Years In The Making: flydubai Launches Slovenia Flights

After years of efforts from Slovenia’s government and Ljubljana Airport operator, Fraport Slovenia, the country will finally be linked with the Middle East. flydubai is launching flights between Dubai and Ljubljana in September as a three-weekly service that is also codeshared by Emirates.

Years In The Making: flydubai Launches Slovenia Flights
flydubai is coming to Ljubljana, marking the first service between the Middle East and Slovenia. Photo: Getty Images

Finally: Dubai-Ljubljana flights

Slovenia’s Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport will finally receive a nonstop commercial link with the Middle East this year when flydubai launches flights from Dubai to the Slovenian capital.

The services will run as follows:

  • Flight FZ1789 departing Dubai (DXB) for Ljubljana (LJU) on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 10:00 and arriving at 14:15
  • Flight FZ1790 returning from Ljubljana to Dubai on the same days, departing at 15:15 and arriving at 23:05

Flights start on 24th September, and they will operate year-round. The route will be operated by flydubai’s flagship Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and Emirates will codeshare.

Years In The Making: flydubai Launches Slovenia Flights
Emirates and flydubai will continue their partnership on the route to Ljubljana, offering a simple transfer process in Dubai by selling single tickets between the two of them. Photo: flydubai

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Years in the making

The launch of Dubai-Ljubljana flights has been years in the making. Ljubljana was seeking flights to Dubai, Doha, or Abu Dhabi in order for the country to have one-stop access to Australia and Asia.

Presently, Turkish Airlines provides much-needed connectivity for Slovenia via Istanbul, but having a link with Dubai or Doha in addition to having Turkish Airlines was always highly desirable because of the extra one-stop destinations that this would provide.

Previously, what counted most against Ljubljana was that it is in the catchment area of several large airports that are well-connected to the Middle East. Vienna Airport is very close to the Eastern part of Slovenia, while Venice is very close to the West.

Furthermore, Zagreb Airport, serving the capital of Croatia, is even closer. Up until before the pandemic, Zagreb had a daily link to Dubai with an Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft and two daily flights to Doha with Qatar Airways’ Airbus A320 family aircraft.

In the past, Emirates even sold tickets to Ljubljana itself via Zagreb Airport: passengers would land in Zagreb on a scheduled Emirates service and then transfer onto a bus that took them to Ljubljana.

Qatar Airways Doha hub
Qatar Airways served Zagreb twice daily up until the pandemic, and sources indicate that a substantial proportion of passengers were from Slovenia. Photo: Getty Images

Slovenia and the UAE are open to tourists

Passengers flying from Slovenia to the United Arab Emirates on Flydubai’s Ljubljana-Dubai route will be able to enter the country fairly easily, with just a negative PCR COVID-19 test required.

Meanwhile, the UAE is on Slovenia’s red list (but not the “dark red” list), so entry into Slovenia from Dubai is more complicated with testing required regardless of the person’s vaccination status. Still, this may well change in the future as the flights are not launching for another three months.

What do you think of the news that Slovenia will finally receive a link to the Middle East? Do you think Flydubai will be increasing frequencies soon? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.