The Slovenia Times

Qatar Airways contemplating Ljubljana-Doha flights


"The launch of flights to Skopje and Sarajevo will be brought forward, and Ljubljana is being looked at," said the Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker at the Paris Air Show in the end of June, according to the Ex-Yu Aviation News web portal.

With this, Ljubljana would become the fifth Qatar Airways destination in the former Yugoslavia, following Croatian Zagreb, Serbian Belgrade, Macedonian Skopje and Bosnian Sarajevo. This would also be the first direct connection between Ljubljana and the Gulf countries.

Ex-Yu Aviation News pointed out that the Ljubljana airport has been facing stiff competition from Zagreb and Venice, but that the possibility of direct flights between Ljubljana and Doha was already mentioned by the Qatari Minister of Economy and Trade Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani during his visit to Slovenia in May 2016.

Qatar Airways could introduce direct flights to Ljubljana as part of their so-called "plan B", after it was forced to cancel flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

Al Baker pointed out that they were planning on introducing 24 new destinations even before the diplomatic crisis. "We could not do it because we had capacity restraints. Now that we have released capacity from the eighteen destinations we have been illegally barred from operating, we are going to accelerate the other regions of the world," he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut all diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar on 5 June, isolating the small Gulf country, which they accused, among other things, of supporting terrorism.

In the recent years, Slovenia has been striving to get direct flights between Ljubljana and Dubai, but the Emirates airline from the United Arab Emirates ended up choosing Zagreb instead of Ljubljana.


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