Sarajevo poised for Gulf flight surge


Sarajevo Airport will see significant growth in flight operations from the Persian Gulf this coming summer season as demand continues to surge. Leading the way will be Flydubai, which plans to maintain three daily services between its hub and the Bosnian capital. The triple daily operations will commence in mid-June, immediately following the Eid holiday, and run until mid-September. Flydubai’s Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations, Jeyhun Efendi, previously told EX-YU Aviation News, "Sarajevo is one of our more popular routes but it is quite seasonal. Presently, we have four weekly flights and then, during the summer, operations will reach three daily services. Last summer we have seen almost 50% passenger growth on this route. Travellers on this service predominantly come from Dubai, as well as our connecting flights from the Gulf. This is obviously inbound tourism".

Air Arabia will resume its seasonal operations from Sharjah to Sarajevo from June 26 with ten weekly services. Two flights per day are set to run on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The airline plans to maintain operations to Sarajevo until September 8. In addition, the Saudi Arabian-backed FlyBosnia, which is due to launch this year, will operate flights between Sarajevo and the Kingdom during the summer, among other destinations, while Kuwait's Wataniya Airways, is yet to schedule its seasonal flights to Sarajevo for 2018.

Qatar Airways launched four weekly flights to Sarajevo this winter season with CEO Akbar Al Baker noting that services will increase to daily and equipment upgraded from the Airbus A320 to the 182-seat A321. "Qatar has a lot of investments in Eastern Europe and these investments are growing. We hope Qatar Airways itself will be able to invest in Bosnia, primarily in the hospitality sector", the CEO noted, indicating the airline is willing to purchase hotels in the country. Qatar Airways' Commercial Manager for Croatia, Baraba Selendić, told EX-YU Aviation News, "Qatar Airways is very pleased with the results of the performance of the Sarajevo route. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is served four times a week with an Airbus A320 aircraft and our forecasts show that, as anticipated, there will be an increase in demand for business and leisure passengers from Sarajevo travelling on our expanding routes across the world".

Kuwait Airways has also said it is considering introducing flights to Sarajevo this summer as part of a moderate network expansion. Previously, the Kuwaiti national carrier operated seasonal services between its hub and the Bosnian capital in August and September of 2013. Flights ran twice per week with a 232-seat Airbus A300-600 aircraft via Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Bosnia and Herzegovina is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists from Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Arab investors, primarily from Kuwait, are building homes and hotels around Sarajevo and are heavily promoting the destination to middle class families looking for cheaper alternatives to Western Europe, fuelling point to point travel from the Middle East to Sarajevo, particularly during the summer months.

Comments

  1. wow three daily from Dubai! :O that's crazy.

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    1. Emirates could easily fill a B777 from Dubai during that period.

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    2. It's interesting. I think the market will be oversaturated with so many seats available from the Middle East to SJJ.

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    3. Winter is the main problem. During the summer all flights are packed but in the winter that's not the case.

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    4. I was in Dubai last winter and saw/heard a huge group from Bosnia. Seems in the winter the traffic is in the opposite direction. I was very impressed to see that so many Bosnians can afford a vacation in Dubai.

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    5. Anonymous 9:57 AM
      Tako su neki mislili i do sada, a kapaciteti su se svake godine povecavali.

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    6. That's true. Demand is growing each year.

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  2. Wow! I didn't know QR were that successful in SJJ. The upgrade is serious!

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    1. Well it just remains to be seen if Al Baker's promises become a reality. I certainly hope so.

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    2. Al Baker throws a lot of announcements around regarding new destinations and similar...doesnt mean anything in reality, regular PR :) God knows how will SJJ look like next year, probably at 4 weekly.

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    3. Remember how QR penetrated in ZAG? They started with few flights and now look what happened.

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    4. Yes, but didnt happen in 4 months...

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  3. Good for Sarajevo. I think the tourist board should work on promoting Sarajevo as a year round destination to Gulf travelers. Because in winter demand drops significantly while in summer it explodes.

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  4. Would be interesting to see what the premium travel demand on these flights.

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  5. This is nice and I would like to see more and more flights to Sarajevo but I would prefer more if they focused on getting European carriers first because there are so many destinations in Europe which are currently unserved and require attention.

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  6. What about Wataniya Airlines to Kuwait, are they going to keep it 1 per week? Fly Dubai is killing it in the summer... any info on SJJ - TGD LF?

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    1. "while Kuwait's Wataniya Airways, is yet to schedule its seasonal flights to Sarajevo for 2018."

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  7. Good news for Sarajevo.

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  8. Off topic but I'm really curious about QR and how their service to SKP is performing. Serious updates only.

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    1. This week my ones were coming from aus , they said on doh-skp were approximately 50pax , plane was empty .

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  9. 2018 could be a very good year for Sarajevo.

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    1. 1 million passengers for sure this year.

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  10. Would not be surprised if we eventually see Emirates in Sarajevo.

