MOSTAR, October 3 (FENA) – The situation with the coronavirus pandemic and restrictive measures has hit Mostar Airport much more than other airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it is a seasonal airport that was almost exclusively dependent on tourists visiting Herzegovina, Director of Mostar Airport Ivan Ljubić pointed out.
Unlike some others in BiH, he adds, this is not a crowded region that attracts a larger number of people in order to have at least a little momentum from domestic passengers. The potential number of such passengers is insufficient for airlines to opt for the establishment of scheduled routes without subsidies.
Although he agrees that in the future this airport cannot rely only on tourists, Ljubić says that the first step to be taken to recover the operation of Mostar Airport is to revive the current market, which is primarily religious and individual tourism, i.e. charter flights and regular lines for the diaspora (from Germany, Switzerland and Sweden).
“Statistics of our airport show that the largest number of passengers at the Mostar Airport were pilgrims to the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje,” said Ljubić and added that in the past period talks with church representatives on possible cooperation in organizing pilgrimages through Mostar Airport have intensified.
Ljubić also announces changes in the company’s operations, reorganization, investments in transport infrastructure, activities related to increasing non-aeronautical revenues and management activities in general in order to improve the quality of services.
“Regarding the upcoming construction of the highway that will pass by the airport, we are considering conceptual solutions for widening or lengthening the runway in the length of about 300 meters, studies will show exactly how much, which would allow the establishment of cargo traffic, where we benefit from freight station only two kilometers from the Mostar Airport. This would increase the scope of services that we will be able to offer to our clients, i.e. business partners and companies,” says Ljubić.
Mostar Airport has a huge potential that should be used for social and economic development of the city of Mostar, Herzegovina and the whole of BiH. In addition to the already mentioned steps, Ljubić points out that Mostar Airport should be enabled to become an alternative to the airports in Sarajevo and Tuzla, where planes are often unable to land due to weather conditions (fog and snow).
“Mostar Airport should be enabled to become a base for firefighting, because according to existing studies, the airport is best positioned for aircraft tractors that could operate successfully in BiH, Croatia and Montenegro, so it could be easier to provide funds from international financial institutions,” said the Director of Mostar Airport.