The budget carrier Ryanair has announced a recruitment day in Ljubljana on November 14 (2019), the first time it has sought to hire Slovenian cabin crew members. As noted on Ex-Yu Aviation, successful candidates will take part in a six-week training course covering everything from passenger safety to customer service. In a touch that will be familiar to Ryanair customers, candidates will need to pay a fee for the training, although the company – Europe's biggest airline – will give people the option of having this deducted from their salaries after they start getting paid.
Candidates for cabin crew should have good knowledge of English, both written and spoken, an EU passport and good computer skills, and those who are successful will receive a two-year contract, staff travel rates, a potential productivity bonus of €1,800 per year and a competitive basic salary plus variable flight pay. Registration for recruitment in Ljubljana closes November 12, while the assessment date will be November 14, with more details here.
Although Ryanair briefly operated a service between London Stanstead and Maribor in 2007 and 2008, Slovenia is currently the only EU nation in which the carrier has no services.
STA, 8 November - The state-owned bad bank has rejected reports that it had presented to former Adria Airways pilots a plan for a potential new flag carrier, while confirming for the STA that it would present to the finance and economy ministries next week calculations on the feasibility of establishment of such a company.
Responding on Friday to yesterday's unofficial report by Radio Slovenija, Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) chief executive director Matej Pirc rejected it, while saying he had indeed met with a representative of former Adria pilots.
Pirc said that he had recently met with pilot Primož Jovanović, who has been calling for a state intervention, but added that the meetings had been requested by the latter as he wanted to present his calculations related to feasibility of the idea to establish a new flag carrier.
He said that, given that the bad bank was preparing calculations of its own, which included several scenarios with different assumptions, he was interested in what pilots had to say.
Radio Slovenija said that the new carrier would have five Canadair aircraft and 200 employees, and that a EUR 20 million loss was expected in the first year after incorporation, which Pirc labelled as excessive numbers.
He said that BAMC was advocating a "slimmer organisation", and not a company with 200 employees, but admitted that it would be hard for the company to function without making a loss.
The national radio also said yesterday that the government was expected to decide by the end of the month whether it will establish a new flag carrier, which, according to some accounts, would be called Air Slovenia.
Radio Slovenija added it would be easiest to establish the new company by purchasing Adria Airways, which went into receivership in early October, as a whole. A call for bids issued by Adria receiver will close on 11 November.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek told the weekly Mladina last week that a regional air carrier could become a partner of the company, while refusing to reveal any details.
Ex-Yu Aviation reports that Lufthansa is not interested in working with the Slovenian government to develop a new national carrier. It’s understood that the German firm expressed its lack of interest several weeks ago, leading to a visit to Frankfurt last week by the Slovenian Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek. While the minister obviously failed to make a case for Lufthansa setting up a new carrier – which, under the Slovenian plans would have launched in early 2020 – Lufthansa is among several airlines now adding new services to Ljubljana is the wake of Adria Airway’s collapse.
Adria’s bankruptcy came after having been bought by 4K Invest, a Munich-based, Luxembourg-registered investment fund. 4k Invest’s only previous experience in owning an airline was gained with Switzerland’s Darwin Airline, which the fund rebranded as Adria Airways Switzerland before the carrier entered bankruptcy proceedings. The Swiss authorities are currently investigating 4K Invest’s role in the collapse, with accusations bankruptcy fraud and mismanagement.
All our stories on Adria Airways are here
STA, 15 October 2019 - Economy Ministry State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar, accompanied by the top executives of Slovenia's bad bank, met with representatives of Lufthansa in Frankfurt to analyse the aviation market in the wake of the receivership of the German-owned Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry said the visit by Štravs Podlogar and by Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) CEO Matej Pirc and the chairman of BAMC's board of directors Tomaž Besek was part of the market analysis.
It added that any potential decisions on the part of the government would also need to consider the plans of Lufthansa, which has already established a few new links with the Ljubljana airport through its subsidiaries.
