Serbia blocks Montenegro Airlines flights


The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has, as of today, banned Montenegro Airlines from operating flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport after Montenegro excluded Serbia from a list of countries with which it will reopen its borders from June 1. The Montenegrin government announced on Monday it would permit the entry of nationals from European countries which have no more than 25 active coronavirus Covid-19 patients per 100.000 inhabitants. The list comprises of nine nations, among which are Croatia, Slovenia and Albania, but does not include neighbouring Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbia has labelled the decision as political. Montenegro declared itself Europe’s first “covid free” state as the country has no active coronavirus cases.

Serbia has lifted entry restrictions and requirements for all nationals. The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate said the principle of reciprocity has been “seriously violated” by Montenegro’s decision and would negatively impact on the operations of airlines registered in Serbia, hence it has taken the decision to bar Montenegro Airlines from operating to Belgrade. The Montenegrin Ambassador to Serbia, Tarzan Milošević, said the list of countries with which Montenegro plans to reopen its borders in just a few days’ time is yet to be finalised, fuelling hope the spat between the two neighbours may be resolved sooner rather than later.

Montenegro Airlines is currently grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Yesterday morning the carrier said it expects to resume operations during the first half of June and would initially only operate flights from Podgorica and Tivat to Belgrade, with the remainder of its network to be reinstated later on. Following the Serbian Directorate’s decision yesterday evening, the Montenegrin carrier said, “The industry in which we operate should be free of politics. Despite this unexpected decision from Belgrade, Serbia remains part of our future plans”. Montenegro Airlines operated two charter flights to the Serbian capital over the last two days carrying Montenegrin university students studying in Serbia, returning to sit their exams. Air Serbia plans to resume flights from Belgrade to Podgorica and Tivat on June 7.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    I'm certain these games will be finished by the time flights actually can restart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    * grabs popcorn *

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:43

      Plain or with butter?

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    And now Montenegro will ban JU to fly to TGD and TIV or what?!
    how stupid those political games are

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      By banning Serbian citizens entering Montenegro, they indirectly banned Air Serbia from flying to Montenegro. There would be absolutely no point in flying to the country where your citizens can not enter.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      To anon 9.08:

      To the contrary, Ju would probably target also Montegrin citizens as transfer pax. So while for Montenegro Airlines flying to BEG, given the list of citizens that can enter Montenegro, has little point, it could be different for Ju.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:43

      Anon 09:15

      Most of the passengers are P2P on this route, transfers from Montenegro through Belgrade would not be sufficient to sustain this route.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:06

    But if Serbia is not on the list drafted by Montenegro, Montenegro Airlines just couldn't fly to BEG anyway? Or does this change anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      No, it would not have any impact. Montenegrins can enter Serbia and there are a lot of Montenegrins living in Serbia that can fly back. Same as Air Serbia flying to say Germany even though Serbian citizens can't enter Germany at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:33

      Media in Serbia reported that in the past two days, YM operated two charter flights to BEG carrying 114 and 115 students from Montenegro.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    Ups escalation.
    Now that Russians are urged to stay home for the summer, I would expect that MNE is desperate for those Serbia flights/tourists, but seems that no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      If the Russians are urged to stay at home, that does not mean they will.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:19

    Interestingly EU will set limit of 100 active cases per 100,000 citizens not 50 like Montenegro. Also Macedonia for example has under 50 active cases per 100,000 but Montenegro did not reopen border with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      The list is a bit odd because there are certainly more than 9 countries in Europe which meet their official criteria.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:22

      which are the 9 countries?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:25

      Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Albania and Greece.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:26

      thanks

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:56

      Says in the article that montenegro set 25 not 50.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:58

      The limit set in Montenegro is 25 active cases. And in EU the number is just recommendation, each individual member state can set its own. In the EU the decisions are mainly political like in the case of Western Balkans, not at all epidemiological.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:23

    Actually, although as aviation fan I do not support any flight limitations I believe this was caused by MNE Government and Serbia should have actually protected its air carrier.

    Serbians can't enter Monetenegro, but Montenegrin passport holders can enter Serbia. This is already not fair. And as a cherry on the cake YM should make money on passengers they bring to BEG? Not really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      No airline company will make money, any time soon...

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:31

      True but it doesn't mean all routes they will operate will be loss-making. I am certain neither JU nor YM are losing money on flights between SRB and MNE.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:32

      Generally no, but BEG route was the most profitable for YM.

