Saturday, December 18, 2010

Montenegro privatisation fails

No one willing to commit to Montenegro Airlines
Despite the fact that three international carriers purchased tender documentation for the acquisition of a 30% Montenegro Airlines share package, no carrier has put in an offer for Montenegro’s national airline. The Montenegrin Tender Commission announced that the tender had failed on December 15, when interested parties were meant to put in an offer. Etihad Airways, Arkia Israel Airlines and El Al all purchased tender documentation.

The Montenegrin Government put 30% of the carrier on sale in September, with the possibility of the new share holder increasing its ownership within 2 years. The government has not commented on the failed privatisation process.


  1. Who wants 30%? What can you do with 30% when the airline is in need of so much work? No airline in their right mind would buy 30% only to sit back and watch the Montenegrin Government continue on its merry way of mismanagement and corruption.

  2. same old story like with every other company here

  3. All ExYu national carriers are bust, more or less...In their current shape with debts and way of doing business, no one will buy them I think. Let's hope for a better 2011 in ExYu aviation sector and see something new and better for us passengers coming out of it all.

  4. @Anonymous

    I think that JAT and Croatia Airlines have the best chances of being privatized. JAT is booming with passenger increase, and is searching for intercontinental traffic. Those are all good signals and don't forget that it is one of the "safest airlines" in the world and that is also attractive for companies. Croatia Airlines has routes that lead to the Croatian coast, which is why it can be attractive. N one really cares about Zagreb like they do Belgrade, but the Croatian coast is a profit maker and that's where Croatia Airlines can be privatized.
    MAT is bankrupt, Montenegro doesn't have good service, and it's obviously struggling. BiH is already taken over, and Adria has an excellent regional connection, but its geographic position is such that it can't really do much more.

  5. @ Serbian Kobacica, oops I mean Anonymous,

    'No one cares about Zagreb like they do Belgrade'????? Please explain?

    Also, who would want to buy Jat when it requires hundreds of million dollars in investment to be still in the air in the next 5 to 10 years!

  6. "it is one of the "safest airlines" in the world"

    that's a good one, I just LOVE your sense of humor... :)

    Get some info on engine failures, decompressions and various system failures. Not during year but one month.

    Do you know that 4 years ago, when JAT was in much better condition than now, there was a lost of pressure and there was no oxygen in oxygen masks in several rows in the cabin and above jump seats? Ogygen generators simply failed. Not one, SEVERAL. Safest, yeah...
    And don't get me started on how many flight simply return after take off due to various problems.

    Yes, it happens in American, Lufthansa, etc but come on, compare fleet sizes and number of flights, you will get it.

    Flying coffins, that's what JAT is.

  7. Last anonymous:

    I fly Jat once to twice a month and I have never experienced anything you mentioned. So please I am really interested in seeing where you got your statistics from as naturally no argument is a valid one without hardcore facts.
    There is a reason why Jat received that certificate and if you have a problem with that, well you just have to learn how to live with it.

  8. I forgot to add, I do not agree that Zagreb is not interesting at all however the past years have shown who has received more importance (belgrade vs zagreb)... Facts speak for themselves.

  9. @ Anonymous,

    Belgrade v Zagreb,

    Please show me examples of these facts; I am really interested to know what in your opinion makes Belgrade more important than Zagreb.

  10. The geographical location of Belgrade and it's far superior catchment area plus Belgrade is the only proper airport in Serbia. On the other hand Zagreb is not even the most advanced airport in Croatia, it's Dubrovnik.
    Additionally Belgrade has managed to attract far more airlines and far more passengers hence why it has the leading position in the ex-Yugoslav market.Not to mention the increase of 15% in passenger numbers for 2010.
    Now, I am waiting for your arguments.

  11. Simple comparison here,

    Zagreb has a total population including metro area of 1.2 million where Belgrade reports total population of 2.5 million which is more than twice the size of Zagreb but the airport only managers to attract only 30 % more passengers then Zagreb per year.

    Not many passengers use Zagreb as a transit point, therefore most people who fly to Zagreb airport are there to visit or do business in Zagreb where realistically Belgrade is there serving all of Serbia so the airport does not have a population catchment of 2.5 million but servers really 7 million people.

    Now lets just assume that Zagreb was Croatia's only international airport, this will put Zagreb in a similar position as Belgrade where the airport would be therefore serving the whole country. Today Zagreb would have over 5 million annual passengers.

    So, the question is what will happen to Belgrade if other airports in Serbia start to attract low cost carriers and are we just seeing a temporary glory period at Belgrade due to the lifting of visa restrictions?

    The argument about Serbia being in a better geographical position the Zagreb is a bit of a hopeless argument. Zagreb and Belgrade are practically right next to each other when compared to the rest of Europe.

