FlyBosnia signs deal for three A319s


The Sarajevo-based start-up FlyBosnia has signed a Letter of Intent for the acquisition of an additional three Airbus A319 aircraft, which will bring its fleet size to a total of four. The Saudi-backed carrier noted the jets will be gradually delivered "over the coming quarters". The company said, "These aircraft will enable FlyBosnia to progressively expand its destination network as it builds up to a planned eight-member fleet by 2023". The airline currently operates a sixteen-year-old Airbus A319 jet from AerCap, which has so far been utilised on a number of special charters, prior to the carrier launching commercial flights this summer. FlyBosnia intends on becoming the national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Commenting on the airline's plans, CEO Chris Gabriel said, "We have made significant progress in confirming airport slots in preparation for the upcoming launch of scheduled flights, and are also working to confirm select charter flights from the numerous charter requests we have received to date". He added, "We are currently recruiting additional crew and ramping up training to ensure we deliver on our promise to connect Bosnia and Herzegovina with select destinations in Europe and the Middle East via direct flights. From the time of booking your travel to the moment you return home, it is our mission to make your travel experience unforgettable".


FlyBosnia recently partnered up with the Italian charter service provider SoleAir in order to operate charter flights from Mostar catering for pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje sight. The airline has also noted its first aircraft will be used to focus on Europe, with its initial destinations being London and Frankfurt, while it plans to serve Riyadh, Jeddah and Bahrain in the Middle East. "As we take on more capacity, we will be expanding in Europe to cities like Rome, Paris and potentially Moscow. In the Middle East, we will probably look at Kuwait and Beirut. So we will selectively expand where we know there is demand. and we will serve our customers both here and overseas", the company said.




Comments

  1. So they will have almost the fleet the size of Montenegro Airlines by the end of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's wait and see if this actually materializes.

      Delete
  2. They have been talking about "securing slots" for months now. Time to actually start flying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is long process before obtaining a slot,especially if they are looking for specific times of day. A lots of negotiating is needed.

      Delete
  3. It's good news for Sarajevo Airport which will grow passenger numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Top destinations from Sarajevo that people transfer to:

      1. Kuwait
      2. London
      3. Copenhagen
      4. Frankfurt
      5. Amsterdam
      6. Zurich
      7. Paris
      8. Ankara
      9. Chicago
      10. Berlin

      Delete
    2. No Saudi city in sight...

      Delete
    3. That list shows that traffic really needs to develop from Bosnia if so many people have to transfer to get to Frankfurt, Paris or Zurich.

      Delete
    4. What's with the craze from Kuwait?

      Delete
    5. Which airline do most people from Sarajevo transfer on to reach those European cities?

      Delete
    6. Interesting that Chicago is number one destination in North America.

      Delete
    7. @ 9.16 Bosnia is very popular with Kuwaiti tourists. There were nonstop flights between Kuwait and Sarajevo in last few years.

      Delete
    8. @ 9.23 Lufthansa and Austrian but I would not exclude Turkish Airlines either, even if it requires backtracking.

      Delete
    9. I just don't get why more European airlines don't fly to Sarajevo.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous at 09:32
      Very expensive charges AND difficulty during the winter of maintaining your flight schedule due to low visibility from low clouds and fog.

      Delete
    11. But is it so much more expensive than other airports in the region? Though I guess if the prices are the same, the yields to Sarajevo are probably lower.

      Delete
    12. It's a shame that Sarajevo didn't have the same scenario as Skopje after the national airline collapsed.

      Delete
  4. Where are they getting the money from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saudi Arabia.

      Delete
    2. Shiddi has the largest mall in Bosnia, hotels and business offices, along with agencies which bring tourists from gulf

      Delete
    3. Shiddi is already promoting Flybosnia on their Saudi social media accounts and the amount of people responding to these offers to Sarajevo has really surprised me.

      Delete
  5. They plan Moscow? Is there really demand? I'm sure Aeroflot would have started flights if there was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was some Russian airline that started flights to Sarajevo a few years ago but they cancelled the route just a week after it started.

      Delete
    2. Well a Russian airline will start flying from Moscow to Banja Luka this year. Perhaps there is more demand then one would think.

      Delete
    3. Yea, that sounds like a very strange route.

      Delete
    4. @ Anonymous 9:09

      That was Moskovia Airlines from Zhukovsky Airport :D They have gone bust since.

      Delete
    5. I don't think there is much demand to/from Moscow especially as there is barely any economic links.

      Delete
  6. Anyone know from who they will be getting the planes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably Aercap as well (or some leasing company) if they have signed a LoI.

