Foreign carriers rush to fill Montenegro Airlines void


Foreign carriers are beginning to respond to Montenegro Airlines' demise with Switzerland's Chair Airlines announcing flights from Zurich to Podgorica starting April 1, 2021. Services will initially run three times per week with the 150-seat Airbus A319 aircraft, increasing to four weekly from May 4. The airline faces no direct competition on the route, which was previously served by the Montenegrin flag carrier. Last year, Montenegro Airlines handled 28.294 passengers between the two cities with an average annual cabin load factor of 59.9%. Chair is present in the region with flights to Pristina, Skopje and Ohrid. It will also commence seasonal operations to Split next summer. Further flight details for the new Podgorica service can be found here.

Budget carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air are both in talks with operator Airports of Montenegro over replacing select routes previously operated by the national airline. Ryanair reported Montenegro Airlines to the European Commission on December 4, 2020 for illegal state aid, which was one of the reasons the Montenegrin government decided to shut down the company. The low cost carrier has been aggressive in recent years on the Montenegrin market. It carried more than 175.000 customers through Podgorica Airport in 2019 with all routes performing strongly prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Montenegro is currently the only market in the former Yugoslavia with more than one Ryanair route, with flights to Serbia temporarily suspended and a single service to Banja Luka, while operations to Croatia are maintained only during the summer. With exception to points in Poland and Dublin, Ryanair serves its entire network out of Podgorica on a year-round basis.

Austrian Airlines, which had temporarily suspended operations between Vienna and Podgorica due to the coronavirus pandemic and was only to operate limited flights over the New Year and Christmas holidays to the Montenegrin capital has now extended services indefinitely. Operations will be maintained twice per week, each Wednesday and Sunday, until the start of the 2021 summer season. As previously reported, Air Serbia has also responded to its counterpart's demise by adding both flights and capacity from Belgrade to Podgorica and Tivat. "In addition to adjusting its schedule and capacities, Air Serbia has engaged additional resources at the airports in Podgorica and Tivat, as well as at its Belgrade hub, in order to serve all passengers under the new circumstances. The Serbian national airline will continue to monitor developments in the coming days and additionally adjust its offering to reflect changes in demand", the Serbian carrier said in a statement.

Customers who had booked with Montenegro Airlines, or hold a travel voucher issued by the carrier for suspended flights due to the pandemic, remain in limbo over potential compensation. Montenegro Airlines has now suspended ticket sales.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    As expected market will take care of itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      This is not even close to replacing YM

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:17

      If it were close to replacing YM in terms of fligts operated, it would not be profitable. There is a reason Ym went bust.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:11

      And how you will use connections in ZRH with CHair? When LX will start flying please let me know, till then this is nothing..

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:03

    “Ryanair reported Montenegro Airlines to the European Commission on December 4, 2020 for illegal state aid”

    Vultures

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      How dare they expect other airlines on the market to play by the same rules.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:31

      Knowing how many incentives they get everywhere, it's far from true they play by market rules.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      But they don't get millions from Irish government every year, while continuing to operate at a loss?

      Incentives are different stories, I'm pretty sure YM, JU or any other airline is that would fly regularly to that small French village would get the same incentives.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:05

      Ryanair are lowlifes reporting other airlines.
      Most Ryanair routes are subsidised by Airports or regional governments. I can't stand that Airline, the sooner their demise comes, the better for Aviation.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:28

      Well, not entirely true regarding help from the Irish government.
      While I was working for them, the Irish government was more than happy to let Ryanair get away with their dodgy employment practices (zero hour contracts), while the rest of Europe was conducting raids on pilots homes in search of evidence of tax evasion.

      Of course, there is probably more than just that, when it comes to Ryan and the government. Don't forget, they're a huge company and pay their taxes in Ireland so I'm sure their relationships with the government is pretty friendly.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:23

      Even legacies use dodgy employment practices...

      Most if not all of LOT pilots are self-employed for example.

      Delete
    7. You people are so funny - on one side you want low fares and connectivity and on the other you badmouth LLC terms of operation to achieve that in the way they don’t go bust doing it. And I am wondering how many of you all knowing people actually fly at least 10-20 flights in a year to underStand it properly first hand. Make up your mind already, or open your own airline and fly around people on your expense.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    That LF to Zurich is very low. No surprise Chair is waiting till April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Probably highly seasonal.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:04

    The biggest win would be if an LCC started flying between Podgorica and Belgrade. It would completely wipe out JU and allow low fares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:10

      You won’t see that happen. Even if it were possible the taxes are high which is why fares are high. When you remove all the taxes, the fare on JU is extremely cheap.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:11

      maybe wizz?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:34

      +1 @09:04
      Those are my guesses too. If MNE has 8 FR routes operated with 738,then there is clearly O&D demand.
      JU relies on traffic.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:35

