|Wizz Air eyes flights from Germany and Poland to Podgorica|
Low cost airline Wizz Air is close to finalising an agreement with the Montenegrin government to launch flights to Podgorica next summer season, which would make the city its seventh destination in the former Yugoslavia. Predrag Jelušić, the Montenegrin State Secretary for Tourism, says, “I believe we are very close to reaching a deal with Wizz Air to launch flights from Montenegro to Germany and Poland”. Mr. Jelušić adds that an agreement is likely to be finalised early next year. Only last month, the Hungarian Ambassador to Montenegro, Krisztian Posa, confirmed that the budget carrier was interested in launching flights to Podgorica from several European cities.
The State Secretary also confirmed that all low cost airlines flying to Montenegro receive subsidies. “Every low cost and charter airline is granted subsidies for each tourist they bring to our country. So far, the Ministry for Tourism and the National Tourism Organisation have paid for these expenses, however, the government is now looking to set up a special fund”, Mr. Jelušić explains. He adds, “We believe each airline should be subsidised, including Montenegro Airlines, which also brings tourists to our country. Each airline receives between six and ten euros per passenger”. The State Secretary believes that companies flying to Montenegro throughout the slow winter season should be granted additional benefits.
Montenegro Airlines has lobbied strongly against budget carriers and Wizz Air’s arrival would put further pressure on the airline. Europe’s largest low cost carrier, Ryanair, already 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. Wizz Air will be introducing a range of new flights from the former Yugoslavia next year, including services from Tuzla to Sandefjord, Memmingen, Stockholm Skavsta and Frankfurt Hahn, as well as flights from Basel to Niš. The no frills airline is also believed to be contesting an international tender for subsidies from the Macedonian government in order to launch additional flights from Skopje next summer.