Montenegro Airlines unable to operate Belgrade chartersThe Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has denied issuing a license to Montenegro Airlines to operate charter flights from Belgrade to Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The Directorate’s spokeswomen Katarina Andrić-Milosavljević said that under the first phase of the Open Sky Agreement, which Serbia is a party to, the country has no obligation to permit fifth freedom rights to airlines. Fifth freedom rights in this case would allow a foreign carrier (Montenegro Airlines) to operate out of Serbia to a country other than its own (Spain). She went on to explain that Wizz Air was granted such a license due to the impact it will have on the development of air travel in Serbia.
This is not the first time Montenegro Airlines has been denied to operate flights out of Serbia. After the breakup of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, the Montenegrin carrier lost its rights to operate the lucrative Belgrade – Zurich service and, as a result, planed to set up a Serbian registered airline in Niš, to be named Master Airways. The airline never received the green light from the authorities. Similarly, Jat Airways lost its rights to operate seasonal summer flights from Tivat to other European cities. More recently, Switzerland denied the Montenegrin carrier rights to operate flights from Niš to Zurich, despite the fact that the Serbian authorities approved the service.
Montenegro Airlines was also planning on applying for charter flights from Belgrade to Greece. However, after this decision from the Serbian Directorate, the airline might relocate these flights to Niš as there is a greater chance for the carrier to gain all necessary licenses.
This summer Spanair is offering scheduled flights from Barcelona and charters from Mallorca to Belgrade, while Jat Airways is offering flights to Girona on the Costa Brava coastline.