Friday, February 27, 2015

Last minute deal temporarily saves B&H

B&H Airlines to continue flying as new issues arise

B&H Airlines has been temporarily rescued from bankruptcy after the asset company HETA and Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing agreed to unblock the carrier’s accounts in a last-minute deal with the Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. B&H Airlines owes some eight million euros to HETA for the ten-year financial lease for two ATR 72 aircraft, in a deal drafted in 2005. The asset company issued a deadline for the Federation government to deposit half a million euros by this morning, otherwise it would reposes the two turboprops. Following marathon talks between the two sides held throughout yesterday, HETA agreed to guarantees from the government for the 500.000 euro deposit to be made by March 31. Furthermore, Sarajevo Airport has also unblocked the carrier’s accounts after agreeing to reprogram B&H’s debt.

B&H Airlines still faces severe issues. One of its aircraft has been in Monchengladbach in Germany’s West for several weeks, where it underwent scheduled maintenance. However, the ATR cannot return to Sarajevo since B&H is unable to pay the required 200.000 euros for its servicing. As a result, the airline has been forced to temporarily suspend flights to Belgrade and has been cancelling services to Copenhagen, maintaining only flights to Zurich via Banja Luka. Furthermore, its other ATR is set to undergo maintenance after logging another fifty hours of flying time, which it expects to clock in the next fifteen to twenty days. If the airline is unable to return its other turboprop from Germany, it will no longer have any operational aircraft. In May, the airline’s financial lease for the two aircraft will expire with HETA and Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing unlikely to extend the arrangement under the current circumstances. Furthermore, B&H still has outstanding debt towards Europe’s airspace regulator Eurocontrol and Zurich Airport.

The CEO of B&H Airlines, Amir Jažić, commented yesterday on the dire situation at the carrier. “We have lost destinations, passengers and all the plans we have made with Italy. We already made an agreement to operate some 200 charters from Mostar to Italy but I think we have lost more than half of these”, Mr. Jažić says. Air Serbia has also suspended its codeshare agreement with B&H on flights between Belgrade and Sarajevo. In January, the outgoing Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina promised a bailout package for the carrier which would have settled its outstanding debts, however, the promised funds were never transferred to the airline. Four months on from the October general elections, the formation of new governments at different levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still ongoing with the current administration unable to adopt a new budget, making it impossible to allocate funds for B&H and other state-owned companies.



SUMMER 2015

A month out from the start of the 2015 summer season, EX-YU Aviaion News will begin publishing planned network changes for the national carriers from the former Yugoslavia starting tomorrow

62 comments:

  1. This is turning into a Mexican soap opera. Just get rid of the airline. So much cash into something with 2 planes bringing less than 200 passengers per week to SJJ. Not worth it.

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    1. +1 how does an airline so small make so much debt?! and tax payers will pay for their mess AGAIN!!! Remember Air Bosna anyone.

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  2. I can only imagine their passenger numbers after this debacle. What will they do when Swiss starts flying Zurich - Sarajevo AND Geneva - Sarajevo this summer? They are as good as dead if they are still around by then.

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  3. Stupid politicians

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  4. who would buy a ticket from them, except maybe one-way, the morning of the flight, if the price was good.

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    1. What's worse they are not cheap at all. 185 EUR oneway next Wednesday from zurich to sarajevo and that's the lowest fare available.

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  5. this is just like having someone on life support and its only a matter of whather you decide to pull the plug or keep it artificially breathing for another few weeks...

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  6. Most of their routes are an absolute disaster anyway.

    Belgrade - performing very poorly. The problem is the departure time which is too late to catch connections on Air Serbia's morning wave. They can't leave earlier because Sarajevo Airport is closed and doesn't wan't to open a minute earlier!
    Copenhagen - Absolute disaster. No one wants to fly the world's longest commercial ATR service at expensive prices.
    Zurich - the only route performing decently thanks to Banja Luka mainly. But with Swiss coming this will also turn badly.

    Last year they were also grounded a few weeks because they couldn't pay for maintenance and their accounts were blocked. They pretty much survived thanks to charter flights. Even leased their plane for government flights last year to the Albanian government!

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    1. I wouldn't fly with an airline whose workers haven't been made for a few months and which cancels flights regularly even when it doesn't have financial problems.

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    2. @ Dusan

      And im sure you didnt fly JAT...which was known for not paying workers, strikes from Jat Tehnika for unpayed work, Jat Ketering refusing to cater Jat flights because of unpayed debts etc etc.

      Also Im sure you wouldnt fly QR either who is known for gross misconduct towards its employees as well. Or TK who send teenagers to the Syrian border to join the ISIS group.

