Montenegro spreads its wingsMontenegro Airlines has given up trying to secure a license to operate flights between the Serbian city of Niš and Zurich. Even though the airline received necessary licenses from Serbian authorise, their Swiss counterparts refused to do the same. Despite this setback, the Montenegrin national carrier will go ahead with the planed 2 weekly Podgorica – Niš service operated by the airline’s Fokker F100. After establishing flights from Niš to Zurich, Montenegro Airlines hoped to commence services between Niš and Paris and Budapest.
Montenegro Airlines is now planning to create an airline which would be registered in Serbia and based at Niš Constantine the Great Airport, using 1 aircraft. The airline already tried to do the same in 2006 when it infamously set up Master Airways in hope of reinstating flights from Niš and Belgrade to Zurich, which it lost rights to when the state union of Serbia and Montenegro dissolved and Montenegro Airlines was considered a foreign airline in Serbia’s skies. In 2009, a Montenegrin court accused the CEO’s of Montenegro Airlines and Master Airways of corruption concerning illegally leased aircraft.
Nevertheless, the city of Niš supports Montenegro Airlines’ future plans. The new airline is expected to be set up by the 2010 summer season which begins in late March. Registering and starting up an airline in Serbia would allow it to operate flights out of Belgrade as well.
Recently, the low cost Italian airline Wind Jet began flights from Forli to Niš. It is the only airline currently serving the airport which has the capacity to handle 100.000 passengers per year.