Recently, Bosnian carrier FlyBosnia, has been experiencing issues: In particularly, not being able to find a suitable local business model to serve it’s home market. Earlier today, it was reported by leading business portal, Biznis Info, that FlyBosnia had returned one of it’s new A319 aircraft, and laid off half it’s workforce. Is this looming despair for the carrier?
In July 2019, FlyBosnia acquired it’s second Airbus A319 aircraft, registered E7-FBB, with the airline basing the aircraft out of Sarajevo alongside it’s current example. Throughout the summer months, FlyBosnia utilsied the A319 on existing routes, upping capacity for inbound passengers to the Middle East, including Gassim, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Manama; Coupled with this was the intention to purchase several more examples, further upping capacity. However, since the end of seasonal routes in October 2019, the airline has been unable to find demand for the extended capacity of the second jet on it’s three winter routes – A route reduction of almost 75% – and thus returned the aircraft to Phoenix Goodyear Airport in the United States.
In addition to the returned aircraft, the carrier reportedly dismissed 40/100 employees, including Senior Management Staff, leading to 8 out of 15 pilots (Around 50%) voluntarily quitting the airline amidst redundancy fears. It is also reported that employees for the carrier are yet to be paid for work completed from September onwards, with employer contributions also due from April onwards – Signs of severe economic troubles for the airline. Following these violations of contract, many crew members have since turned to the Bosnian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA), with FlyBosnia issuing the following statement in backlash:
Going to [the civil aviation authority] and reporting the company is completely unacceptable. You are all adults, you have your freedom of choice, thought and expression, but with this behaviour you are responsible and should not be anywhere near our aircraft spreading negativity amongst the crew
On top of the growing financial troubles, relations with the carrier’s home airport, Sarajevo, have deteriorated due to growing debts of $500,000 US dollars. FlyBosnia has began publicly threatening the airport with withdrawal, saying they will “relocate to another airport in Bosnia and Hezegovina”. On top of this debt, money from FlyBosnia is also owed to local suppliers of fuel and catering.
With five previous national carriers in Bosnia and Hezegovina in the last 30-years, is FlyBosnia going to become the sixth? Let us know in the comments below.