Busy times for Sarajevo
Sarajevo Airport has seen a strong surge in passenger numbers this year and expects the arrival of more new carriers later in 2013. Despite a sluggish start to the year, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s busiest airport handled 303.829 passengers in the first six months, an impressive increase of 15.3% compared to the same period last year. The bulk of the growth has come during the summer months. The number of aircraft operations have also increased by 12%. Currently, Sarajevo is the only capital city airport in the former Yugoslavia welcoming a wide body aircraft, a Kuwait Airways Airbus A300, on a regular basis. The seasonal summer flights, which will operate until the end of September, have proved popular with passengers.
In addition, Sarajevo is also served by two weekly charter flights operated by Dubai based Eastern SkyJets from Kuwait City. Adria Airways has introduced charters to Sarajevo in order to take over a considerable number of tourists coming in from Kuwait. On the nine charter flights planned for this summer, some 400 Kuwaiti tourists will travel to the Slovenian capital through Sarajevo. Furthermore, Sarajevo has been busy this summer with Tunisair Express operating flights to the city from Tunis as well as Middle East Airlines from Beirut.
The CEO of Sarajevo Airport, Ivica Veličan, says, “Sarajevo has never been better connected with Europe and the rest of the world. Now you can be in any European city every day and every morning with just a single stop”. Mr. Veličan added the airport is entering the final phase of talks with Wizz Air but warned that “Low cost airlines do a thorough analysis of the market before launching flights. They play the subsidies card in order to secure that the new service will be profitable”. This summer the airport is recording the arrival of large amounts of passengers from the United Sates and a considerable number of business travellers from Europe and the Middle East. Turkish Airlines is Sarajevo Airport’s busiest customer.