Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the opening ceremony of the new passenger terminal at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, where he was also the main speaker. Before the ceremony, the Prime Minister met with representatives of Fraport AG – Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm, Member of the Executive Board of Fraport AG and Executive Director for Aviation and Infrastructure, Holger Schaefers, Head of Investor Committee, and Zmago Skobir, Managing Director of Fraport Slovenia –, followed by a tour of the new terminal.
The Prime Minister began by recalling the events of 30 years ago, when the Slovenian airport looked very different. “At that time, Slovenia declared its independence and at the same moment we were attacked. One of the first targets was the civilian airport at Brnik.” The airport is named after Dr Jože Pučnik, whose vision and efforts were key for Slovenia being an independent country today. According to the Prime Minister, today’s event, the opening of the new terminal, is completely different and sheds light on the path Slovenia has taken in the last 30 years. He emphasised that the new terminal had been built during the epidemic, when the aviation industry was one of the worst hit sectors and when logistics and travel routes were closed. Nevertheless, Fraport had the courage to carry out the construction of the new terminal. The Prime Minister thanked the management of Fraport, which invests in Slovenia, and pointed out that Fraport’s assuming ownership has made a huge difference. He is especially pleased with the plans for the future, adding that Slovenia had high hopes for this airport.
The Prime Minister said that it was essential to ensure a fast connection between the airport and the capital and that the Government was determined to do so. “We are counting on this airport to serve Slovenian tourism and the economy in general.” Furthermore, he noted that Slovenia would hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the coming months, expressing his wish that travel would be restored and that the epidemic would soon be a thing of the past. The Prime Minister pointed out that the opening coincided with the first day following the end of the second wave of the epidemic, which was declared last October. “This makes the sun shine even more brightly today.”
In his address, the Prime Minister stressed that the forecasts of domestic and international institutions which predict economic growth, employment and other macroeconomic indicators of development were good for Slovenia: “We are counting on Slovenia being able to make up for the shortfall it faced last year already this year.” Unemployment figures are better than they were before the epidemic, and many Slovenian businesses are already struggling to find new workers, especially highly educated ones. This is one of the key challenges that Slovenia faces. The forecasts about the opening of new connections between Jože Pučnik Airport and other destinations in the European Union and beyond are promising. “Fraport’s investment in Slovenia’s airport will significantly contribute to Slovenia’s future prosperity, especially if all the planned investments are realised.”
At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister wished success to everyone who manages and invests in the airport, a nationally important part of the country’s infrastructure, and thanked everyone for their contribution to building a prosperous Slovenia, a Slovenia that is a hub of opportunity.