Mostar Airport will commence talks with Eurowings next Wednesday over the introduction of scheduled flights to the city. "It is almost certain that we will have one route to Germany. It remains to be seen which city it will be. Representatives from Eurowings/Germanswings will come to Mostar on January 25 and we expect to reach a deal over the launch of new flights this year", an official from the airport said. Talks with Wizz Air, which has previously expressed its interest in serving Mostar, are also expected to begin soon. "Our objective is to link Mostar with several larger European cities and this will most certainly happen. Through these talks, we will see which destinations we can get. We would like at least one service to one of the Scandinavian countries since there is a significant number of our nationals residing there. Interest for such a route would be significant", the airport added.
The General Manager of Mostar Airport, Marin Raspudić, notes that the arrival of low cost carriers would reverse the trend of declining passenger numbers. "Without budget airlines we will find it difficult to survive since we are surrounded by a number of high quality airports. There is always interest and we are at everyone's disposal. Personally, I would like to cover the German market with Eurowings/Germanwings, and Scandinavia with Wizz Air. We recently conducted a study which shows from which parts of Germany the greatest number of people visit Herzegovina and parts of Croatia", Mr Raspudić said. The government of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton recently approved over 153.000 euros in funds for Mostar Airport, which will likely be used to subsidise low cost carriers.
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 less than 60.000 passengers in 2016, down 20% on the year before 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. In late 2016, the airport began overhauling its passenger terminal in a bid to boost capacity.