Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pilot fury at Montenegro Airlines

Seven pilots leave Montenegro Airlines

Montenegro Airlines has been dealt a blow after five of its captains left the company this month, while another two quit their jobs in May over low wages. The head of the carrier's pilot union, Ljubiša Mihajlović, has blamed the airline's management for the exodus, adding that pilots felt "cheated" by top executives. "Since two of our renowned pilots left before the summer, we held talks with CEO Daliborka Pejović in June in order to avoid a further departure of our crew members. We reached an agreement to increase captain wages by up to 900 euros (i.e. regular pay for thirty hours of flying and then an additional forty euros for every additional hour of flying), because our salaries are significantly lower compared to other airlines", Mr Mihajlović says. He adds, "She [Ms Pejović] agreed to the idea and took it to the Board of Directors a week later where the Executive Director, Živko Banjević, vetoed the proposal".

Last night, Mr Banjević resigned from his post as Executive Director and announced he was leaving the company after thirteen years. Over the weekend, Montenegro Airlines was forced to cancel two of its flights (Podgorica - Belgrade and Tivat - Paris) due to a lack of crew. The carrier attempted to cover up the problem, saying its pilots were either sick or on holiday leave. However, the five pilots which left the airline earlier this month confirmed they have quit. Four of the seven captains have transferred to the Turkish-based Borajet. One of the affected pilots said, "I decided to leave Montenegro Airlines in June after the management failed to live up to our agreement. That's when I decided I don't want to work for people who lie, such as Mr Banjević, who directly lied to us. Since I have worked for the airline since it was established, I didn't leave in June but waited for the busy summer season to end and decided to leave this month".

Montenegro Airlines is believed to have enough pilots for the upcoming slower winter months but could face problems next summer. Mr Mihajlović says other captains are also considering leaving the airline in the coming months. For its part, Montenegro Airlines says, "With respect to all the facts and pilots' immeasurable contribution to the company, we have no intention to argue through the media". Montenegro Airlines has been facing financial difficulties for years. It reported a net loss of 6.5 million euros during the first half of 2015, with its accumulated debt at 71.5 million euros. It handled 409.906 passengers during the first eight months of 2015, up 3.4% compared to the same period last year.

91 comments:

  1. And so their downfall finally begins. Can't say I'm sorry,

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  2. This is how it started at B&H. Half of the pilots left + the debt and now we have what we have.

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  3. Good thing pejovic fired all Serbian pilots a few years ago because the company had to be uniquely Montenegrin. Hope she enjoys it now.

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    Replies
    1. Not only pilots, but flight attendant as well..

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    2. Bloody racists. Unbelievable.

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    3. Tako mu nekako dodje. Slazem se sa Vama postovani Anon 9:23 AM.
      Mozda mogu da lete sa novom svojom nacijom, svojim jeIkom, pismom. Sve to leti za sada vrlo uspesno. Sa najboljim zeljama za sva uzletanja. Ako se ne plate piloti, pa zatim cabinsko osoblje, avio mehanicari... onda umesto letenja ostaje ''negro Montenegro''...
      Pamet u glavu. Ako neko ne pravi profit, shut down! Ako je politicki ''nacionalni interes'' , tu je narodni porez, pa ko prezivi. Ako ne placate pristojno strucnjake, good by! So simple. Dogadja se da poneki postavljeni politicar u avio kompaniji ''zakolje vola za kilogram mesa''. Svakako Montenegro je napredna drzava. Bog da cuva Er Srbiju, kao i sve koji lete, i u bilo kojoj kompaniji. Drzava kada upravlja avio kompanijom Srbija ima iskustva. Sa tom ''genijalnoscu'' su upoznati ljudi Srbije koji placaju porez. Politicari, kao ''pliticari u najboljoj nameri''... Sa nadom da se privatizuje (100%) Er Srbija, (zbog ''genijalnih'' politicara i svega ostalog) Monte Negru svako dobro. Uvek je velika pamet izvirala iz Crne Gore, sada su sve sitnice. Srbija ima svojih pre-okupacija. Dovoljno je za ''srbijance''.
      Rodney & Aviation team.✈🌏✈😊✈❇✈.
      Kraljevo✈Sydney.

