Friday, June 18, 2010

Adria to Banja Luka

Soon in Banja Luka
Slovenia’s Adria Airways will commence services to the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Banja Luka, in July, the airline’s CEO, Tadej Tufek announced on Wednesday. Flights should operate 4 times per week but no other information was revealed. The news comes as a big boost for Banja Luka, which currently isn’t being served by any other airline, after the airport rejected proposed 11 weekly flights from Sarajevo which were to be operated by B&H Airlines.

Meanwhile, Adria Airways also signed a memorandum of understanding with Sky Srpska. Sky Srpska is the pet project of the Government of Republika Srpska that still hasn’t taken off from the ground. There are plans for the airline to be launched in early 2011. Montenegro Airlines and Jat Airways also have a memorandum of understanding signed with Sky Srpska.

Whether the new service to Banja Luka will be profitable remains to be seen. Adria hopes to transport transit passengers from Banja Luka through Ljubljana and onwards to other European destinations. The airline recently launched flights to Belgrade but the service is not as successful as was hoped it would be.


  1. Shocking political decisions, BH Airlines did not get to fly from Banja Luka only because they are from Sarajevo...but Adria is fine...

  2. Sad, sad , political decisions . BH did not get the right to fly to Banja Luka only because they are from Sarajevo, but Adria is fine...Slovenes once again profiting from Balkan stupidities

  3. svašta

    How was the load factor on their BNX-ZRH route (without those from SJJ).

  4. This is very good decision!!!
    Ljubljana is far more better solution than Sarajevo and number of frequencies is telling that Adria is serious company. Can you imagine 11 weekly flights to Sarajevo? Analyses announced yesterday told that BNX has a 60k/y pax potential. Two aircraft is quite good optimum for Sky Srpska, if happened. This move is good for both, Adria and Srpska. Adria will temporarly feed its hub, showing the model for other small airports in future, Srpska will use the boost of demand for air traffic. Through out SJJ you just can`t do that, cause SJJ is basically poor transitting point.
    There are zillion economical reasons why this move is economically justified. And to be clear: it is just relative not absolute justification I am talking about. I just really don`t understand why everything must be politically interpreted. Or, that means that politicians on the Balkans are our fathers who teached us to think that way???
    Congrats to both, Adria and BNX!!!

  5. We can only say, "welcome Adria".
    BH Airlines does not need any special “right"(as someone previously wrote) to fly to BNX. They can fly if they want to. BNX - SJJ is a domestic route. What went wrong, maybe politics or SLOT at BNX? No, I don't think so. Commercial issues should be considered as main reason.

  6. @Anonymus 4. Very good analysis, frequency and LJU makes more sense than JA / SJJ. Still it is airport authorities who did not approve JA flights and they are not feasibility study consultant of BH Airlines,ain't they? I would believe that any airport that currently has no scheduled flights would welcome anyone wanting 11 flights per week...or is my statement is political?

  7. @Anonymous nr. 4

    There is no such thing as "far more better solution". It is up to the market to decide what is better solution. Politically stopping one airline is skewing the market and does not in any way benefit passengers in the region.


    Well I guess that slot at BNX cannot be that big problem - there is nobody flying there so per definition there are not going to be any slot problems.

    It can be safely assumed that it was political decision by airport authorities.


    Otherwise, will this be successful? Hard to tell, if JU couldn't make BEG successful I am having hard time seeing how LJU can be successful. SJJ with JA would have probably been unsuccessful too. Simply combination of low purchasing power, lack of corporate hq and low concentration of population none of the smaller cities (BNX, TZL) in Bosnia (or for that matter in Serbia) currently warrants regular connections.

    Croatia and Montenegro have completely different market due to tourism and Slovenia due to its much richer population.

  8. Btw why aren't they happy with the BEG LJU flights? Low cabin occupancy?

  9. Why Adria do not open any flights from Maribor, terminal A of new passenger terminal will be finished in 2 months, terminal b ( the old one ) next year. Why government built a new terminal if there is no routes of national carrier Adria

  10. What a saga BNX is becoming...

    Reality check #1:
    Politics can and will affect any airline that believes it can profitably operate flights from the airport. All of Bosnia (irrespective of entity) suffers from too many bureaucratic layers which ultimately are hindering the progress and success of the nation.

    Reality check #2:
    Sky Srpska will never fly. Perhaps set up with good intentions (we will never know), there is too much competition for 'yet another' niche carrier in the region. With no fixed delivery date of aircraft, no licence and a turbulent airline industry, there is just no guarantee of success.

