Soon in MontenegroThe Montenegrin government and Ryanair have reached an agreement which will see Europe’s biggest no frills airline operate flights to the country over the next four years. It comes after more than a year of negotiations. Flights are expected to begin in June and will operate on a seasonal basis. From next year flights will launch at the start of the summer season, in late March. The government estimates that by 2015, Ryanair will bring some 50.000 tourists to the country. It has backed down from insisting for the airline to fly all year round, a move which is set to ignite problems with its national carrier.
An official announcement from the airline will be made once Ryanair’s Board of Directors approves the deal with the government, expected during the week. According to the Montenegrin Tourism Ministry, the airline should launch flights from London, Brussels and Milan and will increase its offering to six destinations in three years. Notably, both Brussels and Milan were suspended from Montenegro Airlines’ destination network last year due to poor ticket sales.
While Ryanair’s arrival will be warmly welcomed by both locals and foreign tourists it could prove a headache to the already struggling national carrier. Montenegro Airlines will have to compete against Ryanair to London, which it turned into a seasonal service due to low interest throughout the winter. Furthermore, the airline has said that it is not against low cost airlines but argues that that they should operate year round services rather than taking all the tourists and then disappearing over the winter season. Details of the agreement with Ryanair, including how much the airline will receive in subsidies, hasn’t been revealed.