Flights from Verona, Bratislava and Zurich plannedNiš Constantine the Great Airport is anticipating the arrival of new airlines after a low cost carrier from Italy shows interest to launch flights to the city from Verona. Furthermore, talks between local authorities and the Slovakian ambassador to Serbia will be held later next month where potential flights between Niš and Bratislava will be discussed. Bratislava is of interest due to its close proximity to Vienna, which boasts a sizable diaspora from Eastern Serbia, and more affordable prices compared to its Austrian counterpart.
However, Constantine the Great Airport, which has only attracted 12.418 passengers in the first half of the year, is experiencing financial trouble. It owes Montenegro Airlines 470.000 euros in subsidies for maintaining its daily flights from Podgorica. Local authorities say the subsidies will be payed in full within the following few weeks. The Montenegrin carrier has an average load factor of 50% on its services between the two cities. Once again the airline will apply for a license to operate flights from Niš to Zurich during the 2012/13 winter season. Although it received the all clear for the flights from Serbian authorities last year, Swiss authorities declined to issue a license to the Montenegrin carrier.
In order to assist Niš with its financial woes, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport recently approved a 260.000 euro donation to the airport. Since reopening its doors in 2004, Niš has been served, besides Montenegro Airlines, by Jat Airways, Thomson Airways and WindJet, while several Turkish charter airlines also operated flights to the city during summer months over the years.