Govt's air connectivity efforts to focus on ten destinations

Ljubljana, 10 March - A call for applications to support airlines flying to Slovenia in line with a law envisaging EUR 5.6 million in state aid to secure better air connectivity is expected to be published this month. The priority list includes ten destinations: Vienna, Brussels, Copenhagen, Athens, Madrid, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Prague, Berlin and Skopje.

The new passenger terminal at Ljubljana Airport.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
File photo

If any funds are left, the list would be expanded to Rome, Stockholm, Oslo, Barcelona, Lisbon, Prishtina and Paris, Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek told the press today.

If any other funds are left, all destinations in the common European area, meaning the EU, Norway, Iceland and the Balkans, will also be included on the list, Bratušek said.

In line with the law passed at the end of January, EUR 5.6 million will be available to airlines in annual subsidies over the next three years. The move is yet to be approved by the European Commission.

"We are in contact almost daily. We expect the approval this month, which means the call for applications could also be published this month," the minister said.

Economy Minister Matjaž Han thinks it is important that this happens as soon as possible. "Without connectivity, there can be no good and export-oriented economy and tourists," he said.

Air traffic in Slovenia is only slowly recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapse of national air carrier Adria Airways in 2019.

The government is tackling the issue with this programme while also analysing the possibility of founding a new flag carrier. "We will discuss this when thorough analyses are conducted," Bratušek said.

The state already provided air connectivity schemes involving subsidies for airlines in 2021 and 2022.

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