Friday, January 6, 2017

Ryanair to launch new Podgorica flights


Europe's largest low cost airline, Ryanair, will launch flights between Stockholm Skavsta Airport and Podgorica this spring, marking the carrier's fourth destination from the Montenegrin capital. The new service will operate twice per week, each Thursday and Sunday, starting April 2. Tickets are already on sale through the airline's website. "We are delighted to introduce new flights out of Podgorica for the 2017 summer season, which includes Stockholm and the recently launched flights from Berlin, for a total of four destinations from this airport. As a result, we will handle 110.000 passengers to and from Podgorica this year and create eighty local jobs at the airport", the no frills carrier said in a statement.

Ryanair launched flights to the Montenegrin capital in the summer of 2013 following two years of negotiations with the government. The airline introduced seasonal services from Charleroi to Podgorica, which have since been extended to year-round operations, and has also added flights from London Stansted, and most recently Berlin. "This is the right time to come and expand our operations in Montenegro. Unfortunately, over the past three years, our growth has been limited due to fleet constraints, however, with the arrival of new aircraft we will certainly introduce new flights to Serbia and Montenegro. We are extremely interested in including Tivat to our network", the airline's Route Manager, Luis Fernandez-Mellado, said recently. "We have to concede that Eastern Europe is growing slowly in terms of new routes for us. However, we are trying, which is why we recently announced new services to Sofia, Niš and Podgorica. It's all part of our strategy", Mr Fernandez-Mellado noted.

Ryanair initially intended to introduce flights from London, Barcelona, Stockholm and Milan to Tivat, however, the no frills carrier has warned that high fees at Montenegro's two international airports continue to be an issue. The country is one of the most expensive for Ryanair, with its charges exceeding other Eastern European nations. "The main issue with Montenegrin airports is that their fees are non-competitive, especially when compared to Greece or other similar holiday destinations. That is the main reason we are so late on the market, as we are more focused on more accessible destinations elsewhere. Tivat is one of the airports that is very appealing to us. If its fees were lower it would have been part of our plans much earlier", the carrier's Route Manager said. He added, "The expense of flying one passenger from Europe to Montenegro is much higher than, say, to Cyprus. That presents a big business barrier for us and is slowing our growth. There is no magic formula - the market is stimulated by low fares. That's a fact".

Podgorica is preparing for an extremely busy year following a record 2016 during which it managed to overtake Sarajevo to become the former Yugoslavia's ninth busiest airport. So far, Wizz Air has announced plans to launch flights from Budapest to the Montenegrin capital starting April 3, while LOT Polish Airlines will commence seasonal operations between Warsaw and Podgorica from May 13. Further details for the new Stockholm Skavsta - Podgorica flights can be found here.

71 comments:

  1. Watch and learn Sarajevo. This could have been you!

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    1. I agree and actually the destinations they are flying to from Podgorica would be ideal for Sarajevo. An extra 110,000 pax per year to SJJ would be fantastic.

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  2. Not the best news for Air Serbia and the recent JU-YM codeshare.

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    1. It's great for them because they should be forced to compete to remain competitive. ;)

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    2. I don't see ASL's partnership with YM bringing any benefits to it. Better to jump from this fast sinking ship.

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    3. Well it's very good for Montenegrin consumers who will now get more choice. But it is things like this that should play on JU's mind if they are considering going hybrid or low cost, like some are saying they will later this year. If you offer the same service as Ryanair from Podgorica to Stockholm via Belgrade no one will fly with you. If you offer some point of difference like you do now, then you can serve a different category of passengers.

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    4. Anonymus 9:23, who exactly can you serve from Podgorica? Rich people? In the end, who is going to win?

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  3. With each new announcement, YM becomes a heavier burden for the government.
    Podgorica has decent connections and I really don't see a good enough reason to waste millions each year so as to keep YM afloat.

    If there is a market for Germany or France let one of the LCCs such as Transavia, Eurowings, Ryanair... step in.

