Friday, August 19, 2016

Air Serbia - Montenegro Airlines unveil partnership


Air Serbia and Montenegro Airlines have established closer ties by inking a wide-ranging code share agreement, marking the first major development since the latter concluded a commercial strategic partnership deal with Etihad Airways last year. Following a decision made by Montenegro Airlines' Board of Directors to commence cooperation with Air Serbia, the two sides agreed for the Montenegrin carrier to codeshare on Air Serbia's flights from Belgrade to 32 destinations. They include Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Banja Luka, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Larnaca, London, Milan, Moscow, New York (pending regulatory approval), Ohrid, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofia, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Tivat, Zagreb and Zurich. In return, Air Serbia will place its flight numbers and designator code on Montenegro Airlines' services from Podgorica and Tivat to Belgrade, as well as from the Montenegrin capital to Rome.

The President of the Montenegro Airlines Board of Directors, Daliborka Pejović, said in a statement, "The agreement with Air Serbia is an exceptional opportunity for helping us find a future strategic partner, which is the objective of the Privatisation Council of the Government of Montenegro". She added, "We believe that signing the codeshare agreement with Air Serbia is an extraordinary opportunity for the future of Montenegro Airlines. In doing so, we have opened the door of our national airline to enter Etihad Airways Partners, with airlines such as Alitalia and Air Berlin, which was an objective of the meeting held with representatives of Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi in February this year”. Montenegro Airlines' CEO, Zoran Kostić, said, "Statistics show that Podgorica is the final destination for 20% of Air Serbia's passengers from New York. Therefore, we are now able to concur markets which were previously unavailable to us".


In February, Etihad Airways presented its plans to return Montenegro Airlines to profitability and improve the carrier's overall business. Etihad's plans outline for Montenegro Airlines to significantly boost frequencies on profitable routes and improve its overall fleet efficiency. Furthermore, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates identified codeshare partners which would give Montenegro Airlines access to an additional fifty destinations. The new partnership is also set to boost synergies between the two carriers, providing Montenegro Airlines access to benefits enjoyed by Etihad and its partners on the market. The measures are expected to increase passenger numbers, support the local tourism industry and generate a profit for the carrier in a relatively short period of time.

Late last year, the Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, said that Air Serbia is considering regional acquisitions. "I believe that in the coming period Air Serbia will acquire an airline from the Balkans. This will be the next major piece of news. Were there no political obstacles, Air Serbia would have already acquired two or three companies in the region", Mr Vučić said at the time. Furthermore, the Serbian Minister for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, Aleksandar Vulin, said Montenegro Airlines' operations could be run out of Belgrade following negotiations between the carrier and Etihad. Etihad Airways itself has stakes in eight airlines, four of which are in Europe, including Air Serbia. Its partner Alitalia is now pursuing a stake in Air Malta.

75 comments:

  1. We might see JU take over MGX sooner or later.

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    1. That would be very bad for JU.

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    2. So when there was information that Croatia Airlines might be looking into Montenegro Airlines I remember most comments were positive. Now when it might be Air Serbia interested in Montenegro Airlines it's suddenly very bad news? Ok...

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    3. Why should one effect the other?

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  2. Those rumors that Air Serbia will take a Montenegro Embraer this winter could be true. With it they could maintain those seasonal routes.

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    1. Could be the case. Would be a welcomed addition.

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    2. Air Serbia leased B737 for a week to Montenegro Airlines. Maybe they will return the favour.

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    3. I though mgx had 2 new e190 on order

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  3. to depend on 20% pax to Montenegro is very good in the summer season but in the same very risky in the winter months for their JFK flights.

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    1. Diversification is badly needed for those planes to be even half full during winter.
      Also O&D passengers need to increase considerably between Serbia and the US because so far the flights are overwhelmingly depended on connecting passengers.

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    2. To je i bio cilj. Em imas direktan let em imaju jos jednu vezu sa Amerikom.

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  4. Wonderful, maybe they could also sign an extensive code-share agreement with Air Berlin. You know what they say: birds of a feather flock together.

