Strong first month for Ryanair in Podgorica
Just over a month since it launched its inaugural service to Montenegro, Ryanair has seen solid figures on its Charleroi - Podgorica flights. Europe’s largest low cost airline carried 1.573 passengers on its inbound flights to Podgorica, representing an average load factor of 92.4% on board the Boeing 737-800, the Montenegrin Ministry for Tourism and Sustainable Development reports. Figures are, understandably, somewhat lower on the outbound Podgorica flights to Charleroi. Overall, the average load factor for the service stands at 73%. “These results form the basis of our future cooperation with Ryanair and other low cost airlines and the launch of new routes”, the Ministry says.
Ryanair will operate flights to Montenegro until at least 2016 according to an agreement signed between the low cost airline and the government. Over the next three years the airline has offered to operate up to fourteen destinations from Tivat with Milan, Barcelona, London, Oslo and Stockholm selected by the government for the 2014 summer season. According to the ministry, Ryanair has not received any subsidies or incentives and is paying landing and handling fees in Podgorica. The no frills airline currently operates two weekly flights between Charleroi and the Montenegrin capital.
Montenegro’s two international airports have recorded strong growth so far this year. In June, the two airports combined saw their numbers increase by 19% compared to last year. Together, Podgorica and Tivat are estimated to handle 1.5 million passengers by the end of the year. Alitalia is the newest scheduled airline to launch services to Podgorica. On the 42 flights operated so far, the Italian national airline carried 1.123 passengers from Rome to the Montenegrin capital. The airline maintains three weekly flights between the two cities. This winter, Alitalia will be boosting capacity to Podgorica from an Embraer E175 to an Airbus A319/320 (on Mondays and Thursdays). The equipment used on the Saturday flight remains an E175. The changes come into effect from October 27.