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Old October 24th, 2015, 01:09 PM   #121
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Airport operator announces Maribor-Düsseldorf connection


Maribor, 24 October - The chairman of airport operator Aerodrom Maribor has announced in an interview for the STA a new scheduled airline connection between Slovenia's second largest city and Germany's Düsseldorf, coming upon an initiative of tourism companies in the region.


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Old October 27th, 2015, 11:36 AM   #122
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Ljubljana Airport sees busier winter


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will see more flights during the 2015/16 winter season than last year thanks to both Adria Airways and foreign carriers. A total of eight airlines will maintain more than 180 scheduled flights each week from Slovenia’s capital to 21 different destinations in twenty countries. This is compared to the 150 weekly flights to nineteen destinations during the 2014/15 winter season. The number of charter flights will be comparable to that of last year. Egypt and Turkey remain the most common winter leisure destinations, which will be served by Adria Airways in conjunction with tour operators. In addition, the Slovenian carrier will run scheduled services to eighteen destinations this winter. Foreign operators include Air France, Air Serbia, easyJet, Montenegro Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. Towards the end of the winter season, on March 1, 2016, LOT Polish Airlines will launch five weekly flights from Warsaw.



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Old October 28th, 2015, 11:24 AM   #123
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Maribor Airport scores new flights for 2016

Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport, in Slovenia's north-east, has negotiated new scheduled flights for the 2016 summer season, which will see it linked to Dusseldorf. The airport's Managing Director, Ladimir Brolih, says the service has been initiated by tour operators in the region and will cater for all travellers heading to northern Germany. Mr Brolih notes that preparations for the flights are in their final stages and further details will be revealed soon. While the operator is yet to be announced, it is believed the German-owned Express Airways will run the service. The small airline has a flight school at the airport and offers panoramic flights over Slovenia, as well as seasonal commercial services from Brač and Split in Croatia to Germany and Sweden. It currently operates its flights with a leased ATR72-500 aircraft. Adria Airways has also expressed interest to cooperate and is still mulling the possibility of setting up a base in Slovenia's second largest city next year.

Express Airways' owner and CEO, Sefa Tuncer, visited Maribor recently where he expressed interest for the airline to link the city with Pristina, Skopje and Munich as well. "Talks are under way regarding these destinations, but there are no concrete plans yet", Mr Brolih said. The Managing Director recently revealed the airport was also in talks with Wizz Air but added that further analysis and discussions with the no frills carrier are required. Both northern Germany and Scandinavia have been identified as underserved markets from Slovenia. Maribor Airport handled some 18.000 passengers last year, the majority of which were flown on charter flights. It plans to welcome 35.000 travellers in 2015. During the first three quarters, Maribor saw 23.500 passengers use its services, up 51% compared to the same period last year.

This summer, Adria resumed flights from Maribor after fifteen years with a three weekly seasonal service to London Southend Airport. It is considering basing a single aircraft in the city next year, which would lead to the launch of new routes in Spain and, in the long run, Russia. "Adria Airways had good cooperation with Maribor Airport, which has emerged as a reliable business partner. We both hope to upgrade the service to London next year and add additional new routes", the airline said recently. Its CEO, Mark Anžur, added, "Flights to Germany are being considered and we see great potential there due to Graz’s close proximity. Even Spanish holiday destinations would be of interest. In the long-term, Maribor would be very appealing to eastern markets because of its short distance from many tourist destinations that would be attractive to Russians”.


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Old October 30th, 2015, 12:46 PM   #124
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Aegean to Ljubljana and Split from June 2016



Aegean Airlines has confirmed the launch of fourteen new destinations from its hub in Athens next year including Ljubljana and Split. The new routes will compliment the carrier's existing services in the former Yugoslavia to Belgrade and Dubrovnik. Flights from Athens to Ljubljana will launch on a year-round basis from June 15, 2016 and operate twice per week, each Wednesday and Saturday. On the other hand, flights to Split will run on a seasonal summer basis starting June 16. These flights will also run twice per week, each Thursday and Saturday. Aegean will become the only airline to offer nonstop scheduled services from Greece to both Ljubljana and Split.

Speaking at a press conference in Athens yesterday, the Vice Chairman of Aegean and Olympic Air, Eftichios Vassilakis, said the airline will focus on strengthening its Athens base in 2016 with the launch of fourteen new routes and entry into six new markets. Besides Ljubljana and Split, Aegean will also introduce flights to Dublin, Nice, Lille, Naples, Bari, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca, Jeddah, Krakow and Vilnius. "Exactly two years following the acquisition of Olympic Air, we have generated significant momentum thanks to the synergies and cooperation of an excellent team of people", Mr Vassilakis said.

