Banja Luka Airport eyes low cost carriers

Banja Luka Airport is aiming to become a regional hub for low cost carriers after agreeing to a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, which is yet to be approved by state authorities. The two sides will draft a joint plan to develop air traffic at Banja Luka Airport, which is currently served solely by Air Serbia. In a statement, Belgrade Airport said, "The future strategic partnership, which will focus primarily on infrastructure development and further commercialisation, will allow for Banja Luka Airport to become a regional destination for low cost airlines, keeping in mind its favourable location and weather conditions".

Banja Luka Airport has been unsuccessful in its bid to find new customers despite talks with several low cost airlines over the years. The airport says negotiations with budget carriers are generally more "complicated, difficult and extensive", as they require financial backing. Since 2013, the airport has been in drawn out negotiations with Wizz Air. Two years ago, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure of the Entity of Republika Srpska, Nedeljko Čubrilović, commented on the talks with Wizz Air by saying, “Unfortunately we were unable to agree to the terms set by the airline. It’s not as it looks. They aren’t coming here to give us anything, they want to come here to take something. During negotiations they were very difficult over handling prices so we would not benefit from them in any single way”.

Air Serbia launched flights between the Serbian capital and Banja Luka in December 2013. The service, which is codeshared by Air Berlin, Alitalia and Etihad Airways, is operated five times per week. The Serbian airline is Banja Luka's only customer since B&H Airlines, which ran flights from the city to Zurich, suspended all operations in June last year. During the first four months of 2016, Banja Luka Airport handled 5.308 passengers, a decrease of 17.1%. Over the years, the airport has been in talks with several carriers including Aegean Airlines, Austrian and Edelweiss Air. Despite a decline in passenger numbers in 2015, the operator of Banja Luka Airport, Aerodromi Republike Srpske, saw its net profit double to 144.000 euros last year. Operating income rose 15.3%, while costs were down 6.3%. In late 2015 the operator took out a 3.5 million euro loan to finance part of the expansion of its terminal building and the construction of new cargo facilities. The operator noted that a strategic partner would have to be found in order for the expansion project to be finalised, with Belgrade Airport interested in taking part.


  1. Anonymous09:06

    This airport really needs to change something fast.

  2. Anonymous09:19

    “Unfortunately we were unable to agree to the terms set by the airline. It’s not as it looks. They aren’t coming here to give us anything, they want to come here to take something. During negotiations they were very difficult over handling prices so we would not benefit from them in any single way”.

    hahaha what an attitude. Hardly likely you will get anyone that way.

  3. Anonymous09:33

    Wizz Air was interested in turning BNX into something like Tuzla before they were even considering Tuzla. They were chased away.

    1. Anonymous09:39

      Not surprised. Wizz has an issue with Tuzla because of bad weather and the issue with Sarajevo is that the airport doesn't want to stay open during the night (CSA was also chased away from SJJ because they didn't want to stay open during the night). So Banja Luka would have been a good opportunity but...

    2. Anonymous11:55

      I've also heard that talks between Wizz Air and Sarajevo Airport have stalled :/

  4. Anonymous09:34

    Aerodromi Republike Srpske is a nest of corruption. They even managed to get Edelweiss to cancel their planned flights to BNX. It is terrible.

  5. Anonymous09:55

    Sve je to jedan veliki propalitet, kao sve ostalo u RS. Sam sam srbin i dolazim iz RS ali tamo nema niko normalan. Ljudi koji su do juce vodili krave na ispasu, danas vode aerodrome, firem itd!

  6. Anonymous10:17

    OT - Some people were saying that Hamburg and Kiev are only going to be seasonal routes. Is it possible that those two cities are selling worse than Sofia or Bucharest? While HAM is too far, could KBP become an ATR destination in winter?

    1. Anonymous10:55

      What are you talking about?

    2. Anonymous12:37

      @Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 10:17 AM
      The "some people" saying that Kiev, Hamburg, St. Petersburg are seasonal are named Air Serbia.
      You can see it yourself:

    3. Anonymous13:18

      LED won't be seasonal.

    4. Anonymous13:19

      Their map of destinations is simply pathetic, just as the magazine, New York isn't even there. It doesn't at all reflects the transfer network possibilities.

    5. Anonymous13:42

      Anon at 1.19pm - you are such a cheap and nasty troll.

      Comments - good or bad - can be freely made on this website, but pure B.S. like you are spilling here deserves a response.

      p120 of this month's Elevate magazine - shows NY as a destination. So you are WRONG

      p122 of this month's Elevate magazine - shows all codeshare destinations. So you are WRONG

      p124-125 of Elevate - shows the network map of Air Serbia's strategic partner, Etihad.

      You can have issue around the creative execution of the map and the magazine in general - which is a matter of taste, so no right or wrong there - it is a matter of what tickles your fancy.

      BUT don't write horseshit that the map in the magazine doesn't include certain details, when you know for a fact that it does. It simply gives you away as a provocateur

    6. Anonymous14:13

      Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 1:18 PM

      You can post on every single discussion of this blog that LED will be year round.
      Like you have done over the past week.
      It still wont matter at all.
      What matters is what Air Serbia says.