      Now even that route won't bring anything good.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:36

      No airline can bring Serbian citizens into Montenegro, if they cant enter. Where do you see worse treatment of any airline and therefore a need for protection to make balance?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:47

      Ukoliko se zabrana Crne Gore efektivno i primeni, to će u vazduhoplovno-komercijalnom segmentu dovesti do značajnog debalansa između dve nacionalne avio-kompanije. Naime, budući da bi zabrana ulaska za državljane Srbije u Crnu Goru važila na svim graničnim prelazima, Montenegro erlajns bi mogao da leti za Beograd dok bi Er Srbija mogla da leti za Podgoricu i Tivat ali bez prevoza srpskih državljana već samo crnogorskih.

      Taj debalans bi stavio Montenegro u prednost i faktički neravonopravan položaj ako gledamo komercijalni aspekt odnosa. Na primer, Montenegro bi imao prednost u odnosu na Er Srbiju jer bi imao ranije letove i bolji red letenja za deo lokalnog tržišta koje bi moglo da putuje a koji po principima poslovne konkurencije dve kompanije dele.

      https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2020&mm=05&dd=27&nav_id=1688379

      Delete
  8. Nemjee09:26

    This is a pretty stupid, unnecessary and provocative move by Montenegro and Serbia's reaction was to be expected. At the end of the day, these kind of games will hurt MNE more than they will affect Serbia. Hotels in Montenegro have already complained that seasonal workers from Bosnia and Serbia couldn't come in time so as to prepare hotels for the busy summer months. We are just a few days away from June and they decide to block their biggest source of income thus not only (negatively) affecting their hotels but airports and YM as well.

    This was also really bad PR for Montenegro as these days there is a big media campaign about the opening of the border with Hungary and the solution for summer holidays in Greece. Just as MNE announced that they won't be letting Serbs in, Greece announced that Serbs can come starting from June 20.

    At the end of the day, Serbian tourists will just go elsewhere (mostly Greece) so they won't be as affected. On the other hand, what will hotel, restaurant, shop... owners do without Serbian visitors? We are not only talking about those who stay in hotels, there are many who own properties down there and who come more often and spend more money especially outside holiday hotspots.

    For example, last June TIV-BEG was the second busiest route after TIV-DME (which won't happen either this year). Third busiest destination was TGD-BEG.

    TIV-DME 57.998
    TIV-BEG 28.749
    TGD-BEG 28.399

    The first non-Russian/Serbian destination was TGD-IST in seventh position with just 12.510 passengers.

    Please disregard the source (I know) but the numbers are extremely interesting. Last summer, more than 850.000 Serbs went for summer holidays where they spent over €600.000.000! Most popular was Greece with 610.000 followed by Turkey and Egypt.

    According to YUTA these were the most popular destinations for Serbian holidaymakers in 2019:

    Greece 610.000
    Turkey 75.000
    Egypt 35.000
    Italy 30.000
    Spain 25.000

    Before corona, outbound tourism growth was expected to be around 10% meaning these numbers would have been even more impressive.

    https://informer.rs/vesti/drustvo/462161/srbi-ovog-leta-moru-potrosili-600-000-000-evra-rekordna-potrosnja-nasih-turista-tokom-letovanja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      So according to your post Montenegro wouldn't lose much as there were less (maybe even considerably less) than 25.000 Serbian tourists in Montenegro last year?

      And you assume the entry list will not be extended with time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      The YUTA list is pointless because it only registers people who purchased holiday packages with tour agencies. No one buys holiday package with tour operators to go to Montenegro. It is by far the most popular holiday destination for Serbian people.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:53

      Anon 09.42
      Which is why I wrote that many who go down there own property or know someone who does. Many go twice during summer which most likely won't be the case this year. Serbian tourists in MNE are different than those that go elsewhere. The YUTA list is good because it shows that attracting Serbian tourists can be a lucrative business. Such moves by MNE government are the exact opposite but we all know why.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:15

      Many people go in June and then in August again. That is why they lost one month now.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:03

      Anyone know what happened with MNE airport employees this year? Did some get fired?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:51

      informer is not a reliable source.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous18:45

      If you bothered to read the link you would see they quote YUTA

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:43

      2019- 712 000 Serbian tourists in Greece, 530 000 in Montenegro

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:27

    Ah, politics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      The funny thing is the presidents from both countries have the same media/campaign manager (I kid you not).

      Delete
  10. this is how much of YM flights and pax? 30-40%?
    ju has something like 15% to montenegro

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL22:29

      For YM its around the 45% mark, while for JU around 8%.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:32

    A bit unfortunate PR from the Serbian side with all those bombastic declarations from couple of weeks ago that they will open their borders to anyone no tests no this no that,,, probably forgetting that there are 2 borders, not only the Serbian one.
    Same with JU starting flights to some regional airports for dates they unilaterally declared, when some of these airports are still closed and it unknown when they will open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:34

      Montenegrin citizens are still freely to enter Serbia, after all, they can cross land border. ;)

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      It's not a bombastic declaration. The borders are open for anyone who wishes to enter.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:53

    Code share flights YM/JU are excluded from these sanctions !

