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Adria figures reveal growing financial pressure on carrier

Slovenian flag-carrier Adria Airways' latest full-year figures have revealed the extent of the financial pressure on the airline which collapsed at the end of September.

The airline's operating loss for 2018 increased nearly five-fold to €16.2 million ($17.8 million) while its net loss more than trebled to €18.6 million.

Adria's revenues reached €179 million.

It had assets of €48 million but liabilities of €62.2 million. These included current liabilities of nearly €55 million against current assets of less than €20 million.

Managing director Holger Kowarsch, who took over at the beginning of 2018, said in the newly-released annual report that the result was not one with which the company could be "completely happy", adding that it reflected "some historic decisions and past business moves".

Kowarsch pointed out that the company suffered higher costs, including the strengthening of the US dollar, and delays in admitting six Saab 2000s to the fleet, along with serious disruption to its flight operations. The airline lacked sufficient crews, which meant it had to resort to leasing.

But he claimed that the airline was "successfully adapting" to changes in the aviation industry, with its greater focus on its own leasing services.

"We also established new routes from Ljubljana in the summer season, and in the charter segment we focused on high-yield orders," he said.

During the fourth quarter, the annual report states, the carrier's owner, 4K Invest, recapitalised the company with €4 million and it subsequently underwent a change of ownership through a merger with STBE.

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