B&H Airlines awaits new partnerThe Bosnian Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, has announced that two airlines are vying for a 49% stake in the national carrier B&H Airlines. Talks with the two interested parties are set to begin following Ramadan, which ends on August 19. “At this point I can only reveal that one of the airlines is European while the other isn’t. Furthermore, one of them is well known around the world while the other is prepared to financially back the entire project”, Bijedić recently announced. He adds, “Together with the B&H management team I will work towards improving the agreement we will reach with our new partners compared to the one we had with Turkish Airlines”.
Earlier this year Turkish Airlines relinquished its 49% stake in the Bosnian carrier bought in late 2008. It blamed the government’s lack of support as the prime reason for its pull out. It has been previously announced that an airline from Libya, most likely the privately owned Buraq Air, has expressed interest in taking over the minority stake in the flag carrier. The decision to sell 49% of B&H will avoid any ownership problems with European Union regulators in the future.
B&H Airlines is currently operating a single ATR72 with the other grounded in Germany since February. Bijedić assures the aircraft will return to the airline soon and that B&H will have full ownership of the two aircraft by 2016. Experts believe B&H’s biggest selling point is the underserved Bosnian market which has great potential for growth in the coming years as well as a sizable diaspora.