Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bosnia considering new national carrier


Bosnia and Herzegovina is considering establishing a new national airline, some two years after the demise of its former flag carrier. The country's Prime Minister, Denis Zvizdić, noted, "We have to establish a new national airline again so as to improve connectivity and the range of destinations offered from Sarajevo. Sarajevo Airport has around one million travellers per year, although there are other airports in the country which would benefit from increased passenger and cargo traffic generated from a local airline". He added, "Figures at Sarajevo in particular could be significantly increased and for that we need an airline which would be partnered with a world class carrier, such as Turkish Airlines", Mr Zvidić said.

The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina last week where he held talks with Mr Zvizdić. Turkish Airlines, which previously owned a 49% stake in the former national carrier B&H Airlines, said in the past it was open to exploring new models of commercial cooperation with the Bosnian government over the establishment of a new national airline. The Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fadil Novalić, has suggested that a successor to B&H Airlines would be established, with the government to invest 2.7 million euros into the new carrier, 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 its liquidation process was recently completed.

Turkish Airlines is currently in the process of establishing a new national carrier in Albania with the Albanian government. Last week, the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, said that the project was in its "final stages". According to Mr Rama, Air Albania will operate flights from Tirana to Skopje, Pristina, Podgorica, Sarajevo, and Zagreb, as well to Western Europe. Meanwhile, the privately-owned FlyBosnia is still awaiting regulatory approval to commence its planned services from Sarajevo, initially to the Middle East. It later plans to expand operations throughout Europe. The only airline in Bosnia and Herzegovina currently in possession of a local Air Operator's Certificate is the Tuzla-based cargo carrier Icar Air.

79 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's election year in 2018 so dont trust the roumors of the politicians

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  2. I notice a pattern with Bosnian national airlines. It is set up, lasts for 9 years, goes bankrupt and then 2 years pass and the government sets it up again....

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  3. Well Zvizdic is right in saying that it would help growth in Sarajevo. If B&H was still around, Sarajevo would already have over 1 million passengers.

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    1. Banja Luka and Mostar were much more affected by B&H’s bankruptcy then Sarajevo itself.

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  4. Better to invest that money in bringing Wizz Air to Sarajevo. Numbers would grow much faster than with a national airline.

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    1. So instead of investing in your own airline which would hire locals, you would rather invest in a Hungarian registered airline with its head office in Geneva. Great.

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    2. @anon 9:43
      Opening an airline is arguably the worst employment programme you can devise for locals. What Sarajevo need is good connectivity and affordable prices. It's much better to boost LCCs and attract additional legacy carries, that would brings new jobs to the economy in tourism and hospitality.

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    3. I would prefer Ryanair instead of Wizz and I fully agree with you!

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  5. This could work if government gives complete control to Turkish without interfering.

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    1. If they had done that the last time B&H Airlinee would still be in operation.

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  6. I don't get this need for a national airline - both in BiH and Macedonia

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  7. "We have to establish a new national airline again so as to improve connectivity and the range of destinations offered from Sarajevo"

    No, you don't have to do that-look at SKP

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    1. Exactly! Very cost efficient solution in SKP.

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  8. Seems like Zvizdic saw what TK was doing in Albania and now wants the same for Bosnia but I think it's too late now.

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  9. Whichever way people might react, I don't find this either odd nor unbelievable. In fact I'm sure it will happen. Remember, Turkish purchased B&H when it had 2 planes and flew to 3 cities in total. So there is no reason not to believe that they would set up some joint venture with the government. It would cost them peanuts in the wider scope of things and give them access to a relatively untapped market.

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    1. But like you said Turkish already had a JV with the governemnt and it did not go down well. Why would they do the same thing again?

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    2. Gulf airlines are now starting to eat Turkish's cake in Sarajevo. Which airline do you think people who can now use 3 daily flights from Sarajevo to Dubai used to fly with?

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    3. Barely JU and OU make sense any more, this is not a good road to take. They should look at Skopje example. Not throwing away money on a national airline but helping companies establish new routes and boost connectivity.

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    4. What happened to BH's 2 ATRs? Where are they now?

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  10. Are there general elections in Bosnia this year?

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  11. Step 1: milk the Turks for the new airline.
    Step 2: get a plane for free.
    Step 3: create jobs for all your political allies.
    Step 4: celebrate the inaugural flight.
    Step 5: start calling SJJ a regional hub.
    Step 6: start planning long-haul flights, preferably to New York.

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    1. Sound familiar :D

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    2. Hahahaha so true. Wellcome to Balkans.

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    3. Step 7: Enjoy your thousands of euros salaries :)

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    4. Step 8: ask for more state aid.
      Step 9: start consolidating and bringing new fantastic product to the market. :)

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    5. Few years later selling slots :-)

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    6. if you have any :)))

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    7. Haha sweet lord. this is a series of steps followed by all Balkan ariline.