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    4. Postovani Radovane, kada god sam procitao Vas post nisam uspeo da shvatim o cemu pricate, kome se obracate i sta zelite da kazete. Skacete sa teme na temu, nepovezano i nebulozno, jako je tesko citati Vase postove, uz svo duzno postovanje ne znam dal ste u ovom postu zeleli da izdignete Srbiju ili da uvredite Crnogorce?

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    5. Mislim da i on sam nezna šta je hteo da kaže.

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    6. Kad ste nepismeni shabani. Iako se ne slazem sa Radovanom jasno je da MA propada zbog Mila i klape mu. Prave gubitke godinama bez pokrivanja. Slicno kao nekada JAT. Sta ce biti sa ASL videcemo.

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    7. Anonymous September 24, 2015 at 3:30 PM

      Sve je lako dok ga ti razumes

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  4. OT: Aegean Airlines S16 Athens Operation Changes

    Aegean Airlines earlier this month has gradually updated planned summer 2016 operations, for flights to/from Athens, from 27MAR16. Planned service increase, based on comparison between summer 2016 and summer 2015 season, as follow.

    Additional changes remain possible.

    Athens – Belgrade eff 27MAR16 4 of 5 weekly service operated by Airbus A320, replacing Olympic Air Dash8-Q400

    Source, and other network changes: http://airlineroute.net/2015/09/23/a3-s16update1/

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    Replies
    1. konkurencija steze obruc oko ASL

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    2. Last winter they had good loads on their A319s. Their new no luggage fare seems to be working well for them. Before the crisis, the market between Belgrade and Athens was huge, mostly due to the economic ties between the two countries. Even OA planned to increase BEG from 7 to 14 weekly back in 2010 but then Aegean pulled some political strings and kicked them out.

      A3 has published some competitive fares for this winter season, one can find Beirut flights for as little as €160 (without luggage).

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    3. So basically from this winter season A3 will be flying with their A320 into Belgrade.

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    4. Has anyone else noticed all the other changes?!?!

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    5. They only announced so far changes (mainly increases) on existing destinations.
      Do you have any information when they are going to announce new destinations?
      Lots of ex-Yu cities could work from ATH especially if it was a summer only route.
      I am thinking SKP, SJJ, ZAG, LJU.

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    6. Aegean is very cautious so these increases only go to show that their newly launched destinations (RUH, IKA, MRS, EVN, TBS...) proved to be a total success. What's even more interesting is that all of these cities (with the exception of EVN) can and are served via IST. This shows that Aegean has managed to secure its own share of transfer passengers despite being sandwiched between two big hubs, Rome and Istanbul, and to a lesser extent Vienna.

      Their fleet did grow by 5 to 7 A320s this year. Let's see what they plan on doing with the charters next summer and if they will keep their operational bases in Heraklion and Rhodes.
      I think the next regional destination is Zagreb as it's well within the range of a Q400. I can see them code-sharing with OU on the route but nothing beyond Zagreb (maybe SPU).

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    7. @anon 10:25
      All of the possible routes you mentioned can be profitable seasonally, but I don't believe that SKP will be a destination any time soon, because of the well known politic disputes.

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    8. @ Anon 9:30

      kako steže kada zajedno sarađuju na BEG-ATH? i još imaju dosta kod-šer letova?

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    9. Jeste ali A3 se ne ustrucava i siri se po regiji nezavisno od svoje saradnje sa JU. Na kraju krajeva, nije Aegean taj koji treba da se uskladjuje sa Er Srbijom vec suprotno.

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    10. I would also like to add that Aegean is revising its schedule for next summer as they will offer the following flights:

      1--45-7
      08.25-09.05 // 09.45-12.20

      -2-----
      18.10-18.50 // 19.30-22.10

      This means that Aegean is slowly going after transfer passengers out of Belgrade. The 22.10 arrival offers convenient transfers onto their night departures to places such as Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Riyadh, Larnaca...
      This is the same approach they had in other places. If anything it's a sign that A3 isn't that friendly towards JU.

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    11. Bad news for ASL for sure.

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    12. Nemjee, are you associated with Aegean or have any interest from A3?

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    13. Well, no. I've been flying with Aegean for about a decade now (from LCA via ATH) so they are very dear to me.
      On top of it all, they are really well managed and they seem to be doing well regardless of all the competition they face.

