As of this morning Brussels Airlines has scheduled a new six weekly service between the Belgian capital and Ljubljana, which will operate with the Airbus A319 aircraft. Starting November 4, tickets will be available for booking from tomorrow. In a statement, the carrier said, “The flight schedule allows for connections with the rest of the Brussels Airlines network via Brussels Airport. Important connections are mainly Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Madrid, Oslo and Tel Aviv”.
The Slovenian government is in discussions with Lufthansa, as well as Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport’s operator Fraport over the transfer of some of Adria Airways’ routes to the German-led group of airlines. Lufthansa’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and Swiss International Air Lines, none of which operate to Slovenia’s capital. Within these markets, Adria’s destination network included Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich. These were also among the company’s busiest routes and were all codeshared by its fellow Star Alliance members. Prior to suspending all of its operations last week, Adria operated a number of flights for Lufthansa group carriers through ACMI wet-lease contracts. The airline maintained services for Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Lufthansa itself.
The Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, said around half of Adria’s routes could be transferred to Lufthansa. He further noted that discussion would take place with the German airline over the possibility of jointly establishing a new Slovenian national carrier. However, Mr Počivalšek warned the process could take some time and required a political consensus in the country. He added Adria’s collapse would have short-term economic effects, but that other airlines would eventually step in to pick up demand. “Slovenia has tremendous tourist potential and carriers can take advantage of the country’s need for air connectivity”, he noted.
Adria’s passenger share at its home base in Ljubljana stood at 56% in 2018, down from a high of over 77% in 2010. This year, the Slovenian carrier was expected to account for around 50% of Ljubljana’s traffic. Adria faced no competition on a number of routes from the Slovenian capital. They include: Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Munich, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Vienna and Zurich. Routes that were operated by both Adria and another carrier in 2019 were Amsterdam (Transavia), Paris (Air France) and Podgorica (Montenegro Airlines). The Slovenian carrier also maintained a number of charters. In addition to services from Slovenia, Adria Airways also operated flights from Pristina to Frankfurt and Munich, as well as from Tirana to Frankfurt. In 2018, the carrier handled 157.931 passengers to and from Pristina Airport where Lufthansa’s Eurowings has since established a base and launched several new routes, among which is Munich. The Slovenian carrier declared bankruptcy yesterday, following 58 years of service.