Earlier this month, Ljubljana Airport's Managing Director, Zmago Skobir, revealed the carrier's plans to launch services from the Greek capital. The Star Alliance member has a limited presence in Slovenia and has maintained only seasonal summer charters from Greek holiday hotspots to Maribor over the past few years. Aegean becomes the second airline to confirm new services to Ljubljana next year, joining LOT Polish Airlines. Furthermore, Aegean will introduce an additional flight to its seasonal route from Athens to Dubrovnik next summer, for a total of six weekly services. On the another hand, it will boost capacity to Belgrade by upgrading its operations from a Dash 8 turboprop to the A319/320 on four out of five of its weekly flights.


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Old November 3rd, 2015, 10:19 AM   #125
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Adria launches Italy charters


Adria Airways will operate charters to southern Italy over the coming months in partnership with a local tour operator. The Slovenian carrier commenced a series of charters last Thursday, with flights to Bari, Naples and Palermo to run until the end of the year. A further ten charters will operate in 2016 during public holidays (Easter, May Day and others). The service will primarily cater for Italians visiting Slovenia. During the January - August period, Italians accounted for the largest number of overnight stays among foreign tourists in Slovenia.


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Old November 6th, 2015, 05:32 PM   #126
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Adria's passenger numbers improve


Adria Airways has recorded double digit passenger growth during the first ten months of the year. During the January - October period, the Slovenian carrier welcomed 1.090.034 passengers on board its aircraft, an increase of 13.4% compared to the same period last year. Of those, 904.731 travellers were carried on scheduled services, up 15.1%, while the remaining 185.303 were handled on charter flights, representing an increase of 5.7% compared to last year. The growth was fuelled by the launch of new routes from Ljubljana and the development of the carrier's bases outside of Slovenia. The airline's average cabin load factor stood at 69%, which is down 2% on the same period in 2014. Adria says the decline comes due to the utilisation of larger aircraft.

The Slovenian carrier is satisfied with its performance on all of its routes with exception to Moscow, where it saw a sharp decline in passenger figures as a result of a volatile rouble and western-imposed sanctions on the country. On the financial front, the airline says it cannot foresee whether the company will turn a profit by year's end. In 2014, Adria handled 1.113 million passenger and managed a net profit of 921.000 euros. It has been pointed out that profitability was achieved thanks in part due to the sale and leaseback agreements made on its aircraft. Otherwise, it is believed, the airline would have ended last year in the red.

On November 23, Adria's shareholders will meet to vote on an eight million euro capital injection. This has raised prospects that a potential buyer will participate in the capital hike. According to the daily "Večer", if a single investor takes part and offers the eight million euro sum, they could be granted up to a 69% share in Adria. The Slovenian carrier is in the midst of a privatisation process with the government offering a 91.58% stake in the airline. A public call for the expression of interest was published in July, while binding bids were submitted by the end of September. The state is believed to have received several offers, while three companies are said to be interested in participating in Adria's capital injection, in order to secure the airline's liquidity over the slow winter months.


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Old November 7th, 2015, 08:03 PM   #127
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Adria to profit from Estonian demise


Adria Airways has been selected by the Estonian government, along with several other carriers, to step in if Estonian Air declares bankruptcy, which could happen as early as today. The Estonian national carrier is awaiting for the European Commission to rule whether the 57 million euros worth of state aid it received from 2009 onwards was in line with European Union regulations. Following a three-year investigation, the Commission is likely to make its decision public today. Sources claim that the ruling, which has been drafted and is in the process of being translated, will require Estonian Air to pay back all of its state aid, effectively bankrupting the carrier.

Aware that its national airline is likely to go bust this weekend, the Estonian government has moved to select Adria and several other airlines to deal with the fallout. From Sunday, Adria will operate a handful of flights out of Estonia as well as the service from Orebro in Sweden to Copenhagen, launched only last week. "This change ensures that the route continues to be operated under the same terms and conditions as before. Adria Airways has been a full member of Star Alliance since December 2004, and thus has access to 27 airlines including SAS", Orebro Airport said in a statement. Estonian media note that Adria has been selected as both airlines have similar fleets. Estonian Air operates with three Bombardier CRJ900s and a pair of CRJ700 aircraft.