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    1. Kad nabave manji avion.
      777 ne moze, bez restrikcija, koristiti SJJ

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    2. Runway limitations?

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    3. I think it’s got to do with obstacles on both ends of the runway that hinder performance of larger jets.

      JAT did fly in the DC-10 during the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984 on shuttles from BEG and I also believe one or two flights came in from the US.

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    4. Duljina USS je problematicna.
      777 zahtjeva 3017m dok je pista na SJJ duga 2700.

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    5. Boeing 777-300ER have operated from runways well short of ideal length - EK's ops into BHX is a typical example of daily services in to an airport with a runway that until fairly recently was only 2,500 meters in length.

      In such cases, other crucial factors come in to consideration, such as payload, runway surface, temperature (ext), obstacles etc.

      SJJ could handle shorter, summer wide-body flights as its runway, elevation and day-time temperatures - together with obstacles, impact on performance and yield it as a challenging field. A hit on payload, and off you go with a 77W, but then the question remains whether that payload restriction makes the flight profitable in the first place.

      Last but not least is SJJ's apron and taxiways as well as tarmac psi index... 77W for example is one long aircraft with a punishing wheel pressure onto tarmac index - higher than for a fully laden 744. This too could impact potential ops even if all the other challenges are successfully addressed.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. One thing which also effects Sarajevo is the displaced threshold due to obstacle clearance for landing on runway 30. The landing distance available when using 30 is only 2100 meters and is only available for daylight operations.

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  11. Great news for Sarajevo airport. I hope some new carriers will follow.

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  12. Flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways - nice line up of airlines.

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    1. I would love to see Air France, British Airways, KLM, Transavia, easyjet, Ryan or at least one of those. People here in Bosna would have much more use of them.

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    2. Having Tuzla with flights to a number of European cities and handling over 500,000 pax per year certainly does not help Sarajevo attract those airlines.

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    3. What are you trying to say with this comment?

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    4. Exactly, yes, what are you trying to say Anonymous?!

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    5. To which Anonymous do you refer to ma good man?

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  13. Three daily from Dubai! :O I don't think they fly to any city that often outside the Middle East. that's over 520 seats per day one way by FLydubai!

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    1. SJJ will have the most seats to Dubai during the summer out of all ex-Yu cities.

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    2. And don't forget 1,680 weekly one way seats from Sharjah!

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    3. At this rate Emirates should seriously consider Sarajevo

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    4. And do what for 10 remaining months? It is waaaaaay too seasonal to commit widebody to year round service, that is why it is FZ kingdom. And will remain so for probably long time.

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    5. Tourism from UAE in Bosnia is seriusly boosting these 3 last years, if they manage to bring those tourists during the winter aswell in the next 3 years then EK definitely is a possible option at SJJ, I'm pretty sure SJJ has more Dubai bound traffic than ZAG even at this point during winter and EK flies there for instance..but ZAG has probably more connecting passengers, that's why the tourist board has to make the market attractive during winter aswell

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    6. And that is why you have FZ which is picking up P2P. As for ZAG, I would expect to see combination of EK ans FZ. No market in ex YU is strong enough to warrant wide body during winter; too high costs vs narrow body.

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    7. Unnecessary comment, I already explained it all in the comment before

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  14. What about Iran Air? They did express interest to fly to Sarajevo.

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  15. Didn't MEA also used to fly to SJJ?

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    1. Yes it did a few years ago.

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    2. For Christian pilgrims going to Mostar. But now there are direct charter flights from Mostar to Beirut operated by Croatia Airlines.

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    3. What equipment did MEA use to Sarajevo?

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    4. Thanks. Would be nice if they came back and started scheduled flights.

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  16. I am interested in that new airline FlyBosnia, will they be only flying to the Middle East?

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    1. They said they will but like it mentioned in an article here they won't announce full plans until they get an AOC. That takes 3 months.

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    2. Blah that's boring

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  17. Not surprising really considering how much property they bought in Bosnia.

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    1. Well yeah and companies from that region are building hotels in Sarajevo and its surroundings. It's going really fast tho, all of the sudden there are new hotels everywhere in the city, they are growing like mushrooms after rain :p

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    2. Well that's good news for tourism, and the airport off course :)

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  18. Again with Middle East...

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    1. So? The demand is there.

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    2. The more airlines/passengers, the more the merrier if you ask me.

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    3. What else should they do? Ban Dubai bound flights and force Swedes to visit Sarajevo some more?

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  19. I wish the promotional agencies could work more on bringing these tourists during winter season too. This would help Bjelasnica and Jahorina. These guys come with money to spend. It is different with our regional tourists; however, they are still way better than the European backpackers.

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    1. Pouzdane analize su pokazale da ovi turisti dnevno, po osobi, u prosjeku trose vise od 300 KM. Kompanije sa kojima dolaze, nisu subvencionirane. Sarajevski aerodrom subvencionira druge aerodrome u BiH.

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    2. I don't think people from UAE and Qatar are that interested in skiing anon :p

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