Banja Luka phones a friendThe beset Banja Luka Airport has offered Serbia’s Jat Airways the opportunity to launch flights from the Serbian capital Belgrade to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city. Since such flights have proved as loss making in the past, the airport has suggested for the service to continue on to Vienna, thus connecting Banja Luka with two cities. If such an offer is accepted, services would begin next summer. Jat has already announced the launch of six new routes during the 2012 summer season. Sky Srpska, based in Banja Luka, still does not have any aircraft of its own but would code share on Jat’s flights to both Belgrade and Vienna. “Our research shows that there is a need for flights to Vienna”, Zoran Injac, the CEO of Sky Srpska, said recently as he outlined the airline’s plan for 2012.
Banja Luka Airport is currently only served by four weekly B&H Airlines flights to Zurich. The Bosnian national carrier recently suspended flights from Banja Luka to Copenhagen which operated for a record two weeks. Due to its inability to attract flights and passengers, the airport has found itself in substantial financial problems. Earlier in the year it nearly lost its license to handle commercial flights.
Jat Airways has operated flights to Banja Luka on and off for several years. Services were cancelled each time due to low loads. B&H Airlines was scheduled to launch flights between Banja Luka and Vienna last winter but cancelled them in face of low interest. The airline planned two flights per week between the two cities which is the frequency reportedly being offered to the Serbian carrier, internal sources say.