09 Feb 15
Serbia and Montenegro Profit From Ukraine Flight Detours
The joint Serbian and Montenegrin air traffic agency expects higher revenues from overflight fees in 2015 as many airlines avoid Ukrainian airspace.
The air traffic control agency, SMATSA, expects to earn more than 68 million eurofrom route charges in 2015, after some major European airlines relocated flight paths over Serbia and Montenegro due to the armed conflicts in Ukraine.
According to a SMATSA report prepared for the Montenegrin government, the agency expects the number of flights using the airspace over Serbia and Montenegro to increase by around 8 per cent due to the re-routing.
The agency’s total revenue from terminals, training pilots and flight control and aircraft maintenance is projected to be 106 million euro in 2015.
“The situation in Ukraine will contribute to the detouring of a large number of flights to SMATSA control,” the report said.
SMATSA is the only joint Serbian and Montenegrin institution that remains in place following the separation of the two countries in 2006, when Montenegro regained its independence.
Based in Belgrade, Serbia, it is also responsible for the air space of part of the southern Adriatic and for 55 per cent of the upper air space of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
SMATSA in expects to earn about 6 million euros from flights over Bosnia and Herzegovina this year.
The closure of the air space over wartorn eastern Ukraine since last summer has cut off a popular air corridor connecting Western Europe with the Middle East and Asia.
British Airways, Qantas and Cathay Pacific are among the airlines that have taken detours since last July around the area where a Malaysian plane was brought down in Ukraine.
After the MH17 carrying 298 people crashed as a result a suspected missile strike, companies flying from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and London redirected flights to the Far East to the southern corridor that runs over Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)