FlyBosnia CEO: We will have three aeroplanes by end of 2019

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Source: N1

Initial destinations served by the newly established Sarajevo-based airline FlyBosnia will include London and Frankfurt, with plans to later add Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Riyadh, and Jeddah after it acquires more aircraft, company's CEO, Chris Gabriel, told N1 on Tuesday.

The airline, established by the Al Shiddi Group from Saudi Arabia which is one of the biggest investors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, had its first technical flight from Bulgaria’s capital Sofia to Sarajevo last month.

“Part of the process of getting the air operator’s certificate was doing a series of test flights, which we have now completed,” Gabriel said, adding that the company has acquired its air operator’s certificate (AOC).

“We are putting the final touches on our schedule, and we are in the process of securing slots at various destination airports,” he said. “Once they confirm our slots, we will then announce our schedule to the public,” Gabriel added.

“London and Frankfurt are the initial destinations, and as we get more aircraft capacity, we’ll include Rome, Paris, Barcelona,” he said, adding that there will eventually also be flights to cities in the Middle East including Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, as well as Kuwait and Beirut.

The company operates a single Airbus A319 at the moment, named Sarajevo, which was bought from the Bulgarian company Balkan Holiday Air and which has been fully refurbished and which passed all the required safety checks.

Gabriel said FlyBosnia is expecting to acquire its second aircraft in mid-2019 and a third one by the end of the year.

“Within a five-year period we aim to have a fleet of eight aircraft, with direct flights to destinations according to demand,” he said. Gabriel explained that many factors must be taken into account when designing route schedules.

“You’ve got to look at affordability from the customer’s perspective, you’ve got to look at what’s happening with the competition in the marketplace, and you’ve also got to look at what we need as an organisation to be sustainable… but also you have to take into account the fact that we are providing direct flights to Sarajevo, which is much more convenient,” he said, adding that ticket prices should be “very, very, affordable to people in Bosnia.”

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