Gulf carriers eye new Montenegro flights


Several carriers from the Gulf region are considering introducing flights to either Podgorica or Tivat airports in the coming period. The General Manager of operator Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić, said, “There is significant interest from Arab countries. I believe we will improve connectivity from these markets. It is obvious that Montenegro will be much better connected next year through its airports, especially to markets we have been unable to cover so far”. Over the past year, Airports of Montenegro has held talks with Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Flynas and Flydubai. "We continue to improve our cooperation with airlines which have been serving our airports for years, however, we are also initiating contact with new carriers that have not flown to Montenegro in the past", Mr Orlandić said recently.

Flydubai is currently the only Gulf carrier to maintain scheduled flights to Montenegro. The CEO of the hybrid airline, Ghaith Al Ghaith, met with Mr Orlandić in April to discuss their future cooperation. Mr Orlandić noted the two held talks over upgrading the airline's seasonal summer service between Dubai and Tivat to year-round operations. This summer, Flydubai maintained two weekly flights on the route from mid-June until early September. The service is codeshared by Emirates. Talks were also held with Air Serbia's former CEO Dane Kondić, who now serves as Saudi Arabian Airlines' Chief Commercial Officer. The potential for the introduction of flights between the two countries was discussed.

The Saudi budget carrier Flynas, which successfully launched its first two routes to the former Yugoslavia this year, both of which are to Sarajevo, has also expressed interest in better serving the Montenegrin market. The airline’s Vice President for Corporate Communications and Marketing, Mousa Bahri, visited Montenegro recently. Gulf states have become one of the biggest investors in Montenegro in recent years, with both trade and tourism links growing. Construction and financial services are the two prominent sectors in the investment portfolios of Middle Eastern nations in Montenegro. However, Israeli tourists still make up the greatest share of visitors from the Middle East to Montenegro.




Comments

  1. I think there is the biggest chance of Flynas starting flights, like they do to Sarajevo, from Riyadh and Jeddah.

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    Replies
    1. Interestingly, Flynas is owned by the same company as FlyBosnia.

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    2. Why doesn’t Flybosnia start flights to Podgorica?

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    3. Because they would never make it profitable with an A319. B&H Airlines failed on this route with an ATR72.

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    4. That's not true, flynas doesnt have the same owner as flybosnia

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    5. @9.33
      And that flight even had a continuation to Skopje.

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  2. Would there really be demand between Saudi Arabia and Montenegro?

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    Replies
    1. Do Saudis need visas to enter Montenegro?

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    2. They need a visa for every single European country except Belarus.

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    3. That's because they require visas for anyone to visit Saudi Arabia and you can't visit touristically, only for business.

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    4. I highly doubt that MN would ever attract many Saudis like Bosnia does. Firstly, we know how to deal with arab tourists, there are agencies in arabic language all over the Bosnia. And btw, arabs dont visit the sea, but.greenery of Bosnia. Btw, i doubt that full veiled women would be accepted in MN (you will know what im talking about if you visit Bosnia during summer).

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    5. Montenegro has plenty of greenery. Head north.

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    6. @10.03
      Actually at the Arabian Travel market fair earlier this year the biggest interest for Montenegro among Middle East countries was precisely from Saudi Arabia. The biggest problem identified was the lack of direct flights.

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  3. Would be interesting to see Kuwait Airways. They used to fly to Sarajevo.

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    Replies
    1. They could fly Kuwait City-Podgorica-Sarajevo.

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    2. No need FlyBosnia already flies Sarajevo-Kuwait nonstop.

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  4. The Sheikh of Dubai and chairman of EK/Flydubai is the owner of Porto Montenegro in Tivat so I wouldn't be surprised at all if these flights go year round.

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    Replies
    1. Good. Tivat benefits from it.

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    2. They actually cut short flights to Tivat this year.

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    3. Because of fleet shortage. MAX planes are grounded.

