Banja Luka Airport is at a "crossroads in operations", according to its General Manager Miroslav Janjić, as it plans to handle some 200.000 passengers on an annual basis within a three-year period. "We can say that this year we are at a crossroads, during which we have to make decisions concerning the launch of new routes. Of course, we have Belgrade, but besides Belgrade there are several other destinations of interest, such as Vienna and Zurich. We are also determined to secure flights to Scandinavia", Mr Janjić said. He added, "There is strong interest from serious carriers. Air Serbia is certainly one of them. I say this with a full heart because they already fly to the United States and are constantly expanding their network in Europe and Asia. But they are not the only ones. That's all I can say at the moment".
The General Manager conceded that talks with Wizz Air, which were held several years ago, were a missed opportunity. "I can't say it was great pity but in some ways it was an opportunity. Tuzla has its own growth strategy and I would not like to comment on that. Their development is separate from ours. We have different preferences and needs. How come there are no low cost airlines flying from Zagreb? I think we can draw similarities between us and Zagreb in that respect", Mr Janjić said. He noted that after the planned overhaul of the airport is completed later this year, new routes will be announced from Banja Luka.
Banja Luka Airport recently confirmed it had ceased negotiations with the German-backed Sea Air, which was previously registered in Slovenia. The decision comes following media reports of the airline's former ventures in Croatia which have all turned out to be unsescsessful. Sea Air proposed to introduce two weekly flights from Banja Luka to Frankfurt, Stockholm, Malmo and Basel in March. It also suggested to base one passenger and one cargo plane each in the city. Banja Luka Airport has struggled to attract passengers over the last few years with Air Serbia being its only customer at the moment, maintaining three weekly flights from Belgrade.