Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport plans to further grow its passenger numbers next year as it prepares to start work on the construction of its new terminal building and drafts plans for the opening of an airport hotel. General Manager, Zmago Skobir, told the «Gorenjski Glas» newspaper, «We are focusing on North Germany, Scandinavia, the former Soviet republics, the Iberian peninsula and Italy. These are destinations that are still missing from our network and we are now getting involved in talks. This year, Adria introduced flights to Hamburg and Dusseldorf, and next year we expect flights to Stockholm. Rome, Madrid and Barcelona also have great potential, but these are very demanding markets where Slovenia is not yet recognisable enough. We are also looking at alternatives for the Middle and Far East through Dubai or Doha, but we have very strong competition for these markets in Zagreb, Belgrade, Venice and Vienna. We have invested a lot of effort to convince carriers that our market is small but of great quality, as well as economically stable».
Mr Skobir noted that the airport is also working on attracting more carriers to operate on existing routes, in order to offer passengers more choice. «We are investing a lot of efforts in attracting new airlines to destinations already covered by one of the carriers. When Transavia introduced flights to Amsterdam, the existing Adria Airways service did not lose passengers. We attracted a completely different market and the number of passengers on this destination has more than doubled. As a domestic carrier in the Netherlands, Transavia is much more recognisable than Adria, which makes it easier to address this market. In addition, this route has opened a new window to the world for our travellers. Amsterdam Airport, as an important transport hub, provides many intercontinental flights mainly to America and Africa», Mr Skobir said. This winter, Aeroflot will introduce a daily service from Moscow to Ljubljana, competing against Adria Airways on the route.
Despite being in close proximately to a number of larger airports, the one in Ljubljana has seen its passenger numbers grow over 9% during the first three quarters of 2018. «There are six major airports in the region. We have strong competition in Zagreb, Venice and Treviso. However, in the last two years, we have recorded greater growth than all of the surrounding airports. We had a difficult period between 2009 and 2012. At the time, figures at Ljubljana Airport declined mainly due to Adria’s restructuring. The national carrier discontinued a third of its flights, which resulted in a big passenger decline for us. It then took three or four years for us to get to the same volume of traffic as before. Today, Adria is stable and contributes almost 60% of all passengers at our airport», Mr Skobir said. He added, «I think that we are successfully fighting for our share in the market, and we are also supported by the favourable economic climate in Slovenia and the increasing visibility of Slovenia as a tourist destination».
|Ljubljana Airport’s planned new terminal
Work on the new 10.000 square metre terminal building is expected to begin early next year. It will feature a departures hall with 22 check-in counters, five security lanes, three baggage reclaim carousels, a new baggage sorting area, a large duty free shop, a new premium lounge, as well as new food and beverage facilities. The existing passenger terminal, which stretches over 13.000 square metres, will also be partially renovated. «Work is underway to obtain the necessary permits and by the end of the year a tender will be announced for the construction of the terminal, which will start next year. The facility will be completed in 2020. Furthermore, the development of the surrounding business zone has been enabled with the recent relocation of the road passing by the airport. We will start building internal road infrastructure in the near future, and we have already attracted some investors to build their facilities in the business zone. Negotiations are also underway with a large international chain for the construction of a hotel near the airport», Ljubljana Airport’s General Manager concluded.
Source: Ex Yu Aviation News