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Old May 16th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #261
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VLM Airlines to launch "later this year"


Maribor-based VLM Airlines (VLM Airlines d.d.) has said it will commence operations later this year after it was issued with a Slovenian Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) last week. In a statement, the company said, "VLM Airlines will commence operating scheduled flights from Maribor Airport later this year. Details regarding the number of aircraft to be used, the planned routes and the timetables will be announced at a later stage. Both SHS Antwerp Aviation (Belgium) and VLM Airlines d.d. (Slovenia) want to start joint aviation activities under the common trading name VLM Airlines. To this end, two AOCs were requested, one in Belgium and one in Slovenia". It added, "SHS Antwerp Aviation, the Belgian parent company of VLM Airlines d.d., has applied for an AOC with the Belgian Ministry of Mobility in September 2016, but the certificate has unfortunately not been granted yet. We hope that the fact that a subsidiary of SHS Antwerp Aviation has acquired an AOC in another EU member state can speed up the process in Belgium. The delivery of the AOC for the Slovene subsidiary of SHS Antwerp Aviation does not mean that the Belgian AOC has become obsolete. The procedure for the Belgian AOC remains ongoing despite the delivery of the Slovenian AOC, because both AOCs are essential to implement our business plan. We hope to receive the AOC for SHS Antwerp Aviation as soon as possible".


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Old May 24th, 2017, 11:58 PM   #262
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Adria Airways' recovery continues

Adria Airways has continued to make headway this year by growing its passenger numbers and increasing frequencies across its network. According to the "Sierra5" portal, the Slovenian carrier handled just over 320.000 passengers during the first four months of the year, an increase of 11.3% compared to the same period in 2016. The improved results come following a stronger winter season and higher demand for both scheduled and charter flights this summer. Despite the planned closure of its Polish base in Lodz at the end of June, the Slovenian carrier is adding frequencies on a number of routes out of Ljubljana including Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Amsterdam, which were not initially planned for this summer season. The Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft currently based in Lodz will be redeployed to the Slovenian capital.

In a bid to attract more passengers and generate incremental revenue, Adria has recently partnered with Optiontown, a third-party service which offers Adria's economy class passengers the opportunity to upgrade onto business class for a charge of 49 euros, subject to availability on the day of departure. If no business class seats are available on the day, passengers are refunded for their paid upgrade. Furthermore, economy class passengers can sign up for an empty seat option by paying and extra nineteen euros. As a result, passengers are given the opportunity to acquire an empty seat next to them in order to provide themselves with more comfort and privacy. However, this option is also subject to availability on the flight.

Commenting on the airline's performance and its outlook for this year, Adria's CEO, Arno Schuster, recently said, "We believe in the sustainability of the existing business model and financing through higher revenues, which are mostly generated in the summer. In general, we will focus on two areas of our business - both regular and charter flights. We will generate enough revenue in the high season to secure liquidity throughout the year. This is the plan we are pursuing". He added, "We expect a successful year. We are always exploring possibilities for new destinations and new markets but we are currently more focused on improving existing frequencies".


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Old May 29th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #263
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Serbian businessman buys Portorož Airport stake


Serbian millionaire Miodrag Kostić has acquired a 30.5% stake in Aerodrom Portorož, the operator of the Portorož Airport, in a bid to strengthen his foothold in the Bay of Piran. The businessman purchased his stake from Fraport Slovenia. The remaining shareholders are the Piran Municipality (28.8%), Luka Koper (15.2%), Istrabenz (15.2%) and CPK (10.2%). Mr Kostić, who made his fortunes in the sugar industry, previously acquired the Kempinski Hotel in Portorož and is also seeking to buy Marina Portorož. The tycoon's company, the MK Group, previously said, "Portorož has the potential to further develop and increase the number of foreign visitors. That is why we want to develop both the airport and marina. We want to promote Portorož as a high-end destination and it is in our interest to boost the number of flights in order for the airport to work at full capacity". Portorož Airport is the smallest of Slovenia's three commercial airports. It handled 8.890 passengers in 2016. The lengthening of the airport's runway is seen as crucial for attracting new airlines.


