Two EX-YU flag carriers drafted plans for Ljubljana base


Croatia Airlines and Air Serbia both presented plans for the opening of a base at Ljubljana Airport over the past two years, however, no progress was made after the government refused to approve the requested financial support. The two carriers have since dropped such plans. Lobbying documents show that upon Croatia Airlines’ request, talks were held with the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure, as well as the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology, in May and August of 2020. The carrier presented a cooperation proposal, which included the stationing of a Dash 8 turboprop aircraft and flights to key European cities, as well as popular unserved destinations from the Slovenian capital such as Skopje. However, after submitting a final offer to the Slovenian government, no deal was reached.

Air Serbia also presented plans to establish operations from Ljubljana to several European destinations in September 2020. The then CEO of the carrier, Duncan Naysmith, was accompanied to Ljubljana by Luka Tomić, the head of the Cabinet of the Serbian Minister for Finance, as well as the assistant in charge for aviation from the Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zoran Ilić, where they held talks with the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure. “Air Serbia presented its proposal for linking Slovenia with nonstop flights to key markets, as well as flights via Belgrade. The airline outlined potential plans to open a base in Ljubljana, acquire a Slovenian Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), presented its strategy and network, and potential routes from Slovenia”, documents from the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure show. The two sides met again in February of last year.

Over the past two years, the Slovenian Ministry for Economic Development and Technology has turned down several offers by airlines to either establish the country’s new national carrier or station aircraft in Ljubljana, noting that none would have sufficiently improved the country’s connectivity and were “short-term oriented”. “There was actually no appropriate proposal which would have enabled passengers travelling from or to Slovenia to benefit from high quality service, based on the proposed destinations, the timing and flight schedules, as well as the opportunities for connecting onto flights at Europe’s most important hubs”, the Ministry told EX-YU Aviation news earlier this year. More recently, low cost carriers Wizz Air, easyJet and Ryanair have all shown interest in concluding cooperation agreements with the country’s Ministry for Infrastructure and the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology concerning the launch of new routes to Ljubljana. However, no agreement has so far been reached.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    disappointed but not surprised

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      The very big problem is that the decisionmakers don't have a clue

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:20

      They are still waiting for the market to sort itself out like they promised

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:16

      They didn't gave enough thick envelope to the new disastrous Slovenian government. They are still dreaming that Lufthansa will make a base in LJU, but LJU is not much bigger than some small village airfield.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    Wow very interesting to see that JU was really serious about a base in Ljubljana. They even wanted to get an AOC. I really wonder how they were planning to organize this fleet wise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      True. I've never heard that they had interest in opening a base outside Serbia. They needed a Slovenian AOC in order to fly nonstop flights from Ljubljana to other European destinations since Serbia is not in the EU.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:09

      I think this was dropped once Naysmith left JU, he was, generally speaking, a useless CEO. Since his departure JU has gone into turbo expansion mode and has worked on expanding out of its hub in BEG. It made zero sense for them to open a LJU base before fully consolidating its position in BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      Do take into consideration when this was happening 2020/2021. Back then no one knew how long covid and travel restrictions would last. It was probably a strategy to open up a market from which there would be less restrictions.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    I guess that today we have high quality service, great destinations, schedules and connections since that is what the ministry was looking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      The idea is not to generate any competition to Lufthansa Group.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      With Fraport running the airport, it makes sense.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    How many airlines did the ministry reject?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:18

      Croatia Airlines, Air Serbia, Air Dolomiti, Wizz Air and the list goes on.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:47

      Also Solinair, Valljet, and an unnamed airline from the Middle East

      Delete
  5. Nemjee09:06

    The Slovenian market is small and most of its customers are price sensitive. It also doesn't help that it has a few well-established airports in its proximity.

    LJU management needs to be smart and to work on securing flights to markets with most potential. Dubai is a good example of this and so was Aeroflot (before the war).
    They have the charter business going for them so they need to see what else can stick.

    Maybe somehow getting a link to Berlin with a regional jet could work since there is no such connection from ZAG. easyJet's A319 was just too big for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      Very interesting that easyjet operated BER-LJU for three years with no problems and even planned increase it from 3 to 4 weekly in 2020. So no, a319 is not too big ( it was even operated with a320 sometimes).

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:21

      Well there must be a reason why the route didn't last. Loads might have been there but yields weren't. That is why a regional jet might be a more appropriate solution as you would have fewer seats to sell. Maybe over time this route could mature but let's not forget that LJU has become a tertiary airport after JP's demise.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:04

      Slovene market may be small, but Slovenes have high purchasing power and high GDP per capita similar to Cyprus or Luxembourg. Fraport and politics to some extent are playing a role here.
      Germans are involved and giving LH Group a higher dominance in the airport. Fraport own 74% of Greek coastal airports and 60% of both Bulgarian ones. Very limited Ryanair presence or 8 year-round German destinations from Varna for instance.
      Aegean Airlines indirect marriage with LH? Think about it.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:38

      "Loads might have been there but yields weren't." So true! That is why we have no ZAG-BER and why Wizz left Sarajevo itd

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:58

      Is anyone here aware of total charges at BER, including governmental taxes, accumulate to almost 75 Euros per departing passenger?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:39

      BER-SPU via AMS it's about 45 Euro, SPU-BER via MUC 45 Euro taxes etc.

