New York remains Podgorica’s busiest unserved route


New York was Podgorica Airport’s busiest unserved route, both during the last normal year for commercial aviation in 2019, as well as in the pandemic-stricken 2020. Almost 30.000 people either originated or departed between Podgorica and New York City’s airports in 2019, according to global data provider OAG. It makes it one of the busiest markets for flights to the Big Apple in the former Yugoslavia. New York was also the busiest unserved route for airports in Zagreb, Skopje and Pristina, however, the Montenegrin capital had more indirect passengers to the largest city in the United States than either of the three.

On Podgorica's busiest unserved route, Air Serbia dominated as the largest feeder airline, based on 2019 data, transporting 12.285 travellers between the two cities, or 41.6% of all traffic. It was followed by Turkish Airlines and Austrian. Overall, over 49.000 people flew between Podgorica and the United States in 2019 under a single ticket. Air Serbia was the busiest feeder carrier accounting for 29% of all passengers carried. It was followed by Turkish Airlines with a 20% market share, Montenegro Airlines, which shuttled passengers to points in Europe for onward connections, with an 11% share, as well as Alitalia and Austrian with a 9% share each.

There have been attempts to address the lack of nonstop flights between Montenegro and the United States in the past. In March 1999 Montenegro Airlines applied to operate nonstop passenger and cargo flights between Tivat and New York. At the time, it concluded a wet-lease agreement for a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from Italy's Air Europe, which has since gone bankrupt, in order to run the transatlantic service. However, within weeks, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia commenced, and the application was rejected. With the launch of its New York service in 2016, Air Serbia has managed to scoop up the majority of passengers heading from both Podgorica to New York but also the United States.

If you would like to find out the full list of the busiest unserved routes from Podgorica, of which seven of the top ten are in Europe, two in Asia and one in North America, subscribe for this week’s EX-YU Aviation Premium Newsletter here.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    wow very interesting. Never would have thought the market was that large to NYC.

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  2. Anonymous09:03

    Is New York the main city where the Montenegrin diaspora is located in the US?

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  3. Anonymous09:06

    Good job for Air Serbia getting the largest piece of the cake.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Makes sense considering the number of flights they have to TGD plus the codeshare with Montenegro Airlines at the time.

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    2. Anonymous09:15

      Yes but here we come to a much larger problem. BEG-JFK is already full as it is, this is leaving more room for competition to take a share of the market. I hope that in 2021 JU adds second A332 and boost BEG-JFK to at least 10 weekly.

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    3. Anonymous09:24

      Essentially JU needs a daily departure at 07.20 in order to boost connectivity both in BEG and JFK.

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    4. Anonymous09:37

      Shame that TGD is closed at night, they could use a 00.30 departure like the rest of the region.

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    5. Anonymous10:09

      JU's JFK flight today connects from both TGD and TIV that leave in the morning around 07.

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  4. Anonymous09:08

    I'm shocked that there were plans for Tivat-New York flights :D

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      But the idea to launch it in 1999 of all years lol.

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    2. Anonymous09:16

      Also I don't get why they chose Tivat over Podgorica.

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    3. Anonymous10:01

      Maybe to cover Hercegovina as well plus Dubrovnik.

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  5. Anonymous09:09

    I don't get people backtracking to Istanbul when you have options via BEG and VIE.

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    1. Anonymous09:11

      It all comes down to price.

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    2. Anonymous09:12

      Many people use Turkish from the Balkans even if there are alternative options simply because they are usually dirt cheap.

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    3. Anonymous09:12

      Because TK is regularly dumping prices.

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    4. Anonymous09:44

      It also has good service and good connections via IST. It is value for money.

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    5. Anonymous10:33

      It had good service.

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    6. Anonymous10:52

      TK has a much superior product and it's worth flying back to IST. No room comparing their Dreamliners or A350 with JU.

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    7. Anonymous11:02

      ^ have feeling you haven't flown long haul with either airline.

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    8. Anonymous11:05

      TK A350 has only started flying long-haul now. They only recently joined the fleet. As for the rest of their fleet, they have one inch less legroom than JU does.

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    9. Anonymous16:49

      New IST is massive and it might take up to 35 minutes to get from the runway to the gate. Some people don't like to run from one end to the other. That's one advantage BEG has.

