Montenegro falls on hard times

Montenegro Airlines to cut routes and employees

Montenegro Airlines was bailed out last week by the Montenegrin Government as it faced bankruptcy, however, disarray within the airline continues. The Montenegrin national airline plans to cut its workforce and terminate several services.

At a press conference in Podgorica, Zoran Djurišić, the carrier’s CEO said that 150 employees will lose their jobs by 2014. Furthermore, it plans to discontinue services to London Gatwick Airport due to heavy losses. “We have made a loss of 2.5 million Euros on the Podgorica – London service. We wanted to connect Montenegro with London but we will review this decision”, Djurišić said. The route was launched with much fanfare 2 years ago. Last Friday, Montenegro Airlines launched services to Milan and will inaugurate flights to Brussels this week. In spite of this, the new additions are expected to be short lived as Djurišić says that booking numbers have been extremely low.

Montenegro Airlines employees might soon have to look for a job elsewhere as the airline plans to cut nearly half of its workforce within the next 2 years, when it hopes to have between 250 and 300 employees.

Djurišić also touched on the topic of low cost airlines, which are soon expected to begin services to the country. “Former government minister Nenezić told me he flew between Vienna and Venice yesterday on a low cost airline, purchasing his ticket 3 hours prior to departure for 300 Euros. That’s 300 Euros for a 45 minute flight. It’s all a marketing ploy”, the CEO explained. Djurišić says that the government should accept Montenegro Airlines’ terms for low cost airline to fly during the winter season as well and stay away from routes served by Montenegro Airlines.


  1. Peter from Sydney11:27

    If a route isn't working CUT IT! Why the hell persist for 2 years on a loss making route! I think what this also shows is a lack of fleet planning. Montenegro is a small market, ofcourse you're not going to fill a 150 seat jet on marginal routes!

  2. Anonymous12:13

    I guess their fleet is just too big for targeted market/destinations

  3. ANONYMOUS13:55

    How many times do you id!iots on here have to be told: It's not the aircraft, it's the COSTS!

    ALL the ex-YU airlines have the same problem - nothing to do with fleet, it's COSTS are completely out of control. Per ASK, they are all more than DOUBLE what Wizz are - how the hell can you compete like that?

  4. Because our people are expected to get paid and do nothing...and when things start going bad, they blame the government.

  5. Anonymous14:55

    Idiot yourself...aircraft has no cost perhaps?

  6. I must say very sad that this happens to every Ex yu country.

    now for first time a bit out of topic,
    Low cost FlyNiki has announced that will start 2 weekly flights VIE-SKP-VIE
    first flight this thursday.
    this is great news for Macedonia.
    Also few days ago MAT Airways has connected fleet with Skywings(Airlift).
    so no more at least less dirty kind of airlines in Macedonia!
    things are going better this year so far.


  7. @Aleksandar

    where did you see that???

    how can one airline announce routes on such short notice. makes no sense at all

    btw. there is nothing on

  8. JU520 BEGLAX17:17

    the biggest problem the ex Yu Airlines have is that during Summer Schedule they need plenty of planes to fly all the routes which in Winter they do not need.

    What is the difference to LCC or other Charter Operators in Europe?
    There you have enough potential for Winter operations to Canary Islands, Madeira, Mallorca, South Turkey, North Africa, Dubai, Israel or even long hauls to the Caribbean or Thailand.
    In ex YU the locals have not enough money to travel in thousands to these destinations during Winter. So basically big part of the fleet for 5 months are inefficient and that s when they fly the big losses.
    Look at Air Berlin. In Summer they easy fill DUS-PMI with A330s. And in Winter same aircraft travels to Punta Cana or Bangkok, Phuket etc.

    So ex YU Carriers should focus on the year-round traffic and do some charters in between. This would cut most of the airlines fleet by at least half and than we are again there where we our discussions have met many times already: For the ex YU market, we most probably don t need more than 3 Carriers (at least now).
    How the world looks in 20 years when also the Kosovars will might have an average salary of 1500 EUR net per citizen, we will see...

    Croatia has done an important step in the new strategy for promoting their tourist potential: They will focus more on the offseason months and try to convince Hotels, Restaurants, Cities to be attractive for tourists during Nov-Mar as well.
    For sure they never can compete in terms of Weather with the Caribbean or North Africa, Israel but still 10-15 deg Celsius are more than ok to spend a weekend in SPU or DBV, TIV during November or March months. But people will only fly if there is attractive offers and flight possibilities.

