Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Last chance for Banja Luka Airport

Farewell Banja Luka International Airport?
Banja Luka Airport has been given a final lifeline before it loses its international operating license. The airport was ordered to fulfil several technical requirements by June 20 including the lengthening of taxiways, purchase of new security equipment and the installation of a new security fence in order to keep its license. However, none of these requirements have been met. The airport has now been given another two months by international monitors to do so. If it fails to adhere to international standards it will lose its license, effectively forcing the airport to close.

Banja Luka Airport has said it does not have the money to finance the needed upgrades. The airport faced similar problems last year, while its employees have also staged several protests over unpaid wages. A total of 460.100 euros is allocated for the airport on an annual basis, while the entity government has been forced to inject additional funds in the past few years.

Banja Luka Airport is currently served only by B&H Airlines. In 2011 Adria Airways operated subsidised flights from Ljubljana to Banja Luka but cancelled the service once the subsidies dried up. The airport has announced that it plans to negotiate with Austrian Airlines later this summer for the carrier to restart flights from Vienna in 2013. Jat Airways was invited to launch flights from Belgrade and onwards to Vienna this summer season but the Serbian national carrier’s fleet is stretched to the limit with its existing network. Meanwhile, talks with Di Air to launch summer charters from Tivat have broken down with the airline showing little interest for the route.

15 comments:

  1. OT:
    Whats going on with Monarchs flight 857 to Glasgow? Was it an emergency landing at BEG last night? It was a scheduled flight from Larnaca to Luton, but I guess it was diverted to BEG. Does anybody know anything?

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    1. Emergency landing likely. Flight history on radar24 shows altitude of 10360 meters when flew above Kragujevac and than sudden decrease to 3600 a few circles around BEG and than final landing a few minutes after midnight

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    2. An emergency landing likely. History on radar24 shows it flew on alt 10363 meters above Kragujevac and than sudden decrease to 3,600 meters, a few circles around BEG and final landing a few minutes after midnight local time

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  2. Bez Sarajeva nemozete ni da letite kao ljudi ipak je to glavni aerodrom u zemlji!

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    1. This is not the truth, people from the Banja Luka region mostly decide between Zagreb and Belgrade airports departures and just little percentage of them depart from Sarajevo. It is because they use highways to Zagreb either to Belgrade and to Sarajevo there are only 30km of the highway just close to Sarajevo and 160 km of hilly unsafe road over Vlasic or along Bosna river even more. Even people from Tuzla region use more Belgrade or Zagreb airports then Sarajevo because these airports are "cheaper" or airlines flying from Belgrade and Zagreb offer better fares in comparison to Sarajevo and landing and handling fees at the Sarajevo airport are still the one of the most expensive in whole Europe!
      Banja Luka Airport could be good base for some low costs but for longer period and with some deductions or free services offered by airport management, but neither politician neither "management" of the airport never ever tried to look at the mirror and consider good and feasible investment for Banja Luka airport further development. Banja Luka International Airport will just stay bad topic for next years and some kind of political and social issue, not really the air transport one.

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  3. First of, seljak above, write in English, everybody else does and second of all, leave politics out of this forum.
    This is a sad news but not at all unexpected. This airport had no chance of success. With current economics in BiH, there is no way two international airports can coexist. Especially in the area like Banja Luka with relatively small population,(again) bad economy and practical no tourist pax. Your SJJ on the other hand is little better with emphasis on little. As an illustration, I'm trying to fly there from Toronto this summer and started looking for tickets in January. If you'd like one stop your only relevant options are MUC and VIE and the ticket is almost $2000!!! Just shows that the access to SJJ is practically LH/OS monopoly. BEG around the same time was &1100, ZAG for $1300. So, before you boast about "main airport in the country" think about it a little bit. The only reason why that airports still posts relatively decent numbers is the ex-pat community who have the need to go there once in a while. However, as we grow older that need will trickle down and unless economy doesn't pick up your "glavni" airport can easily see similar fortunes.

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    1. KAD ENGLESKI BUDE SLUZBENI JEZIK , ONDA CEMO PISATI NA ENGLESKOM. OVO JE EX-YU FORUM I SVI SE RAZUMIJEMO NA EX-YU JEZICIMA. A TI SE MOJNE CITIKUR !

      STO SE TICE AERODROMA BANJA LUKA, MENI JE STVARNO ZAO STO SE OVAKVE STVARI DESAVAJU KOD NJIH. ZNAM NEKOLIKO LJUDI U TOM PREDUZECU , NESTO U UPRAVI I NESTO NA AERODROMU I MOGU RECI SAMO POHVALE. KOLIKO SU OBUCENI U POSLU KOJIM SE BAVE NE ZNAM ALI DOBRA SURADNJA I LJUBAZNOST MOZE NEKADA POMOCI DA SE NEKE STVARI NE VIDE. JA IM SE DIVIM KAKO IZDRZAVAJU U OVOJ BESPARICI. DA SU MALO VISE URADILI NA MARKETINGU BANJA LUKE I SIRE REGIJE, MOGLI SU NESTO NAPRAVITI. MISLIM DA NISU DOVOLJNO NAPRAVILI. UKOLIKO SU HTJELI LINIJU ZA VIENNU (SA BH AIRLINES) ONDQA SU TREBALI NEKU SUBVENCIJU DATI DOK SE LINIJA NE SUTALI - A NE DA SE LINIJA IZJALOVI ZBOG IZJAVE NEKOG TAMO SRBIJANCA U BECU DA AUSTRIJSKI SRBI IZ RS-A IDU UGLAVNOM AUTIMA KUCI. ZA OVAKVE PROMOCIJE SE IDE NA GODISNJE FORUME ROUTES GDJE SE PROMOVIRAJU AERODROMI I USLUGE (I CIJENE) KOJE NUDE. ONO NOVACA KOLIKO SU VLASTODRSCI DALI FAMOZNOJ ADRIA AIRWAYS , MOGLE SU SE DOVESTI I SPONZORIRATI 2 MANJE KOMPANIJE DA LETE SVAKODNEVNO IZ BANJA LUKE. OVO STO SE LETI ZA CIRIH JE DOBRO ALI NEDOSTATNO, TREBA JOS NEKA OVAKVA LINIJA. SVE U SVEMU, RUKE GORE I DRZITE SE , IMATE MOJU POTPORU AKO TO STA ZNACI.

