Sarajevo could soon see low cost flights from London, Rome and Dusseldorf as the Bosnian government relaxes its conditions towards no frills airlines. The government currently requires low cost airlines to pay a levy of ten euros per passenger in order to operate flights to the country. Until recently, the levy amounted to fifteen euros but the state government gave up on its share of the takings while the Federation government is expected to follow suit. According to the Al Jazeera Balkans network, interest has been shown for flights to commence from London, Rome, Dusseldorf and a city in Sweden to Sarajevo this summer. Recently, the low cost Austrian airline Niki, owned by Air Berlin, said it was evaluating the Bosnian market.
New airlines would be more than welcomed by airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In February, the country’s busiest airport, Sarajevo, suffered a 21% passenger decrease by handling only 26.278 passengers. During the month the airport was affected by bad weather but also B&H Airlines’ route suspensions. However, the full brunt of the carrier’s woes is to be felt at the airport in March. Currently, B&H operates a single daily flight to Istanbul with an ATR72. During February, Banja Luka Airport welcomed 424 passengers and Mostar 318. Tuzla did not manage to attract any passengers last month.
Sarajevo Airport is served by two low cost airlines – Germanwings and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Norwegian operates flights on a seasonal basis and will be resuming services from Oslo and Stockholm to the Bosnian capital this summer. On top of its all year round service from Cologne, Germanwings will resume seasonal flights from Stuttgart to Sarajevo this summer as well.