    If JP has avoided the government issues and makes money flying out of BNX, I wish them well. 4 weekly seems a low frequency, but you have to start somewhere...

  11. Welcome Adria Airways! This makes a lot of sense and congratulations to Banja Luka Airport management on a wise decision. If one is traveling from Banja Luka to say Frankfurt, it makes a lot more sense to transit through Ljubljana than through Sarajevo or Belgrade -- and to do so on a prestigious airline that is a member of Miles & More and has provided quality service for many decades.

  12. All of us from Banja Luka hardly wait for any flights from BNX to start soon.

    But I have to express my fears that JP will be successful in their future attempt. The number of destination served by them from/via LJU is far from sufficient. With somehow better connections JU did not manage with 3 or 4 weekly rotations although their tour operator JAT Airlift even offered free tickets from/to BEG with the purchase of their city breaks or holiday packages.

    JA used to fly for IST for a shorter period of time, ZRH for a couple of years and wanted to have free flights from/to SJJ with the purchase of tickets to their European destinations, but...

    Only for a couple of years OS had sufficient load factor flying D38 and other small A/C. And the connections via VIE (or ZRH with late Air Srpska) were much better, of course.

    The fact is our people simply prefer other means of transportation.

  13. So glad to see ANY airline flying to/from BNX. I hope this will workd but Adria will have to do something with their prices too. It is just not possible that city and region of that size can have one daily flight! I agree with the last anonymus, but it is not that OUR people prefer another kinds of transport, they use what they can afford with their salaries andwhat they have been offered, I ahve said million times, that extremley small number of people are aware of how flying ticketing works, internet booking, that the ticket from (ONLY as an example) LJU to any destionation costs almost the same as flying from BNX and using LJU as transit, that is normal thing, that how it was with JAT, but OUR people would rarther spend 5-7 hours on the coach to Belgrade and pay almost the same price they would pay for BNX-any destination via BEG. It is, again I ahve said this milion times, "THERE IS NO FLYING CULTURE" in teh Balkans in general, especialy and unfortunately in that area where I was born and grew up(I have said only if someone who is from there gets offended!). I genuinely hoope that Adria will do something and that some PROPER LCC will start flying to BNX, but to OMO,TZL and SJJ. Pozdrav svima

  14. i think one issue could be the fact that B&H passport holders need visa to the schengen zone, which holds back people from travelling. I dont think ZAG is too far from BNX, neither is BEG too far from cities like Zvornik or Bijeljina where people do catch flights from and where there is a better choice on flight options and more cities, direct, to choose from.

    As for JA, i would think the better option was say via BNX to toher cities rather than via SJJ to other destionations, say SJJ via BNX for VIE, ZRH, FRA, which i would think is a better option.

    i wish JP success on the route.

    @ frequentflyer

    i as well dont beleive sky srpska will materialise. even if they got say a CRJ200 or ATR42, problem is still ZAG, BEG, and visa restrictions.

  15. ^ Practically everyone in Banja Luka has a Serbian passport so I don’t think that the visa thing is such a problem. It’s pretty simple – it’s a really small and unsustainable market and as someone said there is no flying culture in the area. Hopefully things will change.

  16. Silly coments!

    All in BL having Serbian passports?
    My friend, less than 0.05% of people ion BL are having SRB passport.

    Also, congrats to BNX for this deal are also purely amateur one, since this "deal" is between Adria and Sky Srpska, virtual airline, not BNX

    Only question here is how much euros will goverment in BL spent for every empty place on this flight...

  17. Hey you anonymous that said that practically almost everyone has a Serbian passport in Banja Luka. Well, think again my friend, maybe some 5% of the city population has it...don't make some stupid statments if you don't know anything about the situation with the visa regime for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  18. Current estimates are that 67% of the Bosnian Serb population has Serbian dual citizenship which allows them to have Serbian passports. However, few have Serbian passports because it would be stupid to waste money on a passport if you are not planning to travel.

  19. I predict that the flights will be canceled within a month of commencement due to lack of interest. Even from BNX, ZAG is not very far away and offers much better flight choices and likely cheaper costs. For people out east, BEG is relatively close and again probably much cheaper. Also how many non-Serbs are going to want to fly an airline called AirSrpska when they can drive a short distance and fly bigger airlines. You may scoff but politics and consumerism are intertwined. In the US, I am sure AfroAmerican Airlines would not attract the full population and neither would White People Express.

  20. I think the whole region needs something like the SAS for the Scandinavian countries.


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