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  5. Diverse bunch of airlines. Good luck.

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  6. I like that they are very proactive in reaching out to foreign airlines. A very different situation to just a couple of year ago.

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  7. It's interesting no one is commenting like " Those flights would be of no use for locals etc", but when SJJ gets few flights to Gulf comments are like "who needs that flights, we need Europe etc...".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The difference being that Montenegro has numerous flights to Europe, while Podgorica is served by Wizz Air and Ryanair. On the other hand Sarajevo doesn't have flights to Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome...

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  8. I’m happy that we get new flights from Middle East, new LCC flights and new European legacy flights (Lufthansa this year). So overall good job.

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  9. Out of all the Gulf airlines, I think they would have most luck attracting Qatar Airways, at least seasonally to Tivat.

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    Replies
    1. Qatar Airways most likely. Reason - see link below:
      http://www.qataridiar.com/English/OurProjects/Pages/Plavi-Horizonti-.aspx
      Qatar Executive fleet are frequent guests on TIV already.

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  10. LJU airport watch and learn :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Podgorica does not have the same amount of competition as does Ljubljana from neighbouring airports.

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    2. Always excuses.

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  11. So they are going after Gulf legacy airlines?

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  12. Why doesn’t Montenegro Airlines consider flying to the Gulf states?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And lose more money?

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    2. Who says these routes would be loss making?

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    3. the routes would be loss making then no one would be interested in flying them and there seems to be a lot of interest.

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  13. Excellent news for Podgorica. Nice to see.

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  14. Anyone know how many tourists there were in Montenegro from countries like the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi?

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  15. I guess a lot of this activity in attracting airlines has to do with upcoming concession of the airports.

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    Replies
    1. The current management (and the party that has control of the airports) are staunchly opposed to the concession.

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    2. Exactly. That’s why they are trying to get as many airlines to fly to TGD and TIV, to show that the airports are developing without a concession.

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    3. Well at least it is benefiting everyone, whatever their motives may be.

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  16. Why did Flydubai stop year round flights to Montenegro? They used to fly to Tivat in the summer and Podgorica in the winter.

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    Replies
    1. Because it was unprofitable.

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    2. I assume the loads were poor. They used to fly to Podgorica via Sarajevo.

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    3. And they even had fifth freedom rights on SJJ-TGD-SJJ sectors.

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    4. Stupid, they could have flown to Podgorica via Belgrade .

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  17. Seriously Ljubljana will be the only major ex-Yu airport without Gulf flights.

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    Replies
    1. Pristina too

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    2. Pristina is served by nearby Skopje airport which has flights with Qatar Airways and Flydubai .

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  18. Great. The more the marrier.

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  19. With the growth in traffic TGD and TIV will have to expand soon.

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  20. I assume any new flights from the Gulf will be seasonal.

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  21. What about Emirates? :D

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  22. There will be flights from Saudi market next year.

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  23. Direct flights to Montenegro from the Gulf would be only possible in summer .
    It would make more economic sense to fly to Belgrade and codeshare with Air Serbia on their Montenegro routes, which are numerous and year round.

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    Replies
    1. YM codeshares on Etihad's flight from/to Belgrade/Abu Dhabi.

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  24. Vinci should copy the Montenegrin initiative and invite all these Gulf carriers to BElgrade.

    Saudia
    Flyadeal
    Flynas
    Jazeera Airways
    Kuwait Airways
    Air Arabia
    Flydubai
    Gulf Air
    Oman Air
    Salam Air ... the list goes on and on.

    And yes, codesharing with JU would make sense.
    What is Vinci waiting for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flydubai flies to Belgrade.

      Also they are trying to attract more mid-east airlines
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2019/04/belgrade-and-skopje-eye-new-mideast.html

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    2. ^ Yeah, but they have more frequencies in winter than in summer.
      How crazy is this?

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    3. It's daily in both winter and summer. This summer was an exception due to Dubai runway work.

      Delete

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