B&H Airlines suspends Istanbul service

B&H gives up on Istanbul route

B&H Airlines has suspended flights on its signature route to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The carrier operated its final service from Sarajevo to Turkey’s largest city last Tuesday after which all flights were terminated. Ticket sales for the route have also been suspended until further notice. So far this month, the airline has cancelled more services to Istanbul than it actually operated with only two flights performed in the last two weeks. Over the past year, B&H has been hit by strong competition on the route and has been squeezed out by its larger rivals Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines. The carrier maintained four weekly flights to Istanbul with an ATR72 aircraft this summer, down from daily flights only a year ago.

The Bosnian carrier will continue to maintain flights to Zurich, Belgrade and Copenhagen this summer. It recently launched seasonal services from Banja Luka to Tivat, once per week, with twenty passengers on board its inaugural flight. The airline has also tapped into the lucrative charter market this summer with flights from Mostar and Sarajevo to Foggia, Bari and Pescara in Italy, catering mostly for pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje site. The flights will run until the end of September with a total of 45 rotations planned. Charters during the winter season are also being considered.

B&H faces strong competition

Passengers traveling from Sarajevo to Istanbul will still have a significant selection of flights to choose from as Turkish Airlines offers up to four daily services between the two cities, operating from both Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports. On the other hand, low cost Pegasus, which launched flights to Sarajevo last year, operates daily flights to the Bosnian capital. B&H Airlines has been struggling with its finances since Turkish Airlines relinquished its 49% stake in the carrier in 2012. B&H recorded a loss of 2.9 million euros in 2013 and has outstanding debt of 2.3 million euros to Hypo Alpe Adria Bank for the financial lease of its two ATR72s. The carrier’s revenue plummeted 38.4% during last year.


  1. Anonymous09:17

    Why don't they shut the company down?

    1. Zato sto bi u sarajevu politicka elita crkla da ukine air bosnu

    2. Anonymous13:19

      Air Bosna?

    3. TheBosnian20:20

      Odnos "politicke elite u Sarajevu" prema BH Airlines nije puno drugaciji od odnosa istih takvih "elita" u Beogradu, Zagrebu ili drugdje prema svojim aerokompanijama....

      Personally, I believe that every state and country in the world should have an airline.
      What BH Airlines needs now is a decent approach from the politics, non-corrupt/non-nepotistic management and a serious business plan.

    4. What I would add here is some serious financial backing/investment as well.

      You can have all the good. non-corrupt management of this world but unless you provide them with some tools, something to get them going chances of them succeeding in such a competitive environment are slim to none.

  2. B&H Airlines should try serving Frankfurt and Rome.

    1. TheBosnian20:30

      They´re not really welcome in Frankfurt. And Rome is a nonsense.

    2. How is B&H not welcome in Frankfurt?

      Rome is nonsense? It is one of the most important cities in Europe. If Sarajevo doesn't have enough demand for 3-4 weekly ATR flights to Rome, they might as well just shut down the entire airport.

    3. TheBosnian22:26

      Well, Frankfurt prefers bigger jet aircraft so it´s rather expensive to fly a turboprop there.
      For Rome, I don´t see the business case; many places to fly to before BH Airlines flies there,. BH Airlines needs right (type of) aircraft and a management that can do their job.

    4. How is it expensive to fly a turboprop to Frankfurt? Actually, there are discounts for turboprops because all turboprops below 34t are automatically in Class 1 noise charges! If you glance at the FRA airport fees, there is no word on any special fees for turboprops


      Rome should be a priority for JA. It is a major global city, and there are many pilgrims who would use such a service. BEG has 31 flights per week to Rome, so SJJ should have at least 3 or 4 ATR flights.

  3. Anonymous09:27

    Do you NOW realise why it was so important for (Air) Serbia to talk, negotiate and fight for Istanbul Ataturk?

    So now neither Montenegro, Croatia nor B&H fly there.

    Yet Turkish has a seasonal route to Sabiha.

    So for the guys (from Croatia and Serbia) telling "tup se sa rogatim ne moze bosti", "Serbs do not have a chance" etc... Now you see...

