B&H strikes gold

A reason to smile
The start of the year did not start that well for the national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The introduction of many new routes failed to produce a big increase in passenger figures, but the end of the 2009 summer season changed the airline’s fortune dramatically. B&H Airlines, which is owned partly by Turkish Airlines, has for the elapsed 9 months of the year transported a total of 65.517 passengers, an impressive 30.4% passenger increase compared to the same period last. This means that the airline managed to lure 15.260 passengers more than the same period last year. During this crisis year, B&H Airlines operated a total of 1.317 flights (up 24.2%), of which 1.235 were scheduled regular flights (up 23.7%) and 82 were charter flights (up 32.3%). Within these figures, B&H Airlines has not included it’s numbers from Banja Luka Airport, from which it operates two weekly flights to Zurich.

B&H welcomed its first jet engine aircraft earlier this year. The airline is expected to receive a second jet engine aircraft in the near future.

Meanwhile, for the same period, Sarajevo Airport has managed to profit from B&H’s success and itself post a 3.5% passenger increase, compared to the same period last year. That means that the airport handled a total of 408.925 passengers.


  1. Well done and congratulations to B&H Airlines! The next Boeing will be expected in early 2010.

    'That means that the airport handled a total of 65.517 passengers.' You might might want to change that figure to a much higher number. :)

  2. frequentflyer11:29

    I'm glad to see JA heading into positive territory, however perhaps a more balanced picture would give an accurate picture than 'strikes gold'??

    - their new jet craft is just too big for their current requirements
    - they are about to get another aircraft that is too big for their current requirements
    - new flights to new destinations have been a flop, and nobody has asked that simple question: "zasto"
    - they didn't look in their own backyard first to get the easy wins (eg ZAG, BEG, LJU) and establish with the new plane
    - they were working from an embarassingly-low base to begin with
    - they are still losing out at their home base (SJJ) to foreign airlines, many of which charge very high fares but have better reputation
    - the airline is still not releasing its next schedule early enough to adequately promote flights to both business and leisure travellers
    - who has really heard of them apart from 1) Bosnians, or 2) people travelling to BiH?

  3. Anonymous11:30

    Hmmm and the biggest increase was on the IST route? Since most of the other ones were cancelled, the new ones I mean.
    What is the average load factor?

  4. Anonymous12:44

    one little correction, there are 2 (not 1) weekly flights SJJ- Zurich via BNX. I agree about marketning. that is a KEY thing for every business! Congrats to B&H Airlines!

  5. I think we should be more careful in declaring a big success for BH airlines. So they have a 30 percent increase in pax numbers BUT they have about 50 percent increase in capacity. So it could be that they will loose more money this year than last.
    Frequentflyer :
    I don´t agree they should be flying regional routes since those are very well covered by other airlines. I believe concentrating of Istanbul and Scandinavia will prove to be a right strategy.
    With THY they can become an important player.

  6. Actually with the start of the new winter timetable, 3 out of 7 ZRH flights go via BNX..

    Today 2 additional flights to IST (via TZL) will be added, while FRA has gone up from 4 to 5 flights.

    Meanwhile VIE has seen a decrease from 5 to 4 flights a week. The Sunday replacement for Wednesday has been cancelled to create space for the extra IST flihgts.
    (Although todays flight SJJ-TZL-IST vv. has already been cancelled.)

    Furthermore I notice that the arrival of the IST flight (the overnight 737) seems to arrive always with a slight delay 30min +, which kicks the schedule for the rest of the day and causes the evening flight to IST to depart late as well..


  7. ANONYMOUS15:14

    What a ridiculous article - of course the passenger numbers are going to improve dramatcially when you more than DOUBLE the size of the fleet (in terms of total number of seats as 1 737-400 is about equal in seats to 2 ATR-72s.

  8. Zrakaa21:45



    First step is to try to register bhairlines.com. As it is now it is some bulgarian company. How many foreigners are going to type in .ba

    No reason for fighting OU or JU as they are code sharing on BEG/ZAG route. I guess they are getting their share of money. If JU would join Sky Team than I guess that JA could start directly fighting on SJJ-BEG route.


    I don't agree. Loosing money on new route is nothing strange. TK should be able to finance this.

    I am actually surprised that they so quickly dropped Berlin and Prague routes. It seems like they didn't take these lines seriously enough.

    @last anonymous
    Don't understand what is ridiculous? They are posting their passenger numbers not load factor or if they are making money or not. Now load factor and revenue are more important but that still doesn't make this information ridiculous.

    Few things that I find bit strange:

    1) why are they not releasing BNX numbers? Seems strange that you just exclude passangers from one of your focus cities.

    2) They have completely focused on bosnian diaspora with connection to scandinavian and german cities. Imo it would make more sense to concentrate on business passengers. Bosnia together with such well known european countries as Albania and Moldova are only European country that doesn't have direct connection to Brussels. With the amount of EU official coming and going it seems that this route should be sustainable.

    3) JA needs to learn a lot from turkish on how to market itself. JA is still not showing up on majority of search engines where you can check flights to specific airport. Web site is still a mess. Still no loyalty programme and so on.

    4) It seems as they had a strategy where they would sign code share agreements with CSA on lots of routes. Among other NY. Prague flight was probably to be used as feeder to CSA. Suddenly CSA is dropping its line to NY and even having major problems thus suddenly they need to change strategy. Strange thing about this is that they were working with Sky Team member instead of somebody from *alliance as this is natural choice as JA is partly owned by TK.


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