      And as Anonymous 1:42 told you the Elevate magazine is both accurate and up to date.
      So you can continue writing your fantasies but the rest of us will continue to believe the Air Serbia official announcements.

    7. Anonymous14:36

      I work at Air Serbia. LED is year-round. Same sources as this blog's.

    8. Anonymous14:44

      So do i and no decision has yet been made

    9. Anonymous14:46

      I work at ASL HQ too, LED is seasonal.

    10. Anonymous14:49

      No guys, that's not yet sure.

    11. Anonymous14:50

      Any info about WAW, are they cutting it?

    12. Anonymous14:56

      Αnonymous at 2:50 PM
      Unless loads and most importantly average ticket prices improve it is not sure that it will be kept for the winter.
      LOT is very competitive so far.

    13. Anonymous14:59

      How is so far Kiev selling, worse than WAW?

    14. Anonymous15:06

      Kiev's problem is the Ukrainian economic crisis.
      It is far worse than thought and Ukrainians see their currency getting more and more devalued.
      The hope is that during the height of Summer loads will improve. But it is a lot of connecting passengers to Montenegro coast.

    15. Anonymous15:11

      So mainly Montenegro is the selling destination out of Kiev? How about JFK?

    16. Anonymous15:22

      None existent to JFK.
      UIA is the cheapest option. It is seriously dumping fares to intercontinental destinations.
      If the EU commission had to investigate one airline for anti-competitive dumping that should be UIA...
      Is is that bad!

    17. Anonymous15:44

      PS is dumping even more than the ME3. It is true.

    18. Nemjee16:45

      What other choice does PS have? They have to dump fares given the circumstances...

    19. Anonymous16:52

      Given the circumstances of Ukraine's economy one would think that they wouldn't waste their money to subsidize people traveling to US and Bangkok...
      Especially when most of those people are foreigners connecting in KBP.

    20. Aэrologic17:59

      Unlike two years ago, Air Serbia entered the market with the prices of established carriers such as OS and even higher than LO. Kiev-Belgrade is 300$ (up from 121$ in 2013). For a month after the sales started, key Western European destinations were kept at ~2.000$ round-trip. Months later they do not have a website in Russian language - which could be quite simple to do - it redirects directly to the English one. No promotion of Kiev as a destination be it as a single mention in the rather basic (to remain polite) Elevate magazine.

      About PS. PS is a completely private airline and it's rather-well managed, boasts very high fleet commonality and flexibility when it comes to capacity sending their costs down. Their service is on par or better than LO. They're basically a low-cost airline flying destinations a LCC doesn't typically flies including long-haul. No one knows how they manage their finances but one can only guess just as the rest of Ukraine - shade economy and grey channels without accountability to anyone - where after 2 years of unprecedented economic downturn with the currency loosing 3 times the value, the country still seems to be living better than most of Ex-Yu states due to low-costs and taxation.

      Air Serbia can't compete on the price but it could compete on quality. There is an ever-growing lassitude of Ukrainian pax with PS policies. Yet, there wasn't even a mention of the route opening in Ukrainian media promoting Serbia - as the only visa-free travel destination in Europe with a decent population and territory - or wherever outside the aviation-based websites. Therefore, it's all but surprising that sales aren't going great.

  7. Anonymous10:24

    If anything I hope they reconstruct the 'terminal'.

    1. Kao i u drugim delatnostima. Politicati su glavna prepreka ili pokretac ozivotvorenja razvoja. Nisam siguran da politicari se trude da aerodromi budu operativni. Da uzmem za primer da je nemoguce razvijati putnicki saobracaj bez nisko budzetnih avio operatera na aerodromima kao sto su Banja Luka, Nis, buduca Morava Kraljevo, Uzicke Ponikve. U ovu grupu podrazumevam i Niksicki i buduci aerodrom u Trebinju. Postoje jos nekoliko u regionu cije ime nisam pomenuo. Da bi se moglo normalno ziveti i komunicirati u sadasnjem i buducem svetu, tri su krucijalna uslova. Auto putevi, Informativna tehnologija i / kargo avio saobracaj. Ove tri oblasti su hleb buducnosti za nerazvijene prostore juzno od Save i Dunava. Plasim se da medju politicarima na pomenutim prostorima nema mnogo naklonjenih razvoju avio saobracaja. Izuzev pred izbore. Duboko sam uveren da bar sadasnja vlada Srbije se veoma izdvaja u efikasnosti razvoja infra structure. Jedino za Aerodrom Moravu Kraljevo od mene dobija cistu jedinicu +. Ovo plus su obecanja da ce ovaj aerodrom pustiti u saobracaj ove jeseni!?. Let see✈. Ako uzmemo za primer da zajedno aerodromi u Nisu, Kraljevu i Uzicama imaju tri stotine hiljade putnika, to je samo tri ipo procenta od sadasnjeg prometa punika na Nikoli Tesli u Beogradu. Jasno je da ovi sekundarni aerodrome jesu odrzivi jedino dozvolama za Low Cost kompanije, kargo i carter prevozioce. Jedan od osnovnih kocnica jesu politicari koji se bave u avio saobracaju i njegovom razvoju a nisu douceni za ovu oblast. Mladji ljudi, koji poznaju ovu tematiku potrebno je da se ukljuce. Ali kako? "'Stare tate'' ne dozvoljavaju. Taff luck. Verujem da ce se avio saobracaj juzno od Save i Dunava sigurno ubrzano menjati na bplje. Doduse ja sam jos nesto juznije od pomenutog prostora. Pa vas pozdravljam iz Sidneja. Banja Luci zelim da krene stopama Nisa. Kao i ✈Morava i Ponikve✈. Podrazumeva se. Rodney Marinkovic Kings Park Sydney AUSTRALIA

