Gulf carriers plan new Sarajevo flights


Carriers from the Gulf are continuing to show interest in launching services to Sarajevo with Bahrain’s Gulf Air being the latest to schedule flights, joining Kuwait Airways, Jazeera Airways, Air Arabia, Flynas and Flydubai. Sarajevo Airport has confirmed that Gulf Air will commence a two weekly charter operation from Manama to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital starting next Saturday. It is in line with earlier talks held between the country and the carrier. In addition, Saudi Arabian Airlines has shown interest in commencing flights to Sarajevo, as well as Flynas in launching services from Dammam, in addition to its existing Riyadh and Jeddah operation. However, a recent decision not to lift visa requirements for Saudi nationals entering Bosnia and Herzegovina has deterred Saudi airlines from announcing new flights. On the other hand, residents from other Gulf countries can enter the Balkan state visa free.

Another Gulf carrier from a country that is presently not linked to Bosnia is also considering operations to Sarajevo this summer. The city is being heavily promoted in the Gulf as a destination for middle class families looking at cheaper alternatives to Western Europe, fuelling point to point travel from the region during the summer months for those wanting to escape the heat. As a result, demand is highly seasonal. This summer there is additional interest due to entry bans and quarantine requirements imposed by the majority of European countries for Gulf residents and nationals.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has the greatest demand for flights from the Gulf out of any other state in the former Yugoslavia, almost all of which is being generated by tourists during the summer. Sarajevo Airport’s busiest unserved route in the Middle East is Kuwait City, followed by Muscat and Tel Aviv. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines have been the big winners, jointly handling 64% of the Sarajevo - Middle East indirect traffic flow. They are followed by Flydubai with a 20% share. Meanwhile, FlyBosnia which had plans to maintain flights from Sarajevo to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain this summer, has so far only scheduled services to Riyadh, which are due to commence tomorrow.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    wow well done Sarajevo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:38

      Why so much demand from the middle east?

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    2. Anonymous15:50

      Maybe read the article...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    What a bad decision by Qatar Airways to end flights to Sarajevo.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:51

      I'm sure they calculated it. The yields probably weren't there to begin with.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:06

    Sarajevo performing better than pre-covid :D

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  4. Anonymous09:07

    Makes sense since most people from Gulf can't enter majority of Europe with exception to a couple of countries allowing all vaccinated travelers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    Pity about the visas. If Saudi was to launch flights we would have three national airlines from the Gulf flying to Sarajevo!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:27

    This is nice and I would like to see even more flights to Sarajevo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:27

    What could be the airline that is thinking about starting flights to SJJ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:14

      Of those countries that dont need visas, only Qatar and Oman lack flights to SJJ

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:27

    Good news for Sarajevo.

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  9. Anonymous09:28

    I am really hoping Qatar Airways comes back.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      Me too. But they were not performing that great before the pandemic either. Hopefully the reopening of former markets to them like Saudi Arabia and UAE pushes them to stay in Sarajevo. Let's see.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:28

    This is a great source to get more passengers and profit on this wave of tourists coming from the ME region.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:28

    Wow. 2021 could be a very good year for Sarajevo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Ironic isn't it

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:28

    It's interesting. I think the market will be oversaturated with so many seats available from the Middle East to SJJ.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      During the summer all flights are packed but in the winter that's not the case. That's why all the flights are seasonal.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:29

    What about flights from Iran? Any plans for these to start?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:31

      I don't think Iranians are even allowed to leave Iran at this moment because of the pandemic. Plus they need visas.

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    2. If I remember correctly, there were plans and even tickets were selling but EU requested that the airplanes from Iran should not enter BiH? It was Teheran-Banja Luka flight

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    3. Anonymous01:04

      Mahan Air flights to BEG are still listed for this summer on Flightradar

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    4. Anonymous01:08

      ^it's not happening

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  14. FlyBosnia really missed their opportunity in the last couple of years, pre-Covid of course.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      Exactly.

      What is FlyBosnia doing now?? They have a plane they got recently sitting in Sarajevo.

      Delete
    2. My bet, that there is no certainity who is who within office, not speaking about of outside strategy

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    3. Anonymous01:00

      Flybosnia should try to do charters from Belgrade and Zagreb.
      They have good contacts to tour operators in the Middle East and are thus able to create demand even from the other side.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:30

    Tel Aviv is third on the list and yet no flights. Hopefully some Israeli airline considers it.

