Montenegro Airlines protectionism to end

Low cost competition for Montenegro Airlines
Government protectionism over Montenegro Airlines is expected to end soon as it announces it will no longer pose obstacles to other carriers interested in establishing flights to the country. Until now, all airlines applying for a license would first have to get the tick of approval from Montenegro Airlines before receiving clearances from the country’s civil aviation body to operate to either Tivat or Podgorica. The practice is said to be hindering the country’s expanding tourism industry, which could benefit from numerous seasonal low cost flights as is the case in seaside cities across Croatia. The move will come as a slap to the Montenegrin national carrier which is in the process of taking out a 9.6 million Euro loan to cover its losses and is hoping airports in Montenegro and Belgrade will write off its unpaid debt. The airline is also struggling to pay handling fees at other airports such as Frankfurt and Vienna and will be slashing employee pay by 20%.

The Montenegrin government is continuing negotiations with low cost airlines Ryanair and easyJet. With generous incentives, Ryanair is keen on starting flights to both Podgorica and Tivat from the United Kingdom, namely Glasgow. easyJet on the other hand is considering commencing services to the country in the summer of 2012. The relaxed protectionist policy would also encourage other low cost airlines, the government believes. The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Montenegro, Catherine Knight-Sands, said that the introduction of low cost flights between her country and Montenegro would be of great importance to the further advancement in relations between the two.

Despite being a country which heavily relies on tourism, an industry significantly propped up by low cost flights, not a single no frills airline operates to Montenegro. This summer, only Air Berlin will fly the flag for low cost airlines in Montenegro, although most consider Germany’s second largest airline to be outside of the no frills category due to its pricing.


  1. Aero11:20

    Instead of writing their debt off, BEG should take from them 1-2 Fokker, establish LCC, base it in INI and convert its usbsidies to INI into majority ownership.


  2. Aero11:21

    Ups, not usbsidies, but subsidies...

  3. Anonymous11:28

    < AERO u are absolutely right.
    INI needs to be Hub for some airline to start going well.

  4. Anonymous11:39

    I would not be surprised they wrote off the debt.We are already well known to make a disastrous decisions for ourselves.As for the subtraction of the aircraft, I'm not sure that this is legal, but as long as legal it is I think the idea of establishing LCC for Nis with them is just awesome.
    Well done Aero :)

  5. Anonymous12:43

    Excellent. It is also used to be the idea with Master Airways to open bases and the register two foker in SRB . That would be the right thing for Montenegro Airlines and the Airport Nis ...

  6. Anonymous13:09

    This is a nice joke:-)
    Air travel in such a poor region(South-eastern Serbia) is for sure on the top of the priorities:-)
    You can take if you want 5 aircraft from Montenegro but you will not fill more than 20 seats in best case!
    Btw. visas for Serbia will re-introduced next month.

  7. Aero13:32

    @ last Anonymous

    I`m just challenging the idea.
    And btw. this is not story about priorities, rather about taking BEG`s money out of YM`s hole.

    Furthermore, there are 45 pax daily on average on YM`s flights from INI, this year so far.

    About visas... I do hope we will keep on traveling visa free.

  8. There wont be visa lifting for Serbia, don't worry ;)

    INI could use one of YMs Fokker 100:
    1 weekly to ARN, CPH, GOT
    2 weekly to LHR, CDG, DME
    3 weekly to FRA, ZRH, VIE
    and even 2-3 charter destinations @ late night hours to Greece and Turkey... I just can not understand why JAT is doing nothing about INI airport!?

  9. Anonymous14:48

    @JU500 Well done mate. I think that the destination you named are completely logical and quite appropriate really. I just think that type of aircraft is not adequate, due to consumption and maintenance cost, and capacity as well.
    They need a CRJ 200 up to 50 seats, or maybe DASH Q300 or Q400 and therefore the capacity, would be 100 percent.

    Cheers guys

  10. You guys must not be serious about INI. Who the heck wants to fly to INI? No industry, no tourism...a hole in the middle of nowhere. The same as OSI, MBX, BNX, TZL. Instead of giving all those nonsense subsidies to phantom airlines, it would be smarter to have their cities cleaned of garbage and filth that's been laying around, give incentives to business owners, so they can hire more people and that way boost the local economy. I could go on and on. get out of the LaLa land and get real for once.

