For Adria Airways to hit its dual targets of two million passengers per year and turnover to surpass €220 million by 2020 it is essential for its fleet to grow. Sadly, in recent times Adria’s viability as a functioning airline has heavily relied upon divesting itself of aircraft and leasing them back, a business model it seeks to persevere with throughout 2015. Eleven out of twelve aircraft Adria will operate this summer are on lease terms – a startling fact that demonstrates its over-reliance on hired aircraft.  Its own future will surely become clearer during or shortly after the current trading year, Adria being one of the ‘gang of fifteen’ companies earmarked by Slovenia’s incumbent administration for denationalisation.

Details have emerged of Adria intending to lease a further A319 aircraft, bringing the total of this class in its fleet to three. Slated under what is believed to be a wet lease agreement Slovenia’s flag-carrier hopes to have this latest addition airborne by the end of May, potentially to coincide with its summer schedule of flights between Ljubljana and the UK, primarily utilised by package-holiday patrons. Further wet lease agreements are planned by 2016, the larger A320 class being the plane of choice although, to reach its ambitious targets the airline is not ruling out hiring even larger aircraft, Ljubljana’s Brnik Airport’s runway being well equipped to deal with higher capacity planes.

New services to Stockholm and Berlin from Ljubljana, to complement Adria’s reemergence at Maribor’s Edvard Rusjan Airport will see an initial spike in passenger numbers; only after the budget-airline style flights between Maribor and the Essex-based London Southend airport have commenced will Adria know if Maribor can become a realistic junior-partner to Brnik as a secondary hub within Slovenia. Flights from Tirana and its newly unveiled base in the Polish city of Lodz also point to Adria diversifying its portfolio away from its traditional Brnik headquarters. Noncompetitive landing charges at Ljubljana Aerodrome have made it necessary for Adria to keep its operating costs as low as possible by creating bases in Albania, Poland and in the east of Slovenia.

If bigger aircraft are to be used, as is hoped, on seasonal routes between Manchester and Ljubljana it is a shame that the Bohinj region won’t feel the benefit of increased passenger numbers that more sizable aircraft can carry. With less tourist beds now than any time in the last fifteen years, its neighbour and rival Lake Bled and Kranjska Gora will see an increase in summer overnight stays, both of whom offer a wider choice of larger hotels in British Lakes and Mountains brochures. To lose the substantial amount of rooms once found within the now derelict Bellevue and Zlatorog has been a significant blow to the local economy, a deficit of bed-space that hasn’t been absorbed by other accommodation providers. The opening of the Bohinjska Bistrica-based Eco Park Hotel highlighted the paucity of modern accommodation in the area, something the Bellevue and Zlatorog couldn’t compete with once they’d ceased to trade on past glories and famous, former guests. It is hoped for but not immediately anticipated that the Bohinj area can rejuvenate its ailing hotel stock, enabling it to benefit from Adria transiting more British package-holiday guests into Slovenia that its increased fleet of larger aircraft will surely bring.

More details on this item can be viewed at; Ex Yugoslav Aviation: Adria Airways to increase its fleet yet further