Ryanair Begins Bosnian Operations: Connectivity for Eastern Croatia

By 30 October 2018

October 30, 2018 - Ryanair has commenced the first flights into Bosnia, as a fully booked flight from Stockholm Stavska landed earlier today. The first of three European destinations to Banja Luka, the new Ryanair service presents some options for travellers in eastern Croatia.

The Swedish route is one of three being introduced this week by Ryanair, with the first flight from Memmingen arriving this afternoon, and a connection with Brussels via Charleroi due to land on Friday. Currently, Banka Luka is only served by flghts to Belgrade, with some 17,000 passengers last year, so the 100,000 passengers promised by Ryanair is a considerable upping of the ante in the capital of Republika Srpska. 

Local authorities are hoping that this is the start of a beautiful relationship with Ryanair, with two more routes to Austria and Switzerland planned this year, and discussions about flights to Greece, Turkey and Tivat in Montenegro. Banja Luka Airport's General Manager, Duško Kovačević, was quoted by ExYuAviation on Banja Luka's plans to expand the Ryanair relationship: "We are very interested in adding other services as well, especially to Austria and Switzerland but also other destinations in Germany and Sweden. We will try and negotiate in the coming period, although it is ultimately up to the airline to make a final decision".

While the main target market is the local population and its diaspora, the new Banja Luka routes also give options to the population of eastern Croatia. With improved road links in recent years, the Croatian border and Slavonia are an hour away by car, Slavonski Brod 90 minutes and even Zagreb just two hours. With the crushing emigration from Slavonia showing no signs of slowing down, Banja Luka may play an important role in connecting eastern Croatia to its diaspora. 

Read the full Ryanair story in Banja Luka on ExYuAviation

For the latest information about flights to Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN flight page.