    2. Anonymous14:19

      Trebinje airport?? You should add Airbus 380 belonging to Air Srpska too...LOL

    3. Anonymous15:31

      Anon 2:19
      Don't take Rodney too seriously. Let him write whatever dream he had last night.

    4. Anonymous15:39

      Ja sam severnije od Save & Dunava, jel vaš savjet važi i za mene?

    5. Anonymous18:32

      Anon@ 2:19
      Best understanding of Rodney I've heard yet. Good one.

    6. Anonymous18:34

      I meant anon @ 3:31.

    7. TheBosnian22:30

      Those A380's badly needed for the 8.5 mil+ pax Belgrade(according to Rodney) has....

  8. Anonymous11:56

    I doubt LCC will flock to Banja Luka, especially since its election time and everyone's making grand promises.

  9. Anonymous11:57

    Why don't they use the same model as the one in Nis?

  10. Anonymous12:01

    That control tower looks nice. Was that built recently?

    1. Anonymous13:53

      Control tower was built by BHANSA ( who owns it. Management of BNX is appointed by SNDS and has no plans for future, but Air Serbia to BEG.BNX won't see any LCC, and on top of that they lost cargo air traffic to Turkey to Tuzla airport. Due to Air Serbia protectionism BNX lost everything..

    2. Anonymous13:56

      BNX had no flights before Air Serbia so spare us.

    3. Anonymous14:15

      BNX chased away every single airline who showed interest flying there.
      Everybody knows that so please do spare us.

    4. Anonymous14:18

      I agree but that has been the case long before Ait Serbia.

    5. Anonymous14:27

      BNX had JA to ZRH long before JU so spare us.

    6. Anonymous14:28

      The airline went bankrupt. Stop playing dumb.

    7. Anonymous14:37

      Last anonymous, seem like the only dumb person around here is you as my comment was related to this:

      AnonymousJune 5, 2016 at 1:56 PM
      BNX had no flights before Air Serbia so spare us.

    8. Shaking My Head!14:48

      Anonymous June 5, 2016 at 2:37 PM
      Seems that some people think BNX was build in 2013...

    9. Anonymous19:46

      According to an OAG dated July 1985

      Banja Luka Airport

      0915 JU849 SWM -23456- ZAGREB
      1915 JU759 SWM 12345-- BEOGRAD

      JAT had these flights. They were using the old SWM from Trans Adria which shut down. Also an old JAT timetable of 1985 you will see the same schedule.

    10. Anonymous01:27

      Before Air Serbia there were flight from BNX by:

      - Jat
      - Adria
      - that small company from Austria
      - B&H Airlines

    11. Anonymous07:51

      Air Srpska

  11. Anonymous14:27


    VIE-SPU on OS, full A321. :)

    1. Anonymous15:42

      Good to hear. ��

    2. Anonymous16:04

      Yes! Let's hope they do something about SPU otherwise it will turn into an even bigger Hell than it is now.

    3. Anonymous16:07

      Flew last week - also completely full as far as I could see from the front. I don't get why OS is not flying at least daily or 10pw in summer with A321 and Dash 5-6pw in winter.

    4. Anonymous16:34

      Go Split, another great year ahead!

    5. Nemjee16:44

      Does OU fly SPU-VIE?

    6. Anonymous17:13

      Yes, but only seasonal

    7. Anonymous19:19

      OU is operating with DH8,
      Austrian a lot of A321

    8. Anonymous20:25

      OU doesn't have the necessary capacity to send to VIE-SPU.

  12. JU520 BEGLAX17:59

    OT: tmrw TK national football team will fly LJU to MRS around. Could anyone at LJU take pictures? Probl A330?

    Returning to ZRH on JP 306. 64 pax on 70 seats aircraft

    1. JU520 BEGLAX18:00

      Around noon time

    2. Anonymous19:05

      Chechk on the Sierra5 portal Facebook page. This exact plane visited LJU few days ago. There are pictures of this plane already.


    3. Anonymous19:21

      They had a match in Slovenia?

    4. JU520 BEGLAX22:29

      Thanls anom Ju 5 1905. Got it, very much appreciated.

      Yep Slo lost Turkey 0-1. Goal scored by Burak Yilmaz after 5 min


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.