No detailed information about the outcome of today's meeting with the representatives of the Germany airline that was Adria's key partner is expected before Thursday.
Štravs Podlogar, who is in Frankfurt as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said in parliament last Friday that the ministry was examining legal and organisational alternatives that would help fill the void created by Adria's bankruptcy. She said talks with different stakeholders were under way.
The efforts also include BAMC representatives, who have already provided explanations regarding the implications of a potential decision to set up a state airline company.
Another alternative, a bill that would allow the government to subsidise air links vital to Slovenia, was defeated by the parliamentary Infrastructure Committee last Thursday.
All our stories on Adria are here
If you’re not a frequent flier maybe the Adria Airways collapse feels rather abstract, but a study by ForwardKeys, a travel analytics firm, claims that it cut 59.7% of international seat capacity to and from Slovenia, and the loss of direct flight connections with 24 countries, figures that make the disruption easy to imagine.
The study noted the loss of regular flights from Slovenia to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Season flights to and from Estonia, Georgia and Greece are also unavailable, while Adria’s collapse cut the irregular services to and from Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Romania and Ukraine.
The report, which can be found here, also states that key source markets like Austria, Germany and France has also been affected, as Adria Airways accounted for 99.6%, 87.3% and 50.8% of seat capacity on flights for these countries.
Ex-Yu Aviation reports that former employees of Adria Airways are claiming that a foreign carrier, which cannot be named for confidentiality reasons, is planning to set up a new business based at Ljubljana Airport, one that will hire some of the staff who lost their jobs in the collapse of the Slovenian carrier. The new firm would lease aircraft and use the Air Operator’s Certificate of its foreign owner, making a rapid start to operations possible. More details can be found here, while all our stories on Adria are here
Local media are reporting that the government is considering setting up Air Slovenia, a new national carrier. This would take the place of Adria Airways, the former national airline that was sold to a Luxembourg-based investment company, “4k Invest”, in 2016, and is now in the early stages of bankruptcy proceedings, with all flights cancelled.
Air Slovenia was proposed by Zdravko Počivalšek, the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, as establishing a new company would enable the government to provide subsidies for the carrier. While nothing is certain yet, the Minister claimed that the new national airline could launch services at the end of February 2020, with a ten to twelve aircraft and a schedule serving fifteen destinations.
All our stories on Adria are here
STA, 3 October 2019 - The government has endorsed changes to the aviation act that create a legal basis for the state to subsidise crucial air links with the country following the collapse of flag carrier Adria Airways, if this proves necessary.
In line with the proposed changes, the state could subsidise flight connections with Ljubljana if other airlines did not set up commercial flights.
The changes had been drawn up by the Infrastructure Ministry as Adria was heading for receivership.
This is one of the two possible steps the state can take in the aftermath of Adria's collapse. The other is to found a new air carrier.
Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj said after Thursday's session that Slovenian Sovereign Holding and the Bank Asset Management Company had been tasked with calculating the potential costs of each solution.
The option of setting up a new company was not discussed by the cabinet today.
In line with the proposed changes, subsidies would be possible for connections that are of vital importance for the country in terms of economic and social development. State intervention in such cases is also allowed under the EU legislation.
But Betroncelj added the legislative proposal was yet to be coordinated with the European Commission. A decree will need to be passed and a call for applications published to create equal opportunities for all, he noted.
The Infrastructure Ministry would be able to launch a procedure to set up an "obligatory public service" if no air carrier with a licence of an EU member state offered connections that are important for Slovenia for economic reasons.
The necessary funds would be provided by the government. The ministry could not provide an estimation of potential costs of this service yet. "We have no way of knowing which routes will not be covered by the market itself," Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek told the press.
She would like the legislative motion to be pushed through parliament, so that the state can act if necessary. Bratušek said she had also proposed to coalition partners to consider supporting connections with Maribor, Slovenia's second largest city.
For now it seems that the Ljubljana airport operator, Fraport Slovenija, will manage to restore some of the crucial connections with Ljubljana.
