Swiss International Air Lines will suspend services between Zurich and Sarajevo at the end of the 2016 summer season, making it the fourth destination in the former Yugoslavia to be terminated by the carrier this year. In a statement to EX-YU Aviation News, the airline said, "We will discontinue our service to Sarajevo with the start of the winter timetable as a result of demand-related adjustments to our network. This is part of a continuous process in which we regularly assess and reassess our destination portfolio on the basis of the respective market conditions and their potential". Swiss will operate its last service between Zurich and Sarajevo on Friday, October 28. The airline is maintaining three weekly flights on the route this summer.
Earlier this year, Swiss terminated services from Zurich to Ljubljana, as well as from Geneva to Sarajevo and Belgrade. Furthermore, its subsidiary Edelweiss Air has cancelled flights from Zurich to Podgorica. It comes following Swiss' aggressive expansion into the former Yugoslav market last summer when it launched operations from Zurich to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Podgorica (operated by Edelweiss), as well as from Geneva to Sarajevo and Skopje. As a result, Sarajevo will no longer have a direct air link to one of Europe's busiest airports. Previously, B&H Airlines maintained flights between the two cities but the route was suspended after the airline was grounded in June 2015.
In a statement last year, Swiss told EX-YU Aviation News, “The former Yugoslav market is very interesting for Swiss, as there is a big community from the Balkan area living in Switzerland. Therefore, there is a high demand for flights to these countries. We focus on our customer’s needs from and to Switzerland. The growth is based on our market analysis that identified a great demand for the Balkan area. It is an important and big market for Swiss". The carrier's Star Alliance partner, Croatia Airlines, could potentially launch flights between Sarajevo and Zurich. It plans to open a base in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital during the summer of 2017. The airline has previously said it will define its plans by the end of the year.