After the total disaster of the BiH flag carrier AirBosnia, which flew its last commercial service in the summer of 2015 and a bit later it had its Air operator’s certificate revoked, the Al Shiddi Group decided to try get back part of the company and it recently registered a new one, the Sarajevo based FlyBosnia. Right after the company’s registration, the search for cabine staff began and at the moment unwanted applications are being weed out.
The Directorate of Civil Aviation of BiH (BHDCA) confirmed that the company submitted the request to receive the Air operator’s Certificate. The next step would be to actually start operating, which is planned for early next year. The Al Shiddi Group, a Saudi Arabian investment and development company, is also the owner of the business centre in the Sarajevo downtown, called Sarajevo City Center, and have the hotel and shopping mall in the BiH capital. According to the business’s authorities, FlyBosnia is “a new, young and dynamic airline based in Sarajevo, which will strive to ensure that customers enjoy safe flights with high standards of customer service”.
The financial reason for the establishment of the new company is very clear; a large number of Gulf citizens visited BiH last and in 2017 too, and based on estimations, the number will rise even more in the coming years. They need reliable, safe and comfortable flights from their countries to BiH, as the latter is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists from the Middle East.
The Al Shiddi Group, in partnership with Egyptian Nesma Airlines, had earlier planned to operate in this part of the market and had launched five weekly flights between Riyadh and Sarajevo. The flights were maintained for a three-month period between June and September, but did not develop smoothly as there were a lot of problems with the BiH border authorities, that would not allow a certain number of Saudi citizens to enter the country without holding proper visas. The Al Shiddi Group expressed its anger with this situation and threatened to scale-back its investments in BiH. Because of this problem, there were a few planned flights that were canceled.
“We want to note that FlyBosnia is a company that is aiming to connect Sarajevo and BiH with the rest of the world. We can confirm that FlyBosnia is hiring new cabin crew members and that the public announcement has been released. You will have the opportunity to find out more information soon on the web page, which is currently under construction,” general manager of company, Haris Coloman, told to media.
Many previous attempts to set up a successful commercial airline company in BiH failed, mostly because of lack of funds. AirBosnia tried to maintain the flights for several years but the problems were so big that it went bankrupt. Their last airplane was sold and transported to Germany by truck.
The Republic of Srpska also tried to establish an airliner company, but it was a short-term project, called AirSrpska, that ended being shut down. Bosnian Wand Airlines (BWA), founded by the Iraqi Al Wand Group in 2015, planned ambitious flights from Sarajevo to Stockholm, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Malmo and Athens, but their project managed to stay afloat only for a month. On one hand, these, and a few similar attempts came to an end soon after companies’ registrations but, on the other hand, big international companies are developing their business from BiH airports, especially so from Sarajevo and Tuzla. Low cost companies WizzAir and Pegasus Airlines, and big companies such as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and others, do successful business from BiH thus gaining the biggest piece of the pie in this part of the Balkans.
Sad but true, there is no local company to join in the success…/IBNA