Bosnian Wand Airlines (Tuzla Int'l) has been forced to suspend operations by Bosnia and Herzegovina's Directorate of Civil Aviation (BHDCA) after the virtual carrier failed to respond to the regulator's queries concerning the exact nature of its relationship with Hermes Airlines (H3, Athens Int'l). The Iraqi-backed start-up is leasing an A321-100, F-GYAN (cn 535), from the Greek operator.

The BHDCA said in a statement that the carrier's flights were to have been operated under Hermes Airlines' flight numbers with it, in effect, granting the Greek airline Bosnian traffic rights.

"We would like to inform the public that said company [Bosnian Wand] does not hold an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) issued by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate of Civil Aviation, which is a necessary requirement for the provision of air transport of passengers and goods for commercial purposes," it said. "Although the company, having the adjective Bosnian in its name, has a number of employees who are citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is, above all, not an airline, contrary to what was stated in certain media reports."

The start-up, which has been operating charter flights between Sweden, Greece and the Middle East until now, has further delayed its entry into the Bosnian scheduled market until February 20.