Thursday, April 19, 2012

Government sabotaging Ryanair arrival

Blame game for Ryanair’s absence from Montenegro begins
Following another failed attempt to lure Ryanair to Montenegro, tour operators are blaming the country’s government for the airline’s disinterest. Operators warn that Montenegro is already an isolated island when it comes to cheap air fares. They believe that the government doesn’t want low cost airlines to come to the country in order to protect Montenegro Airlines’ monopoly. “You make it look as if you want to sign an agreement with a low cost airline but in reality you purposely stall the entire process. How come Croatia is so dumb to allow 22 low cost airlines to operate to its airports and we are so smart not to allow a single one”, a representative from Yugotours, Vukašin Ćulafić, told Deutsche Welle recently. Tourism professor, Silvana Djurašević, claims that subsidising low cost airlines is the least the country can do, as the return from the investment will be much greater.

Earlier in March the government said it had negotiated for Ryanair to launch flights to Podgorica from three cities in June. However, the announcement was followed by an angry reaction from the low cost airline, unhappy that details of the agreement were made public. It then decided not to sign the agreement with the Montenegrin government citing expensive fees at Podgorica Airport as its motive to stay away. Currently, out of all the former Yugoslav republics, Ryanair offers seasonal flights only to Croatia. This summer Ryanair is adding 270 new routes to its networks, although will shed 130 routes from last summer.

The Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism, Predrag Sekulić, says he will review the pricing policy of Airports of Montenegro, which runs both Podgorica and Tivat. “Low cost airlines have a policy to open routes where they are subsidised. Their arrival will boost tourism. Low cost airlines don’t bring tourists who are not willing to spend, on the contrary, these tourists want to have more money to spend during their holiday”. In its defence, Airports of Montenegro says that it is playing a constructive, not a destructive role in bringing low cost carriers to the country. Despite Ryanair’s absence the airport’s management is certain that it will record strong passenger growth this year from May to September.

11 comments:

  1. same story in the Ex-yu Alps region / Slovenia!

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  2. But does it have to be FR as their choice of LCC? There are other European ones which could do just as good a job - i'm sure some of them would love to enter a market like Montenegro with no competition and great potential?

    They've shot themselves in the foot with this one...

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  3. This is the same thing that Macedonian government did for a long time.Since Turkey has our airports,now we have Wizzair,Belle Air,Pegasus,Jet Air Fly...Before that nothing...

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    1. Not really true..3 years ago macedonian airports had 500 000 pax annualy and Macedonians needed visas.Growth was no more than 2-3 percent except during Pristina's closure.Macedonian CAA was trying to destroy MAT for years and no LCC showed even a smallest interest to operate to SKP before so it wasn't protectionism that stopped them flying. After the visa abolition LCC were made possible.

      And btw. nobody stops Easy from flying to Serbia-it simply doesn't have the interest to fly to the Balkan countries.They are pulling out of LJU and even Croatia and Bulgaria which are very big markets are served by only few seasonal destinations!

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  4. Such a saga. It's not like the whole world consists of the ex-Yugoslavic nations only. A commerical operator, be it Ryanair or Coca Cola, chooses whether to do business in that market based on profitability, not your nationalism or the ambition of your government. Routes come and go. Why the big fuss?

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    1. Probably because Montenegro is a tourism oriented country which is only served by the overpriced Montenegro Airlines and charter Soviet airlines.

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    2. True. Didn't one of their Ministers come out a while ago and declare their country a destination for "the rich and the famous"? Of course they wouldn't like a Ryanair-filled airport then! Oh man, they really think James Bond would go to Montenegro on a steam train...

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  5. The Serbian government does the same by blocking Easyjet and especially Wizzair to operate a second aircraft and to open new routes.

    Those idiot politicians were very surprised by the success of the low cost airlines (something every person with little intelligence would see from far away!).

    Now they have even more to fear for their Jat nightmare...

    This is also what they fear in Montenegro.

    In the end all Balkan countries are the same s___t!

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    1. EasyJet has never applied for license to fly to Serbia

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    2. oh, yes it has.. ;)

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  6. Montenegro is an expensive destination as a whole and not very popular worldwide with the exception of Budva. If Ryanair ever flies to the country then hoteliers MUST consider lowering the prices for the hotels because they are very pricey at the moment!

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