FlyBosnia - Sarajevo Airport agree debt repayment deal


Sarajevo Airport and FlyBosnia have reached an agreement over the repayment of the latter’s debt amounting to over half a million euros, however, issues between the two sides remain. The General Manager of Sarajevo Airport, Armin Kajmaković, said, “If they so much as miss a single payment during the week, we will automatically begin procedures for the termination of their contract”. On the other hand, FlyBosnia noted that Sarajevo Airport’s fees remain high, “In Mostar or Tuzla, the airport taxes total five euros, while in Sarajevo they amount to thirty euros. Therefore, Sarajevo Airport does not help stimulate us in the development of our network, which is why we are looking at expanding our operations from Tuzla and Mostar airports”, the CEO of FlyBosnia, Tarik Bilalbegović, said.

FlyBosnia has faced a number of issues over the past few months. In addition to accumulating debt towards Sarajevo Airport, the airline has returned one of its two Airbus A319 aircraft to lessor AerCap and laid off almost half of its workforce. “We are a start-up company. As such, it is normal to experience some issues in the beginning”, Mr Bilalbegović noted. There have also been difficulties with employee relations. The airline said its problems are being blown out of proportion by the press. Furthermore, it added that the downsizing of its fleet and sacking of some employees is standard procedure in the aviation industry during the quieter winter months.

FlyBosnia will take delivery of two leased A319 jets in April 2020, which will enable it to introduce new services. “We will launch Paris on March 1 and shortly after we will introduce Milan and Barcelona and probably Moscow by July 2020”, the airline’s CEO said. The company will run a series of charters in the coming period from Mostar to Italy and Ireland. Since launching scheduled flights in June, FlyBosnia has handled over 40.000 passengers. It currently maintains scheduled services from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital to London Luton, Rome and Riyadh. The start-up airline was set up by Saudi Arabia's Al Shiddi Group and is 100% privately owned.




Comments

  1. Good to hear they will repay the debt. I hope they manage to meet the deadlines.

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  2. With those sort of taxes it is no wonder we don't have easy, Ryan or Wizz (other than one subsidised route) flying to Sarajevo.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. While I don't support Flybosnia making debt towards the airport some things at the airport need to change. Why is the tax so high in the first place?

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    2. Because it is a state imposed tax "for the development of air transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina". Basically Sarajevo Airport is burdened with a tax from which the proceeds go to fund Mostar and Tuzla airports which keep low taxes and have no profit. Crazy system in my opinion.

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    3. Why don't they keep the airport open 24 hours? That way they could get more money from airlines and offer some incentives to others. I mean look at this video from a few days ago where people are literally lining up in front of a locked airport.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dZ0PtgXO0k

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    4. But it is more expensive for the airport because you have to pay people to work over night.

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    5. I think they are slowly extending the work hours because some flights next summer will departing/landing quite late.

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    6. @anon 9:20: look at the flight table: the airport is empty most of the day,

      even druing its "busy time" (12:00 to 15:30) it could easily handle twice as much as it does currently

      if they can not attract enough passengers during the day, why they come at night?

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  3. They still leave very open ended whether they will keep routes from Sarajevo or in the future fly from only Tuzla and Mostar.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think they are sure either.

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    2. Ending flights from Sarajevo would be the end of them. So hopefully they won't do it.

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  4. Paris could work but only if it is launched from Sarajevo. Milan could do ok but I'm not so sure about Barcelona.

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    1. Barcelona has been a surprise success from Podgorica, Belgrade and Skopje from which it was launched recently so who knows. They must have some rationale for launching this route.

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    2. I'm surprised Wizz Air hasn't introduced Tuzla-Baeuvais. Paris will definitely work. As for Milan and Barcelona, I'm not so optimistic.

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    3. I think FlyBosnia is counting on transferring passengers from the Gulf to these destinations via Sarajevo.

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    4. Good luck with that.

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  5. Like someone said recently, it's not going to cost taxpayers, which is the main thing.

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    Replies
    1. this would be right, if they paid back 100% of their debt, but their compromise was not structured like that....

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  6. If they survive the winter I think they could offer a good network. Hope they have learned some lessons.

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    Replies
    1. Only if they stay in Sarajevo.

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    2. they will never have a network, best case is a few p2p connections in a few years
      sarajevo airport (even the under construction expansion) does not allow for any meaningful amount of transfers

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  7. so what is the deal then?? pretty vague

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    Replies
    1. Well that they have to make debt repayments in installments. They just got some time.

