FlyBosnia plans 100% growth per year


FlyBosnia anticipates recording annual passenger growth of 100% for the next three years but warns the lack of support from the government and other stakeholders is hindering its development. The carrier’s CEO, Tarik Bilalbegović, said recently, “We will have annual growth of 100% for the next three years. I see us handling up to half a million passengers per year within the next three years. We feel very good. Progress is there and the trajectory is very steady. We already have endless charter requests for the high season. However, we need a partner airline because with three aircraft we can’t serve every segment”. FlyBosnia, which is currently operating a single Airbus A319 in its fleet, plans to add another two aircraft of the same type in April.

The hybrid carrier notes it has no government support and little understanding from the authorities. “Bosnia is still a developing country. Despite its beauty, the government’s attitude is stuck in the 1990s. We are actually doing everything on our own and that is really difficult. Unfortunately, we have problems that other airlines don’t have to focus on”, Mr Bilalbegović said. He added, “As an airline, we need the support of the government and that is something we are really struggling with. For example, after we carried 40.000 passengers to Sarajevo within three months, the head of Sarajevo Airport said to us, ‘That’s great but because of you I had to hire four more customs officers’. So, there is a disconnect to what we bring and what the airport should do to support us. Every other airport we go to, such as Luton, Fiumicino etc. are very welcoming to us. So that mindset must change”. Furthermore, he said, “The biggest challenge I have is management and people. We are operating in a market where there were two former state-owned airlines and they collapsed. Therefore, I make an effort not to hire anyone from state-owned airlines”.

Commenting on upcoming new routes, FlyBosnia’s CEO noted the carrier will soon introduce flights between Tuzla and London following the introduction of services between Mostar and Rome last month. “We have a fundamental problem or challenge when introducing a whole new destination. I don’t have a database that I can look into and compare load factors from other airlines. We are starting from scratch. As a result, our growth is enormous, but the challenges are huge as well”, Mr Bilalbegović said. “We tried to examine certain routes and destinations and we looked at what other airlines are doing that are flying to Bosnia, such as Wizz Air and Ryanair. We cannot compete with them. Obviously, it is a matter of economies of scale. For us, 90% of our travellers are foreigners and tourists. We recently signed a charter contract for up to thirty flights to Bahrain. Same thing with Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon… Next summer we will bring passengers from Paris and London to Sarajevo and then connect them to our GCC [Gulf] destinations. It’s a niche market that we think can work. We are not going to do anything exotic, because we can’t afford it. We will try to keep it simple”, he noted. FlyBosnia previously said it plans to launch services from Sarajevo to Paris and Barcelona next summer.




Comments

  1. And what percentage of the fees, taxes and salaries do they plan to pay?

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    1. +1000
      That is the key question!

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    2. Why so harsh on them? I mean employees, airport, govt and others could have some understanding and not expect everything at once :) :) :) LOL

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    3. But will they still fly London\ sarajevo

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    4. I think it will be like with Rome. Once per week nonstop from Sarajevo and once per week via Tuzla.

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  2. Why should the government help out a privately owned airline? I don't get it.

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    1. Well my guess is their logic is they bring the most passengers to Bosnia.

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    2. I highly doubt they do. It is probably Wizz Air that brings the most.

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    3. But to Sarajevo probably the most.

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    4. If the government was truly interested in increasing travel to and from Bosnia they would lower the SJJ fees and lift all bilateral restrictions on air traffic.
      That would increase pax numbers greatly, far more than subsidizing another failed national carrier.

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    5. You mean that 10 passengers per flight?

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  3. "Next summer we will bring passengers from Paris and London to Sarajevo and then connect them to our GCC [Gulf] destinations."

    Don't think this model will work for an unknown start up. Sorry.

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    1. Not only that but SJJ isn't made to be a transfer hub of any sort. Fares are already low on that market and FlyBosnia doesn't have the product to be competitive. I mean imagine someone from Paris transfering in SJJ and then seeing the state of toilets there. They would never come back. Next time they will fly on Pegasus for the same money.

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    2. Looking for my flight back home from Amman, I found Saudia flight to Munich (from MUC OU to RJK) via Riyadh for 290 euros. And AMM is ridiculously expensive, except for few weekly FR flights. So transferring via SJJ to/from Middle East, with Flybosnia, for big money and flying on 150 seats 319, when you have direct Saudia, AF, BA and all others wide-body services and nonstop flights for less money is guaranteed failure.

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  4. It means they will have 20 passengers on flight from London?

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    1. No they are actually improving. On the 24th they had 138 passengers on their London route

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    2. You mean, they will involve more Christmas per year? :)

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  5. "I don’t have a database that I can look into and compare load factors from other airlines. We are starting from scratch."

    They don't have a database but they are aware Wizz Air suspended Tuzla - London and now they plan to start Tuzla - London. The logic...

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    1. The 60%-70% load factor Wizz Air had on this flight is something they can only dream of. My guess is that is what they are targeting.

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    2. I wonder how their Mostar-Rome flights are performing.

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    3. TZL has had a very weak November and December, my guess is that they are desperate for more carriers to launch flights.

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    4. 09:55. O cemu ti pricas? Tuzla je u novembru imala 15,31 % vise putnika nego u novembru 2018.

