|Niš negotiating potential flights with Swiss-based airline|
Another low cost airline has expressed interest to launch services to Niš Constantine the Great Airport in south-eastern Serbia as local authorities and Wizz Air continue talks over potential flights, to be launched from March 2015. The Deputy Mayor of Niš, Ljuba Savković, said in a statement, “Things are slowly moving forward. We have already signed an agreement offered by one airline and have sent it back to them for signing. In addition, an airline from Switzerland has also shown interest to launch flights to Niš”. Talks with the interested Swiss-based airline have already taken place. Authorities believe flights to Switzerland would also serve the Italian market due to its close proximity.
Switzerland has for years been considered one of the most profitable markets from Niš. Both Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines operated services from Constantine the Great Airport to Zurich between 2004 and 2006. Montenegro Airlines attempted to resume the route on several occasions but was knocked back by Swiss authorities, which refused to issue fifth freedom rights to the carrier. More recently, Darwin Airline, now known as Etihad Regional, operated services from both Zurich and Geneva to Niš but the pricey tickets failed to attract passengers. A considerable number of Serbian immigrants in Switzerland hail from Serbia’s south-east.
Wizz Air and local authorities are believed to be finalising flights from Constantine the Great Airport, to be launched next summer season. According to original plans, an agreement between the two sides was to be signed in the first half of September. Based on previous statements, online ticket sales are expected to begin by November with flights to be launched in late March 2015. The CEO of Niš Airport, Dragan Bugarinović, said last Friday, “I can’t imagine that we won’t have flights next year. I am absolutely certain we will have them. If we don’t achieve anything in a year then I don’t think we can ever hope for or expect anything better”. The last commercial flight from Niš was operated by Montenegro Airlines to Podgorica in October last year. The airport has been unable to attract any customers ever since.