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    2. Hey Sale, SJJ has one of the highest airport taxes and still functiones perfectly with profit every year, while Banja Luka couldn't even get one airline to fly from there even if it would get subsidised with 4 mill € from the government of RS. With that being said, your prediction about SJJ possibly having the same future is beyond ridiculous, the demand for SJJ is much bigger than it will ever be for BNX, even though BNX region has by far the largest diaspora in the country. Sad se zavuci u svoju misiju rupu i crkni od muke :)

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  4. This airport is a waste. Just closing down once and for all. Stop the bleeding and use the money elsewhere.

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  5. Two months ago I sent a suggestion to Biljana Knezevic, the host of popular TV show Presing, to take a look at this blog and dedicate one broadcast to the topic of BL Airport.
    Of course, she did not bother to answer at all.

    It seems like people in the media do not believe that airport closure may be an important issue. Also, the lack of media attention could be attributed to the fact of political pressure, anxiety and fear - they hesitate to talk about faults of local government as almighty papa Dodik and his comrade Davidovic could become angry :)

    Anyways, anyone who checks the news on this blog related to BL Airport and Sky Srpska could notice a great degree of incompetence on all sides, including airport and "airline" managements and minister Cubrilovic.

    Beginning this year Cubrilovic was ready to pay 4 million eur to JAT in order to stop by in Banja Luka on the way to Vienna. Several years ago they even decided to buy two airplanes for around 25 milion eur. Money is not so big issue as their incompetence and lack of understanding of everything, not just airline business.

    Now, I am asking, why would it be complicated for RS/BL to have a deal with, for instance, Montenegro Airlines? Take a look at the map. Their flights to Vienna, Frankfurt, London, Zurich go approximately over Banja Luka. Why couldn't they stop by sometimes, or even establish a second base in Banja Luka? If affordable or frequent enough, these flights could be potentially interesting also for some of Zagreb passengers. Nis could be also connected.

    If MA is in financial problems, then RS could invest a part of the money in the company and get appropriate share and management votes.

    I believe there is and will be a financial justification for this. The region counts some 500-800k inhabitants. BL now has direct highway connection with Zagreb. From Mahovljani it takes some 150km to ZAG. In a few years it will have direct highway connection with Sarajevo, through Doboj. If BL passengers can go to ZG to take a flight, then potentially people from ZG or Slavonia could also take flights in BL. In BL there is a strong presence of several Russian companies, which will be further expanded in the near future. The region has relatively numerous diaspora, especially in DACH area. There is also interest in summer charters as many tourists from BL go through BEG to summer holidays in Greece, Turkey and Tunis.

    Other option could be to try to establish some kind of strategic partnership with companies like InterSky or SkyWork. I don't know about this possibility, but these companies have appropriate turboprops and operate from relatively cheap DACH airports. They have good connections with popular airports and are already located in areas with our diaspora.

    The region is poor, but it is comparably broken as Montenegro or Serbia. Montenegro has 500.000 inhabitants and national carrier with 8 airplanes. RS has 1,5 milion inhabitants and only Dodik's private/state business jet. Take a look at Pristina airport and their numbers. We are not so much poorer, it is just the question of organisation, competence, and willingness to perform.

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    1. First, it's again interested to see numerous combinations from you and others, that exclude BH Airlines.

      And that's BNX mayor problem: politics! That airport is solely political issue, it's used only for local political agenda, and all of this "options" that include Adria, Montenegro, Lufhtansa, united, etc, etc. is simple trash.

      BHA in 2010 gave the best possible offer for BNX: morning flight to SJJ and afternoon flight from SJJ for a start, with options of additional daily flight, and in perspective, direct flight to some destionation like Vienna or Zurich.

      Dodik sad no, of course....

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  6. Yesterday on some TV channel in Serbia, they were talking about how "at Belgrade airport, less and less people are travelling, and smaller and smaller planes than before are in Belgrade"... If compared to Yugoslavia, then yes kinda ok. But year to year or month to month..? I wanted to punch the politician through the TV screen haha.

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  7. Under the current economic circumstances BEG does magnificent!

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  8. We want Trebinje airport, so we can fly to Banja Luka )

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  9. Apparently there is some help coming from the RS government: http://www.nezavisne.com/posao/privreda/Dzombic-Necemo-dozvoliti-gubitak-licence-146921.html

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