No dealRyanair’s Board of Directors has rejected an agreement to launch flights to Montenegro after months of negotiations with the Montenegrin government. Last week, the government publicized details of the agreement, a move which angered the no frills airline. It outlined that Ryanair would launch flights to Montenegro this June from London, Milan and Brussels and operate services on a seasonal basis. The number of destinations would be progressively increased over the next four years. It has since been confirmed that flights were to operate to the country’s capital, Podgorica.
Ryanair has said that it will not fly to Montenegro as taxes at Podgorica Airport are 2.5 times greater than those in other markets. “Having in mind that this is a new market, it represents a high risk and low profit business venture in the first few years”, the airline says. The airline is willing to renegotiate the terms of the agreement but is requesting significant reductions in landing and handling fees. In neighbouring Croatia, Ryanair is exempt from paying any taxes.
It now seems that another summer will pass without a single low cost airline operating scheduled flights to Montenegro. It is the only country in the former Yugoslavia that doesn’t enjoy low cost flights, despite its expanding tourism industry. As a result, other airports in the region continue to profit, especially Dubrovnik Airport which is served by over thirty airlines over the summer season.