FlyBosnia to restart operations with three jets


FlyBosnia will restore flights with the lease of three aircraft. The company’s owner, the Al Shiddi Group, confirmed the carrier had signed contracts for three Airbus A320 jets with the capacity to seat 180 passengers. The first of the aircraft is expected to arrive as early as this month, while the remaining two are due in April of next year. They have been contracted from lessor GE Telesis. One of the three jets, registered N419UA, is 26 years old and had previously operated for United Airlines. The airline has been without an aircraft since retiring its sole A319 this summer and laying off most of its flight staff. During the peak summer months, it wet-leased both equipment and crew from Lithuania in order to operate leisure flights from Sarajevo to Turkey. 

FlyBosnia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with its main markets closing down early on. The airline, which specialised in carrying tourists from Saudi Arabia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, was forced to suspend all operations to the Kingdom, which is not expected to allow scheduled international flights to resume until at least January 1, 2021. Similarly, Italy is still enforcing a ban on flights from Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the first wave of the virus in Europe, the airline operated a number of charters from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia to China, transporting medical supplies and equipment. 

However, FlyBosnia was struggling even before the pandemic, with light loads on its European flights and issues with Sarajevo Airport. This culminated last week when Sarajevo Airport announced it would no longer handle FlyBosnia’s aircraft and terminated its contract with the company due to unpaid debt. The airport noted the airline was given sixty days from mid-September to settle its dues, but the airline made no payments despite negotiating a repayment plan. “Since FlyBosnia did not settle its debts within the sixty-day timeframe and did not accept our proposed repayment plan, the handling contract between Sarajevo Airport and FlyBosnia has been terminated since November 17, 2020”, the airport said. It added it would pursue legal action for the unpaid debt. 

FlyBosnia has been set up by Saudi Arabia's Al Shiddi Group, which was founded in 1975 with interests in various fields, including construction, real estate, agriculture and tourism. The Saudi conglomerate has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2006.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    How were they able to finalize contracts for planes but they can't pay off debt to SJJ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Here we go again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:12

      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
    2. Anonymous14:11

      No taxpayer money? Fly Bosnia owes SJJ a lot of money. If they don't pay it to SJJ, taxpayers will one way or another.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:16

      Could you please tell how taxpayers will cover that debt one way or other. Even more, please explain what taxpayers are having with SJJ at all?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:05

      @14:16: SJJ is owned by the central BiH government and some of their operational and capital expenses are covered by taxes as well as the fees the airport itself charges. Any money for services they were not paid for will have to come from somewhere, I'll give you one guess from where.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:47

      Really.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:12

      They will need it.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    I wonder will they stick to mostly the Saudi market or will they launch more European routes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      They will probably do much more charters.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:05

    I think these aircraft are too large. One A320 would be enough for Mid-East flights but European destinations would better be served by and Embraer or CRJ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      I agree. A well managed airline with a few Embraers could operate a nice network in Europe, especially to diaspora hotsposts like Sweden, Netherlands, Germany...

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:05

    Where do you get your news from?
    Sarajevo Airport has terminated the contract with Fly Bosnia due to unpaid debts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      You might want to read the article before posting these questions.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      Or at least the second sentence.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:24

      Well they won't be allowed into Sarajevo Airport!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:25

      They could easily repay the debt if they get money from their owner, which they are obviously getting now.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:32

      Weren't they considering moving to Tuzla/Mostar anyway?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous17:38

      How is the largest crisis in the last century "the best time of aviation"?

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    If this airline failed during the best time of aviation it has zero chance in 2021. Zero.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:05

    Did they apply for the Sarajevo incentives tender?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      It would make sense they did. They fulfill the criteria.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:11

    Sarajevo Airport is a huge issue. They really don't care in meeting any airline's suggestions. They don't want to give a good deal to any airline not realizing that in the long term they will benefit from it. But that's what happens when politicians with absolutely zero knowledge of the aviation industry run your airport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      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.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      It seems we will never know the outcome of that tender.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:21

      Plenty of airports aren't open 24/7. Try getting a 3am slot into LHR or FRA for example.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      Well the issue is SJJ isn't LHR or FRA. It needs all the traffic it can get.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:16

      Are they on a standby over night in case of some emergency landings (but with no flights scheduled for the night time) or is the airport just closed during the night?

      If the latter, then pls note costs of keeping an airport open over night will not be met by a couple of landings that could take place. It would be an economical nonsense.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:17

    Apparently their Riyadh flights had been performing very well prior to the pandemic.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:18

    Any good news is welcome in these times.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:19

    More money to launder huh?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:20

    I can only imagine how profitable their entire business is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      So profitable that SJJ almost kicked them out.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:57

      Almost? They are officially kicked out of SJJ. Did you read the article? Their planes will not be handled anymore at SJJ. Couldn't be clearer.
      Now, they will have to fly from TZL or OMO.... best of luck...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:01

      They can always renegotiate with SJJ. Like that's a problem.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:09

      OMO and TZL will let them fly for free there.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:21

    Good to see they are still in business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Since they are, it would be good if they paid compensation to passengers that were supposed to fly with them. I know a few cases who haven't received any money.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:21

    So it seems Saudi investor is willing to keep investing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Eventually Saudi owners will realize what an expensive toy

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:23

    Let's see if it works out this time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:24

    They should stick to charters. Something like Trade Air. It could actually work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      Won't work for them because they are registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They would be limited to very few markets. Trade Air is EU airline so it can fly anywhere.

