Montenegro Airlines was bailed out last week by the Montenegrin Government as it faced bankruptcy, however, disarray within the airline continues. The Montenegrin national airline plans to cut its workforce and terminate several services.
At a press conference in Podgorica, Zoran Djurišić, the carrier’s CEO said that 150 employees will lose their jobs by 2014. Furthermore, it plans to discontinue services to London Gatwick Airport due to heavy losses. “We have made a loss of 2.5 million Euros on the Podgorica – London service. We wanted to connect Montenegro with London but we will review this decision”, Djurišić said. The route was launched with much fanfare 2 years ago. Last Friday, Montenegro Airlines launched services to Milan and will inaugurate flights to Brussels this week. In spite of this, the new additions are expected to be short lived as Djurišić says that booking numbers have been extremely low.
Montenegro Airlines employees might soon have to look for a job elsewhere as the airline plans to cut nearly half of its workforce within the next 2 years, when it hopes to have between 250 and 300 employees.
Djurišić also touched on the topic of low cost airlines, which are soon expected to begin services to the country. “Former government minister Nenezić told me he flew between Vienna and Venice yesterday on a low cost airline, purchasing his ticket 3 hours prior to departure for 300 Euros. That’s 300 Euros for a 45 minute flight. It’s all a marketing ploy”, the CEO explained. Djurišić says that the government should accept Montenegro Airlines’ terms for low cost airline to fly during the winter season as well and stay away from routes served by Montenegro Airlines.