The United States Department of Transportation (DoT) has granted tentative approval for Montenegro Airlines to codeshare on Air Serbia's flights between Belgrade and New York, based on an application filed by the carrier in February. "We find that grant of this authority is consistent with the public interest, that the applicant has demonstrated, based on the record, that it is financially and operationally qualified to perform the services authorised, and that it is substantially owned and effectively controlled by citizens of its claimed homeland. The authority sought by the applicant is encompassed by the US - Montenegro Air Transport Agreement of 2012. We therefore find that grant of the requested exemption authority, for a two-year term, or until the requested permit authority becomes effective, whichever occurs earlier, is warranted", the DoT said. It added, "Montenegro Airlines may only operate through a codeshare and/or wet-lease arrangement with a duly authorised and properly supervised US or foreign air carrier, where Montenegro Airlines is not physically operating the flight to and from the United States". The Department has now called on parties to submit any objections to its findings. If none are filed, it will make final its tentative approval.
Montenegro Airlines will become the third codeshare partner on Air Serbia's service to New York. Both Etihad Airways and Air Berlin have their designator code and flight numbers on the route. In addition, Turkey's Atlasglobal announced on Tuesday it will file an application with the US DoT next month to be granted codeshare rights on Air Serbia's flights to New York.