    JU doesn't need YM. They should have just waited for winter to come. However, as always, Montenegrins find a way to milk the Serbian aviation market.

    I am still surprised that JU doesn't mind working with Daliborka who sacked all the Serbian nationals working for YM back in 2013. ;)

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    1. It is clearly EY's decision Nemjee.

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    2. pa to onda samo znaci da ju niko ne slusha u toj alijansi.

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    3. Ne verujem da se pita. Niti verujem da se Alitalija pitala kada im je receno da preuzmu Air Maltu.

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    4. Anon 9:23 is correct.
      All the strategic decisions regarding ASL are taken in Abu Dhabi.

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    5. Anon. 9:57 is not quite correct.
      Not all strategic decisions, but all decisions regarding Air Serbia without any exemption, are taken in Abu Dhabi.

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    6. @anon 10:13

      Make sure you notify the EU Commission and the DOT ASAP, because they haven't been able to prove your allegations.

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    7. They couldn't or they didn't want to? Like they could with MA and didn't want with JP or BT. ;)

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    8. Anonymous at 12:54 PM
      Are you seriously suggesting that JU's important decisions are not taken in the UAE and instead are made in Serbia?
      LOL!

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    9. If the EC didn't allow A3 to buy OA until someone else entered the market then the same should happen with JU and YM.

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    10. True ! But Daliborka changes skin every second as all politicians do

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  5. OT: ex YU medal count at Olympics, best count ever. Best up to now was 1984 in LA with 18 medals, out of them 7 Gold
    now we hve 8 Gold already with 16 medals and there is still 3 medals possible in vaterpolo, 2 in Basketball and either Gold or Silver in Volleyball
    nice achievement for the region. The airports will be full awaiting the heroes

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    1. As much as I like seeing athletes from exYU winning medals, I cannot think of a more stupid way to waste a few hours of my life than going to an airport to welcome them.

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    2. @ JU520 BEGLAX I usually enjoy your comments but this is completely unrelated to aviation and as far as I know this isn't a general topics forum.

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    3. Well, in theory if 2-3 million people across exYU decide to forget about their daily misery and flock to their airports to cheer the athletes, and if 20% of them buy a coffee or another snack while at the airport, that could boost the airport revenues and the management may even have some extra money to invest in the infrastructure expansion - unless they prefer to simply steal or pump out everything of course.

      There is some aviation link :)

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    4. of course there is :-)
      didnt Croatia National Team flew with Air Tahiti A340 to Brazil in 2014
      maybe now with 5 Gold medals (maybe even a 6th), who knows, there might be an extra flight GIG-ZAG with a reception at the airport

      there is always a link to aviation if you want to find one :-)

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    5. JU 520BEGLAX you are so funny my friend.

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  6. Collaboration between JU and YM is win-win for both.

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  7. Montenegro Airlines needs as much help as it can get!

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    1. No help can save them anymore.

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  8. Etihad/Air Serbia are going to buy MGX no doubt about it. This is exactly the same way they started with Jat. First they signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation, then came the codeshare and then they announced a strategic parntership.

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    1. I just don't see what Etihad or Air Serbia could get from this.

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    2. Pola miliona putnika? Tri regionalna dzeta?

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    3. They could only buy YM and shut them down to 99%, keep a bit alive to take over their AOC - rename them to let's say Air Montenegro as a 100% part of JU. Consolidate the network from MNE and route 90% of traffic via BEG to feed their hub. Question remains if Montenegrins would be happy with that... The MNE state could be happy with it to get rid of need to support YM and JU can feed their hub further and at same time get rid of a local competitor.

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  9. I wonder if JU/YM will coordinate their flight times better now between Belgrade and Montenegro. Most of their flights depart within 5 minutes of each other.

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    1. Hope so. Would be smart.

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  10. There is probably something bigger behind this. We will find out with time.

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    1. If JU is taking over YM then it will probably be done by next summer. First indication will be if they get a plane from MGX during the winter.

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    2. Agree with the first part.

      I don't agree with the second part, possibly leasing a plane in winter when YM doesn't need it for sure is no indication of anything.

