STA, 3 February - Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has announced it will restore flights between Ljubljana and Moscow next week. It is to operate one flight a week until the end of the winter schedule. Currently only three carriers fly from Ljubljana airport - Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia.
Aeroflot's first flight is scheduled for next Friday, 12 February, the operator of Ljubljana airport, Fraport Slovenija, told the STA.
According to web portal Sierra5, the resuming of flights to Ljubljana is yet to be approved by the Russian aviation authorities.
After an absence of 15 years, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot returned to Ljubljana airport in October 2018. As the Covid-19 epidemic started, all of its flights were suspended. Only one charter flight to Russia was organised last November for young Russian athletes.
At present, Ljubljana airport is connected only to Frankfurt through Lufthansa, Belgrade through Air Serbia and Istanbul through Turkish Airlines.
According to web portal Ex-Yu Aviation, Slovenia will record the biggest drop in commercial flights in Europe this month. Compared to last February, air traffic is expected to drop by 90%.
Fraport Slovenija is counting on more traffic in the summer season starting at the end of March. Several carriers announced flights to and from Ljubljana in that period, including Wizz Air with flights to Belgium's Charleroi, Transavia with flights to Amsterdam, Easyjet flying to London's Gatwick and Polish LOT with flights to Warsaw.
Air France is to resume flights to Paris at the end of this month.
The summer schedule is also to include Easyjet's flights to London's Luton, Swiss flying to Zurich, Lufthansa with flights to Munich and Brussels Airlines flying to Brussels.
In May, the Turkish-German carrier SunExpress is to start flying to Antalya again, and Israeli carrier El Al is to set up a connection to Tel Aviv.
British Airways is expected to restore flights to Heathrow at the end of May, while Finnair is to start flying to Helsinki in June.
Fraport Slovenija noted that the situation in the world was changing on a daily basis, so the plans were not final yet.
Slovenia has offered subsidies for foreign air carriers to fly to Ljubljana. Eight airlines - Turkish Airlines, Swiss Air, Air Serbia, Montenegro Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, Wizzair and LOT - won the subsidies worth almost EUR 1 million in the first call for applications in November 2020.
Montenegro Airlines has since gone bankrupt as a result of Covid-19.
Under the terms of the scheme, the recipients of the subsidies will have to operate scheduled flights to at least one airport in Slovenia twice a week in the 2021 summer season, between 28 March and 30 October.