Turkish Airlines is interested in launching flights to Mostar, investing in Sarajevo Airport and establishing the country's new national carrier in collaboration with the Bosnian government. The Turkish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cihad Erginay, announced the plans, noting that the Turkish airline is also considering services to both Tuzla and Banja Luka. Mostar Airport entered talks with Turkish last year over potential services. "This airport [Mostar] 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, said. The carrier recently introduced scheduled cargo flights from Istanbul to Tuzla with its Airbus A330-200 freighter jet, which will run until the end of November.
Turkish's position in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been unrivalled, with multiple daily departures to Sarajevo, carrying a significant number of both point to point and transfer passengers. However, the arrival of Persian Gulf carriers onto the Bosnian market is eating into Turkish's transfer traffic share. Flydubai has boosted its operations to Sarajevo, Air Arabia launched flights to the city recently and Qatar Airways will follow suit this November. The added competition comes at a time when Turkey is suffering its deepest tourism decline on record and its national airline is building a business less dependent on point to point passengers. Furthermore, carriers are increasingly looking to tap into the Bosnian market. Wizz Air has announced plans to launch services from Sarajevo and is looking to further strengthen its presence on the market, which could result in potential flights to Mostar as well. On the other hand, Croatia Airlines has announced plans to open a base at Sarajevo Airport next year, with direct services to several European destinations.
The Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fadil Novalić, has said his government is in talks with both Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways over the future of country's flag carrier - B&H Airlines. "We held talks with both Turkish Airlines and Etihad because we are being responsible towards our company. We are in discussions". The Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Zvizdić, said last month that Turkish Airlines is ready to resume talks with the government concerning the future of the country's flag carrier. Mr Zvizdić said the airline is willing to explore new models for commercial cooperation. "They [Turkish Airlines] are prepared for such negotiations to resume and for us to determine new models of cooperation. I am certain that talks between Turkish Airlines and the Federation government will resume soon and that they will head in the right direction", Mr Zvizdić noted. In late 2008, Turkish Airlines took over a 49% share in B&H. However, the relationship between the carrier and the Bosnian government deteriorated by the start of 2012, with Turkish relinquishing its share in B&H later that year. Due to mounting debt, B&H Airlines discontinued all scheduled and charter flights on June 11, 2015, while its Air Operator's Certificate was suspended by the country's regulator a month later.