Friday, May 25, 2018

Bosnian airports set for traffic boom


Bosnia and Herzegovina's four commercial airports expect a record year with two of its most struggling, Mostar and Banja Luka, securing a handful of new services. Jointly, the four airports welcomed just over 1.5 million travellers last year, with figures set to reach close to two million in 2018.

During May, Croatia Airlines and Eurowings launched scheduled flights to Mostar, linking the city with Zagreb, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart with two weekly services each. Croatia's national carrier will maintain year-round flights to Mostar for at least three years, while Eurowings has been obliged to operate seasonal services for at least five years. Mostar Airport estimates for its passenger numbers to double in 2018. "This year is crucial for Mostar Airport. That is why I would like to invite locals to use these new flights to Germany and Zagreb so the services can be sustained. The arrival of Eurowings and Croatia Airlines will improve the airport's connectivity and make other carriers take note", Mostar Airport's General Manager, Marin Raspudić, said. Furthermore, local authorities are planning to provide financial incentives in order for Turkish Airlines to launch flights from Istanbul to the city, while talks have also taken place with Air Serbia concerning potential operations from Belgrade. During the first four months of the year, Mostar Airport welcomed 2.176 travellers through its doors, down 60.7% on 2017.


Ryanair will enter the Bosnian market this October through Banja Luka by launching three new routes to the city. Europe's largest no frills airline plans to handle 100.000 passengers on services from Memmingen, Charleroi and Stockholm Skavsta during its first year of operations. In addition to the low cost flights, Air Serbia will continue to maintain its services from Belgrade, while new summer charters to Antalya, which are set to run between June 19 and September 11, will also boost numbers. “These are destinations that will have a sufficient number of passengers. This is the start of what I believe will be a very fruitful cooperation between Republika Srpska and Ryanair, which will benefit the local community”, the Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska entity, Željka Cvijanović, said. Banja Luka Airport handled 4.870 passengers during the January - April period, representing a decrease of 12.1%.

Tuzla Airport, which has registered significant passenger growth over the past few years, has already seen Wizz Air introduce a new service to the city in 2018. The low cost airline launched flights from Vienna in late April, while services to Baden Baden will commence in less than a month. Tuzla Airport also aims to attract new airline operators in 2018 in a bid to ease its reliance on Wizz, which accounts for almost all of its annual traffic. In a statement, the General Manager of Tuzla Airport, Rifet Karasalihović, said, "This year we will intensify talks with several airlines in order to offer additional destinations to our passengers, both in Europe and the Middle East. In 2018 and 2019 we want to generate economic growth in the Tuzla Canton". The airport previously noted, "The idea of bringing another airline dates back from when an agreement was signed with Wizz Air instead of Ryanair. However, we have maintained contact with Ryanair and other carriers who were initially apprehensive of our statistics and analysis". Tuzla is targeting passenger growth of between 8% and 12% this year, however, the airport has so far seen its figures grow 33% to 172.289.

Sarajevo Airport has recorded strong growth so far this year by handling 256.119 passengers during the January - April period, representing an increase of 15.5% . The airport estimates welcoming over one million passengers in 2018, the first time it will reach the milestone in a single year. "Despite fierce competition, the airport is constantly working on attracting new airlines and is seeking to adapt to the individual and specific needs of each carrier. The airport’s management is undertaking ambitious infrastructure projects and other investments with the aim of further expanding its capacity and strengthening its leadership role on the Bosnian market", Sarajevo Airport said. A number of carriers currently serving Sarajevo have upped their frequencies this summer, while SAS Scandinavian Airlines has launched new seasonal operations from Copenhagen. Furthermore, start-up FlyBosnia, which is in the process of acquiring its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), plans to launch out of Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital on June 10.

113 comments:

  1. Was Mostar affected by OU's collapsing operations? They should have gone the way BNX went with FR.

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    1. No.
      Now OU connected ZAG flights with charters to Beirut with A319/320. So route is: ZAG-OMO-BEY-OMO-ZAG

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    2. No, there was no cancellation of Mostar route.

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  2. The good thing about Mostar is that they signed multi year contracts so the airport will have traffic for at least a few years. By then other airlines should take notice

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    1. Yes but the contract was signed because those airlines get subventions.

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    2. I am certain Ryanair will be getting subsidies too and they probably signed a contract for a certain set period.

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    3. Makedonja also subsidised its flights, what's wrong with that?

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    4. They got the same treatment as in INI that is to pay next to nothing and to get cheaper petrol.

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    5. Well PRN thinks there is something wrong with the subventions give by Makedonija.

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  3. Why on earth does Tuzla want flights to the Middle East? Sarajevo has that covered quite well.

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    1. I wonder as well. Especially after the Air Arabia fiasco a few years ago.

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    2. They sold tickets through one tour agent in Tuzla so it's no surprise it didn't work out.

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    3. Tour agent or not, I still don't see any demand between Tuzla and the Middle East. They better focus on getting another European LCC.