The German Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss International Airlines, both of which are members of the Star Alliance, will be offering flights connecting Ljubljana to Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, in the winter season.
The Belgian air carrier Brussels Airlines, also part of Lufthansa Group, is introducing six Brussels-Ljubljana flights a week.
Bratušek welcomed these solutions, saying she would be particularly pleased if the ticket prices will indeed be lower than Adria's.
Receivership proceedings for Adria Airways was officially launched yesterday, with unofficial information indicating the company's debt amounts to EUR 90 million.
Adria has not published its 2018 business report yet, but a document obtained by the newspaper Finance suggests that at the end of last year its long- and short-term liabilities reached EUR 21.5 million and EUR 54.6 million, respectively.
In the nine months of this year, the liabilities allegedly rose by another EUR 20 million to EUR 90 million.
Receiver Janez Pustatičnik said today that contracts for Adria's hired planes had already been cancelled. "If any real opportunity arose for continuing any potentially profitable segment, so that this would increase bankruptcy estate, we will look into it and act in line with the law."
He expects the situation to be assessed in the coming weeks. The amount of claims, which creditors can file within the next three months, will be revealed in the opening report, he said.
All our stories on Adria are here
While a number of airlines have announced new or increased services to fill the gaps created by the collapse of Adria Airways, no company has yet stepped in to serve the Ljubljana to Vienna route, with Austrian Airlines announcing that it has no intentions to do so, only serving the Slovene market via Klagenfurt. In an official statement, the company said: “Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers up to three daily connections from Vienna to Klagenfurt as an alternative to the termination of Adria Airways flight operations to Ljubljana.”
All our stories on Adria are here
STA, 2 October 2019 - The Kranj District Court launched today receivership proceedings for Adria Ariways, after the German-owned air carrier filed for receivership on Monday.
The procedure, in which creditors will have three months to file their claims, will be managed by receiver Janez Pustatičnik.
Passengers who had bought tickets for Adria's flights which were subsequently cancelled have been urged to report their claims as well.
Those who bought the tickets with their bank card can ask their banks for a refund, the Market Inspectorate said today. If their motion is denied, they can turn to the Slovenian Bank Association.
The Slovenian flag carrier, which was sold to the German turnaround fund 4K Invest in 2016, said on Monday that the proposal had been filed due to insolvency and in line with legal provisions applying in such a situation.
Adria had been struggling with financial difficulties for some time, with the problems deepening further after the sale, even though the new owner announced growth, several capital increases and a new strategic partner.
Adria ended up selling all of its planes, while several of those rented were confiscated in recent years by leasing companies due to unpaid debts. The company, which employs 558 people, also owes part of the August wages and has reportedly failed to pay the social contributions for September.
After the management filed for receivership on Monday, the Civil Aviation Agency also automatically revoked the air carrier's operating license.
Other airlines are already moving to fill the void created by Adria's collapse. The German Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss International Airlines, both of which are members of the Star Alliance, will be offering flights connecting Ljubljana to Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich, in the winter season.
Next to the links with Brussels and Vienna, these connections are considered crucial for Slovenia's connectivity with the world.
The Belgian air carrier Brussels Airlines, also part of Lufthansa Group, is introducing six Brussels-Ljubljana flights a week. Tickets are available for sale as of today, while the first flights are scheduled for 4 November.
Several other companies already flying to Ljubljana are also increasing the number of flights to the Slovenian capital and using bigger planes for the route to adjust to the larger number of passengers.
Receivership proceedings were also launched today at the Kranj District Court for Adria's subsidiary Adria Airways Letalska Šola, which used to train Adria's pilots. Blaž Poljanšek was appointed receiver.
Adria's school for pilots was set up in 1980 in cooperation with the Ljubljana Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Initially, it was to train only future Adria pilots, but later offered training for pilots of private sports planes as well as professional pilots of the highest ranks. It has trained more than 2,800 pilots.
Its last year's revenue topped EUR 300,000, while net lost almost reached EUR 340,000. The company also had more than EUR 840,000 in short-term liabilities.
All our stories about Adria are here