The national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina B&H Airlines was grounded last week for a 4.7 million US dollar debt owed to Austria’s Hypo Alpe Adria Bank.
The airline began flying again on Wednesday 13th March after the bank unblocked the carrier’s accounts. This came after the Bosnia and and Herzegovina Federation’s Ministry for Transport and Communications provided government funds of $550,000 and promised to sell two ATR 72 aircraft.
Most passengers were rerouted onto Croatia Airlines and Jat Airways during the grounding.
In June last year, Turkish Airlines pulled out of a joint venture with B&H Airlines when it handed its 49-percent stake back to the Bosnian government. The government is looking for new partners but in an extraordinary admission the Federation’s transport minister Mr. Bijedić declared “Once their delegations paid a visit to B&H Airlines, they never came back”
The tiny carrier flies to Turkey, Switzerland and Denmark. It had hoped to buy a jet for the European summer. If it is selling its two main aircraft, it will need it.
I think it’s time to give up on B&H airlines!