UAE investors eying B&H Airlines

Talks held with potential B&H partner

Investors from the United Arab Emirates recently held talks with officials regarding the possible purchase of B&H Airlines, Bosnian media reports. The Federal Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, confirmed talks were held with a delegation from the United Arab Emirates. “It is true that we have held talks and we offered for them to become a strategic partner of the government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by acquiring a 49% stake. That means, they have been offered everything which was previously offered to Turkish Airlines”, Mr. Bijedić said. He added the airline interested in purchasing B&H also wants to launch flights from the UAE to Sarajevo.

In a recent statement to broadcaster TV1, Mr. Bijedić unconvincingly said, “We have held talks with… I don’t know… some “Atlas Tours” and some “Airlines”. We are looking for a solution to find a way out of the crisis which has hit all neighbouring carriers”. The daily “Dnevni Avaz” speculates Etihad Airways, which has recently been linked to possible acquisitions of LOT Polish Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Alitalia as well as possible investments in the Slovak aviation industry, is behind the latest drive to purchase a 49% stake in the Bosnian national carrier. Sarajevo has never had scheduled flights to the United Arab Emirates. Late last year, Flydubai announced plans to launch a two weekly service to Sarajevo in April 2013. The planned flights were shelved in January under the explanation that crew duty times would have been exceeded on the return leg to Dubai, thus requiring a mandatory rest in Sarajevo and pushing up costs.

Over the past week there has been significant talk of privatising the national carriers in the former Yugoslavia. The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure has begun his official state visit to Indonesia where he is set to discuss a potential partnership between Croatia Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. On the other hand, the CEO of Ljubljana Airport has announced that China Southern Airlines is close to purchasing a stake in Adria Airways, its flight school and Slovenia’s busiest airport. B&H Airlines was the first national carrier in the former Yugoslavia to be privatised back in 2008. Turkish Airlines, which bought a 49% stake, relinquished its shares in the airline last year, saying the Bosnian government was unwilling to cooperate.


  1. Purgercic09:44

    Oh of course... Now when Air Serbia got strategic partner every other airline in Balkans will... PLEASE! Who would want to invest in a airline like that... And OU is even bigger joke. Adria and Montenegro Airlines have a chance to save themselves. Let's see if they will use it.

    1. Anonymous14:43

      Air Serbia waste of money, Ethiad only bought it cause of cheap agricultural lands in Vojvodina UAE needs.

      Ethiad's main interests are airBerlin, LOT and if they buy a steak in AlItalia.

      Serbian blogers on this blog will find hard way over next 24-36 months that Air Serbia was all but charade for UAE to get its hands on really cheap agricultural land.

      Croatian Airlines might sell its 49% steak, but i;'d like to see them do it with a real strategic partner, where OU can benefit from partnership and not being used as a tool.

      Korean Air would be my choice, but they already purchased Czech Air and plan to make that airline a major player in Europe.

      Singapore air would be another partner good for Croatian, or Malaysian, both carriers are 5* carriers and with good reputation, service and strong financial picture.

      So either carriers would do, China Southern is not reliable partner and would dread if they did buy 49% steak, Garude Air same,.

      Eva air is another good carrier and of European partners only British Airways and SAS comes to mind. both are good carriers and SAS made Air Baltic and Estonian air what they're today, highly profitable and well run airlines.

    2. Anonymous14:59

      Yes, and the development of an R&D center, a construction of an aircraft component factory worth $400m, a possibile construction of a $4bn fab and a myriad of other development projects worth billions is just a play to get a few hundreds millions of $ worth of aggriculture land. Is that what they're telling you in Croatian media?

      OT: Waiting for YM to announce that Etihad is interested in them as well. It seems like they're buying the entire Balkans aviation these days. If you believe these companies, that is.

    3. Anonymous15:18

      @AnonymousAugust 28, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Why all nationalist talk of massive megalomaniac projects that do not exist or have only be wildly speculated in yellow press.

      I mean really don't you understand how nonsensical and laughable your statements of $4.4 billion airline component factory sounds.

      I mean really, who in their right mind would invest in to a 3rd world country without any expertise in said field, do you understand the know how and qualifications required for a major airline component factory.

      This isn't a turboprop assembly plant you made your antiquated Lasta, this is a high tech end of things, construction of which would take great expertise in aerodynamics, electronics and other highly disciplined services.

      Serbia doesn't have the know how or the personal for such investments let alone to propose such nonsense.

      Airbus already has small Croatian based component supplier (wiglets and electronic cables) and that investment was barely $150 million in 2003, employing some 300 highly skilled workers in Karlovac, (formerly jugoturbina), and you also have few smaller manufactures in Austria, Switzerland and Norway, rest is done in France, the UK, Spain, Germany and Holland.

