FlyBosnia obtains AOC, readies for launch


The Sarajevo-based start-up FlyBosnia has been issued an Air Operator's Certificate by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation, enabling it to commence commercial operations. The airline's sole Airbus A319 aircraft has so far performed a number of test flights between Sarajevo, Tuzla and Banja Luka. FlyBosnia's CEO, Chris Gabriel, said, “This is the final stage in the approval process which allows FlyBosnia to start operations. This is a very significant milestone for FlyBosnia, and also for the people and country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the result of many months of hard work and dedication by the entire team and, on behalf of the shareholders, may I both congratulate and thank each and every FlyBosnia team member for their tireless efforts in making this dream become a reality”.

The company said it will review numerous charter requests over the coming weeks and will begin applying for slots at various airports. The airline, set up by Saudi Arabia's Al Shiddi Group, will initially link Sarajevo with Riyadh, although Mr Gabriel has said other destinations will include both points in the Middle East and Europe, such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and Moscow. "Once our schedule is confirmed, the FlyBosnia website and agent network will go live, enabling our customers to fly and experience Europe, the Middle East and the natural beauties of Bosnia and Herzegovina via affordable direct flights”, the CEO added.

Shiddi Tourism, which forms part of the Al Shiddi Group, denied media reports this week that FlyBosnia will launch scheduled flights on January 31, noting instead that, "We will announce schedules and flight times on our official website soon". The company added, “We look forward to launching FlyBosnia's commercial operations and being the carrier of choice in connecting the Bosnian diaspora with their families here at home in Bosnia and Herzegovina". To date, the Saudi Arabian conglomerate has committed in excess of twenty million euros in start-up capital to FlyBosnia. The newly established airline currently has some twenty cabin crew personnel and eight pilots in its ranks.

Photo courtesy of Darko Vučić

Comments

  1. They are doing things the right way. I'm cautiously optimistic this might actually work.

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    1. Agree, wish them all the best, with many routes to (especially) European capitals from Sarajevo!

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    2. Agree!

      I hope they will fly to amsterdam?

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  2. I don't want to be a party pooper but I don't think they will make it. Even if they do, I think it will come down to seasonal flights to Riyadh and ACMI wet-leases for the rest of the year somewhere in the Middle East or Africa.

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    1. I have a rather simple question for people on this blog. Since national carriers in Ex-Yu are struggling for all sorts of reasons, what makes you think FlyBosnia could work? Also, is it a national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or not, since it's private-owned?
      Anyway, wish them all the best in the future!

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    2. It's not a national carier bu they said they would acquire "flag carrier status".. whatever that means...

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  3. The Saudis really could have given them a bit more cash to do something about their livery.

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  4. Let's see if it lasts longer then Bosnian Wand Airlines. I think they made it for a month.

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    1. Just remember they didn't have a Bosnian AOC. They didn't stop flying because of a lack of funds, they stopped flying because they didn't have a permit.

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    2. Bosnian Wand Airlines nije uopste dosao u ovu fazu. Ovdje je ipak u pitanju sasvim druga prica.

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    3. Well it's good to see that the same people who run that project and are now running Fly Bosnia have learned some lessons since then.

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  5. I'm curious to see the interior.

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    1. #MeToo. Especially since they said they will have a dedicated business class cabin.

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    2. lol at the hashtag.

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    3. How many seats did they say they have on business class?

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  6. Let's say they develop into a small functioning airline with a few European routes. Who would be impacted the most at Sarajevo Airport?

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    1. Well I'm waiting for that guy to write that this is "bad news for JU".

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    2. As far as I'm aware, TK and OU handle the most transfer passengers.

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    3. Are you sure OU handles more transfers from Sarajevo then Austrian?

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    4. Or Lufthansa

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  7. The future of this airline will depend on demand, as usual but also on the growth of both TZL and especially BNX.
    If we see new destinations, it will hurt SJJ somehow.
    We've witnessed other real and good examples, where smaller airports are borrowing organic traffic:

    INI/SKP and BEG
    BNX/ZAG
    DEB/BUD

    And so on..

