How A Bosnian Airport With No Airlines Plans To Attract Customers

Mostar Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have any scheduled flights at the moment, but it is hoping to attract some customers this year a subsidy program supported by the local government. Let’s take a look at the details.

Eurowings is the only airline with tickets on sale to serve Mostar Airport in the future. Photo: Getty Images

Mostar Airport has no scheduled services or cargo

There is an airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina without a single scheduled flight service operating at the moment: Mostar Airport (OMO). The airport also has no cargo traffic at all. Meanwhile, aviation is booming in Bosnia’s other airports.

Mostar had less than 2,000 passengers in all of 2021, owing to a handful of charter flights operated by Croatia Airlines for pilgrims from Ireland heading to Međugorje. The charters ran to Mostar from Dublin (DUB), Shannon (SNN), and Cork (ORK).

The airport’s last scheduled service was in 2020, when Croatia Airlines operated flights to Mostar from Zagreb (ZAG). These were discontinued on 12th March 2020 with the outbreak of the pandemic.

The airline is hoping to turn its fortunes around this summer with the planned arrival of Lufthansa’s low-cost airline, Eurowings, which has scheduled the resumption of its Dusseldorf (DUS) to Mostar route for 30th June.

However, these flights were also scheduled to resume last summer, in 2021, but Eurowings ended up canceling them in the end. It is not unlikely that the same fate awaits this route again.

Croatia Airlines Dash 8 Zagreb Franjo Tudman Airport
Croatia Airlines was the last airline to have scheduled services to Mostar Airport. Photo: Croatia Airlines

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Mostar hopes to turn its fortunes around

The airport, supported by the local government, is hoping to attract more than just Eurowings’ Dusseldorf-Mostar service this summer. Tuzla Airport, also in Bosnia, subsidizes Wizz Air in this way.

The Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Herzegovina-Neretva canton passed its 2022 budget on 23rd December, Klix reports. In it, the canton has set aside almost eight million Bosnian Convertible Marks for Mostar Airport. This amounts to 4.1 million euros.

Speaking to Nova Sloboda, the Mayor of Mostar, Mario Kordić, said that the money will be used as follows (translated):

“The business model of developing an airport is clear everywhere in the world, and it requires financial aid for companies in terms of subsidising flights (…) What worries us at the moment is the global covid developments. (…) I am hoping that by April we will have a stable covid situation, signed contracts with airlines, and that Mostar Airport will start functioning.”

How A Bosnian Airport With No Airlines Plans To Attract Customers
FlyBosnia also has plans to launch flights from Mostar, but these do not seem realistic. Photo: FlyBosnia

Separately, it was reported by Klix that the Mayor held “serious talks” with Wizz Air, Eurowings, and Air Dolomiti of Lufthansa at the World Routes Milan 2021 show last year.

It is reported that the Mayor has provisionally secured the launch of new routes by these three airlines, but only if the funds are made available. Now that the canton has passed the budget to fund Mostar Airport, some route launches may indeed take place.

However, the fact remains that Mostar Airport has had barely any passengers for two calendar years despite previously, in times of Yugoslavia, being a strong regional airport with direct links as well as connections via Zagreb and Belgrade to Europe, North America, and even Australia.

What do you think of Mostar Airport’s plan? Do you think the airline will see any airlines operate scheduled passenger flights there this summer? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.