Monday, July 27, 2009

Sky Srpska closer to reality

Sky Srpska logo
The airline Sky Srpska which is planned to become the national carrier of the Bosnian entity of Republika Srpska, operating out Banja Luka, could be taking off by the end of the year. The government of Republika Srpska is considering purchasing two aircraft and setting up scheduled services out of Banja Luka. The government says that one of its priorities is setting up the airline. “Since aircraft manufacturers are offering the lowest prices, due to the global financial crisis, the ministry of transpiration is considering, through long term credit arrangements, to loan Sky Srpska the means to purchase two aircraft”, a government statement said. The government says that by expanding Sky Srpska new job vacancies would be produced and the establishment of the airline would lead to greater traffic at Banja Luka Airport.

Sky Srpska’s management, last year, said that 2 Embraer aircraft would be of most use to the airline. The airline has already signed agreements with Airports of Montenegro and Jat Airways. Sky Srpska would be the second airline within the entity. In 1999 JAT Yugoslav Airlines set up Air Srpska with 2 ATR72s. The airline operated for a few years but the 2 ATRs were returned to Jat Airways in 2003 when the Serbian carrier began expanding its destination network and needed the aircraft.


  1. I don't like the sound of this airline, and B&H Airlines for JUST being the national airline of the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation. There should be ONE national airline of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  2. Which Embraer's, EMB-120 is the max what they could take profitably.

  3. Back in the days, the company referred to was Air Srpska, not Sky Srpska.


  4. @Anonymous: Last year they said they wanted a Embraer 145 and an Embraer 170

  5. @ Bosnian:
    Whilst we still see too many layers of bureaucracy and complexity in BiH, we will never see only 'one' airline, despite it being 'one' country. It's also sadly evident the country could never support two airlines either competing or working in tandem, even if each based themselves at both major airports (BNX and SJJ).

    Politically, I can envisage something stupid erupting such as Sky Srpska taking over JU's BEG-SJJ and -BNX flights...

    @ Anonymous
    Tocno! And they're not bad little planes either. Malev uses them for their multiple-daily flights to ZAG, unsure if any other flights in ex-YU have this plane in operation.

    @ EX-YU
    A 170 would be overkill. Two 145s would probably suit the airline well for at least a decade, they have 0 high-capacity routes to operate!

  6. One minor correction: Air Srpska was the name of the previous airline, not SkySrpska.

  7. ATR's are the plan, not Embraers. Consider this as fact...

  8. @ frequentflyer

    'we will never see only 'one' airline'

    .....hopefully we will.

  9. We don't have to guess which nationality is the "Bosnian" dude, do we? Croats and Serbs should also close that misery of OMO/BNX and fully embrace the monopoly of SJJ and the political option that controls both the BN Airlines and the airport?

  10. @ TR

    I don't get what you're saying. Can someone explain please.

    .....and of course you don't have to guess. I don't have a problem with whatever your nationality would be, I don't see why there should be a problem with 'Bosnians,' whether Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Jew or other. Everybody that is a resident of Bosnia and Herzegovina is simply 'Bosnian.'

  11. @ TR

    Be nice! We generally don't pick on people's ethnicities here...

    re BNX and OMO - they're not being used right due to lack of foresight and planning, but deserve to operate. Targeted markets for these larger BiH cities could prove these flights sustainable in the long term.

    If anything, the airport that is a real waste is TZL with no real prospects, and also the planned airport at Trebinje. JA should really look at operating shuttle buses/vans from SJJ to major cities in the country a few times daily (as Malev is now doing for cities in Slovakia).

    OU could look at this too for OSI in the way RJK runs if they still believe there's no market for early-morning shuttles to ZAG.

  12. ^
    Christ frequentflyer - you must be 100 years old! Your view of the airline market was out of date 25 years ago.

    Due to geography, SJJ has a pretty small catchment area. As for the comments about 'Bosnian' identity -that's just a sad joke...

  13. ^
    Yes, Anonymous, you're close with my age, i'm actually over 100. And being so old and out of touch with the world I don't know much about world events, computers or technology and going outside my front door into the real world scares me considerably. (insert sarcasm here)

    But, being so old, with age comes wisdom - and i'm willing to put my name next to my thoughts/comments rather than yourself hiding in the shadows of anonymity to attack individuals who don't agree with your unfounded, narrow-minded, illogical arguments. Use the buttons below to give yourself a regular ID (or are you the one who can't use technology?) and stand by your comments. What are you scared of?

    Prove to me how I am wrong: the daily OSI-ZAG ICN run by Croatian Railways (HZ) is regularly packed to the gunwhales. Why? It's fast, well-timed, and connects to major cities. Using your argument above, it should be empty: yet people need to get to the larger city/airport to make flights for business/leisure etc. Slavonija has around 1m people, and clearly there is scope for well-timed flights to feed into the OU European network. To go one-up on their competitors, established PUY-OSI flights would attract passengers in Vojvodina who would want to get to the Adriatic or beyond on price and convenience rather than travel through to BEG.

    BiH is a different market again: mountainous, a highly-established bus network connecting pretty much every town with cheap fares, not a great deal of established flying... and a national airline (or 3 if you count those who failed in the past) which hasn't until recently been terribly proactive. Why not work with the strengths of the area, not lose money on the weaknesses? Politics (and ethnic branding posing as politics) still play a big role in BiH, whilst keeping the country away from much-needed serious international investment.

