New Route of the Day (5 February 2024): Pegasus Airlines between Ankara and Podgorica
Pegasus Airlines introduced flights between Ankara and Podgorica on Monday 5 February, marking the carrier’s second new route to the Montenegrin capital within a week. The 1,175-kilometre service will be maintained 2-weekly, on Mondays and Fridays, with the A320 aircraft. The airline faces no competition between the two cities.
What they said
Eldin Dobradzic, the President of the Bord of Directors at operator Airports of Montenegro, said: “The first flight between Ankara and Podgorica can be considered historic. It is known that Podgorica is extremely well connected with Istanbul, but from today the business community and political elites from Ankara have a nonstop service to Podgorica as well. It is especially important that the new route has launched even before the official start of the summer season, which, based on all indicators, will be a record one.”
Baris Kalkavan, the Ambassador of Türkiye to Montenegro, added: “I am delighted that all seats have been sold out both on the inbound and outbound service. This speaks of the mutual interest of the citizens of Türkiye and Montenegro. In this way, we strengthen the trade and tourism ties between our countries. During the summer season, we expect even more flights”.
Pegasus Airlines becomes second-largest in Podgorica
Pegasus Airlines commenced services to Podgorica last July by launching 4-weekly flights between Istanbul SAW and Podgorica, becoming the first LCC to operate between the two countries. Frequencies on the roue have since grown to daily.
On 1 February 2024, Pegasus Airlines inaugurated 2-weekly flights between Izmir and the Montenegrin capital, followed by its new service from Ankara. In total, the carrier maintains 11-weekly flights to Podgorica.
This February, Pegasus Airlines becomes the second-largest carrier at Podgorica Airport based on available capacity, behind only Turkish Airlines. It offers a total of 4,834 weekly seats on its Podgorica flights.
Türkiye – Montenegro operations reach record levels
Turkish Airlines and Air Montenegro, as the national carriers of Türkiye and Montenegro, were the only two able to operate between the two states based on a rigid bilateral Air Service Agreement. However, the pact was modified last year to enable more carriers onto the market, as well as the introduction of new routes.
As a result, Pegasus Airlines launched its three new routes to Podgorica, Turkish Airlines commenced operations between Istanbul IST and Tivat, on the Montenegrin coast, while Air Montenegro plans to inaugurate flights between Tivat and Izmir in S24. Another carrier, SunExpress, initially scheduled the introduction of flights between Izmir and Podgorica for this June, however, cancelled those plans last week.
Montenegro, which does not require entry visas for Turkish citizens, has become a popular holiday destination. Furthermore, a notable number of Turkish citizens have acquired property in Montenegro. Further fuelling demand between Türkiye and Montenegro are Russian transfer passengers. Prior to the war in Ukraine, Russian tourists were one of Montenegro’s biggest source markets. Due to the suspension of flights between the two countries, many are using services via Türkiye instead. Russian nationals do not require a visa to enter Montenegro.