The Estonian government has created a successor to its embattled national carrier called Nordic Aviation Group. However, the airline is yet to receive necessary permits and is unlikely to take to the skies soon. Adria and other airlines are expected to operate out of Estonia over the next six to twelve months. On the other hand, Austria's InterSky was recently selected to operate Estonian Air's flights between Tallinn and Oslo from tomorrow until December 6. However, the Austrian airline declared bankruptcy on Thursday. Adria's involvement with the Estonian government will generate much needed funds. The Slovenian carrier is seeking an eight million euro cash injection from investors by the end of the month.


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Old November 11th, 2015, 07:42 PM   #128
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Adria pilots plan November 30 strike



Pilots at Slovenia's flag carrier Adria Airways have announced a strike for November 30 over an impasse in the ongoing collective bargaining talks. The strike will run between 5.00 in the morning and midnight with employees to gather at the airline's operative centre at Ljubljana Airport, the Pilots' Trade Union announced yesterday. The industrial action is being blamed on the stalled collective bargaining talks after the management cancelled the old collective agreement regarding pay and work conditions for pilots. The trade union is demanding for an increase in wages and for the management to tackle violations of the cancelled collective agreement, which continues to be used until a new one is negotiated. Previously, Adria's cabin crew planned to go on strike in June but later called it off following a provisional deal with the management.

In October 2014, Adria’s trade unions were informed that all collective agreements would be annulled if they failed to agree to new cost cutting measures by the end of the year. Since all of the airline’s unions rejected the measures, the collective agreements have now been terminated, while terms of the new agreements are still being negotiated. Adria remains hopeful the industrial action can be averted. However, the carrier criticised the union for its strike announcement, saying it was "unnecessary", noting the difficult times the carrier finds itself in. Furthermore, the management said pilots have been offered a 7.5% salary increase and more flexible working conditions in order to boost productivity. It adds that, in contrast, the demands of the pilots were unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the airline is in the process of being privatised with a shareholders' meeting due later this month to decide on an eight million euro capital injection, which could come from a potential buyer. However, the Slovenian daily "Dnevnik" says shareholders will discuss the capital hike as early as today, noting that they are unlikely to endorse the deal if a sales agreement with a potential investor is not signed beforehand. A foreign investment fund is said to be the front-runner for the acquisition of a 91.6% stake in the airline.

On Monday, Adria began operating flights out of the Estonian capital Tallinn following the demise of Estonian Air. In an agreement with the newly established Estinian national carrier Nordic Aviation Group, Adria will provide full commercial and operational support. Furthermore, the deal also sees the incorporation of three of Estonian Air's Bombardier CRJ900 and two CRJ700 aircraft. The Slovenian carrier is expected to operate the flights over the next twelve to eighteen months and will consider a further long-term alliance with Nordic Aviation. Adria has already netted 20.000 bookings until March 2016 for the Tallinn-based flights and handled 2.610 passengers yesterday morning since taking over from Estonian Air. The opening of a new market for the Slovenian carrier could make it more appealing to potential investors.


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Old November 14th, 2015, 03:28 PM   #129
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Ljubljana see strong growth


Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport recorded its eighth consecutive month of passengers growth, with 128.478 passengers welcomed in October, representing an increase of 9.4%. The growth came despite a decline in the number of operated flights, with a total of 2.776 movements registerd, down 3.7%. Despite Skopje having a stronger month, Ljubljana is still in front of its Macedonian counterpart on a annual basis, with 1.264.056 travellers handled during the January - October period. The number of operated flights improved 3.3% during the same timeframe to 28.197 arrivals and departures.

This winter season, Ljubljana Airport is being served by more flights than last year thanks to both Adria Airways and foreign carriers. A total of eight airlines are maintaining more than 180 scheduled flights each week from Slovenia’s capital to 21 different destinations in twenty countries. This is compared to the 150 weekly flights to nineteen destinations during the 2014/15 winter season. The number of charter flights is comparable to that of last year. Egypt and Turkey remain the most common winter leisure destinations, which are served by Adria in conjunction with tour operators. On the other hand, the airport's numbers could be slightly affected on November 30, if Adria's pilots follow through with their planned work stoppage from 05.00 in the morning until midnight. The airline says it hopes to maintain some of its flights if the strike goes ahead.