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    8. Not exactly: steps 5&6 are more of a Croatia/Serbia thing.....

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  12. We are running out of airline names.

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    1. Air Sarajevo?

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    2. B&H Airlines the third.

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    3. BosnianWings, Bosna air, Bosnia airlines, bosnia air, bosnian, bosnia international airlines,

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    4. Why?
      BH Airlines is still available and owned by the FBIH Government....

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  13. Don't go too far! SJJ still needs flights to: FRA, AMS, CDG, BRU, TXL or GVA, to name but a few. All of them have regular bus services, so...

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    1. Hopefully Wizz will start more flights from Sarajevo soon and problem solved.

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    2. Why would they go to Sarajevo? They are already at Tuzla.

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    3. Because it's a bigger market and has a lot of unserved routes.

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    4. @9.50
      It is an impossible task with current taxes in SJJ.

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    5. What are the taxes in SJJ?

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    6. AMS and CDG are probably ok.
      Others... TXL, for example, failed multiple times....

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  14. What are the chances on creating a pan-Balkan airline? If Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro invest together with the help of Turkish, they can create a worthy Balkan airline that can compete with ASL and CTN.

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    1. And above that, imagine Turkish takes over 49% of JU some time in near future ...

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    2. As if EY will allow an airline with 90 year history and JFK slots to slip away easily.

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    3. Obsession with slots :)
      These are not fantastic slots at JFK as you probably know. EY will leave the moment they cannot make enormous profit from managing the company.

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    4. I'm pretty sure Etihad amongst the hundreds of millions they lost in their Europe adventures would be absolutely devastated about the 90-year old history of a small regional airline.

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    5. Few airlines in the region have both expensive JFK, CDG and LHR slots. Also, the small regional airline you say has the most extensive network in the Balkans.

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    6. So Jat handed over its history and kept the debt?!?
      Only in Serbia.....

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  15. Here we go again with the flag carrier obsession.

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  16. Intereatingly, no one ever stepped in to take over B&H AIrlines routes like Amsterdam and Zurich.

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    1. Frankfurt too.

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    2. Most of BH's routes were a disaster anyway.

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    3. And their market share was 6%

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    4. I don't understand that Transavia didn't start flights from Amsterdam. There is a market and I'm sure they would have performed well.

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    5. They probably will start AMS at some point.

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    6. Interesting that Air Serbia never took up the opportunity to benefit from B&H Air bankruptcy. First they could have taken one or both aircraft and introduced a second daily flight.

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    7. AS wanted to act as transfer company with one frequency to most capitals in the region. Not viable.

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  17. with such level of corruption in the country, it isn't possible the state owns an airline.

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  18. Turkish starting an airline in Albania and Bosnia would be crazy.It is a big stretch, I imagine they would fail in one, if not both countries.

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    1. But they are starting an airline in Albania. It will launch this year.

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    2. I know, that is why I said starting another airline in Bosnia would be too much.

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  19. Why don't they initially lease the Aviolet and meanwhile order 2 E170 jets?
    Embraer is quite popular in Europe: LO, KL, FB, B2, AZ, etc.

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    1. Embraer would be good for flights to/from SJJ.

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    2. Best fleet solution for B&H Airlines in my opinion would have been 1 A319 and two regional jets – maybe CRJ700/900.

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    3. A319 would be struggle to fill most of the year. That company would definitely need to work with LH or AF plus try to codeshare on Belgrade and Zagreb flights.

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    4. CRJ is dead aircraft. CSeries/E-Jet/E2 is the way to go in this segment.

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    5. Omg, E2 seems soooo nice on Widerøe! I hope it we see it someday in ex-Yu skies.

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  20. was never a big fan on B&H but I must admit it is a shame they have gone bankrupt. The company did link Sarajevo with some European capitals. None of these have been covered since their bankruptcy. If Wizz Air had come and established a base in Sarajevo then I would say OK, letting B&H Airlines go was not that big of a price. But the problem is nothing has happened at Sarajevo since then except that we have fewer options to fly to Europe.

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    1. Maybe these cities are not covered because there is no sufficient demand for direct flights? Hope it will get better. Probably Easyjet would be the best option price wise.

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  21. I wrote this exactly two years ago :D

    "I'm waiting for the next government experiment. Wonder what they will call it? Air Bosnia and Herzegovina probably. They will wait two years, all debt they accumulated will be unplayable so no one cares and then they will create a new company which will mount losses for a decade. Then they do exactly the same as they did with Air Bosna and now with B&H Airlines."

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    1. Good one!
      Hopefully it will not happen.

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    2. It's easy being baba vanga in the balkans :D

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  22. A regional airline will only be used by diaspora, because it will probably not be a low cost carrier( which people in sarajevo/bosnia actualy can afford). I really hope this will end up well.

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  23. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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