Slovenia’s three airports handled 1.32 million passengers during 2014 although Ljubljana’s Brnik-based facility received all but 100,000 of those, Maribor and Portoroz’s airport being almost redundant in comparison. Whilst the numerical imbalance between the capital’s Joze Pucnik aerodrome and the rest of the country isn’t anticipated to markedly change the acquisition of Maribor’s Edvard Rusjan Airport by Slovenian savings bank Delavska hranilnica and, Adria Airways’ resumption of services from the country’s second-city will gain Maribor some much needed traction in the aviation market that its modern, fit for purpose terminal warrants.
With 88% of all passengers arriving on scheduled flights the charter market is heavily dwarfed by services dominated by traffic from the United Kingdom and Germany. The largest spike in passenger data through Brnik came from the Serbian market, perhaps accounted for by figures recently released that underscore Slovenia’s reliance on migrant-workers from elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, the 101,532 foreign citizens within the country’s borders accounting for 5% of Slovenia’s population.
In stark contrast the Russian market has collapsed, 10% fewer travellers from the former Soviet Union venturing to Slovenia although rumours circulating that Maribor Airport could add flights to Russia and Azerbaijan to complement its service into London Southend should see a upturn in passenger numbers. On the back of declining visitor figures it is not known if Adria will continue to honour its timetabled services between Brnik and Sheremetyevo.
The hegemonic grip Adria Airways holds over Slovenia’s aviation market accounted for 1.1 million or 83% of passengers during 2014, a market-share that could decrease during the coming year despite additional services to Stockholm and Berlin being introduced to the flag-carrier’s roster, with aviation leviathans Swiss and Turkish Airways reintroducing and increasing services respectively. Despite Adria leasing eleven of its twelve aircraft on sale and leaseback terms the airline continues to exude an air of confidence, the background noise of a seemingly interminable process of denationalisation playing second-fiddle to positive noises regarding future expansion to its services from both Brnik and Maribor, the latter being ideally placed to be restyled as a low-cost regional hub, potentially drawing patronage from Hungary, Croatia and the Austrian province of Styria.
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