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  4. I'm happy about Banja Luka because I tubk Ryanair's arrival is really a new beginning for them.

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  5. Does Mistral Air operate charters from Italy to Mostar anymore? Mostar's numbers collapsed in 4 months. OU and EW will help turn it around.

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    1. No!
      Mistral Air ceased all passengers operations.
      Those flights was daily charters with full big aircraft.
      So, I'am affraid that OU & EW flights won't be enough to compensate lack of Mistral's flights

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    2. Thanks for the info. No surprise it has hurt OMO's numbers.

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  6. I hope Sarajevo takes over Podgorica this year although it will be difficult.

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    1. Doubt it, TGD is on a roll.

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    2. I dont think Sarajevo can take over Podgorica until it gets few low cost flights like Podgorica has. But its encouraging that Sarajevo is keeping up very well with Podgorica, despite mainly having legacy carriers and few hybrids :)

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    3. Well we have Fly Bosnia launching this year so you never know :D

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  7. Congratulations BiH. All four airports finally with decent traffic.

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    1. It's interesting, only BiH has so many operating airports. Not even Serbia or Hungary have so many ones.
      SR - 2
      HR - 9
      MK - 2
      SLO - 3
      KSV - 1
      ALB - 1
      MG - 2
      BUL - 5

      Really good job BiH!

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    2. Bosnia is really hard to navigate by road. Plus political divides. It is expected for them to have three airports. Tuzla is doing well because Wizz is not able to make a good deal with Sarajevo.

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    3. @9.39 - 4 airports :)

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    4. @last anon
      As I said. With such a geography and political divides it is expected to have three airport - Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar. Tuzla is only operating at the moment because low cost can not fly to Sarajevo. Once they get favourable conditions they will leave Tuzla.

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  8. So Wizz took Tuzla, Ryan Banja Luka and Eurowings Mostar.

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    1. I think Eurowings at Mostar is a bit of a stretch as their presence is still very weak.

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    2. Better to say Star Alliance. Good for Mostar

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    3. So now we can only hope that easy Jet will take Sarajaevo :D

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    4. Easy jet to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Milan...etc. would be the best thing that could happen to Sarajevo.

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    5. Unfortunately, with the current fees and management, I doubt we will see any major LCC start flights to SJJ.

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    6. Wizz wanted to fly from Sarajevo. Unfortunately they didn't manage to make a deal with the airport.

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    7. Maybe things change when the new terminal is built.

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    8. I don't see why it would. And the terminal is being extended, a new one is not being built. But if they followed their original plan of turning the old terminal into an LCC terminal then we could have seen Wizz or easy launch flights.

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    9. Things can only change with a new management with a different business policy.

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  9. Charter flights from southern Italy airports (Naples, Bari, Palermo, Lamezia, Catania) will be operarated by Romanian charter carrier Aviro Air which has replaced Mistral Air.

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    1. Yes, but with only 2 p/w Naples flights!

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  10. Things are really looking up for Tuzla. Fantastic passenger growth, expansion of the terminal in progress and now possible cooperation with another airline.

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    1. Tuzla has really been a star performer in ex-Yu these last couple years. Hope they get more flights with different airlines.

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    2. But has Tuzla Airport turned a profit yet?

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    3. When they made the deal with Wizz, the plan was to turn a profit in 2018. We will see if it actually happens.

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    4. Ok thanks. Fingers crossed, because at the end of the day that is most important for an airport.

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  11. Would all these airlines to Mostar, Banja Luka and Tuzla considered them without subsidies?

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    1. No. If you want Eurowings, Ryan, Wizz, Easy, to come to town you have to pay them and give them everything they ask for. And if you look at Tuzla, it's worth it 100%.

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    2. Nobody paid Eurowings for Mostar flights. They asked only discount for aerodrome charges

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    3. The did pay Eurowings

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2018/04/mostar-approves-eurowings-subsidies.html

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    4. To se odnosi na Zagreb.

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    5. Ne, odnosi se na Eurowings. Klikni na link pa procitaj vest.

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    6. Eurowings got 250,000 for seasonal flights
      Croatia Airlines got 500,000 for year round flights.

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    7. Euros of course

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    8. No!
      Airport Mostar offered discount to EWG. HN canton repaid that amount back to the airport. No cash to EWG.

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  12. Good. Can't wait to finally see some serious airlines that can serve the local population.

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    1. I think there are plenty of serious airlines flying from Sarajevo.

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    2. yes but they are not serving the local population so he is right. Who needs Kuwait ..

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    3. Trazi turisticka bransa.

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  13. Great news for Bosnia :)

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  14. Bosnia is becoming popular with LCCs

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  15. Any possibility that Ryanair will add more flights to BNX?

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    1. They added a third route within a month of announcing their first two. So I would say yes.

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    2. Vienna-Banja Luka would be a great success. I hope they consider it.

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  16. Good news and nice to see some good news coming from Bosnia. All the best to all the airports in BiH.

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  17. I'm waiting to see how Wizz Air will respond to Ryan in Banja Luka.

