Monday, June 29, 2015

Bosnian government to liquidate B&H Airlines

B&H grounded as government moves to liquidate carrier

The Federation government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided to liquidate its carrier, B&H Airlines, saying the move is “not the end of the world”. The Federal Minister for Transport and Communication, Denis Lasić, said that the best option would be for the airline to declare bankruptcy. “They [B&H Airlines] have eaten up everything they had and now they are in a situation where they must redirect all state funding to HETA”. B&H has some eight million euros worth of debt owed to HETA, the asset management company, for the financial lease of its two ATR 72s. The Minister added, “It has come to this. The newly formed government is not at fault, we are accused for saying it how it is. I have held talks with the Prime Minister Fadil Novalić and the conclusion is to liquidate the carrier. It is not the end of the world. It is a state-owned company but other carriers in the region aren’t exactly pushing daisies either”.

While B&H Airlines might be a small company whose bankruptcy will have little effect on Sarajevo Airport, its demise will be felt elsewhere. The airline’s 90-strong workforce will all lose their jobs although it is understood that the government is in the process of forming redundancy packages. The Association of Transport and Communication Engineers of Bosnia and Herzegovina said, “If B&H Airlines is shut down all aviation-related professions will forever be lost. Bosnian pilots, support staff and maintenance personnel will no longer be needed and with it, professional aviation in the country will cease to exist”. Banja Luka Airport will also lose out from B&H’s impending bankruptcy. The airline carried 4.861 passengers on its flights from Banja Luka last year. As a result, it handled almost 18% of all passengers using the airport.


Employees, who have not been paid in over four months, are still hoping for a last minute deal which could save the airline. However, as of this morning, the carrier itself is not operating any flights. It has suspended both scheduled and charter operations until further notice with one aircraft grounded in Germany and the other in Sarajevo. “Someone wants to destroy us. We can only guess the motive”, the airline’s employees said. B&H Airlines was initially founded as Air Bosna in 1994, but ceased operations in 2003 due to mounting debt. Two years later the Federation government revived the carrier and renamed it B&H Airlines. Turkish Airlines purchased a 49% stake in the carrier in 2008 with a promise to expand its fleet and operations. However, in 2012, it withdrew from B&H’s ownership structure, citing problems with the government.

56 comments:

  1. Good point about Banja Luka Airport. They will be big looser

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True they are a small company but its not just BNX that will be affected. They will loose a pretty big (for them) passenger share but there are other losers too. B&H has not paid for its debt to Sarajevo Airport. The debt was reprogrammed but will obviously never be paid. Also without a national carrier you are also limiting your operations. Look at Macedonia for example. They will never have flights to Moscow because they can'., There are bilaterals in place which designates only national carriers. I'm not saying B&H would have started flying there but I am just using an example. And 90 jobs means 90 families

      Delete
    2. I don't think BNX will be affected. All that will happen now is that the former B&H Airlines passengers will now be funneled through Belgrade, with Air Serbia. So, we might actually see marginally higher cabin loads on the BNX-BEG route, as a result of this termination.

      Delete
    3. Air Serbia isn't really what BNX needs. Most common people there can't afford to fly with full service airlines. LCCs are the best solution for places such as Tuzla, Niš, and Banja Luka.

      Delete
    4. What were ticket prices like on BNX-ZRH sector? Anyone know?

      Delete
    5. On average they were about Eur 200. I think lowest price was around 160 Eur.

      Delete
    6. Aleksandre, for now Air Serbia is good for BNX. Without them, BNX would be like Morava Airport that has no flights at all.

      We will hopefully see some low-cost competition there too, in the near future.

      Delete
    7. Hello Anonymous June 29, 2015 at 9:36 AM

      BNX will be strongly affected. BNX will face a big passenger decrese.
      Also the BEGBNX route will also lost a lot of passengers comparing to the year 2014. Let's wait for the next six monts.

