Fraport defends record on Ljubljana Airport performance

Fraport Slovenija, the operator of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, has rejected criticism from parts of the Slovenian government that it has not done enough to improve the country’s connectivity. Ljubljana Airport has recorded one of the slowest recovery rates in Europe compared to the pre-pandemic era, however, unlike most, it is also dealing with the fallout from the collapse of its main customer, Adria Airways, which declared bankruptcy less than six months prior to the global health emergency. “Ljubljana Airport is recovering well, although one needs to take into account its specific circumstances. We differ from other airports in the region in that we don’t have domestic traffic. We also have no ethnic traffic, and we are not a Greek island, meaning we are not a mass tourist destination, which makes our recovery slower”, the General Manager of Fraport Slovenija, Babett Stapel. said.

Slovenia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek, recently noted that Fraport needed to increase traffic at the airport, adding that at times she feels as if Fraport does not share the government’s goals. The country’s Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Matjaž Han, added, “It is necessary to engage much more in bilateral talks with carriers and attract them to start flying to Slovenia. This is also Fraport’s job. However, this can make things more complicated or simpler since Fraport is owned by Lufthansa. Therefore, one could interpret this in different ways”. Lufthansa has an 8.4% stake in Fraport Slovenija’s parent company from Germany.
Ms Stapel argues that Ljubljana Airport is on “a very good path to recovery”. Responding to critics, the General Manager noted, “I wish that authors of such accusations would contact us first, so that we could explain to them how the numbers show something completely different”. Ljubljana Airport expects to welcome 1.2 million passengers this year, while pre-Covid figures should be reached in 2026. Ms Stapel pointed out that discounts are offered to new carries launching flights to Slovenia and that Fraport Slovenija’s fees are competitive. She further noted the company employed 130 people in the past two years and ample investment is either ongoing or planned.
Ljubljana Airpot summer 2023 network

Commenting on the Slovenian government’s plans to set up a new national carrier, Ms Stapel said Fraport was not included in discussions on the matter but added that any airline is welcome in Ljubljana. “This decision will have to be taken by the state. It would be important for us that this airline increases connectivity and is sustainably managed”.

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