FlyBosnia mulls Sarajevo base closure


FlyBosnia is considering closing its base in Sarajevo and moving its operations to Tuzla and Mostar instead. It comes after it emerged the airline has accumulated over half a million euros worth of debt to Bosnia and Herzegovina's busiest airport. The airline, which established scheduled flights to the Middle East this summer and to London Luton in September, told the "Klix" portal, "Our company and staff are considering the possibility of shifting our operations to Tuzla and Mostar. In such a case, we would fly to Rome (due to commence in November) from Mostar, while London and other EU destinations would be maintained from Tuzla, from which we would provide bus transfers to Sarajevo". Wizz Air, which boasts a base in Tuzla, previously flew from the city to London Luton but discontinued the flights due to insufficient demand.

For the upcoming 2019/2020 winter season, which begins later this month, the airline has so far only scheduled and put on sale two weekly flights from Sarajevo to London, down from the current three per week. With the airline's Middle East summer flights winding down, it is currently utilising only one out of the two Airbus A319 aircraft at its disposal. Only one jet will be used over the winter months. "Fresh challenges are ahead with the launch of our London flights and soon Rome. We expect to take delivery of a further two A319s in April 2020, for which leasing contracts have already been signed. As a result, FlyBosnia will have a fleet of four aircraft", the company said.

Since launching scheduled flights in June, FlyBosnia has handled over 30.000 passengers. The majority, 12.415, were carried in August, while 3.351 passengers flew with the airline last month. "FlyBosnia is a young carrier from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took up the risk to develop airline traffic both in the country and Sarajevo as our home base. We are well aware that we have no concessions, grants nor any other type of subsidies from either the canton, federal or state governments. This is in contrast to other regional airlines where the state invests into their carriers in order to cover their losses as they are of national importance", the company noted. FlyBosnia has requested Sarajevo Airport to waive all taxes, as well as service fees for a period of ten years. The start-up airline was set up by Saudi Arabia's Al Shiddi Group and is 100% privately owned.




Comments

  1. "FlyBosnia has requested Sarajevo Airport to waive all taxes, as well as service fees for a period of ten years. "

    Are they for real?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially since they are a privately owned company.

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    2. Considering the political links the Al Shiddi group has in Sarajevo, don't be surprised if the airport agrees to their terms.

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    3. Actually Sarajevo Airport has suggested for one of Fly Bosnia's aircraft to be seized if they don't pay off their debt soon, so I don't think they will sit around and wait to be conned.

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    4. Not surprised at all!
      Knowledge of airline business is ZERO.
      thay mean everything is cheap and dont have to pay.
      They mean sell the ticket and that is all what airline have to do..
      Sell the charter and that is success.
      Well, who know to calculate all costs???
      In BIH that people almost does not exist.

      Delete
  2. Well that lasted long.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, i wanted to write "well that escalated quickly"

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  3. They would have more than 10 passengers on their London flights if they didn't start ticket sales less than a month before the flights began. And they are doing the same in Rome. Announcing flights for November but no tickets are on sale.

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    1. +1 I don't understand the point of it. Rome flights will fail too. As an unknown brand you can't put tickets on sale 2-3 weeks before the flights start.

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    2. One of the issues with London is that they fly to Luton and they can't offer any connections. The second problem is that they have no cooperation with any other airline, don't have codeshares or interlines so again they can only carry P2P passengers while having very expensive fares.

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  4. No wonder the Australian CEO left.

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    Replies
    1. Well he did say that he left because he had differences with the owner in the way the company should develop.

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    2. Australian passport or not, he got the job, because of his family, and he lost it because of "family affairs"

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  5. So they have 2 aircraft in total and 1 will be sitting on the ground the entire winter.

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    Replies
    1. I can only imagine what they will do when (and if) they get the 2 extra planed next year.

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    2. but the second plane will be parked most of the time as well

      just do the math: paying for 2 a319 and flying them for 20 hours per week combined

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  6. I can only imagine how much money they burned in the last 3 months.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe not much...since they not paying for fuel, taxes, fees...

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    2. But they do have to pay Luton and Eurocontrol to fly to Luton. And from what I hear passenger numbers on this route are dismal.

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    3. Everyone has their limits when it comes to money. Even the Saudis.

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  7. If they move to TZL and OMO that will be the official end for them.

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    Replies
    1. Pilgrimage charters to OMO would make a sense

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    2. but it would make it much easier to waive fees, as nobody is effectivly paying any fees in OMO,TZL, BNX

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  8. Eventually Saudi owners will realise what an expensive toy they have and will go back to leasing capacity from Nesma Airlines or someone like that for flights from Saudi Arabia to Sarajevo during the summer.

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  9. What a ludicrous plan.

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    Replies
    1. My guess is that they are trying to pressure SJJ to free them of fees and this is a ploy to pressure them into it.

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    2. That and they probably realize OMO and TZL would let them fly for free there.

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  10. How odd. No strategy whatsoever.

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    Replies
    1. What did you expect from an airline that chose Europe's most expensive city that requires visas for Bosnians as their first European destination.

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    2. They are Arabs from Gulf. There are no much places in Europe except London for them.

