Soon in Mostar
Wizz Air will launch flights to Mostar from Malmo and Dortmund next year, Enver Bijedić, the Bosnian Minister for Transport and Communication has confirmed. Talks with the low cost airline will be held on Friday when details regarding the new flights will be discussed. At the meeting, Wizz Air will also lay out its terms and conditions. “The future of Mostar Airport lies in religious tourism which will bring lots of passengers. In the past, pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje sight used to arrive via Dubrovnik and Split”, Mr. Bijedić explains. The low cost airline, which is quickly expanding throughout the former Yugoslavia, has also shown interest to launch flights to both Tuzla and Sarajevo as well.
Earlier this year, the Bosnian government cut the mandatory ten euro airport tax at Mostar and Tuzla, which was seen as an obstacle for low cost airlines. The tax remains in force in Sarajevo. Mr. Bijedić explains it is necessary as it is used to partially finance the Bosnian national carrier B&H Airlines. “By removing the tax we have attracted airlines to Mostar and Tuzla”, the minister explains.
Mostar Airport has enjoyed an outstanding year. It is expected to handle some 80.000 passengers by the end of the year and is closing in on its all time record of 100.000 passengers, achieved prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia. Mostar Airport opened its doors for commercial traffic in 1965. It experienced a passenger boom in 1984 when it was used as an alternative for Sarajevo during the Winter Olympic Games. Last year the airport welcomed 36.800 passengers, which was surpassed by June in 2012. Today, the airport is mostly used by Catholic pilgrims visiting the town of Medjurgorje, following reports of visions of the Virgin Mary. However, Wizz Air’s planned routes from Mostar indicate it is counting more on diaspora traffic from Sweden and Germany, rather than religious tourism.