The main Slovenian airport – Airport Ljubljana is super expensive! That’s a fact!
As the holiday season is coming, I’ve started googling a bit for some quick and cheap plane trips within Europe. As everybody knows, a few European low cost ailines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, WizzAir often have very good deals and sell tickets sometimes for under 20-30 per return flight. In the past, I also made a good use of them and visited for example Paris for 33 euros or Milano for 16! However, this is not so simple in Slovenia!
And this is why:
The airport is mainly served by the Slovenian flag carrier Adria Airways which is, ehm, expensive as hell! Although the airline offers pretty good connections to main European metropoles (that is the good point), they are promoting their super “ugodna ponudba” for a return flight starting at “ONLY” 139 EUR (and that is the very bad point).
Well, not cheap but it won’t ruin you. This is what I thought till I found out that this price is usually limited to about three destinations only (usually cities in ex-Yugoslavia) on certain dates only. So basically almost never 🙂 Everything else starts at 200 EUR per return flight within EU up to as much as you can imagine…
Not to be totally unfair, I have to say that the airport is also serving two low-cost airlines. It’s EasyJet, operating a route to London-Stansted, and WizzAir, operating a route to London-Luton and Brussels-Charleroi. Yaaaaay! Well, my joy disappeared right after I realized that the fare on these routes is not very “low-cost” because it’s basically impossible to find a retun flight for under 130 EUR. Hm, the Slovenian routes seem to have their own definition of “low”.
The only interesting travel option from Ljubljana airport, which I found, is the Air Serbia flight to Belgrade. Why? Because from the Belgrade airport, Air Serbia offers a lot of connections not only to major European destinations but especially to a lot of places in the Middle-East (the airline partners with the Etihad airways). For example, a flight from Ljubljana, with a stop at Belgrade, to Dubai costs (on selected dates) about 350 EUR. Not bad for a 6-hour flight.
So all in all, no cheap European gataways from the Ljubjana airport.
What are the other options?
You can stay at home and grill čevapčiči. Kidding 🙂 Luckily, there are a few larger airports in the neighbouring countries which offer a great variety of flights and are within reasonable driving distance.
Zagreb Aiport, Croatia
Located within 2 hours drive from Ljubljana, the Zagreb airport offers interesting flights within Europe but also worldwide. Worth to mention is the airline flyDubai, which does very affordable flights to Middle-East and Asia via Dubai. I have a personal experience with them on route Bratislava – Dubai – Colombo and it was pretty ok and for a good price.
Although the variety of flights and airlines from Zagreb is quite broad, I didn’t find anything particularly cheap or special. But maybe I didn’t search well – let me know!
Airports Budapest, Vienna and Milan-Bergamo
All these three airports offer excellent deals and connections to lots of destinations. For example, from the Budapest airport, Hungary you can find very cheap WizzAir flight for only a couple of euros. From Vienna, Austria you can take one of the cheap Air Berlin or Fly Niki flights around Europe. And finally, Milan-Bergamo, Italy, a satellite airport near Milan is one of the busiest bases of Ryanair, and therefore offers super-cheap return flights, sometimes even for as little as 20 euros!
Well, sounds fantastic in case you are willing to take longer trip to these airports. While both Vienna and Ljubljna are about hours drive away from Ljubljana, to Milan you will need more than 5 hours which is already a pretty long distance. To get there, you drive or use the Go Opti service – a shuttle service from Ljubljana a to few near by cities and aiports.
So, so much from my Slovenian airline research. It’s not easy, but who wants always find the way! 🙂
If you have a different experience than me or some useful advice, feel free to let me know in the comments!