Ljubljana related

21 Sep 2019, 12:24 PM

STA, 21 September 2019 – The newspaper Večer accuses Adria Airway's German owners, 4K Invest, of making good money out of the former Slovenian flag carrier, saying the German "vultures" have squeezed every cent out of the company since they bought it in 2016.

The Miro Cerar government sold flag carrier Adria Airways in January 2016 after the Alenka Bratušek government put it on a list of 15 companies to be privatised in 2013.

For the German financial fund, which has absolutely no experience in aviation industry, to buy it, the state had injected Adria with EUR 3 million in taxpayer money.

Then the "experienced" German rescuers of troubled companies, skilled in creative accounting, squeezed from Adria a few million euros, and nobody knows where they have ended up.

In the same way, it took over Switzerland's Darwin Airline only to send it into receivership six months later, a case the Swiss law enforcement is still investigating.

But eventually the inevitable happened: passenger numbers started to fall, bank accounts have been blocked and part of its fleet grounded.

The last attempt by the German financial magicians to get a capital injection from the Slovenian state to keep Adria alive has fallen through, which is good news.

"If Adria's vital routes had to be temporarily kept alive, the German vultures should not be part of this story anymore," Večer says in the commentary Aviation Vultures.

Both pilots and Slovenian aviation experts have been warning the Adria owners do not know what they are doing, and it seems they are right.

4K Invest's business record shows the fund has sent into receivership at least four companies under the guise of restructuring. And when the rescuers left, several thousand workers have been left jobless.

"Adria is now in a similar position, a shell with negative capital, without assets and with an unmanageable debt," Večer says on Saturday.

20 Sep 2019, 13:11 PM

Note: Updated 20:30, 20/09/19

STA, 20 September 2019 - The Civil Aviation Agency has grounded two Adria Airways Bombardier CRJ900 planes, after lessors have terminated lease contracts for the two planes due to payment default. Adria has already cancelled several flights scheduled for today and several were rescheduled.

According to Adria, the Civil Aviation Agency issued an oral ban for the two planes that Adria leased from Trident Aviation Leasing Service on Thursday afternoon.

A written decree is to be issued within the next five days.

Adria management met the agency's supervisors on Thursday evening to discuss the current situation. Adria asserted in a written statement that their flight operations with the remaining planes were safe, which the agency's head Rok Marolt confirmed for the STA today.

The agency is still deciding on Adria's operating licence. According to Adria, these are two separate procedures.

However, Marolt added that the procedure which is related to the financial situation of the company was "definitely related" to the licence procedure. "All this will definitely affect the final decision," he said.

Marolt said the agency was monitoring the situation at Adria by the hour. "If any deviations from flight security were detected, we will act immediately irrespective of the licence procedure."

So far, five morning flights have been cancelled, including the Skopje-Ljubljana, Ljubljana-Zürich, Munich-Ljubljana, Zürich-Ljubljana, and Vienna-Ljubljana flights.

According to Adria's web site, the flights scheduled for this afternoon will be carried out but most have been delayed by an hour and a half.

Delays were already reported on Thursday. Passengers going to Paris, Copenhagen and Amsterdam were stuck at the airport. Flights to Brussels, Tirana and Prague were also cancelled.

Adria has not commented on the matter yet. CEO Holger Kowarsch denied media reports that lessors have terminated lease contracts for the two planes in a comment for the STA last night, saying that talks with lessors were still under way.

News portal 24ur reported today that Adria employees had staged a spontaneous protest at noon. Pilots and cabin crew reportedly gathered to protest about the uncertainty and lack of information about the state of the company and their careers.

Trident Aviation Leasing Service is part of the Falko group, which owns the Irish low-budget carrier CityJet and is one of the biggest creditors of Adria, according to Siol.net.

Falko was also mentioned as a possible saviour of Slovenia's former flag carrier which has been in German ownership since 2016.

Adria's potential receivership would cause problems to the state administration, given the upcoming Slovenia's EU presidency in the second half of 2021. Kowarsch reportedly discussed this with Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in the spring.

The Infrastructure Ministry said today that it did not have means at its disposal to assist Adria; however it was sorry to hear about the airline's unfortunate situation.

"Our priority at the moment is that maximum safety of Adria's flight operations is ensured," reads the ministry's press release.

The state, which sold Adria in 2016, will be obliged to provide Slovenia's air connectivity with the world in case Adria's operating license is revoked.

The ministry has thus already prepared a proposal which would enable co-funding of certain flight routes in line with relevant regulations.

If Adria goes bankrupt and no other airlines step up to provide necessary services, then the state would have to set up a public airline enterprise - a long and complicated procedure which would have to be approved by the EU.

Meanwhile, Adria said today that the company was facing serious financial issues and was looking for solutions to tackle them.