LJUBLJANA AIRPORT
Month PAX Change (%)
JAN 73.096 ▼ 2.9
FEB 72.265 ▼ 3.8
MAR 90.902 ▲ 5.3
APR 112.310 ▲ 13.3
MAY 128.411 ▲ 19.6
JUN 149.541 ▲ 17.0
JUL 171.770 ▲ 16.2
AUG 199.219 ▲ 22.3
SEP 157.508 ▲ 10.1
OCT 125.478 ▲ 9.4


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Old November 19th, 2015, 10:31 AM   #130
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German companies vying for Adria stake



Three Germen investment companies, Intro Aviation, 4K Invest and Callisto, are vying to purchase a 91.58% stake in Slovenia's national carrier Adria Airways. According to public broadcaster "RTV SLO", a fourth bid was initially made by Spanish airline Binter Canarias, however, the carrier has since withdrawn its offer. However, the three German-based companies are also seeking talks with Adria's creditors and requesting for some of the airline's debt to be written off. Marko Jazbec, the head of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding, which oversees the privatisation of state-owned assets, says, "Som of Adria's debts could be written off or reprogrammed. Through this privatisation process we will prevent Adria Airways' bankruptcy". The Slovenian carrier is tipped to record a five million euro net loss by the end of the year, according to "RTV SLO", following a profit of 921.123 euros in 2014.

Last month, EX-YU Aviation News learnt of Intro Aviation's interest in Adria. The German-based specialist turnaround consultant, is said to have placed one of the strongest bids for the airline during its first, failed, privatisation attempt three years ago. Intro Aviation is a consultancy firm which has turned around several loss making carriers, including NFD (presently known as Eurowings), as well as dBa and LTU International Airlines, which have since been integrated into Air Berlin. Its latest acquisition includes the Air France subsidiary CityJet. The company specialises in buying airlines, improving their finances and business and then selling them. Simmilarly, the Munich-based 4K Invest specialises in acquiring medium and large-sized companies with a poor operating performance.

Spanish regional airline, Binter Canarias, operating from the Canary Islands, has reportedly withdrawn its bid for the Slovenian carrier. Binter, once an Iberia subsidiary, boasts a fleet of nineteen regional aircraft - ATRs and CRJ900s - with a further eleven ATR72-600s on order. Adria's CEO, Mark Anžur, previously said, "Some offers have been received but I do not know much about them. Everything will come down to negotiations with potential investors". He added that it would be best to offer the carrier to small airlines or financial investors, as big European players have "problems of their own". Last year, Slovenia sold a 100% stake in Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport's operator to Germany's Fraport.

Meanwhile, Adria's management yesterday resumed negotiations with pilots over an impasse in the ongoing collective bargaining talks. It marked the first meeting between the two sides since the Pilots' Trade Union last week called for a strike on November 30. Although the management hopes to avoid possible industrial action, the two sides are said to have agreed on the minimum working conditions required during the strike which has been scheduled to run from 05.00 until midnight. Adria has offered its pilots a 7.3% salary increase and more flexible workplace terms in order to boost productivity. On the other hand, the union is demanding a larger wage hike and for the management to tackle violations of the cancelled collective agreement, which continues to be enforced until a new one is negotiated.


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Old November 21st, 2015, 08:27 PM   #131
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Swiss to suspend Ljubljana service



Swiss International Air Lines will suspend flights between Zurich and Ljubljana, just nine months following the route's initial launch. Swiss spokeswoman, Karin Muller, confirmed to EX-YU Aviation News that flights will be terminated from January 4, 2016. However, Ms Muller added, "Our codeshare with Adria Airways will remain in place". The news will be welcomed by the Slovenian carrier, which will retain its monopoly on the route. This winter season, Adria is maintaining twelve weekly flights between the two cities. Despite initial optimism, Swiss failed to attract sufficient passengers numbers, launching the route on a daily basis before reducing flights to four per week.

Swiss International inaugurated services from Zurich to Ljubljana on March 29 this year with a 97-seat Avrojet RJ100 aircraft. Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport anticipated for the flights to generate an additional 30.000 passengers per year. Services were timed so passengers could connect on to Swiss' North American network. This year, Swiss expanded aggressively into the former Yugoslavia, introducing flights from Zurich to Ljubljana, Zagreb and Sarajevo, while its subsidiary Edelweiss Air launched seasonal services to Podgorica. Summer flights to Banja Luka were also planned but did not go ahead following disagreements with the airport's management. From Geneva, the airline began year-round flights to Sarajevo and Skopje. In addition to the suspension of its Zurich - Ljubljana service, this winter, Swiss also terminated its Geneva - Belgrade flights and will now operate the route on a seasonal summer basis.