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    1. Montenegro Airlines was political project from the very beginning. It was meant to be one of the symbols of Montenegrin statehood. So, it will stay afloat as long as government wants, i.e. state budget is there for any amount of loss. Just like Montenegrin "informal" incomes. Will DPS give up from what they regard as a symbol of independence? I doubt. They will find more creative solution.

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    2. I agree but times have changed... and YM's finances keep on going from bad to worse. MNE is not a wealthy country so it can't afford to spend lavishly left and right. If YM's losses were tolerable then the government could have turned a blind eye, unfortunately (or not) this isn't the case.

      I can only imagine how bad their performance will be this winter. My guess is that by 2018 they will be long gone.

      The best would be for the government to shut them down and to fully liberalize the market, including the ASA with Serbia so as to allow third party carriers to launch flights.

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  4. Nice but wow. talk about the Balkan way of doing business. You offer an inferior product (Montenegro) and charge much higher than well established tourist nations - "The expense of flying one passenger from Europe to Montenegro is much higher than, say, to Cyprus".

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    1. Don't forget that when they fly their passengers to Cyprus it's to Paphos, not Larnaca. They pay absolutely nothing there so of course it's cheaper, the airport was dead between October and April.

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    2. Does Ryanair get any subsidies for these flights to Podgorica?

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    3. I find it hard to believe that they are flying to Podgorica without any incentives. The airport is on the expensive side for airlines.

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    4. @ 9.09: Montenegrin government always did say they want to develop 'elite' tourism :D

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    5. Anonymous at 9:30 AM
      LOL, +1000
      Why fly to Mykonos when you can pay more and go to Tivat?|
      The Montenegran ministers are on to something!

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    6. TGD is still state-owned so any deal on fees can be offered directly. Therefore nobody here will actually have clear knowledge of any 'subsidies', i.e. 'new route support' without being tied to an NDA.

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    7. Montenegro - 'elite' tourism? Please!!!
      I was there 18 months ago and the nuggets floating in the water at Budva has been the source of dinner party conversations ever since. Thank goodness for Croatia up the road. Stylish, sophisticated and clean.

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    8. ^ He was being sarcastic. Calm down. We know you think your home country is the best.

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    9. No true story - I wish I was joking. What was suppose to be the highlight of a rhapsody tour of the Balkans was the biggest let down. And what is with that bad beach trance music at 1130am downtown Budva main beach?

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    10. Alen Šćuric PurgerJanuary 6, 2017 at 11:13 AM

      LCC gets subventions from Montenegro. I get this information from high source.

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    11. So we have to believe you but not the guy who claims QR having 5% less passengers. Hmm...

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    12. @Alen hight source? Milo?

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  5. If only the Montenegro government had the sense of the Macedonian government and instead of funding a massively loss making national airline was instead offering subsidies to low cost airlines the country's tourism will have been way, way ahead from where it is now.

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  6. Ryanair is building a nice little network in Podgorica. So refreshing to finally see Podgorica growing so quickly.

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    1. Shows that despite being small there is a market in Mont. Like someone said, had they opened the market earlier, Podgorica could have even be reaching one million passengers by now. Instead they were protecting MGX which was falsifying its business results at the time.

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    2. While I agree with the above comment I think Montenegro should have done more to invest in its tourism infrastructure, which in my honest opinion is still not up to scratch to deal with a large influx of foreign tourists. Montenegro is going to profit from the mess in Turkey, Tunis, Egypt but they need to do more and be better prepared.

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  7. OT: Eurowings increases Cologne/Bonn-Split to 8/7 from 05 May ops by Air Berlin aircraft.

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    1. Split will be the story of this year, in a good way, of course!

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    2. DBV too.
      including the NEW terminal
      :)

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    3. Nice. So SPU handled 2.2 million this year, what are the estimates for next year? 2.5? Can they handle more?

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    4. If there was space the airport would handle at least 2.6 million, without a problem.

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  8. The good thing about LCCs flying to Podgorica is that they operate year-round and not just seasonal which is a win for customers.

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    1. The two airport system is working well in Montenegro because you have Tivat for seasonal traffic and Podgorica for year-round more diaspora oriented traffic.

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  9. I don't get how is Tivat not expensive for easy Jet but it is for Ryan.

