In a statement to Simple Flying, the CEO of FlyBosnia Tarik Bilalbegović revealed the network expansion plans of this airline based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These will include the establishment of several new European destinations out of its base in Sarajevo. However, FlyBosnia will also be shifting its capacity to serve other airports in the country like Mostar. Let’s take a look.
Where is FlyBosnia now?
Simple Flying featured FlyBosnia last year as an airline startup of the week. A month after it started operations, we predicted that this Bosnian airline would find success in religious tourism. And this has already come true.
Since its launch, FlyBosnia has operated scheduled flights to a variety of Middle Eastern destinations, first starting with Kuwait. Its entire summer 2019 schedule consisted only of Middle Eastern destinations, from where it shuttled Arabs looking to escape those hot summer months.
The market between Sarajevo and the Middle East proved highly lucrative for FlyBosnia straight away. This is because Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of only a few majority-Muslim countries in Europe, which at the same time offers a highly competitive tourism product.
Within a month of starting operations, FlyBosnia was flying to Riyadh, Kuwait, Gassim and Jeddah. However, these routes proved to be highly seasonal, and by October the airline stopped operating all of them. This prompted FlyBosnia to return half of its fleet back to its lessor.
To make use of its sole Airbus A319 FlyBosnia began launching flights to European destinations. First, it started with London Luton, then it launched Rome Fiumicino. And according to the airline’s CEO, FlyBosnia will focus its future growth on Europe. So what destinations is it planning to launch?
Network plans – scheduled services
The first new destination is expected to be Paris. It was the first to be advertised on FlyBosnia’s Facebook page.
The other planned destinations are Barcelona, Moscow, Zurich and Milan. In order to launch these, FlyBosnia will be acquiring a second Airbus A319 aircraft – again.
It will be interesting to see which airports FlyBosnia chooses in Milan and in Moscow. On the one hand, FlyBosnia wants to achieve the status of a national airline of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But on the other hand, the carrier prides itself on its low fare offering for the passengers heading to and from Sarajevo. This was what prompted FlyBosnia to opt for Luton Airport out of all the London Airports.
Planned charter services
At the same time, FlyBosnia will be operating charter flights for Italian and Irish travel agencies.
For this purpose, it has already begun operating its flights between Sarajevo and Rome via the Bosnian city of Mostar. Mostar Airport is where Catholic pilgrims fly to visit the pilgrimage site of Međugorje.
At the same time, Flying Bosnian reports that various travel agencies have already booked 142 round trips from Sarajevo to Antalya (Turkey), Hurgada (Egypt) and Monastir (Tunisia) for summer 2020. It is looking to be a busy year for FlyBosnia.
Do you think FlyBosnia will be able to sustain its network growth and become a strong regional airline soon? Let us know what you think in the comments below.