Friday, April 27, 2012

Serbia - Montenegro air travel tumbles

Passenger numbers between Serbia and Montenegro take a hit
Passenger numbers between Serbia and Montenegro have sharply decreased over the past four years. The Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) believes this negative trend can only be overturned if ticket prices are reduced and flights between Belgrade, Podgorica and Tivat operate on an hourly basis. Currently, return ticket prices on the service between the two countries, with flight times of approximately 45 minutes, amount to 100 euros and upwards to 190 euros. A world wide price hike in aviation ticketing in late March has also affected the Serbia to Montenegro services.

On the other hand, some believe that the continuing duopoly between Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines has also caused travel between the two countries to plummet. From 2008 until 2010 Montenegro Airlines had the upper hand against its Serbian rival on services from Podgorica and Tivat to Belgrade. In 2010, Jat began to claw back passengers and is once again the dominant carrier on the route, thanks in part due to its constant promotional ticketing campaigns. However, in the first quarter air traffic between the two countries is down 7% on last year. A low cost carrier on the route could shake things up but it is unlikely that either the Serbian or Montenegrin government would allow such a move.

The Air Traffic Services Agency has proposed for seventeen daily rotations between Belgrade, Podgorica and Tivat. They believe that some 300.000 passengers could be carried on the route, while ticket prices should amount to 60 euros. This would be achieved through reduced handling fees at airports, the elimination of the security tax and other measures. Reacting to the proposal, Jat Airways says there is no possibility for ticket prices to be any lower, noting that the fuel tax itself amounts to 25 euros. Jat recently moved its Podgorica and Tivat departures to terminal one at Belgrade Airport in order for the airport tax to be reduced for passengers. Services to Ohrid, Split, Pula and Dubrovnik will also enjoy the lower terminal one tax.

Do you think that the proposal made by the SMATSA is viable? What do you believe is the main reason for the overpriced services between the two countries? Leave a comment.

26 comments:

  1. If they would let Ryanair or Wizz Air on this route, Jat and Montenegro would be history.

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  2. the main reason for the overpriced tickets between beg and tgd/tiv is politics of both countries. this route is the only source of incoms for all 3 airports. rt ticket should cost around 35 euros, beg tax 12, tgd tax 10, so all together 57 euros. why they keep 100 euros i dont know, but there is no good explanation for sure!

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  3. They really do live with their heads in the sand, don't they?? Ticket prices have gone up because jet fuel has skyrocketed. It is affecting nearly every airline worldwide and challenging many to shape up, or ship out.

    The real question is whether any of the exYU airlines have the ability to adapt, rather than heading the way of the dodo...

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  4. LCC on route of only 45 minutes are very rare in Europe. There is no money in it.

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    1. Yes there is,look at ryanair for ex Sto(nyo)to Tallinn(tll),Norwegian Got-Sto,Mmx-Sto,intra Uk with Easyjet,Ryan etc..there is and a oneway ticket to/from Tgd-Beg could start at the price from 29.99 euros!

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    2. important part of sentence is: "very rare". I also had some flights inside UK that are so short but one more time it is "very rare".

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    3. we are playing with words but nonetheless there are a bunch of this flights in tHE FAR eAST and in the Americas too.another and a popular example Madison-Chigaco 45 min flight..distance about max 300 km.

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    4. OOh i forgot a very profitabile route Tallinn-Helsinki,its just a see between them aprox 90 km between the airport. A atr 42 is flying 6-8 times a day except saturdays. And the tickets are quite expensive and the loadfactor is 70-75 %all the time.

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    5. LON- AMS is even less than 45 minutes, number of flights countless for ridiculous prices. London to Jersey is less than 45 min. London to Manchester is less than 45 minutes

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    6. That is not true. LHR-MAN is 1 hour by BA. And which LCC is flying on that route? NON!

      Jersy and AMS is over sea what make alternative transportation (ship) much longer so that 45 minutes does not have any alternative in less than 3 hours.

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  5. In this case the airlines (JU & YM) had done everything they can to lower the fare price.

    In a 100e rt ticket air fare is cca. 10e, fuel surcharge 50e and airports+SMATSA+security 40e. (source: any GDS that has specific fare details display)

    Obviously, (1) it makes no sense for the airlines to lower the compensation for everything else but the fuel bellow 10e, (2) it makse a lot of sense for airports & governments to cut the 40e bucket a bit, particularly at BEG T1 and obviously (3) this price cannot go bellow 70-80e with this infrastructure.

    Further reductions in total ticket price can be only achieved with introduction of low cost airport terminals at some alternative locations, as airlines are already behaving like LCCs.

