FlyBosnia has temporarily reduced its operations on flights from Sarajevo to Rome and London Luton, Ex-Yu Aviation news portal reports.
The carrier has suspended services to the Italian capital until February 27, after which they are expected to resume twice per week.
On the other hand, operations to London will run once per week, instead of two, until the week starting February 24 when they will operate twice, after which they will again be reduced to one weekly until the start of the 2020 summer season in late March.
The one weekly service between Mostar and Rome is currently suspended and will resume on March 2.
In January, it was revealed that FlyBosnia plans to operate regular charter flights to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia during the 2020 summer season.
Starting May 25, the airline will run services from Sarajevo to Antalya, Hurghada and Monastir on behalf of local tour operators. The flights will be maintained until mid-October.
The airline’s CEO, Tarik Bilalbegović recently said the carrier has “endless charter requests for the high season”. The airline is also expected to introduce charter flights to Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon in 2020.
FlyBosnia, which is currently operating a single Airbus A319 in its fleet, plans to add another two aircraft of the same type in April, eKapija reports.
FlyBosnia has unveiled the establishment of a new destination from Mostar to Rome at the Global Aviation Summit CAP in Malta.
Particular emphasis on the establishment of this line is given to Herzegovina’s place Medjugorje, in addition to Sarajevo, one of the most visited tourist centers in BiH, visited annually by two million Catholics from around the world.
“Due to a much better development strategy and conditions at Mostar and Tuzla Airports, FlyBosnia continues to establish direct lines from there. Tickets will be priced at 55 Euros,” the statement said.
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.