Adria Airways 1961 – 2018: A Brief History

By , 01 Oct 2019, 12:30 PM Business
1970s, Bremen 1970s, Bremen Public domain

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STA, 1 October 2019 - After almost 60 years since its establishment, Adria Airways, Slovenia's flag carrier privatised in 2016, is grounded. By selling it to German fund 4K Invest, the state claimed it wanted to give the troubled company a fresh impetus, but with the management filing for receivership, the opposite scenario has happened.

March 1961 - Charter airline Adria Aviopromet is set up, operating DC 6 planes. In December of the same year, it operates the first flight with a home crew.

1964 - Adria Aviopromet gets its own airport in Brnik, after landing and taking off at Croatia's Zagreb airport.

1968 - Adria Aviopromet introduces the first regular route, between Ljubljana and Yugoslavia's capital Belgrade, and is renamed Inex Adria Aviopromet.

December 1981 - An Inex Adria Aviopromet plane crashes into Mt San Pietro in Corsica. All 180 people on board die.

1986 - The company is renamed Adria Airways. In the years to come, the number of routes grows, and so does the number of passengers.

25 June 1991 - Slovenia declares independence, and Yugoslavia's civil aviation administration soon bans Adria Airways from flying for three months.

1992 - Adria Airways relaunches its business and focusses on regular routes rather than charter flights.

1995 - The company enters a code share agreement with Germany's Lufthansa.

2004 - Adria Airways becomes a member of Star Alliance, the world's largest global airline alliance.

2010 - The airline establishes Adria Airways Tehnika, a subsidiary for the maintenance of its fleet.

2011 - Due to financial trouble, Adria Airways sells its 100% stake in Adria Airways Tehnika to two state-owned companies and is recapitalised by the state with EUR 50 million.

2012 - An international call to sell a 74.87% stake in Adria Airways is published, but falls through. The European Commission launches a probe into state aid.

2014 - The European Commission establishes that four state capital injections Adria Airways received in 2007-2011 were not in breach of EU rules.

July 2015 - A call to sell a 91.58% stake in Adria Airways is published, with an almost 70% stake held directly by the state and the rest indirectly through state assets managers.

January 2016 - A contract to sell the 91.58% stake to the German turnaround fund 4K Invest is signed. Before selling it, the state recapitalises the company with EUR 3.1 million and receives purchase money to the tune of EUR 100,000.

March 2016 - The privatisation is completed. CEO Mark Anžur hands over to Arno Schuster as the last Slovenian manager at its helm.

July 2017 - Through a subsidiary, Adria Airways takes over Swiss regional airline Darwin Airline, which in November files for bankruptcy. Swiss prosecutors then open a probe into financial irregularities.

February 2018 - Schuster resigns as CEO, and is replaced by Holger Kowarsch.

summer 2018 - Due to a shortage of staff, Adria Airways starts merging flights. Its fleet grows to 21 planes, the highest number ever.

December 2018 - Despite a capital injection of EUR 4 million from Adria Airways owners, the Civil Aviation Agency threatens to revoke its operating licence.

January 2019 - The Civil Aviation Agency finds the airline is solvent in the long-run.

February 2019 - STBE, a company said to be the owner of Adria Airways brand, is folded into Adria Airways to increase its capital.

June 2019 - Adria Airways is cancelling ever more flights.

September 2019 - Pilots threaten to go on a strike, but the two sides manage to sign a new collective bargaining agreement.

10 September - Adria Airways delivers to the Civil Aviation Agency an audited financial report for 2018. Nine days later, the agency bans it from flying with two CRJ900 Bombardier planes.

24 September - Adria Airways stops flying to all destinations expect once a day to Frankfurt and back to Ljubljana.

25 September - Adria Airways is given until 2 October to provide a financial restructuring plan, or else it would lose its operating licence.

30 September - As the government discusses Adria Airways' financial situation, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek says receivership seems to be the most viable option. The management files for receivership as it cancels the remaining flights, and the airline loses its operating licence. Počivalšek indicates the state could set up a new air carrier.

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