Three EX-YU states eye inter-connectivity


The governments of Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are finalising plans for the introduction of flights between Sarajevo and Skopje via Podgorica. According to a draft agreement between the states, all airlines, including those outside the three countries, will be invited to operate the service, which would be subsidised. "Talks concerning the establishment of this route are ongoing. This service would contribute to improving connectivity between the three capitals", the Montenegrin Ambassador to Sarajevo, Velimir Šljivančanin, said earlier this week. Unless the route is operated by Montenegro Airlines, it would involve a carrier being granted seventh freedom rights, which allows for a company to operate international flights between two foreign nations with no onward service to its own country.

The Prime Minister of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, said recently, "The contents of the agreement between Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina has been settled and will be forwarded to all airlines operating in the region. Carriers will be requested to make their offers". He added that Bulgaria could also join the regional initiative. The governments of Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina believe the new route will boost trade and tourism, as well as people to people exchange. Bosnia and Herzegovina's former flag carrier, B&H Airlines, maintained flights between Sarajevo and Skopje on an off-and-on basis for several years. At one point, services operated via Podgorica as well, although the airline had no fifth freedom rights between the Montenegrin capital and Skopje.

The only foreign airline to have maintained services between two former Yugoslav states in recent times was Flydubai, which introduced seasonal flights from Sarajevo to Podgorica last winter. The route was made possible as the United Arab Emirates has an open skies agreement in place with both Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, enabling the designated carrier to operate with full flexibility on routes, capacity, frequency and types of aircraft, in any type of service, including the exercise of fifth freedom rights. These rights gave Flydubai the freedom to carry traffic between two foreign countries on a flight that either originated in or is destined for the United Arab Emirates. Macedonia is also a signatory to the open skies agreement with the UAE. Another potential operator for the service between Sarajevo, Podgorica and Skopje could include Wizz Air, which has a base in the Macedonian capital.

Comments

  1. I see Adria as likely to operate this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With their future Saab. Could work,

      Delete
    2. And it seems like a route Adria would operate.

      Delete
    3. Ljubljana-Sarajevo-Podgorica-Skopje. Sounds like a pre WWII route :)

      Delete
    4. This would work only with LCC prices. Otherwise no chance of succeeding.

      Delete
    5. Belgrade - Montenegro flights are constantly with good loads and tickets never go below 100 eur return.

      Delete
    6. Anon 10:58
      Belgrade-Podgorica flight is not comparable, because Belgrade functions as a hub and there is a lot of business activity between these two cities. OTOH these 3 cities are not hubs and I doubt there will be enough p2p demand. For example, Zagreb-Podgorica flight didn't work out

      Delete
  2. It would make most sense for it to be Montenegro Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Could feed their network with low costs

      Delete
    2. Montenegro Airlines used to fly this route but they were banned by Skopje Airport because of debt. I read somewhere lthat they finally settled that debt.

      Delete
    3. They have so many debt challenges from the past.

      Delete
  3. No money can be made on this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why it will be subsidised.

      Delete
  4. What about Air Serbia aviolet? :D They are flying Banja Luka - Antalya.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So it shows it's possible for them to fly from from Bosnia to third countries.

      Delete
    2. Maybe the best option would be for three governments to subsidise travel between three capitals through Belgrade during winter season.

      Delete
    3. Lol and why would they do that?

      Delete
    4. Chances are slim of course.
      The best way to achieve inter regional connectivity is to have 3-4 daily frequencies between Belgrade and every airport in the region. It can be sustained only if JU receives subsidies from various governments for that.

      Delete
  5. Indeed. Could feed their network with low costs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Easy. Have Trade Air operate the following route:

    OSI-ZAG-SJJ-TGD-SKP
    SKP-TGD-SJJ-ZAG-OSI

    ;)

    On another note, Iran Air is sending its A300-600 to BEG today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al masria use A330-200 Beg-Hurghada

      Delete
    2. Interesting, I see that was yesterday. Thank you.

      My guess is that they are seeing more demand after that one Egyptian carrier was blocked by our lovely Directorate.