      Delete
    2. Not entirely correct @An.09.25. Trade Air started and successfully operated long long before Croatia joined EU. It is easier to operate your own charters than scheduled services if non- EU operator, plus if you operate ACMI, on behalf of other operator, and that's most often the case, it's even easier, providing not blacklisted. Trade Air operated in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, UK, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Norway, UAE, and much more, before Croatia was in EU

      Delete
    3. Anonymous15:20

      But Croatia was at that time member of the european common aviation area, that afforded all those freedoms that Trade Air used. And Bosnia is not.

      Another thing is that being a profitable charter company is as difficult as being a profitable legacy. It is not a magical solution.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:45

      Anon 15:20 What are you on about, the ECAA was signed in 2006 and both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have had signed the agreement as non-EU counterparts.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:28

    lets see what happens next..

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous09:29

    I'm guessing they are hopeful Saudi Arabia will reopen its borders soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:32

    What is the amount they owe to SJJ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:09

      The last sum mentioned was over 500,000 EUR

      Delete
    2. Oh wow, that's a lot of money.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:43

    oh have they won the tender already ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      Is this a guess or did they really.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10:15

    Watch out Wizz :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:15

    Crazy

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:16

    A few weeks ago they started sales for Saudi starting 1st of January but now that's gone. Probably Saudi Arabia will move reopening date.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:19

      Maybe they should fly to St. Petersburg.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:20

      Why there?

      Delete
  25. Alex10:17

    The Walking dead 2nd season

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:34

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:38

      FlyBosnia isn't dead yet and they have backers with deep pockets. Let's wait and see what happens.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:45

      Hope dies last.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:52

      They burned way too much money. There is a limit to everything.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:34

    I had high hopes for this airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:37

      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.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:38

    I think the A320s 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

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous10:41

    Whatever airport they go to in the end, the airport should ask for money up front.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous10:52

    SJJ should give them some sort of incentive or stimulus. They certainly helped Sarajevo Airport's passenger numbers grow last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:58

      They owe SJJ money. Why would they give them any incentives?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:59

      Well they certainly gave them an incentive since Fly Bosnia has not been paying for anything even though it should have and it was tolerated for a year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:00

      SJJ will be just fine without them.

      Delete
    4. I think SJJ needs profit, not numbers.. They owe a lot to SJJ.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:16

      Im pretty sure they gained profit for SJJ even with the outstanding amount of debt!

      Delete
  30. Anonymous11:00

    Which routes could work for them?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous11:00

    Is there any airline in BiH that can actually work out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:49

      Based on the record so far, no.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous11:01

    I think they will eventually have to return the aircraft they leased and that will be all. Hope I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous11:18

    Not a signle ex-Yu start up has been successful. I can't remember a single one.

    - Dalmatian
    - Air Croatia
    - BWA
    - Centavia
    - Air Maxi
    - Sea Air
    - Libertas Air
    - AWEX
    - VLM Airlines
    - Limitless Airlines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:21

      Omg Sea Air from Osijek hahaha. Completely forgot about them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:22

      Most of them were actually launched.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:08

      Shame :(

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:09

      Don't forget

      - Air Dubrovnik
      - Bosnian Wand
      - Air Srpska
      - Master Airways

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:13

      Air Dubrovnik and Air Srpska were serious airlines. Air Dubrovnik was destroyed by special interests in Croatia and Air Srpska disappeared when sanctions were lifted off Yugoslavia and JAT needed its planes back.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:14

      MAT Macedonian Airlines too.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:48

      MAT, Air Srpska and Dubrovnik Airlines (not Air Dubrovnik) were not start ups when they ended operations. They lasted for years.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:21

    I would really like to see an airline from ex-Yu operating more beautiful Boeing jets. Getting sick of the buses

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous13:08

    They are going all in, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous13:09

    An airline that has aircraft secured but does not have an airport secured. Great.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous13:11

    Sarajevo deserves a normal airline which can link it to main points in Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:12

      Someone needs to shake things up at Sarajevo. End the star alliance dominance, bring affordable prices, and flights to key destinations in the west.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous13:12

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous14:13

    The risk of making it up to break even is too high. Even if you have unlimited funds, it does make no sense. With one or two a/c's your overhead costs are to high. This makes sense only if someone finances it for political reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous14:17

    Have no sympathy for them. For the way they treat their employees or non paymenet of fees.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous15:11

    They seem to do well with charters .

    Would be nice if they would do charters to Belgrade too .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:30

      From where? SJJ?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:28

      Belgrade - Saudi Arabia ...

      Delete
  42. Anonymous18:30

    It's good to see that they plan to expand.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous20:27

    Does this airline offer a full service on board or is it BoB like JU?
    The BIH comment section is so positive, a pleasure reading!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anonymous22:36

    It's ridiculous how many avgeeks who hasn't ever worked for airline are always negative on this site.
    6W did not receive any incentive from State from their beginning (not needed to mention how much OU,JU and YM received last 2 years). They carried more than 40% of total pax growth in s19 at SJJ, and owe around 200k e which is peanuts for this industry and also peanuts for what is already paid to SJJ from them I guess. SJJ airport is state owned and do not want to understand or accept any delays in payment.

    Good luck FlyBosnia it is wonderful to see that small startup company from Bosnia with such limitations as non EU Carrier and non EU market survived biggest crisis in aviation industry.

    Hope they will have successful s21 and bring back all Middle East tourists to Bosnia as well as keep all charters ongoing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:10

      Extremely well said!! With all those millions and millions poured annually in those 3 carriers is tremendous, they seem like a well with no ending.
      Wishing 6W all the success with its independency and network expansion.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:24

      +1

      Delete

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