Busy times aheadMostar Airport is recording one of its best years on record. In the first half of 2012, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second busiest airport welcomed 32.402 passengers through its doors, almost the same amount it handled for the whole of 2011. The growth is being driven by numerous charters operating to the city, carrying Christian pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje site. It is important to note that the airport does not have any scheduled flights. In June alone, Mostar handled 11.922 passengers.
Several weeks ago the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina abolished the compulsory passenger tax at Mostar Airport. Local authorities believe the move will stimulate interest from low cost airlines, which will see it as an alternative to the pricy Sarajevo. In recent times, the only scheduled airlines to have shown interest in flying to and from Mostar were B&H Airlines from Sarajevo and Air Vallée from Pescara. However, late last year B&H Airlines requested an exemption from fees at Mostar Airport during its first year of operations and asked for the flights to be partially subsidised by the Mostar city authorities. The deal never went through.
In a statement to EX-YU aviation news, the Federal Civil Aviation Directorate of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that Mostar is recording outstanding figures despite having only twenty full time employees. It also noted that the airport set a daily record on June 29 by handling 2.404 passengers. Mostar Airport was opened for domestic flights in 1965 with links to Belgrade and Zagreb. International flights from the airport were launched in 1984, in time for the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. Last year, Mostar was Bosnia’s second busiest airport behind Sarajevo, handling a total of 36.807 passengers.