      Despite the high fees, there were flights to Berlin from Banja Luka, Tuzla, Niš and of course Belgrade, as well as all coastal cities (Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik). So why doesn't BER- Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo really work?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:06

      Just for your info, I flew with easyjet to Berlin in november 2019 and the plane didn't have one empty seat. Same story on B737-800 (Transavia) to Amsterdam and back.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    Disappointing for Ljubljana that nothing came out of all of this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:18

    And now we have nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:18

    At this point I would be happy with anything as long as we get more routes and passengers in Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Same. I don't care which airline anymore

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:19

    Talk to Turkish airlines. Nr 1 airline in Europe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:46

      No. 1 by which metric?

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:22

    Shock... not.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:23

    Had the government been serious about this it would have started talks with airlines well before Adria went bankrupt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      Exactly. They should have been thinking about Adria's replacement months before it went bankrupt as everyone knew it would go bankrupt.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:23

      The whole aftermath of Adria going bankrupt was handled extremely badly. This is just another example of it.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:24

    My question is what on earth is Ljubljana Airport doing. Waiting for airlines to flock to them? Go out and get some customers (airlines).

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:24

    It's 09.30 and until the end of the day there are just 10 flights out of LJU. Fantastic result.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:24

    Which routes does Ljubljana really need?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Any would be fine :D

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      bring back SKP & SJJ

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:33

      SKP yes but SJJ wouldn't work. It only worked in the past because of Adria's transfer model.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:39

      MUC / ZRH / VIE...and those who will mention that MUC and ZRH are covered please make yourself a favor and leave airline business asap!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:40

      For fanboys everything is covered and we don't need anything more. Bravo Fraport!

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:29

    OU normally has more advantages because it's an EU carrier. Don't forget that LJU is the only European airport 100% owned by Fraport together with Frankfurt airport and the Brazilian airports, so they will logically perhaps prefer a German airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      Ju was obviously planning to set up a Slovenian operations since they were seeking a Slovenian AOC so it would have been an EU carrier too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:52

      Good move, but something tells me they prefer German. Look at EW base in PRG. Also, Germany is not a huge fan of Ryanair. Yes, they obviously operate flights but the market share is not that big. Remember how they were kicked out several times especially in Frankfurt?
      Ryanair also has a significant share in countries like Spain or Poland.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:32

    Perhaps Ljubljana Airport could have helped in these talks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:37

      They would only have sabotaged them.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:32

    The only solution is through LH unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:35

      Would love to see Air Dolomiti launch a few routes from LJU

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:37

      Apparently their offer was really expensive.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:22

      Air Dolomiti probably would not be the best option. They would just fly to Lufthansa hubs.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:35

    Once again, we really have to thank Mrs. Black Mamba and Mr. Serpentinsek (and their supporters) for selling LJU airport to Fraport and flushing Adria Airways down the toilet. They really couldn't have made it without the support of the concerned taxpayer brigade. Well done to all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:39

      Well Slovenia has a new president who seems to be proactive so things are going to start changing for the better.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      Does the president have much power or say in these matters?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:40

      No

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:06

      But she was flight attendant in her younger times.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:45

      @9:39
      Yeah, I wouldn't count on it. It's the same thing, just different face (let's not forget that Black Mamba and Serpentinsek are a part of Golob's government). People fall for it every time: first it was Janković, then Black Mamba, Serpentinsek and now Golob (oh, and Mr. Whiny somewhere in between).

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:42

      and Jansa & company did really good job to solve this issue, right?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:48

      Adria was going down to the toilet well before the sale or bankruptcy.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous17:20

      @14:42
      Yeah, during the corona crisis new national carrier was number one priority for the concerned taxpayers. Those were the ones who were cycling every Friday.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous17:33

      @14:48
      So is Alitalia/Ita, Croatia Airlines, TAP, Icelandair and probably some other carriers as well. Your point being? After three years it should be more than clear that air connectivity has to be paid for. You won't get it for free.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:45

    We are destined for this status quo

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:47

    At least it's good to know someone was interested in Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:49

    Just keep rejecting... In the end the offers will stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      They already have.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:54

      Not exactly. "low cost carriers Wizz Air, easyJet and Ryanair have all shown interest in concluding cooperation agreements with the country’s Ministry for Infrastructure"

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:29

      They rejected them too!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:46

      Don't worry: the LCC boat has sailed. FR will announce a base today in TRS and that's that.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:09

      No base, just 2 new routes.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:36

      @16:09
      Yep, you're right (there were some rumors going around in FR about a possible base in TRS):
      https://corporate.ryanair.com/novita/ryanair-presenta-loperativo-estivo-piu-grande-di-sempre-per-trieste/?market=it

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:53

    In my opinion this were their last chance. None of those airlines will come back again with an offer after being rejected.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:20

    The more time passes the less of a possibility to find a solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:26

      In a year's time the government will also be talking about receiving offers but none were right for them.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous10:27

    OU can't cover their own market and their share is at an all time low and yet they wanted to start Slovenia..

