On the Ramp in Ljubljana with Dusan Lovrencec

On the Ramp in Ljubljana with Dusan Lovrencec

19. 07. 2022 Blog 10min

The airport is a second home to many of Euro Jet’s aviation professionals. It is not just where they work, but a place they love. Euro Jet’s new Station Manager at Ljubljana airport in Slovenia, Dusan Lovrencec is no exception. With over 30 years of experience in aviation, Dusan has become a reliable colleague, a valuable source of knowledge and a wonderful addition to our ever-growing aviation family.

Dusan Lovrencec, Euro Jet's Station Manager at Ljubljana airport in Slovenia

Dusan, you joined Euro Jet in March this year, but you have many years of experience working in aviation. How long have you worked in the industry? What brought you to aviation?

I have worked at Ljubljana airport for more than 30 years. I started as a check-in agent and slowly worked my way up through various job positions. I also worked as a loadmaster and duty officer. Then while seeking a new challenge, I joined the newly established Yugoslav Airlines where I held many roles over the years and was involved in all operational aspects of managing the airline business at Ljubljana airport.

Over the years I worked for the Slovenian Civil Aviation Authority as well as for several airlines. This included being station manager at Swiss Air and Adria Airways. While at Adria I moved to Ground Handling Procurement and eventually ended up in the charter division where I worked with charter brokers from all around Europe.

During the pandemic no foreign airlines were hiring at Ljubljana airport, but an amazing opportunity and challenge came along. When Slovenia took over the Presidency of the European Union, I was hired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate all incoming governmental and other flights to Ljubljana airport related to the presidency.

And that brings us to the end of the pandemic, when I got to meet Euro Jet’s Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia, Davor Brixy, and here I am now.

That is quite a fascinating journey. What is it that you enjoy most about working in aviation?

You know what has kept me in the aviation business for so long? I just like it. It’s that simple. I like everything about it, even the smell of kerosene (laughs). I have always found flying fascinating. With airplanes the world is open to everyone.

Thanks to his experience, Dusan can find ideal solutions for every flight.

Let’s talk about your position at Euro Jet. What is the best part of your job?

I have been working for Euro Jet since March 2022 as the Station Manager for Ljubljana – and I could not be happier! Since the beginning, I have received amazing support from both the management, OCC, and other team members.

Working for Euro Jet really allows me to summon all the knowledge I have gained over the years and make the most of it every day. Private aviation is a new challenge which I welcome, but at the same time, thanks to all my experience, I am comfortable with it. I can handle all tasks, even the challenging ones with ease and much perspective, allowing me to be one step ahead and find ideal solutions for every flight.

And what are the biggest challenges you are facing?

I would say that my challenge is the transition from scheduled airline flights to unscheduled traffic. Actually, it is refreshing to have a new challenge every day as opposed to the routine airline work where you know exactly what will happen and when. The main priority for me now are the passengers and the crew, not the lost luggage. And most importantly, it is more about my personality, my positive approach which sets the level of premium service and provides our customers with a pleasant experience.

Dusan's colleagues - Davor Brixy, Country Manager for Croatia and Slovenia, and Spela Budic, Ground Support Coordinator at Ljubljana airport

Going into a bit more detail, what does your average day at the airport in Ljubljana look like? What does your job entail, what are your responsibilities?

Every day starts with the incoming request from Euro Jet’s OCC. I also need to mention that it is not just me from Euro Jet working at Ljubljana airport. I work here with Euro Jet’s Ground Support Coordinator Spela Budic. When we have a busy day ahead, we split the flights between the two of us and then it is really all about the customer.

Of course, it is my duty as the Station Manager to talk to the local service providers. I have also made it a priority to meet with the local handling agent at Ljubljana airport regularly so that we can keep improving the customer experience. I like to personally prepare for each flight rather meticulously. Being well prepared in advance gives us room to focus on potential last-minute requests or issues.

Are you also involved in the operations at the airports in Maribor and Portoroz?

Ljubljana is the main entry airport to Slovenia and the busiest one, too. Maribor airport welcomes a private flight from time-to-time and Euro Jet has a local Ground Support Coordinator there. Portoroz is a small airport which cannot welcome that many aircraft due to its short runway. However, plans to extend the runway are ready to be implemented. Euro Jet is ready to assist those flights once completed.

Ljubljana is the capital city and busiest airport in Slovenia.

You are a life-long Ljubljana resident, what is your favorite place in the city? What do you recommend our customers to do for fun in Ljubljana and in Slovenia?

If they are in Ljubljana for the first time, I make sure they are well informed about all the options Slovenia’s capital has to offer. When it comes to dining or sightseeing, as a local I know all the good spots. For instance, you will not make a mistake visiting a restaurant along the riverbank or near the castle, yet a few streets further down you will find the hidden gems which are also far less expensive. Taking a boat trip on the Ljubljanica river is also a must for every romantic soul.

In Slovenia it is not just Lake Bled or the Postojna Caves that are worth a visit. Places such as the Brdo Estate Park or the Slovenian mountains are just as marvelous. Although I have travelled a lot, Slovenia is still my favorite place in the world.

When in Slovenia, Dusan recommends taking a boat trip on the Ljubljanica river and tasting gibanica or apple strudel.

How about your favorite Slovenian dish?

In 2021, Slovenia received the European Region of Gastronomy Award. There is so much to taste! In Ljubljana from May until October, you can find the famous outdoor street food market called Open Kitchen and taste all the flavors of Slovenia in one place.

Every Slovenian region has its own signature dish. In the south-western Karst region, it is fish and polenta, and in Styria it is apple strudel. In the eastern-most part of Slovenia, I would recommend tasting gibanica which is a delicious layered pastry.

And of course, the famous Slovenian wine! There are three famous wine regions: Karst, Styria, and the Slovene Istria in the very south of the country. You can pair every dish with its own wine!

That sounds wonderful! How do you then like to spend your time when you are not working at the airport?

When I was younger, I would do all kinds of sports and activities. But currently, my biggest hobby is golfing. It keeps your mind and body calm.

You speak Slovenian and English; are there any other languages you command?

I speak German and Italian, and partially also the Serbo-Croat language.

Dusan, thank you very much for talking to us. Final question to conclude our conversation, what are you plans and aspirations for the future?

At this point in my life inspiring the younger generation to get into aviation is something I have become very passionate about. During the Slovenian EU Presidency, I had many students working part-time at the airport. Sharing all my knowledge and experience and seeing their interest in something I have spent my entire life doing was very rewarding.

And the biggest goal for me now is to become a better version of myself every day because that is why we are all here.

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