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    1. May I just point out that lowest fare to TIV for example at this moment is YM fare in V class (VYM fare basis) which is valid for RT travel only (there and back) and is 10.00 EURs. JU lowest fare is 19.00 EURs, on ERTME fare basis. What is also important is that YQ tax (for lowest fare basis is 5602 RSD today, other taxes: RF 110.00 RSD, XT 3.900.00 RSD) goes directly to the airline, other taxes to other respective authorities so airline itself earns EUR 10.00 + 5.602.00 RSD in total for that specific ticket.
      We all know that fuel surcharge (YQ/YR) is a legal way for an airline to cover "other costs" such as fuel price risks, market risks etc. That specific tax is almost never refundable, and you will mostly never find that tax if you book economy unrestricted (Y class directly).

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  6. TGD & TIV are the most popular destinations from BEG for the last at least 5 years which is the reason for strong duopoly. Two politically strongly influenced and overemployed flag carriers do not give up their monopoly that easy even if the route is feasible for LCC.
    I have to ask can someone to enlighten me whether SMATSA took over CAD, airlines and airports jurisdiction abolishing security control and fees, reducing handling fees, doing feasibility studies on routes, etc. Additionally, has anyone ever heard of air traffic authority doing feasibility study on routes, enlighten me please!
    JU can compete on this route with AT7 but MGX cannot with 100 or E95 due maintenance costs. Only if JU would lease MGX it’s AT7, which comes out of the question since daily operating with mainly 2 and only sometimes with 3 ATR’s. They could also lease OU DH4 or JP CR2 but this cannot be on commercial leasing which probably is unacceptable for OU and JP.
    As Montenegrin minister frankly said yesterday with flag carriers as such you have to try to earn some extra money on profitable routes due huge number of unprofitable routes.
    All in all, I understand that this story is served and since ever-present only for the purposes of the current political campaign in Serbia.

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  7. ne mora karta da kosta 60e. u redu je i cena od 80-90e. da kosta toliko, sigurno bi dosta ljudi pre selo u avion za 80-90e, nego u bus za 50-60e!

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    1. Možeš sada da nađeš Montenegro za malo ispod 100, i Jat za malo preko 100, što je imajući u vidu kolike su takse i više nego fer.

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    2. da, ali pokusaj u maju/junu da nadjes takve karte za jul/avgust. tesko :/

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    3. Pa dobro, moraju barem leti i oni nešto da zarade, ipak nisu neprofitna organizacija :)

      A to kako ljudi generalno doživljavaju lowcostere je urnebesno, ako takse jesu takve kakve jesu oni sigurno neće leteti za 50e, tj. verovatno će ponuditi 10ak takvih karata za studente koji mogu da planiraju pola godine unapred, a 3 nedelje unapred će biti skuplji od tradicionalnih kompanija, kao što je uostalom sada najčešće slučaj.

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  8. Political campaign is only reason for SMATSA stupid "feasibility study" same as CAD offers heliodromes to small communities in Serbia.

    It is impossible to lower cost while barrel of oil is over 120USD/gallon. In other hand business relationships are so small. Only source of passengers are relatives and tourists. But after visa liberalisation on Balkans number of tourists from Serbia to Montenegro is smaller and smaller.

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  9. http://www.aviokarta.net/vesti/1110-jat-airways-polece-sa-aerodroma-morava-u-junu/

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    1. As much as I'd like this to happen, I don't believe any such announcement a week before the election. Seeing is believing.

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  10. Air Berlin started showing its flight code on Niki's service VIE-BEG-VIE with same flight numbers HG/AB8026-8029

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  11. 80-100 E for a return ticket-100% more pax on the above mentioned route/s! no problem at all.. You dont have to be a dishwasher manager to put 2+2

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  12. I do not think that this agency is here to discuss the pricing policies of the airlines.

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  13. JU will probably not get a leased pair of 737-800s in May. While there are a couple of 737-800s on the market at the moment, none of them have winglets (the ones that are for sale or for lease). How hard is it for JU to install winglets in the older 733s or on non-WL 738s?

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    1. Jat tehnika charged for 737-500 winglets around 450000USD + 20000 for installing the winglets.

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  14. I couldn't care less about increasing traffic on Belgrade airport, I don't use it. All my travel is done through Nis airport. But since the author of this article thinks that Nis is somewhere in Asia or who knows where and not in Serbia (since he is talking about Serbian traffic and only sees Belgrade airport) I won't make any further comments, other than saying that this is the last time I have visited this portal and that I have wasted a lot of time reading previous articles as very likely all of those are inaccurate...what a waste of time this site is...

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