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Photo Credit: Ex-Yu Aviation

The Slovenian government will launch tender procedures to support carriers flying to Ljubljana Airport in an attempt to mitigate and remedy the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The state will offer a lump sum of six million euros, which will be divided amongst airlines that apply for the incentives. The beneficiaries of the subsidy will be chosen based on several factors.

“We intend to improve Slovenia’s air connectivity”

“We are planning to offer non-refundable aid in the form of a lump sum, which is expected to take into account the number of scheduled flights to Slovenia, the number of passengers carried and any other decisive factors”, the country’s Ministry of Economy said. According to the daily “Delo”, the terms and conditions of the public call are yet to be finalised.

The funds will be provided as part of Slovenia’s fifth coronavirus stimulus package. “It has been proposed for the subsidies to cover part of the costs incurred by airlines flying to Slovenia. The funds are expected to be made available in 2020 and 2021. By subsidising routes, we intend to improve Slovenia’s air connectivity, which was first impacted by the collapse of Adria Airways and then by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism has been growing year on year until the pandemic, and Slovenia will be a popular destination in 2021 based on a number of forecasts. We must ensure that people who want to visit our country can do so other than by car”, the Ministry said.

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Ljubljana Airport’s operator, Fraport Slovenija, has been advocating for the state to offer incentives to airlines, including a ten-euro subsidy per passenger flown. The airport’s General Manager, Zmago Skobir, previously said, “It’s of paramount importance to keep existing routes so they’re here when passengers regain their trust in travel. There is fierce competition for air carriers among airports. Good connections will be key next year when Slovenia presides over the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2021”. The Slovenian government considered offering incentives to airlines following the collapse of Adria Airways last September, however, the initiative was struck down in committee hearings in parliament.