trying to find a solution to obtain an alternative source of funding", the Ministry told the “Delo” daily. Slovenia saw the greatest decline in commercial flights in Europe last year after Georgia, impacted both by the coronavirus pandemic and also the collapse of former national airline Adria Airways in late 2019.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, has held talks with Air Serbia’s General Manager for Commercial and Strategy, Jiri Marek. “They discussed possibilities to cooperate in improving Slovenia’s connectivity with the world. Due to the disclosure of confidential business information, we cannot comment on this matter”, the Ministry told “Delo”. According to the daily, Air Serbia has expressed interest in establishing a base in Ljubljana.

Air Serbia was the third busiest transfer airline in the Slovenian capital in 2020, improving its position on 2019, when it was the eighth busiest. The Serbian carrier managed to increase its transfer market share in Ljubljana from 4% in 2019 to 10% in 2020. Contributing to its improved performance was the collapse of Adria Airways, as well as it being one of the few carriers to have maintained operations to Ljubljana for the majority of last year, with most airlines temporarily suspending operations. In 2020, some 51% of all travellers on Air Serbia’s Ljubljana route were transfers. In 2019, they made up some 22.4% of all passengers. Last year, inbound and outbound travellers from Ljubljana flying with Air Serbia connected most onto flights to or from Skopje, while in 2019 Athens was most popular.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    I wonder who would cover the losses - Serbian or Slovenian taxpayers..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06

      Slovenian and the profit would go staright to Serbia. Best deal ever (for Serbia, that is).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:11

      That is assuming there would be any profit.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:04

    I don't think it would be possible for a non EU airline to establish a base in the EU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Exactly.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      How come then Wizz Air can establish it in BEG?

      What about Open Skies?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:06

      I also wouldn't read too much into it. They only expressed interest. Like OU before them. Not that I would have a problem with it though.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:08

      They can register a single Aircraft in any EU country to make it possible.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:08

      @9.05 different rules the other way around unfortunately.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:09

      We never saw official statement from OU or JU, both times is just "according to Delo".

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:09

      Why not? Serbia is part of the European Common Aviation Area.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:09

      My guess is they would reach some special deal to serve non EU markets in the region - Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Albania

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:11

      Croatia Airlines did confirm it

      The Croatian carrier recently said, “Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport in order to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations”.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2020/06/croatia-airlines-to-submit-ljubljana.html

      Delete
    10. Anonymous09:21

      Anon 09:09 It’s not just the Delo newspaper. The Slovenian lobbying database "Erar", which is mandatory in EU member states, states that Minister of the Economy Zdravko Počivalšek met with Air Serbia board member Jiří Marek at the end of last month on the possibilities of cooperation in the field of Slovenia's air connectivity.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous09:24

      Don`t forget that late JAT was all clear for FCO-Portorose flights some 10 years ago.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous09:24

      Air Serbia can start a base in Slovenia, if a Slovenian government makes it it’s designated carrier

      Delete
    13. Nemjee09:33

      Small correction, it was Jat Airways, not JAT that got the permission for Portoroz flights. Unfortunately those flights never materialized due to runway limitations.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous11:04

      Thanks Nemjee for correction. You are right

      Delete
    15. Anonymous12:11

      I'm from Slovenia and the thought of having a layover in Belgrade would be good, only if my luggage can stay in the airport while I go downtown for a coffee with some friends for a couple of hours before continuing on my way.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous13:25

      That's how it works if you buy a transfer on a single ticket.

      Delete
  3. Prepelica09:04

    Woah....didn't see this coming. It would be incredible if AirSerbia can acquire EU AOC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Air Slovenia sounds good to me

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      Rules require 51% EU ownership, so... unlikely.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      actually, rules require 51% ECAA ownership, of which Serbia is a member of. so JU can establish virtual airline (maybe in cooperation with Slovenia) and base one aircraft there. or they can just boost LJU to 4 daily flights, so they have one flight in each wave

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:20

      Well I doubt that even if JU started flights they would be able to make money. Market is too small, like the Serbian market. JU has a hub in BEG and feeds the region. Double hub makes no sense.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:55

      Which is why in the end JU will just end up increasing LJU and that's about it.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    No surprise withdrew the proposal. EU would have rejected the entire plan over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ingvarsson09:43

      EU has rejected the plan because it mostly involved construction of sidewalks and re-plastering of roads in the countryside municipalities. That is what you get when you ask mayors of 200+ pocket municipalities (and we know which parties they belong to) to submit ideas for the use of EU funds.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    Air Serbia should make EU/Slovenia based Mickey Mouse company. It will help the recovery of Slovenian aviation and Air Serbia will also have benefits and chances to circumnavigate EU bureaucratic slump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      What is a Mickey Mouse company?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:13