  4. OT: Airbus announces A330NEO!!!

    They claim 14% lower fuel consumption per seat, which puts it in dreamliner territory.


    Perfect for Air Serbia. It would be great to have a next generation A320NEO and A330NEO fleet by 2020, along with the ATR72-600

  5. btw Austrian Airlines is also rumoured to be cancelling Istanbul.

    no surprise really , comparing the service level and prices

  6. Anonymous09:48

    Im sad about bh airlines, but what can we do.. JU should make, somehow hub in ssj and start flying to north of europe directly with one 319.. can it happen?

    1. I think it is very unlikely because it would go against Air Serbia's business model as a network carrier that offers transit flights.

      Perhaps if the management at SJJ can get their act together, they might be able to attract a low cost carrier such as Wizz or Ryanair.

    2. Anonymous10:18

      I would like JU to make a hub there, but it is impossible to do that on Turkish airlines "territory".

  7. Anonymous10:01

    I heard their Banja Luka - Tivat flights are going terribly bad and they actually cut one frequency to Zurich to perform those flights -.-

    1. Juce 40 u odlasku 15 u dolasku. Ukinuto je samo sjj-zrh nedeljni let. Bnx- zrh ide normalno ( koliko se to moze u nasim uslovima)

  8. Anonymous10:06

    I am afraid this is not the end of troubles for B&H.

    If Air Serbia decides to increase the frequencies to Sarajevo, B&H flights to Belgrade are in even more danger. That would be the final punch to B&H.

  9. Anonymous10:09

    In the meanwhile, B&H official FB page is posting pictures of Mickey the Mouse, baby elephants and puppies. They do not realize they are fighting for survival.

    1. Anonymous10:34

      Hahaha. True. Don't know if I should laugh or cry. They are also still advertising IST for 7 euros on their website but when you go to book the ticket it says the flight are cancelled.

  10. Anonymous10:14

    hey ex-yu the photo of bh airlines on the bottom of that you wrote istnabul instead of istanbul

  11. Nikola11:30

    probably the best solution for JA is to become JU's feeder from all B&H airports. and to operate some flights on their behalf like F7 does for BEG-BNX

  12. Anonymous11:55

    OT: Can anybody explain why every single Air Serbia flight BEG-BEY is delayed by1,5- 2 hours? Creating havoc among transit pax at the return to BEG with full loads of A320 loosing their conenctions beyond BEG and provoking very disturbing scenes at BEG transit counter. Heard that almost police had to intervene with angry passengers!

    1. Aэrologic21:29

      Belgrade airport refusing to employ more people in the luggage sorting facility, they are only two during the midnight wave for the dozen of flights.
      It goes down to a boiling conflict between Air Serbia (government) and Belgrade airport, you'll hear more on that soon.

    2. JATBEGMEL06:22

      For me, who has been following alot of things of JU and BEG, my perspective is:

      - Lack of efficiency,
      - Lack of time management,
      - Lack of suffiecnt staff,
      - Lack of effective management,
      - Lack of equipment.

      What kind of sanctions are imposed on underpermormers? How efficient is the team that handles various departments, which should altimately lead to an on time departure? How is the pax growth affecting operations at the airport? Is there a need for more staff? Perhaps more training? Is the current equipment sufficient? Is a plan in place on how the operation should run, and is it being followed?

      The change of fleet in a short time, followed by a rapid increase hasnt been taken on as smoothly as it should of been. What has failed? What has been done? What will be done? If a proper plan was put in place and enforced, it shouldnt be as messy as it is. BEG isnt a huge airport. Moving luggage from A10 to C10 in the worst case shouldnt be as problematic as it is. Loading catering shouldnt be problematic for the narrow bodies serving BEG. Cleaning the B737/A320 fleets shouldnt be more than 20 minutes, and neither should boarding. Conducting checks and searches shouldnt be more than 10 minutes.

      JU seems to be affected the most as it is the largest orperation at BEG. So what is failing? What is the role of ASGS and will they need to take on more responsibilities to be more independant, ensuring a more smoother operation.

