|Montenegro Airlines seeks fifth freedom rights from Zagreb|
The CEO of Montenegro Airlines, Daliborka Pejović, says her airline intends to expand its reach into new markets by launching flights between European Union member states. Ms. Pejović says the carrier is considering introducing its first inter-EU flights from Zagreb to Copenhagen. “We have sent a request for the government to approve flights from Podgorica or Tivat to Zagreb and onwards to Copenhagen and Europe. Since Montenegro Airlines has good ties with all carriers in the region, it is possible to make a favourable arrangement with Croatia Airlines. We expect this will further improve our business”, Ms. Pejović says, adding that the premise of competition is to drive the company to further grow and expand in the market.
According to its CEO, Montenegro Airlines is holding up well against increased competition in the region. “There was some justified concern last October when Etihad came onto the market, however, action undertaken by the Montenegrin national carrier has cemented our position as a competitive European airline”, Ms. Pejović says. She notes that while most airlines have seen their passenger numbers decline on Russia bound flights, in wake of the Ukraine crisis, Montenegro Airlines has managed to improve its figures. Over the peak summer months (June, July and August) the carrier handled some 4.000 passengers more on its Moscow bound flights when compared to the same period last year.
Commenting on the airline’s upcoming privatisation process, Ms. Pejović says some interest has been shown, adding that the carrier has received letters of intent. “In this process, it is important for Montenegro Airlines to regularly meet its payment obligations to Airports of Montenegro, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency but also to its employees", she says. In May, Etihad Airways expressed interest to boost cooperation with Montenegro Airlines and look into the possibility of purchasing a stake in the national carrier. Earlier this year, the Montenegrin Privatisation and Capital Investment Council announced plans to privatise Montenegro Airlines this year.