FlyBosnia, the flag carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is planning to re-introduce its own aircraft to its fleet. The airline currently has no aircraft in its fleet, after it downsized to cut its costs in the current crisis facing the aviation industry. Starting next year, this will change as FlyBosnia receives an Airbus A320 aircraft that was formerly operated by United Airlines.
From United Airlines to FlyBosnia
As confirmed to Simple Flying, FlyBosnia has signed a contract to take delivery of an Airbus A320 aircraft formerly belonging to United Airlines. The A320 carries the registration N419UA.
This is a 26-year old airplane that has been with United Airlines ever since it was delivered to this American airline in October 1994. United stored the A320 last month. It is now held by a trust.
The final flight of the A320 aircraft, according to available flight data, was on Tuesday 6th October. This was the day when it departed United’s hub of San Francisco International Airport to arrive in Tuscon Airport, in Arizona. Tuscon is known as The Boneyard, as it is the largest aircraft boneyard in the world. The A320 is there, awaiting delivery to FlyBosnia in early 2021.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has been hit hard by COVID-19
Following an excellent 2019, the aviation industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina has suffered a huge blow in 2020. As Simple Flying analyzed last month, the impact of COVID-19 on Bosnia has been severe. Passenger numbers plummeted over 70% this year so far, compared to 2019. In fact, the fall in the capital has been as high as 78%, which is a particularly alarming statistic given that the year-on-year passenger number change had been +10% in January 2020.
COVID-19 has dealt a particularly strong blow to Bosnia’s flag carrier, FlyBosnia. The airline has been hit by continuous and severe travel restrictions, as Bosnia is not in the European Union. FlyBosnia is also not an established airline, having only started flying last year, and, as such, it is not large enough to fight against the larger European airlines that still serve Bosnia’s airports.
FlyBosnia is a virtual airline now
Earlier this year, FlyBosnia retired the only remaining aircraft in its fleet, an A319. The aircraft had had virtually no scheduled services for all of 2020. Its last flight was for the airline’s flagship route between London Luton and Sarajevo in February.
The A319 then carried out several cargo rotations to China for various medical purposes in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the height of the COVID-19 health crisis. Simple Flying published an article with a series of photos from these cargo flights in May.
What do you think of FlyBosnia’s decision to acquire a 26-year old aircraft? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.