  11. @Sam

    I've just checked at and almost every destination I wrote is mentioned as recommended at route-shop section of the site. :)

    I'm not saying INI should become transcontinental HUB, but I guess there is demand for a few European destinations serving diaspora. :)

  12. @JU500 & Sam

    I agree with JU500. Even better than, one should visit the Nisekspres website and see their destinations in Austria, for example and see the bus fares. I am sure there would be quite a few people in diaspora who would take the advantage of a Friday afternoon flight to Nis and a Sunday evening flight back to visit their families.

  13. Anonymous15:43

    I really hate when people have nothing positive to say. If an airline wants to fly to Nis, Banja Luka, Tuzla etc then let them. If the local government wants to spend money to help the airline out or build another airport in the region, let them.

    It all might seem pointless for now but in the future it will provide a good stepping stone for the entire region.

    Also I dont know how much some of you people know about Nis but outside of Belgrade, it is the number one construction site of Serbia. 7,000 jobs were created in the last year or so and another 2,000 to be created within a years time, also with decent salary which in turn will increase the average wage not only Nis but Serbia too. This will provide more people with the oppurtunity to purchase airline tickets in the area as they will be able to afford, which many currently can not. They will recieve a tourist boom with their planned aqua park and zoo, both of which will be one of akind in the balkans, complete renovation of their stadium and areana to host large scaled events and the city of Nis will host the Ecumenical Assembly of Christian Churches in 2013 which will promote the city in a world wide scale.

    So for all of you who have only negative thoughts about Nis Airport, think about everything else thats going on in just the surrounding area and it will add up.

  14. @ last Anonymous

    I agree with you too. :-) (I guess I am in a positive mood today!) People are usually unaware of what places like INI, BNX, OHD, OSI, etc. offer or could offer given a chance. Wasn't it in the news not so long ago that a Korean company had taken over one of the big factories in INI? I am sure some of the Korean staff would love to be able to fly home from INI and not from SKP, SOF, BEG or whatever larger airport they are using now. If my modest memory doesn't fail me, there are a number of spas close to INI that could potentially attract people from Middle East. And what about all the archeological sites in the vicinity? The list is inexhaustible and similar list could be made for all those "obscure" airports in the region. We in ex YU simply don't know how to market what we have.

  15. Anonymous16:18

    @ Lento

    I love you just because your not one of those annoying people that only put places such as Nis down. I could go on from your comment and explain just how more potential this part of Serbia has but you seem to know quite a bit already and Im guessing that was only the first few to come to your head so Im sure you already know more :)

    The only problem, like people have said many times before is the price of tickets and size of the aircraft. Although I have said that the average salery in the region is going up, it is still not there and needs time for people to feel finalcially secuare before they blow their money on flying to destinations around the world. Out of all ex-yu airlines, I believe that Adria has the most potential to set up base in Nis just because they have the smaller aircrafts to it with. However I don't see why Jat can't at least have once weekly flights to a couple of various destinations. With the right price, aircraft and advertising there should be no reason for it to fail. And everyone please do not bring up how Jat tried to set up a base a couple of years back. Those ticket prices we're unbelievable and had no adertising whatsoever on the flights so what would you expect?

  16. Aero16:31

    I am feeling in a way responsible by placing such an idea on this topic, that`s why few additions:
    Struggling airline in question here is YM (not any other) and they posses only Fs and EMBs (not any other).
    On the other hand side, BEG is placing substantial financial subsidies to INI so far (not to any other).
    In both cases, financial looser is BEG, which is not to blame for both.
    I just came up with the idea how to resolve this financially non-beneficial position generated by these two sides - YM and INI, and not any other, again.

  17. Anonymous16:40

    Only one information Anonjmus to 1:05 pm:
    Montenegro Airlines aircraft are the place where the whole of April and May were filled with more than 80 percent so it shows that things are definitely getting better.
    Already in the first quarter of Nis, Montenegro Airlines has increased passenger than 40 percent from the same period last year. And the following summer season and winter will be also much better.
    That si facts.

    So that's a nice introduction to Montenegro Airlines is preparing in the near future solo or through a Master Airways introduced direct flights from Niš as it was planned.

