STA, 16 June 2021 - A new passenger terminal was inaugurated at the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport on Wednesday. The expansion brings 10,000 square metres of new surfaces, including more space for security checks and baggage handling, and more check-in points. Once opened for business on 1 July, the airport will be able to handle more than 1,200 passengers per hour.
The works on the new terminal started in July 2019. The construction cost EUR 17 million and the equipment another EUR 4 million. The project was on schedule so the new terminal will be able to welcome passengers who will be coming to Slovenia because of the EU presidency as soon as its stint starts on 1 July.
Pierre Dominique Prümm, member of the executive board of airport manager Fraport, praised the new waiting area. He said that all terminals were alike but this one was different. "It has unique architectural elements and materials that represent Slovenia and you can tell it is a Slovenian terminal," he said.
Fraport Slovenija director Zmago Skobir said the idea of a new terminal dated back to the early 2000s, but the project was delayed first by the economic crisis, and then by the problems of flag carrier Adria Airways.
"With the new owner our company got a strategic investor in 2015 who has committed to continuous and long-term development of the airport," he said.
Skobir said that the project had been conducted despite the pandemic and after Adria Airways went bankrupt. "We carried on because we know our business and we believe in it."
Prime Minister Janez Janša said Slovenia had high hopes for the airport, so the state would support plans for further development, including by building a railway connection between the airport and the capital Ljubljana.
He praised Fraport's vision and courage to persist despite the epidemic. He thanked the German company for investing in Slovenia and welcomed its plans for the future, adding that state was obligated to support and reward them.
That is why the government is strongly determined to provide a railway connection between the airport and Ljubljana, he said.
The prime minister said the terminal was an investment that was making a difference and that would contribute to Slovenia's prosperity in the future.
"We are counting on the airport to serve not only tourism but the Slovenian economy and state in general, both in the coming months when Slovenia chairs the EU Council, and in the coming years when travel is restored, restrictions lifted and the epidemic hopefully becomes a thing of the past," Janša said.