Adria farewells Banja LukaAdria Airways has suspended flights to Banja Luka after the entity government pulled its subsidies, despite initial plans to operate the route throughout the winter season. Originally, the Slovenian carrier listed Banja Luka as one of its suspend destinations as a result of its cost cutting push. However, only a few days later the airline reversed its decision and returned Banja Luka to its schedule with new timing. The Government of the Entity of Republika Srpska made a decision earlier in the week to suspend its subsidies for the unprofitable route. Out of a total of 969 flights operated, there were only 4.800 passengers onboard, or an average of five people per flight.
Banja Luka Airport, which is drowning in debt and nearly lost its status as an international airport earlier this year, will soon handle more flights. On top of the existing four weekly flights to Zurich operated by B&H Airlines, from December 1, the Bosnian carrier will launch flights from Banja Luka to Copenhagen twice per week which should contribute to improved passenger figures. In October, Banja Luka Airport handled 830 passengers, an increase of 92.1% compared to the same month last year. By the end of October, the airport saw 7.245 passengers, thus making it the third busiest airport in the country after Sarajevo (with 526.863 passengers) and Mostar (with 34.243 passengers) and ahead of Tuzla (with 4.124 passengers).
The Banja Luka based Sky Srpska, which was expected to be launched this year, is still without an aircraft. Although plans were made to purchase two Embraer jets in 2011, these plans have now been moved for next year.