Low-cost carrier Ryanair will discontinue its year-round flights from Stockholm Skavsta Airport to Banja Luka, Niš and Podgorica at the start of the 2020 summer season, as well as seasonal services to Rijeka due to the closure of its base. However, its seasonal flights from Zadar remain unaffected. The airline said the base closure comes as a result of delays in the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which are currently grounded by aviation authorities across the world. “We also expect to cut summer capacity in a number of other existing bases, and we are currently in discussions with our people, our unions, and our affected airports to finalize these minor reductions”, Ryanair said in a statement. The no frills airline currently maintains two weekly flights from Skavsta to Podgorica, Niš and Banja Luka, with their last services scheduled for March 27 and March 28.
Ryanair handled some 1.2 million passengers to and from Skavsta each year and accounted for about 50% of the airport’s traffic. “We are continuing to work with Boeing, our people, our unions and our affected airports to minimize these capacity cuts and job losses”, Eddie Wilson, Ryanair’s Chief Executive Officer, said. Its decision gives Wizz Air the opportunity to pick up some of the suspended routes. The low-cost airline has a significant presence at Skavsta Airport although it doesn’t boast a base. It serves the city from Belgrade, Tuzla and Skopje, among others.
Meanwhile, Ryanair handled its 100.000th passenger on flights to and from Banja Luka in 2019 last Sunday. The traveller arrived on a flight from Berlin. The budget airline will introduce a new service from Hahn to Banja Luka next year and anticipates handling 160.000 passengers on its flights to the city. “We will continue our successful cooperation with Ryanair which enables our passengers’ connectivity with Europe and the world and brings us constant growth”, the General Manager of Banja Luka Airport, Milan Račić, said. Ryanair subsidiary Lauda will also introduce flights from Vienna to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second-largest city next year, although the route will be maintained with Ryanair equipment, ex-yu aviation news reports.