Established in 1965 but now part of the Air France-KLM stable, the Dutch-based Transavia have become the latest Low Cost Carrier(LCC) to service Ljubljana’s Brnik Airport by offering a thrice-weekly service between Schiphol and the Slovenian capital.

Joining fellow budget airlines WizzAir and EasyJet who have successfully implemented routes between the UK and Slovenia – Wizz also operate a Ljubljana-Brussels route – Transavia have even beaten Ryanair to the punch; the Dublin-based carrier flies into all European Union member countries except Slovenia, not withstanding its short-lived dalliance with Maribor a decade ago.
So far it is unclear how Adria Airways’ extant route between Ljubljana and the Dutch capital will be affected by Transavia’s arrival, although Fraport, Brnik’s German owners will be pleased to offer passengers a broader range of airlines from which to choose – instead of an over-reliance on the troubled flag carrier. Adria have seemingly stabilized since being acquired by 4K Invest but their long-term future is still in question, a situation in no way aided by an ongoing dispute between management and the airline’s pilots over pay, employee conditions, and the failure to implement an acceptable collective bargaining agreement since the expiration of the previous accord.

Transavia will presumably offer cheaper fares than Adria, who do though fly twice as frequently between the two capitals. I do though anticipate the demographic make up using each airline to be different, with a more business-orientated traveller opting to fly with Adria and a younger, tourism-based passenger opting for Transavia’s low-cost model. Time will tell if both airline’s can coexist, although the market will ultimately decide.

In the days of state-ownership of Joze Pucnik Airport I assume Adria Airways would have exclusivity rights for many of the services it operated; the denationalisation of both the airport and airline have brought those days to an end, where a plurality of operators vying for each other’s business is now commonplace. Only the fittest survive, although perversely these are often the least risk-averse in the market who have the luxury of backing from an industry giant; in Transavia’s case – Air France-KLM. Crucially, this is where they(and others) may ultimately steal a march on Adria.

Source material courtesy of: Radio Television Slovenia – News in English – http://www.rtvslo.si/news-in-english/another-low-cost-airline-lands-at-ljubljana-airport-transavia/419057

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