[pullquote]Ryanair currently operates services to every European Union-member state with exception to Slovenia and Luxembourg.[/pullquote]Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien, has warned countries not to sell airports to monopolists like in Slovenia, Georgia and Greece, labelling the move a “disaster”.
The budget airline maintained flights to Maribor for several months, between 2007 and 2008, but the service was suspended. In late 2014, Slovenia’s union-owned bank, Delavska hranilica, acquired a 57% stake in the airport, conceding that one of the reasons for its investment was to show that the sale of Slovenia’s largest airport operator, Aerodrom Ljubljana, which manages Ljubljana Airport, to Germany’s Fraport was a “mistake”.
Fraport acquired a 100% stake in Ljubljana Airport’s operator just under two years ago. In 2013, Ryanair requested for the European Commission to swiftly act and conclude its investigation into whether Adria Airways accepted state aid and benefits from the Slovenian government to the tune of up to 85.5 million euros from 2007 to 2011, contrary to European Union competition laws. In a letter to the Commission, Ryanair said, “State aid was provided to Adria despite its inefficiencies while Ryanair has to develop its own market and is losing revenue”. The Commission subsequently ruled in favour of Adria.