Brussels Airlines Steps In To Cover Ljubljana Route Following Adria Collapse

In the wake of Adria Airways’ bankruptcy, Lufthansa owned Brussels Airlines is stepping in the fill the void. The national flag carrier and largest airline of Brussels will launch services to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana from November 4th, operating flights six times per week between there and their hub at Brussels Airport.

Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines has stepped in to fill the Adria shaped gap. Photo: Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines steps in

The demise of Adria has left a major gap in connectivity between the Slovenian capital and the rest of Europe. Although Brussels Airlines hasn’t said as much, it’s clear it is stepping into the void to replace some of that connectivity.

Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines will start flying the route from November 4th. Image: GCMap

Brussels Airlines will start flying to the Slovenian capital from November 4th, 2019. According to a press release, the flight schedule currently looks like this:

  • From Brussels to Ljubljana: Flight number SN3343 departs at 15:30, arriving at 17:10.
  • From Ljubljana to Brussels: Flight number SN3344 departs at 17:55, arriving in Brussels at 19:45.

Flights will operate every day of the week except Saturday. The aircraft flying the route will be an Airbus A319, equipped with 141 seats. Bookings on the route will open from today, 2nd October 2019.

Brussels Airlines
The route will be operated using an Airbus A319. Photo: Brussels Airlines

For Star Alliance loyalists, this will come as welcome news, keeping the allied points connections alive between Eastern Europe and elsewhere. From Brussels Airport, further connections can be secured onwards to destinations as diverse as Berlin, Lisbon, London and Tel Aviv.

Fraport expects to replace flights

The airport at Ljubljana was largely reliant on Adria Airways to sustain its business. 11 of 29 routes from the airport were served by the now-defunct carrier, leaving a large hold in Ljubljana’s scheduling. However, the airport is confident in finding replacements for those slots.

As reported by Reuters, Fraport, the manager and owner of Ljubljana Airport, thinks it will replace most lost flights within a year and a half. Business director of Fraport Slovenia, Zmago Skobir, reportedly told a news conference,

“There is demand for these destinations and we have received the first signals that they will be replaced.”

While routes may be slowly replaced by carriers such as Brussels Airlines, the debt owed to Fraport by Adria may be somewhat harder to recover. According to Reuters, Adria owed in the region of €4m ($4.36m) to Fraport when it collapsed.

Ljubljana Airport
Fraport remains committed to developing Ljubljana Airport. Photo: Ljubljana Airport

This loss is compounded by the fact that the airport had recently embarked on an expanded passenger terminal for the airport. The project was slated to be costing around €17.3m ($18.9m) and should have been completed within two years.

While Fraport has said it does not intend to cut staff and still projects finishing the year in profit, for the 500 employees of Adria, the outlook is less than rosy. Although the Slovenian government has been making some noises about starting another national airline, analysts doubt that anything will come of it considering how little the government intervened to save Adria from failure.