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Old June 4th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #264
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VLM Airlines plans autumn launch


The Slovenian registered VLM Airlines plans to commence services this autumn after it secures an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) for its Belgian unit. SHS Aviation, the parent company of the Maribor-based VLM Airlines, said that despite receiving a Slovenian permit from the Ministry of Infrastructure on May 10, it is also seeking a license from Belgian authorities for its subsidiary SHS Antwerp Aviation, which together with Slovenia's VLM Airlines will commence joint scheduled flights under the common trading name "VLM Airlines". In a statement, the company said, "The delivery of the AOC for the Slovenian subsidiary does not mean that the Belgian AOC has become obsolete. The procedure for the Belgian permit remains ongoing despite the delivery of the Slovenian AOC, because both are essential for the implementation of our business plan. We hope to receive the AOC for SHS Antwerp Aviation as soon as possible".

According to local media, the carrier will commence flights from Maribor later this year with a handful of Fokker 50 aircraft. It is yet to be decided how many of the six turboprops will be divided between Maribor and Antwerp. Furthermore, the number of Airbus A319 jets to be stationed in Slovenia is yet to be determined. According to its initial plans, the airline intended to launch flights from Slovenia's second largest city to Belgrade, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Podgorica, Split, Zurich, Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang this summer. However, the company now says that details regarding the number of aircraft to be used, planned routes and schedules will be announced at a later stage. Meanwhile, SHS Aviation acquired a stake in leisure carrier Thomas Cook Airways Belgium (TCAB) last month. It will take over certain contractual obligations, as well as forty of TCAB's ground staff employees.

SHS Aviation purchased the "Aerodrom Maribor" operator for seven million euros in December 2016. The operator recently announced its results for last year, showing that its revenues dropped from 876.000 euros in 2015 to 700.000 euros in 2016. Nevertheless, it managed to reduce its losses to 36.000 euros from 280.000 over the previous year. The Mayor of Maribor, Andrej Fištravec, believes the city will become a global player and specialist for Asian travellers as a result of SHS's ambitions to launch operations from Edvard Rusjan Airport. The company has also committed itself to investing millions into the airport.


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Old June 11th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #265
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Ljubljana Airport seeking Middle East flights


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is continuing to seek nonstop flights to the Middle East, despite increased competition from nearby rivals in Zagreb and Venice making it increasingly difficult to secure such operations. The recent launch of Emirates' daily service from Dubai to Zagreb, which is also aimed at Slovenian travellers. has resulted in Flydubai, once seen as a potential new operator at Ljubljana Airport, back down. The airline's Commercial Senior Vice President, Jeyhund Efendi, told EX-YU Aviation News that the carrier is focusing on its operations to Belgrade, Skopje, Sarajevo and Tivat, which launches later this month. "Flydubai is always looking at exploring new opportunities for our network, but at the moment we do not have any immediate plans for Ljubljana", Mr Efendi said. Emirates recently noted it was looking to work with Flydubai so as not to overlap and compete on existing markets.

Both the Slovenian government and Ljubljana Airport launched an offensive last year to attract Gulf carriers. The airport held talks with leading airlines from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Flydubai and Air Arabia. Furthermore, Slovenia and the UAE signed a Civil Aviation Agreement, which enables flexibility on routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft between the two countries, for both passenger and cargo flights. On the other hand, the Qatari Minister of Economy and Trade, Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, recently visited the country where he expressed hope for flights between Doha and Ljubljana to be established in the near future. However, Qatar Airways did not include Ljubljana in its latest expansion plans for 2018, which will see cities such as Cardiff, Mykonos, Kiev and Prague added to its growing network.

Ljubljana, which is in close proximity to a number of larger airports, is looking to increase its competitiveness by offering more direct flights. Besides Emirates, Zagreb Airport is served by Qatar Airways, while Etihad, Emirates and Qatar link Venice to the Middle East. In April, the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure noted that it is concentrating its efforts on boosting the country's air connectivity and linking Ljubljana Airport with new destinations. "In our opinion, it is important for Slovenia to be connected with the rest of the world, no matter which airline provides the service. As long as they are safe and offer affordable fares to the public". In a recent report, Ljubljana Airport noted, "By working on marketing, we aim to encourage airlines to launch new routes and increase passenger numbers at the airport, particularly from neighbouring countries and thus reduce the outflow of local passengers to neighbouring airports". It added, "We will focus our marketing activities on raising our profile and strengthening the airport’s competitive position in the region".