  13. Anonymous12:15

    They have a way too ambitious route network for just 2 ATRs. Unrealistic and unprofessional. They should look up to Air Serbia and how it uses its ATR fleet. They can't compete with other airlines on longer flights (CPH, ZRH) with an ATR. Its best for them to cut those routes altogether and focus on short ex-YU flights and possibly routes nobody operates on like BEG-ZAG or BEG-INI. Per example, they could do SJJ-BEG-INI-BEG-SJJ-ZAG daily with 1 ATR.

    1. Anonymous14:02

      They could do much better - connecting Sarajevo , Banjaluka and Mostar with Italy, Austria and Zurich works quite ok for them as far as I understand

    2. Anonymous21:41

      You can not have a decent market share of any market with 2 ATRs. Only reasonable choice is going for a market niche. The longest flight with an ATR 72 in the world is JA406 SJJ-CPH. Why nobody else in the world has such a long route with an ATR 72?

    3. JATBEGMEL05:16

      JA wont and cant make a hub out of SJJ. What it should do is provide direct air service to major hubs to enable good travel for its people.

      - SJJ-VIE
      - SJJ-FCO
      - SJJ-MXP

      They could even operate schedules such as:
      which will serve to connect SJJ to a major European hub, as well as using the aircraft to cater for tourists to Bosnia (OMO).

      Its a shame that TK has out done JA to IST. But the lack of innovation, thinking, planning and poor management, plus with the failed sale to TK is just all nails to a coffin. It is sad as it was only several years ago that JA started as something promising.

    4. Anonymous16:10

      Agree with most posts. JA should concentrate on short haul flights to primarily capital (biz travel) destinations (mostly in ex yu territory) for higher yields that can fill an AT72 if served at least once daily either in morning or evening out of SJJ though as maintenance base and more pax in catchment area than at BNX or OMO. To be understood that only routes w/o competition ("niche" markets) are to be considered. Possible:
      ATR 1)
      Mon-Fri morn-noon: SJJ-FCO-SJJ-SKP-SJJ
      Mon-Fri afternoon/eve: SJJ-ZRH-SJJ-TGD-SJJ
      ATR 2)
      Mon-Fri morn-noon: SJJ-FRA-SJJ-PRN-SJJ
      Mon-Fri afternoon/eve: SJJ-MXP-SJJ-INI-SJJ
      Longest scheduled route SJJ-FRA is 545nm in 2:15hrs at 280kts incl. ground time seems still realistic but maximum that can be done profitably w this type of aircraft. For the longest routing schedule (Mon-Fri ATR No. 2) could be as follows:
      SJJ 5:45
      FRA 8:00-35
      SJJ 10:50-11:20
      PRN 12:10-40
      SJJ 13:30
      2hrs reserve time & crew change
      SJJ 15:30
      MXP 17:15-17:50
      SJJ 19:25-55
      INI 20:50-21:20
      SJJ 22:15
      On weekends they could primarily concentrate on then supposedly more-profitable charters.
      This would be in my opinion the most promising and cash making business model for them to which they could adapt within a short / possible 6-month transition period. Suggestions of course open to discussions.

  14. Anonymous13:00

    Pegasus will be cancelling Sabiha Gokcen service by the end of this summer as per agreement between two companies (Turkish and Pegasus).

    1. Anonymous10:21

      How do you know that this information is true?

    2. Anonymous14:00

      Source at SJJ

  15. Wow... I just saw that B&H Airlines is advertising Belgrade flights for as little as €1!

    1. Anonymous14:03

      B&H airlines is the only airline IN THE WORLD that promotes prices without airport taxes included. Like they are from Somalia, not from Europe.

      Or Istanbul for 7 euros. What a bullcrap.

      Those stupid adds can work only in Balkans.

    2. Spirit Airlines does the same thing with their $9 fares.

    3. Anonymous17:21

      It makes more sense when it's low cost carrier rather than legacy one.

    4. Anonymous22:39

      B&H is hardly a legacy airline.

