Low cost carrier Ryanair is continuing to downsize its destination network from the former Yugoslavia with plans to discontinue flights from Banja Luka to three cities over the 2023/24 winter season, which begins on October 29 and runs until March 30. The carrier will end operations out of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city to Charleroi and Nuremberg from November 5, as well as Berlin from November 6. Based on its existing plans, Charleroi will be restored from March 15, while the two German destinations have been discontinued indefinitely at this point. As a result, the carrier will boast four routes from Banja Luka for most of the winter season – Vienna, Memmingen, Stockholm and Gothenburg.
The development comes after Ryanair discontinued its operations between Banja Luka and Bergamo in January. This summer, the carrier also discontinued flights from Tuzla following a spat over state taxes. The budget airline has also announced plans to discontinue three routes out of its Zagreb base this winter, as well as another three routes from Podgorica. This week, Wizz Air suspended its service between Banja Luka and Stockholm Skavsta, while flights between Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city and Hamburg will be halted from October 28. Wizz Air will maintain operations from Banja Luka to Basel and Dortmund this coming winter.
Banja Luka Airport handled 281.766 passengers between January and July, marking its best ever result for the seventh-month period and up 64.6% on last year’s record. The airport’s General Manager, Natalija Trivić, recently said Banja Luka is preparing for the 2024 summer season and is in discussions with Turkish Airlines over the introduction of flights from Istanbul. “We will also try to establish scheduled flights to Athens from the spring and we are negotiating charter flights to Cyprus, as well as another Mediterranean destination such as Barcelona to be operated by one of our low cost partners”, Ms Trivić noted. She added, “We are also in discussions for the current two weekly flights to Belgrade to be increased to at least three weekly and for the schedule to be improved”.