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Old June 11th, 2017, 03:58 PM   #266
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Ljubljana flight diverts over bomb alarm


An easyJet flight from Ljubljana to London made an unscheduled stop in Germany yesterday evening after the pilot became concerned about a suspicious conversation on board. A passenger reportedly heard someone speaking about a “bomb”. The plane landed at Cologne-Bonn Airport at about 18.30 CEST. Airport authorities said in a statement that the 151 passengers on board disembarked the plane using emergency slides and were taken to a transit gate where they were checked by police. Police also destroyed a piece of baggage that couldn't be assigned to anybody on board in a controlled explosion. Three male passengers have since been detained by police. A spokesman for the police said, "We take the situation very seriously, but can not confirm that there was a concrete terror suspicion”. Take-offs and landings were suspended for three hours, causing ten flights to be diverted to other airports and delays to over a dozen more. “easyJet can confirm that flight EZY3246 from Ljubljana to London Stansted diverted to Cologne. The Captain took the decision as a precaution to enable the aircraft to go through additional security checks in Cologne where the aircraft was met by the police. In compliance with the local authorities guidance passengers disembarked to allow additional security checks to be performed”, an easyJet spokesperson said.



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Old June 14th, 2017, 10:06 AM   #267
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Ljubljana Airport maintains growth momentum


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has registered another month of strong passenger growth, with 146.257 travellers handled in May. The figure represents growth of 25.5% on last year. The number of aircraft movements stood at 3.175, up 11.3%. During the first five months of the year, the airport welcomed 566.851 passengers through its doors, an increase of 22.6%. The growth comes as Adria Airways continues its recovery, while foreign airlines maintain their solid figures. The number of aircraft movements this year stood at 13.035, up 9.7%.


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Old June 18th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #268
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Sukhoi pitches Superjet to Adria

Russian plane manufacturer Sukhoi has been courting Adria Airways as a potential operator of its flagship Superjet 100 aircraft, with the Slovenian carrier said to have shown interest in the type. The Vice President for Civil Aviation at United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the parent company of Sukhoi, confirmed that talks have taken place with Adria, without revealing further details. Discussions between the two sides are believed to have started following 4K Invest's acquisition of the Slovenian carrier last year. UAC identified Adria as an ideal customer as early as 2015, due to its fleet structure, which is largely made up of Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.

The Slovenian airline will have to renegotiate aircraft leasing terms for its existing fleet in the coming years. Later this year, the lease for one of its CRJ700 jets will expire, while leasing arrangements for six CRJ900s, which make up the bulk of Adria's fleet, will end in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Leases for three Airbus A319s run until 2021 and 2024. Adria currently boasts the youngest fleet out of all the national carriers in the former Yugoslavia, with an average age of nine years. Adria's management has made no public comments concerning the airline's fleet or possible changes to its make-up.

The SSJ100 has the capacity to seat between 87 and 108 passengers, depending on cabin layout and seat configuration. It has so far racked up 210 orders and delivered 109 aircraft. In 2016, a total of twenty orders were made for the jets while two have been signed so far in 2017. The Russian manufacturer hopes to secure more orders at the upcoming Paris Air Show next week. The first European carrier outside of Russia to operate the SSJ100 on revenue flights was the Irish regional airline CityJet, while Brussels Airlines has wet-leased some of the aircraft for a two-year period starting this April. Sukhoi is developing a new type of the SSJ100, the B100, which features higher thrust, a longer range and improved takeoff performance. On Friday, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted type certificate approval for the B100 variant.


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Old June 21st, 2017, 05:45 PM   #269
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Adria plans order for twelve Sukhoi Superjets

Adria Ariways plans to make an order for twelve Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft which will replace the carrier's entire Bombardier fleet. Deliveries of the new jet are expected as early as June 2018. Russia’s State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK) will finance the transaction. Vladislav Masalov, President of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, said, "As part of the Paris Air Show, we will meet with Adria Airways to discuss the transaction which is being conducted by GTLK. The company is considering the purchase of twelve SSJ100 aircraft". As reported by EX-YU Aviation News, talks over the order have been ongoing. "This is not the first session of talks between the two companies. We have been engaged in this project for over six months", Mr Masalov added.

Once the talks are finalised and the transaction completed, it will mark the biggest single aircraft order ever made by Adria. Furthermore, the carrier will operate Russian-manufactured aircraft for the first time in its history. The development would also mark the loss of a notable European customer for Bombardier, as well as maintenance company Adria Tehnika, which is a regional Authorised Service Facility for base and other repairs on all Bombardier CRJ series aircraft. As such, Adria, with its fleet of nine CRJ jets, is its biggest customer. The Slovenian carrier is said to be in advanced stages of planning for the arrival of the new type, with crew expected to begin aircraft training next spring.



