Saturday, August 24, 2013

B&H Airlines looking for partner

Strong competition pushing B&H towards privatisation

Following Jat, Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines, B&H Airlines is the latest in search of a strategic partner. The Federal Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, said talks have been held with several potential investors. “We have held talks with… I don’t know… some “Atlas Tours” and some “Airlines”. We are looking for a solution to find a way out of the crisis which has hit all neighbouring carriers”, the minister said. Last year, following Turkish Airlines’ exit from B&H Airlines, several carriers expressed interest to step in and take over. They included Libya’s Buraq Air, Tarhan & Tower Airlines from Turkey and AirAsia from Malaysia. In the end, they all backed away from a potential purchase.

The acting CEO of B&H Airlines, Amir Jažić, says that while the airline is operating normally, a strategic partner would solve all of its problems. “The solution is for someone to purchase us. That would be best for all. This way I doubt we can survive another year. B&H Airlines can’t compete against the large number of airlines which have taken over our flights”, Jažić says. He adds that Pegasus and Turkish Airlines operate up to 25 weekly flights from Sarajevo to Istanbul making it impossible to compete. “We have lost the fight for the Turkish market. You know the saying - big fish eats small fish. The government allowed for other airlines to step in. A few years ago Germanwings took over the German market. Now we have nearly lost Turkey. We can’t compete with two planes”, Mr. Jažić concludes.

Despite all of its problems, last year B&H Airlines posted a profit for the first time since the airline was launched. During this year the carrier repaid all of its loans to the Hypo Bank Group which saw its bank accounts frozen earlier this year due to late payments.


  1. Do we know how much of a profit they made and for which period? Is it for one month, half-year...?

    1. The news of profit is actually very good news, if true. B&H Airlines actually also had good books before THY came in but I would also like to see some numbers.

  2. The ministers statement is gold lol

  3. One A319 would help much.
    Wiping the political influence off the company would help much more.

  4. I see tomorrows head line
    China Southern looking for Aviogenex

  5. I dont want to sound disrespective, but is there any true market logics behind the existance BH Airlines or it is just the matter of pride?

    It is difficult to imagine that there is a need for an airline based in Sarajevo just because of four or five routes: Istanbul, Vienna, one or two cities in Germany, possibly Copenhagen and thats it. Most of those passengers is VFR traffic so yields are troublesome.

    People here will most certainly object to my words, I am looking forward to learning more about Sarajevo market.

    1. The same point should be made by every national airliner we have in the region, including Croatia and Air Serbia. Officially they want to be profitable companies compared to any other company. But in the fact they are just instruments of outdatet national (nationalistic) ideas of air traffic. If it´s about the profit, those companies should start thinking regionally.

  6. Now we're just waiting for YM to announce that they are also looking for a partner. How amusing that everybody started to look for one just after YU transaction was completed. Too littlr, too late.

  7. Offtopic:

    LJU Airport reports for 2013 1st 6 months:


    25% of traffic is leisure
    75% Business travel

    1. How do they make those statistics? Do they count the transit passangers? How do they know ho is flying on businnes?

    2. several surveys during the year

  8. The minister’s statement says it all. “We have held talks with… I don’t know… some “Atlas Tours” and some “Airlines”. God save us from Balkanite politicians.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. as long they exist, there will be articles about them. But it s time that YM/BA disappear and that OU/JP merge. And that the new Airline called Adria will get traffic rights out of TIA SKP PRN TIV TGD SJJ to operate not only feeder flights to the ZAG hub but also to important foreign cities.

      private owned Airline with foreign partner and plenty of foreigners in the managements with good aviation market skills (same as in UAE, Qatar etc). These Airlines are not managed by locals, but by foreigners from allover the world.
      new emplyoment conditions, narrow cost structures, attractive prize scheme, a good Business class. Governments are completely kept away from the carrier, no influence at all for them. They only provide good infrastructure at the Airports in order to have a good ground product.
      That s the first step and for the short term probably the Chance to survive. In the Long term where Europe will have only more 3-4 big carriers, some LCC and some regional niche players, the question might could come up to merge with another carrier in the region.
      Once the forest is cleaned up the remaining Airlines will make further progress, profits will increase and new opportunities will raise.

      the US is a good example for it. The next region is Latinamerica where Avianca and Latam control it more and more to the benefit of their shareholders and the travellers in General as flying gets safer and the Service on ground and during flights is increasing.

      without joining Forces, there is not a hint of chance to survive

    2. Your comment was deleted because A) You are using someone else’s nickname B) You are the same person that made very serious accusations against other visitors here two weeks ago for which you have been reported to the Blogspot administrators.

    3. JU520 BEGLAXAugust 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      "But it s time that YM/BA disappear and that OU/JP merge. And that the new Airline called Adria will get traffic rights out of TIA SKP PRN TIV TGD SJJ to operate not only feeder flights to the ZAG hub but also to important foreign cities."

      "without joining Forces, there is not a hint of chance to survive."