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  18. Hopefully Air Serbia gets its act together and boost frequences to Bosnia. There is no way to fill in all these A319/320 without proper feeding from the region.

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    1. There is talk they will start Mostar. If they are smart they will ask for subsidies.

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    2. JU could technically do it with their current fleet, by adding another 2 departure and arrival banks.

      ATR's generally do flights around 1 hour. Shorten the ground time at outstations, combined with additional banks could work.

      ie:
      BEG SJJ 1015 1110
      SJJ BEG 1140 1230

      TGD and TIV are examples of flights that return quick, connect with LHR (in the morning), however in this case, this hypothetical routing could work to transfer pax on the regional 1pm bank (ATH, SOF, OTP), as well as JFK and AUH.

      BEG SJJ 2030 2130
      SJJ BEG 2200 2300

      This fits into the midnight bank (BEY, TLV, OTP, LCA).

      The problem is whether the ATR's could keep up considering their age and the fact its not the most reliable fleet, with no replacements in sight.

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    3. They have to feed flights to Western Europe better. The current concept is just not working outside of school breaks and major holidays.

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  19. I hope BNX will have a similar success story as Tuzla.

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    1. I think there is a good chance although Wizz Air has so far proved more willing to expand more quickly.

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  20. Finally some low cost options to Banja Luka. I thought the day would never come.

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  21. Finally all Bosnian airports now have regular scheduled flights. Well done! Looking forward to more flights from Banja Luka, hopefully they will be as sucessful as Tuzla.

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  22. Nadam se kako je ovo nagovjestaj pocetka kretanja cijele drzave u pravom smijeru

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    1. not really. look at the pictures. the background

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    2. What pictures?

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    3. He's talking about the politician holding the 3 new routes sign. I am hopeful that news like this about the airports does signal a move in a new direction for the whole country as political instability will kill all of these routes and all this progress.

      I am surprised that all of this materialized and wasn't just election year maneuvering, and as much as I may disagree with any particular politician or political party there are some positive results in the aviation segment.

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  23. Good news for local citizens and diaspora.

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  24. Now is the time to get those airport in Bihac and Trebinje under construction :D

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    1. We want EK, BA, AF and KLM in Bihac and Trebinje :)))

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  25. Around a month ago BNX said they were in talks with several LCCs, so not just Ryan. Maybe we will see another airline start flights?

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    1. Nis scenario would be the best!

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    2. +1000

      The so called "INI model 3" is already being adapted by many small airports.
      3€ is very affordable.

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    3. affordable? yes ryan are laughing their xxx odff. 3€ not sustainable for airports

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    4. Of course it is. Look up economies of scale.

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    5. With 3 EUR pessanger tax an airport must have other strong sources of income if you want to really on the economy of scale.

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  26. Big year ahead for OMO and BNX.

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    1. Overall I think it will be a good year for all airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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  27. Anyone know how OU's flights to Mostar are performing?

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  28. I still don't get how Air Serbia will organise those charters from Banja Luka? Will they ferry a B737 just for this one flight or will they operate the regular BEG-BNX with the B737 and then continue to Antalya?

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    1. It will be a ferry flight. On the days the Antalya flights operate the ATR is scheduled for BEG-BNX-BEG.

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    2. It's not a ferry flight. It's operated as BEG-AYT-BNX-AYT-BEG.

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    3. Makes sense. Thank you.

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  29. Nice development for a small country.

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  30. What do you guys think is the limit to which Tuzla can grow? How many passengers could it handle max?

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    1. Up to 1 million

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    2. Why would INI supporters think they can have more?

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    3. I think the same for Nis, and I wrote the comment at 12.06.

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    4. Tuzla's growth is already slowing down. I think one million is a long way ahead.

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    5. Then why are INI supporters against potential 1M limit, if they can't reach it any time soon?

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    6. 700 thousand will be reached by 2021.....

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  31. I would like to see more and more flights to Sarajevo but I would prefer more if they focused on getting European carriers. There are so many destinations in Europe which are currently unserved and require attention.

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    1. That's why an LCC like Wizz would be perfect. It would cover destinations like Paris, London, Franfkurt...

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    2. I think the only new airline we could see in near future at SJJ is Aegean Airlines and Kuwait Airways.

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    3. Would not be surprised if we eventually see Emirates in Sarajevo with Flydubai operating to Sarajevo 3 daily this summer.

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    4. Doubt we will be seeing EK in Sarajevo any time soon.

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    5. I would love to see Air France, British Airways, KLM, Transavia, easyjet, Ryan.

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    6. 777 is too large for SJJ

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    7. Runway to short for 777-300

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  32. I think we can see Aegean and LOT at SJJ next year.

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  33. And next year Bosnia is taking over control over its own airspace, so no more money to Croatia and Serbia, and more money for infrastructure development and Bosnian airports :)

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    1. Knowing how things are in Bosnia it doesn't mean things will get better especially in the area controlled by SMATSA - they seem to be a highly professionally run business.

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    2. What do you mean by that?

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