      Delete
  7. Will they become an IATA member? They won't be able to codeshare or make any agreements with other airlines if they don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was really what made B&H Airlines valuable. Anyone that could have bought them would automatically have had an IOSA certificate and IATA membership.

      Delete
    2. B&H Airlines were members of IATA!

      Delete
    3. Yep. You need to pass the safety audit each year and fulfill a few other criteria to be a member. That's why they were able to codeshare with Air Serbia.

      Delete
  8. They are going to make more money on the Middle Eastern flights for tourists than flights like Frankfurt and Stockholm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right and I fear they will realise that quite soon and end up just flying to the Middle East.

      Delete
    2. The Mostar charters could be lucrative.

      Delete
  9. We will see if this airline will be of no use to locals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlikely, they are focused on transferring tourists from the Arabia countries to Bosnia.

      Delete
  10. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least they seem to be serious.

      Delete
  11. Website is still under construction... if they plan to start flying soon they need to put tickets on sale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is they will first start flying to Saudi Arabian cities as they are already selling tour packages with flights in Saudi Arabia and then in late summer add a few European routes.

      Delete
    2. It will be of no use to the local population if they only fly to the Middle East so hopefully those Europe flights start soon too.

      Delete
  12. Grand plans but the airline industry is very difficult to navigate and I'm not sold they will succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The one thing they don't have to worry about is too much competition at SJJ particularly to western European cities. Hope they make it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope they leave this special EYOF livery on the plane. It looks much better than the bland white and fluorescent yellow colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The original livery is so uninspiring. Especially now that they will have several planes, it's unfortunate they barely have any colour on them.

      Delete
    2. Any pics of the interior?

      Delete
    3. You have some here in the gallery.
      https://www.klix.ba/biznis/ukrcali-smo-se-u-airbus-a319-flybosnia-u-sarajevu-spremna-docekuje-prve-putnike/190208093

      Delete
    4. Thank you. Looks good actually.

      Delete
    5. But no dedicated business class seats. Just standard economy.

      Delete
  15. Good luck Sarajevo! This could really be its big break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They need to catch up to Podgorica.

      Delete
    2. And work on new terminal is ongoing. It will be a good year for SJJ.

      Delete
    3. Hope so because January started with a decline in pax numbers.

      Delete
    4. By how much did it decrease?

      Delete
    5. 1%
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/02/sarajevo-airport-starts-year-with.html

      Delete
    6. February will be strong because of EYOF.

      Delete
  16. Is the travel from the Middle East seasonal? Do they come mostly during summer or is there year round demand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very seasonal. Reason why there are almost no flights to the Middle East in winter except for Dubai and that's down from three daily to three weekly.

      Delete
    2. Qatar leti cetiri puta sedmicno i zimi.

      Delete
  17. I would wait at least a year to see how this tuns out before giving any of my money to them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't think this will end well. A319 is large for OU and JU once summer season is over, it is probably the same with SJJ and maybe even worse since market is much smaller.
    They should have gone for 2 A319 for Middle East and 2 E75 for European flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is too small of an airline to operate two different types of aircraft and have two different sets of crews.
      What JU, OU, JP and YM are doing is NOT efficient and it shows on their financial results.

      Delete
  19. I hope people don't take this the wrong way but will they be able to find pilots? I'm not sure how many qualified pilots from Bosnia actually reside in Bosnia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well,germania fell apart and they had chiefly A319 fleet. So,maybe they find someone of those pilots.
      For sure,it's better for them to work in Europe comparing to Asia (e.g)

      Delete
    2. Yes but how many of Germania's crews were PRN based instead of based in Germany?
      I am not sure that someone will leave their lifestyle in a German major city to migrate to Sarajevo.

      Delete
  20. Great news. Wish all the best for SJJ.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I doubt this will work out and that they will take those 3 planes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good if Fly Bosnia venture works. No taxpayer money is involved into it. There is no harm to any of us if Fly Bosnia does not make it.

      Delete
  22. Frankfurt will definitely work but I have my reservations about London? We need visas to the UK. Tuzla - London didn't work out for Wizz Air, so not sure Fly Bosnia will make it work but let's wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm interested too see which airport in London they will select.

      Delete
    2. Well as you can see on the list someone posted above, London is the second most unserved route from Sarajevo. It didn't work out from Tuzla perhaps because there is less travel from that region to London but from Sarajevo I think it could work.

      Delete
    3. Didn't BA used to fly to Sarajevo?

      Delete
    4. Yes from 2006 until 2008.

