B&H to resume flights to Amsterdam and Skopje
B&H Airlines is planning to launch flights to Amsterdam and Skopje this summer season, despite the fact that its future ownership structure remains uncertain. The carrier, which handled 59.697 passengers in 2012 (down 54% on 2011 and its worst result since 2005), says the three airlines interested in a 49% ownership stake have made no specific offers. These include AirAsia from Malaysia as well as Tarhan & Tower Airlines and Atlasjet from Turkey. Tarhan offered to provide B&H with a couple of MD 82s while Atlasjet was interested in creating a regional airline serving Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania with its base in Tirana. “We haven’t received a firm answer from any of the potential partners. No deadlines have been set. The only thing that is certain is that B&H Airlines will live. It will be a tough ask and it would be much easier with the help of a foreign partner”, Enver Bijedić, the Federation Minister for Transport and Communication says.
Despite its ownership woes, B&H plans to expand in the coming summer season. The airline has already applied for slots at Amsterdam Airport and intends on launching four weekly flights to the Macedonian capital. Several months ago, EX-YU Aviation News reported on the carrier’s intentions to resume services to Skopje. The airline says that it currently doesn’t have the means to expand its fleet. B&H Airlines operates flights to Banja Luka, Copenhagen, Zurich and Istanbul with two ATR72-200s.
Meanwhile, closer partnership with Croatia Airlines is also in the works. The Croatian carrier has expressed interest to set up a base in Sarajevo this summer and offer direct flights to several European destinations. However, for now, the two airlines are negotiating possible code sharing on certain flights.