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  6. Anonymous09:10

    High time for TGD-JFK flights ;)

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  7. Anonymous09:11

    That's actually a very healthy number and that's before any potential transfers via Podgorica and market stimulation.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      And does not count TIV-JFK passengers. Yes I'm surprised how good these figures are too.

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    2. Anonymous09:23

      True. I assume TIV has quite a healthy load of transfers to New York too.

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  8. Anonymous09:16

    Admin, do you have the numbers for JU on TIA-JFK? What kind of percentage do they have there?

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    1. Anonymous09:18

      Also maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to post in the article JU's share to JFK from airports you already wrote about like ZAG, LJU and SKP. JU is the only ex-YU airline flying to JFK.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:24

    With these sort of figures, an airline could easily organise a could of nonstop charters from Podgorica to New York during the high season.

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  10. Anonymous09:25

    Those are very good numbers. Would be amazing if a US airline started seasonal two weekly flights serving diaspora and tourists but that is probably never going to happen...

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  11. Anonymous09:39

    Congratulations to JU for having such a dominant position in TGD.

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    1. Anonymous09:44

      But it's unfortunate that it still isn't the busiest transfer airline from TGD despite the amount of flights it has.

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    2. Anonymous09:47

      Not really. Issue is that O&D demand is massive. I mean look at JFK, over 250.000 passengers flew between TGD and BEG and only 12.400 went to JFK. Locals take up most of the seats so there isn't that much room for transfers. What JU needs to do is add flights to MNE that will focus on locals so that other flights are freed up for transfers.

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    3. Anonymous09:56

      A solution could be to increase capacity to TGD in terms of sending larger planes.

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    4. Anonymous10:02

      In 2019 TGD was already increased to A319/320 and only the 20.20 departure was on the ATR

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  12. Anonymous09:48

    YM's bankruptcy will be really bad for OS. They had convenient flights on the way back from JFK. Now OS will have to take those over and given their bad overall condition....

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      OS increased TGD to 10 weekly and added night flights.

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    2. Anonymous10:04

      Yes but we have to see if they go through with it. They also increased Belgrade to 4 daily though I doubt that will happen.

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    3. Anonymous00:27

      It will. The summer schedules are final.

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    4. Anonymous07:15

      Not necessarily, this is their ideal schedule, not the final one. Remember what they planned for winter. They finalized it with a 50% drop in traffic and in the end they operated merely 15% of it. Same will be with spring.

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  13. Maybe the guy who every few days makes fun of my proposal of daily NYC, and triple daily TGD from ZAG after the info of YM demise, and both services being just part of much wider and changed network and introduction of proper waves model, will comment today as well. Or probably not.

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    1. Anonymous11:02

      I make fun of your prospals because you criticise OU flying 3 daily to FRA because you say it is not profitabile while proposing routes which would drive OU immidiately in bankruptcy. Im not saying that OU does good job, but with your proposals it would be in even worse shape. I really dont see how would OU make more profit with flying to TGD more then to MUC, ZRH or CPH.

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    2. Anonymous11:07

      OU can't do anything until a new management comes. Look at the mess with OMO. Some connections like AMS didn't work because of 5 minutes!!
      No wonder that route was a disaster from the first day. In TGD they would come to fight with JU and OS which are extremely well established.

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    3. I am saying OU is losing money because of its feeder role. It was in the ideal position to be operator of entire services from southeastern Europe to northwestern Europe and North America, even Asia, both feeder and main, not only feeder which MUC, FRA and ZRH are, to some extent, of course, and not in LH numbers, and to earn 100% on routes on which now they earn 10%. Actually they don't earn at all because they have constant losses. Their entire concept is wrong, plus bad management. And results are here. I don't know how it can be so difficult to understand. And I will not comment anymore because you and me will never think the same about this and will never get along.

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    4. Anonymous11:51

      TGD is a very small market compared to the Star Alliance airports where OU has an excellent coverage including the coast. Yet again, OU has an excellent domestic coverage hence TGD wouldn't be priority.
      OU is a Star Alliance member.

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    5. Anonymous12:17

      pozdrav iz rijeke (do not confuse me with anon 11:51)
      If OU is losing money, and it needs goverment aid every decade, that doesnt mean that whole their system is bad and that everything should be changed. And that doesnt mean that flying to TGD with 3 daily flights will everything change on better. Or Bangkok and feeding Thai. There are a lot of airlines which have or had hubs, proper wave model, long haul flights and were not succesful. Adria had same system you are talking about, like Malev and both airlines went in bakruptcy. They didnt have only feeder role, they had hub and spoke model with a lot of connections. Austrian does the same thing and they are not making money. If system you are talking about is so great, why are all these airlines failing? Southeastern europe is extreamly small market, with a lot of far far larger foreging airlines flying there and i dont see any big potential there for OU.

