Friday, October 7, 2016

Flydubai confirms Montenegro launch in H1 2017


Flydubai has confirmed it will commence services to Montenegro during the first half of next year, although the hybrid carrier is yet to decide whether flights will operate to Podgorica or Tivat. It comes days after the airline chartered a promotional flight to Tivat carrying media, tour operator representatives, business leaders and airline executives. Flydubai’s CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said, “We brought with us 150 of the most influential members of the press and tour operators so we could explore the possibility of launching services to Montenegro. This has been a very successful trip. That is why I can confirm with all certainty that we will launch flights. In the near future we will release all details relating to our planned operations to Montenegro”.

Initially, Flydubai was to launch two weekly services from Dubai to Podgorica this July, however, those plans were put on hold. Porto Montenegro, a luxury yacht marina and adjacent waterfront development owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai is pushing for the carrier to start services to Tivat instead of Podgorica. The resort is located in the vicinity of the airport. Following talks with Mr Al Ghaith, the Montenegrin Minister for Sustainable Development and Tourism, Branimir Gvozdenović, said, “I am certain that this important air service will further strengthen the Montenegrin tourism sector, as well as business ties between our two countries”. The head of one of Montenegro's largest hotels and a key player in the local tourism industry, Roko Palmić, said, “Montenegro will become more accessible to tourists from Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Persian Gulf thanks to these new flights”.

Flydubai launched operations to the former Yugoslavia in late 2011 with services to Belgrade. They were followed with the introduction of flights to Skopje, Sarajevo and Zagreb. However, operations to the Croatian capital will be discontinued at the end of the month. Furthermore, Ljubljana Airport has held talks with the carrier over potential services to the city. Montenegro abolished visa requirements for UAE citizens last year. Following the opening of the Montenegrin embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2014, the government has focused on strengthening bilateral relations between the two nations, most notably in the transport and tourism sectors. There are currently no flights between Montenegro and the Middle East. The majority of passengers heading to the region are handled by Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia via their respective hubs.

76 comments:

  1. Do they honestly think Podgorica/Tivat will have more passengers than Zagreb? Good luck with that.

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    Replies
    1. There are a lot of connections from Dubai.

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    2. Who cares. The important thing is that no one from the ex-yu is paying for these flights to run. It's the Arabs that are burning their money on this and as long as it benefits the region I don't mind if there are 5 passengers on board.

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    3. Anon 9:48 No there are not so many connections from Dubai if you don't count tribal countries in that region. Unlike one imagines, it's very difficult to arrange a combination of Flydubai-Emirates flights. You can only select Flydubai operated routes if you go online.

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    4. Flydubai is an EK feeder. You can go onto EK's website and purchase tickets from Sydney to Belgrade in combination with EK/FZ.

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    5. Those "tribal countries" in the region are much more developed than any single one in the former Yugoslavia.

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    6. Don't look for a logic when you're talking about ME carriers.

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    7. Anon 9:05,

      Of course they expect better loads in TGD compared to ZAG. The reason is very simple: in TGD there is no Qatar to massacre them, as is the case in ZAG.

      That said, even as the sole MEB3 carrier in TGD they may not necessarily succeed with this route. TK will respond with crazy dumping, JU may as well offer better deals via AUH. Time will tell.

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    8. They are starting TGD conservatively with 2x per week which I think is good. They could perhaps operate Dubai - SKopje - Podgorica.

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    9. While that sounds good Fly dubai does not tie up its destinations.

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  2. Would it not be logical to fly Tivat from May to September and then Podgorica for the rest of the year?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, in my opinion this could make sense

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  3. Hahah don't worry they will start and stop service in 2017

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  4. I fail to see how they are going to fill those planes.

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    Replies
    1. They will probably get some big incentives from the government.

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  5. If they start Tivat that kills off any chance of them flying to Dubrovnik.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, poor Dubrovnik...not!

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    2. Some here were saying how they would launch Dubrovnik. I was making a comment in that context.

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    3. Što će uopće Dubrovniku flydubai kad od sljedeće godine počinje Qatar sa letovima.

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    4. Prvo ste bili rekli da ove godine pocinju.

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    5. Pa sto ako se govorilo da ce ove godine??

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    6. Pa ta informacija je bila netacna.

