Banja Luka International Airport

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Banja Luka International Airport
Međunarodni aerodrom Banja Luka
Međunarodna zračna luka Banja Luka
Међународни аеродром Бања Лука
Blairport.jpg
IATA: BNXICAO: LQBK
BNX is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina
BNX
BNX
Location of the airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation (BHDCA)[1]
Serves Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location Mahovljani
Elevation AMSL 122 m / 400 ft
Coordinates 44°56′29″N 17°17′51″E / 44.94139°N 17.29750°E / 44.94139; 17.29750Coordinates: 44°56′29″N 17°17′51″E / 44.94139°N 17.29750°E / 44.94139; 17.29750
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17/35 2,500 8,202 Asphalt/Concrete
Bosnian and Herzegovinan AIP at EUROCONTROL[2]

Banja Luka International Airport (IATA: BNXICAO: LQBK) (Serbian and Bosnian: Međunarodni aerodrom Banja Luka/Међународни аеродром Бања Лука; Croatian: Međunarodna zračna luka Banja Luka), also known as Mahovljani Airport, after the nearby village of the same name, is an airport located 18 km (11 mi) north northeast of the railway station[2] in the city of Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The airport is managed by the government-owned company "Aerodromi Republike Srpske".

History[edit]

B&H Airlines ATR 72 at Banja Luka airport preparing for the flight to Zurich, August 2010

The construction of the Banja Luka International Airport began in 1976. In accordance with the development plans, capacities were built defining Banja Luka as an airport of secondary importance, restricted to domestic air traffic on the territory of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

After the Bosnian War, Republika Srpska was established with Banja Luka as the de facto capital. That gave Banja Luka Airport new importance and a completely different role. Banja Luka International Airport was opened for civilian air traffic on 18 November 1997.

From 1999 to 2003, the airport served as the main hub of Air Srpska, which was the official flag carrier of Republika Srpska. The company was founded by Jat Airways and Government of Republika Srpska. The company ceased all operations in 2003 after increasing debt, and the withdrawal of Jat Airways from the partnership. There were plans for Sky Srpska, a state-owned airline founded in 2007, to start flights, however the airline, which never had any aircraft, was closed in 2013.

The airport's facilities were greatly improved in 2002 and 2003, ahead of the visit by Pope John Paul II to Banja Luka in June 2003.

On 15 December 2010, to celebrate the abolition of visa requirements for Bosnian citizens traveling to the Schengen Area countries, a symbolic charter flight was organised from Banja Luka to Brussels.

In 2011, Banja Luka airport handled 8,367 passengers, a rise of 74% compared to 2010.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Serbia Belgrade
B&H Airlines Sarajevo, Zürich, Seasonal: Tivat

Over the years, the airport has had flights connecting Banja Luka to Athens, Belgrade, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Salzburg, Tivat and Vienna, partly thanks to Air Srpska which was an airline based at the airport. Austrian Airlines and Montenegro Airlines served Banja Luka during the late 1990s and early 2000s from their respective bases in Vienna and Tivat.

Since Air Srpska stopped operations, the Government of Republika Srpska has tried to attract new airlines to fly to Banja Luka through various subsidies. Subsidised flights included:

  • Jat Airways flights to Belgrade between November 2007 and December 2009, operated with ATR 72
  • Austrojet flights to Salzburg and Tivat between July and December 2008, operated 3 times a week with Dash 8-100
  • Adria Airways flights to Ljubljana between July 2010 and November 2011, operated 4 times a week with CRJ 200

Statistics[edit]

Passenger statistics[3]
Year/Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year total  % Change
2014 1,522 1,352 1,566 1,942 2,201 2,797 11,380 +288.66%
2013 518 448 400 431 601 530 844 893 713 824 434 2,201 8,837 +37.6%
2012 791 424 178 408 402 377 589 688 610 642 550 765 6,424 −24.2%
2011 560 422 640 719 680 536 1,209 942 707 830 545 577 8,367 +74.4%
2010 497 432 602 4,798
Month Airline Destination Passengers Load factor
February 2014 Air Serbia Belgrade 874 23%
January 2014 Air Serbia Belgrade 1120 28%
December 2013 Air Serbia Belgrade 1206 29%

Number of passengers between Banjaluka and Belgrade[4]

Ground transportation[edit]

The airport was built in the area of Laktaši and Gradiška municipalities, in a wide valley of the Vrbas River expanding into Lijevče polje. It is connected to the new Banja Luka – Gradiška motorway.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Banja Luka International Airport at Wikimedia Commons