|Czech Airlines pushes back Sarajevo plans to 2017|
Czech Airlines has cancelled plans to launch flights from Prague to Sarajevo this summer season. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the carrier's spokesperson, Daniel Šabik, said, "The regular scheduled route between Prague and Sarajevo, which we considered and planned to start during the 2016 summer season will not be launched this year". However, the airline has not given up on its plans to introduce flights to the Bosnian capital. "We have decided to postpone it to the 2017 summer season", Mr Šabik noted. Czech Airlines initially planned to operate four weekly flights between Prague and Sarajevo from mid-May with a mix of regional ATR 42 and ATR 72 turboprop aircraft.
Despite the cancellation of its Sarajevo service this year, Czech Airlines is going ahead with plans to introduce flights from Prague to both Zagreb and Skopje, which will be launched on April 27 and May 19 respectively. Tickets for both routes are already on sale through the airline's website. The Czech carrier will compete directly against Croatia Airlines on services to/from Zagreb, as its Croatian counterpart has announced the introduction of four weekly flights to the Czech capital from May 21. Czech Airlines use to operate services to Sarajevo, Zagreb and Skopje prior to its restructuring, which commenced in 2011 in an attempt to curb losses. However, the airline now aims to carry transfer passengers from the region, who will connect onto its network from Prague.
Sarajevo Airport swung back to growth in February after underperforming in December and January due to poor weather conditions, which saw a number of flights cancelled and diverted. Sarajevo Airport welcomed 42.567 passengers last month, an increase of 6.7% on 2015. A total of 713 flight operations were recorded, while the amount of handled cargo totalled 146.206 kilograms. During the first two months of the year, Sarajevo Airport saw 83.775 travellers pass through its doors, an increase of 0.2% compared to the same period last year. This March, the airport will welcome Air Arabia, which will launch scheduled flights from Shajrah in the United Arab Emirates.