Despite the setback, Ljubljana Airport has secured two new customers for next year, with LOT Polish Airlines to launch services from Warsaw on March 1 and Aegean Airlines from Athens starting June 15. Furthermore, earlier this year, Adria Airways' CEO, Mark Anžur, revealed the carrier would expand its operations out of the Slovenian capital in 2016. “We are already planning new flights for the 2016 summer season from Ljubljana. For us, these are interesting destinations as they are important business hubs and offer the possibility of connecting flights. The Iberian Peninsula will certainly be among them. Even Italy would be of interest”, Mr. Anžur said. Over the past ten months, Ljubljana Airport handled 1.264.056 passengers, an increase of 10.6% compared to the same period last year.


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Old November 24th, 2015, 08:41 PM   #132
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Adria Airways Tehnika sold



Maintenance company Adria Airways Tehnika has been sold to Poland's Linetech Holding in a deal unofficially worth two million euros. The transaction is expected to be completed by Wednesday, the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) said after signing the deal with the Polish buyer along with fellow shareholder Ljubljana Airport. The SSH and Ljubljana Airport said that the buyer would also pay them back the loan they granted to Adria Airways Tehnika. SSH held a 52.33% stake in the maintenance firm, while Ljubljana Airport the remaining 47.67% share. SSH Chairman, Marko Jazbec, expressed his satisfaction with the result of the sales process. "We believe the company will get an owner that will ensure its growth, further development and will maintain a good relationship with all stakeholders", Mr Jazbec said today. In a written statement, the head of Linetech, Piotr Kaczor, said, "We aim to grow and develop Adria Airways Tehnika by investing in people, new technologies and equipment. The merger will make Linetech one of the leading aircraft maintenance companies in Europe, supporting aircraft built by Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer and ATR”. Linetech was set up in 2009 and counts some 200 employees. It operates at seven airports - Warsaw, Poznan, Katowice, Cracow, Gdansk, Rzeszów and Wroclaw. Furthermore, it also undertakes maintenance work on a seasonal basis in Paris, Birmingham and Enontekio in Finland. Adria Airways Tehnika said earlier this year it plans to boast a 2.4 million euro profit this year with revenues reaching 20 - 22 million euros. Until 2010, it was a subsidiary of Slovenia's national carrier Adria Airways.


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Old November 30th, 2015, 07:43 PM   #133
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Adria scales back network growth for 2016



Adria Airways' CEO, Mark Anžur, says the airline plans to consolidate its operations next year and scale back plans to expand its route network. The statement is in stark contrast to the airline's earlier strategy to add a number of new routes from Ljubljana and secondary bases next year. Speaking to "ATW", Mr Anžur said, "We are developing our own strategic plan, which can be supported or not by the new owner. 2016 will be a year of consolidation. We will work to maximize the efficiency of existing routes, rather than opening new ones. We have had flight operation problems because of a lack of crew, so we have to fix that and work on our load factor. In 2017, we are planning on growing again significantly".

In contrast to his latest statements, earlier this year, Mr Anžur said, “Next year we plan to base an aircraft in Tirana and have three daily flights to a number of destinations. We are considering at least two new routes. Italy is a very real possibility. We are already planning new flights for the 2016 summer season from Ljubljana as well. For us, these are interesting destinations as they are important business hubs and offer the possibility of connecting flights. The Iberian Peninsula will certainly be among them. Even Italy would be of interest". Over the last two years, Adria has grown significantly, adding routes outside of its home base in Ljubljana. This year, the carrier is expected to post a 16% jump in passenger numbers and 10% revenue growth. Only 5% of that growth so far came from the Slovenian capital.

Despite plans to scale back its network expansion, Adria is still looking to add two aircraft to its fleet next year. According to Mr Anžur, these will likely be an Airbus and Bombardier jet. A Bombardier CRJ700 is expected to enter the fleet during the first quarter of 2016, while a CRJ200 will be retired. Furthermore, the airline's CEO says the Airbus aircraft could be either an A319 with 156 seats, rather than Adria’s existing 144-seat configuration, or an A320. The A319 has cheaper upfront costs, but Adria also needs to strike a balance between demand for more seats in the summer and weak winter demand. Commenting on the airline's ongoing privatisation process, Mr Anžur says, "They [potential investors] have already submitted their bids and very soon the government will shortlist one and enter final negotiations”, noting there are both financial and strategic partners in the running. Shareholders are selling a 91.58% stake in the airline. The remaining 9% will “most probably” be sold as well, the carrier's CEO notes.