Sukhoi Superjet 100 celebrates its tenth anniversary since rollout this year. It has the capacity to seat between 87 and 108 passengers, depending on cabin layout and seat configuration. The SSJ100 has a single-engine option, the SaM146, manufactured by France's Safran in cooperation with Russia’s United Engines. The Russian manufacturer is already planning a new generation of the regional jet with extended capacity, new wings and new engines, which is expected to appear after 2025. The first European carrier outside of Russia to operate the SSJ100 on revenue flights is the Irish regional airline CityJet, while Brussels Airlines has wet-leased some of the aircraft. "We expect that operations in Brussels will attract interest from other European airlines", Mr Masalov said, adding that by the end of the year Sukhoi will have delivered eight Superjets to CityJet. Negotiations are also about to resume with Air France concerning the possible wet-lease of SSJ100s from CityJet.


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Old June 21st, 2017, 06:56 PM   #270
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Old June 24th, 2017, 12:34 PM   #271
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Al-Baker: Qatar Airways eyeing Ljubljana service


Qatar Airways has confirmed it is considering introducing services between Doha and Ljubljana as spare capacity is made available following the fallout between the emirate and other Gulf states. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, said, "The launch of flights to Skopje and Sarajevo will be brought forward, and Ljubljana is being looked at. We have many destinations we plan to operate with our narrow-bodies. We are diverting capacity to new destinations that we were delaying opening and increasing frequencies to current destinations". The Slovenian capital would become Qatar Airways' fifth destination in the former Yugoslavia following Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo. Furthermore, the carrier would be the first from the Gulf region to serve Ljubljana.

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has been seeking nonstop flights to the Middle East despite increased competition from nearby rivals in Zagreb and Venice, which has made it increasingly difficult to secure such operations. Both the Slovenian government and Ljubljana Airport launched an offensive last year to attract Gulf carriers. The Qatari Minister for Economy and Trade, Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, who recently visited Slovenia, expressed hope for flights between Doha and Ljubljana to be established in the near future. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure noted that a direct air service to Doha would open up new opportunities for tourism. Services between the two countries are now expected to launch in 2018.

Qatar Airways says it could serve Ljubljana as part of its "robust plan B", after it was forced to terminate flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. Qatar Airways' chief conceded there are dark clouds ahead as a result of the Qatar diplomatic crisis and noted that the airline will underperform in the coming period. However, Mr Al-Baker also noted, "Qatar Airways has a very strong growth plan. I announced that I was going to introduce 24 new destinations. I couldn't do it because I had capacity restraints. Now that we have released capacity from the eighteen destinations we have been illegally barred from operating, we are now going to accelerate the other regions of the world where we feel we will mitigate the reduction in passenger numbers from these eighteen destinations".


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Old June 25th, 2017, 01:02 PM   #272
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Adria among Europe’s best

Air Serbia, Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways have been named among Eastern Europe's best carriers at the prestigious World Airline Awards, hosted by Skytrax, during the Paris Air Show this week. For only the second time, three of the largest carriers from the former Yugoslavia have been featured among the best in the category, while Air Serbia and Adria were also named among the continent's top regional airlines. For the first time, a carrier from the former Yugoslavia - Air Serbia - placed among the world's best regional airlines. Air Serbia was voted Eastern Europe’s fourth best airline, Croatia Airlines came sixth, while Adria positioned itself as the ninth best. As a result, Air Serbia improved its position from last year's seventh placing, overtaking Croatia Airlines in the process, which last year managed fourth place, while Adria dropped one position on 2016. The trio managed to outperform the likes of Romania's TAROM, Russia's Pobeda, as well as Czech Airlines. Aeroflot was awarded the title of Eastern Europe’s best carrier for a third year running, followed by LOT Polish Airlines and S7 Airlines. Air Serbia was trailed by Wizz Air.

