Slovenian air traffic will remain severely restricted as the government has extended a ban on passenger flights that had originally been put in place on 17 March.
Flights to and from non-EU countries are banned until further notice while flights to and from EU destinations will remain suspended until 13 April, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on Saturday.
The reason why a two-week suspension applies to EU destinations is because EU rules require member states to apply such bans only for 14 days and then extend them if necessary.
The ban does not apply to aircraft transporting cargo or mail, aircraft conducting special transport without passengers or ferry flights, or to foreign planes or helicopters on humanitarian or health missions.
Any other exemptions must by approved by the infrastructure or foreign ministries.
Passenger traffic has ground to a halt across the world as countries try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Individual flights have landed in Ljubljana since the ban took effect, but most were evacuation flights bringing home Slovenians and other EU nationals.
The Jože Pučnik Ljubljana Airport had already been hammered by last year’s bankruptcy of Adria Airways, the biggest operator of flights into Slovenia, and the ban will only add to its woes.
Airport operator Fraport Slovenija says it is impossible to assess the damage to the aviation industry due to the airport closures and aircraft grounding, but it will be “enormous”.
“It is unclear how fast and to what extent air traffic will recover,” the company told the STA.