B&H’s Zurich service in trouble

Low interest for B&H’s Zurich flights
Following B&H Airlines’ recent suspensions of high profile routes to Vienna and Frankfurt, Zurich is next on the chopping block, insiders say. The Sarajevo to Zurich line is failing to attract passengers and flights are often cancelled. The airline did not operate its Tuesday and Wednesday service this week. On a regular basis, the flights see at least 1 cancellation per week. B&H Airlines serves the Swiss city 7 times per week, 3 of which go via Banja Luka. All flights are operated with an ATR72. Sources from the airline say that B&H is hoping for higher booking numbers as the peak summer season approaches. Before its suspension from B&H’s timetable, Vienna also experienced similar cancellations but was given a trial period of several months to prove itself as a sustainable route. In the end it didn’t.

Turkish Airlines, which owns 49% of the airline, is soon to name a new CEO for the Bosnian carrier. Although the Turks are eager to take over the majority of shares in B&H, a recent revision of the purchasing agreement firmly cements that the company will remain in government ownership until further notice. Despite a sharp increase in passenger numbers, B&H has also experienced a sharp increase in losses this year and plans are being made to phase out 1 ATR72. Besides Zurich, B&H operates flights to Istanbul, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Stockholm. Its most popular flights continue to be Istanbul and Amsterdam.


  1. Why don't they just keep one A319 in the fleet and operate Istanbul twice per day and Amsterdam once?
    Apparently there isn't much demand for other routes.

  2. Aero09:10

    I am really surprised with such a bad news coming from BHa in recent years, espacially during the current one.
    Does anybody know LF`s for their IST and AMS services?

  3. Anonymous09:21

    So JP could just add some of this routes SJJ-BNX-FRA/ZRH???

  4. Peter from Sydney09:27

    And where's Turkish's expertise here? I don't think I've seen them do anything successful with the company.

  5. FlyingJack10:07

    Shall we see soon BH's only routes:
    SJJ apt hangar to SJJ taxiway and back morning and evening on ATR
    A 319 could go to as far as runway in the morning while in the late evening hours could be docked to a gate

    It's a shame to see how TK's management is destroying JA and makes fun of the BH market. If they can't make FRA VIE ZRH ZAG and BEG profitable routes, problem is in the management and management should be fired not these routes cancelled

  6. Anonymous11:12

    Why doesn't anyone finally believe what I am saying all the time. BH Airlines is not a business venture, it is a symbol for turkish political and economical (though not successfull) expansionism in the region. The same story will be with Skopje Airport and TAV. Building a Terminal with 6 million capacity for an airport with 600000 pax! Who will pay the bill in the end?

  7. Sorry for the OT. I've just heard that Aerosvit is dumping BEG as of 8 June. Flights have already been removed from GDS's.

  8. Anonymous13:07

    its always the worst to cut the rout. isnt it better to cut the flights? if from 7 per week, bh should fly 3 times per week to switzerland. how is it possible not to have passengers on ssj-zrh. if so, than bh should not fly to any european city. it takes long time to have an rout busy. atr is quite economical and can stand a lack of passengers.

  9. Anonymous13:33

    JP go a head!!! SJJ need connections ;)

  10. Anonymous13:39

    TK is increasing the number of flights on the Istanbul - Sarajevo route from 5 weekly to daily as of June 20:

    Also, TK is increasing the number of flights on the Istanbul - Belgrade route from daily to 9 weekly flights, with additional evening service on Mondays and Wednesdays as of June 27 (pending government approval)

  11. sorry OT:

    increase of 23% in pax for April 2011 compared with April 2010

  12. frequentflyer14:40

    This news highlights the pathetic situation at JA. I am now firmly convinced that staff and management have *no* idea how to run an airline, and TKs reluctance to make drastic changes to save what has been built up over many years is evident.

    The airline needs to cut through the enormous red tape and focus on what it knows how to do - operate flights. They need to realise - and realise quickly - that a daily flight to IST isn't a career path, nor will it allow long-term viability. Fleet utilisation is appallingly low, but cutting routes and frequencies doesn't help either.

    I hope govt FBiH (who sold their share of the airline) have a good bailout package ready when the airline finally goes belly up...

