As two days of industrial action from Adria Airways’ pilots draw to a close, regional aviation commentators will be closely monitoring the fallout from events that threaten to unravel the Slovenian carrier’s apparent upturn in fortunes.

The downing of tools stems from terms in the previous but now expired collective bargaining agreement not being redrawn to the advantage of Adria’s aviators – who are seeking a modest 1% salary increase and protection of existing workers’ rights. Adria insist a drop in salary in real terms is just, amid challenging economic conditions and a highly competitive marketplace. Although few flights have been actually cancelled many services have temporarily coalesced, to in effect stop off for example in Podgorica on the Sarajevo – Ljubljana flight instead of the Montenegrin and Bosnian capitals receiving their usual individual services. Others have seen buses pick up the slack.

Adria has recently portrayed itself as a different beast – leaner and more focused on its core markets that are primarily serviced from its Ljubljana base. Previous routes from lesser known Polish cities – Olsztyn and Rzeszow – seemingly subsidized by local municipalities have been quietly withdrawn, and were this week joined by an announcement of its Lodz – Amsterdam service being discontinued on the denouement of the airline’s winter timetable. Adria’s service between Munich – Lodz will continue to be operated by the 4k Invest-owned airline, although a negligible drop from 12 to 10 weekly flights ensures load factors for each and every one will be monitored for ongoing viability.

Words such as “resurgence” have this year been bandied around and whilst Adria Airways does seem to have stabilized since being denationalised, 2017 will be a defining twelve months in its 56 year history. It is anticipated(and hoped) that 4K and the airline’s pilots can find common ground; Fraport, the German-based owner operator of Ljubljana’s Brnik Airport will not wish to see their improved relationship with Slovenia’s flag-carrier dented by protracted industrial action that has the potential, the longer it is dragged out, to become ruinous for all parties.

Source articles and further information:

Slovenia Times:

Ex Yugoslav Aviation blog: AND

The website of Adria Airways:

The Slovenia Times:

RTV Slovenija (News in English):