      Simply it's a copy paste company, clone company of a parent firm. In this case it would mean Slovenian based company that for its operations uses Air Serbia planes, crews, mechanics etc.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      Ah I see, thank you

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:31

      Like Easyjet Europe (ICAO:EJU, with Austrian AOC) or Easyjet Switzerland (ICAO: EZS)

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:08

    Interesting that Skopje was number 1 transfer route. I assume many of the top ones were in ex-Yu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      nope not the top ones

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:14

    Tiha voda breg roni.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:19

    What is the EU's problem with Slovenia investing money into an airline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Investing businesses that aren't environmentally sustainable, on top of state aid being unfair to existing players on the market.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:21

      They don't wan EU funds to be wasted into another loss making business.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:28

      Ah yes because the EU is known for its moral and responsible spending policies.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:08

      EU would rather see the money going to LH.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:23

    It looks like EU wants us to subsidise LH group...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:37

      Meanwhile LH CEO announced that they are looking to sell Airplus after selling LSG SkyChef's European business. They also hope to sell the international section of the catering business.

      They hope to collect another billion Euros. I think they are close to 15 billion in additional debt by now.

      https://www.aero.de/news-39061/Lufthansa-will-2021-Tafelsilber-verkaufen.html

      Delete
  10. Nemjee09:27

    Why is everyone immediately assuming that JU would base a plane in LJU?

    In my opinion there are two logical scenarios:

    1. JU gets money to boost the number of frequencies in LJU and in such a way offer greater connectivity via BEG.

    2. Slovenia looks at the list of JU destinations from INI from which JU could operate LJU flights as part of a W pattern.

    Don't forget that JU performed really well in LJU before COVID. They didn't struggle and they had 19 weekly flights which is a more than respectable number. The Slovenian government is entering negotiations with someone who was well established on their market and who would appreciate it more than a global conglomerate such as LH Group or AF-KL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      Only number 1 makes sence 90% of their Slovenian transfer pax are transfering to places east and south of BEG with suddenly SKP jumping on top after Adria is gone

      i must admit I giggled at number 2 because all of INI's JU destinations have been a failure

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:57

      Actually that's not true. Once JU introduced LJU in the regional wave connections from western Europe started. There were even passengers transferring from FCO via BEG to LJU. Obviously that most were going east before these noon flights were introduced.

      It's nice to giggle but once you are done with it could you please share with us some numbers or facts to back your claim? Yes there were utter failures like Rome or Budapest but routes like GOT, TIV or HHN performed quite well. Heck even LJU performed ok but only in summer.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:36

      actually thats true. none of western cities are in the top transfer markets.
      maybe you should share us numbers since you are so optimistic. we have the german numbers incl HHN which is everything but not quiete well and its their "best" performing route

      Delete
    4. Nemjee10:49

      Because the noon flight operates three times per week compared to 14 flights that connect onto their regional and eastern network. Naturally the share of western passengers will be smaller. I can't remember now but I think these additional noon flights operated in summer only.
      As for INI, LF is summer is around 60% which isn't bad given the fact that it's a newly launched flight. Issue is winter when demand collapses and it drags down the overall performance of a certain route.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:59

      Dream on. Even german routes (for which we have actual numbers) are far away from that LF. I flew to LJU in Sept (which should be stil counted as summer) and it was barely 40%. That guy form Rijeka can confirm this who has done the same

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:33

    And EU doesnt have a problem with Italy spending billions and billions € on Alitalia each year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:41

      Double standards as always.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous07:18

      On the contrary. The EU does have problems with that. If you search for news on the topic, you will find quite intense discussions between the European Commission and the previous and current Italian governments.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:34

    Talk to OU or AZ to open a base in LJU!!! What kinad a JU ... :-//

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      Alitalia... are you for real?

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:40

      Or maybe they could talk to Tarom. After all a certain regional analyst claims they are the rising power of Balkan aviation and a force to be reckoned with.

      lol

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:23

      Whats funny in Tarom?

      Delete
    4. Nemjee10:51

      It gets funny when someone starts to claim they are a serious regional player that is about to launch long-haul flights. That expert also claimed they are taking away a lot of Serbian passengers with their flights from Timisoara, Oradea and Arad. When someone seriously makes such claims it starts to be funny... or at least tragicomic.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:59

      No one said they are serious regional player, they might become. You probably even make fun of JU that is not going to launch long haul or that they will never become serious regional player.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:32

      I just read that analysis and it's tragic especially parts about Oradea and Arad.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:56

      No one can seriously say that RO has a chance. They are constantly attacked by Blueair, Wizz Air, Ryanair... their fleet is a mess and they don't have such a big support from government. They were anouncing long haul flights for ten years now and nothing happened. No ground in reality. I mean they still fly old B733 and not economical A318!

      Delete
  13. Ingvarsson09:41

    I actually think this might have more potential https://simpleflying.com/mesa-airlines-new-european-airline/. Mesa was interested in Adria prior to its bankruptcy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      I would prefer if an LCC opened a base in LJU.

      Delete
    2. Ingvarsson09:51

      From the perspective of frequencies and market potential LCCs don't have the right metal and/or product (flight connections) to serve business passengers and higher-end travellers. LCC passengers, who are very cost conscious, can already make us of LCCs serving not so distant airports, mostly VCE and TSF.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      LJU is too prestigious.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:43

    What would Air Serbia have to gain from hypothetically opening a base in LJU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      EU market, new opportunities, relatively rich market, feed to mainline airline...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:37

      LH is there already

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:49

    Who knows how long these EU travel restrictions for non EU citizens will last. It is smart that Air Serbia is looking around, not that I think it will actually establish a base in LJU but still.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      Well they have been relatively quick to responding to various challenges so you never know.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:52

    Welcome Slovenia again to the East :)

    jokes aside this is news I cannot take seriously somehow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:47

      Mentally we were always east, we just have good pr

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:53

    Its funny though: The ones that were all the time talking that SLO/LJU has none to small market suddenly cheering this kind of news because their airline is in talks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      And how do you know their nationality or where are they located? Most people talking that Slovenia has a small market are Slovenians. And it is true. It was also said by Adria's last 5 CEOs which is why they started flying from Poland, Kosovo and Albania. It was also said by LJU management.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:59

    "According to the daily, Air Serbia has expressed interest in establishing a base in Ljubljana." I oversaw this but where would they fly to? LH will not give their connection to star aliance bases. Sometime after the pandemic KLM/AF will restore their flights. It leaves South/East Europe only ... flights to SKP/ATH/OTP and the likes

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous10:09

    Mr. Počivalšek or as we say in Slovenia (Mr. % men), he is to blame for the "scandal" surrounding bankruptcy of Adria Airways. He is now certainly aware that this was the biggest political mistake ever! Idiot!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:13

    I wouldn't dismiss this idea entirely like some here. It is rare that an airline manager has meetings with a state minister (and Deputy Prime Minister).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous10:18

    Interesting

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous10:18

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:18

    How about Fraport actually makes a deal with a successful business like easyJet, Wizz, Volotea or Ryanair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:21

      It will cost them much more and I hardly doubt an A320 or B737 from any of those airlines could be successfully filled to places like SKP.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:38

      actually very easy for the ticket price they are offering
      If they can fly 3 weekly to Malta ...

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:29

    I think that win-win situation is for JU to just increase frequency to LJU. They will get extra passengers for other flights, probably some money or discounts from SLO government, and LJU will get more connections. Basing the aircraft in LJU, JU will directly lost a lot of transfers, and I do not see that there is demand to open new destination from LJU that does not already exist from BEG, since Slovenian market is very limited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:20

      You are absolutely right!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:49

      @anon 10:29

      Fully agree with you!

      Delete
  25. Anonymous13:17

    So there are two possibilites -
    1. Air Serbia boost frequencies to 5-6 daily with combination of ATRs and Airbuses, to catch all BEG waves and to offer enough flexibility to "go out of airport and drink coffee with friends downtown" OR
    2. Air Serbia opens "virtual airline" with basing of two ATRs or one ATR and one A319 maybe(that they need in BEG right now) and offer direct flights to Western Europe while, at the same time, offer transfers to East via BEG.
    For example starting from early morning LJU-BEG-LJU-FRA-LJU-MUC-LJU-BEG-LJU-FRA-LJU???
    I mean, where they can fly? Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Zurich, Paris? And thats it? Where do Slovenes usually go or where they went before pandemic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:40

      Increasing frequencies would be more logical now when Air Serbia has more airplanes available as they won't fly to 13 destinations this summer comparing to 2019.

      Yes, some airplanes are sent back or retired, but they still have more planes than they need.

