Bosnian airports report 2012 results
Mostar Airport handled 78.055 passengers in 2012, making it one of its busiest years on record. The airport expects to break its all time Yugoslav era record of 86.000 passengers this year. Compared to 2011, Mostar Airport saw its numbers surge by 112%. The growth is being driven by numerous charters operating to the city, carrying Christian pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje site. It is important to note that the airport does not have any scheduled flights and has twenty employees. Furthermore, during 2012, the airport set an all time 24 hour passenger record, handling 2.404 travellers on June 29. Mostar estimates it will welcome 110.000 passengers during 2013.
Late last year talks were held with Wizz Air over the potential launch of flights to Mostar from Malmo and Dortmund during the coming summer. “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”, the Federation Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, recently said. In 2012 the Bosnian government cut the mandatory ten euro airport tax at Mostar and Tuzla, which was seen as an obstacle for low cost airlines. Mostar Airport was opened for domestic flights in 1965 with links to Belgrade and Zagreb. International flights from the airport were launched in 1984, in time for the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo.
Unlike Mostar, other international airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have as much success last year. Sarajevo Airport welcomed 580.058 passengers, down 3.3% on 2011. After a drama filled year, Banja Luka Airport managed to handle 6.424 passengers, a decrease of 23.2% on the year before. Tuzla Airport was the least busiest with 4.191 passengers welcomed, a slump of 7.4% on 2011.