B&H postpones flights and reports losses

B&H cabin crew...waiting for passengers
Despite the much publicised arrival of B&H Airlines’ Boeing B737-400, provided on behalf of owner Turkish Airlines, the Bosnian carrier has once again postponed the launch of its new services. Flights to Dusseldorf (to operate twice per week) and Berlin (which will also operate twice per week) have been postponed by yet another week with the flights now launching on May 26, rather than May 19. The only explanation for the cancellation of the service can be low ticket sales. The airline was forced to terminate flights from Tuzla to Frankfurt earlier this year due to low ticket sales. Yesterday, the airline launched its flights to Stockholm (with a 30 minute delay) while its maiden flight to Vienna is scheduled for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the airline’s CEO Nudžeim Rečica, publicised last years financial result reporting that the airline incurred a loss of 1 million Euros. The bad financial performance is being blamed on an unstable American dollar, the global financial crisis and the extremely high price of fuel in the first half of the year. B&H Airlines carried around 70.000 passengers in 2008 and faced competition from a variety of carriers. Up until now over 80% of Sarajevo’s traffic has been generated by airlines originating from somewhere other than Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the first three months of 2009, B&H Airlines is reporting significantly lower passenger figures compared to last year. The airline’s CEO hopes that things will pick up during the summer season.


  1. Anonymous09:40

    So...will B&H get an Airbus or the same Boeing 737-400 next year?

  2. Just checked out the Vienna Airport site, where it states (in the section, RealTime Departures/Arrivals)
    that tomorrow's flight by BH Airlines is already cancelled.

    However is still available on BH airlines website....

  3. It actually seems that the Vienna flight departed this morning.

  4. I saw it too on the web, finally another destination launched..
    Is there any access to load figures on any flight whatsoever?

    Oh and just a spin of my brain: Wouldn't it be more convenient for THY and JA to have JA operate smaller jet-engine aircraft, instead of this big 150+ passenger Boeing..

    What happened to the AVRO's THY once operated, or how about the lease costs for a CRJ/Embraer.

    And I read somewhere that THY is thinking of making SJJ a hub. Do you know more about this ExYu, or is this still in the stage of speculation.


  5. Oh and I forgot to add ExYu. The Dusseldorf Airport doesn't list the SJJ flights at all anymore. They were one of the first to actually confirm the JA flights, but now they have been completely removed from the "Flugplan."
    Is this a reason to worry for us.

    I'll try to follow this up in the next few days..

  6. No information on load factors but since these have just opened they cannot be very large. Flights to Scandinavia will be highly seasonal because it’s mostly a diaspora line so in the summer and during New Year the load factors will be high while during other times of the year they will be average. As for Vienna I cannot imagine they can be too big especially since they are competing with Austrian as well (although I presume more Bosnian passengers would rather use B&H than Austrian). I am very interested to see how the Berlin and Dusseldorf line will work out although I’m pessimistic about the outlook for the Prague flights.

    The B734 was the only aircraft Turkish has available to lease since they are fazing them out. The AVRO’s have been sold some time ago to other airlines. Don’t know about the cost of CRJs but I doubt Turkish would want to make this expense. They will probably just dump some of their older aircraft on B&H as time passes.

  7. ExYu,

    bad news, it looks like BH postponed their Prague and Berlin flights again..

    Prague could face to be moved to June 11, as well as Berlin has the planning of June 09, i hope you can tell my I'm wrong.


  8. Unfortunately you are correct. According to the Amadeus reservation system the flights have been moved to June 9 (Berlin) and June 11 (Prague). We will see if they will move them yet another time.

  9. Anonymous15:04

    Hello to everyone! I wonder sometimes what is wrong with Balkan's countries?! Is it some kind of curse? Everything is or delayed, or cancelled or withdrawn or..... Of course Tuzla-Frankfurt-Tuzla would be cancelled because of low interest/ticket sale! more popular destination and airports are failing these kinds of things because of very poor and bad marketing! Flying is still uncommon thing in ex-YU area and there should be a plan how to interduce it to the nations.... For example, life standard is so low and why someone would pay enormous amount of money for flight if that person could save and travel longer by bus!For example, Banjaluka-Belgrade ticket ONE way is approximately 170 Bosnian Marks, average salary 500-600 KM.... it doesen't work, simple as that, it must be lower and the companies have make a plan how to do it! The best marketing is"the word of mouth", if I get ticket, lets say cheaper, I am going to say to someone and that it how works.... Small airports must as Tuzla, Banja Luka, Nis, Mostar, Ohrid. etc... will not progress without low cost companies and that is the fact! Internet booking has to be interduced to the EX-YU nationes, as lets face that too, is not very common either! marketing, marketing, marketing!!!!!!! Regards to everyone and many thanks for such a great site!

  10. Interesting views :)

  11. Anonymous17:56

    Thank you! I could actually go on and on if you would read and discuss this matter :-)

  12. Anonymous10:18

    yehh, anonymous go on! its interesting what you wrote :)

  13. Well you're right about the marketing, and I think BH is a good example.

    Are the new flights being advertised in Bosnia, or in Scandinavia. Mouth to mouth just won't cover it all..

    What are your views?

  14. Anonymous13:49

    You hit the nail on the head. Consumers in Western Europe (who have higher salaries and more disposable income to spend on travelling) have been falling over themselves to fill low cost carrier (LCC) flights for the past 15 years! LCCs no account for over 35% of all short-haul travel within Europe.

    They're 'low cost' because their cost base is far lower than so-called 'flag carriers' or 'network carriers'.

    The unfortunate fact is that if there was a level playing field and equal access for LCCs in all of the ex-YU, then the likes of Croatia Airlines, Jat, MAT, B&H would disappear, and the people of the ex-YU region would be better for it.

    Why should they 'pay' for the horrible excess and inefficiencies of these 'flag' carriers??

  15. Dusseldorf flight departed today, but with ATR72, is there a specific reason for this?

    In BH booking system it now appears as ATR flight as well, but for next tuesday it states B737 again.

    Also arrival @ SJJ is confusing:

    -DUS airport shows 20.00 (737 time)
    -SJJ airport shows 20.45 (=Wrong)
    -BH Airlines shows 21.00 (ATR time=correct one)

    Still something about communication i guess....


  16. They changed it most probably to an ATR due to low interest and although it says it will be a B737 next week I presume they will change it every Tuesday to an ATR until they have enough passengers to eventually fill a B737.


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