Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuzla flights fail

B&H Airline ATR72 skipping Tuzla until further notice
B&H Airlines’ attempt to commence services from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third largest city located in the East of the country, to Frankfurt has had a disastrous start. The first service which was schedule to commence on March 30 was cancelled after the carrier failed to sell any tickets. On the return service to Tuzla that day only 1 ticket had been sold and therefore the airline decided to cancel the flight. However future prospects for the Tuzla to Frankfurt service do not look promising. Yesterdays service was also cancelled. Flights to Frankfurt are operated from Sarajevo via Tuzla however the carrier has now dumped the stopover.

The Tuzla to Frankfurt service would have been the first scheduled commercial flight after the airport received necessary licenses for civilian flights in 1998. The Tuzla service was supposed to be operated in cooperation with Turkish Airlines through a code share agreement. They were to operate twice per week, on Mondays and Wednesdays.

2 comments:

  1. Sorry to be so blunt, but is this really so surprising??

    JA (with two clapped-out old ATRs) has never been able to adequately serve any airport - and that argument almost applies to SJJ too. Perfect example: the thrice-weekly SJJ-ZAG via OMO. One would assume Mostar would have had plenty of support (being a city of 130,000) to a major city in the region such as Zagreb... but poorly timed flights, a high break-even factor on the route and poor (if any?) advertising resulted in the line being suspended indefinitely. A different plane type, realistic business plan and lower operating costs might see the line operate once again with success... but we'll never know!

    Also, how many ZRH-SJJ or IST-SJJ don't stop in at OMO or BNX on their return trips if there are no passengers using these destinations? This might give an indication as to why Tuzla has failed.

    Tuzla (with only 80-100,000 population) doesn't stand a chance of becoming a major airport for the region - what major industry is there to encourage business travellers, which account for a significant (and more importantly constant) share of the market?? Or leisure for that matter.

    BH Airlines is changing its focus, and with additions to the fleet allowing long-distance destinations which can be served directly should hopefully change its stagnating fortunes.

    Ultimately, BiH (country, not airline) has to ask some serious questions about what it believes it is, where it wants to go, and the realities of the situation. Politically, the country isn't working, unemployment is high and stagnant, and generally, there is a population who isn't 1) used to flying, or 2) in a position to be making many flights due to location placement (many selo and small towns, few large cities) and an extensive coach network both internally and to neighbouring countries - the areas where flights should be aimed first.

    Finally, if Tuzla is a dead duck, the proposed airport at Trebinje will be a disaster with a smaller population than Tuzla, and two larger airports (DBV and TGD) nearby attracting significantly more flights.

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  2. Agreed although Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very difficult market to serve even from Sarajevo let alone from secondary cities. Although this is a trend in other EX-YU countries as well. For exmple Nis in Serbia and Ohrid in Macedonia.

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