Sarajevo eyes busy 2019 after record year

Sarajevo Airport anticipates another record year in 2019 as it continues work on its terminal expansion and prepares to welcome new carriers. It comes following a record 2018 during which it handled 1.046.635 travellers, marking the first time it has managed to surpass the one million passenger mark in a single year. The figure represents overall growth of 9.3% on 2017, or an additional 88.937 travellers. During the same period, the airport registered 13.432 aircraft movements, up 5.1%, and processed 2.508.643 kilograms of cargo. The growth trajectory is expected to continue into 2019 with Aegean Airlines and Tunsiair to launch new seasonal flights to Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital, while start-up FlyBosnia is set to inaugurate operations to Saudi Arabia. A number of carriers will also boost their frequencies to Sarajevo, most notably Turkish Airlines, which will add an additional three weekly flight from Istanbul for a total of 21 weekly.

MonthPAXChange (%)
JAN54.113 24.8
FEB48.986 19.1
MAR65.991 15.0
APR86.995 9.0
MAY81.026 3.7
JUN92.997 19.0
JUL159.380 13.8
AUG159.506 10.6
SEP98.277 2.6
OCT83.660 3.6
NOV62.253 7.5
DEC53.417 6.4

Sarajevo Airport's General Manager, Armin Kajmaković, said, "Behind us is another successful year. We'll remember by the significant results which have been achieved. For the first time, one milllion passenger passed through Sarajevo International Airport. Therefore, since Terminal B's capacity has been reached, and following long and complicated preparations in 2016 and 2017, we have commenced the implementation of our capital development projects. Those flying out of Sarajevo Airport these days will notice it has become a major construction site". He added, "By autumn 2020, once all work is completed, the largest and busiest airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina will become even more significant, beautiful and modern, with much more content, especially in the food and beverages sector, to the satisfaction of our visitors. Sarajevo International Airport has grown into one of the most modern airports in the region and has positioned itself as a reliable partner".

The expansion of Sarajevo Airport's terminal building. valued at 15.3 million euros, includes the addition of 10.000 square metres of space to the existing facility, as well as the construction of an office/business building at the airport, worth three million euros. The two projects are being financed from the airport's own funds. Upon completion, the terminal building will have the capacity to handle two million passengers. Previously, the old terminal A building was demolished in order to make way for the expanded facility. The new business and administrative building, which will house offices for airport staff, will be located next to the control tower.

Sarajevo Airport will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this year on June 2.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    With all due respect, 9% growth sounds nice but Sarajevo added just 88,000 passengers which is well below other capital cities in ex-Yu. They added much less passengers then they did when you compare 2017 to 2016.

    I respect the fact that Sarajevo is a smaller city but I think the airport is performing well below its potential. The management has done absolutely nothing at attracting any single airline. The few that have started flights in the last few years did it at their own request. I have never seen Sarajevo Airport attend any single World Routes/Europe Routes conference, I have never heard of them doing any PR or contacting airlines.

    If sustaining European airlines like SAS, British and Alitalia is an issue then you do something about it. Offer some incentives for a year. But you can't expect to do nothing and for airlines to line up. If a European capital city airport does not have nonstop flights to Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, London or Rome, then something is very wrong with the management of that airport.

    For the airport's size, category, operating hours and adverse weather Sarajevo's fees remain stubbornly high and established major LCCs have already flocked to other domestic airports.

    If this trend continues, I won't be surprised if Tuzla overtakes Sarajevo in a few years as the busiest airport in B&H.

    Good luck with the management pinning their hopes on FlyBosnia, because you will need bucket loads of it.

    Apologies for my rant, but I just get frustrated when I see an airport with high potential being mismanaged for a decade by political appointees.

    1. Anonymous09:25


    2. Anonymous09:51

      Agree completely. More has to be done to attract European airlines. Sarajevo really has a lot to offer and it's a shame the airpirt isn't doing is bit.

    3. Anonymous11:20

      Would the government consider putting SJJ up for concession?

    4. Anonymous11:26

      Considering that Sarajevo airport is financing the whole development of air trafic in the country I don´t see a big chance for that. All the money that this year is going to be distributed across airports in the country are originating from that 10€ tax on every outgoing passenger at Sarajevo airport + this tax would have to be abolished if someone would take over the airport.

  2. Anonymous09:15

    SJJ needs a completely new airport, somewhere between Sarajevo and Mostar which will be open 24 hours a day. Current facilities are a joke and are no longer appropriate. Then again, as with anything in Bosnia, a new terminal will remain a dream. Just look at the mess in Tuzla.

    1. Anonymous09:23

      But haven't they started construction of the new terminal.

    2. Anonymous09:37

      They have, but let's see if they complete it by autumn 2020 like they say.

    3. Anonymous20:53

      The airport when the current works are done and after that the runway reconstructed will be more then decent.

