Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Montenegro Airlines to suspend Niš flights

Montenegro Airlines’ Niš service in jeopardy

Montenegro Airlines has suspended sales of its Podgorica - Niš - Podgorica service for travel from April 1, the second time in several months. While there is still hope the route will continue operating throughout the summer, it will depend on whether the airline and city authorities can agree on adequate subsidy payments. In September, the Montenegrin carrier suspended ticket sales on the route as the city authorities had outstanding debt owing towards the airline. In the end, a new agreement was reached with Montenegro Airlines decreasing its frequencies from daily to five per week.

The Montenegrin carrier launched flights from Podgorica to Niš in 2010. The service is vital for the airport as it is not served by any other scheduled airline. The majority of passengers using the service transit through Podgorica and continue onwards to Western Europe. Recently, Žarko Djurović, Montenegro Airlines’ regional manager for Serbia said, “The load factors for the Niš flights amount to less than 50%. Regardless, we expect for this route to continue operating and for numbers to improve”. Montenegro Airlines has an average of forty passengers per flight on the route.

Niš Airport has struggled to attract airlines since it reopened for commercial use in 2004. The low cost Italian airline, Wind Jet, operated flights from Forli to Niš in return for subsidies of 1.1 million euros and the purchase of fifty seats per flight by city authorities. Flights were suspended after the financial incentive dried up and an investigation has been launched in to why so much money was spent on the service. More recently, Darwin Airline from Switzerland ran flights from Zurich and Geneva but the pricey tickets failed to attract passengers. Jat Airways, which operated flights from Constantine the Great Airport to several cities suspended all services several years ago due to low profitability. From April, Mistral Air will launch flights from Trieste to Niš, with the service to be subsidised by the European Union.

36 comments:

  1. Sometimes airports really have no point in existing as pax numbers are so low. BNX and INI are perfect examples.

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  2. Yeah and OSI should exist.

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  3. I think one of natonal airlines ATR must be placed on INI and promote direct flights, coz the ppl simply hate connections from Podgorica. I remember that the direct flights to ZRH were very succesfull. 50-70 seats plane and 5 direct routes and INI will be +

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  4. One ATR in INI and flights via Banja Luka to Western Europe + via INI to Istanbul. With subsidy from Nis local authority and Republika Srpska for begging there is no way that those routes will not be profitable.

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    1. Banja Luka belongs to Zagreb catchment area and by that way is considered as solved issue.
      It definitely stays INI to be resolved.

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    2. Wow. That sounds so impressive: "zagreb catchment area", as if it was some big major hub. I'm just being sarcastic.
      The truth would rather be that Zagreb lies in the catchment area of Budapest, Belgrade, Venice and Vienna. More and more people from Croatia are using Belgrade as their departure airport, not talking about the ones from Bosnia/Republika Srpska.

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    3. Croats to use Belgrade? And that Belgrade is catchment area for Zagreb. Now, it is not funny any more. I start to feel sorry for you. It is sick!

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    4. It is a fact that more pax from Eastern Croatia will use BEG if the price and schedule is right. Also is true for BNX pax and ZAG catchment area. Even though they would actually prefer to fly from ZAG and BEG, and not the other way around, these pax are very price sensitive and it doesn't make sense to cover additional 100-200km for one way trip just to satisfy national pride or whatever.

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    5. Nis can be covered by both BEG and SOF...for the curious :)

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    6. Ref. Ano. 7.25 PM
      I fully respect your right to be sarcastic.
      However, to you is probably known fact that roughly half of BNX population are regularly coming to LDZA catchment area to pick up retirement money and other social benefits.
      So, in the same time, if they need to travel, they definitely prefer LDZA to BEG, as their departure airport.
      These facts also clearly illustrate, peaceful nature of BNX population and total lack of any nationalism, although you are suggesting opposite to me for unknown reason.
      I also understand your lack of knowledge since obviously you are not from BNX area.

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  5. The best thing for Nis would be a daily Austrian DH8. That would provide all necessary connections via VIE. Nothing more needed. Full stop.

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  6. one atr from nis can make very succesfull cabin load to zurich (4 flights pw), munchen (3 flights pw), vienna (daily), rome (3 flights pw), budapest (2 pw), malpensa (3 pw), athens (2 pw).. it can happen if authorities want. years ago, jat used boeing to its flights to zurich, and of course there was not many people on these flights, but if you use one atr, its quite sure that with 5-6 destinations it can work. Nis is big city and there is not only diaspora to travel, but also citizens who wish to see and enjoy in european cities as a tourists. sometimes i wonder why all those millioners of serbia do not buy one atr (42-500 costs 9 mill euros, brand new) and make some kind of domestic airline company, with nis base and flights to these cities including 3 daily flights to belgrade.. they can sell tickets only by internet so to reduce the costs. its simple.. but who cares?

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    1. They definitely could have bought that ATR with all the subsidies they spent.

      I think you're right that a single ATR based in Nis could kick-start some decent traffic.

