Employees go on strike as Banja Luka plans for the summer seasonEmployees at Banja Luka Airport have been on strike for almost a week, unhappy with unpaid salaries and work conditions. The 59 employees are requesting for the airport’s management to be sacked. They also add that since 2008 they have only been receiving 70% of their pay and now want to be compensated. The airport employees will hold talks today with the Ministry of Transport in hope of resolving their differences. B&H Airlines’ operations out of Banja Luka to Zurich have not been affected by the industrial action.
In 2011, Banja Luka Airport faced financial problems and workers also went on strike during the summer. Still, despite the difficulties, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city handled 8.367 passengers, an increase of 74% compared to 2010. However, Adria Airways won’t be resuming its service from Ljubljana this summer. B&H Airlines, the sole commercial airline operating out of Banja Luka, will increase its flights to Zurich from three weekly last summer to four flights per week during the upcoming 2012 summer season.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport of the entity of Republika Srpska, Nedeljko Čubrilović, says that talks are continuing with Jat Airways for it to begin flights from Banja Luka to Belgrade and Vienna. “Once everything is negotiated, Jat has the ability to launch the flights within seven days”, Čubrilović said in a recent interview. He adds that Jat’s flights would be timed so as to offer good connections out of Vienna to other destinations. Jat has been offered four million Euros in subsidies for the service.