      Your proposed location for a new airport is very bad. The whole area from Sarajevo to Bradina experiences heavy fog so in that regard it wouldn't be any better then the current location + it is very mountainous between Sarajevo and Mostar so there isn't any space for an international airport when you consider approach and take-off as well.

  3. The departure lounge toilets need urgent priority. Having only 2 male and 3 female cubicles with the amount of passengers is unacceptable, and they are disgustingly dirty. They must be the dirtiest airport toilets in Europe!

  4. Anonymous09:26

    Realistically how many newvpassengers could flyBosnia bring per year if were to survive?

    1. Anonymous09:34

      They said around 100,000 per year. I assume that would mean they start some Europe flights too.

  5. Anonymous09:28

    What is the growth estimate for 2019?

    1. Anonymous10:02

      Lot of airlines are increasing frequencies so probably more than this year.

  6. Anonymous09:36

    Congratulations on the record. SJJ was ahead of Podgorica a couple of years ago. Have they managed to overtake them again?

    1. Anonymous09:39

      No. TGD has boomed in the last couple of years and is well ahead of SJJ now.

    2. Anonymous11:02

      this result is less than the result of the Podgorica 2017 year-1.055.141 pax.In 2018 Podgorica result is around 1.209.000 pax

    3. Anonymous13:01

      Sarajevo would be well ahead of Podgorica if Bosnia had a national airline or it managed to get an airline to base a plane there.

  7. Anonymous09:42

    Does the development of traffic at TZL and BNX affect SJJ much or did these passengers never used to go to Sarajevo?

    1. Anonymous09:50

      I am 100% certain BNX won't affect them because road infrastructure is horrible. These guys mostly used ZAG in the past.

    2. Anonymous10:03

      And what about Tuzla? Is ot a viable alternative for people from Sarajevo or not?

    3. Anonymous09:54

      Tuzla makes some competition for Sarajevo , like routes to Sweden and Germany.I live in Sarajevo and I usually fly eg. to Vienna with AUA but now I rather fly from Tuzla with WIZZ because it costs less money and the service is fairly good.

  8. Anonymous09:54

    Super rezultat ako se uzme u obzir da se ne daju subvencije . Finansijski rezultati su takodje odlicni.

    1. Anonymous09:58

      Треба дефинисати шта се подразумева под субвенцијама. Ако се односи на давање пара онда, ако се не варам, то само Скопље ради.

    2. Anonymous10:04

      Pare nedaje aerodrom Skopje vec drzava.

    3. Anonymous10:06

      У том случају паре за одржавање нових линија даје само Северна Македонија. Наравно, ту је и хрватски ПСО али то је мало другачија прича. Не знам шта Мостар даје и како подстиче летове.

    4. Anonymous10:17

      Direktno ili indirektno, subvencije se svode na davanje para. Ne treba zaboraviti i cinjenicu da Sarajevo naplacuje dodatnu taxu koja sluzi za razvoj drugih aerdroma

    5. Anonymous13:17

      Zar u Hrvatskoj strane avio kompanije ne dobijaju novac od turisticke organizacije da bi leteli?

    6. Anonymous18:08

      Za udruženo oglašavanje godišnje se daje oko 3 milijuna EUR. Možda nekih 3% linija se financira od toga. Croatia dobiva još oko milijun EUR od udruženog oglašavanja (filmovi koji se emitiraju u avionima + reklame za Dubrovnik + inflight magazin). Za interkontinentalne linije se izdvaja 4 milijuna EUR.

  9. Anonymous10:37

    Bas danas Aerodrom Sarajevo i fly Bosnia razgovaraju o snizavanju cjena aerodromskih usluga za ovu aviokompaaniju.

  10. Anonymous10:51

    Bravo Sarajevo!

  11. Anonymous10:52

    SJJ needs to allow airlines to depart and arrive after closing hours so that more connections can be offered. Their numbers would grow more.

    1. Anonymous11:10

      I think they need to extend their hours. Being a good destination to pick up transfer passengers, I think several European airlines would fly out during the early morning.

    2. Anonymous11:21

      They would get enough customers that's for sure. First one would be JU who would run double daily flights in summer.

      BEG-SJJ 00.30-01.20
      SJJ-BEG 05.00-05.50

      I am sure OS would have a similar schedule, JP too.

    3. Anonymous12:57

      CSA didn't launch flights to Sarajevo 2 years ago because the airport didn't want to give them a slot to land at the middle of the night and depart early in the morning (not that I think the flights would have worked out in the end anyway).

    4. Anonymous16:41

      OK is really becoming a joke of an airline. Remember their SKP pathetic schedule?
      People here critisise many Yugo carriers but OK is probably the worst and nobody talks about them. They used to be very good in the past with their Boeing 737 fleet and A310 to Northern America.
      Those days are now gone.

