Sarajevo welcomes Ryanair; anticipates record year for passengers; Turkish Airlines top carrier

Ryanair at Sarajevo route development

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in the Balkans with a relatively small population in a small geographic area. It is one of four airports with airline service, joining Banja Luka, Tuzla and Mostar.

Sarajevo has a new terminal, enabling throughput to rise to two million passengers a year. Helping to fill it is Ryanair, which has started its first flights to the airport using non-based aircraft and crew. As the first three months of 2024 had more passengers than in any prior year, Sarajevo anticipates a record year.

Sarajevo passengers 2007-2023

Ryanair is already the fourth-largest airline; Turkish Airlines is first

Sarajevo is Ryanair’s second airport in the country after Banja Luka, which joined its network in 2018. Tuzla was served in 2022/2023.

The ULCC’s first Sarajevo service was on 2 April 2024 from Gothenburg (2-weekly) and London STN (3-weekly). They were joined by three more routes on 4 April: Brussels CRL, Memmingen and Milan BGY (each 2-weekly). Thessaloniki will begin on 3 July (2-weekly). Three of the six routes were previously served by Wizz Air in 2021/2022.

Since FlyBosnia ceased flying in 2020, the country does not have its own airline. Consequently, Ryanair immediately became the fourth-largest operator and has about 8% of scheduled S24 capacity. In contrast, Turkish Airlines (excluding AJet, formerly Anadolujet) is Sarajevo’s leading airline. It only serves its Istanbul IST hub, with 20-weekly flights in July.

Top 10 Sarajevo airlines S24

Shannon AIrport

It has welcomed many airlines recently

Qatar Airways returns to Sarajevo on a summer-seasonal basis on 1 June 2024, with 5-weekly A320 service on the 3,645-kilometre route (daily in the peak period). Also returning is Air Arabia, with a 9-weekly service from Sharjah. It last served Bosnia in 2022.

They build on the launch of SunExpress in 2024, Aegean in 2023, Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways in 2021 and Gulf Air charters from Bahrain in 2021. However, Oman’s SalamAir pulled out in S23 having served Sarajevo from Muscat since 2021.

While Wizz Air’s inaugural Sarajevo service was in 2017, it opened a base in 2021, only for it to close the following year. This accounts for the drop in passenger numbers in 2023. It had 20 routes in 2021/2022, of which only two – London LTN and Abu Dhabi – remain in S24. Despite this, the ULCC is Sarajevo’s fifth-largest operator.

Aegean Airlines

Istanbul IST is Sarajevo’s leading destination

According to Cirium schedules information, the two Istanbul airports are Sarajevo’s top two destinations. Flights are by Turkish Airlines, AJet and Pegasus, with 35-weekly flights in July. The two Turkish airports, one in Europe and one in Asia, account for a quarter of Sarajevo’s capacity. Of course, most passengers connect elsewhere, particularly across Turkey and the Middle East and – in Turkish Airlines’ case – to the US.

Top 10 Sarajevo destinations S24

 

Shannon Airport