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    2. SJJ most probably wrote off some part of the debt too.

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  8. The main thing FlyBosnia needs to focus on is actually having more than 20 passengers on their flights.

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    Replies
    1. With almost non existent marketing, I can bet you the majority of people in Bosnia haven't even heard of this airline, let alone further afield.

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    2. 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 did the same with Rome.

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    3. Exactly. As an unknown brand you can't put tickets on sale 2-3 weeks before the flights start.

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    4. I wonder how Riyadh is performing in these winter months.

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    5. I'm not surprised their London flights are failing.

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    6. Imagine the loss of flying planes to London with such poor loads.

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  9. I really wonder what their financial performance is like.

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    Replies
    1. If they have to make debt repayment agreements you can guess.

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    2. They also had to return one A319. And this wasn't planned so it means they couldn't pay for it anymore.

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    3. I can only imagine how much money they burned in the last 4 months.

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    4. Well they really didn't need a second plane for three routes.

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  10. I still think Bosnia has potential for a national carrier but whose prime motive is to serve citizens of Bosnia. Fleet of 2 aircraft with 80 seats would do the job to several main European airports.

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  11. I hope their finances improve and that the new routes turn out to be successful,

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    Replies
    1. Me too. At least they are employing locals and improving Sarajevo Airport's numbers.

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    2. Yes but if so few people are flying with them and it costs the airport then what's the point.

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  12. Doesn't Sarajevo Airport have some incentive program for new routes and airlines?

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    1. Yes it does
      https://www.sarajevo-airport.ba/Dokumenti/Dokument/1f21b1af-ee85-425d-ab31-ea3ac605ab4b

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    2. Thanks. The airport is indeed expensive.

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    3. But I don't get it. FlyBosnia CEO says tax is 30 euros butin the price list it says 18.

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    4. Because that's just the passenger tax. There are others too. And even that passenger tax is bigger than the ones in ZAG and BEG.

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  13. Which airlines in SJJ will be hurt on the future SJJ-BCN Air Bosnia route? Not sure if JU will like it.

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    1. JU has no connections to/from Sarajevo on BCN route and neither does Croatia Airlines so I don't see how they could be hurt. I don't think anyone would be hurt.

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    2. Are you sure¿

      ОТПРАВЛЕНИЕ
      вт, февр. 4-го 2020
      ИЗМЕНИТЬ РЕЙС
      15:10
      SJJ
      19:40
      BCN
      4 hrs 30 mins
      1 Stop
      (BEG)
      (дополнительные услуги могут отличаться в зависимости от рейса)
      Air Serbia
      JU 113
      ATR ATR 72
      Выполняется Air Serbia
      Air Serbia
      JU 584
      Airbus A319
      Выполняется Air Serbia
      RUB 7,084
      Economy Light

      ПОДРОБНЕЕ

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    3. I really don't think FlyBosnia is in a position to hurt anyone.

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    4. Their prices are relatively expensive so I think the competition will offer better fares.

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  14. If they already have over 500,000+ debt to SJJ I would be very careful to work with them and very skeptical about that debt being repaid.

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  15. I remember when B&H Airlines was not paying its obligations to SJJ and then SJJ started charging people the passenger tax at the airport. So you had to check in and then go to another desk to pay the tax.

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  16. It would have been best for Sarajevo Airport had the Federal government given Wizz Air a million euros and for them to start flights to a number of cities.

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  17. If they just had the knowledge it could work.

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  18. Good news that they resolved their differences.

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  19. Ako smatrate da ste start up komanija Vasim dolaskom, onda je to mozda istina. Fly Bosnia postoji vec skoro godinu i po i ne moze se reci da je start up. Pogotovo pored nekretnina i ostalih projekata kojima se grupacija Shiddi bavi. Imali ste godinu i po vremena da se dogovorite sa aerodromima u vezi visine troskova a vi ste to ocigledno zanamarili i radili sve ad-hoc i bez know-how. Jos hocu da pitam, da li je jedini problem otvaranja letova prema Parizu bila nagodba za odgovodjeno placanje prema aerodromu ili postoje neke analize za opravdanost uvodjenja te linije ? Da vam je Bog na pomoci da docekate iduce ljeto a onda ce se sve vratiti na svoje sa arapskim destinacijama.

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