New Riyadh - Sarajevo service in limbo


The newly established daily seasonal service between Riyadh and Sarajevo is in doubt after the Al Shiddi Group, a Saudi Arabian investment and development company which initiated the route in partnership with operating carrier Nesma Airlines, said it had been forced to cancel dozens of flights due to visa issues faced by Saudi nationals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A total of 24 out of the 92 planned flights have already been cancelled. The Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Saudi Arabia has been unable to issue a sufficient number of visas to Saudi passport holders due to a lack of staff and necessary visa stickers. Despite plans by the Bosnian government to waive visa requirements for Saudi citizens with valid Schengen visas, the policy has not been put into effect. Over the weekend, flights between the Saudi Arabian and Bosnian capitals were launched, however, speaking at a press conference in Sarajevo, a representative of the Al Shiddi Group said, "I am delighted to have been on the first flight between Riyadh and Sarajevo. This is the first nonstop service between these two cities, but, unfortunately, I have just been told that some passengers will have to go back straight away on the return flight to Riyadh because of visa issues. This will destroy tourism and investments in Bosnia. We have already cancelled 24 flights, and with this development we plan to cancel even more, as well as scale down our investments in Bosnia". According to its initial plans, flights are planned to run until September 24 with a 134-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.


  1. Anonymous11:39

    Embarrassing, what else can one say?

  2. Anonymous12:10

    It,s not exactly as you wrote. The majority of Saudi passport holders don't care about the visa for Bosnia. They are not inquiring in time for the procedure. They are waiting till the last minute. Some even don,t bother with the visa. They think they have "special rights". Agents that are doing paper work for them have the same attitude. Arrogant is a mild word. So in this case please don,t blame the authorities in Bosnia.

    1. Anonymous12:13

      Some even don,t bother with the visa. They think they have "special rights". "I need visa? I will not do it. I will not travel to Bosnia."

  3. Anonymous12:30

    Probably Bosnia and Herzegovina will waive visa for Saudi passport holders with valid Schengen visa. I don't think that waiving visa for Saudi passport holders with valid Schengen visa is the right move. Bosnia and Herzegovina (due to the geographical position and other issues ) must check "who is coming in" because for some Schengen countries to give a Schengen visa to Saudi is just a bureaucratic 'semi_automatic' procedure and they are not checking people at all.


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