December 19, 2017
The Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure (Ministrstvo za infrastrukturo) has announced that direct flights should be operating between Ljubljana’s Jože Pučnik Airport and the United Arab Emirates in 2018, although more details, such as the airline involved and the starting date, will not be released until next month. If confirmed, then the flights will represent a step forward for Slovenia in the regional competition for routes to the Middle East. Venice is the current leader in this market, with flights operated by Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways, while Zagreb only has flights from the latter at present, although Emirates will also be launching services from the Croatian capital in January 2018.
In addition to Emirates, the Slovenian government has also been wooing Etihad Airways, flydubai and Air Arabia, and the carrier involved is expected to be one of these, with many commentators tipping the budget carrier flydubai. The flights, if and when added, would be a relatively long-haul addition to the cities served by Ljubljana Airport, with the current furthest flights being those to Moscow, and the most exotic destination perhaps Istanbul.
The announcement is another piece of good news for the airport, which just two weeks ago revealed that Adria would start offering direct flights to Brač, Dubrovnik, Bucharest, Geneva, Hamburg and Sofia in March 2018.