BUSINESS

Airports in Bosnia on the Verge of Collapse, Mostar Four Months without Passengers

 

The number of passengers has dropped by more than 70 percent this year and the decline in the number of passengers has had a huge impact on the operation of airports in our state.

Civil Aviation Directorate (BHDCA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina reported that airports in BiH saw a 71 per cent drop in passenger traffic from January to the end of August this year. Slightly less than 400,000 passengers passed through BH airports in the first eight months of 2020, compared to more than 1.3 million in the first eight months of 2019, Dnevni Avaz writes.

Sarajevo Airport recorded 78 percent fewer passengers between January and September 2020 compared to the same period last year. The decline is exacerbated by the fact that last year was the best recorded for Sarajevo, mostly thanks to the launch of the airline “FlyBosnia”, which had its base at this airport. The airport in Sarajevo started the year with a growth of almost 10 percent in January, and identical growth was predicted throughout 2020. However, due to airport closures and a sharp drop in demand due to fears of coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed on BiH, growth quickly became negative. Sarajevo Airport had just under 400 passengers in May, a surprisingly small number for an airport serving the country’s capital in Europe.

The coming winter will also bring decrease, because most airlines that had flights to Sarajevo have decided to reduce their capacity or will operate flights only during December, due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, Sarajevo Airport can count on Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Flydubai and Austrian Airlines to maintain their flights throughout the winter.

However, the most affected was the Airport in Mostar, and the drop in the number of passengers was a “record” 96 percent. This airport is on track to record less than 1,000 passengers throughout 2020. That’s a big drop compared to last year’s 33,000 passengers.

In fact, Mostar Airport did not have a single passenger from April to July, while there were only 76 passengers in August.

According to the latest information, this airport does not have any regular passenger transport for the whole winter.

Tuzla Airport recorded drop by 59 percent. Tuzla Airport had 190,000 passengers from January to August. For comparison, in the whole of 2019, slightly less than 600,000 were recorded. The airport in Banja Luka also did better, and in the first eight months of this year, 37,500 passengers were recorded, which is a decrease of 62 percent compared to 2019.

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