|Ryanair to decide on Mostar flights within three months|
Ryanair could soon launch flights to Mostar in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina following talks between the airline and local authorities earlier this week. Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Luis Fernandez Mellado, said the no frills carrier is currently expanding its network and fleet and is considering up to forty different destinations in Europe, among which is Mostar. “We are the leading airline in Europe. We have developed many small and regional European airports and there is no obstacle for us to do the same in Mostar”, Mr. Fernandez Mellado said. He added that Ryanair’s only condition is for flights to the city to be profitable. Over the next two to three months the low cost airline will make a final decision on whether it will add Mostar to its route network, following additional talks with authorities.
Mostar Airport and local authorities are confident the city will soon be served by Europe’s busiest airline. Marko Djuzel, head of Traffic and Security at Mostar Airport, said, "Our goal is to link Mostar Airport with European hubs in Germany, Austria or Scandinavia where our passengers can transit and continue their journey further on". Ljubo Bešlić, the Mayor of Mostar, and Denis Lasić, the Prime Minister of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, are certain that a common interest will be found between the two sides in order for the flights to be launched. “We agreed today to consider all the information we have exchanged and prepare for our next meeting in two weeks”, Mayor Bešlić, said. The Prime Minister added, “Now is the time to prepare and plan our budget for the coming year. I think that sufficient funds will be found in the budget for these flights and they will become operational”.
Last year, the Federal government of Bosnia and Herzegovina designated both Mostar and Tuzla airports as the country’s low cost hubs. Since then, Wizz Air has launched services to Tuzla and plans to open a base there next summer. Meanwhile, Mostar has struggled to attract scheduled flights but sees a significant number of charters throughout the year, carrying religious pilgrims visiting the nearby Medjugorje sight. Back in 2012 Mostar Airport held talks with Wizz Air over potential flights from Dortmund and Malmo, however, the airline opted for Tuzla instead. Ryanair has a limited presence in the former Yugoslavia. Besides a seasonal summer base in Zadar, the no frills carrier also flies to Rijeka, Osijek and Pula in Croatia as well as Podgorica in Montenegro. In 2007 Ryanair launched flights to Maribor, however, the service was cancelled due to poor loads after only a few months.