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  7. This would be somewhat interesting if BH was a larger airline. Don’t get me wrong I’m not supporting bankruptcy but it would be interesting to see how others would have reacted during the past month if BH was a significant airline at SJJ.

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  8. BH Airlines is a top-heavy company as the JAT was.
    If BH Airlines owned 10 more Airbuses, the company would hire at least 3000 employees.
    Every state owned company in the Balkans is a social institution. Even if the two small airliners were flying at full stretch, they wouldn' t have made enough money, let alone the market conditions.

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  9. Why don't they just allow Wizz Air to come like in Skopje?

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    1. Like it was written here a few weeks ago, costs at Sarajevo Airport are too high. BTW they were supposed to announce flights to Sarajevo last November, everything was agreed with Sarajevo management and then a day before the flights were supposed to be announced at a press conference, mafia man Ivica Velican increased fees for unexplainable reasons and the whole thing was cancelled.

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  10. And then I read the global news section where it says Fiji Airways with only 1 million pax managed a huge profit and realize it is mostly corruption that is killing the Balkans.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, because Fiji is the bastion of transparency.

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  11. ot: for which airline can we expect summer season changes tomorrow :)

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    Replies
    1. B&H Airlines? Kidding :D

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  12. Sorry for the OT: Interesting to see Air Serbia is now using only 1 B737 and only on flights to TGD. Any update on when these will be retired from scheduled service? Thanks.

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    1. Seems like JU loads have picked up:

      OTP-BEG 131 passengers
      SOF-BEG 130 passengers

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    2. Decent loads. Does anyone have the ones for OU?!

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    3. What, you want to comapre OU loads on let's say CPH with JU on SOF/OTP? OU doesn't even serve that destination. Or you plan to say that one airline is doing ok and the other not on account of one or two destinations on one way on one date? What does that say?

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    4. do you have any other numbers for other flights. SOF and OTP are posted every other day :P

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    5. My friend arrived to B,L. yesterday and I asked about the loads at the airport and they said around 45 both ways!

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    6. I am sure that in summer we might even see 100 passengers to BNX! OMG

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    7. ASL A319 don't have 130 seats

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    8. There were kids on-board.

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    9. Hi Anonymous February 27, 2015 at 9:40 PM, how many seats does the ASL A319 comprise? Thanks

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  13. OT - I don't go off topic, but something caught my eye in Flightaware. The ITF ( International Transport Workers Fedrstion), has blasted Gulf carriers , Etihad, Emirates and Qatar for its "flagrant abuses of aviation workers".They named Qatar as the worst.ITF eposed that with Qatar ;

    - females can only be hired if they are single
    - they must remain single for 5 years after starting work
    - if they want to get mariied they have to ask the airlines permission
    - pregnancy is a breach of contract and can lead to firing

    I would like to know what kind of contract Etihad has? How strict of a contract do Air Serbia employees have to follow, since Etihad owes 49 per cent? Could this be why Air Serbia keeps hiring because employees are under strict hiring rules?

    Furthermore, is that the reason CTN seems to be looking for airlines in the far east to co-operate with rather than the Middle Eastern Countries? Would be interesting if ex-Yu administration can try to find more information in regards to this. Sorry for the off topic, but I just thought this was important to bring up.

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    1. Big off topic and not really important to bring up. QR are by far the worst of the ME3. The above mentioned in regards to QR is true, however in regards to pregnancy, it not a question if it CAN lead to termination rather WILL lead to termination. Having said that, the need to apply for an exit visa from the employer to leave Qatar means that many crew 'escape' QR by abandoning the company on layover destinations.

      In regards to pregnancy, both EY and EK are better, recent changes to employee regulations in EY make it better ie: upon being pregnant, the person can still work although as ground staff until they go on maternity leave. After giving birth I believe it is 45 days to return to work like in many western companies. I believe in EK pregnancy is not allowed during the first contract (3 years).

      EK has drastically changed for the worse with a majority unsatisfied with the conditions at work. A forum/blog that talks of employee issues in EK has recently been blocked for viewing in the UAE, which btw was created by a former Serbian employee and has become very known and read in the EK community.

      Difference in the UAE and Qatar is that our countries at least have a union and are allowed to strike, which is illegal in the 2 countries, leading to imprisonment and deportation.

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    2. +1 JATBEGMEL, plus I have to point out that this is not just in aviation sector. Similar things are happening to foreigners in business and health care sectors. I don't want to even begin when it comes to construction sector.

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    3. @ anonymous

      regarding the construction sector, in the UAE its slavery to put it in 1 word, in Qatar its a modern day WWII Nazi concentration camp style running.

