|Germanwings to bid farewell to Berlin - Sarajevo service|
Germanwings will terminate flights between Berlin and Sarajevo at the end of the 2014/15 winter season after only a year of operations. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, Germanwings’ PR Manager, Andreas Engel, said, “I can confirm that Germanwings will stop flying from Berlin to Sarajevo at the end of March. We will be focusing on the summer schedule, from the beginning of April, and our flights from Cologne and Stuttgart to Sarajevo”. The Lufthansa-owned airline will operate its last service on the route on March 28. The carrier maintained two weekly flights between the two capital cities. As mentioned by Mr. Engel, it will continue flying from Cologne and Stuttgart to Sarajevo during the summer. It will maintain three weekly flights from Cologne (increasing to four during July) and one weekly service from Stuttgart (increasing to two per week during August).
Germanwings’ service between Berlin and Sarajevo ran into problems early on. In April last year, the carrier informed the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Germany that demand for the new route was poor and that flights could be cancelled during the initial trial period. The Lufthansa subsidiary called on authorities in Bosnia for assistance. Since then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina informed the country’s Foreign Trade Chamber to promote the new service to its business partners. Following the suspension, only four capital cities from the former Yugoslavia will be linked to Berlin. They include Belgrade, Pristina and Zagreb, with services from Ljubljana to be launched by Adria Airways on April 24.
Despite Germanwings’ route suspension, Sarajevo Airport should not be too phased, with several new destinations to be launched over the coming months. Swiss International Air Lines will inaugurate flights from Geneva on April 4 and Zurich from May 1 to the airport. In addition, Bosnian Wand Airlines has added four routes from the city and has said it will further develop its base in Sarajevo. Talks with several other carriers are ongoing. Sarajevo Airport recorded its busiest year in 2014 since opening its doors. It welcomed 709.901 passengers, an increase of 6.6% compared to the year before. As a result, it overtook Podgorica Airport in the region, which has up until now performed slightly better than its Bosnian rival.