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Old November 30th, 2015, 07:52 PM   #134
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Linetech to expand Adria Tehnika


Poland's Linetech Holding, which last Tuesday bought a 100% stake in aircraft maintenance firm Adria Airways Tehnika (AAT), says it will expand the company. Krzysztof Pietkun, the Chairman of Linatech's Supervisory Board, says, “We are proud to announce our acquisition of AAT. Subsequently, we aim to grow and develop AAT by investing in people, new technologies and equipment. Thanks to this merger, our field of capabilities will become wider, enhancing support opportunities for the most popular aircraft types such as Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer and ATR. Linetech intends to increase employment and expand training programs for new personnel. The group will have in total six heavy maintenance hangars which allows us to concurrently service thirteen different aircraft of code C classification”. Concerning profits, Chairman Piotr Kaczor says it could be tripled in five years. In 2013 the company recorded a 941.353 euro net profit, but it dropped to below 30.000 last year. "We cover all of Europe, and a part of North Africa. By acquiring Adria Tehnika, we have become more flexible to customers. If a customer has twenty aircraft, it can send some of them to Slovenia and some to Poland", Mr Kaczor says.

Linetech Holding signed a deal to buy AAT from the Slovenian Sovereign Holding and fellow shareholder Ljubljana Airport. The 100% stake in the company was unofficially sold for around five million euros, some two million euros of which came in purchase money and the rest in the form of a loan repayment to the two former shareholders.


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Old December 10th, 2015, 11:26 PM   #135
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Adria to introduce new Tirana service


Adria Airways will launch flights from Tirana to Munich from March 28, 2016, bringing the total number of destinations it serves from the Albanian capital to five. Flights will operate four times per week, each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and will replace Lufthansa's existing service, which will cease on March 26. The news comes after Adria's CEO, Mark Anžur, said the airline would scale back its network growth in 2016, although plans to expand operations from Tirana have been on the cards for some time. The Slovenian carrier is maintaining seventeen weekly flights from Tirana this winter season, which includes services to Ljubljana, Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris (operating via the Belgian capital during winter and nonstop during the summer).

Earlier this year, CEO Anžur emphasised Tirana's importance to Adria's network, as well as the carrier's plans for the city. "We have a 5% market share in Tirana and we are the third busiest carrier. Albania is fast growing and traffic is mainly focused on Italy. On the other hand, there is also strong growth in traffic between Albania and Germany", Mr Anžur said. He added, “Next year we plan to base an aircraft in Tirana and have three daily flights to a number of destinations. We are considering at least two new routes. Italy is a very real possibility". The Albanian capital would become Adria's fourth base outside of Ljubljana, complementing Pristina, Lodz and Tallinn (where Adria is operating flights on behalf of Nordic Aviation). Tickets for Adria's new Tirana - Munich service are already on sale through the airline's website.

Adria plans to add two aircraft to its fleet in 2016 and rationalise its operations in a bid to boost its load factor. "2016 will be a year of consolidation. We will work to maximize the efficiency of existing routes, rather than opening new ones. We have had flight operation problems because of a lack of crew, so we have to fix that and work on our load factor. In 2017, we are planning on growing again significantly", Mr Anžur said. Furthermore, Adria intends on adding a Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft to its fleet next year and an additional, high density, Airbus A319 or A320. At the same time, it will retire its aging CRJ200 jet.


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Old December 10th, 2015, 11:27 PM   #136
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Montenegro Airlines plans Maribor charters


Montenegro Airlines plans to introduce seasonal charter flights from Podgorica to Maribor next year, the carrier’s Assistant Commercial Director, Dragan Popović, says, adding that talks with Maribor Airport are in their final stages. The Montenegrin carrier intends to operate a one weekly service between the two cities from mid-June to mid-September 2016. The move is in line with the airline’s new strategy to expand operations within the former Yugoslav region. The carrier recently announced it was launching flights between Vienna and Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 21. Slovenia was one of Montenegro Airlines’ fastest growing markets this year. During the January - October period, its scheduled Podgorica - Ljubljana service saw passenger numbers grow over 30% compared to the same period last year. Recently, the carrier’s CEO, Daliborka Pejović, said the airline is considering adding additional frequencies to the Slovenian capital next year.