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:58

    Something doesn't add up there, some of the countries from that list have way more infected/100k than Serbia, not to mention that half of those countries don't even test people so they don't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      I believe they speak about active cases and not total number of infected people

      Delete
  14. Sva sreca da je Tile napravio Beograd - Bar ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      Is the railways open? I know parts of it are closed for reconstruction

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:52

      I believe the Beograd-Bar railway is functioning.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:08

    Will Montenegro block Air Serbia now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JATBEGMEL22:32

      They could, but it wouldnt have much effect. JU isnt as reliant to the Montenegrian market as YM is to the Serbian.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:08

    The funniest thing is that Montenegro's airports are closed and there are no flights between the two countries anyway. And the airports will probably stay closed for another 10 days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:27

    Every country now draws up its own list. According to press rumours Poland's list of exceptions from a ban on air travel is to include in the first go (supposedly from 15 June): Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. At least this is what leaked from a video conference of the head of the Polish aviation authority with managers of the airports.

    Greetings from Poland to all exYu!

    ReplyDelete
  18. While Serbian government decision is largely political and protectionist, they are right.

    First. Montenegro made an entry decision based on number of active CONFIRMED Covid19 cases. Some countries, like Albania, may have low Covid19 numbers just thanks to testing too few people. None knows how many actual cases are there. Anywhere in the world. And I also largely doubt it is the case with "corona free" Montenegro.

    Second, as stated in the article, the official reason of breaching the free travel agreement. There are also untold reasons, such as the money YM owes to BEG, and perhaps even to Jat Tehnika or some other businesses in Serbia. They are lucky they never got their aircraft in BEG seized on ground of outstanding payments. It is also a political decision to tolerate all this. So they have no right to moan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:58

      Biggest loser here is YM. Basically this year they won't have Russian and Serbian passengers in summer so most of their business is lost. If they lost 9 million Euros in 2019 then I expect this year that number to grow to at least 20 million. June is a busy month for everyone, that's when they start making serious money. YM won't have that this year.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:02

    At the end of the day, the decision to open the Serbian borders was to facilitate the Turkish gastos on their summer trips back home. They use the A1 highway and the money Serbia makes on tolls/fuel charges is a significant amount of money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:04

      It was also because many along the river Drina have fields on both sides and they couldn't work on them while the borders were closed.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:29

    At the end of the day, every other country will do the samby the end of June, so why not do it right now.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:58

    It seems Montenegro will change the border decision.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous12:01

    Love the Ambassador's name :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:47

      LOL! I think you are the only one that spotted this :D :D Name is one of a kind <3

      Delete
  23. Anonymous14:04

    I am sorry but this time MNE is not really right blocking Serbia and cherry picking on other countries based on their pockets and to save the touristic season. Serbia has acted correctly with its neighbours and so did the Eastern European ones - Visegrad + RO & BG.
    Plus, the cases in Serbia are minimal just like it is in the rest of the countries in the region.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous14:58

    Back in March/April some officials in Serbia mentioned Air Serbia would be supported and would possibly be looking for regional expansion or acquisitions. Montenegro Airlines was mentioned in comments as one of possibilities.

    Recent moves exclude this option. Friendly merger or takover is not moving forward in a climate of mutual bans. Perhaps Air Serbia was never really interested in YM, or they were interested but Montenegro turned them down. Either way, now we know this is not moving forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:37

      Montenegro keeps losing... losing at least 155M on supporting YM. What were they thinking? For less than 155M they could support other airlines for decades.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:05

      One has to wonder if some expert is advising Montenegro Airlines or the government. If it is, great job pushing them down the road of no return.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:32

      On LinkedIn I read some opposition article where they said that the government is being advized by some foreign consultancy company. lol

      Delete
  25. This is childish nonsense things, period.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous17:44

    Poland does not meet Montenegro's criteria but they are opening the borders to them.... great work. At least do the math before giving bogus explanations on why some are allowed in and some not.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous13:09

    Seems like MNE realized the stupidity of their action so Mr Tarzan was on radio this morning saying that this list is not final and that he is confident the issue of entry will be resolved in the next few days. He also added that it makes no sense for MNE to block the entry of people of whom it has the most to profit from. Really nice and encouraging words.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous17:46

    I wonder where the "Montenegro keeps winning" guy is...I am sure he could shed some light on this...

    ReplyDelete

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