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Slovenia Launches Second Review Into New State Carrier

The Slovenian government recently launched a feasibility study through an expert task force to determine whether it should establish a new national carrier, with its findings to be presented to the cabinet during the summer. It marks the second time in two years that the government has commissioned such an analysis.

Slovenia’s Minister for Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek, said, “My opinion on the matter is not as important as to what these studies will show. Our country has already had one bad experience with its national airline. Not only was it purchased by a catastrophically bad buyer, which led to its bankruptcy, but a few years beforehand, Adria registered huge losses and continued to do so year after year.

We had to provide state aid, and, of course, all of this has to be put on the table so that the government knows all the facts when it decides which way to go. But we can hear the voice of the economy, which of course says that Slovenia needs such a carrier back”.

In 2021, the Slovenian government launched a similar study to determine whether to establish a new carrier. Its finding pointed in favour of a new airline, but the state’s idea to use means from the European Union’s Covid recovery fund was shot down by the block, after which the government gave up on the idea.

Ajda Cuderman, who was the State Secretary at the Ministry for Economy at the time, says the study from two years ago made firm conclusions that the state would benefit from a new national airline. Furthermore, Ms Cuderman claims the Slovenian export and development bank SID was prepared to provide funding for the new carrier.

She accuses select people at the ministry for failing to present full details on the airline to EU officials. She adds the study from two years ago is still available and can be found at the ministry.

As the government awaits the findings on whether it should establish a new national airline, it is preparing to provide airline with seventeen million euros over a three-year period to subsidise the launch of new routes from the country. Last month, Slovenia’s Minister for Economic Development and Technology, Matjaž Han, said, “If we subsidise rail and bus passenger transport, we shouldn’t be afraid to start our own airline and subsidise it as well.

Public transport is much more than economic logic. A new national carrier is being considered, but before we get to that, we cannot stand idly by. That is why we are trying to improve Slovenia’s connectivity by subsidising routes”.

source: exyuaviation