      Also, there's a full bus to/from Nis that leaves every 30 mins. Surely, for the right price, they could fill a few planes every day. charge 40e.

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    2. i agree, they can even make lower price. Bus RT to nis costs around 20 euros. maybe more. they can make that with plane. OW can cost 10 euros. its only 250kms. atr is very economical plane. if someone buy ticket 2 months before, it can even cost 5,6,7 euros.. and maybe days before cannot cost more than 35 euros OW. the most important to nis government is to set free this small airline from taxes (for the beggining). nothing more.

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    3. That wouldn't work because of the protectionism... Montenegro Airlines already tried to set up an airline in Nis with one plane and they failed with the approval.

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    4. 10 EUR for plane ticket? You are joking. Even LCC does not have this kind of discount. And LCC in 40 minutes flight with turboprop? How can that be commercial?

      INI-BEG? Even Austria can not afford this on route GRZ-VIE, but sure poor Serbia can do it. Come on! Wake up.

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    5. But Croatia can afford Pula - Zagreb... Solution: just turn it into a PSO route :+)

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    6. PUY-ZAG is 270 km what is including Ucka tunnel 1 hour more than INI-BEG 225 km.

      As PUY-ZAG is stupid, INI-BEG would be even more stupid.

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    7. hahaha, please, gimkme a break. first, i was flying ryanair bergamo-budapest for 0.99 euros, belgrade-memmingen 12e, mad-lis-mad 17e, charleroi-barcelona 9e... ok? i dont care if austrian can afford flight viena-graz, but u dont listen well, because probably you are very very smart. if you dont pay taxes and if you have around 70 people working for the company that sells its tickets ONLINE, you can make a profit. i dont like people like u who think negative. wizzair came to beg with 2 destinations in first year. now it has 14. and only 2 years passed. helloooo...

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    8. For sure you was not flaying Ryanair for 0,99. Price after taxis and everything else (card provision, check-in chargers, luggage...) is a “bit” more than that. Also you have those "0,99 EUR" tickets 2 per flight. Very good price for LCC is 35-45 EUR one way, to 70-90 EUR return ticket! And for sure you can not have this price with ATR.

      Also can you give me examples of LCC flying 40 minutes flight?

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  7. I also agree with you that smaller airplane such as atr or q300 could serve Ini very well as they have 50 passanger capacity..f100, b737 or airbus are too big at the moment. and of course only direct flights to Vie, zrh, mxp or fra could work..

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    1. Q300 can not be profitable any more. Companies that have them try to sell them for anything or they just put them out of service. LF must be 95% to make break-even.

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  8. Can the smaller ATR reach ZRH from INI at all without refueling? I'm also not convinced pax would love the 2,5 hours flight time at a lower alt, especially in winter over the Alps as it might get pretty bumpy. Problem with ATR is also lack of cargo space and we all know for these "Gastarbeiter" routes to be profitable you need to let pax bring at least 25Kg luggage, if not even 30Kg!

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    1. travel range to atr 42-500 is 2.965 kms, so it can reach even stockholm, london or moscow. dont worry about that. and if about gastarbeiters, they come to serbia to make their teeth, so thats the situation on the west and they would rather pay 65,70 euros RT ticket from zurich to nis without any luggage and to spend weekend with their family, than to pay zrh-beg plane ticket 180, 200 euros and than to sit on the bus and to go to some village nearby nis. ok? and please, there are many resorts around southern serbia, so maybe some swiss would fly to visit our beautiful country :) i mean, to enjoy the nature. western europeans do know how to enjoy in nature: mountains, lakes, forest... thats is why its strange for us to understand that we can manage to have foreigners at nis airport. we do not have ideas, i mean there are no ideas in our tourism policy..

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    2. don't count on swiss tourists yet :) but the rest of your analysis is spot on. I'm sure that even 150E RT ZRH-INI would work great, and with AT4 it can be profitable

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  9. @ex-yu
    please put Nis as an label benetah the text. I am cuorious about topics covering each label, from time to time.
    Rgrds

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  10. Biggest mistake for Montenegro Airlines is leaving Skopje

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  11. The flight ZRH-INI with Darwin Saab 2000 was very nice, but it was only half full, 25 seats occupied. This flight was GVA-ZRH-INI.

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    1. Even 25 was a good result with those fares...

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  12. One month after the launch, Pegasus remarkably increased their fares out of BEG, especially to ME destinations. Any thoughts/

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    1. Everywhere besides Istanbul basically. The fares to IKA for example are now a whopping 500 Eur, a lot for a no-frills airline.

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    2. Yup if you select days with the most expensive ticket. Usualy return ticket is under 300 EUR for BGD-IKA which is just fine.

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    3. Well, it used to be, not any more. Same for BEG-BEY, they're almost as TK. That's what i'm talking about.

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  13. Maybe CRJ200 would be ideal for the city..50 seats, range of 3000 km, and plane is pretty faster than turboprop airplanes. Niš could have flights to Stockholm, Moscow, Zurich, and summer flights to Greece. City needs its own airline...cause Jat does not have any interest for Niš...

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