|Sea Air to expand across the former Yugoslavia|
Croatian start-up airline Sea Air will expand its operation from Osijek, Mostar and Pristina this winter season, utilising all three of its aircraft. The carrier will launch operations from Osijek to London Stansted on November 9, complementing its existing services to Germany. Flights will operate once per week, each Monday, with a Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Furthermore, the airline still plans to fly from Osijek to Kuwait City via Tbilisi. The much-delayed service is now set to be introduced on November 15. The new route launches will benefit Osijek Airport and help boost passenger numbers during the slow winter months, when it is only served by Trade Air's commuter domestic flights. During the first nine months, Osijek Airport handled 24.80 passengers, an increase of 9.8% compared to the same period last year. "Sea Air never planned to maintain its services on a seasonal basis only", it said in a statement.
This week, Sea Air will launch four weekly flights from Osijek to Pristina. These will be followed up by services from Pristina to Dusseldorf (October 21), Basel (October 22), Munich (October 23), Tirana (October 24) and Stuttgart (October 25). Meanwhile, in cooperation with the Bosnian tour operator Pro Pak Hercegovina, Sea Air has established the first post-war service between Mostar and Stuttgart. "From October 24, each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, we will operate an Osijek - Pristina - Tirana service. Starting November 9, passengers will have the opportunity to fly to London via Osijek and, if this service proves popular, we will consider opening nonstop flights from Mostar to London as well", Mario Glišić, the head of Pro Pak Hercegovina says. He adds, "Due to strong interest from pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje sight, flights from Mostar to Poland will also be introduced, with the launch date to be announced in late October".
Sea Air maintains services with three wet-leased aircraft, a Boeing 737-300, a corporate B737 jet with the capacity to seat sixty passengers, and a Saab 340. The airline, which launched operations on August 23, does not hold its own Air Operator's Certificate, using the one from Malta's Maleth Aero instead. "Sea Air will do its best to obtain a new AOC within the next year from the Croatian Civil Air Office", the company says. Start-up airlines across the former Yugoslavia have had difficulties in launching operations and almost all have failed. Only this year, Air Croatia, which began services from Zagreb in April, suspended operations shortly after. Common to most start-ups is the use of foreign AOCs.