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, Ex-Yu Aviation news reports.