DALLAS — The small European nation of Slovenia has announced ambitious investments in the country’s air travel network. The government announced a multimillion-euro investment to improve the country’s air connectivity.
The financial aid will be used to aid airlines in funding new routes to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. The aid will also contribute to subsidizing operating costs at the airport.
However, this aid will come with a few stipulations.
Firstly, the new proposed air routes must be direct flights to the capital airport. Secondly, airlines looking to apply for aid must operate a route that would not be possible without aid. Applications from airlines are anticipated to be approved by the end of March in order to prepare for the busy summer season, which the Slovenian Government cites could begin as early as late March.
The bill has already been forwarded to the European Commission, but we are in a hurry because we want to catch the summer season, which starts at the end of March. The tender announcement must be published by then. We will have to obtain the consent of the European Commission before allocating any euroSecretary of Transport at the Infrastructure Ministry, Alenka Bratusek
The aid is also aimed at establishing a new flag carrier for the country. The former flag carrier, Adria Airways, folded in 2019. The airline operated a fleet of A319’s, CRJ-900s and CRJ-200s, as well as the Saab 2000 at time of bankruptcy.
As part of Yugoslavia, Ljubljana has been the base for Adria Airways since the opening of the new airport in 1964. The airline also operated a diverse fleet of props until the introduction of the DC-9-30 in the early 1970s, starting the jet age for Adria.
However, the early 2000s marked the beginning of the airline’s demise, with falling travel demand as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Through decreasing passenger demand as well as a few leadership changes, the airline formally declared bankruptcy on September 30, 2019.
Featured Image: Alberto Cucini/Airways