Tuesday, June 2, 2009

B&H’s big plans

B&H staff at the launch of the Sarajevo – Dusseldorf service
The CEO of the national airline of Bosnia and Herzegovina, B&H Airlines, has announced that the carrier has big plans which include doubling the current number of passengers and opening new services. Nudžeim Rečica says that the carrier overcame many difficulties, from being a failed airline called Air Bosnia to becoming a strategic partner of Turkish Airlines. B&H Airlines has recently received a Boeing B737-400, the third aircraft in its fleet, and as a result has begun services to many new cities. The airline’s management has ambitious plans for the carrier. During 2008, a total of 70.000 people travelled with B&H Airlines but the airline only held a 17% share of passengers from its hub Sarajevo. With the new aircraft the carrier expects to take over passengers from other airlines, particularly to Scandinavia and Germany. The airline’s management expects it can have a 30% share of all passengers departing from Sarajevo by the end of the year. Rečica says that the carrier could transport 250.000 passengers per year. B&H should receive another B737-400 by the end of the year while a third jet engine aircraft will be considered.

Yesterday, B&H Airlines’ management held talks with the Montenegrin minister for transportation as the Bosnian airline plans to commence services from Sarajevo to Skopje via Podgorica. The service would operate in form of a charter flight with 3 weekly flights. The service would operate with an ATR72. The Montenegrin minister said flights could begin within 2 weeks. B&H Airlines operates flights to Skopje but does not fly to Podgorica.

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations to B&H Airlines, and a third jet-engined plane would be perfect! B&H Airlines could possibly make Sarajevo airport a strategic point of the region in the future. Sarajevo is currently important for passengers travelling from Croatia and Serbia and opposite, as there are no direct flights between the two countries!

    250,000 passengers would be easy if the airline promoted itself more, especially through commercials and billboards, updating its new website regularly, upgrade the comfort of the interior cabins as well, introduced in-flight magazines, newspapers and headsets and if they started flights more westward, most notably London. The British Airways flights to Sarajevo were a success, but they only stopped because of high oil prices, not cabin load factors. Trust me, there is high interest among the Bosnian diaspora there. If OU and Jat fly there, B&H can too!

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  2. Couldn't agree more Anonymous! Especially the marketing part. If they would improve that, things would be going even better..
    Although it seems dat during Q1 of this year, BH saw a passenger decrease because of global crisis..

    Destinations like London and Amsterdam could be very attractive, also because of the US-flights connecting through there..

    If BH gets a second and third jet aircraft, I think not all should be Boeing 737, I believe leasing a smaller jet, like CRJ or Embraer or even Fokker would be a lot more efficient and the relative load factor would be higher (because of the lower amount of seats offered.)

    Second jet aircraft should also be used to replace ATR to Frankfurt for example, so ATR can be used for the region, perhaps on flights to BEG, ZAG?

    Just my 2cts, like to hear your views..
    Pozz

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  3. I flew with B&H Airlines last week on my morning flight to Istanbul on the new Boeing and may I say it is one of the best flights I've ever had. I was welcomed with a big smile and 'Dobro jutro, Dobrodosli u B&H Airlines. Kako ste?' They showed me to my Economy class seat and helped me put my luggage up. The economy class seats are 3 configuration, brown leather, with recline abilities and just enough legroom for a 2 hr flight.

    The Boeing jet was in very good condition, very tidy and had a lemon-fresh scent. As i saw, the business class seats are much wider with a 2 seat configuration and much more comfortable, with more recline. There are 2 rows, with a curtain seperating! The cabin load factor was about 60%.

    We took off, and got offered 20 minutes after a meat, cheese and gherkin sandwich, accompanied by hot and cold drinks and wafer biscuits (reminding me much of Jat Airways). It was an average meal, but very delicious. They are working on duty free and an airline magazine! There is a selection of three daily Bosnian and one English newspapers. The toilet was adequate, had a full toilet roll and a bar of fresh soap ;)

    There was enough space for a stretch walk down the aisle and got a tour of the plane. I also had a talk with the hot lady flight attendants. Their prospects are huge about this company. They have a good knowledge of English and German!

    The pilots seem very suspicious and make jokes about the plane crash-landing over Macedonia and are keen to smoke in the cabin. I must say that B&H has very talented pilots, and you couldn't even feel the landing. They also seem to enjoy the company of their flight-attendants.

    The atmosphere in the cabin in B&H is so Bosnian, a lot of talking, laughing and joking around. I loved it, and the views of the flight were very breathtaking. The pilots kept us informed regularly.

    I really enjoyed the flight in the new Boeing 737-400, and would rate it 9.5/10. Thank you!

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  4. Thank you Bo, Hvala for agreeing. Maybe we should ask ex yu aviation news to email these opinions to B&H Airlines website!

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  5. I will be flying from Vienna to Sarajevo in July and I can't wait to experience my first BH Airlines flight. Although I don't believe another Boeing is needed, the possibilities for a BH expansion in the region are enormous. They need to work on the transit system in Sarajevo airport, currently inexistant. Also they NEED to start seeling their tickets on websites such as expedia or travelocity. I hope that BH Airlines management does not make any other stupid error (such as flights to Prague) and that they will start to cooperate with big airlines in Europe. Amsterdam and London are a MUST for a future timetable.

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  6. Transit in Sarajevo does exist, as there is a small transit point in the terminal. It is especially crucial for passengers travelling to Croatia from Serbia and Croatia to Serbia, as there are no current direct flights ;)

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  7. @ Anonymous: that may be not even such a bad idea. BH Airlines is a relatively new company and if someone has realistic ideas or suggestions, why shouldn't they be mentioned, right?

    @ExYu:

    Will you keep us posted about the TGD-flights, since this has been going on now for ages?
    And what about the comment of Recica that the 2nd aircraft is expected by the end of the year. Has this proces been moved forward, cause planning was spring 2010 I believe?
    And a third jet engine seems a bit over-enthousiastic. They should get a third ATR to expand in the region, ATR's are relatively easy to lease I believe, because most turboprops are now Dash Q-series.

    One ATR is now not available because of repair or maintenance, last days several flights have been delayed or cancelled...

    Just my 2cts,
    Pozz

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  8. I will keep you updated. Personally I think it’s a very good idea. Apparently the second B737 is getting forwarded to the end of the year while a potential third aircraft would be delivered in spring 2010. This is according to Recica in a recent interview.

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  9. Ex yu, do u like my airline review that I wrote?

    ....and its been over a year for ex yu aviation news blog, so why dont you tell us all about yourself? Who is the person behind this? Your are doing a good job, keeping us informed. Svaka cast ;)

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  10. and yee Bo you are right! You Bosnian?

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  11. Well you're half right anonymous. I'm half Bosnian, but you bet that I feel like a whole, instead of half :D.

    Read in some other topic someone posted about Sarajevo Airport plans, but I guess you will cover that story for us soon ExYU?

    pozz

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  12. arrrghhh ok Bo! Im Bosnian too, and I am only a teenager interested a lot in aviation already!

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  13. Bo, u from Germany?

    are you muslim bosnian, catholic or orthodox? wat other ethnic group are you bro, as you are HALF bosnian?

    ciaooo =)

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