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    1. This is true. The ballgame is very different then when B&H Airlines used to be around.

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  8. Smart decision to wet lease the plane for charters and ACMI but the configuration might be a problem there in finding customers.

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    1. There are already way too many airline offering ACMI services. Air Serbia couldn't wet lease its A319 during the winter for a second year running.

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  9. The market is just too small to support a national carrier.

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    1. Why? It seems to be large enough for Wizz with 2 planes in Tuzla. Why not a national airline?

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    2. Agree with last anon. B&H Airlines didn't go bankrupt because it lacked passengers. It went bankrupt because of TK and bad management.

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    3. Like I wrote in a comment below, the marjet is very different from 10 years ago when BH Airlines was alive and kicking.

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  10. The market is just too small and not wealthy enough to support a national carrier.

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  11. I hope this does not end up like Wand Airlines. Good luck!

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    1. At least it's a private airline. No public money spent, unlike with B&H Airlines.

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    2. I support this. It's good that there will be a local airline hiring locals and increasing connectivity from Sarajevo.

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  12. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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  13. Congratulations!

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  14. Good news for Sarajevo. This could really boost their numbers.

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    1. SJJ really needs an airline to connect it to the basic European destinations most airport in Europe are linked to.

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  15. They could fly at least for 1 year without bankrupt.

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    1. It is just my anticipation. If they have enough money they can fly without having good LF for some time.

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    2. No one has such money to throw to fly empty planes.

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    3. I didn't say that.

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  16. Wish them all the best.

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  17. 20mio eur in committment is not sufficient to run an airline.

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    1. Why?
      It says they have already invested 20mio eur,so it is probably not final funds.

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  18. So now there are two airlines in Bosnia with AOC - FlyBosnia and Icar Air.

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  19. Their website is still under construction
    http://flybosnia.ba/

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    1. If you read the article, it says it will launch soon.

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    2. One would assume at the start of the summer season. So end of March.

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  20. They still did not convinced me to act as a serious airline, except for the Gulf operations. EU is not the option except some charter operations. Do you think that tour and charter operators will replace existing operators for unknown one. I doubt it. Second issue are operations toward EU destinations, how come ??? They would need many bank guarantees or deposits to secure normal operations but it all costs a lot, isn' it ? What about slots, who will secure slots at rushed airports and at what times ??? How to attract the passengers after Air Bosnia, BH Airways, Sky Bosnia, Wand airlines ? Prices must be at low cost level for starting to attract people as many of them moved to Tuzla and nowadays to Banja Luka and according to latest news and offers from Banja luka, will remain there. Low cost prices and private investor with only one aircraft does not seem serious business. What about technical issues and cancellations, what to do with passengers how to accomodate and transfer them ? What about passenger's rights - just do not play with this regulations, otherwise you will end very soon. That is part of mine consideration of this business.

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  21. Had too many of these start ups to be excited. I will wait 6 months before starting to treat them seriously.

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  22. SJJ 1,046,000 pax 2018
    BNX 36,000 pax 2018. Reminder to all of those that think BNX is relevant in anything.

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    1. What is this suppose to mean ??? BNX will grow fast such as Tuzla did. Do not take capital airport into consideration for these issues. Do not forget that Banja Luka just started Ryan Air operations in November 2018, so when they add fourth destination Berlin that overall standing will be improved. Probably some more destinations will be added to this area. Regards !

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    2. Flights to Frankfurt and Amsterdam could easily work.

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    3. All of you are talking about an airline business, but there is no airline with one aircraft. It is just aircraft operator of 1 airplane. It is just politics.

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  23. They should start operations from Sarajevo to low price destinations like Weeze, Baden Baden, Memmingem, Beauvais, Malmo etc.

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