Sarajevo in talks with a “successful European airline” for
two based aircraft. It is very keen, so whoever it is – perhaps Wizz Air or
Ryanair, or a strong regional operator – would probably get an excellent deal.
Sarajevo’s keenness is from the end of scheduled flights
with FlyBosnia, although it was reported in December that the carrier is to
lease three A320s – replacing its sole A319.
Given the on-going issues between the carrier and airport, its
resurgence will be separate to the tender.Pre-coronavirus, Tuzla had over 660,000 seats, around half of Sarajevo’s capacity and more than the capital’s LCC seat volume. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.
Sarajevo’s desire for based aircraft is from the fast growth
of Wizz Air at Tuzla, located some 119 kilometers away, and to a much lower degree
Ryanair at Banja Luka (241 kilometers).
Sarajevo is very underserved, with over half of its traffic
flying indirectly in 2019, booking data shows.
Up to 21 routes likely for Sarajevo
These are Sarajevo’s top unserved or very unserved markets in 2019 based on booking data obtained via OAG Traffic Analyser. Note that any specific airport, like CDG or Gatwick, is just a proxy for the whole city.
Assuming two aircraft and a ULCC, which would make the most
sense, it could have 14 to 21 routes, each at three- or twice-weekly.
The markets illustrated below are Sarajevo’s largest
unserved and those very underserved. They are based on Sarajevo’s traffic only
and exclude leakage to Tuzla and Banja Luka and bus traffic.
The markets had a median P2P demand of 8,000 before
stimulation in 2019. Frankfurt is top with 21,000 and London second with
19,000, booking data indicates.
Most are about Bosnian VFR, especially Germany, Switzerland,
The Turkish opportunities are very unlikely as the winning
carrier won’t have a Bosnian AOC, but they have strong P2P demand before
stimulation. For example, 17,000 for Ankara and 13,000 for Izmir.
From Sarajevo, most routes would be within the LCC sweet
spot of one to two hours, meaning more sectors per aircraft per day and
therefore more passengers and more negotiating ability.