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  16. Anonymous09:46

    Only ex-Yu city that has flights to three destinations in the UAE :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous09:46

    Good for the struggling tourism industry.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous09:46

    Fly dubai has most operations to Sarajevo out of all ex-Yu cities. Would not be surprised if we see Emirates here before other cities in the region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:31

      Would not be surprised if we eventually see Emirates in Sarajevo.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:46

    Great news for Sarajevo airport.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous09:47

    It's great that Sarajevo is attracting serious players from Gulf. Before these flights used to be operated by some no name airlines. Now we have the likes of Kuwait Airways, Gulf Air. Hope Saudia follows.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:50

      Middle East Airlines from Beirut also used to fly seasonally to Sarajevo. Anyone know what happened with that?

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    2. Anonymous10:18

      Those flights were for Christian pilgrims going to Medjugorje. Eventually the tour operator chose Croatia Airlines to fly Mostar-Beirut during the summer so MEA flights ended.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:57

      What equipment did MEA use to Sarajevo?

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    4. Anonymous23:59

      A320

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:46

      Thanks. Would be nice if they came back and started scheduled flights.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous09:48

    wow TK and Pegasus are killing it. Handling over 60% of mid east market. Crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous09:48

    Stunning livery on that Gulf Air bird.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous09:49

    Why are all these airline so inactive in other ex-Yu markets? I'm sure there could be demand generated if they tried other cities too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not working like that. They start with some line because of statistic of passengers who travel between these cities.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:50

    "with Bahrain’s Gulf Air being the latest to schedule flights, joining Kuwait Airways, Jazeera Airways, Air Arabia, Flynas and Flydubai."

    now that's an exotic line up at a European airport :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:56

      And??

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    2. Anonymous09:57

      And what? I just said it is exotic.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:31

      I would love to see Air France, British Airways, KLM, Transavia, easyjet, Ryan or at least one of those. People here in Bosna would have much more use of them.

      Delete
    4. Even the flight Lufthansa has from Frankfurt isn't scheduled so you can make any transatlantic connections back and forth. And as you said, AF, BA, KLM are definitely missing

      Delete
    5. Why people in BiH would have much more use of them?

      I am working in Tourism and it doesn't metter for me from where is guest.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous10:19

    This is great. Now there are finally flights to Europe thanks to Wizz Air and there are the Middle East airlines for Gulf tourists. Win win.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:30

    Good for Sarajevo. I think the tourist board should work on promoting Sarajevo as a year round destination to Gulf travelers. Because in winter demand drops significantly while in summer it explodes.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20

      Unfortunately Bosnia is one of the few countries in the world (and probably the only in Europe) without a central tourism board or authority.

      Delete
    2. 10:30 - Exactly. Government should star with promotion of country to in all those countries.

      Remember one year they didn't had money for Oslo Tourism Fair and owner of one agency did it from private sources with help of his friend from Norway.

      People in B&H should vote for politicians who see opportunities in Tourism.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:30

    Would be interesting to see what the premium travel demand on these flights.

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  28. Anonymous11:31

    Today Air Arabia sent A321LR to Sarajevo! Demand is exceeding expectations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Do we already have some numbers?

      Delete
  29. Anonymous12:16

    Svaka čast Sarajevo, a mislim da sada ljudi iz BiH trebaju da što više promovišu državu na Bliskom istoku, samo jak marketing i niske cijene aviokarata su pun pogodak. BRAVO SARAJEVO I SRETNO

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous19:27

    Bosnia doesnt want to lift visas for Saudi nationals?
    Thats a good cause for the Serbian government to do so.
    If Indians can travel visa free to Serbia, Saudis should can too.
    This would boost Belgrade airport immensely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:31

      The HDZ party blocked lifting visas for Saudis earlier this month.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:07

      HDZ are idiots but still Saudis will become visa free at some time.
      Neighbouring Croatia has to look at Brussels and EU for lifting visas but Serbia is free to do so.

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

      Delete
    4. Unfortunately B&H and Serbia are not free to do that because they are candidates for EU. When some B&H politicians talked about lifting visas from Saudies, EU representatives in B&H judge that move and stop it.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous23:58

    Well that's good news for tourism, and the airport off course :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous23:59

    The demand is there.

    ReplyDelete

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