      Delete
  2. Just get rid of BHA, and get rid of the taxes at SJJ intended for BHA, and attract more airlines to SJJ. We can think about a state-owned airline once we choose more competent people in politics (which will probably never happen)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ok I agree that BH should call it a day about regarding taxes I don't think BH was given the proceeds of those taxes for years. Which begs the question where did the money go

      Delete
  3. What will happen to the two ATRs? They are actually in pretty good shape. I also don't understand even if they were not to go bankrupt their lease runs out this year and HETA would be mad to renew the lease with B&H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well they can just lease it to whoever they find.

      Delete
    2. The two ATRs probably have low hours because BH had poor utilization.

      Delete
  4. Hopefully Croatia Airlines sets up a base in Sarajevo next year. By basing one aircraft you could do quite a few routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basing a plane there would be too costly and they are just coming out of restructuring. You would have to provide hotel accommodation for at least two batch of crew. The alternative is to hire local crew which is also expensive. If they do fly from SJJ they should start off with 2-3 profitable destinations and the plane could come back to ZAG at the end of the day.

      Delete
    2. For instance: Summer 2016

      Days 1-3-5-7

      05:00 Istanbul - Sarajevo

      06:45 Sarajevo - Amsterdam (Days 1 and 5)
      06:45 Sarajevo - Copenhagen (Days 3 and 7)

      14:00 Sarajevo - Vienna

      18:15 Sarajevo - Munich

      22:45 Sarajevo - Istanbul

      Days -2-4-6-

      05:00 Istanbul - Sarajevo

      06:45 Sarajevo - Frankfurt

      12:00 Sarajevo - Split - Pula - Sarajevo

      16:15 Sarajevo - Zurich

      22:45 Sarajevo - Istanbul

      with an A319 and as hybrid low coast.

      Delete
    3. Good plan which could work. But I think there would be a problem with Istanbul. Since Turkey is not in the EU only airlines from each country (Turkey/Bosnia in this case) can fly between the two.

      Delete
    4. makes no difference. Croatia's not in the Schengen Area yet

      Delete
    5. It has nothing to do with Schengen but with bilateral air agreements. Turkey and Bosnia are not in the EU. It is very unlikely Turkey would allow Croatia Airlines (a third carrier) to operate between the two countries. Actually under the current bilateral only Turkish and Bosnian carriers are allowed to fly between the two countries.

      Delete
  5. OT - LJU now on flydubai's route map... I guess an announcement is in the works...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LJU is not listed among cities one can choose to fly from/to with flydubai. And it's not only LJU which is new on the routemap but VIE as well. And, "Viena Central Train Station" has been listed. probably it will be the same with LJU, and passengers from/to LJU will be transported by train, or more likely bus to/from ZAG, and those to/for VIE will go by train (bus) via BTS

      Delete
  6. Air Serbia should try to take this opportunity to increase their market share in Bosnia. Perhaps try to take one of the ATRs on lease and start a second daily flight to SJJ since they no longer have the feed from BH. Also Mostar might be a possibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what feed from JA? they stopped flying to BEG many months ago, even that flight landed after the morning wave in BEG, so no feed for connections ex LHR.

      Delete
    2. Yeah I know hey stopped a while ago.

      Having JA was still better than having nothing because a single daily flight really isn't useful for connections.

      Delete
  7. I feel sorry for the people that work there. It can't be easy on them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't feel sorry for all the people that worked in BH Airlines, I am sorry for some people worked in BH Airliens because a lot of them got their "jobs" with a great help of bribery and corruption.

      Delete
  8. I'm waiting for the next government experiment. Wonder what they will call it? Air Bosnia and Herzegovina probably. They will wait two years, all debt they accumulated will be unplayable so no one cares and then they will create a new company which will mount losses for a decade. Then they do exactly the same as they did with Air Bosna and now with B&H Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Curently ASL is taking Zeleznicar football team from SJJ to MLA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow interesting. Is it a B737? Air Serbia hasn't done sport charters in a long time

      Delete
    2. Yap, 737, ANJ

      Delete
  10. 90 employees??? lol That's almost 23/plane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ground Crew/Inflight crew/Marketing Personnel, everything is included

