Passenger plunge for B&H Airlines

B&H takes big passenger hit
The national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, B&H Airlines, handled only 29.459 passengers in the first half of the year, a 54.9% plunge on 2011. The figures come as a result of a major decrease in flights as well as Turkish Airlines’ exit from its partnership with the airline. The average cabin load factor stood at 66%. B&H currently operates flights to only four cities from Sarajevo (Istanbul, Zurich, Copenhagen and Banja Luka) with a single ATR72. The Bosnian carrier had its busiest year back in 2010 when it welcomed 138.241 passengers onboard. Unless there are major developments in the following months, B&H risks having one of its worst years on record, passenger wise.

Originally, plans were made for the Bosnian carrier to launch flights from Sarajevo to Skopje, Vienna, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Dusseldorf this year. However, none of the plans materialised after Turkish Airlines relinquished its 49% stake in the airline. Since, there have been reports that Buraq Air from Libya is interested in taking Turkish’s place. During B&H’s privatisation process in 2008, Turkish Airlines was not the only one to answer the tender call. Also bidding were Royal Jordanian Airlines and Malaysia’s Comintel Corporation.

B&H’s poor form has also had an effect on its hub airport, Sarajevo. However, the airport has held up well seeing only a 4% decrease in its passenger numbers. The likes of Austrian, Jat, Croatia Airlines, and Adria have profited the most from B&H’s network reductions. On the other hand, the airport has seen the arrival of several new charter airlines, including Gryphon Airlines which launched seasonal flights to the Bosnian capital from Kuwait City this summer.


  1. Anonymous09:22

    JAT should make an agreement with BH Airlines and utilize their aircraft to improve some feeders to/from Belgrade, or create rotations like they used to exist in ex-SFRJ: BEG-SJJ-FCO-SJJ-BEG, giving morning segment from BEG to SJJ, a connection to Rome or like (that once existed from SJJ) to catch on morning wave in FCO and pick up passenger from morning landings to FCO from cross-Atlantic routes, run back to BEG (via SJJ or direct) and then being used from BEG to region and v.v, in afternoon rotation, run evening flight to the region (TIV, TGD, SKP, OHD) and come back to BEG in the morning to be sent again to SJJ on a daily rotation. Existing BEG-SJJ-BEG (JU108/109) could be kept to maximize in and out of Belgrade connections. If there is no enough capacity to/from FCO, other destinations could alternate such as IST, ZRH, MXP within 2 hours flight time qwith ATR. Bilaterals could be resolved by code-sharing.

    1. Anonymous12:02

      Jat should cease their existence forever!

    2. Anonymous12:47

      And you should kill yourself.

    3. Anonymous15:43

      I think the BEG-SJJ-FCO route is a good idea.

    4. Anonymous16:15

      But what is in it for BH Airlines?

      -- Charlie

  2. Sorry for OT:

    Adria tender:

  3. frequentflyer10:38

    Another article that doesn't make sense. Pax numbers are IRRELEVANT if we do not know costs of an airline's operations, and yields from service.

    If (using just one aircraft), the airline is operating profitably, or losing *less* money than running more (or larger) aircraft, then this isn't a bad thing. And we all know how inept JA has been, and unwise business decisions made in recent years.

    Turboprops are the cheapest per-hour aircraft in terms of an airline's operations. Sure, there are some destinations served where a prop flight will be long and uncomfortable, but if that is all the airline can afford to use and they can still keep traffic lines open, all the better to them.

    A far more interesting question would be if we will ever see the 2nd AT7 back in operations!?

  4. OU should realise a nice opportunity here, step in and take a controlling stake in the carrier if they can get it at the right price and avoid BiH government interfering in the operation of the carrier. If Bookings are done by OU including via the OU website, than there could be a huge increase in the number of passengers using the carrier.
    This would of course include direct flights from Sarajevo to destination which will work and really don't have a chance at the moment because realistically the carrier is not seen as being reliable and has most likely lost the faith of its customer base.

    This could be a real solution to OU's winter fleet problem as well.

    1. Anonymous11:17

      So then the decisive moves within the airline would be made by the Croatian government instead of the Bosnian one as was the case until now. ;)
      And anyway, Croatia Airlines is not in the right place to acquire any airline. They will need to become self-sustaining before Croatia's entry to the European Union. If they do not achieve that at a time when competition will grow, they will need to take loans to cover their losses. This will lead down the same path Adria took.

  5. Sell the god damn plane and quit it all, it's a shame to be a 'national carrier' and operate one turboprop :/ country's in Somalia doe it even better :/

  6. Anonymous16:21

    When are they going to get the 2 nd ATR...they could really use it

  7. Anonymous16:27

    Sarajevo is so heavily monopolised by Star Alliance :|

  8. Anonymous16:29

    B&H Airlines is a great company....if they had more planes this year they would be doing alot better. Look at 2010 when i beleive they had 4 planes in the fleet and that showed with the 138,241 passangers. More planes means more destinations and its pretty hard to get that amount of passangers when you currently have one small plane. Its imposible....thats why if B&H Airlines still had atleast the Airubus in there fleet these numbers would be at atleast doubled.

  9. Anonymous18:07

    Why don't they start flying to Kraljevo?

  10. Anonymous22:23


    Jat Airways had a spectacular July with passenger growth of 15%. During the whole month the airline carried 121.336 passengers, while in 2012 755.555 which represents a 12% growth year on year.

    1. Anonymous08:28

      In vain musicians.

    2. Anonymous09:51

      Your comment is as silly as the direct translation from English.

      I for one am happy to see these good results for Jat Airways. It is good that they are recording higher loads at a time when the Serbian economy is down on its knees.


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