Wizz Air has entered its sixth market in the former Yugoslavia this morning with the launch of its Bergamo - Podgorica service. It becomes the second major low cost airline to maintain operations to the Montenegrin capital after Ryanair. Wizz will follow-up on today's launch with the addition of flights between Memmingen and Podgorica tomorrow. Both will be maintained twice per week. There were 152 passengers on board this morning's inaugural service. "We are very excited to bring Wizz low fares to Podgorica, connecting with popular Italian and German regions. This not only provides low fare services for leisure and business travellers from Montenegro going west, it provides great fares for travellers coming east to discover the food, culture, biodiversity and stunning vistas in Montenegro. We are very excited to be adding Podgorica to the Wizz Air community", John Stephenson, Wizz Air's Executive Vice President, said.
Wizz faces no direct competition on its two new routes. The carrier has been in talks with the operator of Montenegro's two international airports, Airports of Montenegro, for several years now but has often complained of drawn out negotiation due to high fees. The head of Airports of Montenegro, Milovan Djuričković, said, "Airports of Montenegro are pleased that this summer we welcome Wizz Air among our partners. We hope for a successful cooperation which will contribute to improving air availability and increasing the number of tourists who will use Wizz Air to come to our country”. One of Wizz AIr's main rivals, Ryanair, plans to further expand its operation in Montenegro after announcing the launch of its third route to the country, from Berlin to Podgorica, scheduled to begin next month.
Wizz Air has expanded its operation across the former Yugoslavia this year. On top of its new Podgorica flights, it has introduced three new routes from Skopje, one from Belgrade and has today also launched a new service to Niš. The airline recently said it plans to commence flights to Sarajevo in the near future while continuing to maintain its base in Tuzla. Furthermore, the no frills carrier is talks with Pristina Airport. In addition, Wizz will launch a new route each from Skopje and Tuzla later this year. The General Director for Tourism Development and Standards in the Montenegrin government, Olivera Brajović, said Wizz Air's arrival will have a positive impact on the country's tourism industry. "We are very satisfied that Wizz Air will start flights to and from Montenegro and connect our country with markets that generate significant numbers of tourists - Germany and Italy for starters. This is a great opportunity for tourists from these countries to visit Montenegro with a direct flight at favourable prices. This is also an opportunity for locals to travel at reasonable fares. We are sure that this is just the beginning of our cooperation and that in the coming period we will jointly work on further expanding operations".