      And Boeing is not about to move its entire production from Seattle to Serbia just so that Ethiad can get its planes from Serbia, lol.

      Bombadier has its production in the UK and Canada, with few bits in Germany and Holland, this won't change even with launch of CS100 and CS300.

      Embrer is set to remain in Brazil, no plans to come to Europe, there were China plans but nothing came out of that.

      Other manufactures are Sukhoi, Yakutsk and Tupolev, all Russian and all too small to invest anything anywhere lets aloe in to Serbia.

      Yakutsk is about to launch MC21, Tupolev had little success with their T-204s, Sukhoi is doing something with their SJ100 and S130.

      Not sure who else can come and splash 4.4 billion in to airline component factory in Serbia, perhaps unknown Arab aerospace manufacturer ???

    4. Anonymous15:30

      Nobody shall invest in Serbia beacuse of some secrete affection. There mainly to ways to get attention of aviation industry - the one is by ordering the planes, the second one is using a very good moment to offer domestic facilities in order to reduce producer´s costs. Since I doubt that UAE have any intention to open aviation indursty producing lines in the UAE, it would be imaginable that Etihad, beiing a biug client for Aribus and Boeing, uses his position to introduce some production lines for that manufactures in Serbia.

    5. Anonymous16:05

      @AnonymousAugust 28, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      Even with that there's a limit, most expertise in ground handling is done in UAE anyways, no components are being manufactured outside the EU or USA, no matter how many planes someone buys, there are certain things such as general service and upkeep of aircraft which can be certified by airliners themselves and they can maintain say A320s or B737s but all the components are manufactured with in Airbus and Boeing list of manufactures, i.e internally sort of speak.

      airbus would give discounts and easy payment plans on new aircraft purchases, as well as provide good support for all its aircraft, but there's little Serbia can hope from Ethiad deal, other than have major service center for Ethiad Fleet, but Ethiad said nothing about this, so I don't see them sending their A380s to Belgrade just yet.

    6. Anonymous16:16

      Its's so funny to read all these comments from our neighbours about possible investments in Serbia...and let alone the amount of vain for Air Serbia thing actually happening...can't wait for more projects to materialize soon and to see even more vain and pain from you guys! ;-)Keep watching and listening

    7. Anonymous16:25

      @August 28, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      You seem to have an issue with reading comprehension (probably because of the immense anger issues you're experiencing because of Air Serbia), so let me clarify some things I wrote:
      1) I never said anything about a "$4.4 billion airline component factory".
      I was talking about 2 different things - a $400m aircraft component factory and a $4bn fab. If you don't know what a "fab" is, it's a factory for making computer chips (CPUs in this case). Both the airline component factory and a R&D center, worth a few hundreds millions $, are supposed to be a 2nd wave of UAE investments in Serbia, after Etihad's purchase of JAT. Remember, that investment that many people claimed wouldn't happen? Yeah...
      So, let's wait and see what's going to happen in September. You'll be (unpleasantly) surprised.

    8. Anonymous16:59

      And it seems that everybody here forgot the first UAE investment in Serbia, the development of the ALAS (Advanced Light Attach System) and LORANA missiles. The two-stage project consists of the development contract worth 36 million USD and a second, production contract of about 200 million, which is to follow when the first phase is complete. Now, these people aren't stupid, they wouldn't fund this project if there weren't people in Serbia with aerospace design and manufacturing expertise. Serbia has two aircraft factories and one fairly strong design institute, small but enough for enough people with knowledge to run a components factory.

    9. Anonymous17:19

      Another wishful thinking and megalomaniac projects this time from yesteryears, I mean this is comedy central.

      Only a bunch of hardcore nationalist believe in their nonsense, its worse than trash newspapers they lack self control and would soon credit themselves with discovering of hot water!

      Jatovanje at its worst.

      PS, Air Serbia is least of my problems, its self delusion of grandeur among you few nationalist that makes whole blog look stupid.

      Ethiad is but one airline, not a fucking Santa Claus!!!

    10. Anonymous17:25

      Actually, UAE already deposited $200m for ALAS. But, please, continue with your writing.

    11. Anonymous18:08

      The Lasta has been grounded by the IRaqi AF for 18 months now.

    12. Anonymous18:17

      And Pigs can fly !!!

      care to post link to said news and said deposit ????

    13. Anonymous18:49

      Here's the link for the deal being signed:

      The deposit part was said by vice president Aleksandar Vucic in a recent TV interview, but I can't be bothered to find it. You can look it up on B92.

    14. Anonymous18:58

      @AnonymousAugust 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      oh yes indeed, another pigs will fly project!!

      I mean really give me a link where it says $200 million and alas in same sentence, not some supposition and cooperation agreement on what ever

      Typical nationalistic sensationalist nonsense, that is.