      Reaching some agreement with LJU or SLO Government where JU would increase frequencies and Slovenian side would partially cover the costs would be in this case win-win situation.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:16

      6 daily? Wow

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:58

      Six daily doesn't make much sense. What JU can do is have 4 flights maximum. Something like this:

      BEG-LJU
      00.30-01.50
      07.30-08.50
      13.00-14.20
      18.30-19.50

      But they can also keep three weekly and increase some flights to A319 like they did when JP died.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:52

      Scheduled takeoffs/landings in LJU are forbidden after 23.00.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:48

      That's not ok

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:08

      Many airports in Western Europe have similar restrictions due noise.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous08:50

      So BEG-LJU at 07:30, let's say that turn around is 30 min and LJU-BEG is planned at 08:00. So you come at BEG at 09:20..and now, can someone explain which flights you want to connect after 09:50? What Slovenia need is morning departures to main EU hubs (FRA is currently covered but that not enough).

      Delete
    8. Samo tak rečem ne, samo mislim da nebo nobeden ob polnoči se vozil, če LJU Airport dovoli ali pa ne

      Delete
  26. Bravo Hrvatska!
    Bravo Croatia Airlines!

    Congratulations on another missed opportunity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:37

      Maybe you could say here Bravo (Air) Serbia for using this chance despite the fact Serbia is not Slovenian neighbour and not in EU...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:33

      We could all say Bravo Slovenija! We will remain to live in stone age...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:01

      Flying with Air Serbia is stone age?

      I don't think so...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:04

      nothing will happen, remember me ... the only thing that might happen is additional daily flights ...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:59

      If JU increases LJU then it will be a major win for them. Slovenia has good yields so they will not lose money on those transfers. Hopefully we see LJU 21x after covid

      Delete
    6. @An13.37
      It's precisely what I said. It is called sarcasm. It is even further explained "congratulating" OU on another missed opportunity. I really don't get the point of your comment. Believe everybody else understood what I meant, except you

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:39

      @anon 15:01

      of course I do not have anything against Air Serbia but even if they have 10 flights per day, they can not provide good connectivity to EU hubs. So it is stone age compared to what LJU had when JP was around. On other hand that would be much better than situation we have nowadays...

      Delete
    8. Anonymous20:50

      Yes Paderborn, Lodz, Pristina and Tirana flights on JP were just too fabulous. Cheapest ticket to anywhere was €300.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous08:42

      It's clear that you don't know what you are talking about. PAD and LCJ was not even operated from LJU, while you had PRN from 99 EUR for RT. Even BRU/ZRH/FRA did not start from 300 above..

      Delete
  27. Anonymous15:59

    Why not LOT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:06

      This is an interesting question, especially now that the Prime Minister of Slovenia is also a populist autocrat, similar to Poland and Hungary. But, on the other hand, a similar ideological ruling set in Serbia as well. Or maybe LOT is simply not interested.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:11

      Autocrat? Lol

      Delete
  28. Anonymous17:00

    Свуда прођи и кући дођи.
    Kind of appropriate for this new situation in LJU. They made a full circle and are back at relying on JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:24

      anon 17:00 +1000 - JP was the first airline to set up shop in PRN when JU was kicked out. Same with telekom. ako

      Delete
  29. Anonymous17:09

    Sure, they are all ready to take Slovenian taxpayers money. I can not undenrstand politicants how they loose our money instead to give work to own people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:57

      Ask Serpentinsek and the Black Mamba what were they thinking when they sold Adria to 4K crooks.

      Delete
    2. Did any politicians every pay a political price for the Adria/4K disaster?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:51

      Better to give money to JU which flies to LJU than what we have to LX who delayed the return.

      Delete
  30. Interesting development. But I really don't see JU opening a base in LJU.

    It does however open the question that, if JU ever opens a base in LJU, the same logic could be used to open a base in other Balkan cities like; Sarajevo, Podgorica, Skopje, Sofia etc.

    With two dailies flights to BEG to coincide with the waves from BEG. And 1-2 flights from these cities directly to a third city that does not compete with the destinations from BEG.

    For example, if there is a demand from SOF to Riga, (and no current flights) JU could operate a direct flight, on top of 2-3 daily flights to BEG.

    Of course this is all very long term, as JU does not have the spare aircraft, but perhaps something to think about for future development.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:44

      I think what you are describing is a bit much for Air Serbia to handle.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous20:54

    I still remember JP's massive expansion plan just before they went bankrupt. Funny.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous21:00

    As a side effect of this kind of moves will be increased flow of people who will exit Slovenia to find better life elsewhere . Much like other ex yu states.

    Maybe it is for the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:09

      More diaspora also means more demand for air connections.

      Catch 22.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:22

      Which state is better off?

      high % of diaspora or with low % of diaspora

      Delete

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