The Column with Simone B. Michielen: Ready for take-off!


I love to fly. The feeling to be on an airplane to a destination you know to meet with old friends, or to an unknown one to find new friends, is a blessing. Maybe that is why I was so determined to win the episode on Masterchef where they promised us a special ticket. And to be honest, even that ticket to the balcony was a special one that gave me wings, at least for a short time.

But I also love the airport! Especially our cute one with the ineffable name Letališče Jožeta Pučnika. Why do I like an airport so much? I think it is a promise. The promise of new horizons, new people, and a whole new world to open up. People have a certain tension, if it is because they will leave or arrive, are saying goodbye to someone or welcoming them home, it is always a special moment. So that’s why I don’t mind if somebody needs a ride to the airport, or asks me to pick them up. It gives me another chance to part of the international vibe that is always there.

Even now… Today I brought somebody to the airport, and it gave me the opportunity to meet with another friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time and who was so lucky to become Head of the commercial activities on the airport. Okay, not the best timing ever, as COVID-19 obviously stroke hard, but knowing her I have a lot of faith that Ljubljana Airport will be as vibrant as ever. You rock it Urška!

We had a coffee together. After every trip abroad, I can’t wait to get a coffee in Slovenia, and when I fly just starting at the airport. Don’t you love that kind of rituals? I do. Of course, coming from the Netherlands and flying regularly to and from Schiphol, I know an airport can be a lot bigger and maybe even more impressive, but that doesn’t make it nicer! “Our” airport is the best, safe, comfortable as you can’t get lost and last but not least: I never have the feeling I have to walk a pilgrim’s tour to get to a plane or to the exit. Perfect.

Some wise successful businessmen (one of them was my father), told me to invest in times when business was down. Either in good staff or new projects, as an economy will never stay bad. And that is exactly what is happening on our national airport right now. Maybe not planned in that way or in a time they could imagine, but it is still going on. A beautiful big new hall is build and when I believe Urška (and I do), with vision on the future. A central market with fresh water from Slovenian sources, shops, bars, restaurants. I honestly can’t wait till it is open.  

And during our coffee, I also learned about the honey bee project behind the airport. Can you imagine? Buying honey on an airport that was collected only meters away.

Again I see that Slovenia is more than a little country with a big heart and love in the name. Even in times of crisis the people of Slovenia stay positive, keep travelling wherever possible and adjust to a new situation in no time.

Just the place I want to come home to…