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  6. I agree with some other comments here and think this service will struggle.

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  7. What I find interesting is that the government made a deal with FZ for these flights. Wouldn't it be more logical to go with Etihad which will probably take over MGX?

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  8. This announcement will please the masses ahead of elections.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah because someone will vote for you because of a future flight to Dubai. lol

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  9. This could affect Air Serbia and Turkish loads.

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    Replies
    1. If someone's gonna be hurt by this, that's FlyDubai themselves.

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  10. Never in a million years would I have thought there would be a direct line between Dubai and Podgorica. Congratulations.

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    Replies
    1. Never say never :)

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    2. or even Dubai to Tivat airport! (shaking my head)

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  11. Good news. It gives more options to travellers to the Middle East and beyond.

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  12. On flights to ex-Yu, does Flydubai crew return immediately back to Dubai? These are not such short sectors

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    Replies
    1. Yes they do. It falls within their crew duty times. The only route where they have a layover, as far as I'm aware is Prague.

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    2. You think they would have reconsidered that after the Russia accident.

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    3. wow that's very long. DXB-BEG-DXB turns out something like 14 hours with the stop.

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    4. What about other airlines flying to BEG? Does QR do a layover or Air Serbia in AUH?

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    5. Yes Qatar and Etihad have layover in BEG. Air Serbia crew have layover in Abu Dhabi.

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    6. Above is reason enough for me to NEVER step on one of their planes. tks but no thanks.

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  13. Major overkill with this one.

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  14. I would have thought LJU would be a higher priority for them.

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    Replies
    1. Ljubljana does not seem to be a priority on anyone's list. I can't believe we are the only capital in former Yugoslavia still with no flights to Middle East.

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    2. Question is aforementioned crew duty time limitations.

      Even if LJU is only 10 mins per way more in average than ZAG it still means 20mins more per crew from DXB which could exceed the limit. At some point there must be a clear cut/limit.

      I know that several TOs are very interested in flights between VIE and Cape Verde (e.g. SID) with 737 or 320 family. Although HAJ-SID is possible, it is not for VIE-SID which is just 10mins longer one way.

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    3. Flight deck is more limited than Cabin Crew. FZ flies in extra Flight deck (headhead) to operate the return flight. This is for BTS, ZAG, SJJ. BEG if I remember right is with 1 set of crew. Block duty of 13h 45 for BEG. QR and EY layover in BEG, while JU layover in AUH. Air Arabia for a short time had a layover in SJJ however reverted to a turn around.

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  15. Why is everyone so excited about flights to Dubai? They will fly empty planes around. Ok it sounds nicer to have flights to Dubai instead of Charleroi but for the Airport and Montenegro it makes commercially much more sense to have Ryanair increase flights to say London to three times a week. But curiously there is not even demand for a 3 times a week flight to London for 19€ with its 9 Million inhabitants. So good luck with that adventure to Dubai.

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  16. Nice addition for TGD. They have been doing very well lately with attracting new airlines with Ryanair and easy jet launching new flights this year. They should try and get Aegean to Athens too.

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    1. Let's hope that all of these new flights finally put an end to the black hole called Montenegro Airlines.

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    2. of course it will not. It is not competition to Montenegro at all.

      But Ryanair and Wizzair will!

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  17. I'm still baffled that they haven't considered Dubrovnik or Split.

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    Replies
    1. Too seasonal and already well connected with the rest of the world.

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  18. Middle East carriers are really fighting for ex-Yu market. Qatar, Fly Dubai, Etihad, Air Arabia. Quite amazing.

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    Replies
    1. They are fighting for every market in Europe.

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    2. True but it's been interesting. 5 years ago there were no flights from Gulf to ex-Yu. Now we have 2 of the middle east big three plus 2 hybrid/lowcost airlines from that region.

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    3. @anonymous 12,50pm

      JAT was flying to DXB up to 6p/w to DXB (and for a short time to KWI and AUH). If Im not mistaken, JAT resumed DXB in 2002, ending flights in October 2011. 2 weeks later FZ started flights to BEG.

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  19. OT

    Flew ATH-BEG on Aegean. Out of the 174 seats on the A320 maybe 10 were free. Lots of Greeks and some Serbs who connected from other destinations.

