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Slovenian airline Adria Airways will stop flying from Gatwick and begin to depart from Luton Airport in April, it has been announced.

Four of the firm's Airbus A319 flights will leave Luton Airport every week, bound for Ljubljana.

During a launch at Luton Airport, the airline's director of corporate communications, Alen Mlekuz, said the Luton move had let the firm offer extra capacity with larger carriers.

He added that it would therefore become easier to make group bookings.

“Gatwick had difficulty with our smaller aircraft and we could not compete with low-cost fares,” the director said.

“The market in Slovenia is tough with the surrounding airports but we are confident at the end of summer we can say this is a success and perhaps extend frequencies”.

He dropped hints that Adria may soon begin to depart from Manchester.

The airline's announcement is good for Luton Airport, as Adria is a Star Alliance member.

Slovenian Tourist Board's head of UK and Republic of Ireland communications, Tine Murn, has confidence in Luton's leisure position, even though it has a reputation for serving business passengers.

Murn said: “Some leisure partners questioned our move to Luton but after meeting with the airport we are confident and have to challenge and route and tourism.

“We have a fresh new start with this route and people forget that Luton is as far from London as Gatwick is."

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