Montenegro Airlines to suspend Niš flights

No subsidies - no flights

Montenegro Airlines will suspend flights from Podgorica to Niš from October 1 since city authorities have not paid 469.411 euros in subsidies owed to the flag carrier. The debt stems from the period starting February 24 through to June 30. City authorities have assured that all outstanding debt will be paid soon in two instalments and that it will try to persuade the airport’s only customer to continue flying between the two cities throughout the 2012/13 winter season, which begins on October 28. Montenegro Airlines has terminated ticket sales for all of its flights to Niš after October 1.

The Montenegrin carrier launched flights from Podgorica to Niš Constantine the Great Airport in 2010. A total of forty seats are bought by city authorities on each flight to the tune of 199 euros per seat. If there are less than forty seats left on the flight, authorities only pay for the remaining unoccupied seats left on the Fokker F100, however, this has rarely been the case. Recently, Žarko Djurović, Montenegro Airlines’ regional manager for Serbia said, “The load factors for the Niš flights amount to less than 50%. Regardless, we expect for this route to continue operating and for numbers to improve”. The majority of passengers using the service transit through Podgorica and continue onwards to Western Europe.

Niš city authorities have drafted a new contract with Montenegro Airlines which would see the carrier operate five weekly flights between Podgorica and Niš and two weekly flights to Zurich, pending Swiss approval. However, in order for Montenegro Airlines to sign the agreement, outstanding debt must first be paid. Local authorities have subsidised other airlines in the past. The low cost Italian airline, Wind Jet, operated flights from Forli to Niš in return for subsidies of 1.1 million euros and the purchase of fifty seats per flight. In April 2013, Mistral Air will launch flights from Trieste to Niš, with the service to be subsidised by the European Union. In the first eight months of the year, Niš welcomed 18.376 passengers, an increase of 16% compared to the same period last year.


  1. Anonymous11:46

    They published the photos of Zagreb airport from the 60's...but it looks just the same as today, i was surprised when i saw the date underneath.

  2. Anonymous12:25

    No, thet is not true!

  3. 199euros per flight subsidy is huge.

    It costs just a little more than that to purchase a return ticket from Nis to Zurich

    1. funny situation this subsidy creates.

      199e is way more than a regular customer would pay.

      Why would Montenegro sell these last 40 empty seats when they get more money flying with them empty.

    2. Shalom!16:45

      You got it wrong. The City Assembly of Niš guaranteed that at least 40 seats would be filled with passengers traveling to a European destination other than Podgorica. Meaning that if the flight would have more than 40 passengers on board, no subsidies would be paid whatsoever. In case of, say, only 17 passengers would be on board and then connecting onwards from Podgorica (those traveling to Montenegro only did not count), the City Assembly would have to pay 199 euro for 23 empty seats.

      Subsidies are quite normal in order to attract airlines flying to and from an underdeveloped airport or even region, which Niš is. Whether 199 euro per seat is too much or too little is another question.

    3. That makes more sense, but that's not what the article says.

      "A total of forty seats are bought by city authorities on each flight to the tune of 199 euros per seat. If there are less than forty seats left on the flight, authorities only pay for the remaining unoccupied seats left on the Fokker F100, however, this has rarely been the case."

  4. BA88813:14

    Another excellent business venture from ex-yu region.

    (Not to mention a chance of always illusive Montenegrin connection)

  5. Anonymous15:32

    No important news here

  6. Anonymous15:37

    Vidis, ni Crnogorci vas vise nece! ;)

    1. Anonymous16:43

      A ti si baš pametan !!!

    2. Anonymous17:47

      If the city of Nish has some brains
      (which i doubt!),they never pay those subsidies back.
      Montenegro Airlines did it too...
      Skopje and Prishtina airport are probably still waiting for their money from CG.
      Hope CG follows the fate of Windjet...

    3. Anonymous17:56

      Croatia Airlines uzima od Maleva Embraer120 i u zimskom redu letenja će letjeti između Osijeka i Zagreba svih sedam dana u tjednu a između Osijeka i Splita ponedjeljkom i petkom!!

  7. Anonymous18:34

    New acft in Croatia Airlines, E120 ex Malev


    European Union allows Czech government to bail out debt ridden CSA with 100 million Euro taxpayers money !
    This applies only for government owned airlines(MALEV was private company).

    Thus Adria and also Croatia Airlines in future
    can receive cash injection legally !
    Adria also has a debt of 100 million Euro...
    My condolences to the taxpayers of Slovenia and Croatia.

  9. Anonymous09:18

    For these money city of Nis can easily lease one of EMB 120 too and start to fly to few reasonable destination Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich for example. Load factor would be 100 percent on this aircraft with just 30 seats.

  10. frequentflyer09:41

    If the subsidies (~200 euros per pax!) bring in more value to Nis and the area, then by all means pay the money to ensure the flights happen!

    I do like the thinking of some posters above that perhaps getting one of Budapest Air Service's EMB120s may be a cheaper proposition (and potentially more profitable). That's thinking outside the square, something many 'leaders' in exYU can't do.

    Methinks something (unsurprisingly) is rotten in this deal...

  11. OT: WTF is going on CAPA ???

    CAPA believes Wizz is launching twice weekly BEG-SKP end of Oct , ahaha (or are we missing something??)

    the only Macedonia-related article yet was full of errors, and now this:

    Wizz Air to launch five new routes from Belgrade
    The five new routes include Skopje in Macedonia, Mulhouse/Basel in France, Oslo Sandefjord in Norway and Rhodes and Kerkyra in Greece. Only one of these routes, Belgrade-Skopje, is currently operated by another carrier (Jat)....

    ... Jat Airways will also continue to remain the dominant carrier on Belgrade-Skopje with more than daily service compared to Wizz Air’s twice weekly frequency....


    1. Anonymous21:09

      its obviously a mistake. there wont be beg-skp route introduction.


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