    Likewise, what stops any business asking its customers what it needs to do to maximise its operations? I bet that airline (and others in the exYU) have not asked big business (which employs many people) what it needs for flights etc and then targeted their ops accordingly.

    It's easily evident to point to all corners of the globe to see shuttle buses or rail feeding into airline hubs. That's hardly backward thinking, and we can be sure not all of them were set up 25+ years ago.

    LCCs aren't all they're hyped up to be, have proven repetitively to be unable to be an active flag-carrier (ie govt-approved), and people don't always want to fly to/from third-rate paddocks rather than major airport hubs. Just look at how good SkyEurope is doing, problems at Ryanair, the failure of LCCs in the US, or AirAsia's early history. How many LCCs have hit the wall within a short time of setup!?

    Finally, my view of the airline market can't be that out of date. Whilst I regularly worldwide for work and leisure and am aware of services and operations, your comments look like your view of the airline world is derived using FlightSim or something similar.

  14. Why should I bother with an ID? You all know whom I am… my inside knowledge of the Balkan sector gained through EXPERIENCE (unlike the rest of you, occasional plane spotters, or as the host of this site – translator of press articles who are generally 90% off mark)

    I honestly can’t be bothered to challenge complete unprofessional like yourself…such as on the topic of LCCs. They have gone from 10% to almost 40% of intra-europe short haul flying in the past year and have revolutionised travel for the masses.

    The economics are simple – and I’ll illustrate it for amateurs like yourself and others here:

    Ryanair/Wizz fly from Zagreb to London: costs equal roughly €45 per trip per seat. Croatia Airlines do the same flight for about €115 per seat.

    While part of the ‘flag/network’ carrier’s costs relate to interlining fees, the contrast is stark. You, FREQUENTFLYER, may be one of the privileged few in the ex-YU region who are happy to pay high prices for short flights, the vast majority on wages of between €300-600 per month, can not, and are hugely price sensitive. That is why they take the bus from Vojvodina to anywhere in Croatia that they want to go…

    I’m guessing by your naive ignorance that you no longer live anywhere in ex-Yugoslavia and hark back to a past that no longer exists. Fair enough, because I don’t know (or care) about your particular circumstances. However, your LCC comments are a joke.

    Ryanair , based on market capitalisation (look it up on Wikipedia), is in the top 5 of world airlines. It has almost 200 planes. So does easyJet. Wizz has over 100 planes on order. Short haul flying has become a commoditised product, just like bus travel, whether we like it or not………and in such cases, lowest cost producer will win. Sorry, but Croatian, Adria, Jat, etc, are dinosaurs unless they re-invest themselves.

  15. You have been told numerous times that you are more than welcome not to visit this blog which is not up to your standard and expertise by the looks of it. No one is forcing you to visit and read. So in the future be more considerate to other members that write here.

  16. @ anonymous

    Totally unfair comments, including the one dedicated to me from the 'TR' dude. You don't have to insult other people and use them for the fact that they aren't 'expert'! These people making coward comments are often 'the' cowards.

  17. Clap, clap, Anonymous. Bravo.

    You have worked out a €115 flight is cheaper than a €45 one.

    Do you want a medal?

    Sad you don't see the full equation though. You forget one simple rule: LCCs aren't designed for business travelers. And when business stops, so does the entire airline industry. Just look at what the GFC has done - both to airlines, travel patterns and to individuals.

    Why do businesses pay to use full-service airlines? Is it reliability? Service? Often an established network? Guarantee on returns and flexibility? A known and trusted product? What don't business travellers (who are often time-poor) like about LCCs?

    And why do governments the world over pump millions (if not billions) into flag carriers? It's to keep people IN WORK and economies ticking over. Unless you want to hark back to the dark days of 'a job for all even if the place is stone broke' (that nostalgic Tito-ist mindset embraced still in quarters of ex-YU) you need to face the reality that big business keeps the world economy going round, and puts food on people's tables. It's those same workers who then (even if earning the ex-YU average of €300-600) can keep a job to keep the income for themselves/their family regular.

    You do raise interesting points about leisure travel and these must be pursued: what would a LCC look like in the region? Would it be one large company operating a few bases, or would it be based out of one country (such as Serbia, Slovenia etc)? How would, for example, a LCC play head-to-head with OU on exYU's busiest domestic route, ZAG-SPU? How would an 'open skies' across the all the countries change travel patterns?

    You're clearly not the only one with industry experience on this forum, but perhaps the wheels have slightly fallen off your argument. Travel works on TWO levels (not one): business and leisure. The secret to any successful airline is getting the balance of both.

  18. flag_carriers_are_deadAugust 3, 2009 at 2:49 AM

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

    Business? Wake up, LCC's derive a SIGNIFICANT amount of their business from business travellers, especially those like easyJet who have opted for a frequency driven business model.

    The large LCCs in Europe have significantly better reliability than almost all of the 'flag carriers', never mind the joke flag carriers in the ex-YU, who as semi-bankrupt entities have almost zero operational flexibility in the event of aircraft tech problmes.

    Please, stick to comments on things like the colour of planes and the serial numbers...otherwise you'll embarrass yourself even further.

  19. If Sky Srpska Starts regular Scheduled to Frankfurt or possibly London with early morning flight it could easily take big portion of Croatia Airlines customers traveling from Canada and USA to north west area of Bosnia . Correctly Priced tickets can bring some B&H Airlines customers raveling from Scandinavia. In USA we have 12 national Airline companies and usually the best one is the cheapest one, like Southwest.


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