      Official reason they suspended flights "high fuel prices"

      Delete
    5. I think that's the same year they suspended Belgrade and Pristina too.

      Delete
  23. I like the plans so far. They seem to be serious investors with some long term plans.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great! Just tweak the livery a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. National airline can work in Bosnia. It's just a question of having a professional and realistic management.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think they need smaller capacity planes if they want took make this work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree. Especially for Sarajevo-Europe flights.

      Delete
    2. Don't think Embraers could make it to Saudi for ex.

      Delete
  27. It is good that they already have charter demand. It is a good way to make the airline sustainable, especially at the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Good luck, FlyBosnia! Bosnia and Herzegovina is underestimated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hope this works. BiH needs a strong airline.

      Delete
    2. What it needs is for Sarajevo to lower its fees.

      Delete
    3. I hope it's more successful then the other airlines in B&H.

      Delete
  29. So Wizz needed 5 years to have 4 planes in Skopje with millions and millions of subsidies yet Fly Bosna will have 4 planes in Sarajevo within months with no support. This is not going to end well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most rational comment today.

      Delete
    2. The only difference is that Wizz Air is expanding all over Europe and is spreading itself thin while these guys are completely devoted to Bosnia. That is why it will thrive. Also, let's get real, Bosnia has much more demand than Northern Macedonia. BiH has four active international airports all served by major and internationally known airlines.

      Delete
    3. That's true,but wizz is budget airline,and besides,Sarajevo has only 1million pax,so much bigger opportunity to grow.

      Delete
    4. Hilarious.

      Delete
    5. At least BiH traffic is organic and not only based on heavy subsidies.

      Delete
    6. Flights to Mostar, Banja Luka and Tuzla are all subsidized.

      Delete
    7. Yes and no.
      If you compare SKP and OHD traffic, it is 100% subsidised.
      Airports in BiH are partially subsidised.
      Why do you think Macedonia has such figures even higher than Slovenia? Thanks.

      Delete
  30. If they offer competitive prices from SJJ to any place in Europe, even matching Star Alliance on any intra-European route to a penny, they will be more than able to operate and survive. I suppose the fuel hedging issues won't be a problem for them.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Uniforms and crew look nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes but livery is horrible.

      Delete
  33. They could secure hajj flights from SJJ. Turkish Airlines profits from these each year. They even send A330 to SJJ.

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's nice to see a lot of aviation news coming from Bosnia lately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. New terminal in Sarajevo, possible Ryanair flights to Mostar, Banja Luka developing, Tuzla opening new terminal soon.

      Very good news all round.

      Delete
  35. I can tell you right now that Bosnia is becoming more and more advanced when it comes to aviation.
    4 operating airports, flourishing passenger figures, investments and continuous improvements.
    A big applause for its government and good luck to the new airline.
    The current fleet might reach Air Serbia levels one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should first aim to reach Croatia Airlines' fleet size.

      Delete
    2. I think they wont even manage to reach YM's fleet size.

      Delete
    3. It will be somewhere between YM and OU. But, if you have 10 319, then ASK capacity will be much higher. It's all a matter of time.

      Delete
  36. I have been closely tracking news about the Canada's newest ULCC startup Jetlines. Drawing parallel to FlyBosnia, they hired corporate staff, obtained AOC (or are still in the process of ), secured slots at hte airport etc. and most importantly signed contract for the lease of (I think) two A320s. However, they are not announcing delivery date, they'll get their hand on them probably couple of weeks before the scheduled startup which might be at least 6 months away. On contrary, FlyBosnia have a leased plane at the cost of probably several hundreds thousands of dollars sitting on the tarmac mostly collecting dust. In this Klix text, they say they even changed all seats, did some major maintenance, overhauled the engines!!! Now, this might have been done by the lessor, but even if that's the case I don't think AerCap gave them all of this for free until they start making money.

    Something here doesn't add up...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well,according to law in Bosnia,you cannot get an AOC without an aircraft. Furthermore,you need to take some test flights within the country to prove you have functional aircraft. I think such law is applied internationally, so it's not that possible to obtain AOC without aircraft. And I guess you cannot make any deal with airports without aircraft and/or AOC eventually.

      Delete
    2. @SM

      When you say "obtained AOC (or are still in the process of )", you don't see crucially large difference between these two statuses?

      Delete
    3. I checked Jetlines site and so far they submitted operations manuals, which apparently is a major milestone in the process. After this comes training manuals etc. For both of these they probably had to select AC type, maybe even sign the contract, make some payments but they didn't have to HAVE plane in possession. I presume they won't get the actual licence before they do, but all this work ahead of time they can do without one. What they also did in preparation for their scheduled service is that they signed whole bunch of contracts with airports, ground handling companies, sales distribution, payment processing etc. etc. (see https://jetlines.ca/2019/).