    5. CSA was one of the first and most important european airlines in the beginnings of the civil aviation, together with KLM. Even during the communist era, and with russian-made fleet they were decent airline with decent service and nice network covering all of the Europe, North and West Africa, Middle East, Montreal, New York, Havana, Bombay, Hanoi, Singapore, Jakarta.
      They seemed to do fine during transition era. I flew with them once to Newark on A310. It was very good experience. Return flight PRG-ZAG, around 40 passengers, ATR supposed to operate had technical issue, they called stand-by crew and took us to ZAG on 737 with 45 minutes delay only. I liked that airline and I am sad too for what it became today. And the reason why people don't talk about them here is because they don't belong to ex-yu

    6. Anonymous07:31

      Yes, a true shame what has become of them. Let's hope their new owners make something of them.

  12. Anonymous10:53

    I hope the expansion of the terminal will be followed more new routes and airlines like they say. Good luck Sarajevo.

    1. Anonymous11:01

      I hope some new European carriers will coma with this expansion. Wizz Air should open some new routes.

    2. Anonymous11:15

      With current pricing at the airport I don't think we will see them add new destinations soon unfortunately.

    3. Anonymous11:27

      This airport has so much potential, they should definitely let Wizz or Ryan base a couple of aircraft there and launch European destinations.

    4. Anonymous12:06

      Is potential really that big? I mean many airlines have come and gone due to low demand. I think if taxes were lower we would see mostly gasto destinations launched. Wizz and Ryanair would dominate to all sorts of German and Swedish villages.

    5. Anonymous12:56

      That would be welcome too.

    6. Anonymous13:00

      I don't understand why people complain about the lack of low cost flights from Sarajevo when there are quite a few LCCs flying from here. More than Zagreb actually.

  13. Anonymous11:19

    Does anyone know who is increasing frequencies as mentioned in the article, except Turkish?

    1. Anonymous11:55

      TK is increasing Antalya charters, Air Arabia is increasing Sharjah to two daily. That's the ones I know. There are probably more.

    2. Actually today local portal write about getting licence for FlyBosnia by BHDCA. They write that FlyBosnia planing to make establish flights to: Riyadh, London, Jeddah, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Amsterdam.

    3. Anonymous09:56

      Fly Dubai flies 3 times a day during the summer

    4. Anonymous09:59

      ^That was the case last year too.

  14. Anonymous11:25

    Can't wait to see the completed terminal project.

  15. Anonymous11:53

    Congratulations Sarajevo.

  16. Anonymous12:07

    Didn't OU operate double daily SJJ flights last summer? I see 13 loaded for S19.

    1. Anonymous12:52

      Nope its has been 13 weekly for some years now.

  17. Anonymous12:23

    Does anyone know when will Flybosnia start to operate?

    1. Anonymous12:51

      After they get AOC which will probably be in the first quarter.

    2. Anonymous09:57

      They have got the licence and first commercial flight is scheduled on 31.01.2019.

  18. Anonymous12:52

    Sarajevo is still missing a lot of viable routes. They would have double the numbers if there was a professional management in place.

  19. Anonymous12:53

    With LOT now flying to practically all major ex-Yu cities, I really hope they launch Sarajevo soon.

  20. Anonymous17:10

    SJJ S19 schedules excluding charters to Tunis and Turkey

    SJJ-LJU daily
    SJJ-ATH 2 weekly with A3
    SJJ-SHJ flights still not bookable
    SJJ-BEG daily
    SJJ-VIE 2 daily OS
    SJJ-ZAG 13 weekly
    SJJ-CGN 3 weekly
    SJJ-STR 2 weekly
    SJJ-DXB 3 daily in peak summer season
    SJJ-MUC daily LH
    SJJ-RUH no flights yet
    SJJ-ARN 2 weekly
    SJJ-CPH 1 weekly
    SJJ-SAW 10 weekly
    SSJ-IST - 3 daily TK
    SJJ-DOH 4 weekly
    SJJ-ZRH 2 weekly
    SJJ-BUD 2 weekly

    Overall, not bad. I'ts good to have a mix of Euro legacy and ME destinations. QR maintaining 4 weekly in winter 2019, which is a very good sign.

    1. Anonymous20:40

      Is Oslo definitely cancelled?

    2. Anonymous22:32

      Not bad? Are you kidding me? It's disastrous. There is no link with the Netherlands, Belgium, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt...

    3. Anonymous22:48

      Yes, there aren't but there is VIE, MUC at least. SJJ is a purely Star Alliance dominated airport. Maybe Skyteam or oneworld members can try penetrating the market.
      I think the rest of BiH will use TZL and now BNX meanwhile.
      Anyway, 1 million is still 1 million and congratulations to SJJ.

  21. Anonymous23:05

    The scenery around this airport looks really nice looking at the photo. Hope to visit soon.


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