CEO Daliborka Pejović - keeping it amongst the party faithful
Last week Montenegro Airlines’ recently appointed new CEO, Daliborka Pejović, announced the airline was laying off all Serbian citizens working for the carrier in the country in the name of cost cutting. The latest measure has affected over twenty pilots as well as mechanics and engineers and a dozen cabin crew members. However, Ms. Pejović, which also added, “There are no plans to lay off any of our workers… only if we really have to will we consider it as a final measure”, failed to mention that as early as last month the airline hired new employees – members of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), while the carrier’s Board of Directors, all of which are members of the ruling party, found just enough job vacancies in the airline for their family members.
Last month Montenegro Airlines hired a new head for its Media Centre. Tijana Kavarić, wife of Montenegro’s Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavarić, was brought in from her previous job at the Montenegrin government to take on the new role. Despite “rigorous” cost cutting measures, Duško Lalićević, member of Montenegro Airlines’ Board of Directors and head of the Montenegrin Tennis Association found employment for his daughter at the carrier. Gorica Lalićević was recently named the Agency Coordinator at Montenegro Airlines. “It is true she works at Montenegro Airlines now”, Mr. Lalićević said. Ms. Lalićević took on her new role at Montenegro Airlines after leaving her previous position at the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism. Up until June this year, prior to being named as the CEO of Montenegro Airlines, Ms. Pejović herself served as the State Secretary at the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism.
In a recent statement, Montenegro Airlines emphasised, “In accordance with the goals of our company, which includes the utmost rationalisation of business, we have recently done a lot of work to cut all costs”. However, cost cutting was not high on the agenda in August when the airline organised a special charter flight for members of the ruling DPS party, their spouses and family members, as well as Ms. Pejović herself, to cheer on the Montenegrin water polo team at the World Championships in Barcelona under the pretence the flight would carry the Montenegrin team back to Podgorica. While the carrier never revealed the cost of organising the flight and taking one of its aircraft out of regular service to ferry party faithfuls to the match, Ms. Pejović claims the flight was organised and paid for by the Montenegrin Water Polo Association. However, the Association says it has never requested nor paid for any charter flight from Montenegro Airlines. The Montenegrin team returned from Barcelona on a scheduled Vueling Airlines service from Barcelona to Dubrovnik while Ms. Pejović and her entourage returned to Podgorica with their specially chartered flight.
As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the Serbian government’s Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region as well as the Serbian Office for Human and Minority Rights has been informed of Montenegro Airlines’ recent decision to terminate contracts with all of its Serbian staff, in the name of apparent efforts to cut all costs.