FlyBosnia is no longer selling tickets for its flights between London Luton and its base, Sarajevo International Airport. The route was only launched last year. What is going on?
London to Sarajevo
FlyBosnia launched flights between Sarajevo and London Luton in September 2019. This was the first scheduled European service for this Bosnian airline.
The choice of London as the first destination is unsurprising. London used to be one of the most frequently flown but unserved routes from Sarajevo.
Before FlyBosnia established the direct air link, passengers had a choice to fly from Sarajevo to London via a whole variety of airlines offering connections with a transfer time of less than two hours. In fact, most flights are timed with connections of under an hour, like Croatia Airlines (45 minutes) and Austrian (50 minutes). Even Turkish Airlines offers a mere 60-minute transfer time from Sarajevo to Heathrow to minimize the duration of travel.
The connecting airports offering transfers under two hours are Belgrade with Air Serbia, Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, Cologne and Stuttgart with Eurowings, Stockholm with Norwegian, Vienna and Munich with the Lufthansa Group airlines, and Zagreb with Croatia Airlines.
Ticket sales halted
As off Wednesday 19 February 2020, FlyBosnia is selling tickets for just 10 more flights between Sarajevo and London Luton. The last flight is for Saturday 18 April, as bookable on the FlyBosnia website.
These 10 flights are on the remaining two Saturdays and one last Tuesday in February, the second-last Tuesday and last Saturday in March, and the first three Saturdays and the first two Tuesdays in April.
Apart from the fact that all these flights take place on either a Tuesday or a Saturday, everything else about these dates seems random. Some of the flights take place during the UK school Easter holidays, but not all do. Some weeks have one, some weeks two weekly flights scheduled.
Meanwhile, tickets for flights between Sarajevo and Rome remain on sale twice weekly for the whole summer schedule, but are also randomly distributed in February and March.
For example, FlyBosnia will operate only one scheduled flight to Rome in the remainder of February, and five in all of March. These five will be on three Mondays and two Thursdays.
What is happening?
Simple Flying contacted FlyBosnia for a comment over a week ago but we have not heard from them about its apparent suspension of flights from London Luton to Sarajevo.
The unusual scheduling pattern for these flights is particularly strange since FlyBosnia does not suffer from capacity constraints. In fact, its schedule is so scarce that it recently returned one of its A319s back to the lessor.
The airline is now in possession of a single Airbus A319 aircraft, which for the remainder of February is scheduled to operate just a single rotation, from Sarajevo to Rome and back.
February is traditionally a slow month, but FlyBosnia isn’t even offering any additional capacity during the half-term holiday week in the UK on its flights to London Luton. On its flights to Rome, it is offering only a single rotation during the whole of Carnival Week when schools are closed.
Do you think FlyBosnia is indeed withdrawing from the route to London Luton completely? Let us know what you think in the comments below.