Troubled times for Banja Luka AirportBanja Luka Airport is struggling to stay open as it falls into deeper financial trouble. The airport is currently served by only 2 airlines - B&H Airlines and Adria Airways. B&H Airlines operates flights from Banja Luka to Zurich. The service originates from Sarajevo and is failing to attract passengers. Similarly, Adria Airways on average carries 5 passengers on its services from Ljubljana to Banja Luka and vice versa. Flights operated by the Slovenian carrier are subsidised, which has led to fierce criticism from the media in the past few weeks.
The Government of the entity of Republika Srpska yesterday said it will grant Banja Luka Airport 307.000 Euros. Sky Srpska, an airline which is supposed to be based in Banja Luka, will be given a further 409.000 Euros for development. “The financial situation at Banja Luka Airport is difficult. We will have to find a long term solution for the airport such as the opening of new flights. We are determined to help them”, Aleksandar Džombić, the entity’s Prime Minister said.
Last week the airport’s employees staged industrial action, unhappy with late wages. Banja Luka Airport prospered during the early 2000s when Jat Airways set up a Banja Luka based offshoot named Air Srpska. However, the Serbian airline decided to take back its aircraft and focus on its core business back at home, thus closing Air Srpska. Since then the airport has struggled to attract any carriers.