New Route of the Day (2 October 2023): Aegean Airlines between Skopje and Sarajevo
Aegean Airlines commenced fifth-freedom flights between the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, and Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 340-kilometre service will be maintained 3-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the ATR72 turboprop aircraft, operated by the Greek carrier’s regional subsidiary Olympic Air. The airline faces no competition on the route.
Flight A3986 departs Skopje at 19:00 local time, arriving in Sarajevo at 20:10 local time. The return service, operating as flight A3987, takes off from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital at 20:50 local time, touching back down in Skopje at 21:50 local time.
What they said
Roland Jaggi, Chief Commercial Officer at Aegean Airlines, said: “We are pleased to celebrate with our first passengers and selected travel agents the inauguration of our new route from Skopje to Sarajevo. With this new flight, that we soon hope to become one of our passengers’ favourites, we wish to increase connectivity and expand our presence in the Balkan area. With our high-quality services, we want to promote interstate mobility, tourism and strengthen trade relationships, not only between the two countries but also with Greece. The launch of this new route is also the result of the cooperation between Aegean and Skopje International Airport and I would like to thank our colleagues for the great partnership we are having. We will continue developing our network and offer new connectivity opportunities in the region.”
Nejat Kurt, the General Manager of Skopje Airport’s operator TAV Macedonia, added: “We are pleased that Aegean is increasing its presence on our market, with the launch of another new destination from Skopje besides Athens. We believe this new route will serve the needs of travellers and enable them to reach Sarajevo from Skopje quickly and comfortably in just a bit over an hour, rather than use ground transportation that takes long hours and is exhausting.”
Flights restored after 13 years
Aegean Airlines’ new service between Sarajevo and Skopje marks the resumption of flights between the two cities after 13 years, when the now-defunct national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, B&H Airlines, last maintained the route. Both North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were once part of the former Yugoslavia and share close relations and cultural ties. However, neither of the two has had a functioning national carrier for over a decade, which was a limiting factor in the establishment of flights between the two cities.
Despite their close distance, it takes over 10 hours by car between the two cities due to terrain and poor road infrastructure. In addition, the journey involves several border crossings.
Aegean Airlines expands Skopje service and returns to Sarajevo
The introduction of the new Skopje - Sarajevo flights has resulted in Aegean Airlines doubling its operations to the Macedonian capital. The 3-weekly rotations on the new route originates from Athens. In addition, the carrier also maintains a 3-weekly terminator service between the Greek capital and Skopje for a total of 6-weekly flights. All are maintained with the ATR72.
Aegean Airlines previously operated 2-weekly nonstop seasonal summer flights between Athens and Sarajevo. The service was launched in 2019 but was not restored in S20. The decision to discontinue the route was made prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.