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    14. Ignoriši njihove provokacije, hvala na informacijama! Ima nas kojima su zanimljive. :)

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    15. Zanimljive su svima ali stvarno deluje kao da radi za njih

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    16. @anonymous 4:31
      I don't think Nemjee is Greek.
      You should be thankful for his contributions instead of making ridiculous accusations.
      There are people who are interested in Aviation at large, not just in their country's state airline for nationalistic reasons.

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    17. AnonymousSeptember 24, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      Not Greek but close enough... I have a dual citizenship, Serbian and Cypriot. :)
      A lot of my old high school and university classmates are working for Aegean, both in Greece and Cyprus so I know what's going on in the airline. I also like to 'advertise' A3 on here because I do believe they are going to be a major player, not only in the Balkans, but in Europe in the next 5 years. I really think most of you should check them out and see how far they've come. It will help you understand the way they think. :)

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    18. The only major player in the Balkans in the next 5 years will be Turkish.

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    19. You should define major. In my opinion there will be three major airlines in the Balkans in the next five years: Turkish Airlines, Aegean and Pegasus.

      Though, I wouldn't rule out Onur Air. They seem to be expanding so who knows what will happen with them. Istanbul is a massive market and it can sustain three airlines. Then again, Turkish economy is unpredictable so... let's wait and see.

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    20. I will agree with Nemjee in-here, JU has missed its chance to position itself and the market is too small to sustain more than 3 large regional players. The network A3 is currently implementing is pretty much the copy of the networkt i was proposing for JU two years ago, that was judged overly ambitious yet, without it, the network has no chance to reach a critical mass that would eventually lead to profitability and further growth. To state "we're waiting for LF to improve in order to open new destination" is absurd to say the least, since the network has no chance to reach a higher load-factor without additional feed which the current network setup clearly cannot generate despite the mass-dumping. The only game-changer would be the sudden introduction of long-haul flights from Belgrade together with an increased dedication towards cargo traffic to support the otherwise disastrous passenger revenue figures, which again can't happen without a successive wave of expansion towards the East, which now with Aegean will prove to be much more difficult than two years ago.

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    21. Ja sto ovde najvise branim ASL moram nazalost reci da je jako smesno i i meni glupo sto se u opste ali u opste nije rizikovalo malo vise nego sve ostalo u granicama stare mape destinacija samo malo modernije i to mi je jako krivo toliko nenormalno profitabilnih destinacija na Bliskom Dalekom istoku se ignorisu i nekoliko ljudi je ovde upravu .
      INN-NS

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    22. Nemjee, the Turks will not be able to grow their capacity from where they currently stand - 17 flights per week ... Air Serbia is only flying 7 pw and any growth, can only come from them, under the bilateral agreement b/w both countries. That was the whole issue last year (ie. reciprocity) and that is now the mechanism put in place, so no need to worry about Turkish, Pegasus or Onur

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    23. You have a micro approach, nemjee a macro approach, that is the difference.
      BEG is a small market in a "bigger picture".

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    24. AnonymousSeptember 24, 2015 at 9:38 PM
      AnonymousSeptember 24, 2015 at 9:54 PM

      Indeed. I was referring to the Balkans as a whole and to the airlines that are based there.

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    25. do not mix grandmothers and frogs sto bi reko nesretni vuk draskovic. ASL je mala kompanija jos manje drzave i svakodnevno se bori za opstanak. kakva bre poredjenja sa turkish airlines-om spominjete. budite malo realni - nema para za tekuce poslovanje a ne za megalomaniju poput amerike ili kine.

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    26. Nobody is comparing them, I think you missed the point we were trying to make. JU was in no way compared to TK. We were just saying that the geographical region where JU is based is becoming increasingly competitive and Air Serbia will face even bigger difficulties as times goes by. Because of that they need to start consolidating their network and operations.

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    27. @10:36
      Vi ste jedan od ljudi sto nema pojma naravno da USA i Kina mogu fantasticno poslovati samo da se malo vise rizikuje treba minimum 10 A319 za Bliski Istok i Evropske destinacije onda bi bili barem malo konkurentni.
      INN-NS

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    28. In regards to the transfer passenger I completely agree that TK will be the biggest player in the years to come. However, if you take in consideration O&D passengers I would say that Wizz will be the biggest airline. They are actively pursuing new bases and routes in the ex-yu region (new base in Tuzla, third aircraft in Skopje, seasonal flights in Nis, and two year-long routes to Ohrid), and if you take in consideration the whole Balkan, wizz might be the airline with the biggest number of passengers (it has a base in Sofia with 6 air crafts, as well as lots of bases in Romania). Plus the LCC model is the only model that an average earning person from the ex-yu/Balkans can afford.

