EUR 5 million to boost Slovenia’s air links

Ljubljana – The government has published an open call worth EUR 5 million to promote resuming Slovenia’s air links and co-fund costs incurred in providing flight services to the country. During the summer season, the recipients of the funds will have to operate at least two flights to Slovenia weekly for no less than two months.

The government would like to boost Slovenia’s air links with European and third countries, reads the call, published in the Official Gazette on Monday.

Moreover, the government aims to maintain current regular international flights and support setting up new regular services by carriers that stopped flying to Slovenia due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eligible for applying are carriers which run or will run regular services to at least one Slovenian airport. The airlines applying in the first or second phase of the call will be required to operate flights to a Slovenian airport at least two times per week for two months at the minimum during next year’s summer season – between 28 March and 30 October.

Those applying in the third phase of the call will have to provide services between 31 October and 31 December in 2021 two times weekly.

There is EUR 1.5 million set aside for the first phase, EUR 2.3 million for the second phase and EUR 1.2 million for the third.

The deadline for submitting applications for the first phase is 9 November this year, 10 June 2021 for the second and 11 October 2021 for the third phase.

Slovenia implemented in March a number of anti-corona measures, including air travel restrictions. After lifting the ban on passenger air travel in May, carriers started to return to Ljubljana airport, however the number and frequency of flights were scaled down compared to last year, said the government.

“At the start of 2020, according to the autumn-winter schedule, there were 12 foreign carries flying to Slovenia apart from charter flights, which compares to only nine in September and merely six in October. In 2019, 17 foreign carriers flew to Slovenia, including some operating a number of various links, multiple times per week,” said the government.

Last year’s receivership of flag carrier Adria Airways, which serviced roughly a half of all passengers at Ljubljana airport, has aggravated the situation, making the country dependent on foreign airlines, added the government.