      Delete
    3. Directorate blocked a carrier again?!
      Iran air A330-600 seem to be in 3+3+3 configuration. Not very comfortable.

      Delete
    4. Fly Egypt was blocked a few months ago.

      Delete
    5. Wow, Iran Air doing great job. Mahan Air starts their flights on 28th June with wide body.
      Is it possible to see Iran Air A330 in Belgrade on regular basis during the summer?

      Delete
    6. No it is not. They have just one and I doubt BEG is anywhere close to being a priority.

      Delete
    7. I don't think so. Only in March we have 8.336 tourists from Iran. To compare, from Croatia 8.321, from Turkey 8.045...
      p.s. they are true tourists who mostly arrives in groups(Iranmarkaz touristic agency-biggest in Iran). Immigranst mostly come via IST.

      Delete
    8. Immigrants mostly come by road after crossing into Europe from Turkey.

      Will be interesting to see how their numbers look in June with Iran Air, Qeshm and soon Mahan Air.

      I read on the newsflash the other day that both Markaz and Mahan were in Belgrade. I guess we will see them cooperate more in the future?

      Delete
  7. Is there any demand for this route. I mean who flies from Podgorica to Skopje?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People doing business, visiting friends and family or going to the seaside. Now you basically have to use unreliable road network through Kosovo or Albania. Or fly through Belgrade/Vienna.

      Delete
    2. Last week I was on a trip to SArajevo via Alb/Montenegro.10 hours for ~500 km one way, about 70 euro for gas(lpg).It is interesting the roads in Albania were in best condition, recently modernized and most of our ex-yu roads gave you a 70's-80's feeling.
      So we said we should go more often, but till some better times plane only (if they make it possible).
      And gvmt support is a must if they want to make this work.

      Delete
    3. Tnx for this account. So 140 EUR return just for the gas

      Delete
  8. Please finally get a low cost airline to fly inside ex-Yu!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if it works extend onto other routes too.

      Delete
    2. Is there any comparable LCC route with stop over of this type in Europe?

      Delete
    3. Well LCCs are increasingly selling connecting flights in Europe.

      Delete
    4. Indeed, but this is different.

      Delete
  9. I don't think an LCC can make any money on such route, that's why there are none flying inside ex-Yu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wizz is flying Sofia - Varna. I think it can be compared to some of intra ex yu routes.

      Delete
    2. Yes. If allowed, I think wizz would make a success on Belgrade to Adriatic coast routes.

      Delete
  10. Good regional project. I like it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe Qatar Airways could extend their Skopje flight to Podgorica.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Waste of taxpayers money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why? Hungarian taxpayers are financing BUD-SJJ, BUD-TGD and BUD-SKP and all three routes are full!

      Delete
    2. Why on Earth they did not include Belgrade in this scheme for Wizz when we are supposed to have super political relations at the moment?!

      Delete
    3. Because Belgrade already bas nonstop flights to Budapest. It was aimed at cities that are not linked with Hungary.

      Delete
    4. Ah 2 times a week with Belavia! :)))

      Delete
    5. BEG is too close to BUD?
      Does Zag have BUD flights?

      Delete
    6. ZAG had them with QR and Air Croatia.

      Delete
    7. Belgrade - Budapest are 400km with unpredictable border so not that close!
      Was is/was AirCroatia?

      Delete
    8. Air Croatia was a great idea which was supposed to increase ZAG's regional connectivity by using Atr-42s. For example they launched both BUD and PRG.

      Crappy and boring OU only thought of Prague after they were bankrupted.

      Delete
  13. there is so much potential in low cost ex-yu flights:

    BEG-TGD/TIV, ZAG-DBV, SKP-LJU, SKP-ZAG, BEG-SJJ, BEG-LJU ... not to meantion seasonal flights to HR/MNE coast or OHD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BEG - DUB/SPU could actually be year round.

      Delete
  14. OMG! Just imagine also Bulgaria joining this initiative. I don't see this working...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.