Sarajevo Airport's busiest year
Sarajevo Airport has reached a new milestone as it broke its all time record last weekend by handling the most passengers since it opened its doors in 1969. On Saturday November 9, the airport welcomed its 600.000th passenger of 2013, marking its busiest year to date. Its previous record was set in 2011 when it handled 599.978 travellers for the entire year. The airport says it has seen a big surge in passenger numbers primarily due to an increase in the number of flights being operated to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital. Only in the first nine days of November did the airport see 15.568 passengers pass through its doors. Sarajevo Airport ended 2012 as the tenth busiest in the former Yugoslavia by handling 580.058 passengers.
The impressive growth raises questions about the airport’s facilities and whether it is time to reconsider the expansion of the terminal building. Last year Sarajevo Airport cancelled a planned 32 million euro expansion despite securing a 25 million euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the purpose of expanding the terminal by 7.000 square metres, building a new apron and overhauling existing jetways. While the airport is still functioning effectively, capacity constraints are beginning to emerge at peak hours with security and duty free facilities in need of expansion. The current terminal building was overhauled and refurbished in the early 2000s. In 2005 Sarajevo Airport was named the best European airport to handle up to one million passengers.
Meanwhile, Moskovia Airlines, which will launch the first scheduled air link between the Russian capital and Sarajevo this December, has begun ticket sales for the route. The airline says it is initially relying on Russian tourists visiting the Jahorina ski resort this winter to use the new service. “This timetable suits both tourists and businesspeople”, the airline said in a statement. Moskovia Airlines will operate the new service with its Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. Flight details can be found here.