|Montenegro Airlines tackles competition with network expansion|
Montenegro Airlines is preparing for a busy 2015 summer season with the carrier to launch several new routes and add frequencies to existing destinations. The carrier intends to launch scheduled flights to St. Petersburg, making it its second destination in Russia following Moscow. Furthermore, the airline recently concluded an agreement with Lyon Airport to inaugurate seasonal services to the French city next summer season. Montenegro Airlines will also add additional frequencies on flights from Podgorica and Tivat to Belgrade. “Already, even during the winter season, we have introduced a third daily flight from Podgorica to Belgrade on selected days in order to better compete against our rival on the route”, Bojana Kalezić from the airline’s Commercial Department says. Montenegro Airlines handled 203.176 passengers on its flights to and from Belgrade during the first nine months of the year, up 0.2% on the same period in 2013.
The Montenegrin carrier is also looking to strengthen its charter operations next summer and make use of its remaining Fokker aircraft, which it has begun retiring from its fleet. In addition to its scheduled flights to Frankfurt, as well as seasonal services to Dusseldorf, Montenegro Airlines will operate charters to several German cities next year. Furthermore, it will bring forward the launch of its Dusseldorf service to April 2015. “We believe Dusseldorf holds great potential when it comes to linking Montenegro with Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands”, Ms. Kalezić says. The airline is also anticipating the launch of charter flights from Podgorica to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines maintains scheduled services between the two cities.
Montenegro Airlines recently announced it was selling two of its Fokker 100 jets at a starting price of 501.090 euros and 669.850 euros, respectively. The carrier’s CEO, Daliborka Pejović, says the airline will have seven operational aircraft next summer, after it completes an overhaul of one its F100 jets. “Currently, Montenegro Airlines has six operational aircraft and three aircraft with expired service life. Following our request a couple of months ago, the government decided to sell these planes. However, considering our plans for the upcoming season, one of the three Fokkers will again be in operation following certain investments. As a result, with a fleet of seven aircraft, we will meet increased demand next year”, Ms. Pejović concludes.