Tuzla Int. Airport, photo my Mirza Ibrahimovic
June 1st 2016. is the date when first airplane loaded with food of animal origin made by Bosnian farmers should take off from Tuzla International Airport heading to Turkey, officially establishing international cargo traffic from the airport. With the start of cargo flights, Tuzla airport and whole region sees great opportunity for economic development.
Minister of Trade, Tourism and Transport of Tuzla County Mirsad Gluhic stated in an interview to Klix.ba that the establishment of cargo traffic will be of great importance for the economy of this region and for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Republic of Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina have both signed an agreement on duty-free export of fresh meat and products made from fresh meat as of two years ago. Last year meat was exported from airports in both Sarajevo and Banjaluka. However, fraud involving Bosnian companies abusing duty-free export of meat to Turkey by importing meat from other European countries (Poland and Romania) and labeling it as a product of Bosnian origin, have seriously shaken the stability of this agreement. The export of meat was suspended at the beginning of the year. During official visit of members of Bosnian presidency to Turkey and meeting with the Turkish president, export of meat is unblocked under very strict rules. Bosnian officials agreed to investigate and prosecute the companies and individuals responsible for fraud. The prosecutor's office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) are investigating companies involved in this fraud.
During this year alone, 6,000 tons of fresh beef and 1,000 tons of beef products will be exported to Turkey. Last year a total of 47 million Euros worth of meat was exported, compared to 2,8 million Euros in the year 2014. Five companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina got approval to export fresh meat and meat products by air to Turkey.
Sarajevo Int. Airport, Turkish Airlines Airbus 330F
"We were given a second opportunity to export meat to Turkey, and this time we cannot afford to do something wrong. The agreement is a form of support of Republic of Turkey to Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is clearly stated that we can export only products made in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Authorities on the highest level, including the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina have to be involved to monitor the work of all subjects involved in export “said Minister Gluhic.
Tuzla Int. Airport, photo by Kontrolaletenja.net
Tuzla International Airport is providing separate cargo platform through which it will carry out cargo operations. Freight air traffic is separated from the passenger. Tuzla County Government headed by Prime Minister Bego Gutic has invested great efforts in Tuzla Airport to obtain all permits to transport perishable goods. At the moment we have a great increase in passenger traffic, and with cargo operations in place in the coming period we have to start a process of expanding and modernization of the airport, which will surely be a great support to the Tuzla county economy, concludes Gluhic.
Exports of meat from Bosnia and Herzegovinay to Turkey in 2015 were done through airports Sarajevo and Banjaluka. At the beginning of this year airports in Tuzla and Mostar received necessary permits for exports of meat to Turkey as well. All airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina are competing for air cargo flights to Turkey since all flight are operated with wide body aircraft from Turkish Airlines (Airbus 330F) and MNG Airlines (Airbus 310F), representing great income to the airports. Each aircraft can carry up to 45 tons of cargo. Last year air cargo traffic to Turkey was the only source of income for Banjaluka airport. During this year most of the cargo flights to Turkey will be carried out from airports in Sarajevo and Tuzla. In 2016. Turkish Airlines is scheduled to operate 74 round trip cargo flights from Tuzla to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Flights will operate 2 to 3 times per week (depending on demand) with Airbus 330-200 freighter aircraft, capable to carry up to 64 metric tons of cargo.