    5. Anonymous23:04

      nemjee give us info on loads on some Air Serbia flight

    6. Anonymous00:41

      Punjenja 14.07. na nekim od JU letova:

      516 BEG-ATH 319 121
      360 BEG-AMS 319 108
      650 BEG-SVO 319 110
      310 BEG-CDG 320 101
      320 BEG-DUS 733 64
      300 BEG-BRU 320 61
      350 BEG-TXL 733 59
      182 BEG-TIV 320 153
      172 BEG-TGD 733 125
      152 BEG-SPU 319 83
      102 BEG-BNX AT7 35
      112 BEG-SJJ AT7 56
      604 BEG-VIE AT7 59
      624 BEG-BUD AT7 58
      374 BEG-ZRH 320 129
      534 BEG-FCO 319 26

    7. Anonymous01:44

      ^ Thanks! To be honest there are a couple of excellent performing routes such as tivat, zurich, and athens, but from what I can see overall the loads are still not good since its july. The lines which worry me the most are berlin, brussel, and dusseldorf. An occupancy of 50% is catastrophic, oh and Rome omg

    8. Anonymous12:31

      Would the author be kind enough to provide us with loads on the return flights? Thanks.

    9. Anonymous13:54

      Return flights, yesterday:

      827 BEY BEG 320 YU-APH Y89-J1
      507 LCA BEG 319 YU-APA Y107
      657 SVO BEG 319 YU-APE Y93-J2
      133 VAR BEG AT7 YU-ALU Y35
      527 SKG BEG AT7 YU-ALN Y38
      517 ATH BEG 319 YU-APC Y80
      167 SKP BEG AT7 YU-ALO Y21
      801 AUH BEG 319 YU-APB Y61-J2
      209 LHR BEG 320 YU-APG Y131-J1
      171 TGD BEG 733 YU-ANJ Y53-J1
      531 FCO BEG 319 YU-APA Y70
      611 PRG BEG AT7 YU-ALT Y56
      321 DUS BEG 733 YU-ANI Y119-J3
      601 VIE BEG AT7 YU-ALO Y53
      371 ZRH BEG 319 YU-APE Y115-J5
      651 SVO BEG 319 YU-APC Y85
      361 AMS BEG 319 YU-API Y118-J4
      191 LJU BEG AT7 YU-ALP Y58
      181 TIV BEG AT7 YU-ALU Y50
      301 BRU BEG 320 YU-APH Y147-J5
      381 LHR BEG 733 YU-ANJ Y121-J7
      553 SAW BEG 733 YU-AND Y52
      643 OTP BEG AT7 YU-ALU Y59
      523 SKG BEG 319 YU-API Y102
      183 TIV BEG 320 YU-APH Y122-J3
      163 SKP BEG 319 YU-APC Y39
      113 SJJ BEG AT7 YU-ALT Y48
      103 BNX BEG AT7 YU-ALN Y41
      153 SPU BEG 319 YU-APB Y120-J4
      173 TGD BEG 733 YU-ANK Y81
      513 ATH BEG 320 YU-APG Y121-J2
      691 MLA BEG 319 YU-APA no data
      813 TLV BEG 319 YU-APE Y62-J1
      185 TIV BEG 733 YU-ANK Y73
      331 FRA BEG 319 YU-APC Y83-J4
      415 ARN BEG 319 YU-APB Y117-J2
      315 CDG BEG 320 YU-APH no data
      635 WAW BEG 319 YU-APA Y37
      175 TGD BEG AT7 YU-ALU Y40
      625 BUD BEG AT7 YU-ALO no data
      605 VIE BEG AT7 YU-ALT Y46
      345 STR BEG 733 YU-ANJ Y124-J1
      405 CPH BEG 319 YU-API Y120-J5
      375 ZRH BEG 320 YU-APG Y143-J7
      535 FCO BEG 319 YU-APF no data

  16. Anonymous15:36

    Guys are there any chance that Jet Airways start flying from Delhi or Mumbai to Belgrade? Then Air Serbia could transfer pax all around the region and some parts of Europe wher Etihad is not flying.

    1. Anonymous18:05

      No chance. Even Lufthansa is struggling to fill its India routes next to the Gulf carriers, let alone a newcomer to the Indian market.

    2. AirCEO21:47

      LH has been shifting focus from India to China, and it's true that India aviation market is a challenge at this point.