  13. Thsi is very strange. I though that at some point both Swiss and BH operated this route and now not even one airline can sustain the service. As someone already said, if this airline is not capable of sustaining VIE/FRA/ZRH service (some of the major European hubs), how can we expect they fill airplanes on any other route. What a shame. It's better just to close the airline and give Adria or Croatia the rights to operate flihts out of SJJ.

  14. The perfect new base for Montenegro Airlines should be Sarajevo, not Belgrade.

  15. Anonymous17:42

    A little bit off topic:

    The italian Eagles Airlnes opens 3 destinations from SKP Rome Fiumicino, Venice and Nimes in France.Nimes flights are not put on sales yet.
    SKP had 23 percent growth in april compared to april 2010.

    Btw. Nemjee I completely agree with you about the focus of Montenegro Airlines-it should be Sarajaevo!!

  16. Anonymous18:13

    Who is starting this kind of rumors I would really like to know. Recent canceling of flights to Zurich had nothing to do with load factor...oh yes of course .."No alcoholic beverages neither"...come on now

  17. By the way, since someone mentioned that Turkish Airlines is adding two more flights to Belgrade, it's true:

    TK 1083 arrives to Belgrade at 18:20 on Mondays and Wednesdays.

    TK 1084 departs Belgrade at 19:15 again on Mondays and Wednesday.

    Flights are scheduled to start on the 26th of June.

    So now on Mondays there are going to be three flight per day: 14:40/16:15/19:15.

  18. Forgot to add that last month BEG numbers rose by 20%.


    219.751>262.974 +20%


    853.204>1.033.627 +21%

  19. Anonymous21:49

    @ Lento

    Where did you hear this? Why would Aerosvit pull out of Belgrade. Ukraine and Serbia just abolished visas yesterday I believe. Are they canceling so another airline introduces flights?

    And Belgrade had 20% increase for May, but 8% more aircraft movements. So the load factor for many flights must be better compared to last year.

  20. My guess for Aerosvit's withdrawal is that they were aiming at Serbia> CIS and Asia market. Unfortunately for them that market is not that big and they needed to share it with Turkish Airlines and Jat (through the interline agreement with Emirates).

    Not to mention that Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance member where as Emirates are very well known.
    It's a shame to see a carrier go, I still think that they should have waited a bit longer and reduced the prices as well. You can not charge $400 for a 1h45muin flight.

    I wonder who is going to pick up the passengers from Belgrade to Kiev...

  21. @ AleksNikolicUSA

    The local VV office advised agents yesterday citing technical reasons for that. The flights have already been removed from GDS's. Apparently it's only for the summer season, i.e. flights should be reinstated for the winter season.

  22. Anonymous07:34

    Copied below is the full story from another web site (aviokarta.net). I get the feeling that these flights will NOT be coming back in October since when I went on the Aerosvit web site, Serbia is no longer even listed as a destination. Not quite sure how I will travel from Kiev to Belgrade from now, but I'll probably use Austrian Airlines.

    It's a shame about Aerosvit, but I'm not surprised -- these flights were operated with an aircraft with 52 seating capacity and every time I traveled it was only about a 50 percent load factor. I'm hopeful that Aerosvit will launch services between KBP and TGD at some point soon since the Ukrainian and Montenegrin governments signed an MOU about this 2 weeks ago allowing commercial flights to connect the two capitals. Currently we only have charter flights from Kiev to Tivat during summers (which are quite good, actually). It would be nice to have flights all year long.

    Pozdrav iz Kijeva.

    Redovan let na ruti između Beograda i Kijeva koju održava ukrajinska aviokompanija Aerosvit biće suspendovan do kraja letnje sezone. U obaveštenju stoji da su razlozi za suspenziju saobraćaja, koja počinje 9. juna, tehničke prirode.

    Otkazuju se sledeći letovi u periodu od 9. juna do 29. oktobra 2011:

    * Kijev - Beograd, VV217
    * Beograd - Kijev, VV218

    Oba leta saobraćala su ponedeljkom, sredom, četvrkom i nedeljom.

    U isto vreme Aerosvit će povećati broj nedeljnih letova između Kijeva i Sofije sa šest na osam. Prošle godine ova destinacija imala je tri nedeljna leta. Ove letnje sezone udvostručeni su letovi iz Kijeva ka Sankt Petersburgu i Stokholmu a otvorene su i nove linije ka ruskim gradovima Krasnodar i Novosibirsk, ka Aktau u Kazahstanu i ka Karlovim Varima u Češkoj.

