Edvard Rusjan Maribor Airport will not have its first commercial flights in three years this summer, as the flights from Italy, which were supposed to be operated by Sky Alps, were canceled due to low demand. The Italian carrier should have introduced a series of flights from Bolzano, Naples and Pisa to Maribor last Thursday. They are scheduled to run once a week until September 15 with the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft. A total of twelve rotations have been planned from each of the three cities, with services mainly aimed at Italian tourists, with packages also available for those who would like to fly from Maribor to Italy. Tickets were sold online.
The project manager and director of the tourism company BMG Božidar Dokl said that they were canceled in the summer due to the lack of interest from Italian tourists, which is a result of the growing concern about covid in Italy. “Italians are now mostly choosing to vacation in their homeland as concerns about covid are growing. BMG invested a lot of time and energy in promoting these flights, but flying almost empty planes would be expensive. “We also offered charter flights, intended mainly for Italians to Slovenia, to Slovenians who wanted to visit three Italian cities, but this was not a priority for us, as most of the promotional efforts were aimed at Italians,” said Mr. Doki said. The Slovenian Tourist Organization was also part of the project.
Return tickets for Sky Alps flights to Bolzano cost €259, Naples €359 and Pisa €289. The price included fifteen kilograms of checked baggage and a carry-on bag of up to eight kilograms. Aerodrom Maribor, which has struggled for years to attract air carriers, is expected to be given a concession shortly after the concession contract was terminated years ago due to the inability of the government to accept a new spatial plan that would allow for the expansion of the airport. The government is confident that the new plan will be approved soon, after which the selection of the concessionaire will begin. Earlier this year, Wizz Air expressed interest in flying the city from Skopje, but is reportedly looking for subsidies worth up to one million euros.