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    3. their strategy was easy to understand: they operate the 4 largest hotels in town (plus some apartment villages and the like); to fill them you better ferry Arabs in, and as it expensive to charter planes in the summer, why not operate them by themselves

      however, having a strategy that works only 3 out of 12 months, is probably not that wise, considering the huge amount of money involved

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  11. If they already have over 500,000+ debt to SJJ I would be very careful to work with them.

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  12. Bosnian Wand Airlines 2.0.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well the same people that ran BWA are running Fly Bosnia.

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    2. Actually word on the street is that it is now mostly managed by Ukranian pilots.

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  13. i hope SJJ dont fall for these vagabonds. they need a serious company

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    Replies
    1. to base planes there? during the winter?

      who would do this?

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  14. So the haters were proven again right that this airline was of no benefit to Bosniaks.
    It was just some ill thought plan from Arabs to bring more tourists from the Middle East ignoring the extensive competition already for that market.
    The airline flew only 3351 ax in September.
    That is less than 112 pax a day. Total! Let than sink in for a minute.

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    Replies
    1. And in September they actually even had some charters plus Mid east flights still operating plus London. So very few passengers.

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    2. +1000
      Looks like even their Middle East flights have horrible load factors.
      What a waste of money this airline was. And it will probably leave a massive debt to SJJ which will be covered by the other airlines.

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    3. Just a small correction, I suppose you mean Bosnians, not Bosniaks.

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    4. Bosnian never had hopes for this airline anyways, it was mainly used for transporting Arab tourists to our country, which is also fine. We are not at loss either way because they havent spent any tax money on the company. I dont see how it can be a disaster for Bosnians if the company was setup to bring over foreign tourists, employ some local staff, and if it would eventually disappear, what would be so disastrous about it?

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    5. @Bosnian they have not paid airport fees. SJJ = tax money

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    6. Bosnian they owe for airport services etc. over half a million Euros!

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    7. Last two anons: that they should pay of course, if they dont, they should be brought before court. I was mainly saying in terms of the airline itself and in terms of funding for the actual airline. Cant find one reason why the airline would be a disaster or bad for the country? The country hasnt invested a euro in it, and all it can get is profit and tourists, even if it is not targeting Bosnians as its main customers. And again, if they disappear, as we say: nikom nista. But the airport fees they should definitely chase them down for.

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    8. I think it was even reported here that they got money from the Sarajevo Canton (or any of its sub-budgets, like tourist promotion)

      It was of course no subsidy, it was a "marketing co-operation". (that means they pocketed public money but agreed to put a promotion sticker on an plane or website, or some logo on the back of the borading pass; at least two of such subsidy deals were announced officially)

      and they never made any effort to market themselves to the locals; even their billboards in Sarajevo are in some foreign English (probaly Arab English, because nobody here would invent such kind of English)

      Delete
  15. Close down this trash. Is not even worth a media publish. Carrier made with questionable cash source anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small Internet commentator bashing on big real estate owner in Sarajevo. klap, klap,

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    2. Yes, they should be praised for managing to make half a million EUR in debt to Sarajevo airport in just 3 months and for their failed strategy. Klap Klap to you.

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  16. Crazy. They will not survive winter, mark my words.

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  17. They seemed like a serious company but the abrupt departure of the Australian CEO was telling.

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  18. How costly it will be to have base in Tuzla and in Mostar. So two bases, while all staff is based in Sarajevo.

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    Replies
    1. Probably less expensive than flying to Sarajevo and paying the fees.

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  19. Rome might actually work from Mostar because of pilgrims.

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    Replies
    1. Not if you put tickets on sale for flights in November in late October.

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    2. I just don't see Catholic pilgrims travelling with an Arab airline set up by very conservative Sunni owners.

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    3. I don't think the Catholic pilgrims will do a search into the ownership structure of the airline their tour agency booked them to fly on.

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    4. Anon 9:29, I totally agree with you...also FlyBosnia is already flying charters from OMO to Naples and Catania twice weekly and plus this new scheduled service to Rome, I think that FlyBosnia should have a decent pax numbers on OMO flights.......i hope that they consider doing some codeshare with some airlines that operate to Rome and catch some transfer passengers from USA and Canada, because Herzegovina has a decent diaspora in those countries

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    5. but the tour agency will

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  20. wtf?? This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

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  21. If Wizz Air couldn't make Tuzla-Luton work, FlyBosnia as sure as hell won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous at 09:20
      Exactly!

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    2. Exactly. Don't understand what makes them think it will.

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  22. I'm not surprised their London flights are failing. The prices are really expensive and they are some hybrid airline.

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  23. Shame I had high hopes for this airline.

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  24. It seems like Bosnia can't catch a break with these national airlines. None of them work out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although they seem like amateurs, FlyBosnia isn't dead yet and they have backers with deep pockets. Let's wait and see what happens.

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    2. They might have deep pockets, but not endless pockets. The cash will run out sooner or later with this kind of "business model".

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  25. It's a pity because they have the planes and they could actually create a small but profitable network from SJJ. If they just had the knowledge it could have worked out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the A319s are just too large for the market. Yes they might be full for Hajj but that's about it. For European routes they need a plane up to 100 seats. a CRJ or ERJ.

