Croatia Airlines resumes talks over Ljubljana flights

Croatia Airlines held talks with the Slovenian government late last month to explore options over the potential introduction of flights from Ljubljana. The development comes after the Slovenian government launched a tender for the provision of subsidies to airlines to improve the country’s air connectivity. The meeting between the Croatian flag carrier and the Slovenian Ministry for Economy, Tourism and Sport was attended by Croatia Airlines’ CEO, Jasmin Bajić, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, Slaven Žabo, as well as the company’s Manager for Strategy, Planning and Business Development, Alenka Klemen, who previously served as Adria Airways’ Deputy Chief Commercial Officer, having worked for the former Slovenian flag carrier for 27 years. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Boston Consulting Group, which has composed Croatia Airlines’ post-Covid strategy.

Commenting on the talks with the Slovenian government, Croatia Airlines said, “The meeting between the Slovenian Ministry for Economy, Tourism and Sport and the management of Croatia Airlines was in regards to the Republic of Slovenia’s air connectivity and possible measures to improve it. The meeting was of an informative nature, and we did not make any formal agreements”. The Croatian carrier is now expected to provide the Ministry with a more detailed proposal on potential cooperation with the Slovenian state.
Croatia Airlines has expressed interest in launching operations out of Ljubljana on several occasions since the demise of Adria Airways in late 2019. It last held talks with the Slovenian government on the matter in August 2020. At the time, CEO Bajić, said, “Croatia Airlines is potentially interested in establishing flights from Ljubljana Airport in order to enable passengers from Slovenia to connect to European destinations”. Mr Žabo noted at the time, “We have had some gain on the Slovenian market since Adria Airways’ bankruptcy where we offered certain solutions in order to react to the demand that was there. However, we had not added any flights to Slovenia because our hubs are nearby and we were more focused on our sales and marketing activities in Ljubljana at the time, which helped us significantly increase our market share in Slovenia”.

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