The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has chosen to offend Montenegro by refusing Montenegro Airlines permission to operate charter flights between Belgrade and Palma de Mallorca. This rejection is even more offensive because the same agency granted permission to Wizz Air, a Hungarian airline, to operate the same route.
The Serbian government is able to deny this permission because Phase I of the Open Sky Agreement allows airlines to be denied the right to fly if neither the source or the destination of the flight is in the airlines home nation. In the industry these are known as “fifth freedom rights.”
This is not the first time the Serbian government has slighted Montenegro Airlines. The Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate has previously denied Montenegro Airlines the right to operate flights between Belgrade and Zurich.
This month marks the fifth anniversary of Montenegrin independence. It is long past time for the Serbian government to come to terms with that.