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    29. Last Anonymous,

      True but also don't forget that only 28% of all Turkish Airlines passengers are connecting from one international flight onto another. In other words, 72% of their passengers are either O&D or are connecting from an international flight onto a domestic one. This is huge and it goes to indicate that TK's growth was primarily fuelled by local demand. What I am saying that if Wizz Air wants to be number one in terms of O&D then they have some serious catching up to do.

      In addition to all that, the lowcost market is far less predictable than the legacy one. Wizz Air's success in the Balkans was primarily thanks to the region being less competitive and in all those bases Wizz Air faced little or no competition. Even in Belgrade, look at how successfully they defeated Air Serbia in Larnaca and I am sure they are not losing the battle in Copenhagen/Malmo.

      One possible threat is Ryanair. They have been expanding in Greece lately and if you look at their winter timetable you will notice that they are becoming increasingly aggressive. I am sure that in time they will add even more Balkan destinations. They have been rather conservative with this area but they do have some presence (Split, Osijek, Podgorica, Plovdiv...).
      Another possible player is Eurowings. It also depends on how they plan on expanding.

      So in the end, Wizz Air will will grow, no doubt about that, but I think that their future growth will be decided by the amount of competition they will face.

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    30. @nemjee,
      I didn't know that only 28% of Turkish's passengers were transfer and I must say that I am surprised. I believed that Pegasus was used for O&D passengers since it is cheaper than TK.

      Maybe I overestimated Wizz a little bit, but in my opinion LCCs will only be getting more and more popular in this region (as is the case in whole Europe) because, as I mentioned in the previous comment, majority of the population can afford it.
      I expect for Wizz to have some competition in the near future, since everyone would like a slice of the market and the profit. But, since Wizz has had a head start, I believe it will stay the biggest LCC in the region.

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    31. Indeed, it's shocking especially when you take a look at their network. What I found especially interesting is that TK's African expansion took place the same year Turkish government opened 14 embassies and consulates all throughout the continent. Generally speaking, there is synergy between the airline, the government and the private sector. It goes to show that TK has a plan, a strategy which makes them particularly dangerous for smaller airlines that are based in their neighbourhood.

      As far as Wizz Air and other lowcost carriers go, I completely agree with you.

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    32. Nemjee on Aegean: I do believe they are going to be a major player, not only in the Balkans, but in Europe in the next 5 years.

      Major player in Europe in 2020? What will happen to Wizz, Turkish, British, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Air France, KLM, Iberia, Easyjet, Aeroflot, SAS, Air Berlin, Alitalia, Norwegian etc? Are they all going to be wiped out by a giant asteroid?

      This is why I have zero respect for Nemjee's airline expertise.

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    33. Anon 4:18 is an idiot.
      You should stop commenting if you are not able to understand what other posters write.

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    34. Lako je razumeti, rekao je da ce Aegean biti glavni igrac u Evropi za pet godina. Stvarno idiotska izjava.

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    35. Zato ljudi dolaze na ovaj blog mogu da se gube do mile volje i da ih neko naziva sexpertima. Obicni dunsteri.

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    36. 'I do believe they are going to be a major player, not only in the Balkans, but in Europe in the next 5 years.'

      Read carefully. I wrote that they are going to be A major player not THE major player. In other words they are going to be one of several important airlines on the European continent, not the only one.

      If you failed to understand any other part of my text, feel free to let me know and I will explain it for you. :)

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  5. OT: Od nocas je obustavljen saobraćaj svih vidova transporta (drumski, železnički i rečni) izmedju Srbije i Hrvatske osim vazdušnog. Do kada će izdržati? Jutarnji JU je odleteo..

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    1. Tehnički je nemoguće na takav način blokirati aviosaobraćaj, a i onaj ko to uradi na neki dugi rok bi morao da isplati ogromne odštetne zahteve.

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    2. Nisam siguran da se u ovom slučaju poštuju bilo kakve medjunarodne odredbe i ugovori.

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    3. U ovoj sutuaciji Srbija, ni kriva ni duzna, ispašta. A, Bogami, i Hrvatska svojim konteamera, vise steti sebi nego ikom drugom. EU je jedna velika farsa, a to je sada skroz izaslo na videlo. Sramni potez.