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    6. Agree with everything you said. You just forgot one thing :Tourism in Croatia, from distant markets, with mostly moderately rich or very rich tourists, who usually go for premium product and increase yields and in combination with ex-yu immigrants potential, where same language and joint history and culture would have been big advantage compared to MA and OS, those two could have been win combination, of course with huge reduction in administrative workforce and work productivity, not to mention pure corruption. Every market is different, if Air Serbia started JFK with 20.000 passengers, and today is on 75.000 and on the way of profitability of the service, without tourism imagine where OU would have been today if went for it decade ago. Now, it's too late, and I am sorry and disappointed about it.

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    7. @An.11.51
      OU is formally Star member, in reality Star feeder. Domestic coverage is not excellent but let's say existent, and enables easier potential feed of other services, including long-haul. Excellent coverage from both ZAG and the coast to Star hubs is with only function of feeding their network. TGD, and many many many others in ex-yu, southeastern Europe, Middle East and even India could have been potential for OU change of strategy, combining P2P tourist traffic and transfer traffic, if there had been enough will, interest, strategy, sinergy and knowledge. Sorry you, and lot of others, don't want to understand or accept it.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:47

    TGD needs a real carrier from US such as AA in DBV or DL or UA. Americans can explore the Montenegrin coast instead of the Caribbean and try something new.

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  15. Anonymous10:50

    I remember a few direct JFK flights in 2006 to TGD that were subsidized by the Montenegrin government. I know a few people that even flew for free.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:11

      Wow I don't remember this. Do you know which airline?

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    2. Anonymous16:11

      2006 was the year of the independence referendum .
      Milo flew in a lot of people who once immigrated from MNE to USA.
      These people got free tickets for voting his way ...

      Delete
  16. Maybe it's time Air Serbia started a second New York run. TGD - BEG. Who knows what 2022 may bring?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:43

      Air Serbia is airline which knows the market and what to do. They will never opearte such a nonsense route.

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    2. This is how airlines grow. But ok, anonymous.

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    3. Anonymous16:13

      Nonsense route to you maybe. MNE is the 3rd most visited ex-Yu country after Croatia and Slovenia and there is a sizeable Montenegrin diaspora in US. The best option is to negotiate with an American carrier. Same as Dubrovnik made with American and it was even Philadelphia. Imagine what happens if more American cities are connected.

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    4. Anonymous16:37

      US carriers have massive costs, MNE market might not have the yields they are after. It's not about selling tickets, it's about doing it at any ok price that can cover your expenses.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous16:05

    Air Serbia should consider more charters .
    Charters with widebodies .
    If they can fly from Banja Luka to Greece/Turkey, they could also do charters from Montenegro to the USA .
    Even if it is just four to five flights a year to JFK and some other cities for example Chicago and Toronto .
    New airline Gullivair flies with widebodies from Sofia/Bucharest to Maldives .
    Its not regularly but still good money .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:06

      They obtained the license from US DOT and Canada last week. The 3 ATRs and 2nd A330 are in SOF. It is said that SKP, OTP and CLJ will be the first feeder destinations. Not sure about TGD.

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    2. And once again I ask people who think I am dead wrong when saying OU should have done the same years ago, what do they have to say about Gullivair, starting in the country less rich than Croatia, not much bigger, geographically in less favourable position, and with much less tourists and ethnic passengers from North America

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:10

      Let's see how they do first, don't get too carried away

      Delete
  18. NYC has a lot of Bosniaks/Albanians from Gusinje. I feel like they could do a seasonal direct flight from NYC to Podgorica.

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  19. Anonymous19:01

    I wonder if there are any plans to add airbridges to TGD

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  20. Anonymous00:21

    I don't understand the point of posts about "busiest unserved route" - so what? Airlines hire university interns to figure this stuff out using databases like OAG, IATA, etc. What relevance is it to us exactly, if we're allowed to be critical here? Newsworthy is if someone decides to operate the route, the fact it's a 'potential' isn't of much if any relevance, sorry.

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    Replies
    1. It shows passenger flows from airports. Most aviation enthusiasts find it interesting.

      Delete

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