      GoS won't allow an LCC to fly this route.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:48

      How much are the taxes?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:55

      Security Charge Serbia
      EUR 16
      Departure Tax Montenegro
      EUR 16
      cart.taxes.Q2
      EUR 3
      CAD Passenger Charge Serbia
      EUR 3
      Airport Service Charge Serbia
      EUR 20

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:13

      Anon 9.55

      But for now at BEG there are huge discounts for JU, so the actual costs for beg-mne on JU are much smaller.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous10:25

      20 EUR for carrying your baggage down the stairs at C7 Gate and then wait in crowded bus for 20 minutes. 16 EUR to wait in 200m2 space with 500 other passengers without fresh air. Criminals

      Delete
    9. Anonymous11:13

      ^ It's even funnier that Montenegro charges 16 euros for using its airports. And the airports are such that you can't even enter the departures area 45 minutes before the flight because there is no space.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    Good to see JU still being the dominant player in MNE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      I think Ryanair will overtake it once things calm down and they can resume flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      Doubtful, JU has a market of 500.000+ all to itself.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    Chair is a Kosovar Albanian owned airline, theyre watching Balkans opportunities closely all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      Smart

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      Picking up crumbs where they can.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:13

      Why not?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:23

      Chair basically replaced Germania in Macedonia and Kosovo

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:26

      Flying chair. Hilarious.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:30

      @10.23 it is the former Germania.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:15

      @10.26 well it is supposed to be like Ch (Switzerland) air :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    The more time they wait with a new airline, the less need there will be for one. 

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:08

      It can't happen over night

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    There goes my hope of Swiss starting flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:30

      Because they've been so successful in ex-Yu...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      Swiss already failed in most markets in ex-Yu.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:39

      What are you talking about?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:40

      Swiss tried Zagreb and failed, tried Podgorica through Edelweiss and failed tried Ljubljana and failed while Adria was still around.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:45

      They were back in Slovenia after Adrias bakruptcy. And how is 2 airport "most of markets"? They fly to Prishtina, Ohrid, Skopje, Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. I dont see they failed here.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:46

      Since when does Swiss fly to Ohrid and Skopje?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:53

      Since it doesnt? They send Edelweiss usually there, while tickets from these destinations can only be bought via Swiss webpage.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:17

    Austrian Airlines will fly two times weekly between Vienna and Podgorica
    OS 728 37 TGD VIE 1500 1640 0 17JAN21 03MAR21 E95

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:24

      What was their precorona frequency?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:39

      In my memory:
      Summer: OS daily, YM 5 weekly
      Winter: OS 4 weekly, YM 3 weekly

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:41

      Thank you

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:29

    Great news

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:33

    Montenegro keeps winning!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous09:37

    Hopefully airports do not lower fees for Ryanair, they do not deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:48

      Why not? They bring cheap tickets to the market. They make flying accessible

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:13

    Is Chair LCC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:27

      The lines today are blurred between LCC and full fare airlines.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:19

      I would say that they are more or less charter operators.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:13

    Ako je MNE sa kapacitetom od 120 mesta imao LF 60%,šta oni da očekuju sa 150 sedišta,pogotovu što će ih JU ubiti sa cenama i flksibilnošću sa po 2-3 leta dnevno.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:41

      Samo sto JU ne nudi direktne letove izmedu dva grada. I automatski CHair ima nize troskove.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:56

    Am i the only one who doesn't see any rush?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:05

      It's not bad at all that in the age of corona and travel restrictions one airline has extended its flights to Montenegro, another has increased frequency and capacity and a third one has announced brand new flights. This all within 5 days of Montenegro Airlines going bankrupt in the middle of the holiday Christmas period in Europe.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:09

      Agree with anon above, I think the market is responding quite well all things considered.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:09

      double standards ...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:11

      What double standards are you talking about.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:58

    Good. No need for new Montenegro airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:13

      They will create it anyway.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:14

      Good? Do you realize that you don't have any legacy carrier left in TGD? So how you will connect on EU hubs? With Chair or W6?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:15

      There is Austrian and Air Serbia legacies and Alitalia will come back in March.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous18:14

      And when does OS depart to VIE? We all know that connections out of VIE are not as good as those in FRA/ZRH/MUC/CDG and even those little which they are offering we miss with their flight. JU is ok because there are many flights between BEG and TGD. AZ won't even excist in March, I would not lay to much on them. So do they deserve to rely only to one legacy carrier? I think that's disaster for country like Montenegro.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:58

    Seems many YM routes were light on loads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:08

      The issue is winter. Loads are great in summer but in winter they are quite low.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous11:01

    I usually wouldn't support closing an airline and leaving people out of work but Montenegro Airlines was not a normal company. It was practically owned by the party, 95% of employees were sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, lovers of the ruling elite. That's why it had to go.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous11:01

    What could be the potential new FR and W6 routes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:07

      Paris is a must

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:14

      Paris actually was one of YM's best performing routes. But I don't know if it was because of transfers of what.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:18

      Maybe HOP by Air France could consider Podgorica. They codeshared on the Montenegro Airlines flight anyway.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:04

      what were their frequencies in general?

