Another airline in the running for B&H shares
The Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has revealed that an airline from the region is also vying for a stake in its national carrier B&H Airlines. Previously, it has been rumoured that Croatia Airlines was eyeing B&H, as was the case in 2008 when Turkish Airlines purchased the shares. However, such claims have so far been denied by both the government and the Croatian carrier. A total of two airlines are interested in the 49% stake. Buraq Air from Libya has already been revealed by the media as the other potential partner, with the Libyans ready to make big investments in developing B&H’s network and operations. In spite of this, the government has not confirmed nor denied Buraq’s interest.
The Bosnian government has said that it expects for the new partner to help B&H develop a cargo network as well. The government believes that transporting freight will make the airline more profitable. It should be noted that Buraq Air operates cargo flights with its fleet featuring two Ilyushin Il-76 freighters.
After Turkish Airlines relinquished its shares in B&H earlier this year, the government has been left to deal with debt amounting to 6.3 million euros. The losses were made over the three year partnership period. The government has reiterated that it won’t change its position when it comes to selling only 49% of the national carrier, meaning it will remain the majority share holder. In 2008, three bids were submitted for B&H. They included Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines and a consortium from Malaysia. The bid from Turkey was ranked the best, followed by the Jordanians with the Malaysian offer disqualified.