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Old December 11th, 2015, 05:42 PM   #137
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Adria rolls out OnAir entertainment



Adria Airways has presented its new on board in-flight entertainment system, which will allow passengers to browse through the carrier’s new digital in-flight magazine, play games, chat, give feedback and order meals though their personal tablet computers and mobile phone devices. The service is being powered by the Dutch-based AirFi Box, a portable, low cost and flexible alternative for airlines without on board Wi-Fi capabilities. The AirFi Box is a compact, portable, battery-powered and self-scaling Wi-Fi network, not in any way connected to the aircraft. It is designed to be integrated into existing airline logistics and suitable to create an alternative to in-flight entertainment for all flights.


In a statement, the Slovenian carrier said, “Adria OnAir is the new name that brings together all our efforts to provide passengers with exhaustive travel information and in-flight entertainment. Our hope is that this new service will take communication with our passengers to a new level”. The AirFi platform provides passengers with a large range of options when they connect their own tablets or smartphones to the network, including catering orders, multiplayer games, on-board chat, destination information, enrolment in airline loyalty programs or providing feedback. TUI Airlines Netherlands is just one of the carriers to have started using the system recently, while Estonian Air, which ceased operations in late October, also utilised the technology.

Adria's new OnAir entertainment system debuted yesterday on its service from Ljubljana to Munich. In order to use the new entertainment options, passengers must keep their devices in airplane mode and connect onto the “Adria OnAir” Wi-Fi network. After opening their web browser, passengers will be redirected to the new OnAir entertainment portal. "The introduction of this new service was quite a complex project, which included the involvement of many employees across different departments. We faced many technological challenges as it was necessary to meet all safety standards and ensure flawless functioning of the portal", Iztok Franko, Adria's IT and Marketing Director said. The Slovenian carrier will continue to upgrade its in-flight entertainment system and will refresh its content in a timely manner. Last week Adria introduced a new-look website, which complements the new on board entertainment features.



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Old December 16th, 2015, 10:01 PM   #138
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Adria eyes entry into Hungarian market


Adria Airways is hoping to enter the Hungarian market and develop into a bigger regional player, according to the Slovenian government. The Minister for Transport, Peter Gašperšič, is confident the carrier will grow under the European Union’s new aviation strategy, noting that “new opportunities are opening up” for the airline. According to the minister, Hungary will grant carriers concessions for several routes, adding that, “Adria could easily win deals there". The news comes after the European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Slovenia’s Violeta Bulc, urged all parties within the Slovenian aviation sector last week to develop into regional players. Mr Gašperšič is confident the country's aviation industry can thrive. Ljubljana Airport is already in private ownership and is successfully developing business plans, with cargo volumes and passenger numbers growing. Furthermore, Maribor Airport has been investing heavily and is "planning activities that are headed in the right direction", he said.

Adria's potential entry into Hungary would open up yet another new market. The airline recently began full commercial and operational cooperation with Nordic Aviation Group from Estonia, which the carrier expects will result in a “long-term alliance in the regional carrier sector and a search for synergies, which is the key to the success and survival of all regional airlines in Europe”. While details of the agreement have never been disclosed, Estonian media speculate Adria received three million euros from the Estonian government as part of the deal, although Nordic Aviation has refused to comment on the matter. Besides Ljubljana, Adria has opened bases in Pristina and Lodz over the past few years and is expected to base an aircraft in Tirana in 2016, with the opening of its fifth route from the Albanian capital. Earlier this year, Adria's CEO, Mark Anžur, said, "The question is, what are the chances for further expansion out of Ljubljana. We should not rush from there. Strategically, we want to be a European carrier and not only a Slovenian carrier. We are embracing internationalisation. There are many reasons for this. One of them being that the Slovenian market is very limited". While the carrier looks to develop its operations, the Slovenian government has reiterated that Adria's sale is a top priority. The state has received several bids for a 91.6% share in the airline.

