Ljubljana’s Brnik-based airport saw in March 2015 a spike in traveller numbers, a figure of 90,902 accounting for a 5.3% increase on like for like figures compared to the corresponding month in 2014.
Statistics can though be misleading, the devil being in the detail that consists of a significant 10.3% drop in operational flights from Slovenia’s primary airport, when weighted against the equivalent period twelve months ago. There has either been a serious error made by the bean counters at Fraport, the German owner-operators of Joze Pucnik aerodrome or, the 2,471 flights during March were operating far closer to their capacity than has previously been the case over recent months and indeed, years.
With a raft of additional flights using Brnik to offset others that have since been shelved, the uptake of interest in Adria Airways’ new routes into Berlin and Stockholm will go a long way towards the anticipated growth of traffic through the airport, as will the recently reintroduced service linking the Slovenian capital with Zurich operated by the national flag-carrier, Swiss. Whether this will complement or over overlap with Adria’s existing route into Switzerland’s largest city is debatable although, should there be a failure to coexist it isn’t difficult to guess which airline will be the first to suffer.
The start of the summer programme operated by many of the airlines using Brnik will ensure a month by month, year on year increase in passenger traffic, especially if Adria Airways, as is hoped, use the larger planes in their fleet – recently contracted on Dry Lease terms – on for instance, the Manchester to Ljubljana route. Running twice a week(Wednesday and Saturday) from the end of May until mid September, a service that has in recent years been hamstrung by insufficiently sized planes will hopefully benefit from an Airbus A320 that could potentially double passenger numbers. Should Adria or another airline introduce a service between the North of England and Brnik aimed at winter-sports enthusiasts, it can also expect to run an albeit for the time being hypothetical service at numbers bordering maximum capacity. Further announcements from Fraport and Adria are expected in the forthcoming months; with both Ljubljana’s and Maribor’s airports having received an initial stimulus from changing hands and Adria Airways slated to be uncoupled from the state, these are interesting times for Slovenia’s aviation sector which also ranks aircraft maintenance concern Adria Airways Tehnika amongst the fifteen wholly or part state-owned companies earmarked for denationalisation, the five binding bids received currently being critically appraised.
Further reading on this subject can be viewed at: Ex Yugoslav Aviation blog: Brnik sees an increase in passengers, a reduction in flights