  9. Anonymous18:05

    “Former government minister Nenezić told me he flew between Vienna and Venice yesterday on a low cost airline, purchasing his ticket 3 hours prior to departure for 300 Euros. That’s 300 Euros for a 45 minute flight. It’s all a marketing ploy”

    No wonder the airline is on the brink of bankruptcy with such a moron as a CEO.

  10. Anonymous20:11

    Sad for YM, but really Montenegro is a small country and has no diaspora as far as I know, so it is almost impossible to fly these destinations without diaspora, connections or tourists.However YM made a great success for such small country-they have 7 aircraft for country of 700 000 citizens and Serbia has 12 or 13 for 8 million!!
    Btw. Aleksandar where did you find the information about Niki?There is nothing about..

  11. Phalanx21:14

    Some off topic
    FlyNiki will fly to Skopje very soon from austria (vienna)

    More information on the press confernce on thursday

  12. Purger21:16

    @ BEGLAX
    "What is the difference to LCC or other Charter Operators in Europe?
    There you have enough potential for Winter operations to Canary Islands, Madeira, Mallorca, South Turkey, North Africa, Dubai, Israel or even long hauls to the Caribbean or Thailand."

    LCC can not fly to Caribbean and Thailand with short-haul aircrafts.

    Also they can not use all aircrafts in Winter operation. Yes they fly to Ski-destinations, they fly to Canary islands, to Turkey, North Africa. But they still have some 30% of fleet down all winter. Ryan has up to 100 planes on storage during winter.

  13. regarding the "niki" flights to SKP, from Aleksandar, here some strange info:

    it looks like there is a charter this thursday Vie-skp organized by some macedonian company called МакСан Травел ...

    very misterious

    sorry for the off topic

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. @ Beglax & Purger,

    Airlines all over the world 'park' aircraft when there is little or no need for them. Qantas do this on a regular basis when there is an economic down turn or fuel prices are too high.

    For example,
    If OU would have a winter timetable using a smaller number of aircraft, (I can not tell you how many), then have a charter company set up to operate the aircraft which are not being used during the winter period on the airlines RPT services, could this could save the airline $$$?

    Your thoughts.

  16. Purger09:11

    I ask that general manager of Croatia Airlines on meetings. And he told us that they do not use some 30% of capacity in winter and that for many years planes are in international advertisement and agents lists for lease or rent during winter. They did not have any respond at all.

    In same time I ask them why not to organize specialized flights for tourists during winter like
    - «Europe cities in 5 days»
    - «bear tour around Europe in 4 days» (Bruxelles, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague)
    - to Australia and back in 15 days
    - short-break to destinations in Sahara (Dois for example) just to see sun in the middle of winter
    - one per week (Saturday) regular charter line Zagreb - Grand Canaries – Tenerife – Zagreb
    - 200.000 Croats travel to ski every year, why not to organize for some of them plane transportation (Switzerland, France...) etc.

    Of course that will not make 30% of capacity in air, but less will be on ground.

    There was no answer.

  17. @ Purger,

    Maybe even a safari charter through Africa would be a good idea and could be appealing to many Europeans.

    Anyway, if they were really serious about making these aircraft available for charter during the winter period they could get work if they had a dedicated charter sales team as well as it being run through a separate company to avoid confusion. OU could set up and run the company with little cost.

    The ski charters you mentioned sound like a no brainer to me especially with the Q400 available!

  18. Purger21:47

    Absolutely. If they wont them to lease or rent for charters they will do that. Price must be low. But come on... the most expensive plane is one on ground, isn't it?

    About skiing flights. 200.000 people go for skiing. Most of them in first 2 weeks of January. Traffic jam is terrible on those weeks. Where you usually spend 5 hours diving you will spent more than 7 hours on those dates. And lot of passengers travel to Switzerland, France… too far away for car, isn’t it? Every year more and more tourist travel from Split and Dubrovnik for skiing. You will be surprised that approximately 10.000 tourist travel for skiing from Dalmatia. Thing about how many hours they spent for trip to Austria, Switzerland.


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