BEST AIRLINES IN EASTERN EUROPE

Rank Airline
1 Aeroflot
2 LOT Polish Airlines
3 S7 Airlines
4 Air Serbia
5 Wizz Air
6 Croatia Airlines
7 Pobeda
8 Czech Airlines
9 Adria Airways
10 TAROM

Air Serbia and Adria Airways were both among the top ten best regional airlines in Europe. According to Skytrax, the category is the most important global quality distinction for airlines. For these World Airline Awards, regional airlines were defined as full service carriers that primarily operate domestic or international flights up to approximately six hours. Whilst some regional airlines may operate a small number of longer flights, the core market for this airline classification are short / medium haul routes where customer product and service expectations are different to long haul routes. Air Serbia settled for fifth place, while Adria came behind in ninth, ahead of Olympic Air. Ultimately, Aegean Airlines was named the best regional carrier, followed by Air Nostrum, Air Malta and S7 Airlines. Air Serbia was also ranked as the 20th best regional airline in the world for the first time. None of the carriers from the former Yugoslavia were ranked among the world’s top 100 airlines. Croatia Airlines, which came 99th in 2014, failed to make the list this year. Montenegro Airlines is the only carrier from the former Yugoslavia not to have been featured in any of the several dozen categories.


BEST REGIONAL AIRLINES IN EUROPE
Rank Airline
1 Aegean Airlines
2 Air Nostrum
3 Air Malta
4 S7 Airlines
5 Air Serbia
6 Luxair
7 Czech Airlines
8 flyBe
9 Adria Airways
10 Olympic Air




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Old June 28th, 2017, 10:14 AM   #273
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Slovenia anticipates China flights in 2018

Slovenia expects to establish flights with China next year after an airline expressed interest to launch services between Xi'an and Ljubljana. The Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, said, "We are especially interested in improving land, sea and air connectivity with China. We expect that direct flights between China's north-western city of Xi'an and our capital city Ljubljana will be established soon". He added, "Connectivity with China will enhance bilateral tourism and people-to-people exchange, which is another very important aspect of our cooperation. Slovenia wishes to establish itself as one of the major logistic hubs of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in this part of the world". The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an initiative proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road and maritime trading routes.

Last month, Slovenia's Minister for Infrastructure, Peter Gašperšič, visited China where he held talks with China's Minister for Transport, Li Xiaopeng, and the head of the Chinese Civil Aviation Agency, Feng Zhenglin. They discussed improving airline connectivity between the two countries, as well as cooperation in the production of small aircraft. Ljubljana has been attempting to secure flights to China for several years. In 2013 the airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, sent an invitation to China Southern Airlines to introduce services to the Slovenian capital. Last year, the Chinese Embassy in Ljubljana launched an initiative for flights between the two countries to be established, with a proposal for Hainan Airlines to operate its service from Beijing to Prague via the Slovenian capital. Ultimately, Hainan will now use Prague as a stopover on its new service to Belgrade starting September 15.

Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport also expects to link Slovenia with China after SHS Aviation took over and established an airline with the aim of launching services to the Far East. Andrej Fištravec, the Mayor of Maribor, said, "The international investment group SHS Aviation purchased operator Aerodrom Maribor and with that obtained a fifteen year concession to manage the airport. They also announced plans to commence flights this year. The initial plan was made with knowledge of Slovenian legislation, although, unfortunately, in Slovenia it takes more time to be granted all the necessary licenses to create conditions for them to fulfil their investment plan". He added, "VLM Airlines, a subsidiary of SHS Aviation, received their air operator's certificate (AOC) in May instead of April as initially planned. I believe that, during the second half of the year, SHS will start with flights inside Europe and once the infrastructure at Maribor Airport is developed, I think they will start continental flights to China". SHS has previously announced plans to commence services from Slovenia's second largest city to Xi'an, Chongqing and Nanchang in China.


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Old June 29th, 2017, 10:03 PM   #274
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Slovenia and Russia mull airport logistics centre


The Slovenian and Russian state-owned postal companies are considering building a joint logistics centre at Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport to handle international parcel deliveries, Russia's Minister for Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov, said. "We decided to set up a joint venture to try and battle for the European parcel delivery market", Mr Nikiforov noted after holding talks with the Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. He added, "Russian Post has a fleet of aircraft and Maribor would be the location for a logistics centre that would serve Slovenia and neighbouring markets". Mr Počivalšek noted that talks regarding the matter began a month ago. "This project is about keeping up with the rapid pace of digital retail. I am confident we will make it possible for our post to develop a digital retail centre at Maribor Airport in order to transfer goods into the EU", he said. Maribor Airport aims to handle 82.000 tonnes of cargo by 2022. This number is expected to grow to 160.000 tonnes of cargo by 2028.



