Ljubljana to survive without Adria

Adria’s fight for survival continues this week

The CEO of Ljubljana Airport, Zmago Skobir, has said that Slovenia’s main airport will survive without its main customer if its heads towards bankruptcy. Skobir states that the airport would experience a short term crisis but its planned investments for 2012 wouldn’t be affected. Next year, the construction of the airport’s new terminal should begin, as well as the construction of a new apron and cargo terminal. “If Adria were to go bankrupt, the airport would experience a 12 month crisis during which it would have to find partners to fill in the void of up to 70% of flights operated from the airport”, Skobir explains.

Last week, officials from Adria Airways met with several banks to which the airline owes millions of Euros. Adria wants the banks to convert their claims to the company into ownership stakes, as envisaged in the restructuring plan report. However the largest bank in Slovenia, Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), has refused to convert Adria’s debt into an ownership stake. Adria is now hoping that it will be able to change NLB’s decision during the week. The Government of Slovenia has said it will provide Adria with a 50 million Euro bailout only if the banks agree to Adria’s proposal. Adria has been urging the banks to convert their debt into ownership stating that it has only enough means to operate flights for another month.

Zmago Skobir from Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport says he is optimistic when it comes to Adria, claiming that Slovenia as a country, as well as the airport and banks, would suffer from its demise. He reminds that there are virtually no countries in Europe that don’t have a national carrier, naming only Macedonia and Slovakia as the exceptions.

If Adria is saved by the banks and the state, as it is widely expected, it will introduce large scale cost cutting measures and will cut up to a third of its destination network which would impact its hub. As a result, Ljubljana is finalising an agreement with Ryanair to commence flights from the Slovenian capital next summer.


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