Slovenia's flag carrier Adria Airways files for bankruptcy

Source: REUTERS/Srđan Živulović

Slovenia's flag carrier Adria Airways filed for bankruptcy on Monday, after the government said they would not invest €28 million to save the struggling airline.

According to Slovenian daily Delo, the company's management filed for bankruptcy at a court in the town of Kranj, which now has two days to formally order bankruptcy proceedings. The company also announced that it would cancel all of its scheduled flights.

The company's fate seemed sealed earlier on Monday when Ljubljana government had said it would not bail out the national airline, owned since 2016 by the Luxembourg-based 4K Invest investment fund, which had acquired a 96 percent stake from the Slovenian government.

“We analysed the state of company's finances, and realised that the funding it needs to keep it afloat is much larger than previously thought,” Economy Minister, Zdravko Pocivalsek, told Delo. He added that it would cost €28 million to save the company from folding.

According to Pocivalsek, Slovenian government is in talks with German flag carrier Lufthansa, on possibly starting a new state-owned airline. Getting all the necessary permits and licenses for a new company could take three to six months, with Lufthansa offering a strictly advisory role.

Monday marks a sad end for Adria Airways, which had managed to continuously operate for nearly six decades since its establishment in 1961. Until last week, it operated 20 aircraft, including three Airbus A319s, serving 17 European cities from its hub in Ljubljana and its secondary hubs in Pristina and Tirana.

Since 2004, it has been a member of the global Star Alliance, alongside heavyweights such as Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines.

In 2018 it carried 1.23 million passengers and employed some 500 people and its losses in 2018 are estimated at€60 million. Its three Airbus A319-100s were all repossessed by creditors on Friday.