Croatia Airlines in the running for shares in B&HAccording to sources close to the company, Croatia Airlines has expressed interest in taking over Turkish Airlines’ 49% stake in B&H Airlines. In 2008, the Croatian national carrier was also keen on becoming a minority stake holder in B&H but in the end decided not to participate in the tender procedure. Croatia Airlines is looking to spread its influence in the region with possible talk of a future tie up with Adria Airways. Furthermore, the Croatian carrier also requested documentation from the Macedonian government to take part in the subsidised flights scheme tender, which was recently on offer, but in the end did not lodge a request to open a Skopje base.
During the working week, the Bosnian government officially took back the 49% stake in B&H it sold to Turkish Airlines. The Turkish carrier gave its shares back for free, despite paying 19 million euros for them back in 2008. Goran Jovanović, the President of B&H Airlines’ Supervisory Board, said yesterday, “Turkish tried to create a company within the Balkans and invested a lot in the project. But the situation in the industry in the region is very difficult. All the regional companies are reporting losses. B&H Airlines is already negotiating with two companies interested in future partnership, one of which is an airline from the region”.
The other airline rumoured to have expressed interest for a stake in B&H Airlines is Buraq Air from Libya. On Wednesday, Turkish Airlines bid farewell to the Bosnian carrier with Hamdi Topcu, Turkish Airlines’ Executive Board Director, stating, “Since we wanted B&H Airlines to be a strong company we provided all the support and expertise we possibly could. If this company had been able to succeed it would have been a success for all of us, but especially for Bosnia. However, the Bosnian government was unable to fulfil its obligations”.