Low cost airlines Wizz Air and Ryanair are considering launching operations to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina and are currently in contact with local authorities. According to the General Manager of Mostar Airport, Marin Raspudić, both the airport and local government must first secure funds to subsidise one of the two carriers in order for them to introduce services. "No low cost airline will start flying to an airport if there is no co-financing involved. Today, no risks are taken in the aviation sector. Without subsidies it is impossible for budget airlines to launch flights", Mr Raspudić said. He added that in September both the airport and authorities will approach one of the two mentioned no frills carriers and give them an offer. "They want to have answers by September. Every serious airline wants to have information so they can plan for next summer", Mr Raspudić noted.
In 2013, the Federal government of Bosnia and Herzegovina designated both Mostar and Tuzla airports as the country’s low cost hubs. Since then, Wizz Air has opened a base in Tuzla. Mostar Airport attempted to attract low cost carriers on several occasions but has had little success. Back in 2012 it held talks with Wizz Air over potential flights from Dortmund and Malmo, but the airline opted for Tuzla instead. However, Wizz Air's Head of Airport Development, Jozsef Ujhely, recently said the carrier was looking to further strengthen its presence in Bosnia and Hezrzegovina, which could result in potential flights to Mostar as well. On the other hand, in October 2014, Ryanair confirmed it had entered negotiations with Mostar Airport concerning the possible launch of services from Germany and Scandinavia. In the end, these flights did not materialise either.
Mostar has struggled to attract scheduled flights but sees a significant number of charter traffic throughout the year, carrying religious pilgrims visiting the nearby Medjugorje sight. Mostar Airport handled 18.486 passengers during the first half of 2016, down 41.4% on last year due to fewer charters, making it Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third busiest airport behind Sarajevo and Tuzla but ahead of Banja Luka. It handled a record 86.000 travellers in a single year prior to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia but has been unable to surpass that figure ever since. This summer, a total of seven airlines are maintaining regular charter flights to Mostar, one of them being Croatia Airlines. The Croatian carrier maintains services from Mostar to the Lebanese capital Beirut.