Adria Airways has held a ceremony to mark the official launch of seven new previously announced direct services. Direct flights to Sofia began on Sunday, 25 March and will be followed in the next few days by the first flights to Geneva and Bucharest.
April will see the reintroduction of services between Ljubljana and Hamburg (starting on 1 April), while passengers will be able to fly to Düsseldorf and Dubrovnik from 26 April and 27 April respectively. Flights from Ljubljana to the last of the seven new destinations, the Croatian island of Brač, will begin on 28 April.
"It is an honour to be able to begin this day on such a prosperous note," said Adria Airways CEO Holger Kowarsch at the ceremony marking the official launch of the new services. "With these new direct services, Adria Airways will connect Slovenia to 25 European destinations, while from many of the airports we fly to our passengers will be able to continue their journeys around the world. I believe that our extensive network of flights will satisfy the needs of even the most demanding passengers, including business travellers planning trips in multiple countries."
Fraport Slovenia managing director Zmago Skobir also expressed his satisfaction at the launch of the new services: "For air travellers and our airport, every new service represents a special opportunity. Fraport Slovenia welcomes Adria's decision to introduce services to new destinations from Ljubljana Airport. This increases the accessibility of the airport, which as well as improving travel opportunities for domestic passengers will bring in more foreign travellers – both business travellers and tourists. We hope that the new Adria services will be immediately successful and will find a permanent place in the network of flights operated from our airport."
The new Adria services were declared officially open by infrastructure minister Peter Gašperšič, who commented: "At the Ministry of Infrastructure we are creating new opportunities for air carriers through new air transport agreements that are the basis for the establishment of scheduled air services. These agreements not only allow the introduction of scheduled services, they make it possible for carriers to conclude agreements such as code-sharing arrangements. The most recent bilateral agreements we have signed are with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and with China. Good connections between Slovenia and the rest of the world are of key importance for the economy, particularly for tourism. Although Adria is no longer Slovenian-owned, we still consider it our flag carrier, and its success is therefore very important to us."
At the end of March, Adria Airways switches to its summer timetable. As well as introducing new destinations, the summer timetable increases the frequency of flights on existing services.
This summer it will once again be possible to fly from Ljubljana to Manchester. Flights to Kiev are also set to continue. With more than 200 scheduled flights a week and very short waiting times between connecting flights, Adria offers a comfortable and convenient way to travel.
Adria Airways is enlarging its aircraft fleet in line with its business strategy. Two new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft are due to join the fleet by May 2018, meaning that Adria will have a total of three Airbus A319, nine Bombardier CRJ900 and three Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft with which to operate its scheduled services.
The increase in the size of the Adria Airways fleet also means an increase in the number of employees. Adria currently employs 426 people, compared to 416 at the end of the year.