      Listen, I don't pretend to fully understand regulatory framework in BiH, but I can't imagine it being much different than anywhere else.

      If nothing else, FlyBosnia has a plane sitting at SJJ for which they get invoice from AerCapy on a regular basis. It has the AOC but not flying and not even selling tickets as far as I know (except maybe for few charters that might occur in Summer). A319 is not a toy you buy in the convenience store; leasing it is no kids game so that you can have it sit and collect dust. If you are serous business you would want to reduce that time to the max, because that's one of your major expenses. Again, I'm not buying it. I wish I'm wrong but in my mind no investor can expect to recoup this kind of investment within reasonable time, especially not the one operating in economically very poor region such as BiH. There must be something else here or we know what the end-result will be.

      Delete
    4. I think that time slot between aircraft takeover (Dec 22nd) and issuing of AOC (Jan 12th?) was pretty much tight and effective.
      On the other hand, I can agree with you that whole this period after January 13th is only cost-consuming and that we already should see some revenue created, at least from charter flights.

      Delete
    5. SM, they have probably expected longer procedure for getting an AOC,as Bosnia is usually slow regarding paperwork,issuance of permits,documents etc.
      And maybe that price they pay monthly isn't that high. It may be that A319 was cheaper for leasing as they needed to apply brand new seats and make some additional engine maintenance which is not included in leasing price,apparently. In addition to that, shiddi has steady income to cover that price for a few months.

      Delete
    6. Maybe you are right but if it was my money in question I'l like that plan landing the day i absolutely must have it and I would do everything in my power that the first flight with paying customers is very next day. Now, i know that this would be impossible to do but some things like web-site, destinations etc. are all in place so that I loose as little money as possible.

      Hopefully you are right and they got a killer deal for it but somehow I doubt it. Brand new customer, not associated with any big players, ordering single ac - not a lot of leverage to negotiate good price. Shiddi probably has means to finance all of but and that's not an issue, but nobody likes loosing money forever and the approach here tells me that people involved seem a bit amateurish for this to remain sustainable business in the long run.

      Again, for the sake of people employed at FlyBosnia, SJJ and general flying public I hope I'm not correct.

      Delete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that time slot between aircraft takeover (Dec 22nd) and issuing of AOC (Jan 12th?) was pretty much tight and effective.
      On the other hand, I can agree with you that whole this period after January 13th is only cost-consuming and that we already should see some revenue created, at least from charter flights.

      Delete
  38. They should do flights for Air Serbia for example Sarajevo- Belgrade second daily. Or they could fly Kraljevo -Istanbul. There was once talk about charters from Saudi Arabia to Belgrade where tour organisators could not find an airline to do the job. This is Flybosnias chance - they really have to be creative if they want to succeed !
    Mike from Munich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And they should do with A330, because they will attract passenger with comfort!
      Jesus, completely new airline, founded by Saudis in Bosnia, with no operational flight, should start flights between Kraljevo and Instanbul. I don't know what are you using, but I would like some of it.

      Delete
    2. Why are you so angry ? Whats so difficult to understand ?
      BH Air once actually flew to Belgrade daily with A319 codesharing with Air Serbia . Also if a Serbian airline is allowed to fly charters from Banja Luka to Athens and Antalya then an airline from Bosnia should also be allowed to fly Kraljevo to Istanbul. Same right is for all airlines. And what is the problem with an airline that is founded by Arabs in Bosnia ? Have you forgotten that Air Serbia was founded by Arabs from Abu Dhabi ?

      As i already said, Flybosnia will never be a success if it pays for aircraft that collect dust instead of flying. Cooperating with neighbouring airlines and countries will bring cash and profitability. There is no way around that fact !

      Mike from Munich

      Delete
    3. BH Air is from Bulgaria....

      Besides that, a company owned by Saudis is a Saudi - Arabian company and according laws do apply. Completely different situation than in if it was Bosnian or EU or even a turkish company.....

      Delete
  39. ^ Even Aegean does Croatia-Germany charters .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aegean [EU] Croatia [EU] Germany [EU].

      FlyBosnia [BiH] Kraljevo [Serbia] Istanbul [Turkey], all non-EU.

      Delete
    2. Air Serbia (SRB) Banjaluka (BiH) Antalya(TUR) Athens(GR)

      Delete
    3. Uvjeren sam da znaju sta rade.

      Delete
  40. Mislim da dobro znaju sta rade.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.