Financial auditor blames Turkish Airlines for B&H lossesBosnia and Herzegovina’s financial auditor has concluded that the country’s national carrier, B&H Airlines, was better off before Turkish Airlines purchased 49% of shares in late 2008, noting that the airline should either declare bankruptcy or urgently receive a cash injection. Since Turkish took over B&H, losses have increased 10 times and the result of the sale has been an utter failure, the auditor included in its report. In 2008, before Turkish took control over the company, the airline had a loss of just over 1 million Euros. In 2009 that figure increased to 6.2 million and by the end of last year B&H had accumulated debt of up to 22.9 million Euros, a significant figure for such a small company. The auditor continued its scathing attack on Turkish Airlines’ (mis)management of the airline stating that in the past 2 years B&H operated aircraft that were not suitable for the airline and constantly launched new routes which led to an increase in losses. Furthermore, due to low passenger numbers, the airline suspended 5 routes in the past 2 years.
On the other hand, former B&H Airlines CEO Nudžeim Rečica says that the airline would have gone further downhill hadn’t Turkish purchased B&H’s shares. He underlines that the entire aviation industry had suffered over the past 2 years due to the effects of the global financial downturn. He also admits that there have been some problems in the implementation of Turkish Airlines’ strategy at the Bosnian national carrier. Bosnia’s Ministry for Communication and Transportation believes that things at B&H will pick up after Turkish names its own people to head the carrier.
Turkish Airlines is expected to name B&H’s new CEO soon, possibly by the end of the week. The airline currently operates services with 3 aircraft, 1 Airbus A319 and 2 ATR72s although one of the latter is expected to be phased out soon. According to the purchasing agreement, Turkish Airlines is required to provide another jet engine aircraft for B&H to use. There is some good news for the national carrier as it is reporting an increase in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year.