B&H’s ATR ready to fly
B&H Airlines’ ATR72-200, which has been grounded in Germany for months, has returned to Sarajevo and begun operating flights for the national carrier. The aircraft was sent to Monchengladbach in Germany’s west for maintenance. While work on the aircraft was completed weeks ago it could not return to B&H Airlines as the Federation government had not approved the necessary funding to pay for the repairs. However, two weeks ago funds were allocated for the ATR, with the aircraft touching down in Sarajevo on Monday.
Last Friday B&H Airlines wet leased an ATR72 from Malaga based Helitt Lineas Aereas for three days in order to resume operations after several weeks, since the carrier’s second ATR has had technical problems and is now grounded in Sarajevo. The ATR will soon be heading to Germany for repairs while the leased aircraft from Spain has been returned to its owner. B&H Airlines now has one fully operating ATR72 in its fleet. “The aircraft will be able to operate two out of three rotations per day. Since we drafted our summer timetable back in January we will have to modify it as we planned to have two aircraft in service. Since now we only have one aircraft we will offer passengers who have already booked or purchased their tickets to travel on different days or be rebooked on other companies”, B&H Airlines’ spokesperson, Edin Hrapović, said.
B&H Airlines had plans to launch services to Skopje this summer and has kept its slots at Amsterdam Airport in the hope of resuming flights to the Netherlands. Earlier in the year the airline confirmed it had plans to lease a 100 seat jet engine aircraft. However, these did not materialise after the carrier’s accounts were frozen in March. Despite B&H’s woes throughout the year, its hub has gone from strength to strength. Sarajevo Airport has seen a considerable rise in passenger numbers so far this year.