Monday, April 23, 2012

Montenegro pushes for airline unification

Montenegro Airlines, Jat, Adria and Croatia Airlines to meet next month
The CEO of Montenegro Airlines, Zoran Djurišić, has invited the executives from the former Yugoslavia’s three busiest carriers, Croatia Airlines, Jat Airways and Adria Airways, to meet and discuss the proposal set out by the Association of European Airlines for the flag carriers of the four former Yugoslav republics to merge into a single airline. The meeting is set to take place on May 19 on the Budva Riviera.

The four sides will discuss the implementation of a free skies agreement between the countries of the former Yugoslavia, which would allow unrestricted access for all of the airlines involved to operate flights to each other’s countries. Furthermore, a fleet exchange plan will also be discussed, which would allow airlines to exchange aircraft amongst each other in accordance to their needs. Also on the agenda will be the proposal for the airlines to trade staff, maintenance and catering. The fourth and final point to be discussed will be a unified approach on the international market through unified representation of all four airlines.

In his letter to the three CEO’s, Djurišić notes that as a result of the global economic crisis and the aviation crisis which has hit Europe, regional airlines are facing a challenging future. Djurišić notes that foreign airlines are gaining the upper hand in the region against local carriers. While many airlines began to recover in 2011 after the economic crisis, it was Montenegro Airlines and Adria Airways which were hit hard. Montenegro Airlines has seen a big slide in passenger numbers, especially to its key market - Belgrade, while its losses have mounted. However, it is not alone as all of the former Yugoslav carriers are operating with significant losses. Both Croatia Airlines’ and Adria’s passenger figures have been plummeting this year, while Jat’s losses increased by several million euros in 2011. Last month, the Association of European Airlines warned that national carriers of the former Yugoslavia will disappear if they do not merge. The claims were supported by the CEO of Adria Airways which said that the Slovenian carrier would support the move if its privatisation process fails this year.


  1. Having just read CAPA's assessment of the ex-YU market, it was clearly written by someone in Australia or somewhere far away who has never visited the region nor its airports. Furthermore, the AEA is still stuck in the 1970s and their views on aviation matters are not even considered to be professional or relevant.

    So the 3 stooges will meet in Budva - what a fitting choice of venues to meet. Lots of hand-shaking and "Oh look how important I am - I'm a DIRECTOR!" - and nothing will be achieved.

    It's only a matter of time before they all go bust. There isn't enough money in the entire Balkans to fund an "SAS-like" entity (SAS itself is a total basketcase and will be killed off soon by Norwegian Air Shuttle.

    Hub in ZAG? Yeah right.

  2. 'Open Skies' (which would actually be a good thing for the entire exYU region) and unification/fleet exchange etc are two completely different things.

    YM would love to operate routes from BEG, JP could base more thirsty CR2s at other cities in the region (SJJ immediately springs to mind if JA does go belly up, and PRN has been successful from the airline's perspective) and it would mean that OU and JU couldn't fight over who can't operate ZAG-BEG...

    As for fleet exchange, who would really want JUs old 733s, JPs expensive CR2s or OUs old 320s??

    Like all other talkfests, I expect the outcome of this meeting to be full of hot air, and not much decision reached!

  3. Oh...i remember 2 decades ago Balkan had one united airline... i think it was named JAT! So, if you guys on the balkan are smart, you put it all back into its place.
    because this is what most people all over europe have in mind as a good familiar thing ( just my 2 cents from germany).

  4. I think i'm getting sick and tired of hearing this idea all over again. That will NOT happen, no matter what and Ex-Yu should really stop posting further on this matter cause we saw last week what kind of discussion it creates, besides it being totally unrealistic, that's like debating the most senseless rumour that only fuels provocations. IF you agree with me that this blog should stop posting about this write +1 in reply at the end of your message.

  5. Not gonna happen

  6. Surprised that they managed to coordinate a meeting this quickly and that they settled on a venue. This should be interesting.

  7. Of course YM pushes this idea, because they want to open a Belgrade base to operate from. Their home market is too small....I really hope that this will not happen, knowing YM they would owe huge amounts of money to BEG airport for handling. Same happened in PRN adn SKP where they have been banned. Bunch of criminals...

    1. not only BEG, INI too, like they already used to, and were quite succesful

  8. Jat is the biggest al capone airlines in the world..owing Beg airport a lot of dinars...

  9. "Hub in ZAG? Yeah right."

    Of course the best idea would be that Croatia Airlines sent our new planes to BEG and that BEG would be hub of that new company, so that Croatian passangers from ZAG can fly to CDG via BEG with Croatian planes in Serbian colours. One more time. How stupid you thing we are?

    1. Well, it wouldnt be that different to the current situation of OU with LH ;)

    2. ...also, hate it or love it, Belgrade is the biggest airport in the region so it only makes sense.

    3. What you say is rubbish. JAT in the 1980s operated more direct nonstop flights from ZAG than Croatia Airlines does today. On top of that it employed more Croatian staff than Croatia Airlines does today.

    4. BEG is bigger than ZAG, that is the fact, but plan is not to put airports in one companies but airlines. So, Croatia Airlines is MUCH BIGGER!!!! than Adria or Jat. In that "utopia" airline Croatia will bring most passengers in it. Croatia Airlines have new planes especially when A320 will be replaces by new A319 (by the way the oldest A320 of CTN is baby concerning age of the youngest JAT 733), ZAG is in ideal position for transit to West, North and USA. So, it is logic that hub would be where the biggest and best company is (with most passengers). In same time it is logical that BEG should be hub for flights just to Russia, Romania and Bulgaria.

    5. to make just two hubs put Iberia, Alitalia and Olympic in bancropt. And we will have 5 hubs?

      How can company work with fleet of


      Much to much even for Lufthansa, and it is disaster for company that should have just some 50 planes. 50 planes with 10 models???? How can that work

  10. Although being very sceptic about merging all those airlines the idea of having a "free skies agreement"
    is a very interesting idea.

    It is obvious for YM to push for this idea as already everybody knows that they would like to open a base in Belgrade.

    But the reason why there is even talking about such an idea is JP.
    It is JP that made Pristina a secondary hub and operates flights between Belgrade and Torino in Italy.

    Neither Serbia nor Kosovo should worry about this..
    more the Slovenian and Montenegrin taxpayers.

    So a privatization of both these airlines would be in any case helpful.

  11. It reminds me of the Frankenstein story, when they take bodyparts of dead people and put them together. The outcome we know: its a MONSTER!
    Long live a new serbian national carrier named Aeroput. Never again together with the "brothers" from neighboring republics. Please!

  12. Aero...Put..Put...Put...Putin !

    Come little chicken..put ...put!
    Fly little chicken ...put put...Aeroput!

  13. and English version is




Before posting a comment be mindful of other participants and readers. EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. Such comments will be deleted as soon as possible. The opinions expressed by those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of EX-YU Aviation News. Thank you for your cooperation.