The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has given up on plans to establish a new national carrier following the demise of Air Bosna and B&H Airlines. The Federation government approached both Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways in an attempt to launch a new state-owned carrier for a third time, although, talks with both have failed. The Turkish airline, which previously owned a stake in B&H Airlines before pulling out due to disagreements with the government, was open to exploring new models of commercial cooperation with the state. However, the airline has shifted its attention to Albania and will instead assist the government there in establishing a new national carrier. Meanwhile, Etihad, which is rethinking its aggressive expansion strategy after the failure of minority-owned Alitalia underlined the big barriers to global growth, has also walked away from talks with the Bosnian government, which suggested a similar cooperation model to that employed by the Serbian government over Air Serbia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has not allocated any funds for the launch of a new airline this year and becomes the second country in the former Yugoslavia to give up on plans to establish a new national carrier, after the Macedonian government made a similar decision late last year. The Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fadil Novalić, previously suggested that a successor to B&H Airlines would be established, with the government to invest 2.7 million euros into the new airline, which would initially operate with one leased aircraft. B&H Airlines itself was set-up on the foundations of Air Bosna, which launched in 1994 but ceased operations in 2003 due to mounting debt. Two years later, the government revived the carrier and renamed it B&H Airlines. It ceased operations in 2015 and was liquidated a year later.
Meanwhile, the privately-owned Bosnia Airlines is seeking to establish commercial flights out of Sarajevo with a foreign partner in order to end the "non-existence of any airline in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which could jeopardise the country's role in this sector". The airline, run by Muamer Kalić, will attempt to find a foreign partner at the upcoming Sarajevo Business Forum next week, where it has proposed a joint venture with an initial monthly investment of two million euros, while the total investment would stand at 100 million euros. The Sarajevo Business Forum links up institutional and private investors from all over the world with businessmen and project developers from the region. The objective of Bosnia Airlines' pitch to investors is the purchase of aircraft and the launch of commercial services. The company was set up in 2001.