Flydubai plans Ljubljana service

Hybrid carrier Flydubai plans to launch operations from its hub to Ljubljana from late September. The carrier’s planned operating schedule has been published by Ljubljana Airport, based on which services will commence on September 24 and operate three times per week, each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Tickets are expected to go on sale soon. Slovenia has been seeking connectivity to the Gulf for years and talks have taken place with all major carriers from the United Arab Emirates. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure previously noted that Flydubai was negotiating with airport operator Fraport Slovenija over the introduction of flights to Ljubljana. “There are good prospects for the establishment of flights between the UAE and Ljubljana. UAE carriers are interested”, the ministry said at the time. The Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, renewed calls this January for flights to be established between the two countries.

During the pre-pandemic 2019, some 19.483 passengers flew between Ljubljana and the Middle East as origin and destination passengers, based on OAG data. Out of the Gulf markets, Dubai was the largest, accounting for 3.782 travellers. It was followed by Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Doha. These figures indicate travellers who either started or ended their journey in these cities. Flights to the Gulf are also largely used for transfer purposes, which would add to the overall loads for carriers launching flights from the region. In 2019, Istanbul was overwhelmingly used by Ljubljana passengers as the transfer point to reach Dubai with 74% of travellers opting to fly via the Turkish city. Accordingly, Turkish Airlines was the busiest feeder airline, with the same passenger share.

Flydubai and Emirates have a close partnership, with the latter planning to codeshare on the hybrid carrier’s Ljubljana service. Both are owned by the government of Dubai. Emirates’ Area Manager for the…

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