    Aegean has incredibly improved their onboard experience when compared to two years ago. Their new uniforms look great especially when they put the red apron during 'meal' service.

    What I especially liked was that the dessert was served during tea/coffee time and it's a chocolate filled cookie made by a famous local pastry shop.

    What I found especially great is that they inform you via e-mail/sms about your gate and status, even before ATH updates their monitors.

    We were an hour late because of congestion at the airport. The terminal was renovated and it looks much better when compared to a few years ago.

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  20. It really comes with no surprise. Why are you all being critical? I think TIV is a better choice, even locals can come to visit the coastal town while Montenegrins travel to UAE and use DXB as transfer hub. Zero competition.

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    Replies
    1. Don't worry. Most people who comments here are critical about absolutely everything.

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    2. I am not worried, just trying to find the logic of them being so pessimistic about the route not going to work and comparing it to ZAG for instance. If FZ already flies to BEG, ZAG, even BTS which is a small village but again no competition then there is no reason why it cannot fly to TIV or TGD. JU will have to simply lower their rates to compete.

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    3. @anon 1:28pm

      BTS small village??? It has around 500.000 inhabitants and if you take a look at Google Maps and zoom out a bit, you will see that there is another, LARGE european capital with high average incomes in its close proximity.
      Now, compare that to the numbers in TGD or TIV...

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    4. Bratislava with 659.578 inhabitants is small village?

      It is like all Montenegro, and you compare this with Podgorica 187.085 inhabitants????

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  21. Great news for Podgorica

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  22. OT... today YU-ARA took off from BEG at 12:56 when the official departure time is 12:55. Congratulations on punctuality for JFK flights. Only hope that the LF was not miserable to cause such a great time performance!!??!!??? ... Can anyone comment on actual L.F. as we are in mid season already

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    1. Flight leaving on time shouldn't be treated as an excpetion :) You also have departures ahead of time and dealys overall for most of the airlines are excpetion to the rule. I think this OT might be a bit too muich, haha..

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    2. Services to New York have been extremely punctual and none of the doomsday scenarios came into reality.

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    3. In October LF on JU500 is some 60% to 65%, on JU501 less than 50%.

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    4. Дечко ТзарOctober 8, 2016 at 3:34 AM

      Anon @2:21 doesn't seem to be aware of the average time between pushback and takeoff time at JFK and what causes it. Moreover, flights leaving on time or within 60 minute delay make no difference (esp for transfer passengers) if they all arrive on (or before) scheduled time. JU501 arrived late only on handful of occasions since operations started! That's where puctuality really counts.

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    5. Mate, this guy was congratulating over one particular flight being on time which is funny on its own. And it wasn't from JFK but from BEG. So why comparison with JFK?

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    6. YU-ARA only flies to JFK and back. If it departs on time from BEG it will get to JFK 60-80 minutes EARLY. Schedule was built with ample time for departure delays, esp for notorious JFK delays.

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  23. OT:

    In S17 there are 17 weekly flights scheduled between LJU and LON or 2-3 per day, even 4 on Sundays! 13 on Easyjet (STN, LGW) and 4 on Wizzair (LTN). I highly doubt Adria will try to run LGW with such competition...

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  24. At BEG it usually takes 12 min from push back to take off provided all goes smooth. Anon 2:21 sarcasm is not necessary as if I understand correctly Anon 1:36 the question is more about current load factors rather than timing...

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    Replies
    1. well, I think that anon at 2:21 was actually very polite and tactical in saying that one flight leaving on time (as OT was about one specific single flight leaving on time) may not be something to congratulate over :) He wasn't rude or insulting.

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  25. Good for Montenegro . Now they have to go daily on flights to Belgrade and then they can easily hold up against their competitors.

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  26. Some people forget that UAE's headquarters for Balkan investment its actually in Podgorica. Also few months ago Arabs bought Porto Montenegro from Peter Munk. Things said i see potencial on this route.

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  27. OT:
    Important news for SKP and SJJ. QR just firmed orders up to 30 a/c + 60 extra with Boeing!

    http://www.boeing.com/commercial/customers/qatar-airways/qatar-airways-order.page

    This means that we can see them flying in 2018 because according to the article the 60 B737 Max is only a MoU but not a firm order yet.

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