      Right, that´s why I will never understand this market narrowing with brand "Air Serbia". Not even a "Serbian airlines", but "Air 7 Million inhabitants/1.5 airport". It´s just silly, and I already see your scenario: YM and BA probably disappearing, and Croatian-Slovenian "Adria" taking the whole Slovenian, Bosnian, Coratian and Montenegrin market (15 oprational civil airports!), while "Air Serbia" proudly sticking to Belgrade traffic and maybe having one ore to Nish flights.

    4. Or maybe a better option would be the joining of Croatia airlines and Adria on the one side, and a similar joining of Air Serbia, Montenegro Airlines and BH Airlines (maybe even MAT) to a Southeast Euoropean airliner.

    5. No one is clear. Albania/Kosovo/Bosnia/Macedonia/MNE will not give away their slots for free, in contrary they Need to be feeded with attractive compensations. for example Crew hiring in those countries. Flights PRN-FRA it s clear that main part of Crew is albanian-serbian-english speaking. all Kind of Jobs over maintenancce whatever, People from those countries would get working Permit. mabye big maintenance base in SJJ where foreign carrier would do maintenance too.
      the package must be a win win Situation for all of em
      The reason YM/BA to disappear, of course at the beginning lots of Job cuts, aso their fleet does not fit to JP/OU etc

      Air Serbia Name is good for Serbia but you are right, if they do have Expansion Appetit, than this Name will be a hurdle for them.

      Maybe all the Airlines in the ex YU Region should have let their carriers blow and Etihad could have created a complete new Airline called Etihad Adriatic with main hub in Belgrade and a 2ndary hub in Zagreb

      There is definitely ways to go. But for such a move, People in our Region must have visions and not wearing blinders.

      Balkan/Adriatic Region is an enough attractive market for at least 1 Airline but if we don t wake up soon, the main cakepart will be eaten by foreigners

    6. The worst scenario would be ofcourse to shut down YM and to rederict all traffic to Belgrade (something that JAT was doing in SRJ). On the other hand, there is always a tendency in every single airliner to build one or two serious hub and to let all other regional destinations just feed that hub. However, I honestly believe there could be a vivid concept of business that would make out a hub of belgrade, but also aknowladge SJJ and TGD as important bases, with own fleet and cabin crew. Last criteria - an independent crew and fleet base - are, just as you have noted, essential for having a fair regional airliner. Maybe the SAS could be a kind of a modell for that business.

    7. I respect the opinion of some here that Air Serbia name will hinder its expansion in the region.
      But i have to say thats no problem at all for me.
      I mean which sense does it make to collect bases all around?
      Air Serbia should concentrate on Belgrade,well they do this already and this is a good thing!
      What i want to see is them opening routes to LED or Hamburg
      next summer.
      Also i dont care about how YM is run as long i can choose between them and JU on Montenegro routes.They compete with each other and we passengers only profit from this.

    8. YM and JU are not cempeting on TIV and TGD flights to Belgrade. Since 5 years or so they have a unique price agreement (110 Euros or so).

      With no regional action - there is no future. Neither of OU, or of JU.

    9. @JU520 BEGLAXAugust 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      That's not happening. JU will destroy YM's strongest market - Serbia. You do understand that most people on Montenegro - Serbia routes are actually Serbs in Serbia, who have relatives in Montenegro or are travelling there for vacation, right? How exactly do you see them choosing a Croatian/Slovenian carrier instead of Air Serbia? That doesn't make any sense.

      And not to mention that a regional expansion of OU+JP is beyond laughable considering how cash starved they are. Even when and if (and that's a HUGE if) they unite, the political pressure will eliminate a lot of possible synergies. (especially in cutting the administrative cost). If they unite, it will be a matter of survival, not for expansion. On the other hand, Air Serbia is going to have more resources than all of ex-yu airlines combined and they'll make a strong push both for Montenegro and Bosnia. The pressure they're about to exert on regional airlines is enormous and that's what's triggering the panic and sudden huge interest in finding a strategic partner for regional airlines. Most of them won't get one and will either go into bankruptcy or live off from government aid. Although that's only a possibility for YM and Bosnian Airlines.

    10. Seems to me that you are writing some smart stuff. Evethough, I still cann´t see the point of shutting the regional options with the branding of "Air Serbia", when a whole region really gaps for a regional carrier and when we have like 7 or 8 examples of national companies in the region failing to make profit because of to narrow-national determination of their initial market.

      Let´s just say that with good input and smart policy Etihad may attract a fair number of transit passangers who will fly via Belgrade to different destinations. But why failing at the same time to dominate the region? They could have choosen some branding that would allow people from Sarajevo or Varna or Skoplje to identify with that airline as of their own. Instead of that they have just provoked an infantile rivalism in OU and JA, and soon is a similar reaction from Montenegro and Slovenia to come.

      Securing a solid intitial market with far more than 7/8 million inhabitants is an important multiplicator of every profit.

    11. .. Anyway, there is here in now, in Southeastern Europe an historical opportunity for building a regional giant that could even compete with Lufthansa or Air France, for sure with AlItalia or Austrian. Whoever uses that chance, it will suppress all other airliners now opperating in the region. Maybe it will really be Adria, Croatia and BH united? Anyway, I really feal sorry that Etihad didn´t use that unique chance, cause they would certainly have no problems to develope that kind of business. With an united "Adria", consisting of YM, OU, JP and JA it would be easily an bloody end for Air Serbia.

