October 3, 2019 / 10:51 AM / 5 months ago

Slovenia takes first steps toward subsidizing key air routes

FILE PHOTO: Planes of Adria Airways are seen at the airport in Brnik, Slovenia, September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/File Photo

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia, reeling from the collapse of its only carrier, said on Thursday it had passed legislation to allow the government to subsidize some national air routes that might not otherwise be served by commercial airlines.

The changes were passed at a government session on Thursday, four days after Slovenia’s Adria Airways, owned by German investment firm 4K Invest, filed for bankruptcy, leaving the country with no Slovenian-based airline.

Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratusek said later she could not speculate which destinations might need subsidies and added all airlines would be able to apply for them if the government decides to offer them for a certain destination.

“We want Ljubljana to be connected to Europe and the world with as many airlines as possible,” Bratusek told a news conference after the government session.

In the last three days Germany’s Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) and its subsidiaries announced they will introduce flights between Ljubljana and Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich later this month or in November.

The proposed legislation will need to be confirmed by parliament in the coming months.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Jan Harvey and David Evans

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