The Aviation Impact Of Montenegro’s UK Red List Addition

United Kingdom’s addition of Montenegro to its red list has prompted some interesting consequences in the aviation industry in Montenegro and beyond, with airlines serving Croatia and Serbia also affected.

Gatwick, London, British Airways, Easyjet
Passengers from Montenegro are scrambling to get to the United Kingdom. Photo: Getty Images

Montenegro goes on the red list

Montenegro is going on the UK’s red list starting Monday at 04:00 due to its worsening COVID-19 situation. This means that all passengers arriving in the UK, vaccinated or not, must undergo enforced quarantine in a government-approved hotel facility at a substantial cost.

As a result, airlines have canceled flights, ticket prices have skyrocketed, and passengers are scrambling to make it into the UK by Sunday night. Many are making use of all sorts of alternative routes now, because direct services have sold out.

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Direct services are all sold out

easyJet has added an extra one-way rotation from Tivat (TIV) to London Gatwick (LGW) on Sunday, the day before Montenegro goes on the red list. The flight is running as a rescue operation and will be operating in one direction only, with no tickets on sale for the London Gatwick to Tivat sector.

All other easyJet flights from London Gatwick to Tivat have been canceled for the remainder of the year, except the service scheduled for Monday 30th August. That flight is showing as sold-out in both directions, presumably because it has absorbed passengers from all the other services that were canceled throughout September.

easyJet’s other route to the country, from Manchester (MAN) to Tivat (TIV), will end on Sunday this week, with the flight expectedly showing as sold-out on the way to the UK.

Ryanair’s London Stansted (STN) to Podgorica (TGD) service, which runs three times weekly, is showing as sold-out for this Sunday in the direction of the UK but tickets remain on sale for the STN-TGD sector. Curiously, these Ryanair flights remain on sale until the end of October, meaning that Ryanair is yet to cancel the route.

No other direct services operate between the UK and Montenegro.

easyJet Berlin Getty
easyJet will put on an extra service to Montenegro on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images

Connecting services are also sold out

Ticket prices have skyrocketed for various other flights too, and flights from Montenegro to European hubs have mostly sold out.

In Belgrade  (BEG), which traditionally sees the vast majority of Montenegro’s transfer traffic, Air Serbia’s flight to London Heathrow (LHR) on Sunday is sold out. Nine out of 11 Tivat-Belgrade flights on Sunday are sold out.

The Austrian Airlines flight from Tivat (TIV) to Vienna (VIE) has gone up in price by $400 within hours of the red list announcement.

Lufthansa’s flight from Tivat (TIV) to Frankfurt (FRA) on Sunday is sold-out, and so is the flight from Tivat to Munich (MUC) on Saturday.

Scoot, Berlin, Fifth Freedom
easyJet has already canceled all flights to Montenegro for 2021 while Ryanair has not. Photo: Getty Images

Dubrovnik has benefitted

Dubrovnik Airport (DBV), in Croatia, is situated just a short drive away from Montenegro, and it looks like many people have opted to fly from there in the next few days.

There are five flights from Dubrovnik to London tomorrow, operated by British Airways, Jet2, and easyJet, and all five are sold out. On Sunday, there are six, and all six are sold out.

There remains almost no airline capacity left for passengers to reach the United Kingdom in the next two days before the red list change kicks in.

Are you in Montenegro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.