Adria's fleet includes 16 planes at the moment, but the carrier is leasing many of them to other airlines together with flight crews.

 

 

 

 

All our stories on the troubled airline can be found here

17 Sep 2019, 21:06 PM

STA, 17 September 2019 - Adria Airways has signed a new collective bargaining agreement with pilots, a move the airline says that "calms down the labour situation at the company".

The new agreement "allows management to remain focused on stability of operations and provision of services," the company said after signing the agreement on Tuesday.

The deal, valid through 2023, was signed a little over a week after a tentative deal was reached with pilots, helping the airline to avert a series of multi-day strikes that the pilots had announced for September and early October.

During that time the Trade Union of Pilots put the deal to a vote, which appears to have been successful.

Adria did not disclose the details of the deal, while Marko Kastelic, a member of the pilot union, told the STA the pilots were very satisfied with what had been achieved since work conditions would substantially improve.

Pilots had been complaining about the bad working conditions before and after the sale of this state-owned company to the German fund 4K Invest was completed in early 2016.

Since months beset by delays, flight cancellations and unannounced mergers of flights, the airline has had financial trouble for a while and is currently looking for a strategic partner.

Adding to its woes, it risks losing its operating licence due to what media reports suggest is a dismal financial state.

The Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency is expected to take a decision by the end of October. It can either decide to let things stands as they are, it may permanently or temporarily revoke its licence, or it may issue a temporary licence.

Kastelic was hopeful the airline would be able to resolve its operational and financial problems.

All our stories about the ups and downs of Adria are here

09 Sep 2019, 15:06 PM

Ex-Yu Aviation reports that Alenka Bratušek, Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, stated on Friday that a proposed new law on aviation “would allow some forms of subsidies on certain routes. But it would be four or five destinations, not all of Adria’s flights”.

Related: Govt. Developing Contingency Plans if Adria Airways Collapses

Adria Airways has had a difficult year, with cancellations, dropped flights, and suspicions over its financial health, and the carrier currently in breach of EU regulations as it has not yet submitted its 2018 financial report to the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency. Moreover, the Slovenian government cannot offer direct aid to Adria until 2021, as the carried received state funds in 2011 and EU rules only permit this once every ten years.

All our stories on Adria Airways are here

07 Sep 2019, 09:40 AM

STA, 6 September 2019 - Slovenian carrier Adria Airways has reached an agreement with pilots that averts a series of strikes that were due to begin on Sunday and threatened to severely disrupt air traffic in Slovenia.

"Adria Airways will carry out scheduled and charter flights according to the planned flight schedule," the company said in a brief press release on Friday without revealing the details of the agreement.

Marko Kastelic, a representative of the pilots' trade union, said that the reason the strike was called off was that they adopted a draft of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The draft will now be put to a vote to the trade union's membership. "Once it is endorsed, which is what we expect will happen, we'll also cancel the other two strikes," said Kastelic.

The trade union of pilots had threatened to start striking in order to force a change of the collective bargaining agreement, which formally expired on 1 September.

The pilots sought to improve what they said were "unbearable working conditions", urging the management to "stop violating the existent collective bargaining agreement".

Adria pilots complained about the bad working conditions before and after the sale of this state-owned company to the German fund 4K Invest was completed in early 2016.

Since months beset by delays, flight cancellations and unannounced mergers of flights, the airline has had financial trouble for a while and is currently looking for a strategic partner.

Despite its problems, Adria accounts for roughly half the traffic at the Jože Pučnik International Airport in Ljubljana.

Related: Adria Airways’ difficult 2019

06 Sep 2019, 13:24 PM

2019 has been quite a year for Adria Airways. In January in seemed that the carrier had overcome it’s financial problems, at least to the extent it was allowed to keep operating. In February it announced cuts to its summer schedule, and got a new owner. In April a deal with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, which would have seen the Russian company become a strategic partner of Adria, fell through, while in July there was talk of the carrier actually collapsing – after days of cancelled, delayed, and merged flights – with the government announcing contingency plans if this came to pass. The same week saw suspicions raised over Adria Airway’s upcoming financial report, followed a few days later by a claim from managers that the problems at the airline were now being addressed. More recently, pilots at Adria Airways have announced a set of three 3-day strikes, with the first due to start 8 September (2019).

The latest piece of bad news is that Adria had to cancel flights to and from Vienna last night because it was due to be met by a lawyer for the FairPlane compensation claims company, and there was a risk that the aircraft would be seized over an unpaid debt. The €250 debt is in relation to a compensation claim that a court ruled Adria must pay an Austrian passenger on a cancelled charter flight in September 2017, which was due to fly from Cephalonia (Greece) to Graz.

