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Ljubljana Airport revises growth forecast

Ljubljana

Fraport Slovenia, the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, has revised up its passenger growth forecast for the year following a strong first half of 2017. Passenger numbers at the airport during the six-month period grew 20.8% year-on-year. “This growth was due to, on the one hand, the arrival of new airlines and, on the other hand, a significant increase in capacity utilisation by Adria Airways”, Fraport said. While there were more passengers on flights from Ljubljana to Amsterdam (operated by Adria and Transavia), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), Paris (Adria, Air France) and Brussels (Adria), figures decreased on routes to and from Frankfurt (Adria) and Belgrade (Air Serbia), as there were fewer flights operated to these cities.

London was the most popular route to and from the Slovenian capital during H1 2017, with 114.915 passengers carried by easyJet and Wizz Air, which serve Ljubljana from Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. In two weeks, Wizz Air will further boost capacity on its London – Ljubljana route by upgauging its equipment to the Airbus A321 aircraft. Frankfurt was the second most popular route, followed by Istanbul. In order to cater for the increase in travellers, Ljubljana Airport plans to build a new passenger terminal and overhaul its existing facilities. Construction is set to begin in October 2018 and completed by April 2020. Procurement procedures are currently underway.

During the first half of the year, Ljubljana Airport’s net profit doubled to one million euros, while revenue grew 13.5% to 18.5 million euros.

The Executive Board of Ljubljana Airport initially forecast passenger growth for 2017 in the low single-digit passenger range, but now foresees growth in the low double-digit percentage range. “This is phenomenal growth which will likely continue, so we expect an annual increase of around 10%”, the General Manager of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, said. He added, “According to forecasts, by the time the new terminal opens the airport should be handling around 1.8 million passengers. Over the next thirty years, we expect for average annual passenger growth to amount to 3.1%. In order for this to happen, Slovenia must continue growing, the Slovenian economy must continue developing, and foreign investment must keep rising. As a result, foreign travellers will continue coming to Slovenia. Our job is to maintain our competitiveness. Of course, passenger growth will also heavily depend on our national airline, Adria Airways, and the number of transfer passengers. Currently, Adria carries half of our passengers”.

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