    The only real advantage Belgrade has over Zagreb at this time is the terminal. It is completely hopeless and I believe has costed Croatia a lot that Zagreb airport has not got a decent terminal.

    So my argument is that if Belgrade was so much more superior to Zagreb than it should be doing much more in terms of passenger numbers.

    Yes, passenger numbers are increasing but so are Zagreb’s. And since visa restriction have already been lifted in EU for Serbia then again it will be interesting to see how many more passengers use Belgrade next year.

  12. First of all Croatian citizens have been travelling freely to the European Union for way longer than Serbs. Second of all, the living standard in Croatia is higher than in Serbia, simply because Croatia didn't have to go through sanctions and bombings after its independence but took a normal path like any country should- unlike us in Serbia.
    Now, looking at the airlines operating into Belgrade we can see the following:
    Legacy carriers:
    - Lufthansa with their 5 daily flights, there are rumours of an additional daily flight from Munich bringing the total of four daily flights between the two cities.

    - Austrian, they have added the 05:15 flight in order to cope with the growing demand. The flight is usually operated with a Dash-8/Fokker 70 however getting a Fokker 100 is not an unusual sight.

    - Lot has begun operating the Belgrade route in late 2007 if I am not mistaken and had eversince only reinforced the route. In summer they had added a fifth flight and the route today is mostly operated by an E170 (compared to the E145 used before)

    - Aerosvit has revised their operations in Belgrade and replaced the once a week 737-400 via Sofia to 3-4 weekly flights on Antonov 148/E145 recognizing the potential in Belgrade for connecting.

    - Even though Air France did not add any new frequencies they did increase the capacity from an A318 to an A319.

    - Swiss has just begun operating their second daily flight on the Belgrade-Zurich route.

    - Even Tarom has added additional frequencies to Bucharest!

    - Spanair operated their Madrid and Barcelona flights over the summer, keeping Barcelona in winter.

    - airBaltic has announced that it intends on coming back to Belgrade just before summer.

    - Regardless of its current state, Jat Airways does keep some important routes which are not served from Croatia. Routes like Tel-Aviv, Larnaca, Tripoli, Monastir, Malta... All these routes do see a lot of business traffic (especially Larnaca and Tel-Aviv). Not to mention that Jat has an interline agreement with Emirates in Dubai.

    And so on and so on...


    - First of all, we finally saw Niki begin their Belgrade serive operated six times a week.

    - Wizzair has begun operating their routes from Luton and Dortmund only to announce that it would base an aircraft in Serbia.

    - Cimber Sterling has been flying from Copenhagen to Belgrade twice a week.

    - Germanwings has added an additional flight to Germany.

    To not write in all details the changed that had occured in the past year or so I will just conclude by saying that maybe Belgrade has received a bit more capacity than it really needs, however I am sure that these airlines did their homework before beggining their operations to Belgrade.
    Belgrade Airport as the gateway to Serbia has managed to position itself as the leader in the region and the fact that it is served by 32 airlines from Europe and Africa (year-round) means something.

  13. ^
    Careful, Q400. Logical arguments are rare on this forum! (Well done BTW!)

    The main question begging in your reply is: what would ZAG have to do to take that top position for pax in the exYU? Is it terminal related, or should the growth be happening from new airlines (LCC or otherwise) or from existing (OU could do much more)?

  14. @ Anonymous,

    Croatia too had a war after independence that lasted over 4 years of which caused over 30 billion US dollars damage and also interrupted the economy in such a way that if there were sanction then there probably would not be a noticeable difference so please don't forget that important point.

    Has Belgrade done well? Yes it has I believe but I only responded to your original post where you rubbished Zagreb by saying 'no one cares about it' which is clearly not true.

    @ frequentflyer,

    Thanks for the support.

    I truly believe that a good terminal can make a difference. In my opinion Zagreb needs to construct a terminal which offered some deal of leisure, entertainment and a pleasant atmosphere as say Changi does in Singapore (I'm not suggesting to those extremes but something close to), which could offer business travellers a first class lounge, and to the general public a comfortable and welcoming area to rest and refresh as well as a shopping mall and of course hotels. Without a good terminal, it will be difficult for Zagreb to attract enough passengers to become the leading airport in the region.

    Croatia Airlines biggest flaw is that they have failed to introduce aviation to a new market of would be travellers. That is the average Croatian citizen. They seemed to have put this in the too hard box.

    The LCC will definitely be appealing to this market and would help in increasing the numbers as more people consider flying to make there travels more simple where previously they just assumed that flying was not an affordable option. It's up to OU to now capitalise on this at the LCC expense.

  15. I think, the Region needs one Carrier and not 5 or 6 carrier. If you look how is the market from the singel Countri in the ex-yu and how is the market for one carrier....then you will see that the carrier on teh region have one choise....Fusion to one big airline with a Neutral Name....


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