In a press release, FairPlane, acting on behalf of the passenger, stated:

The deadline for the payment expired on Thursday September 5, 2019 so at 19.00 CEST, an executor, police and a lawyer were present at the gate at Vienna Airport. Usually, in such cases, sales from on board duty free, as well as other property belonging to the airline found immediately on site is seized. If nothing can be held or there is resistance from the crew, the executor can impound the aircraft.

According to reports in the Slovenian media, after cancelling last night’s flight Adria transported the passengers between the Slovenian and Austrian capitals by bus. While it remains unclear as to whether Adria has paid the €250 it owes the passenger, this morning the carrier did operate a flight to Vienna.

03 Sep 2019, 18:30 PM

UPDATE: On Friday, 6 September, a deal was reached and the strikes were cancelled (see more details here)

September 3, 2019

The possibility of a series of three-day strikes announced for September by the Traffic Pilots Union of Slovenia (SPPS) is becoming increasingly realistic following another round of unsuccessful contract negotiations between Adria Airways’ leadership and its pilots.

In a recent press release, the Pilots Union explains that a request for the start of negotiations for a new collective agreement has been submitted several times to Adria Airways’ management since the end of the summer 2018. The main reason for the request being made at the time was that the old contract expired at the end of August 2019 and the Union hoped to have enough time to negotiate a new ones. Negotiations, however, only began in May of 2019 and included the union’s demand for the Adria Airways leadership to cease all the violations of the previous work contract.

As the talks apparently proved unsuccessful, on August 15 the union declared a series of strikes for September.

With the end of the old collective agreement and without a new one in sight, the Traffic Pilots Union of Slovenia (SPPS) announced to the media that the series of 3-day strikes are about to begin this Sunday. The dates on which Adria’s pilots will not fly unless an agreement is suddenly reached are as follows:

Strike #1: from September 8, midnight (00:00) till midnight (23:59) September 10, also

Strike #2: from September 18, midnight (00:00) till midnight September 20

Strike #3: from September 30, midnight (00:00) till midnight October 2

Apart from the announced strikes, portal 24UR reports that Adria Airways also faces a growing number of angry passengers whose flights get cancelled or rescheduled.

Adria Airways was the only Slovenian airline with its base in the International Airport Jože Pučnik (also known as Brnik or Ljubljana Airport). The state sold the company in 2016 to 4K Invest, a Luxembourg-based restructuring fund, which has been running the company since.

All our stories about Adria Airways can be found here

03 Sep 2019, 17:00 PM

Ex-Yu Aviation, your best source for all regional flight news, reports that Adria Airways will replace its flights to Manchester, to be discontinued at the end of the summer schedule, with a twice weekly service to Liverpool.

The flights are set to leave Ljubljana at 06:35 on Wednesdays, and 17:15 on Saturdays. The return trips leave at 08:40 (Wed.) and 19:20 (Sat.). Tickets can already be purchased online.

26 Aug 2019, 14:57 PM

If you have finished high school, are fluent in Slovenian, have knowledge of English and basic comprehension of another language, as well as good health and fitness, then you have the opportunity to apply for a job as one of the Ljubljana-based cabin crew for Adria Airways.

The positions are full time, open to applicants with from 0 to 1 year of work experience, and the deadline to send in your CV is 22 September (2019). More details – in Slovenian – can be found here.

27 Jun 2019, 16:38 PM

STA, 27 June 2019 - Addressing the press in the face of mounting criticism on Thursday, the management of Adria Airways said it was aware of the carrier's issues but was also working hard to resolve them. CEO Holger Kowarsch said talks with potential strategic partners were under way, but he added Adria could also survive on its own.

Adria, Slovenia's former flag carrier which is in German ownership since 2016 and has struggled with liquidity problems, will do all it can to reduce the number of cancellations and delays, Kowarsch said, but he added that these were normal for all airlines and could not be avoided entirely.

Chief operating officer Tadej Notersberg said the challenges had gotten tougher in May primarily because of an unexpected protraction of maintenance work on aircraft and staff issues.

Now, only one plane remains subject to maintenance work, while 50 pilots and 70 cabin staff members were employed in the past year, with training taking a while.

Adria rejected media reports of a high pilot turnover rate, saying staff turnover had not increased and was lower than at comparable companies in Europe.

Meanwhile, Kowarsch did not wish to talk about any names, but said Adria was in talks with several potential partners. While the company was allegedly seeking state aid recently, Kowarsch added it could also survive without a strategic partner.

Adria did not negotiate a new contract with aircraft maintenance firm Adria Tehnika after the old one expired, but it has already picked a new partner, whose name will be revealed next week. Media reports suggest a Scandinavian company will take over maintenance in September.

Notersberg said Adria parted ways with Adria Tehnika because it was not happy with it, while he said the change will definitely not affect safety.

All our stories about Adria Airways are here

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