FlyBosnia plans on resuming commercial flights from July and will focus on bringing tourists from the Gulf to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The carrier, which discontinued scheduled operations on February 29 due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, will operate a fleet of two Airbus A319 aircraft this summer and maintain operations from Sarajevo to Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Bahrain, while it is also working on launching services to Dubai, Ex-Yu Aviation news portal reports.
“We will carry out 200 flights this summer. We must bring tourists back to Bosnia and Herzegovina”, FlyBosnia’s CEO, Tarik Bilalbegović, told the “N1” network. He added, “The year will be tough, but all is not lost. We are trying hard to bring tourists back”.
Some carriers from the Gulf have altered their planned Sarajevo operations for the 2020 summer season due to the ongoing pandemic.
Kuwait Airways has cancelled the launch of its new service to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, while Qatar Airways has pushed pack its resumption of flights from Doha until October 25.
“Some airlines will not resume services to Sarajevo before October. That is why it is important to show appreciation for companies from Bosnia and Hercegovina. When everyone else leaves, we stay. Lufthansa has 700 aircraft out of which sixty are currently flying. That is 9%. They will fly between Frankfurt and Berlin, then they will restart Vienna, then Budapest. By the time Sarajevo is relaunched it will take months”, Mr Bilalbegović said.
FlyBosnia’s CEO again criticised the state for not recognising the company’s potential. “Bosnia and Herzegovina subsidises other airlines, while we have no support. That’s Bosnia and Herzegovina for you. We are used to it. We sent numerous letters but there is no understanding”. Mr Bilalbegović sees potential in far-away markets such as China and the United States but noted the carrier does not have the necessary aircraft to link these markets with Sarajevo. “We are working on it”, Mr Bilalbegović said.
FlyBosnia has operated several repatriation services over the past two months and ran numerous cargo-only flights to China with its A319 jet to bring medical supplies to Bosnia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Yesterday, it operated its latest service from Beijing to Podgorica to bring supplies.