Sarajevo International Airport has recorded a dramatic drop in the number of passengers in the period from March 1 through August 31 as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and restriction measures that followed.
According to general manager Alan Bajic, the operations declined by 70 percent compared to the same period last year, while the number of passengers dropped by 90 percent during these months.
“Aviation industry is one of the sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic the most. And Sarajevo International Airport shares the same destiny of numerous other airports across the world,” he added.
Nearly half a million of passengers passed through Sarajevo's main airport during the months of June, July and August last year. This year, less than 40,000 were recorded during the same period.
“Due to restriction measures that are in force in many countries and very complicated travel procedures in terms of the necessary documentation, as well as other factors such as infection and reduced purchasing power of citizens, many refuse to go on trips, especially for leisure,” Bajic told Fena news agency.
Only six companies operate to and from Sarajevo International Airport at the moment, flying to and from Istanbul, Vienna, Belgrade, Dubai, and Zagreb. At the same period last year, Sarajevo was connected with dozens of locations worldwide through 16 companies.
The airport management works tirelessly on increasing the number of flights and the return of those companies that were forced to suspend the flights during the pandemic," stressed Bajic.
However, the winter season is not likely to bring any improvement.
“The return of the companies and introducing the new flights and destinations is more certain as of summer 2021. The decision of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina to open the borders for foreign nationals with negative PCR test means one step towards establishing a more regular traffic and slow return to the normal,” he added.