|Mostar Airport eyes Turkish Airlines flights in 2016|
Mostar Airport has held talks with Turkish Airlines and will continue negotiations with the carrier over the potential launch of flights from Istanbul. The airport's Executive Director, Ibrica Berberović, says scheduled flights between the two cities could launch during the 2016 summer season. Furthermore, Mr Berberović hopes Turkish Airlines could use Mostar as an alternative to Sarajevo Airport during the winter months in case of poor weather conditions, with the two sides set to address this issue during future talks. The Turkish Consulate in Mostar has given its support for the potential new route. "This airport has the capacity to handle Turkish Airlines aircraft. Therefore, there are no obstacles to broaden our cooperation and finally link Mostar with Istanbul", the Turkish Consul General in Mostar, Ayse Selcan Sinli, says. She adds, "Mostar Airport, Turkish Airlines and the Consulate are all prepared to work on this matter".
In July, Mostar Airport said it would enter talks with several Star Alliance-member airlines including Turkish Airlines. Mostar has struggled to attract scheduled services but sees a significant number of charters throughout the year, carrying religious pilgrims visiting the nearby Medjugorje sight. “We are interested in talks with Germanwings, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, as well as Turkish Airlines. We are confident there is a significant number of people from our diaspora who would fly to Mostar”, the airport’s Managing Director, Marin Raspudić, said recently. He added that the airport is interested in direct links to Munich, Vienna and Istanbul. “Our main objective is to see the return of those passengers who left us during the war and post-war period. They are now using Dubrovnik and Split for charters to Medjugorje and Sarajevo Airport for scheduled services”, he noted.
Mostar Airport handled 66.151 passengers during the first three quarters of the year, an improvement of 16.2% compared to the same period in 2014, making it Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third busiest airport behind Sarajevo and Tuzla but ahead of Banja Luka. Mostar estimates it will handle some 85.000 passengers by the end of the year, up from 68.000 in 2014. It handled a record 86.000 travellers in a single year prior to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia but has since been unable to surpass that figure. This winter, Turkish Airlines maintains double daily flights between Istanbul and Sarajevo, making it Sarajevo Airport's busiest airline.