The Hungarian aviation market has seen a shake-up since the demise of Malev Hungarian Airlines in 2012. This month, Budapest Airport handled its ten-millionth passenger for 2015, making it the busiest year in the airport's history. It has recorded passenger growth of 22% over the past five years. During the past twelve months alone, Budapest Airport added three new airlines to its portfolio (Air China, Air Transat and Iberia) and inaugurated eighteen new routes. The airport is served by 44 airlines connecting the Hungarian capital with 100 destinations this year. Furthermore, Debrecen Airport in eastern Hungary is continuing to expand its business with Wizz Air opening a base there this year. Furthermore, Lufthansa has announced it will launch flights from Munich to Debrecen next summer season.


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Old December 18th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #139
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Adria suspends Istanbul, adds three new routes



Adria Airways will suspend services between Ljubljana and Istanbul from January 1, 2016, the Slovenian carrier said in a statement yesterday. On the other hand, it will introduce flights from the Slovenian capital to Cologne, as well as services from Pristina to London and the previously announced Tirana - Munich route. Adria’s Istanbul service ends following strong competition from its Star Alliance partner Turkish Airlines, which is maintaining daily flights between the two cities this winter season. Adria will continue to codeshare on Turkish’s service. The Turkish carrier was the third busiest airline operating out of Ljubljana in 2014 and is believed to have edged past easyJet to become the second busiest this year, operating ten weekly flights during the summer. Istnabul was Ljubljana's third busiest route last year. As a result, from the New Year, Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will no longer see Adria serve Turkey’s largest city, nor will Swiss International Air Lines operate its Zurich flights, as it will suspend the service on January 3.

On the other hand, Adria will compensate for its Istanbul suspension with the introduction of three weekly flights to Cologne next summer season. “The Monday, Tuesday and Thursday departures will be suitable for both business travellers and those wishing to spend a long weekend in the famous capital of Rhineland”, Adria said. Furthermore, it will operate two weekly flights from Pristina to London, complementing existing services from the city to Frankfurt, Ljubljana and Munich, as well as seasonal routes to Malmo and Dusseldorf. The airline is yet to put tickets on sale for the two new services. From Tirana, Adria will introduce four weekly flights to Munich, which have been scheduled and put on sale through the airline’s website.

Adria says it is continuing to expand in the Balkans with its two new routes from Pristina and Tirana and will “continue to support and facilitate travel in this part of Europe”, The Slovenian carrier positioned itself as the second busiest airline in Kosovo last year with some 180.000 passengers handled on its flights to and from Pristina. Adria benefited from the demise of Belle Air Europe in late 2013 and saw its passenger numbers grow over 20% in Kosovo last year. In 2014, the airline’s CEO, Mark Anžur, said, “The Slovenian market is small and is not growing. We now receive 70% of our revenue outside of our main market”. Earlier this week, the Slovenian Minister for Transport, Peter Gašperšič, said the carrier was eyeing entry into the Hungarian market in 2016.


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Old December 21st, 2015, 10:19 PM   #140
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Adria sale likely in January



The Slovenian government is likely to complete the sale of a 91.58% stake in Adria Airways after January 19, 2016, when a key vote is scheduled to take place concerning an eight million euro capital hike. Originally planned for November 23, the vote was delayed upon the request of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), which is overseeing the airline's privatisation process, in order to give it more time to negotiate with potential investors. Media reports at the time suggested the company would be sold via the capital increase. This is seen as the likely scenario for the January vote as well. Documents concerning the extraordinary shareholders' meeting show Adria is seeking to sell new stock at a euro apiece, while existing shareholders will not have a pre-emptive right to buy the shares.

Investors will have only nine days to make the payment, meaning the privatisation process is likely to be completed by the end of January. The capital increase has been described as urgent, since Adria is believed to have generated losses this year and seen its revenue decline. The Slovenian government has said it is looking at ways to ease Adria's expenses without providing direct state aid, which it has been prohibited from doing under European Union legislation. Furthermore, the SSH is hoping to reach an agreement with Adria's creditors in order to reprogram or write off some of the airline's debts in an attempt to make it more appealing to potential investors.

In October, Adria Airways' CEO, Mark Anžur, said the government was entering exclusive negotiations with bidders. “They have already submitted their bids and very soon the government will shortlist one and enter final negotiations", Mr Anžur said, noting there are both financial and strategic partners in the running. “We are developing our own strategic plan, which can be supported or not by the new owner”, he added. Three German investment companies - Intro Aviation, 4K Invest and Callisto - are believed to be vying for the majority share in the Slovenian carrier. According to public broadcaster "RTV SLO", a fourth bid was initially made by Spanish airline Binter Canarias, however, the carrier has since withdrawn its offer.


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