    U obaveštenju koje je prosleđeno turističkim agencijama stoji samo informacija za putnike koji poseduju karte za otkazane letove da će oni biti obeštećeni punom refundacijom za kupljene karte. Putnike koji to budu želeli Aerosvit će preusmeriti na druge letove ka krajnjem odredištu kao u slučaju nedobrovoljnog rerutiranja s tim da će kompanija zadržati pravo da se saglasi sa novim itinererom.

    Putnici koji imaju karte za otkazane letove treba da se jave generalnom prodajnom agentu Aerosvit-a za Srbiju, agenciji "East avia" u Nikole Spasića 3, telefon: 011/3283-430, faks: 011/3283-531, od ponedeljka do petka od 9 do 16 časova, ili tiketing agentu na aerodromu "Nikola Tesla", agenciji "Fly Time", telefon: 011/2286-256, faks: 011/209-4300. Putnici se mogu javiti i svojoj turističkoj agenciji u kojoj su kupili karte.

  23. Anonymous08:05


    totally agree regarding the price thing, you simply cannot charge that amount of money for such short flight. B&H Airlines(and the others in the region)simply lack in good management, MARKETING of the destinations and attracting people to fly by lowering the prices. If you are already taking off/landing, paying taxes and fees and staff, why simply(like other airlines do) don't do sale of the remaining tickets, rather than going with the half empty plane. Average price for return ticket from SJJ/BNX to Zurich is almost an average salary in Bosnia(yes people work a month for 300 euros, a FACT!), so there you go!

  24. AirKoryoTU-20408:54

    @Nemjee and others

    Aerosvit has little connection power with the CIS and Asia, infact it mainly just serves the Ukranian market. From Belgrade to the CIS Aeroflot has the obvious largest traffic capacity and connections (in co-op with JAT). Also where have you found this info from because I see Aerosvit still flying to BEG and bookable, also I think I've noted Dniproavia flying to BEG before too but they operate for Aerosvit quite often.

    VV 218 operates twice weekly with ERJ-145 from what I can see.

  25. @ AirKoryoTU-204
    I have a copy of the mail sent by VV to agents yesterday. Also check beg.aero - seasonal timetable and see that BEG-IEV flights end on 8JUN. I have also check the VV website and BEG flights are not bookable there even for winter 11/12. And finally BEG-IEV flights have been removed from GDS's (Amadeus and Galileo).

  26. @Lento,

    I suppose you mean BEG-KBP

    Well if they are coming back in winter then we have nothing to worry about. It's pretty much what airBaltic did when their lease on Fokkers expired.
    By the way, does anyone know how their loads are?

    @Air Koryo

    I am just saying what they advertize and what they offer from Belgrade. Their prime destination to the CIS from Belgrade was Kazakhstan.
    Plus it makes much more sense to fly from Belgrade via KBP then via SVO.

  27. Actually could it be that the lease on their E145 is expiring and that they are waiting for the Antonov 148 to be delivered to continue operationg the route? Something like airBaltic when they left Belgrade for the winter until their Dash-8s arrived?

  28. @ Nemjee

    I used the city code, not the airport code. :-)

    As for the passengers returning to BEG after 30OCT, their reservations are still OK. If VV does not restart flight, passengers will be rerouted.

  29. @Lento,

    Oh ok, thanks for that. However, you do not know how their loads are on the route?
    I mean, they did have an agressive marketing campaign in Belgrade.

  30. @ Nemjee
    I don't know anything about their CLF. I know that especially with the introduction of an early morning flight, the number of connections they offered increased. Their fares were also quite good. As I said earlier, according to the info from their local office, the reason for cancellation are technical reasons.

  31. @Lento,

    Thank you once again for the clarification.

  32. Anonymous15:56

    ''It's a shame to see how TK's management is destroying JA and makes fun of the BH market. If they can't make FRA VIE ZRH ZAG and BEG profitable routes, problem is in the management and management should be fired not these routes cancelled''

    Unfortunately , all said is more then a truth. Few turkish so called experts has done all this shits on the market.Probably very soon B&H will have its first low cost company, but how it is going to look like still none knows. The easiest way to ''solve'' problems and to reduce costs was to reduce frequencies and destinations.
    Who will take responisibilty for all done in past two years will be announced very soon.


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.