Banja Luka Airport faces closure

Banja Luka could close while B&H numbers take a hit
Banja Luka Airport is facing a tough battle to keep its international operating license. It has less than a month to fulfil several technical requirements, including lengthening the taxiways, purchasing new security equipment and installing new security fencing, in order to keep its license. However, all of these measures require money while there are problems with land ownership when it comes to the taxiway lengthening. The Minister for Traffic and Infrastructure of the entity government, Nedeljko Čubrilović says, “Investments are needed at Banja Luka Airport as international standards have changed when it comes to security”. Čubrilović adds the government will do everything it can in order for the airport to keep its international status.

A total of 460.100 euros is allocated for the airport on an annual basis, while the government has been forced to inject additional funds in the past few years. During the summer of 2011 the airport was on the verge of losing its license due to a possible closure of its account, before the government intervened with additional finances. Banja Luka Airport is currently served by only B&H Airlines. However, there have been more cancelled then operated flights this year as the national carrier deals with its own problems. In 2011 Adria Airways operated subsidised flights from Ljubljana to Banja Luka but cancelled the service once the subsidies dried up. The airport has announced that it plans to negotiate with Austrian Airlines later this summer for the carrier to restart flights from Vienna in 2013.

Meanwhile, B&H Airlines has been hit by its cancellations in recent months. The airline welcomed 15.495 passengers in the first quarter, a decline of 44% compared to the same period last year, the Bosnian Civil Aviation Directorate reports. It should be taken into account that the number of flight operated by the airline almost halved on last year. Recently, B&H resumed its temporarily suspended routes to Zurich and Copenhagen but is still operating with only one aircraft, which has forced it to continue to cancel certain flights. On the other hand, there is not much the airline itself can be blamed for since it is being affected by the dispute between its two owners - the government of the Bosnian Federation and Turkish Airlines.


  1. JU520 BEGLAX09:39

    Nice ATC Tower.. seems a lit big for a 1 daily operation?

  2. Anonymous09:47

    "B&H resumed its temporarily suspended routes to Zurich and Copenhagen..."

    Not really. They're still cancelled and only IST is operated 1-2 daily, as far as I could see from the SJJ apt website.

    1. Anonymous10:05

      Yesterday they were flying to CPH and over the weekend they were in ZRH.
      Shame about BNX. If it has proper management it could have worked out.

  3. Anonymous12:41

    This airport should be given for single 1 EUR rent to WIZZAIR or RYANAIR with min 5 destinations per day. and hellow your goal is reached!

  4. Anonymous14:52

    I'm so sad about BNX. Even if they get an operation licence(one way or another, they will probably get it), there still will not be any interesting departures in near future. It looks like BNX airport is so far away from modern commercial aviation. That's why people from Banja Luka need to take a ride and than fly from BEG, ZAG or SJJ. It really makes me angry every time when I pass by BNX airport driving my car to reach ZAG or BEG (and I don't like to spend that much time and money to get to an airport) to catch a flight.

  5. Anonymous17:19

    If Sarajevo is too expensive for WIZZair ,
    WIZZair should try next with Banja Luka .

    I would like to see the outcome of this especially if BL management would be so over the top stupid to
    ruin it .

    People in Bosnia are so extreme stupid matter which ethnicity !

    1. Anonymous13:58

      I agree, there are about 100 000 people originally from the region around Banja Luka living in southern parts of Sweden and Denmark. It takes about 20-25 hours to drive with the car and it´s expensive with tolls and fuel. There are several bus connections to BL from Scandinavia, almost every day, and they are full booked all the time. The price of the bus ticket is around 200 EUR so i believe that people are ready to pay a little bit more for an airplane ticket just to avoid the long journey and all costs that it brings. I don´t understand why companies like Wizz Air and Norwegian don’t see the potentials with BNX. I believe that 2-3 times per week during the season it will not be a problem to fill the airplane with passengers from Scandinavia (Copenhagen or Malmö) to BNX

  6. It is not the people in general that are stupid. It is that the too often the management has the job based on nepotism or political party affiliation.

    Add greed to that incompetence and the result is obvious. I agree that Wizz should go for BNX. It could be the low cost airport alternative for several airports in the region, namely ZAG.

  7. JU520 BEGLAX18:15

    Off topic:

    BERLIN Brandenburg Airport not to open by 03JUN.
    Opening is delayed for weeks, however LH confirms that the new flights they planned to introduce as of 03JUN will not be affected and should operate as scheduled.

    1. Anonymous22:48

      Hah even the Germans are not what they used to be:-)) Macedonia managed to open it even ahead of time.

    2. Anonymous08:10

      So when somebody told you that he saw a mouse in your house, the first thing you did was to check if that person's house had a mouse too? Or did you fix your own problem first?

    3. Anonymous08:24

      I bought not 1 but 2 cats!

  8. The main ground for all those causes is the incompetency and nepotism in local governments. Namely, Minister Cubrilovic does nothing to do with infrastructure or transport. He is simply not capable to reason or bring decisions from that domain.


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