Croatia Airlines (OU, Zagreb Franjo Tuđman) is in talks with the operator of Mostar airport about the potential launch of fifth-freedom flights connecting the Herzegovinian city with Rome and other destinations in the European Union, airport director Marko Đuzel told local broadcaster Dobar Dan Mostar.

The Croatian flag carrier resumed its 3x weekly Zagreb Franjo Tuđman-Mostar route on May 3, 2023, with Đuzel saying initial results were positive, and that the Herzegovinian airport would like to see an additional weekly frequency. Croatia Airlines is the only scheduled operator at the airport. Italy's GoTo Fly, a virtual carrier owned by Forli airport which charters in aircraft from AeroItalia (which, in turn, wet-leases an ATR72-600 from AirConnect), operates flights from Forli and soon from Foggia Gino Lisa with varying frequency.

Mostar's priority is to attract European low-cost carriers, with negotiations ongoing with three companies, Đuzel said, adding that Croatia Airlines expanding its Mostar network is plan B. Beyond the potential Rome route, Mostar airport is looking to add one extra Croatia Airlines destination operated annually with Poland and other points in Italy listed as priority destinations. Mostar serves the Catholic pilgrimage site of Medjugorje, a popular destination for religious traffic from those two countries.

Croatia Airlines does not currently run any fifth-freedom routes. Bosnia & Herzegovina is a member of the European Common Aviation Area with fifth-freedom rights available to all other states of the ECAA and the EU.

"Croatia Airlines is currently focused on the development of scheduled international flights on the Mostar-Zagreb route, which has been restored at the beginning of May, after three years. At this moment, the company can't comment on plans for Airport Mostar related to the potential expansion of its network in the future," spokesperson Davor Janušić told ch-aviation.