Flydubai prepares for Ljubljana launch
Flydubai is expected to begin operations between its hub and Ljubljana in just under a month, with the airline already seeing strong advanced bookings on the route. The long-awaited service will operate three times a week, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, in addition to its service to nearby Zagreb, which will operate the other days of the week. “We are delighted to connect Ljubljana to the United Arab Emirates with direct air links for the first time, which will provide passengers with a more comfortable and convenient travel option. We continue to expand our operations in Europe and see steady growth in passenger traffic as more countries relax travel restrictions. We will continue to develop our network in the coming months, ”the airline said.
Dubai is Ljubljana Airport’s busiest unserved market, both in the Middle East and in the Gulf region. Based on OAG data, in 2019, 3,762 passengers flew indirectly between the two cities. This does not take into account Slovenian travelers who reached the largest city in the UAE via other nearby airports, in particular Zagreb, and those who started or ended their trip in Ljubljana via Dubai. Emirates will share codes on Flydubai’s service, allowing passengers to easily connect to its extensive network from the Gulf hub, which will generate a significant chunk of traffic on the route. In 2019, Istanbul was heavily used as a transfer airport to reach the Emirate, with 74% of travelers opting for a flight via the Turkish city. As a result, Turkish Airlines was the most active refueling airline. It was followed by Adria Airways with a 9% share and Aeroflot which transferred 8% of all passengers.
During the pre-pandemic 2019 period, some 19,483 travelers flew between Ljubljana and the Middle East as origin and destination passengers. Turkish Airlines was the dominant carrier in the Ljubljana – Middle East market, responsible for transporting 71% of all passengers between the two. It was followed by Air Serbia, which in 2019 had a limited presence in the Middle East region with flights to Tel Aviv and Beirut, while offering codeshare services to a number of points via Etihad Airways, which, at the time, also maintained operations towards Belgrade. Despite their overall dominance in Ljubljana in terms of handling connecting passengers, Lufthansa Group carriers have failed to transport significant numbers of travelers between Slovenia and the Middle East.
The busiest Middle Eastern markets to / from Ljubljana in 2019
Busiest Gulf markets to / from Ljubljana in 2019
Best transfer airlines on Ljubljana – Middle East – Ljubljana routes in 2019