B&H denies closure claims
B&H Airlines has denied recent claims by the “Dnevni Avaz” newspaper that the Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina is planning to shut down the carrier. “Since our accounts were reinstated, B&H Airlines continues to operate flights from Sarajevo Airport normally. We are carrying out flights according to the 2013 timetable and final preparations are underway for flights to Skopje to be launched”, the airline said in a press release.
B&H Airlines is currently operating services to Istanbul, Copenhagen, Zurich and Banja Luka with a single ATR72 which has forced the carrier to reduce its flight offering. However, the airline’s second ATR, which has been undergoing maintenance in Germany for the past few months, is set to return to the fleet on April 22, after which B&H plans to boost frequencies. Officially, the airline still plans to lease a jet engine aircraft, with global reservation systems displaying a Fokker 100 operating flights from Sarajevo to Istanbul starting May 1. While the airline hasn’t included Amsterdam in its summer timetable, it has been granted slots at the Dutch airport for the upcoming summer, indicating a possible return for the carrier to the city.
Earlier this week, the popular daily “Dnevni Avaz” broke the news that the Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to shut down its national carrier. It added that cabinet members are set to vote in favour of the airline’s closure as it can no longer support B&H which has accumulated significant debt for its relatively small size. The government forks out 3.5 million euros for the carrier on an annual basis. The government has blamed Turkish Airlines for leaving B&H last year in a worse state then prior to the acquisition in 2008.