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    1. Different passenger structure allows U2 to get more revenue per seat, while already commanding a significantly higher CASK.

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    2. easyjet gets subsidies for Tivat. Around 2 million EUR, most of which is provided by Porto Montenegro.

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    3. The two have a different cost structure.

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  10. I'm not the one that usually agrees with Ryanair and their policies but I do understand why for example Tivat or Nis or Osijek should pay them to fly there. These are small airports in unknown cities. No one's heard of them. If you want to get tourists you will have to give money to Ryanair to promote the city and put it on the map. That's how you start.

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    1. Agreed, except Tivat doesn't belong to the above sentence.

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    2. I agree, but don't tell me that Tivat is well known all around Europe.

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    3. But with 1.000.000 passenger they rally don't need to do so.

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    4. INI does not pay to FR to fly there

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    5. Or Wizz Air for that matter.

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  11. Europe's largest airline, not only lc. 117m pax.

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  12. Those Ryanair turnaround times are getting shorter and shorter. Just 25 minuted for this flight.

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    1. Haha that caught my eye too :D amazingly their on time performance is pretty good now.

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    2. They've had the 25 minute turnaround for more than 10 years now.

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    3. Ryanair flights from Podgorica are constantly delayed.

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  13. What is the capacity of the current terminal? They might need to expand soon.

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    1. I mean the terminal in Podgorica, just to be clear.

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    2. I don't know the capacity but it is very overcrowded at times and they have a wierd system. When you check in, you can't go to the departure loungr until some 30-40 minutes before your flight. So you have to sit and wait near the check in desks. There are not a lot of seats there and when there are a few flights around the same time it gets quite crowded and uncomfortable.

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    3. Maybe the area behind is even smaller? Same with TIV, you don't know what's worse, the area before security or the one after.

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    4. Idk. I travelled recently and it hasn't happened to me... There where 3 flights in 20 min period.

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    5. More or less it's the same space expect the area after security has a small duty free. I was there last June and there were 3 flights at the same time - Austrian, Montenegro and Air Serbia. Also I dislike the fact that only 1 taxi company is allowed to drive from the airport for a fixed price of 12 euros, which is double of the actual price. Although the cars are good.

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    6. That might be more expensive than the actual Ryan ticket :D

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    7. TGD was the only airport where I had to go through passpost control although I was just in transit...

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    8. Podgorica is small and does not get many flights expept the summer.

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  14. Excellent news. Timing is not that great out of Stockholm but for the price it's worth the hassle.

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  15. Give me Mykonos any day thank you!

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  16. Excellent! Plus with talks between Ryanair and Dubrovnik collapsing recently there is a much greater chance of Tivat becoming a focus city for them. The two airports are not far apart and I can't imagine it's that cheap to fly into Dubrovnik unless you are flying in on one of those charter flights.

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  17. Svakako su dobre vesti za TGD pa ce im se povecatiti broj putnika. A i dobro je sto imaju velik izbor LCC.
    I naravno da ASL ima i dalje toliko broj letova prema TGD sto je odlicno.
    INN-NS

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    1. I OS za Bec zbog svih konekcija koje nude

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  18. I have flown Ryan CRL-TGD plenty of times and the passengers were consisting of 65-70% people from north of Montenegro & Albania living abroad + 30-35% tourists (Belgian, Dutch, French and Serbian like myself).
    Unfortunately, the education level of the workers traveling back home is not on top, resulting in phone conversations during landing (not kidding), unbuckling and opening of the overhead compartments while still on the taxi etc. Honestly, I think that Ryan should hand out flyers explaining how to behave on an airplane - in their own language (albanian/montenegrin).
    On the other hand, it is the cheapest way of getting to the coast (in my case to my holiday apartment), so I don't mind.

    A piece of advice to all of you - use local taxi in Podgorica (yellow Hyundai's), not the guys fishing outside of the terminal OR the rent-a-car companies (e.g. Hertz).

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    1. PS. Ryan should have connected GOT with Montenegro as well, considering the large number of people from that country residing in western Sweden.

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