Russian investors bidding for Adria Airways licences


Janez Pustatičnik, the official receiver, has received five bids for the remaining assets of the Slovenian airline, including its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and various other licences.

Media reports indicate that Slovenian entrepreneur Joc Pečečnik is interested in business as a whole, and Izet Rastoder, a developer and fruit importer, is keen to obtain AOC for commercial flights.

Meanwhile, Ivo Boscarol, the owner of Slovenian aircraft maker Pipistrel, has confirmed for the STA that he has submitted a bid for Adria's flight school.

Interest has now been also expressed by a group of Russian investors linked to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company, which was eyeing strategic partnership with Adria Airways as early as last spring, but changed its mind due to Adria's poor financial state.

Following reports by the web portal EX-YU Aviation, Oleg Evdokimov, a representative of the Russian investors, confirmed their interest for the Slovenian public broadcaster TV Slovenija last night.

"Adria Airways certificate allowed us to operate not only from Ljubljana but from any airport in Europe. We have a business plan for implementation of 200 superjets in European market," said Evdokimov.

According to him, the investors come from Russia and the United Arab Emirates. However, since airlines in EU need to be in majority European ownership, they are now looking for partners.

Evdokimov says that initially they would be willing to invest EUR 10 million.

"The Slovenian market is very interesting. There's no real competition. It is now possible to fly to only ten places and the fares are very expensive," he said.

The investors would keep Adria Airways brand and employ around 150 people, including 30 pilots. They would fly year-round to at least five destinations, including Milan and Barcelona.

Cooperation talks are under way with Emirates, which has cross-atlantic flights there, he said.

Based on tentative bids, the official receiver suggested the opening bid for Adria's bankruptcy estate as a whole at EUR 45,000, which Evdokimov described as "unbelievably low".

Adria Airways entered receivership in October 2019, after being sold to the Germany turnaround fund 4K in 2016 as part of privatisation.