    15. Anonymous19:08


    16. Anonymous19:23

      TYhanx for the link,

      again pigs will fly, totally unreliable, I don't believe it.

      sorry, but this is all wishful thinking, i highly doubted.

      System in question is old development of orakn m87 system totally unreliable system and Serbia is trying to sell hot water to UAE, i am highly suspect anything out of this will come to any fruition.

    17. Anonymous19:23

    18. Anonymous19:27

      Last anon, you are a LEGEND!

  2. Anonymous12:06

    Who will buy B&H Airlines? Emirates or Etihad?

    1. Anonymous15:23

      I vote for Etihad, and inposing of Southeast European airlines with a major hub in Belgrade and serious base and perhaps a secondary hub in Sarajevo.

    2. Anonymous17:01

      No its the other way:
      B&H buys Emirates and Etihad...

  3. Anonymous13:23

    This kind of local media speculation (completely unrealistic) should not even make it on this forum....fakat je da ce B&H nestati prije ljetne sezone 2014

  4. Armageddon14:22

    ČEVAPI AIR will save B&H Airlines

    1. Anonymous17:04

      MuBurek Bujrum i Somum !

  5. Anonymous15:39

    I remember few years ago when there was Universiade in Belgrade, I have commented in a front of a Bosnian friend that some serious inprovments on the sports facilities in Belgrade will be done.His answer was that he hopes for the same improvemnts in Banja Luka during the parllel preparations for Universiade down there. Now, I really don´t want to offend anyone and I respect each and single person as a unique personality. But in Bosnia there seems that some empty, unrealistic, publicly made imitating is an important part of the culture.

    If they really want to have some strong company there in Sarajevo, they should try to make a totally new company with foreign investment. It is a debacle to believe that JA can be "sold" in teh same way as JAT, that is after all almost a centruy of business, a bucnh of top pilots, traditional slots, offices, customers..

    1. Anonymous16:30

      Yes, but can Air Serbia offer free cevaps on board? I think not.

    2. We aren't talking about the same amount of money obviously as you seem to be implying. I don't doubt the possibility that JA could be sold, but I am sure the owner is going to make some strong demands regarding leadership just as they had with JU.

      You are right that JAT had almost a century of business, top pilots, etc. but many old companies end up failing due to mismanagement and pilots move to new companies, slots get sold... What I am saying is that those are not the only reasons a company gets bought and there are many considerations. JU was in bad shape prior to selling their stake in their business. They are obviously turning things around very quickly with the new influx of competent management. The same could happen with JA (on a much smaller scale for much less money).

    3. Anonymous17:47

      You are mixing up two things. There is certainly a potential to do a serious airline business in BiH. But what´s the deal with buying and selling JA? The potential belongs to BiH as country and to SJJ as a base or hub, not to JA. In Belgrade the potential was coped with JAT in the manner that you cannot find in SJJ wiht JA. - If they go out of Bosnia and say, we want to make some serious aviation business perhaps there will be some potenital investors. But if they go out and say we want to sell a mini company with 1.5 turboprop, nobody will even notice that kind of offer.

  6. AirSerbia destinations list20:20

    Ex-Yu, one question, in what order are sorted the destinations that are about to be launched? Cause i can't figure out neither by alphabet order or flight numbers why Kiev ranks last while Budapest comes after Sofia(?). Would be nice to see them in alphabetical order. Thanks.

    1. Anonymous20:21

      Another question, is there a definitive answer and reason whether Air Serbia will remain at SVO or they'll finally move to DME with the new flight numbers? How does (and if) it makes sense for JU to keep operating to a different airport than the other Etihad-affiliated airlines? Thanks again.

    2. Air Serbia will stay at SVO until at least November 2014 and there are no plans to move operations. Flight numbers will change for all destinations starting this winter. As for the destination list on the right side, there is no particular order. They all launch on the same day.

    3. Anonymous21:37

      Yes, i'm about destinations that are gonna launch on the same day, they should be listed in alphabetical order. Like this it looks a bit archaic.

    4. Anonymous07:26

      Archaic? Chaotic and unprofessional to say the least.

    5. I'm sorry you feel so strongly about the order of the destination list. Still, despite the 'unprofessional' nature, I am glad that you and other visitors had the opportunity to see the full destination list a month and a half before it was officialy announced and are still the only ones to be able to see exact times and flight numbers... to say the least.

  7. Anonymous22:08

    Great news for B&H Airlines!!! Hopefully we can sell the 49 percent and head towards the right direction. Hopefully open up some new routes and get some new planes in the fleet like when Turkish owned 49 percent

  8. Anonymous00:28

    For anyone interested in the Facts as to why Etihad bought into Jat/Air Serbia, rather than the hear say others talk about.

    In summary, they (etihad) were given an opportunity to invest and if Hogan thought they could make a profit then he was given permission to do so, if he thought otherwise then no deal.


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