Montenegro Airlines to stay in Niš this winter
Montenegro Airlines will continue operating flights from Podgorica to Niš Constantine the Great Airport this winter season after reaching an agreement with city authorities for the payout of just under half a million euros worth of subsidies. Last week the Montenegrin carrier suspended ticket sales between the two cities and announced the suspension of the route. “The moment I found out that such a decision has been made I knew I had to act immediately. Debt exists and has to be paid, but I had to find a legal way to settle our obligations. We found a way after consulting the Ministry of Finance”, the Mayor of Niš, Zoran Perišić, said. The outstanding debt will be paid in two instalments, one by September 30 and the other by October 15.
Montenegro Airlines has since resumed ticket sales on the route. The airline plans to operate five weekly flights this winter, compared to the daily flights which ran throughout the summer season. Furthermore, there are plans for the airline to operate one to two weekly flights from Niš to Zurich but it is unlikely to be granted rights by Swiss authorities. The managing director of Niš Airport, Dragan Bugarinović, has blamed Jat Airways for the airport’s woes and has accused the national carrier of avoiding Niš. The Serbian airline shook off any criticism saying the flights are unprofitable. Bugarinović suggested that Jat should follow Croatia Airlines’ recent example and lease a commuter aircraft for flights originating from Niš.
Meanwhile, the city’s mayor has announced that tender procedures will soon begin to find a new airline willing to fly to Niš. “Those that wish to operate flights to Niš from somewhere in Europe and offer the best terms will be given rights to fly to the city”, the mayor said.