Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has seen a second consecutive month of declining passenger numbers, wiping out gains it recorded earlier on in the year. Slovenia’s main airport handled 116.499 travellers in May, a decrease of 9.3%.
This is despite the number of operated flights remaining almost unchanged at 2.863 aircraft movements, up 0.1%. The results follow on from a disappointing April when the airport recorded a 10.5% drop in passenger figures. The slowdown comes as a result of Adria Airways, which boasts a 60% – 65% market share at the airport. The carrier discontinued flights to Istanbul and Stockholm so far this year, while Swiss International Air Lines suspended its Zurich service as well.
During the first five months of the year, Ljubljana Airport welcomed 462.514 travellers through its doors, a decrease of 3%, while flight operations also edged down 2.5%, to 11.879. The airport’s General Manager, Zmago Skobir, recently said, “We expect a slower growth rate to that of last year and we would like to close at 1.5 million passengers. That will be heavily influenced by how Adria Airways’ new owners manage the airline. Air traffic growth is forecast to be moderate, but stable. At the same time, changes in the traffic structure are expected to go in favour of an increased share of foreign air carriers”. Ljubljana Airport is yet to surpass its all-time passenger record, set in 2008, when it registered 1.673.050 travellers.
Despite Adria’s network suspensions, Ljubljana Airport has also welcomed some new carriers recently. LOT Polish Airlines launched flights from Warsaw in March while Aegean Airlines will introduce seasonal services from Athens next Wednesday. Recently, Turkish Airlines boosted frequencies on its Ljubljana service from ten weekly to double daily, while budget carrier easyJet increased its daily flights from London Stansted to nine weekly. Ljubljana Airport held talks with a number carriers from the United Arab Emirates last week, including Flydubai and Air Arabia, relating to the possible establishment of services between Slovenia and the Gulf nation. Reportedly, Flydubai has shown interest in the potential flights.