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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:24 AM   #275
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Swiss to wet-lease Adria CRJ900

Swiss International Air Lines will wet-lease an Adria Airways Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, registered S5-AAO.The jet is eight years old and will be utilised by Swiss from July 1 until September 30. The aircraft will be initially deployed on flights from Zurich to Lisbon, Hannover, Luxembourg, Leipzig, Dresden, Dusseldorf and Munich. A wet-lease is a leasing arrangement whereby the lessor provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance and insurance to another airline


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Old July 6th, 2017, 04:59 PM   #276
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Ljubljana Airport to get new terminal by 2020



The Slovenian Ministry for Public Administration has begun tender procedures for the development of project documentation for the construction of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport's new passenger terminal and the overhaul of its existing facility. Those interested have until August 1, 2017 to apply. The tender brief specifies that the construction of Ljubljana Airport's new terminal is scheduled to start in October 2018, with its completion set for April 2020. As previously reported, the construction of the new structure will allow for the airport to handle 1.280 passengers per hour, up from the current 500, and will feature a total of 22 check-in desks, five security lanes, a large duty free shop, commercial space, as well as a new premium lounge. The building will stretch over an area of 8.700 square metres. A new 2.000 square metre baggage sorting facility will also be built. The existing terminal will remain partially in use and will be utilised by low cost and charter carriers.






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Old July 12th, 2017, 10:37 AM   #277
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Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in the capital city of Slovenia welcomed 722,943 passengers in the first six months of 2017, a 20.8 percent jump compared to the same period in the previous year (June 2017: 156,092 passengers, up 15.0 percent).

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Old July 13th, 2017, 10:02 AM   #278
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Adria expands fleet and posts strong results


Adria Airways will expand its fleet with the addition of a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, which is expected to arrive in Ljubljana on July 18. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the Slovenian carrier said, "We can confirm the lease and delivery of one Bombardier CRJ900 in the upcoming days which will be registered in Slovenia, leased from a subsidiary of our existing leasor Regional One (and previously operated by Air Nostrum)". As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the aircraft will be registered S5-AFA. It was manufactured in 2006. Adria is currently negotiating the acquisition of twelve Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, with their delivery expected next year, if the deal is finalised successfully.

Following the arrival of its latest jet, Adria will boast a fleet of thirteen aircraft, including seven CRJ900s, three CRJ700s and three Airbus A319s. One of its CRJ900s is currently being wet-leased to Star Alliance partner Swiss International Air Lines, where it will be deployed until September 30. Furthermore, earlier this month, Adria based its third CRJ700 in Ljubljana as it was previously stationed in Lodz, from which it suspended operations on July 1. Later this year, the lease for one of its CRJ700 jets will expire, while leasing arrangements for the six CRJ900s will end in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Leases for the three Airbus A319s run until 2021 and 2024. Adria currently boasts the youngest fleet out of all the national airlines in the former Yugoslavia.

On top of its fleet expansion, the Slovenian carrier posted improved operating results for the first half of the year. According to the "Uporabna stran" portal, Adria handled 531.447 passengers over the past six months, representing an increase of 10%. This was accompanied by an increase in the number of aircraft movements, rising from 9.117 last year to 9.645 in 2017, up 5.8%. The improved figures come as a result of higher demand for both scheduled and charter flights this summer. Despite the closure of its Polish base in Lodz, the Slovenian carrier has added frequencies to a number of routes out of Ljubljana including Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Amsterdam. Earlier this year, Adria's CEO, Arno Schuster, said, "In general, we will focus on two areas of our business - regular and charter flights. We will generate enough revenue in the high season to secure liquidity throughout the year. This is the plan we are pursuing". He added, "We expect a successful year. We are always exploring possibilities for new destinations and new markets but we are currently more focused on improving existing frequencies".


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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:14 PM   #279
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Adria Airways buys Etihad Regional

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Adria Airways has purchased Etihad Airways' upscale Swiss arm Etihad Regional (formerly known as Darwin Airline) through its new subsidiary Adria Airways Switzerland. Etihad Regional was relaunched in early 2014 to attract Europe's business travellers. The airline will be rebranded into Adria Airways Switzerland. "The decision to sell this minority stake (33.1%) in Darwin is the result of our current strategic review of our investments and the choice to focus on our other partners", Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at the Etihad Aviation Group, said. Other shareholders have also sold their stake in the business to Adria, which now has 99.1% ownership in the airline. The remaining 0.9% interest will be acquired shortly. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed, but is believed to be financed by Adria's owners 4K Invest..

