Air Bosna To Resume Flights In June

May 19, 2005

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Bosnian state-owned carrier Air Bosna, which went bankrupt nearly two years ago, hopes to resume flights next month after clinching a financing deal with Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, the airline's general manager said on Thursday.

Air Bosna, which will be renamed next month as BH Airlines, agreed with Hypo Alpe Adria on a settlement for most of the company's 20 million Bosnian marka (USD$13 million) debt.

It also expects the delivery of two 66-seat ATR 72 aircraft under a leasing contract with the bank's leasing arm, General Manager Nudzeim Recica said.

"We have found a strategic and financial partner which helped resolve most of Air Bosna problems," Recica said. "We hope to start flights in mid-June."

The relaunched BH Airlines will first start flights to Switzerland, Turkey and Germany and then work on adding more destinations.

Recica said the government of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation helped in rescheduling part of domestic debt and pledged budgetary support to the carrier.

"Most of Air Bosna debts have been paid. With these two aircraft, I can say that we are again on our feet," Recica said.

(Reuters)