From the courts to the skyFour years ago, following the breakup of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Montenegro Airlines created Master Airways, its Serbian offspring which would allow it to keep all its lucrative Belgrade – Zurich flights as well as charters from Belgrade. However, the airline was denied a license and the Montenegrin high court filed charges against Zoran Djurišić, Montenegro Airlines CEO and the CEO of Master Airways for the unlawful lease of aircraft which are not fully owned by Montenegro Airlines. The court proceedings are still ongoing.
Times have changed and Montenegro Airlines has once again sent in documentation to the Serbian Aviation Directorate for the registration of Master Airways. This time it is expected to receive all necessary licenses. Nebojša Stračević, the chief of the Serbian Aviation Director told “Blic” newspapers that all documentation has been received. Starčević, a former Jat Airways CEO who was run out of the company in 2008, was once a staunch opponent to the liberation of Serbia’s skies but now says that competition will do Jat good. Master Airways will have the same conditions as Jat Airways because it will be a Serbian registered company.
Montenegro Airlines plans to base Master Airways in Niš with 2 Fokker F100 aircraft. It plans on setting up flights from Niš Constantine the Great Airport to Budapest and Paris at first. Whether these flights would operate via Belgrade remains to be seen. The airline hopes to launch services in June. Master Airways has the full support of the city authorities in Niš which would allow the airline free handling of its aircraft at the airport and possibly subsidise certain routes. Montenegro Airlines and the mayor of Niš recently signed an agreement of cooperation.