FlyBosnia Set To Retire Its Only Aircraft

FlyBosnia has responded to the current crisis in the aviation industry with some fairly drastic measures. The flag carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina is reported to have fired 20 employees, and it is in the process of retiring its sole aircraft. The Airbus A319, carrying the registration E7-FBA, has been parked at Sarajevo International Airport for more than two months now. Meanwhile, FlyBosnia has been operating charter flights with a leased Airbus A320 from GetJet Airlines.

FlyBosnia Set To Retire Its Only Aircraft
FlyBosnia has now become a virtual airline. Photo: FlyBosnia

FlyBosnia’s A319 will go

FlyBosnia, the flag carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the youngest European airline startups, is said to be retiring its only aircraft. The news, reported by Klix, comes as no surprise. FlyBosnia’s Airbus A319 aircraft, registered as E7-FBA, has been parked in Sarajevo International Airport for two months.

FlyBosnia’s sole A319 aircraft has had virtually no scheduled services for the entire year. Its last flight was for the airline’s flagship route between London Luton and Sarajevo in February this year. Since then, the A319 aircraft has been carrying out cargo flights to China for various medical purposes in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the height of the COVID-19 health crisis. Simple Flying published an article with a series of photos from these cargo flights in May.

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FlyBosnia Sarajevo International Airport Airbus A319
FlyBosnia has been operating cargo flights to China during the height of the health crisis. Photo: FlyBosnia

Employees are also being fired

It is also reported that FlyBosnia’s management expects the current difficult situation in the aviation industry to last until next spring. As a result, and as a cost-cutting measure, FlyBosnia also reportedly fired 20 employees. This reasonably large cut in the airline’s headcount comes as no surprise since FlyBosnia will no longer have a fleet of its own. This effectively makes it a virtual airline, potentially for a long time.

Presumably, given that FlyBosnia expects the market conditions to improve next year, it will also be acquiring its own aircraft next spring. But, in the meantime, the airline will be operating charter flights this winter with wet-leased aircraft. It has been contracted to do so by a tourist agency based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, called Fibula.

FlyBosnia's A319 fleet is set to grow.
FlyBosnia’s entire fleet, albeit a single aircraft only, will be retired. Photo: FlyBosnia

An Airbus A320 has already been operating flights for FlyBosnia under a wet lease agreement with GetJet Airlines, based in Lithuania. As can be seen from various flight tracking services, FlyBosnia is running charter flights from Sarajevo to Antalya, in Turkey, with this aircraft already, several times weekly.

The A319 will be scrapped

At almost 20 years of age, and at a time when there is surplus capacity in the aviation industry, FlyBosnia’s Airbus A319 aircraft is unsurprisingly going to be scraped. It was first delivered to Finnair in 2002, after which it was with Donavia and Rossiya before being taken by FlyBosnia. At all times, the aircraft was on lease to these airlines from various lessors.

Do you think FlyBosnia has a future as a virtual airline? Let us know what you think about this story in the comments below.

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