New Slovenian start-up SouthEast Airlines

Created by a pilot of Slovenia’s former flag carrier Adria Airways, Blaz Berdnik, SouthEast Airlines is a Slovenian airline that intends to begin operations in early June with a single-class, leased 180-seat Airbus A320-200. The project began in early 2019, before Adria Airways ceased operations. Mr Berdnik assembled former Adria Airways board members as well as Chinese investor Kai Dai, who had bought the former training school for Adria Airways’ personnel, to envision this new airline. The airline’s fleet is expected to grow to 2 A320s by the end of this year and subsequently to 6 A320s by 2023. It has been reported that the airline will begin charter flights before expanding its network with scheduled flights. There is said to be an interest in Slovenia for destinations in the Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Maldives) as well as Dubai (the capital of the UAE in the Middle East), Zanzibar (an island of the Tanzanian coast), the Caribbean and the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo due to its ski resorts. It is not known whether Southeast Airlines will be based out of Ljubljana Airport, Slovenia’s main airport, or the country’s secondary airport, Maribor Airport, which currently doesn’t operate scheduled flights. You will notice from our recent articles on start-ups that few airlines have planned flights to Spain and Italy, normally popular tourist destinations. So far, there are 3 start-ups in ex-Yugoslavia, all of them planning to fly to destinations within Yugoslavia or on other continents. This pandemic is definitely changing how airlines establish their networks, in relation to the change suffered by the tourism industry. Many start-ups are attempting to start operations this year in the hope that the ongoing economic crisis that airlines have to face will lose momentum. Although this is a positive outlook, it must be said that not all airlines actually manage to launch, as there are often difficulties regarding the obtention of an AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate) and leasing aircraft, as we have seen with Air Alderney. Other factors to be take into account when creating an airline include maintenance and insurance. Needless to say, we wish SouthEast Airlines good luck in trying to establish itself as a broad-based, international Solvenian carrier. 12th of March 2021.

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