Slovenia’s Adria Airways plans to open a base at German’s Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport from winter 2018-19.

The Star Alliance member said the German region of Ostwestphalen Lippe will be connected with 11X-weekly flights to Zurich (Switzerland), 4X-weekly service to Vienna (Austria) and 3X-weekly to service London Southend (UK). All routes will be operated using Saab 2000s, which the airline will take delivery of six this year.

Adria Airways CCO Christian Schneider said opening the base is of “great importance” to “increase our footprint in the German market by adding Paderborn as our fifth destination in Germany.”

After delivery of the six Saab 2000s, Adria’s fleet will grow to 21 aircraft, comprising three Airbus A319s, nine Bombardier CRJ900s and three CRJ700s, operating to 25 destinations.

The Saab aircraft will arrive from former Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline, which was declared bankrupt in December 2017. It was partly owned by Luxembourg-based private equity fund 4K Invest, the owner of Adria Airways, CEO Holger Kowarsch told ATW. In March 2016, restructuring specialist 4K Invest completed a majority takeover of the Slovenian flag carrier.

Adria Airways transports 1.2 million passengers annually.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at