New Middle East link for SarajevoRegular charter flights between Kuwait City and Sarajevo were launched during the week, making the Bosnian capital the only in the former Yugoslavia to have a direct air link to the Gulf city state. Flights will operate once per week although some months see additional services. The route will run until the end of summer. Flights are being operated by US registered Gryphon Airlines with a leased Boeing 767-200 jet from Jet Asia Airways. Tickets are available for purchase through the airline’s website.
Sarajevo Airport was once no stranger to flights to the Middle East. In the late 1980s JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated direct services from Sarajevo to Baghdad, Amman and Damascus. Belgrade was the last capital in the former Yugoslavia to have a direct air link to Kuwait, as Jat Airways operated the flights in 2004 and 2005, as a technical stop to Dubai with full commercial rights on the Kuwait - Dubai - Kuwait sector. Today, Kuwait City is not the only air link Sarajevo has to the Middle East. The Lebanese national carrier, Middle East Airlines, continues to maintain a one weekly charter service to the Bosnian capital from Beirut with its Airbus A321. The flights mostly cater for Christian pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje sight.
The new arrival should help boost passenger numbers at Sarajevo Airport. While numbers this year have contracted mostly due to B&H Airlines scaling down its operations, the decline has been softened by the numerous charter services operating to the city this summer, which include flights to Tunis, Antalya and Izmir.