|Wizz Air mulling flights to Montenegro from several cities|
Budget airline Wizz Air is considering further expanding its reach in the former Yugoslavia by launching flights to Podgorica, the Hungarian Ambassador to Montenegro, Krisztian Posa, has said. According to the Ambassador, the Hungarian low cost airline is interested in launching flights to Podgorica from several European cities. “Montenegro is an interesting tourist destination and improvements in infrastructure, such as increased security, quality and speed of travel, should be welcomed and further supported”, Mr. Posa said. Wizz Air’s potential flights to Montenegro would mark the arrival of a second major low cost carrier to the country following Ryanair. Europe’s largest low cost airline operates year-long flights from London Stansted Airport to the Montenegrin capital, as well as a seasonal service from Charleroi. It has committed to further expanding its destination network from Podgorica as well as Tivat in the coming years.
Montenegro Airlines has lobbied strongly against budget carriers and Wizz Air’s arrival would put further pressure on the airline. Its former CEO, Zoran Djurišić, said last year, “Montenegro Airlines struggles for eight months while low cost airlines operate flights during the high season for three months and fill their planes to London, Paris and Moscow, services which we have nurtured for the other eight months”. However, Montenegro Airlines’ new management, which took office last year, has taken on a different approach. Earlier this month, CEO Daliborka Pejović said, “The essence of competition is to force the other company to dominate in the market and expand its network. Therefore, we also expect to improve our business. In my opinion, competition always encourages an improvement in our services, and it is our customers who benefit the most from it”.
Wizz Air has been extremely successful in conquering EX-YU markets where low cost airlines have had a limited presence. Wizz Air is the busiest carrier operating out of Macedonia, the second busiest in Serbia and the fourth busiest in Slovenia so far this year. Furthermore, Wizz recently announced it would open its nineteenth base in Tuzla, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also considering launching flights from Niš, in Serbia’s south-east, next year, as well as expanding its network out of Skopje. On the other hand, the airline has a limited presence in Croatia, with seasonal flights to Split, and it does not offer services to Pristina.