      As for Gulf carriers, one of them has conveniently invested in both Jet and Air Serbia - Etihad.

      Yes it would be absolutely awesome if 9W/EY/JU would consider making BEG Jet's mini scissor hub instead (or in addition to) Brussels once Air Serbia starts North American flights.

    3. Anonymous23:46

      'scissor' hub???

    4. Anonymous01:39


  17. Anonymous18:46

    Sorry for OT
    Why is nobody talking anymore about Air Serbia loadfactor. Now it is July and if the loads on any route are less then 80%, that is not good at all. Does anybody have clue on how the loads are now?

  18. Anonymous18:54

    Krah boinga 737,totalni


    1. Anonymous19:59

      Крах, тотални?! Чему толико претеривање и толика злурадост?!

    2. Someone did not read the article they are linking to. There was no crash. There is a mechanical issue that is delaying the flight on the ground and passengers were delayed. This is barely news worthy.

    3. Aэrologic20:39

      I will comment on this one even if officially i'm out of this blog and boycotting it due to admin's excessive moderation.

      It is sickening to see that sort of comments against Air Serbia and that the only person who rightly asked "whether JU was the only airline in the world to be ever late" got the most negative notes at almost 20:1 ratio.

      A week or two ago, if i remember correctly TAP was more than 15 hours late on their inaugural flight to Belgrade and i don't remember seeing Euronews or any Portuguese news outlet reporting it as an event deserving nation-wide consternation. Yet a charter flight that got delayed in Serbia deserves such an attention, using the vocabulary of a humanitarian catastrophe. Every Air Serbia delay of more than 2 hours is reacted to as a national tragedy raising all the possible questions from politics to Pakistanis in Abu Dhabi...i mean has the life of so many people in Serbia and the region got so empty that they have nothing better to do than to hate one of the rare successful and prospective companies in Serbia and the region?

      No wonder the society is stuck where it is when a possible change for the better is welcomed by such a tremendous amount of hate at any single glitch or mistake. 12h wait at the airport? Hello - it occurs to millions almost every day around the world.

      Instead of a beacon for hope for the better in Serbia, the Air Serbia topic has unfortunately become nothing more than a frustration vent for many of Serbs, very sad indeed.

      Greetings from Odessa

    4. Anonymous21:05

      Thanks God there is no Beirut tonight, that would be the final nail in the coffin.

    5. Nikola22:09


      don't read comments on B92 and Blic because they are full of malicious people who hate themselves and everything around them

    6. @Aэrologic: Sorry but your comment is out of place. There were/are massive delays on almost all JU flights yesterday and today and it doesn't point out to a healthy scheduling. Or, rather, it points out to either the fleet being overstretched for the ambitions network plans, or on the other hand points to a major problem with maintenance after Jat Tehnika was basically sacked from servicing JU planes.

      Either way, I would say these delays do deserve national coverage. I'm not talking about a single flight being delayed, but rather continuous delays on almost all routes.

    7. SQ2605:50

      A month ago A380 Lufthansa flight LH400 from FRA to JFK was delayed for 2 hours and so. Did I piss off no I just wait and enjoy in some cafe bar and went to lounge to relax. I don't get people who complain about delays and a few months ago when my KLM flight got delayed for couple of hours I have got 700$ money back which is not bad for 4 hour delay... So if your flight got delayed just sue or ask for $...

    8. Anonymous09:41

      @ Aca:

      Massive JU delays is one thing. Systematic hatred towards them is something different. Serbs seem to be completely unable to overcome their traditional 'what is OURS we celebrate and what is THEIRS we annihilate' approach. Air Serbia is no different. One group is on the mission to grow it at any cost, the other is on the mission to destroy it at any cost. This is why the entire country starts back from scratch each time the party in charge changes.

    9. I was not talking about "systematic hatred" as you call it, as it's not the topic of my interest. I was pointing out the obvious fact that there is a major bottleneck in Air Serbia operations - be it ground handling, lack of planes or problems servicing them.