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:30

    Sounds exciting. Shame it didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:39

    Why not make the offers public? Reveal how much money they were asking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:49

      Because these kind of things are a business secret.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:49

    I'm surprised Trade Air is not interested in doing more in Slovenia other than charters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:07

      They are smart and don't want to loose money. They don't do much more than PSOs in Croatia either.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous11:07

    The situation on the Slovenian market is poor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:33

      Slovenia has been too passive since the demise of Adria.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous11:07

    how would JU get a permit as a non EU airline to fly between EU countries ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:18

      Read the article. It says they wanted to get a Slovenian AOC. That means they would have re-registered at least one plane in Slovenia and with Slovenian AOC they could have flown between any EU countries.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:49

      It's not as easy as getting the AOC, they would also need an EU entity to be a majority owner of the company.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL00:10

      Jat Airways back in 2009 got rights to fly between POW and FCO (which in the end never went ahead). Routing was to be BEG-POW-FCO.

      Serbia has an Open Skies Agreement with the EU since 2009. I believe it is possible, without much effort, to have intra EU flights. They wouldn't be the first to do it either. You have a couple interesting carriers doing this (LATAM between MAD and FRA). And Jat previously had a couple of intra EU/Schengen zone flights (AMS-BRU, CPH-ARN), however I am not sure if they took on pax between the 2 cities.

      I believe the trick is, if I'm not mistaken, that the flight would have had to originate from the operating carriers home country (Serbia), stop via 1 Schengen zone point (in this case LJU) before continuing onto another EU destination, with the sector between the 2 EU cities being treated as an international flight rather than domestic. For example BEG-LJU-AMS with the LJU-AMS sector treated an an international flight rather than a domestic (intra Schengen) flight.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:34

    A new national airline is required. We shouldn't spend our money on foreign airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:37

      The never ending story

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:20

      I would have loved to have had JU establish a base, it would have given me more options for flights than what we have currently in Ljubljana. It's like we are being held hostage by the big airlines and their stooges working in the Slovenian parliament.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:07

      Is there still a chance that Slovenia might be interested in setting up a national airline? Or are we too far past that point?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:33

      No chance unfortunately.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:54

      I hope that Golob will see that this is only solution, all other parties in coalition already expressed their wishes for national carrier. Only the biggest one is (still) against it.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous13:07

    Such a sad story

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous13:09

    This statement from the Ministry makes me so angry.

    “There was actually no appropriate proposal which would have enabled passengers travelling from or to Slovenia to benefit from high quality service, based on the proposed destinations, the timing and flight schedules, as well as the opportunities for connecting onto flights at Europe’s most important hubs”

    I have no words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:32

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:33

      Basically we are screwed and no one in government plans to do anything about this.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous14:16

    What happened to former managers of 4K company that owned and bankrupted Adria? Did they get caught and serve any prison time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:29

      They are under criminal investigation but nothing has happened to them as yet.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:16

      Were they located, transported to Slovenia and arrested? If not, they could care less for investigation. Probably drinking cocktails at Maldives, Mexico or Sochi.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous14:33

    Kad Kroacija bankrotira JU otvara bazu u Zagrebu. Oni će im sigurno dati dozvolu.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous14:36

    No no no and no. Its bravo Fraport and Slovenia! LJU had 93.020 passengers last month. Thats 93% of 2019! Bravo Fraport LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous15:03

    It seems that Dubai and exotic destinations are now promoted on Fraport Slovenia website. Maybe it is time for them?

    https://www.lju-airport.si/

    Colombo and Bangkok

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:54

      Bruh, they just redirect you to Skyscanner...

      Delete
  37. Anonymous15:54

    Thats why i have met somekind of eagle, where they should be. Not far from my building. No jets, more animals. True, covid was reason too. And Adria bankrupted, market too small.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. notLufthansa16:04

      this is actually quite funny - the nationalist forces in Slovenia will go mad lol! 30 years of independence, to rely at the end on two ex-yu republics for air connectivity..... Hahahaha, good one :)

      Delete
  38. Anonymous17:58

    AS treba da pocne sa jednim A319 iz LJU kao prosirenje lokalne mreze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:54

      stvarno bi se izplatilo!

      Delete
  39. Anonymous20:51

    Very dissappointing! I cannot repeat enough times that as soon as Croatia joins the Schengen area, LJU will disappear in oblivian forever, thanks to Slovene arrogance!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous16:10

    To me this smells like possible racketeering. It is very strange that none of the five offers was good enough, while the explanations given by Slovenian side are very vague!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous17:52

    Proud Slovenians. It is better to destroy aviation in the Slovenia than the sign contract with Serbian or Croatian airline. Corrupted Slovenian polititians and famous Slovenian mentality against neighbours from EX YU.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Rasipanje resursa za ju. Bolje da startuju ex sssr zemlje i tu sebi grade pozicije, a zatim long haul po planu

    ReplyDelete

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