In a statement, Adria Airways' CEO, Arno Schuster, said, "Darwin is an excellent airline with experienced management and staff. The expansion of our network and the resulting optimisation of cost structures is a win-win situation for both companies". Adria's Chief Financial Officer, Heinrich Ollendiek, will become the new CEO of Adria Airways Switzerland. Despite the name change, the airline will retain its Swiss Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), as well as bases in Lugano and Geneva. The President of Darwin Airline's Board of Directors, Emilio Martinenghi, said, "We are convinced that thanks to the considerable experience and strong destination network, especially in the Southeast European market, Adria Airways will have a very positive impact, not only on the future of Darwin, but also on the Canton Ticino, the region we serve and which requires good connections to the rest of Switzerland and Europe". He added, "Darwin Airline is well capitalised and solvent, thus able to honour all of its commitments to creditors".

Etihad Regional uses a fleet of six fifty-seat Saab 2000 turboprop aircraft, as well as four ATR 72s, which are currently being operated on behalf of Alitalia. The airline runs flights across Europe, offering passengers direct connections to dozens of major cities. It also taps into a half-dozen points served by Etihad and its codeshare partners Air Berlin and Air Serbia. Etihad's sale of its stake in Etihad Regional represents its first divestment since launching a company-wide strategic review last year of its shareholdings in other carriers. When launching Etihad Regional in January 2014, the former Etihad CEO, James Hogan, described the deal as "a step-change" for the business.

4K Invest, a turnaround fund from Munich, signed a contract for the purchase of a 91.58% stake in Adria Airways at a price of 100.000 euros early last year. It later bought the remaining stake in the Slovenian carrier in order to secure 100% ownership. The transaction marked its first investment in the aviation sector. Since its purchase of Adria, 4K has brought in several new aircraft, boosted the airline's flight network, closed the carrier's base in Poland, ended a commercial cooperation agreement with Estonia's Nordica and has attempted to reduce the company's losses. However, it is yet to publish Adria's 2016 financial report. Late last year, Adria named Captain Tiziano Ponseggi, the Director of Operations at Etihad Regional, as its new Chief Commercial Officer.
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Old July 22nd, 2017, 10:03 AM   #280
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Swiss monitoring Adria - Darwin tie-up

Swiss International Air Lines has said it is monitoring Adria Airways' takeover of Darwin Airline "with great interest". In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, a Swiss spokesperson added that while the carrier does not comment on other market player's business, "Swiss works closely together with Adria Airways as our current wet-lease partner". Besides both airlines being members of Star Alliance and codesharing on each others' flights, the Slovenian carrier is currently wet-leasing a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to its Swiss counterpart. Following Etihad's purchase of a 33.3% stake in Darwin Airline in 2014, Swiss cancelled an agreement to accommodate Darwin passengers in the event of flight disruptions, terminated the wet-lease arrangement a Darwin aircraft and targeted Darwin's route network. As a result, the regional carrier lodged a formal complaint with the country's competition commission over alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

Adria Airways has moved quickly following its purchase of a 99.1% stake in Darwin, with the remaining 0.9% to be acquired "shortly". A Darwin Saab 2000 aircraft, which has the capacity to seat fifty passengers, has already been deployed to Ljubljana from which it has commenced operations on behalf of Adria to destinations such as Sarajevo, Vienna and Warsaw. The aircraft will operate from the Slovenian capital until Monday. Darwin, which is shortly to be rebranded into Adria Airways Switzerland, has more than half of its ten-strong fleet operating on behalf of Alitalia. Currently, all of its four ATR 72 aircraft and two out of its six Saab 2000s are flying regional routes for Alitalia. The fate of the wet-lease arrangement under Darwin's new management is unknown.

Earlier this week, Adria Airways' CEO, Arno Schuster, said, “Darwin is an excellent airline with experienced management and staff. Extending our network and, consequently, optimising cost structures will create a win-win situation for both carriers. Our experienced commercial department will market Darwin’s flights under the brand name Adria Airways Switzerland”. The Swiss regional airline has 250 employees. Darwin made a small profit last year and has forecast a positive result for 2017. Adria's owner, 4K Invest, is a private equity firm based in Munich which specialises in the acquisition of medium and large-sized companies with poor operating performance. It then systematically restructures them. Adria was its first investment in the aviation industry.


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