2 incidents in one month - the curse of the Podgorica to Rome serviceRecent safety incidents at Montenegro Airlines have brought wide spread publicity to the carrier in the country however for all the wrong reasons. The most recent incident occurred on March 29 when a Montenegro Airlines Fokker F100, bound for Rome from Podgorica, was boarding. As passengers entered the aircraft the electronic lighting system in the aircraft failed and the light for a technical default turned on. Passengers were asked to de-board and the aircraft which was scheduled to depart at 16.20 departed some 4 hours later at 20.30. The problem seemed to have been a minor technical failure however this brought little comfort to passengers, many of which had connecting onwards flights from Rome.
A more serious problem at Montenegro Airlines occurred last month when another Fokker F100, also bound for Rome, had one of its wheels fall off upon departure from Podgorica. None of the cabin crew noticed the problem but they were alerted by Podgorica air traffic control when the aircraft was flying over the Croatian cost. The aircraft immediately turned back to Podgorica. After an hour of cruising above the city in order to burn fuel the aircraft landed safely with one of its wheels missing. All emergency services at Podgorica airport were alerted and on standby in case intervention was needed. There was a total of 28 passengers onboard.
The incidents have led to the debate if Montenegro’s Fokker’s are safe. The majority of its 4 F100s are 18 years old. The overall age of the Montenegro Airlines fleet is 14 years.