airBaltic does not rule out potential Ljubljana base in future

airBaltic has not ruled out the prospect of potentially opening a base in Ljubljana following talks with the Slovenian government on the matter last year. In late 2023, the Slovenian government held discussions with representatives from the Latvian flag carrier and discussed the possibility of the opening of a new base in the Slovenian capital. At the time, airBaltic representatives said they had no plans to open a base in the city, noting that such action would require substantial financial and organisational investment, along with the need to establish a new brand on the Slovenian market. However, asked by EX-YU Aviation News weather it has reconsidered its position, the airline noted, “We cannot comment on this specific case, but considering our fleet growth in the future, we are open to investigating different opportunities and underserved markets across Europe”.
airBaltic launched operations between Riga and Ljubljana last month, and has since upgraded the service from seasonal to year-round operations. The route benefits from the country’s subsidy program aimed at improving Ljubljana’s connectivity. airBaltic has multiple bases and opened its latest one last December on Gran Canaria island. In May 2022, it opened a base in Tampere in Finland. Furthermore, it has bases in Tallinn and Vilnius, alongside its main hub in Riga. However, the carrier’s CEO, Martin Gauss, recently said he did not see potential in establishing a base in the Balkans. “We see traffic demand into the Nordics from these regions. However, to base the aircraft in the Balkans would not make sense because we use the aircraft to and from the hubs”, Mr Gauss said.
In April, the Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure confirmed the receipt of an application from Cyprus Airways for the opening of a base and the launch of several routes from Ljubljana. However, it highlighted that the application was incomplete and required modification before any decision could be made. The Cypriot flag carrier submitted its proposal as part of the Slovenian government’s open call for subsidies for the launch of new routes from the country. The Ministry for Infrastructure stated, “The aid allocation committee formally assessed the application and identified deficiencies that hinder a decision based on its merits. The carrier has been requested to address these shortcomings. A comprehensive review of the application and a final decision will be made following the necessary modifications”.

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