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    2. Agree with last anon. Smaller planes are needed to make some of these European routes work.

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    3. but there is no way to operate a fleet of less than 10 planes with a profit for normal scheduled flights; you have to outsource almost everything, are obliged to keep some overhead, and pay horrible rate

      and for Hajj, unfortunatly it is in the tourist season for the next few years, so they would not have spare planes than and could not compete against the larger charted planes

      Delete
  26. SJJ could give them some sort of incentive or stimulus.

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    Replies
    1. They get them as part of SJJ's incentive program for all airlines. What Fly Bosnia wants is special treatment, which I would be for if they were flying a million passengers per year, but not like this.

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    2. Well they did bring an extra 300,000 pax Sarajevo probably would not have gotten otherwise.

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    3. Anonymous at 10:12
      What are you talking about?
      By August 28th "The Sarajevo-based FlyBosnia carried 20.000 passengers since commencing scheduled flights in May"
      Source: https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/08/flybosnia-handles-20000-passengers.html
      They were hoping "to handle 100.000 travelers in 2020" but with only 3.351 pax for the whole of September that target is dead!

      Delete
    4. I think he meant to write 30.000 :D since today's article says.

      "Since launching scheduled flights in June, FlyBosnia has handled over 30.000 passengers. The majority, 12.415, were carried in August, while 3.351 passengers flew with the airline last month".

      Delete
    5. Anon@10:12
      As they told you there were quite fewer passengers than you mentioned. And those numbers include both arrivals and departures.
      And most importantly if they haven't come with Fly Bosnia they would have come with some other airline. There are a lot of options for Middle Easterners to travel to SJJ.

      Just my2cents

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  27. They also cited bad weather and the need to do de-icing as an issue at Sarajevo and the reason they should be freed of any payments. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes that made me laugh too. And they assume that in Tuzla and Mostar there will be no need for deicing?

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    2. They will but in Tuzla and Mostar they will get for free while the proceeds from the "tax for the development of air transport" paid by passengers flying from Sarajevo will continue to be given to Tuzla and Mostar airports.

      Delete
    3. Look at their requests :D
      https://avaz.ba/media/2019/10/09/1073788/thumbs/w873.jpg

      Delete
    4. Did they thought that Sarajevo weather would be like Riyadh or Jeddah?
      That there wouldn't be any snow, fog, need for de-icing?
      Seriously now?

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  28. Is there no airline in BiH that can work out???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can. You just need competent people to be put in charge.

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    2. Austrian can

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  29. Well at least now we can conclude that Wizz Air pays for nothing at Tuzla airport.

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  30. Didn't expect they would last the year. I think they will eventually have to return the aircraft they leased and that will be all. Hope I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Is Fly Bosnia part of IATA?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a problem for them.

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    2. For that to happen they would need to maintain an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registration.

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    3. That is a bigger problem for their passengers when they will eventually close down.

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  32. Apparently a number of people from the company's management has left Fly Bosnia and it is now effectively being run by Ukrainian pilots!

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  33. Good luck Fly Bosnia. You will need it.

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  34. So much money spent and this the result. Thankfully it didn't cost tax payers anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if they leave their debt to SJJ, it will cost tax payers.

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    2. In reality they will leave with debt owning but it’s not like SJJ had some huge expense because they were there. It’s not like had to invest in new equipment to handle their planes or hire extra people

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  35. I hope they move past their problems with SJJ and stay there. It is the only possibility of making their European routes viable.

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  36. Choosing London as their first European route was a mistake considering so many unserved destinations where there is a large Bosnian diaspora and where there are no visa requirements for locals.

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    Replies
    1. They chose it because I think their original idea was to transfer people from Saudi Arabia to London via Sarajevo.

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    2. Fool proof plan considering the number of nonstop flights from Saudi to London.

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    3. A lot of people don't have a lot of knowledge about Saudi and think everyone living there is uber rich. Actually the population is huge and there is a large middle and lower class. If they had affordable prices, people would have flown via Sarajevo.

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    4. Saudis need VISAS to travel to the UK. Also the British need visas to travel to KSA.

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    5. but SJJ could not handle any transfers

      the building and the procedures are just not there to handle it; 5 passengers transferring per day works, but not 50 pax arriving with the same plane

      Delete
  37. Прво, Ер Босниа није национална компанија БиХ. То је приватна компанија из Федерације.

    Ја им дајем до марта.

    Иначе, шта спречава Ер Сербију да стационира авион у Бањалуци?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And who said it was the national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

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    2. It's called Fly Bosnia not Air Bosnia @ 12.14.

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    3. LOL Someone seems a bit bent out of shape. Why would Air Serbia base a plane in Banja Luka? It isn't like we have spare planes. You've got Ryanair doing well there, why do you want our tax payer dollars?

      Delete
  38. The only reason they had so many passengers in August was because of Hajj charters.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don’t think tuzla can handle Flybosnia. That airport cant barely fit passengers from two flights at the same
    Time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, FlyBosnia has no passengers anyaay.

      Delete

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