Saturday, July 28, 2012

Banja Luka Airport saved

Extra funds just in time
The entity government of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina has approved a 1.7 million euro cash injection for Banja Luka Airport in order for it to maintain its international operating license. The money will be used to finance shortcomings at the airport, which include the lengthening of taxiways, purchase of new security equipment and the installation of a new security fence. The airport has only a month to carry out the necessary work before an international monitoring body decides whether the airport is fit to continue serving commercial flights.

It is not the first time the airport has been given additional funds on top of the allocated annual budget of nearly half a million euros. Banja Luka Airport welcomed 2.580 passengers in the first half of the year, down 27.5% on 2011. The airport is served by four weekly B&H Airlines flights from Sarajevo, which continue on to Zurich.

Once the drama with its international operating license is resolved, Banja Luka Airport can focus on trying to attract foreign airlines. It has offered Serbia’s Jat Airways subsidised flights from Belgrade, which, upon government approval, would continue on to Vienna. On the other hand, the airport unsuccessfully tried to lure the small charter airline Di Air to operate flights from Tivat this summer. Furthermore, the airport has stated it will look into attracting Austrian to launch flights to the city next summer season. The Austrian carrier once operated scheduled services to Banja Luka. Its inability to attract foreign carriers raises questions whether smaller airports in the region such as Osijek and Niš can operate without large subsidies offered to customers.

5 comments:

  1. 2580 in the first 26 weeks of the year, means 99 passengers per week. 99 means, 44 departing, 45 arriving = 99...

    so actually around 45 people weekly who start their jouney in BNX.... most probably those departing will return again or vv.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Expected this would be the outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. SomeoneStandsToBenefitHandsomelyJuly 29, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    How can the airport legally carry out the necessary work (lengthening of taxiways, purchase of new security equipment and the installation of a new security fence) in a month? First, this should not be possible even without tender procedures and other legal requirements.

    Depressing.

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  4. Thank you for stating exactly what needed to be said. There is profit to be made and I predict this initial cash injection will end up being pocketed with the excuse that this could not be accomplished in one month. Although they may start building a fence or put in a metal detector.

    I have a feeling this airport is a pride thing as it would really be a blow to Dodik's pride to fly from Sarajevo or even Zagreb.

    In the mean time the regular citizens of the RS and also the whole of BH are paying for his folly. It is time for true professionals to run the airports and airlines and not have them be political puppets. Profits will not be seen otherwise and more seriously we must also consider passenger safety.

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  5. The info is actually slightly inaccurate...
    Yes, the international license deadline is one month, but license will be temporarily lengthened provided the airport authority proves that the right steps are being done to fulfill the shortcomings. 1.7M EUR is definitely good enough of a proof, let's just see it all happen...

    ReplyDelete

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