      Delete
  11. Wasn't easier to service the ATRs in Belgrade? Why did they always go to Germany o.O

    ReplyDelete
  12. If Air Serbia didn't have the fleet issues it has (which will get worse during the winter), they could have based a 737-300 and started flying to a couple of destinations from Sarajevo but I highly doubt there is a chance for that now. In 2007 JAT was about to start Belgrade-Sarajevo-Tripoli flights. They even got government approval but then an idiot CEO, the one that runs Belgrade Airport now, came along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU needs to feed BEG and its waves from BEG, not start new bases. JU can better serve SJJ with more frequencies.

      Delete
  13. I'm glad that admin deleted that stupid childish discussion about Tudjman. This is an aviation blog, and you're not 12 year old anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm why? It was related to an aviation matter in Croatia or is ZAG not related to aviation. I am confused.

      Delete
    2. You know, @4:08, there is a difference between aviation and retarded hateful people with complexes who can't make a difference between aviation and politics.

      Delete
    3. Well, they were not all stupid and childish. Plus, is it our problem that the government decided to be controversial?

      Delete
  14. kako je lepo videti ex-yu BEZ IJEDNOG KOMENTARA INN-SNS u kasno poslepodne!

    hvala ti boze :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Zao mi je sto ce zaposleni JA dobiti otkaz .
    I takodje je danas znacajan dan za srpsko vazduhoplovstvo.
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Opet značajan dan za Srbiju? Pa šta je to danas tako značajno, okačićeš poster A380 na zid svoje sobe i flomasterom mu dodati registraciju JU-INN?

      Delete
    2. just dont respond/irritate him in any way. Just look at yesterdays comments to see what I mean. I can assure you that today we will have 20 useless comments

      Delete
  16. hahah eto njega! Odmah je provirio iz rupe :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. OT: interesting overview of LOT including regional outlook. They might leave Star Alliance, food for thought for others in the region:

    http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/lot-polish-airlines-seeks-star-alliance-flexibility-as-it-grows-long-haul-to-bangkok-seoul--tokyo-231439

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOT prospects of growth are highly debatable and too much of an expansion might again pull them back in the red. Lots of destinations that could be served with the efficient ATR/Q400 are served with the Embraer. There is no ~150 seat aircraft to compete efficiently within Europe (or to carry any cargo), while on the long-haul margins are thin. On the road to Asia, lacking a clear partner, LOT could be massacrated by ME3, TK, SU... It wouldn't be too wise to expand in scale without cementing its leading position at least in Poland and in surrounding countries. Lot's service, which's on par with the LCC, doesn't helps either. Their only strong side is the efficient long-haul fleet and relatively cheap labour. Their location is an ambivalent asset/a sword with two ends; as central and convenient as it may be, it also puts them at the center of a much more capable competition on all sides. LOT is suffering from an incremental fleet problem: regional fleet insufficient, short-haul fleet completely unadapted to the current European market and network. With that on one side and the already mentioned competition on the other, i'll keep my estimates pretty low for the LOT's chances of success and consider their chances of a breakthrough particularly slim. Perhaps, that is reflected in Tokyo being launched as only 3/w. After all, even if they'll be running with a minor loss it'll be a major win.

      Delete
    2. Well, in Tokyo they can rely on ANA.

      Delete
    3. Lufthansa vetoed the NH-L0 codeshare, you can read it in the article.

      Delete
  18. Mozda EY alijansa dobije novog clana a to je PK.
    Mozda onda uspostave liniju za LYBE .
    INN-NS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mozda ce poceti da padaju pilice sa neba.....

      Delete
    2. Hey, why doesn't Air Seychelles fly to BEG????

      Delete
  19. OT-Load factor of Wizz fligths to and from INI today: From Basel 160 pax, from Nis 170 pax.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow it's performing better than Malmo.

      Delete
  21. INN-NS - Just one question for you : How come you don't get embarrassed having people annoyed here all the time ? I'm an everyday visitor here and . . come on already can you just dissapear ?

    ReplyDelete

Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.