Numbers down as Ljubljana Airport plans big for 2012Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is expected to end the year with slightly fewer passengers through its doors than in 2010, as it prepares for major investments in 2012.
With the exception of April, Ljubljana Airport has seen its passenger numbers decrease each month compared to last year. During the month of April the airport saw colossal growth of 114%, although the figure is not representative since the airport was closed during the month last year due to a runway overhaul which coincided with the shutdown of European airspace as a result of the Icelandic volcano ash cloud. While the passenger decrease was slight at the beginning of the year, standing at less than one percent or recording exactly the same amount of passengers as last year, as was the case in March, more worrying trends developed in May. By August the airport’s figures fell by 15% while in September numbers were down 5%. Adria Airways’ recent suspension of several key routes won’t aid the airport’s performance. The airport’s CEO, Zmago Skobir, anticipated a fall in passenger numbers and recently said the airport would experience a short term crisis as a result of Adria’s network cuts. In the first nine months of the year Ljubljana handled 1.097.536 passengers. The airport’s best performance was in 2008 when it welcomed 1.673.050 passengers. Due to April's extraordinary performance, Ljubljana shouldn't see a major fall in passengers by the end of the year.
In order to offset the same scenario repeating itself in 2012, the airport is working on attracting several new carriers, mostly low cost airlines, to begin flights to Slovenia’s capital. Talks are being held with Ryanair, Wizz Air, Vueling, IZair and Norwegian Air Shuttle to begin services next year. Also in 2012, the construction of the airport’s new terminal should begin, as well as the construction of a new apron and cargo terminal as part of the “Aeropolis” project. In a recent World Economic Forum report, Slovenia was ranked highest for having the best airport infrastructure out of all of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. It ranked 69th in the world.