Croatia Airlines considering new Sarajevo flights
Croatia Airlines is considering launching flights from Sarajevo to several destinations in Europe, other than Zagreb, next year. The announcement came after the CEOs of Sarajevo Airport, Ivica Veličan, and Croatia Airlines, Krešimir Kučko, met in the Bosnian capital yesterday. Croatia Airlines will become a national carrier within the European Union next year, giving it the opportunity to launch flights to other European cities without too much hassle. If it were to be given necessary permits by Bosnian authorities, it could easily launch flights to any city within the Union next summer. The carrier will operate thirteen weekly flights between Zagreb and Sarajevo during the 2013 summer season.
Croatia Airlines was the first airline to operate services to the post war Sarajevo. In Bosnia and Herzegovina it has also previously operated flights to Mostar. Sarajevo Airport’s CEO himself used to be a Croatia Airlines employee. However, it remains to be seen how the airline will carry out its potential plan of launching direct flights from the Bosnian capital to other European cities since its fleet will be stretched to capacity next summer season as it will be introducing numerous new flights in what is expected to be a record 2013.
Additional new flights and destinations would be warmly welcomed by Sarajevo Airport. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s busiest airport handled 505.778 passengers in the first nine months of the year, down almost 4% on 2011. The airport is still waiting for the faith of its main customer, B&H Airlines, to unravel. The Federation government is continuing its search for a strategic partner after Turkish Airlines relinquished its 49% stake in the airline earlier this year. The drop in passenger numbers is directly related to B&H’s cuts in operations.