Thursday, August 27, 2009

Possible Kuala Lumpur – Sarajevo link

Soon in Sarajevo?
On Tuesday, the governments of Malaysia and Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an air agreement opening the possibility for Malaysia Airlines to begin services to Sarajevo. The air agreement is expected to be implemented by the beginning of next year with the Bosnian ambassador to Malaysia announcing that Malaysia Airlines would be the first airline to ever connect the two cities. However, there has been no official word or confirmation from the national carrier of Malaysia. "The air transportation agreement is important to both countries to boost air transport", the ambassador said. However whether Malaysia Airlines would actually connect the two cities is questionable as the ambassador said that it is his wish for the two countries to be connected with Malaysia Airlines as B&H Airlines does not have the equipment to do so.

Malaysia Airlines once served many destinations in Europe although has brought its European operations to a minimum, allowing its alliance partners to take care of business. A few years ago Malaysia Airlines ceased operating flights to Zagreb which were established in the mid 1990s via Vienna. Vienna, along with Brussels, Munich, Zurich and Manchester were also scraped recently with Stockholm being the latest victim, to be terminated in October.

Nevertheless, the agreement opens the possibility for air travel cooperation between the 2 countries. Whether the actual service begins next year remains to be seen.


  1. According to the Sarajevo Airport website, the only obstacle is the size of the aircraft, at least until the airport gets it's expansion.

  2. Sorry. Keep dreaming. This will NEVER happen!

    When MH implemented its 'turnaround strategy' a few years back, any routes that were not profitable were savagely cut - including many of their European connections which never had a chance of profit (only VIE ever came close to profitability in the cut list). Not one route cut has yet come back into service, and it would be safe to assume due to a second carrier now in Malaysia they have other issues to deal with than to SJJ!

    These agreements will likely allow a codesharing on each others flights via a transit point, of which the only one of both national airlines which connect is IST.

    MH 30 arr IST 0745
    MH 31 dep IST 1130

    connect with

    JA 106 arr IST 0905
    JA 105 dep IST 1005

    This would also allow JA to operate flights to DXB.

  3. @ frequentflyer

    The idea of 'Istanbul' being a transit point is a very good one, and maybe they could make times connect with eachother so transit times wouldn't be so long!

    I'm also wondering if the Beijing-Belgrade-Beijing line would work if Air China starts flights?

  4. I also very much doubt this service will ever happen especially since the ambassador said it’s just his wish for Malaysian to begin flights to Sarajevo (understandably). They are cutting Stockholm on October 2 so I don’t think they would open flights to Sarajevo. Plus it ill take years until Sarajevo is ready to handle larger aircraft.

    The Air China flights are a bit of a different story since they would be charter only, meaning that some tour operator would buy out the seats and provide the passengers. The flights would end after the summer. JAL had a few flights to Dubrovnik with a B747 this summer.

  5. i too doubt MH will introduce services o SJJ. If im not mistaken, i dont believe much expansion to its runways will happen due to the airports location.

    As for the JAL charters, did they again visit ZAG or was it just DBV? I think the Air China flights may have some potential, maybe connection onwards to Australia, maybe a Beijing-Belgrade-Warsaw route could improve loads, but at the moment i dont see more than charters.

  6. JAL did fly to Zagreb this year. This picture was taken in August 2009.

  7. @ BOSNIAN

    I listed the flight times there - the connections (2hr20 westbound, 2hr25 eastbound) are about as good as one could hope for, and allow for late-running etc. It's of course purely coincidental, but it does work! Note also that MH only operates to IST a few times a week.

    The major question I would ask is, does BiH need an agreement with UAE to operate flights through/to DXB? Or is there one already in place?

  8. @ frequentflyer

    Those connections are good enough. Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to sign a air agreement with the United Arab Emirates in order to fly to the country - they didn't sign one yet!

    I'm only wondering if a Boeing 737-400 would handle the route SJJ-DXB-SJJ without stopping anywhere.

  9. ^
    Does anyone seriously think that B&H would operate their own aircraft to Dubai from Istanbul?!?!?!?!?!? NO CHANCE!

    They'll code share on Turkish' existing operations. Turkish aren't stupid enough to let their newly acquired subsidiary to do something as ridiculous as operate it's own aircraft on such a route, where there is competition from some of the best of the industry, including Singapore Airlines, and of course Emirates.

  10. THY only owns less than half of the shares of BH Airlines, so i wouldnt be too naive in saying they have 100% authority over BHA...

    here in podgorica they have lots of BH airlines ads, i even saw a big poster right on the side of a street! it was somewhere close to that indoor rijeka moraca sport center...looks like they are doin good at TGD.


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