Monday, August 3, 2009

Bleak outlook for Bosnian airports

Passengers skipping Sarajevo
The services for using airports across Bosnia and Herzegovina are expensive and the airports are failing to attract customers. Nudžeim Rečica, the CEO of B&H Airlines says, “At Sarajevo Airport where most of Bosnia’s air traffic is handled, taxes amount to 18 Euros per passenger plus a further 10 Euros is paid for tax for the development of civil aviation in the Bosnian Federation. In the rest of Europe taxes mostly vary between 15 to 20 Euros but most airports have their own taxes added as well, such as a security tax". The CEO of Sarajevo Airport, Bakir Karahasanović, says that prices have never deterred airlines from Sarajevo but the country’s major problem is that there is a lack of a middle class and thus airlines do not see the potential of flying to Sarajevo. ”We do not have enough passengers so airlines are avoiding Sarajevo", the CEO of Sarajevo Airport says adding that the airport handles approximately 500.000 passengers annually which is nearly 90% of all air traffic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Banja Luka Airport has only 2 scheduled services, to Zurich (operated by B&H Airlines) and Belgrade (operated by Jat Airways). Airports in Tuzla and Mostar have no scheduled services. Marin Raspudić, the CEO of Mostar Airport, says that airports in Croatia pose the greatest competition. "Despite its location most passengers are avoiding Mostar. This is a city which is regressing and its airport is no exception", Raspudić says. In order to attract airlines to smaller airports many governments in European countries finance low cost airlines for a certain amount of time to fly on these services, which is not the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

3 comments:

  1. Shame :(

    A good example is Pristina airport, even though it serves a smaller country and double the smaller population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it attracts more airlines and passengers (1,000,000+).

    These taxes are ridiculous and is why some airlines such as British Airways (might've) really cancelled services to Sarajevo.

    Mostar could have a huge potential and at least exceed +300,000 passengers. The world-famous Stari Most attracts only one million tourists per year as reported, and then can also serve the Catholic pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Split and Dubrovnik airports are becoming much more cheaper to fly to and are alternatives - Mostar should compete! Lower the taxes Bosnia and Herzegovina!

    Banja Luka could have potentials as well with low cost carriers because of the natural attractions in that area and because of many refugees travelling there anually. As reported before, low coast carriers were actually to start flights to Banja Luka, but eventually did not start due to airport fees.

    This all depends on the local politicians, who should introduce more reforms which would certainly lower airport taxes and charges. Also, this would help the population of the country who wish to travel abroad, as BiH passport holders must obtain a visa to travel to the EU. Bosnian Croats and Serbs are better placed than the Muslim population.

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  2. What happened with the LV flights TIR-SJJ-FRA.. never heard anything about them, since they were announced...

    And when can we expect some BH Airlines news for the winter schedule.. I remember someone mentioning that they like to do it last-minute @ BH, so that might explain..

    Hope that BH can help to rise the passenger figures, especially from SJJ, just to establish the company and the airport.

    Pozz,
    Bo

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  3. re to BOSNIAN

    absolutely agree about all things you have said about all airports in Bosnia! Mostar could have more than that, Banja Luka too, I am not going to mention Sarajevo and winter tourism potential(jahorina, igman...) It is politics, visas have nothing to do with low cost airlines, until WE open to the world nothing will get better! I am just gpoing to say this: I live in the UK and i think you have no idea how many Brits are going for cheap, long weekends to destination they would never go before( smalll cities in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, etc..) and all that because of low cost flights and VERY GOOD MARKETING, as for example, Ryanair doesn't advertise themselves only, they d=advertise destination too(giving interesting ideas, sights, place nearby to visit, etc.) I am going to Croatia ina week time only because of Ryanair, I wouldn't have in any other case, from zadar i will fly to Pisa for unbeliveble price and from there back to the UK(should I mention that I still hold BiH passport and that I need Schengen visa!!!!)! Thanks a lot for reading! Regards

    ReplyDelete

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