Sunday, November 22, 2009

No go for low cost airlines

No low cost flights to Montenegro anytime soon
Montenegro, a country whose economy is centred on tourism, is yet to attract any low cost airline. It seems that no low cost carrier is interested in beginning services to the country although the Montenegrin newspaper “Vijesti” outlines that the Montenegrin Government has not extended a helpful hand either. The ministry for transportation, maritime affairs and telecommunications says that people should be aware of the dark side of low cost airlines. “Low cost airlines that are interested in commencing services to Montenegro want certain amenities, such as lower airport taxes, reduced airport handling fees and so on. If we allow this to happen we would seriously be infringing competitiveness regulations and equal rights for all”, the ministry outlines. The ministry also added that no low cost airline has been issued permits to operate to Montenegro because no airline has asked for one.

The ministry has rejected claims that the Government is protecting the state owned Montenegro Airlines, which will end the year on a positive note, with more passengers and a break even balance sheet. Many Montenegrins are opting to fly out of Dubrovnik in Croatia with low cost carriers, the newspaper adds. Montenegro’s ministry of tourism says that it is trying to attract high-end tourists and present Montenegro as a luxurious tourist destination for the rich and famous.

Do you think low cost airlines could turn a profit on services to Podgorica and Tivat? Send a comment with your thoughts.

10 comments:

  1. I personally think that at least one low cost airline should start flying to Podgorica/ Tivat next summer and see how they go. Maybe other low cost airlines will start after that.

    With slightly more than one million tourists per year (seven million overnight stays) the country is a growing tourist destination! It's beautiful there and I don't see why not an airline can profit from flying to Montenegro.

    Anyways, my thoughts :)

    Any news on Montenegro Airlines starting flights to Sarajevo?

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  2. Yes, but most of those One million tourists come from Serbia. So, perhaps if ryan air and wizz air start flying to Belgrade and/or Nis, they could continue down to Tivat. This would be an end to the monopoly that Jat and Montenegro hold on these destinations.

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  3. According to government strategy
    "Montenegro’s ministry of tourism says that it is trying to attract high-end tourists and present Montenegro as a luxurious tourist destination for the rich and famous."
    they do not need low cost carriers.

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  4. why would rich and famous, specifically, be attracted to Montenegro?

    Sure, the setting is nice, but it's not like it's up there in terms luxury destinations.

    This is a typically childish mentality that runs throughout the Balkans "Some big, powerful entity will swoop down 'Deus ex Machina' and fix all our problems". Russia will save us. EU will save us with their plane-loads of gold from Brussels. Rich and famous will come and save us.

    uh. no.

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  5. @doot
    you are completely right!

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  6. "It is trying to attract high-end tourists and present Montenegro as a luxurious tourist destination for the rich and famous." Are they trying to be the Bhutan in the Balkan? OMG such idiots... When airports like BKK and DXB have witnessed the benefits of the open sky policy, Montenegro is still brave enough to dream on turning themselves into Hawaii, with all due respect to their current economic situation.

    OK. Maybe I go over a bit. What about opening up Tivat to LCC and keeping the capital closed?

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  7. First of all, concerning the minister's statement, it's quite silly to take for granted any politician's word...

    Next, Montenegro Airlines seems to be doing surprisingly well despite the impact that air transport has suffered due to the crisis. While one may start to hope there's a chance they've found a way to get by in these crazy times, the Government makes an odd move by calling for underqualified (?) consultants to help it privatize the airline.

    Why competence requirements that are so low? Why not invite well experienced candidates? Do they not care enough for the "pride-raising" flag carrier?...

    Any normal reaction to this from within the airline would be very loud and resisting and would produce vigorous objections to the privatization "high-school" project, especially if the results during 2009 were made by hard work and sound corporate thinking - but nothing so far (?)

    So, it might be very true that the company enjoyes at least some level of protectionism.

    Finally, let LCCs in! Yes, they are demanding. Yes, they can be rude and tough to bargain with. "Yes" to many other not-so-fine things about them... But look at what they do to the regions they serve - they RESURRECT them! They put them on the map! The flow of people and goods reaches priorly unimaginable levels...

    Hell, if we here at the Balkans don't need just that - then sorry, my bad.

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  8. @ doot

    well Pam Anderson wants to open up a wellness spa in Montenegro. shes already visited Montenegro earlier this year lol.

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  9. I think the government is kind of right about the 'luxurious resorts and development so that they could attract the rich and famous,' as Sveti Stefan is converted into one of the most luxurious resorts and many Hollywood celebrities are planning to built up resorts there.

    Yes, most of the million tourists are from Serbia and flights should be strengthened there but also mainly from Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and UK. There should be low cost carriers in Montenegro and every country trying to attract foreigners! They help bring tourists with low fares. It doesn't only have to bring the wealthy and famous :)

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  10. Dark side of low cost companies?!!!!! What a stipid thing to say!!!! I am not going to waist my time saying anything about this!

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