  19. Aэrologic21:22

    That was to be expected, they'll use the a/c that was freed from Kiev recently. It'll nevertheless make Qatar reconsider the move of decoupling Zagreb from Budapest so the two cities might be completely paired again. This together with FlyDubai launch is nothing but an attack against Qatar in the region.

  20. Anonymous21:32

    EK is starting OTP as well. Pressure is on to take over region from the likes of Wizz, Tarom, FlyDubai, QR and even TK.

    When EK starts BEG some day, EY will be well established, and only EY/JU and EK will survive in the long run. Others (FZ, QR, even TK) will drop off or reduce service.

  21. Anonymous00:17

    I just realised that A6SAB didnt fly since 7.4 when it flew to AUH and never came back. I am guessing it is undergoing a re registration process, but maybe someone with more info can say something more.


  22. Anonymous02:28

    They'll be using the A332 to BUD. KBP was served by the A345 and there's not too many places where EK sends these birds anymore...

    BEG is well served from the Gulf right now and it is unlikely that EK will be joining the party anytime soon.

  23. JATBEGMEL05:07

    Next in line from EK in Europe will be OTP and BEG. Looking at BUD, both could be 2 class A332, but considering that Emiratis dont require visa for Serbia, it could be a 3 class ac for BEG. EK opening BEG will certainly put pressure on EY and JU.

  24. Anonymous05:16

    Emiratis might not require a visa for Serbia but I cannot imagine there'd be enough to warrant flights with EK on top of the current offering. Furthermore, Serbia's economy is at the breaking point and I'd expect that Serbs will be spending less on leisure, etc. Montenegro receives a lot of FDI from the UAE but the closest thing they'd get to direct flights would be the EY codeshares on JU.

    I'm not saying it is impossible for EK to start BEG flights but it would struggle to make a profit.

  25. JATBEGMEL06:37

    Gulf Arabs generally are able to afford and travel in premium cabins which help yields. There has been a significant Emirati interest in Serbia and travel to Serbia thanks to the excellent relations and visa free travel. Cargo has improved and Serbian products are found throughout the UAE, with cargo set to further increase. A couple of months back travelling with EY to BEG, Serbian pax seem to be the minority, with the majority seeming to be Asians. DXB is a huge hub, with connections to almost everywhere world wide. Expect to see similar timings as with BUD, which will be fantastic for connecting traffic. Australia bound pax will have excellent connections. Also thousands of Serbs live in the UAE, mainly Dubai. Expect to see FZ cancel both BEG and OTP, to be replaced with EK is all I say. I dont think BEG will be the highest in profit for EK, but i doubt it will strugle to profit from it.

    Before any announcement, I said at the start of the year that EK will open 5 new destinations in Europe. 3 of 5 so far: OSL, BRU and now BUD. OTP and BEG is next.

  26. Anonymous10:22

    Emirates will start EDI flights later this year, not BEG. They've got bigger fish to fry.

  27. Emirates to EDI probably won't happen because Glasgow is already served, and Edinburgh and Glasgow are in the same catchment area.

    But I do agree that Emirates to BEG probably won't happen yet. Etihad and Qatar are picking up all that feed. Not enough room for all three, and Emirates has better options than getting in a price war with it's two biggest rivals in a rather low yielding market such as BEG.

  28. Anonymous13:13

    We still need visa for entering UAE.

  29. Anonymous22:17

    EK will be starting flights to EDI as they have applied for a permit. The only thing holding them back is regulatory approval and this should not be a problem. Wait and see.

    The next destination EK will start in Eastern Europe (excluding OTP and BUD) will most likely be SOF.

  30. JATBEGMEL03:02

    EDI isnt in the plan. 1 daily GLA rotation will be upgraded to the A380, the other daily will remain as a B77W flight. The next destination in the UK would likely be BFS.

    As for the visa issue for Serbians, this will change once the UAE embassy in Belgrade opens. There will be an official visit from the UAE at the end of Ramadan and its rumoured to come with some good news. There is a delegation in Belgrade working on the opening of the Emirati Embassy in Belgrade, which will open shortly.

    OTP hasnt been announced yet but I believe it will be the next one to be announced. BEG will follow quickly afterwards.


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