Montenegro has identified a list of 13 strategic routes originating from its two airports, Podgorica and Tivat, and it will subsidize airlines flying them. However, 12 out of 13 of these routes are already served but none of the airlines currently flying will be eligible for the subsidy program – let’s take a look why.
13 strategic routes identified from Podgorica and Tivat
The Board of Airports of Montenegro, the Montenegrin state company that operates the country’s two airports, has identified 12 European cities that are key for its air connectivity, Dnevne reports.
From these 12 European cities, the Board composed a list of 13 strategic routes that originate in one of Montenegro’s two airports. They are Podgorica Airport (TGD), serving the capital city, and Tivat Airport (TIV), the tourist-heavy airport serving the Adriatic coast in the Bay of Kotor.
The strategic routes from the capital are:
- Podgorica – London
- Podgorica – Paris
- Podgorica – Rome
- Podgorica – Barcelona
- Podgorica – Berlin
- Podgorica – Brussels
- Podgorica – Dortmund
- Podgorica – Milan
- Podgorica – Munich
- Podgorica – Stockholm
The strategic routes from the coastal airport of Tivat are:
- Tivat – London
- Tivat – Manchester
- Tivat – Berlin
The strategic routes are not chosen at random. In fact, all but one are already served by airlines. However, because of the subsidy requirements, none of these airlines will be eligible for the subsidy program as it currently stands.
The main requirement is for the airline receiving the subsidy to have an aircraft based in Montenegro, but it also must handle 100,000 passengers in the country and fly at least twice weekly.
The subsidy program kicks in on 1st January 2022 and lasts through to the end of 2024. The subsidies will feature a discount of between 50% and 80% on airport fees for airlines that fly year-round and a 40% to 50% discount on airport fees for airlines that fly seasonally.
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All but one route are served already
All three of the Tivat (TIV) routes are served by easyJet. Interestingly, they are also the only routes served by easyJet from Tivat.
From Podgorica, the list of strategic routes are almost entirely covered by Wizz Air and Ryanair.
Wizz Air is selling tickets from Podgorica (TGD) to Rome Fiumicino (FCO), Milan Malpensa (MXP), and Dortmund (DTM).
Meanwhile, Ryanair flies from Podgorica (TGD) to Barcelona (BCN), Berlin Brandenburg (BER), Brussels Charleroi (CRL), and London Stansted (STN).
Podgorica – Paris is also a route that is covered already, with Transavia, KLM’s subsidiary, flying from Paris Orly (ORY) to Podgorica (TGD).
This leaves only Podgorica – Munich as a route that is currently completely unserved. The opening provides an opportunity for the startup national airline of Montenegro, Air Montenegro, to operate the route at a lower cost. It is also not unlikely that Lufthansa will enter the market, either through its mainline operations or via Lufthansa CityLine or Eurowings.
However, because of the subsidy requirements, none of these airlines will be eligible for the subsidy program as it currently stands.
What do you think of this subsidy program? Let us know in the comments below.