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    4. da li neko zna kakv je LF na ruti za Zagreb i obratno od kako je pocelo da se zakuvava?
      pozdrav svima

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  6. can you imagine what will happen with their debt during winter season when LF traditionally goes down ?

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  7. Nice Foto:

    http://www.flugzeugbilder.de/show.php?id=680862

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  8. Seven pilots leaving such a small airline is a disaster. And 5 in just one month!

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  9. Ne znam kako mogu da se ophode prema najvaznijem osoblju tako kad su oni najbitni STW mozes lako zameniti a Pilote tesko .
    INN-NS

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    1. https://scontent-vie1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11149581_524378597739650_1966845605223460920_n.jpg?oh=0ab13367eecd0c84e665f310c9888235&oe=568F4DCF

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    2. Ne radim za sitnicu gospodine ;)
      INN-NS

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    3. Sačuvaj me bože INN-NSSeptember 25, 2015 at 1:43 AM

      Ne dete ti radiš za đabe, da bar sendvič dobiš!!! Ovako je jedno!

      Delete
  10. Montenegro airlines thank you for demonstrating that treating your employees poorly only helps the financial situation in the short term, but can destroy the company in the long term.

    They could have payed these captains a fair wage by Montenegro standards, as the union requested, but now they will be stuck hiring captains who will demand an European wage standard.

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  11. Montenegro Airlines pilot pay is 2000 EUR during winter and 4000 EUR during peak summer? Anyone who knows, is this low or normal wage? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Comaperd to Legacy carriers in Europe and the US it a pretty low earning. Compared to wages paid in other jobs in Montenegro its pretty much.

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    2. If they can find other pilots to fly for these wages then the wages are fine.
      If they can't find other pilots with these wages then they are too low and need to increase to the point that new pilots are willing to fly for them.

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  12. QR is launching SYD, I am sure their loads from BEG and ZAG will improve now.

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    Replies
    1. ZAG is actually doing very well already. With SYD we might even see A321 in summer schedule as current loads on 320 often surpass 90%. I have no info on BEG though.

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    2. Since starting flying daily, QR has had over 60 pax per flight.

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    3. QR could begin with nonstop flights.
      Twice a week nonstop would be enough for the winter season in addition to five weekly with stopovers.

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    4. Will be interesting to see how this might impact on numbers to Zagreb. Remember the only reason QR has not launched Syd is because the curfew does not allow them to offer flights which will connect smoothly through Doha.

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    5. Considering that SYD demand (both from and to Croatia) is significantly higher than MEL and PER, this will for sure result in passenger increase for QR in Croatia. Summer will be a challenge as load factors are already high - if QR maintains A320 on the route. I assume we might see some bigger bird here and there next summer season, probably A321.

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  13. OT: Is National Airlines coming to ex-yu area in 2016 as previously talked about?

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  14. This is hardly surprising from a company which has been built on lies, nepotism and financial mismanagement .... when someone can "cook the books" with total impunity from the law, what hope is there for the staff ?

    It says much about what sort of country Montenegro is ....

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    Replies
    1. Montenegro is just like the rest former Jugoslavija states. No better, no worse.

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    2. Montenegro is way, way worse. Other countries have at least some kind of economy to prop up their standard. Montenegro not so much. Whatever is earned from tourism and exports is spent on the parasitic political system.

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  15. Who are you kidding ?? Montenegro would be far if it was located amongst like minded states in Africa

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    Replies
    1. Montenegro is located in the right place neighboring Serbia. Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania.

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  16. When I said this in comments the other day, this was the reply I got:
    "AnonymousSeptember 20, 2015 at 11:35 AM
    Ma zašto reagujete, vidite da je tu da bi promovisao neki link..."

    I wish that Anonymous a very nice evening ;)

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    Replies
    1. I'm not a mind reader. What did you say?

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    2. What is in this article - that MGX has problems with pilot shortage, asking Ex-YU to write about it.

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  17. OT - Why no low-cost airline uses Embraer aircraft such as Montenegro Airlines has?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Low cost carries need the numbers to make up for the low yield. It will be hard to be profitable with aircraft with capacity of less the 120 pax.

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    3. Hahah did you remember both easyJet and Germanwings have A319s? :P

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    4. EasyJet A319 has 136 seats. Montenegro E-195 has 116 seats and E-190 just 112 seats. That is a huge diference.

      Delete

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