Sunday, April 3, 2011

Banja Luka faces closure

Banja Luka Airport may have to close its doors

Banja Luka Airport could soon be closed, the Ministry for Traffic and Infrastructure of Republika Srpska announced this week. The airport has not payed wages to its employees and could lose its operational license, barring any aircraft from departing or landing at Banja Luka. The airport ended 2010 with a loss of over 660.000 Euros. Adria Airways, operating flights to Ljubljana and B&H Airlines to Zurich are Banja Luka’s only two customers. However, Adria’s service is heavily subsidised and reporting big losses. Even though the Government of Republika Srpska created Sky Srpska, which was to be based in Banja Luka, and approved the purchase of 2 jet aircraft, they were never ordered due to the financial crisis, a ministry spokeswoman says. She adds that the government will do everything within its power to help the airport as its closure would be a huge loss to the community and the entire entity. Airport employees have begun court procedures against the airport for unpaid wages.

Banja Luka Airport was opened on May 21, 1985 but was restricted to domestic traffic only. The airport never had too many customers with links to Belgrade, Vienna, Frankfurt, Athens and Tivat over the years. Banja Luka Airport experienced its greatest boom from 1999 to 2003 thanks to Air Srpska, set up by JAT Yugoslav Airlines. However, with the situation normalising back home, JAT withdrew from Air Srpska and the airlines ceased operations.

26 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. JP is developing very perspective flight destinations ;) lol

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Banja Luka Airport future is just in:

    5-6 times per week IST-INI-BNX-west Europe*-BNX-INI-IST
    or Air Bosna flights IST-OMO-BNX-west Europe*-BNX-OMO-IST
    * ZRH, MUC, VIE, FRA

    + 6 times per week Austrian BNX-VIE-BNX or Lufthansa BNX-MUC-BNX
    + 3 flights per week BNX-TGD-BNX
    + 2 flights in season BNX-TIV-BNX
    + some charter flights to Greece and Tunis
    + business jets
    + military and gouvernment
    + sport planes


    With all of this there is future. Without this it is better to close airport.


    What are you thing about extand TGD-INI line to BNX? Than you have every dan:

    BNX-INI nonstop
    BNX-TGD 1 stop
    conections via TGD

    with subventions on INI-TGD and possible subventions on BNX-INI there is no risk for Montengro + break-even is very low

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  5. Would ADMIN be so kind and delete all comments realted and linked to politics and any other matter but air traffic.

    Shame for BNX, Banaj Luka as the city and the region coud do better than that.

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  6. And Purger very good thinking, I agree with you with that. Regards

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  7. Main problem of Banja Luka airport is because is to close to main competitor Zagreb Airport. Also powerty in country is big issue.

    Maybe only way is to establish 20 or 30 seater round robin flights BNX-BEG-TGD 2 times per day. Direct connecton are possible only with VIE or ZRH.

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  8. BNX-BEG-TGD no way!

    BNX-BEG too close, for several times Jat and Air Srpska try line with no success
    on leg BEG-TGD with 20-30 setter there would be no success because of Jat and Montenegro competition.

    In same time BNX-INI-TGD:

    - BNX and INI are impressed distance (560 km)
    - BNX to TGD with 1 stop does not have alternative (alternative is bus, car, or car + plane from BEG)
    - Montenegro is already in INI with subvention on INI-TGD leg
    - Montenegro plane fly INI-TGD 8:10-8:55 and back 18:00-18:18:45 what is not cost effective – to add BNX timetable would be much more cost effective BNX 06:50 – 07:40 INI 08:10 – 08:55 TGD 18:00 – 18:45 INI 19:15 – 20:05 BNX
    - for INI that line would be very good option not just because of point-to-point passengers but also as possibilities to attract some other companies (Turkish for example) and to make INI transit airport for passengers from BNX

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  9. I think the main problem is that Zagreb is so close and offers better flight options. Nobody wants to pay more money for an extra connection.

    Perhaps a LCC will find BNX as a hood alternative to Zagreb but I don't think our Balkan pride will allow that.

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  10. @Purger

    You are suggest INI like "hub"? I disagree with you. BEG and TGD, also BUD, have much better offer of connection. Why someone will fly to TGD through INI??

    Montenegro flies INI-TGD with small number of passengers because VIE is No 1. destination but from INI via TGD someone catch flight to VIE only late afternoon.

    I think only small plane with at list 2 connection daily can offer good service. BUD, VIE, MUC are also good alternative.

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  11. Of course I don't find INI as hub. But in case of line BNX-INI-TGD there is possibility of transfer on INI-IST (flight for example), isn't it?