    12. Oh, wow. Joining up bankrupt companies doesn't actually make them better together.

    13. Oh, wow, how about putting your brain on, and leavig that cheap kind of demagogy? Broke companies or not, they are having states standing behind them, fleets, markets they may leave behind. Nobody ever mentioned some simple joining up of bankrupt companies. It is about joining the market, fleet, business not stuff, managament and bank accounts. Togehter they may have a chance to make profit; if they stay narrow national carriers, there is no chance to avoid banrupcy

  10. All this including Adria and Croatia privatization talks is a reaction to the entry of Etihad in Serbia. It creates a domino panic effect on the other airlines. LH is out of the game since Mr. Franz is busy with loss making SN and OS. So there is bankruptcy or privatization. I personally think it wuld have been better to merge OU and JP under the umbrella of Sky Team and leave Star Alliance.

    1. considering that there is so much Close Star Alliance members (Turkish, Aegean, Austrian, Swiss, Lufthansa plus hubs with Long hauls) it would probably make sense to change the Group.
      Would we have Etihad Adriatic, than we could become part of oneworld and since currently Air Serbia is a fact, this new Adria could also be part of Skyteam. There would def be room for development, also in terms of long hauls. Currently with Star Alliance and having longhaul hubs so close by VIE MUC IST ZRH, the chances for longhauls ex BEG/ZAG are rather weak and with current set-up OU/JP remain Feeder Operators for ZRH/MUC/FRA/VIE/CPH

    2. Etihad Adriatic sounds fine, but I believe that Adria airways (if not being in that game) could easily stop that kind of branding as a missleading. I believe that the whole Southeast Europe is dealing with same problems and just gaping for one or two serious regional airliners. It´s a more than fair market with 70 Million inhabitants, different touristic higlights (Adria, Budapest), important capital cities (Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia..), and it really does deserve an attention as a whole.

  11. OMG!!
    Its not BA or CA, its JA and OU!! Is it possible?! Seriously?! Learn it already!
    FYI - BA is IATA code for British Airways and CA is IATA code for Air China!

    You come here, trash everything and everyone but have no idea about the simplest basic things in aviation! God!

    So, Aviation codes 101:
    IATA Airline Codes
    Adria Airways JP
    Croatia Airlines OU
    BH Airlines JA
    Montenegro Airlines YM
    Jat Airways/Air Serbia JU

    IATA and ICAO Airport codes
    Ljubljana LJU/LJLJ
    Zagreb ZAG/LDZA
    Osijek OSI/LDOS
    Pula PUY/LDPL
    Rijeka RJK/LDRI
    Zadar ZAD/LDZD
    Split SPU/LDSP
    Dubrivnik DBV/LDDU
    Brac BWK/LDSB
    Sarajevo SJJ/LQSA
    Banjaluka BNX/LQBK
    Tuzla TZL/LQTZ
    Mostar OMO/LQMO
    Belgrade BEG/LYBE
    Nis INI/LYNI
    Podgorica TGD/LYPG
    Tivat TIV/LYTV
    Skopje SKP/LWSK
    Ohrid OHD/LWOH

    1. Belgrade Batajnica BJY

    2. Novi Sad Cenej QND ;-)

    3. why being so on fire? chill down..
      I work since almost 30 years with airline and airport/aircraft codes...and yep sometimes u mix one up like I did BA/JA..
      so no Drama

      man we get old, here we go with the consequences of getting older :-)

    4. @ JU500. I agree we should all learn the proper airport codes. But you should show the proper respect to the cities you listed. It is not Brac, but Brač, nor is it Nis, it is Niš.

      Peace out.

      -- Charlie

  12. "You come here, trash everything and everyone but have no idea about the simplest basic things in aviation! God!"

    Hello JU500, would you be so kind to let me know your job? Thanks

  13. Why Ex-Yu doesn't report about industrial disputes announced by JAT's unions?

  14. Because the issue was resolved in one day and does not cater an entire article but it will be mentioned in a future Jat/Air Serbia article.

  15. Thumbs up Mr. Enver Bijedic the Minister!!! He is the absolute king.

  16. Of idiotism!
    Though, he reminds us of his fellows and the shtwhole we live in. The problem is that we have to share space and air with such form of life. But the main issue is, when he and alike leave (usually for better place) we stay to clean sht, usually by eating.

  17. uuuuuuuuuuuuh.... didn't they HAVE a strategic partner that just threw up their hands and gave back their share and said, "godspeed"?

    They screwed up their arrangement with Turkish. They're not going to get a better, friendlier partner.

  18. To me it is funny to talk about a hub in ZAG or BEG that would get feeder traffic from SJJ or TGD. Who would want to fly that short distance just to have to connect again in some major European hub. It doesn't make sense unless we are talking majorly long term when the possibility of intercontinental flights from one of these cities would be more than a dream.


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