Flydubai to skip Sarajevo
Flydubai has cancelled its planned two weekly service from Dubai to Sarajevo. Although flights were to be inaugurated in April, the airline says crew duty times would have been exceeded on the return leg to Dubai. Thus, this would require a mandatory rest period for the crew in Sarajevo, which would increase costs for the no frills airline and make the route unprofitable from the outset. A year ago the airline also considered launching flights to Zagreb but decided against the move due to the same reasons. Within the former Yugoslavia, Flydubai continues to operate flights to Belgrade and Skopje. Currently, the Serbian capital is furthest to the west in Flydubai’s destination network.
Flights from Dubai to Sarajevo were first announced in December last year by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the CEO of the Emirates Group. Soon after they were confirmed by the airline’s Belgrade office, which covers the entire region of the former Yugoslavia. The news will be welcomed by Turkish Airlines which carries the largest share of passengers from Sarajevo transiting to the Middle East. The Turkish carrier will be operating up to eighteen weekly flights between the Bosnian capital and Istanbul this summer season.
As a result of Flydubai’s latest decision, the airline will operate seven weekly flights to the former Yugoslavia during the 2013 summer season. A total of four weekly flights are planned to Belgrade while services to Skopje will increase from two to three times per week. Nevertheless, Sarajevo will see flights to the Middle East this summer as Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines is set to resume pilgrimage flights to the Bosnian capital while Gryphon Airlines will resume its two weekly service from Kuwait City.