    Yes, load factor on INI-TGD flight is some 50% out of season. Isn't it than logic to have BNX-INI-TGD to make this load factor better? How many point-to-point pax will you have on BNX-INI leg? Some 20 per day. But if you have another 30 to TGD, you will make some 50% lf on BNX-INI leg, but 80% on INI-TGD leg. That is more than enough to make flight profitable + you have better lf on flights from TGD to other destinations.

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  12. @Purger

    Ok, I understand you. We are disagree only in capacity. For aircraft cca 100 pax it is ok but I think it is much better to take it into account smaller commuter. Maybe it is not appropriate for "government owned airline" but it could be more sustainable. Many ideas was fallen because founders chose so expensive 100pax or bigger planes.

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  13. Is the airport entity owned? If so, then there is no justification that the workers are not paid - especially given the outrageous government subsidy for the JP flights.

    The reality is that the airport symbolises the success of the RS entity - airports represent travel, business, international relations and wealth. No airport simply means the justification for existence as a stand-alone entity is diminished: how do you get to the place, what is the capital etc???

    Purger is right that the airport must be aggressive for its future - but if lines to VIE, MUC, BUD etc are profitable or achievable, surely they would already be in operation??

    Perhaps JAs proposal for the SJJ-BNX shuttles wasn't so bad after all...

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  14. Last year BHA send fair offer to BNX: morning flight BNX-SJJ and late evening SJJ-BNX, with no difference in ticket price no matter do you fly from SJJ or BNX to other destinations.

    It means that SJJ would be hub for BNX, and there is reason why offer was rejected at political level in entity government.

    Obviosly, that was last chance to BNX, and no it's gone...

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  15. Services that airlines and passengers can get at BNX airport are poor and expensive. Jet fuel costs 2.00EUR per kg, pax tax 10.00EUR. Small check in area, no on-line check in, no check in kiosks, no through-check in, narrow at passport and customs control, small gates, poor equipment, lack of ground staff, ILS CAT I, no bus transportation from the city to airport, etc. Subsidizing routes to Ljubljana will not help.
    None of the airlines will fly on routes to TGD or INI because there are simply no passengers to fly to these cities and vv.

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  16. Wouldn't be more logical to subsidise a LCC (Wizzzair, Easyjet or Ryanair) which will sell to people affordable and reasonably priced tickets and advertise the city and region and the country in general as the part of their contract like for example Ryanair is doing now with Rijeka, Pula, Zadar and Osijek.

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  17. If Jat were to become the flag carrier of both Serbia and Republika Srpska then maybee the airport would be successful

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  18. @NRS

    It would not be successful then either because there would not be enough passengers to fill these planes. The last thing that Jat needs is more failed routes and underutilized airplanes.

    Also your thinly veiled name is still political and you should stop being an ASS and use your real name or nickname or your favorite plane's name, or anything else that isn't political. Once again your dreams of a NRS have nothing to do with the aviation industry in the ex-yu and obviously playing politics with aviation leads to failed airlines and airports. How is that not obvious to you???

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  19. I believe that Banja Luka and Tuzla a/d does not have chance to become solid in near future. For several reasons. The only two a/d's in BH who can survive are Sarajevo and Mostar. But Mostar only if they get rid of road transport lobby to Međugorje.
    Banja Luka a/d almost closed but TWR control works in 24H shifts...amazing!

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  20. I would kindly ask those comentators who write about 100 seat airliners to operate between BNX, TGD and INI to comment news about some other airport.
    What 100 passenger? Where or when or even why? There is no destination from BNX that offer a reason to fly with such a plane. As someone said, the distance between INI and BNX is 560 km so I suggest to open WLG (Wellington) as destination. It looks like the farest from BNX.

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  21. Dear @leptiric

    In many countries you can find regular flights between airports which are 100 or 150 miles away. If exists market and there is no viable alternative it is reasonable to take such a flights.

    Balkan (or SEE if you like) have many horrible roads and railways and in some cases it is much better to take flights if some town has airport. Banja Luka may have future if someone with knowledge take chance to do something.

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  22. The only problem is the price, Zagreb is taking away BNX paxs. Its just simple as that. Banja Luka region has about 600.000 people, and has potential, but not with these astronomical prices. ;)

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  25. I totally agree with the last anonymous, prices are the main problem(with other ones as well). I really wanted to fly LON-BNX-LON with Adria but it was just too much, so that is why Wizzair and Easyjet will benefit from me again and many others people from Banja Luka and region. Banja Luka needs a LCC(doesn't matter which) and low prices, good marketing of low cost flying and destinations, simple as that.

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