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    4. the first spot should definitely be given to Saudi Arabia. Then Qatar, then Oman, Bahrain. UAE is definitely the most welcoming compared to the places I listed. There was a high rise construction project near to my apartment in Riyadh and believe me I saw horrors there. Not only were they deprived of basic necessities and were exposed to harsh words but they were beaten and spat on. People will say I am spreading false info now, but this is just my personal experience.

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  14. Hvala Bogu da ce ih spasiti Vlada BH.
    INN-NS

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  15. OT: Guys (Nemjee?), can anyone advise if a 40 minute layover in Athens is manageable? It is BEG-ATH-HKL connection with Aegean. Thanks.

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    1. Before answering your question I have to ask what airport is HKL? :)

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    2. Mislim da Gopodin misli na Heraklion :)
      INN-NS

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    3. If it's Heraklion then you should be fine, especially if you are flying with Aegean on both legs.

      A few years ago I was flying MAD-ATH-LCA with a 45 minute connection. Due to a delay in MAD I ended up having just 20 minutes. Aegean ground staff waited for me in front of the aircraft and she escorted me to the LCA gate. What impressed me the most was that my luggage arrived as well!

      I hope you enjoy your flight. The scenery is fantastic, especially if you are landing in HER from the east. :)

      Btw Aegean's IFE is great!

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    4. Oh dear... No, definitely not Hong Kong :)

      Yes, Heraklion.

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    5. Well, don't worry, it should be ok. On your way back if you have some time go to the McDonald's on the first floor at ATH, there is a nice view of the runway and the taxiways.

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    6. Nadam se da ce vam doci A319 u oba smera a ne Q 400 :)
      INN-NS

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    7. @ nemjee

      what IFE? I flew AUH-ATH and all was shown was the route map and safety demonstration, and from ATH to JTR it was a commercial on Greece.

      The ground staff in ATH are hillarious, theyre lovely and helpful, I love them. I checked in my bag in AUH for JTR but apparently I needed to pick it up in ATH to pass customs, which I didnt as I didnt know, in JTR I arrived and saw I had no bag, went to the Aegean desk and they delivered it to my accommodation a few hours later. All in all, a good experience with them :)

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    8. Well, the map is pretty cool, it's not one of the boring ones, I found it quite nice.
      I am surprised that they did not have a film on, they used to have them on all flights that are over three hours. Maybe they have it only on the UK and Paris flights. Shame.

      It could be that JRT doesn't have the customs infrastructure, many Greek airports have this problem. You should have seen the mess when Ryanair started flying from Paphos to Araxos. For the first time ever they needed to check passports. A Bosnian friend of mine had a problem because the airport police did not have any stamps left. :D After ten minutes they just let him enter Greece.

      Another friend of mine flew from LCA to SKG about a month ago on one of their newest A320s which featured the new interior and he said that it looked like a space-shuttle. :)

      Aegean is turning into a really good airline. After all, they did manage to teach the Greeks to show up on time... something Olympic Airways never could.

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  16. OT: LOT nastavlja s letovima Varšava-Zagreb-Varšava

    http://aerocroatia.blogspot.com/2015/02/lot-polish-airlines-nastalja-promet-na.html

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    1. Good for Zagreb. How were the loads?

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    2. I honestly don't know, hopefully good!

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  17. OT: Bombardier CS300 set to have a maiden flight today

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  18. SR Technics opening Maintenance Center in BEG and moving 250 jobs fm ZRH to BEG
    more on www.tagesanzeiger.ch

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    1. OMG that's fantastic! Good job BEG! Do you mind giving us more info since its in German.

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    2. Actually it reads correctly that SR T is opening a base in BEG and cutting 250 jobs in ZRH
      how many jobs will be transferred is not mentioned in the article

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    3. So basically Lufthansa maintenance in LJU and BUD will have some serious competition.

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    4. Valjda cemo onda vidjati vise wide body aviona u LYBE
      INN-NS

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    5. Excellent news, it was about time.

      PS: You mean in Budapest and Sofia, right?

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    6. did LH buyed Adria tehnika already?

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  19. SR Technics belongs to Abu Dhabi based Mubadala Holding. Article says that SR Technics has worldwide 3300 employees and that planned growth will take place abroad. Hard CHF is main reason for ZRH cuts where 250 out of 2400 jobs will be cut. 50% of Business is originating in Europe
    I m sure ex YU Aviation will soon provide more information.

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    Replies
    1. Were they one of the companies who sent letter of intent for JAT Tehnika couple of months ago? I'd be surprised if this ends up being greenfield investment.

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