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    5. 15,31 % vise putnika

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    6. Када ти је почетка тачка ниска онда су и проценти високи те тих 15% и није толико импресивно. Тузла је прошлог новембра имала свега 30.000 путника што није уопште пуно посебно јер Визер ништа, ама ништа не плаћа аеродрому. Визер можда јесте пун али у овом тренутку нема планова да базира још један авион те аеродром не може рачунати на додатни приход. Отуда и идеја да Флајбосна уведе летове за Лондон. Вероватно веле ако су увели летове из Мостара зашто онда не би и из Тузле.

      Да би се овај модел у Тузли исплатио потребна је маса путника која ће бити барем негде око милион путника или 4 Визер А320.

      Јесте Тузла је расла јако лепо али тај раст је стао на пола пута. Питање је шта им је сада чинити и како ће одржати тај раст сада када немају додатних летова.

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    7. In November Wizz Air from TZL had around 100 passengers per flight. That is why they have cut many routes until now.

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    8. Tuzla ima u zimskim mjesecima vise putnika nego neki veci aerodromi u regionu.

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    9. Као који на пример?

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    10. Dubrovnik, Split?

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    11. Nov 2018 - TZL - 30763, SPU - 54856
      Dec 2018 - TZL - 39471, SPU - 44072
      Jan 2019 - TZL - 36341, SPU - 36360
      Feb 2019 - TZL - 30658, SPU - 34825
      Mar 2019 - TZL - 35679, SPU - 50037

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    12. A novembar i decembar 2019.?

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    13. Nov 2019 - TZL 35484, SPU 45871
      Dec 2019 - TZL 40918, SPU 41357

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    14. Impossible. Looking at travelers in the summer, I thought that the people of Split had developed habits to travel. It seems like Split doesn't want to wake up from a deep Balkan-Eastern European nigthmare.

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  6. Haha I do get his comment about Sarajevo Airport. Unfortunately this region is full of people with such a mindset.

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    1. And then people wonder why SJJ isn't open 24 hours and why they don't care that certain airlines have stopped flying because they can't land at night.

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  7. Interesting interview. The guy comes off as stand offish to be honest.

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    1. Yes. I especially dislike this comment:

      I make an effort not to hire anyone from state-owned airlines

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    2. Not gonna say I agree with him, but I lost it in a state owned company. After years working in the privet sector I have never thought it possible to work so little and not get fired.
      I had to quit in the end, it was that or join others for a drink(since all they do is that).

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  8. Well, makes sense. I mean they have like 15 passengers from Luton so next year that number should rise to 30, then to 60... Masha'allah

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  9. They REALLY need to get rid of those youth Olympic stickers from the plane. It has been a year since they were held.

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    1. Yes! is it that difficult?

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    2. and the funny thing is they were not flying during the time when the youth olympics took place. lol

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  10. Apparently their Riyadh flights during the New Year have been performing really well.

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    1. Well it makes sense since it's the holidays although their GCC routes do well because they are sold as part of tour packages. Their European routes on the other hand...

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  11. Are they still flying to FCO via OMO? #mentallystuckin1972

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    1. Yes one of the two weekly flights from Sarajevo goes via Mostar.

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  12. Maybe they will launch TGD flights as announced by the minister. I mean it makes sense as they can offer connections onto their rapidly growing international market.

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    1. Good luck with filling an A319 between Sarajevo and Podgorica.

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    2. No problem, they will fill seats with transfers to Gassim.

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  13. Don't worry Rodney, this time next year, we'll be millionaires!

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  14. I can only imagine how profitable their entire business is.

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    1. So profitable that SJJ almost kicked them out.

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  15. They have serious regional ambitions it seems. Their ASK is not bad at all for a start.
    They should consider joining an alliance too.

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    1. It seems that LF for their London flights is improving. I think Jahorina and to lesser amount Bjelasnica could help with their LF in Winter. I do not blame him for his stand towards former Air Bosna/BH Airlines employees. I hope that they will find a common ground with SJJ and bring more ME tourists. They come usually for a week and spend massive amount of money. The whole country benefits from ME tourists money splurge. This is what Bosnia really needs. I do not want just a day excursions from Dubrovnik or two-day EA tourists on their Balkans trip. Don't take me wrong; they are all welcome and will receive same level of hospitably and attention. Bosnia needs more tourists.

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  16. They just need to learn how to survive winter and make money in summer. The idea with Medjugorje is brilliant. They should try to work out a deal with SJJ managements since their future isn't in Mostar or Tuzla. I think Tuzla London flights will not work.

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  17. TZL - VIE makes more sense;

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    1. That route failed for Wizz Air.

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  18. It's good to see that they are serious and plan to expand.

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  19. They better should be more serious. Initial disaster was created by the permit delays and idle plane parked in SJJ for months. Some things are starting to change with their new CEO. If a route failed for Wizz Air, they should not try to replicate. It will not work. Be more inventive. Find your own niche. SJJ and charter from OMO may work for you. TZL will not due to low Wizz Air prices.

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  20. The number of times he said "I" in an interview is enough to me to figure out his leadership style and where it is going.

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    1. This guy is disaster waiting to happen.... he has no idea what safety is. Not paying salaries, major technical issues everyday, bashing crew with 70/50% paycheck cut... I'm happy not to work for them anymore :)

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