Mostar airport management is in talks with two low-cost companies, and the outcome will be known by the end of January, Marko Duzel, head of the airport’s traffic sector, told Federal Television.
It depends on these negotiations whether there will be an increase in traffic at the Mostar airport, which has a poor performance compared to other airports in the country.
Earlier in the media it was stated that Mostar airport was in talks with Irish Ryanair, eKapija news portal reports.
The government of the Herzegovina – Neretva Canton in Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed its willingness to provide financial assistance for the launch of Ryanair flights from Mostar. Europe’s largest carrier is soon expected to ink a deal with Mostar Airport in order to commence operations from the city during the 2020 summer season. Similarly, the Herzegovina – Neretva Canton approved a five-year subsidy agreement with Eurowings in 2018. The low cost airline is being granted just over a quarter of a million euros on a yearly basis until 2023 (inclusive) for its seasonal services from Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. The Canton is also providing financial assistance for the upkeep of Croatia Airlines’ two weekly year-round service between Zagreb and Mostar. The agreement is valued at half a million euros per year.
Ryanair and Mostar Airport have discussed potential flights on several occasions since 2012. Previously, it was proposed for the low cost airline to introduce services from Charleroi, Frankfurt and Oslo to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fifth largest city. However, there is also strong potential for the carrier to cater for religious tourism on routes from Italy and Poland. Next year, Mostar is expected to become Ryanair’s second destination in the country after Banja Luka. The airport is currently in the process of finalising the extension of its terminal building which began in April. Work on the structure, which is linked to the existing terminal, is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. The project, valued at almost half a million euros, was funded by the Federal government.
Mostar Airport handled 8.489 passengers during the first half of the year, representing a decrease of 6.4% on 2018. Commenting on the decline in traffic, the Ambassador of the United States to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eric Nelson, said in a recent blog post, “Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tourism sector is already growing 13% per year, yet Mostar’s Airport is practically idle. Herzegovina’s beauty takes several days to appreciate, yet most visitors come for just one day, to the benefit of bus operators from Croatia, and not to the hotels and guesthouses of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If Mostar Airport were freed from party control and operated under a concession agreement like most airports in the region, it could easily attract many more flights and tourists”, Ex-Yu Aviation News reports.