The figures might be considered relatively small in the context of today’s behemothic aviation industry but encouraging data today released by Adria Airways gives Slovenia’s flag-carrier some much needed breathing space, amongst all the tales of woe and ongoing but for the time being groundless chatter of privatisation.
No spin doctor adept in the dark arts of media manipulation and who blatantly swears black is white could paint an entirely rosy picture of Adria’s current health but positives must be taken where they’re found and, an 8% year on year increase in 2014 of passenger numbers certainly amounts to a favourable selling point, as do the not inconsiderable projections of increased passenger figures and revenue for the year ahead.
Whether this proves that Adria doesn’t need to acquired by a strategic partner of greater industry reach or it is in fact operating at the very extremes of its capabilities, I will let those closer to the aviation industry decide. Predicted to break even should Adria’s forecasts for the financial year ahead prove to be correct lends credence to those who argue that privatising one of the Slovenian state’s marquee names is bad for the morale of the country, as well as placing at risk incumbent routes and jobs. Slovenia’s strategic position at the crossroads between east and west, as well as being ideally placed to access the fast-emerging South Eastern Europe market, potentially enables Adria to perhaps grow disproportionately compared to the size of the country in which it is based but caution must be raised. There are any number of airlines who will not think twice in undercutting Adria on some of its core routes, especially if it hikes ticket prices to fund further expansions into Europe. It should also be remembered that much of its fleet is only being operated thanks to sale and lease back agreements, hardly a healthy medium to long-term situation.
Very much being careful for what it wishes, I believe Adria should rightly welcome the positive data regarding its operations during 2014 and projected gains for 2015. With the current Slovenian administration being in a hurry to privatise Adria, the airline itself does not have the luxury of being able to choose being sticking or twisting, instead concentrating on maintaining a healthy, viable concern to continue under the current auspices or as is increasingly likely, making itself a more attractive proposition for those seeking to add this Star Alliance member to their portfolio.
Further reporting on this matter can be read at: The Slovenian Times: Encouraging figures from Adria Airways