      Delete
  20. Anonymous12:03

    not very impressed at that ZRH LF. ZRH is the cash cow for all southernish Yugo markets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:12

      Schedule was very poor by YM, one daily flight is simply not enough to make good connections. So actually that flight was mostly used for p2p

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:38

      ZRH or Switzerland in general is usually mostly O&D thanks to diaspora but have expected a higher LF

      Delete
  21. Expect Wizz to start Podgorica - Basel soon

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous13:00

    I cannot believe that we cry over Montenegro Airlines and its employees. Jesus people, 5 airplanes and 350 employees. Who cares?!?
    Let the market self-regulate itself! Ljubljana? Great example! No money-burning national airline? No problems! This is just showing that it was not economically feasible and thats it!
    For Montenegro u will have the same! Few additional flights to EU and BEG and all non-tourism market will be covered.
    And this story with 2Montenegro is just another Montenegro Airlines but as a money cow for new government

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:21

      Yes market did a really good job in Ljubljana. You cant even connect at LH hubs with their flights at middle of the day. Thank god we are getting Air Slovenia, hopefuly

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:10

      We did really good, because of no-connectivity we are loosing 100 mio per year because there is no traffic at all. But hey, we have saved those 5 mio per year which we gave to national carrier. Really good business!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:47

      "You cant even connect at LH hubs with their flights at middle of the day."

      Really important when you can't travel anyway, right?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:04

      Did you know we could travel between october and march?

      Delete
  23. Hopefully Government of Montenegro will not decide to start new company. It would be far better to offer some limited subsidies for companies to open year round base in Podgorica and summer season base in Tivat. Something similar to what Macedonia did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:16

      it already decided to start a new company.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:08

      Macedonia is paying way to much for what it has to offer. It would be much better in terms of connectivity and cheaper for them to have their own carrier.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:37

      @18.08 How much do they pay? 5 mio for 3 years? I think Macedonia got away the cheapest of them all. for up to nearly 1.5 mio Wizz passengers in 2019

      Delete
  24. Anonymous20:16

    OMG!! The prices are insanely expensive. 320 return with luggage included:

    Flights

    19:15
    08 May | TGD
    Non stop | 01:45
    21:00
    08 May | ZRH
    Flex
    € 178.79
    Flight GM651
    Fare Rule
    13:20
    13 May | ZRH
    Non stop | 01:45
    15:05
    13 May | TGD
    Flex
    € 174.19
    Flight GM650
    Fare Rule
    Total € 352.98

    ReplyDelete
  25. I will try and be more objective than emotional here. Serbia , Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro,
    in that order with populations of 7.6 million, 4.5 million, 2 million and 679,000 in that order!
    Which two are left...you all know the answer. Country pride, nationalism, love of country,
    are all great, but do not work in a business model. It is like saying that every city in Europe
    with a population of 700,000 or more should have it*s own airline, here in Hungary a country of 10 million, the national airline is called WIZZ !!! The headline in the EX YU post
    said there is a RUSH to replace Montenegro Airlines routes, sorry but an Albanian owned airline to Switzerland in the spring, and a few other routes being kept and not cancelled
    by Lufthansa group airlines, and talks with the low cost carriers is not exactly breaking
    down the doors to enter a market where less than 700,000 people live, and the main route
    to Belgrade is already very well served!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree completely - finally some sober thoughts

      Delete
  26. Anonymous10:58

    Chair Airlines(from Switzerland) operates a fleet of three Airbus A319 aircraft with 150 economy class seats each at Zurich Airport. The average age of the aircraft is ten years.
    Founded in June 2019
    Director and owner of airline is Shpendi Ibrahim(Albanian nationality born in,republic of Macedonia)
    Number of employees 140 in Switzerland(new 20 employees in Podgorica,Montenegro)
    Chair Airlines from Zurich to Podgorica starting April , 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:10

      They will hire 20 people in Montnegro? Is not it supposed Fly Montenegro to operate those flights for them in Podgorica?

      Delete

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