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  11. Air Serbia extended Adria's wet lease at least until the end of September. Maybe there is something going on between the two of them?

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  12. I can just imagine how smooth a take over of MA would (not) be.

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    1. MA? MA is something totally different. You mean YM?

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    2. Chill it dawg.

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    3. Anon 6:21 PM, please stop watching too much Al Pacino .

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    4. Cool it with the Al Pacino dawg.

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  13. If they are considering any regional acquisition better that they bought Adria.

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    1. Adria is from SVN -> EU state. YM is from MNE, not in EU. So probably JU (or EY) cannot buy more than 49% of an EU company. But that is possible outside of EU.

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    2. Anonymous August 19, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      You are totally wrong. Any EU candidate country cannot sell more than 49% of its national carrier to a non-EU country. Exactly what happened with the Air Serbia-Etihad deal.

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  14. All the bad news we have heard from MGX lately tells me they have decided to devalue the airline (not that it was worth much anyway) and when they put it for sale the future owner... khm Etihad/Air Serbia ... will get paid to take it over.

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  15. I actually think both could benefit from this. Good news.

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  16. Etihad contract gives Air Serbia one terminal at Belgrade airport for exclusive use from January 2014. Hogan and Kondic never mentioned when will they take over the terminal and get it refurbished as per contract. Airport concession is getting closer yet Air Serbia is still silent on one of the most important decisions regarding Belgrade airport.

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    1. They can barely afford to get an additional aircraft even less so to refurbish an entire terminal.

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    2. Contract says 51% will be paid by RoS and 49% JU and EY. There is not much to refurbish on Terminal 2. It is really strange that Air Serbia is silent on the issue of Terminal. Something is not right.

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  17. If you are JU, why would you board the Titanic?

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    1. MGX could be turned around quickly. Look at how different Air Serbia is from Jat.

      First get rid of all the extra workers and bring in your own management. The management team can be small because the planning can be done at AUH.

      Everything that doesn't have to do with flight operations can be handled by Air Serbia because their costs are certainly lower.

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  18. OT - Kiev-Belgrade JU661 this morning pax 71/86.

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    1. More Serbs or Ukrainians on the plane?

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    2. I'd say Ukrainians, lots of transfers to JFK. On the other hand, what i could see as passing buy, EY72 to AUH was full of Serbian passports.

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    3. OT - JU501 New York-Belgrade this morning 107/254. There were well dozen of Ukrainians to continue to Kiev.

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    4. JU is bleeding already :/

      On the bright side, I might be able to snag a super cheap ticket at some point :D

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    5. You always seem to post loads in one direction, obviously the one that has lower numbers this time of year.

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    6. Two days ago there were error price tickets NYC-BEG return for 140e

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  19. Bice odlicno ako ALS preuzme MGX posto ce onda dobiti odlicnu RJ flotu za dalju ekspanziju.
    INN-NS

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  20. Good thing for Montenegro citizens to have this connection, as before people were using Istanbul and Paris (MGX had codeshare with AF) for connection flight to US.

    I only hope that this deal wont rise the price between two countries, as i see now ASL ticket cost 109.22EUR instead of 99.22 to BEG.

    For those who think that ASL/EY should change the name if they buy the company, dont see the reason, because MGX is not some old company who was always in late and had canceled flights as JAT did last 15 years.

    All the best from sunny Podgorica.




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  21. This is really bad news for Croatia Airlines.
    Don't anybody in the Croatia see that nobody wants to do business with Croatia Airlines as long as they have the current Ceo.
    Wake up , this waiting is something that Croatia Airlines doesn't have.

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    1. This is exactly what was said so many times by our colleague Purger. They can not live within margins of false financial results and hidden state aid such is PSO. In the best scenario OU will become minor, feeder company for LH group. I do not want to think about the worst scenario.

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    2. Maybe JU (with EY's help) can also take 49% of OU and then help turn the ship around ?

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    3. Not even funny.

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    4. Acquisition of YM will be a political decision like not selling OU to JU would be.

      You are all speaking as if JU has millions around that they can just endlessly spend. It's not like EY has been showering JU with cash... I mean sure they did but only as loans.

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