    And then these "fans" Belgrade to realize that people south of the Danube are not stupid and have the right to travel from their region cheaper and safer than they say it offers the JAT.

    Greetings from southern Serbia
    We have 2 500 000 people.!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. @ Aero & last anonymous

    The key word is marketing. I remember flying to SKP from BEG on YM and I was delighted to say the least. All flights were on time, service was impeccable, aircraft in mint condition. However when I arrived in SKP, agents had no idea about YM and they were not selling YM, even though YM had fares and connections better than other airlines operating flights to/from SKP. Publishing schedules and fares through GDS is simply not enough for the public and professionals to raise awareness.

  20. Anonymous16:52

    The exact same thing happened to me and my family flighing for Belgrade to Nis with Jat. It was suprising that noone in Belgrade was aware of these flights until 10 minutes before the flight. We had tickets, there was a plane waiting just outside for us but noone knew anything about it.

  21. Naisus21:10

    Yes, Montenegro Airlines is very very good airline company ,young fleet, young employee, and excellent service.

    Go YM from Nis and we support you! ...

  22. Anonymous07:47

    Odužiću, pa mi je komplikovano na engleskom. Master Airways je završena priča, jer je menadžment YM koji je gurao tu priču, smenjen prošlog leta (izuzev CEO). Sadašnji mendzment nije zainterosovan i saobraćaj sa Nišem održavaće se onoliko dugo koliko grad Niš bude participirao novca YM. Noćenja YM aviona i linije iz Skoplja i Prištine su napravile 4-5 mil eura godisnjeg gubitka iako punjenje tih linija nije bilo loše (jetine karte, skupe provizije) i teško da će biti reorganizovane. Samim tim linije YM npr.prema Londonu i Frankfurtu su otišle na 30% punjenja.
    Ukoliko YM želi da održava London, Milano, Brisel... on treba bar 2 manja aviona (npr. EMB 145) ili mogucnost da vlada dotira linije sa malim punjenjem.
    YM ce morati biti definitivno letnja carter kompanija, koja ce polovinu aviona zimi parkirati ili iznajmiti. Nije to strašno Ryan svake zime parkira 100 novih aviona, da ne bi pravio veće gubitke njihovim letenjem. Trenutno u YM nema volje i pojedinacnih interesa za zimsko iznajmljivanje aviona, a cilj kompanije je da se neke 2015 YM flota koncipira na 6 Embraera 195 (možda neki 170 jer je isti pokriven pilotskim i mehanicarskim licencama). U ovom trenutku YM leti 4 DME i 3 CDG dnevno i svi avioni su puni.

  23. BGman21:06

    Kako stvari stoje sve nacionalne aviokompanije bez obziro da li se radi o Montenegro Air., JAT , Croatia ,Adria sve do Lufthanse i British-a ce ili pobediti krizu i nelojalnu konkurenciju ili preci u charter kompanije jer naspram sebe imaju low cost-eve iza kojih stoji jaki interesi i mocne privatne kompanije sa ciljem da uniste sve sto je nacionalno sa nenormalno niskim cenama koje nisu ni na nivou autobuskog gradskog prevoza a da ne govorim o anekakvom aviosaobracaju koji je jos uvek luksuz, atek ce biti s obzirom da je gorivo toliko poskupelo da ucestvuje sa preko 50% u cenisvake karte!

    Pa sami prosudite kako moze za 15,20 eura da nas neko preveze iz Srbije do Evrope.
    Aerodromske takse kostaju samo 30-40 eura a gde su ostale usluge,plate osoblja, troskovi amortizacije aviona i placanja lizinga za iste i naravno zarada tih low cost kompanija.????
    NEko mnogo jak tu stoji i sposoban je da izdrzi verovatno desetak ili 20 godina ne zaradjujuci ili finansirajuci gubitke dok nacionalni avioprevoznici potuno ne stave kljuc u bravu.

    A onda ce low cost-eri da preuzmu sve i diktiraju "trzisne cene"
    Stari kapitalisticki recept.

    A s druge strane zabranjuje se nacionalnim vladama da pomazu svoje prevozioce, zaboga to nije trzisno poslovanje. Kao da ti nacionalni prevozioci ne dovode turste,sportiste svojoj zemlji, ili regionu i promovisu je na svakom mestu.???


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