Slovenia’s geographic position at the crossroads of where west meets Eastern Europe has long been held up a double-edged sword. Whilst being ideally situated at the gateway to the rapidly expanding Southeastern European markets dominated by its fellow former Yugoslav republics – nearly 5% of Slovenia’s population being made up of guest workers from the Balkans – to complement a long-standing air-route into Pristina, the capital of the now independent Kosovo,  it also has the unfortunate distinction of being a favoured passage for people smugglers and live-animal exporters. Despite the size of the country the western half of Slovenia feels more occidental than the eastern extremes of the country, where, a Slavic air and architectural influences are far more evident. This though very much feels in keeping with a nation where it is theoretically possible to visit Ljubljana, the Julian Alps and Slovenia’s bijou coastline in the space of a day but such a cursory inspection of three of the country’s highlights does justice to none of them.

The influence upon Slovenia from its neighbours is significant and despite border disagreements with Croatia having recently gone to The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration, relations are generally regarded as cordial. Such cross-border reciprocity has this week seen flag-carrier Adria Airways absorb Austrian charter-holiday passengers initially scheduled to fly from Klagenfurt to the Greek island of Rhodes but with traveller numbers insufficient to justify the service from Carinthia, tourists will now be bussed to Ljubljana’s Brnik-based airport and flown on Adria’s charter-route into the Dodecanese. This though does suggest that passenger uptake on Adria’s service into Rhodes must also be disappointing if it has sufficient spare capacity on its flights into the Greek island, the weekly Friday service slated to begin in June. The Austrians travelling the 85 kilometres to Joze Pucnik Airport from Klagenfurt will at least see their travel arrangements honoured and Adria will fill seats that might otherwise have remained empty, once more highlighting Slovenia’s advantageous positioning in Europe’s heartland.

Further reading on this story can be viewed at:

Ex Yugoslav Aviation blog: Adria Airways assists Klagenfurt passengers