Adria Airways have of late scored some notable successes over rival airlines, especially the decision of Swiss to discontinue their only recently reinstated Ljubljana to Zurich route, in the face of fierce competition from the Slovenian flag carrier. Elsewhere, Adria secured its fifth route out of Tirana’s Mother Teresa Airport that saw the shelving of Lufthansa’s like-for-like service between the Albanian capital and Munich.
The response therefore to news of Adria’s intention to suspend operations between Brnik and Istanbul, in effect genuflecting before Turkish Airlines who offer such a formidable rivalry to a small, regional and seemingly perpetually ailing airline, should be measured and proportionate. Whilst undoubtedly a dent to Adria’s pride it was never feasible in the long-term for it to compete in tandem with a Star Alliance big-hitter such as Turkish Airlines, especially on a route that serviced its primary Ataturk hub. A mixture of consolidation, trimming the fat of economical nonviable routes and pragmatic introduction of carefully researched new services must form the cornerstones of Adria’s future, short to long-term strategies.
To offset any perceived negativity from the discontinuation of its Istanbul service Adria have announced a raft of new ventures, including further evidence of the growing importance attached to the Kosovan and Albanian markets, primarily to link both nations’ diaspora with their homelands. Although some justified negative press has come to be seen as a way of life regarding migrant Albania workers in Western Europe, there are many genuine, hardworking employees from both Kosovo and Albania plying a variety of trades in London, Germany, etc. Adria’s Pristina flight to London, presumably but as yet unconfirmed via Brnik highlights the increasingly lucrative emigres travel sector, somewhat belatedly being tapped into by many of Europe’s airlines.
Three flights per week linking Ljubljana with Cologne provide a welcome addition to both Adria’s and Brnik’s roster, the Fraport-owned airport also seeing additional Adria-operated seasonal services to Malmo and Dusseldorf. With a finite Slovenian market to cater for Adria must continue to diversify its offering and the range of bases from which it operates for the airline to remain a relevant and attractive proposition for those interested parties who lodged binding bids for a 91% stake in the predominantly state-owned airline.
Further reading on the latest issues affecting Adria Airways can be viewed at: