Double digit growth for Sarajevo in 2013
Sarajevo Airport ended 2013 by recording its thirteenth month of consecutive passenger growth, thus cementing a record breaking year. In December, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s busiest airport welcomed 36.760 passengers through its doors, an increase of 4.2% compared to the same month last year. The growth rate would have been higher had the airport not been forced to shut down for several days during the month due to heavy fog. Despite the weather conditions, the number of flights arriving and departing stood at 352, which is the same as in December 2012. During the month, the airport saw the launch of two new routes, Belgrade and Moscow, operated by B&H Airlines with an ATR72 and Moskovia Airlines with a Sukhoi Suprjet 100, respectively.
Last year, Sarajevo Airport secured its best passenger results since opening its doors in 1969. During 2013 the airport handled 665.638 passengers, an impressive increase of 14.8% compared to 2012. The number of flight operations amounted to 5.512. The airport’s busiest route remains Istanbul with up to 25 weekly departures, followed by Vienna and Belgrade. In 2013 the airport saw Pegasus Airlines launch flights from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport which significantly boosted passenger numbers. In addition, Turkish Airlines increased its frequencies to the Bosnian capital, Norwegian Air Shuttle converted its seasonal summer service from Stockholm to year long flights while Kuwait Airways launched seasonal flights to the airport.
Sarajevo’s growth is not dependent on B&H Airlines which calls the airport its home as the airline operates fewer weekly flights than most of its competition. However, if the airline is to grow its network in the year ahead, as planned, it could further boost growth levels at the airport. SAS Scandinavian Airlines has already announced the launch of seasonal summer flights from Stockholm to Sarajevo starting July 1. Recently, rumours have been circulating that Darwin Airline, which is to be rebranded as Etihad Regional, will launch flights from Geneva to the Bosnian capital. However, in a statement to EX-YU Aviation News the airline has said it does not plan to operate flights to Sarajevo in the near future.