Montenegro passenger slump

Montenegro Airlines cancels London flights and sees passenger decrease
The CEO of Montenegro Airlines, Zoran Djurišić, has announced that the carrier will handle some 600.000 passengers this year, declaring the result a major success in the region in spite of the turbulent economic climate. However, Montenegro Airlines’ passenger numbers are on the slide. The airline carried 630.000 passengers in 2010, thus recording an almost 5% slump this year. “We are not magicians and we can’t escape the fate of bigger European airlines. However, we have devoted all of our efforts so the crisis does not impact on our business”, Djurišić said. He added that the airline has carried some 5 million passengers in its seventeen year history and has significantly contributed to Montenegro’s tourism industry. Below you can review Montenegro Airlines’ end of year passenger results for the past several years.

Meanwhile, Montenegro Airlines will suspend flights to London Gatwick this winter due to poor loads. The airline announced its plans to drop the route earlier this year as part of its cost cutting measures. The last service will operate tomorrow. So far this year the airline has also terminated flights to Priština and Skopje.

The Government of Montenegro has announced that it plans to sell a 30% stake in the airline by the end of the year. Some claim that a direct deal with the Turkish government will be made regarding a strategic partnership with the Montenegrin carrier.



  1. Anonymous09:03

    So what will happen with this additional aircraft? Will they add more routes to Belgrade, which is like their only decent market.

  2. Anonymous09:34

    Off topic but very much worth reading:

  3. Stefan09:40

    So their passengers increased in 2009 and 2010 when the situation in the aviation industry was bad but in 2011 when everyone has recovered and sees big passenger increases their numbers decline. Also I wouldn’t be selling MGX to the Turks seeing how they’ve managed BH.

  4. Anonymous09:43

    I flew with them BEG-TGD-FRA-TGD-BEG. The only reason was 159e fare.
    The TGD-FRA-TGD was almost empty.

  5. Anonymous14:24

    Its pretty bad situation with Montenegro. Its small market and also incapable of payment. Also no habbits of travelling... The same as in Serbia. They should have at least 2 flights per week, but not to cancell London. Its a shame. Anyway, its a chance for Jat airways to have more passengers on this route. Good luck Montenegro and I wish you more passengers on all routs from TGD. Regards from Belgrade.

  6. Who in their right mind would want 30% of this (or any ex-yu airline)? You invest your money, but have little control. That just does not make financial sense seeing as management decisions are the major cause of most of these airline's losses.

  7. BSL-BEG15:24

    I hope INI-TGD will be a success:

    If JAT is to stupid to fly from INI and there monopol doesnt allow to open an airline in NIS, than MGX should take all the money.

  8. mike15:40

    The reason for 5% slum is thyt run away from Pristina and Skopje after not paying airport taxes.

  9. Anonymous15:58

    I would really like to see new destinations from Nis. It really does look like it's starting to pick up. I mean it will handle roughly the same number of passengers as it did last year however this year they only had flights from Montenegro Airlines whereas last year they also had Windjet and a number of charter flights.

  10. Anonymous17:35

    I think the smaller E 170 would fit Montenegro A. more than the
    too big E 190!
    Otherwise its core which are 3times daily from Tgd and twice daily to Beg from Tivat ,are the best thing what can happen in regional aviation.
    It should be an role model for other regional flights Dubrovnik-Beg,Split -Beg,Pula-Beg,and so on!
    Wasnt Jats best route to Pula?

  11. VisitBengaluru!17:40

    CG wants to become EU-member but sell its national airline to a Turkish (non EU)airline?
    Is this conform with EU law?

  12. Anonymous19:45

    I think they should lease a B777-300 with First class and Economy Class and launch TGD-BEG-ORDand TGD-ZAG-ORD only like that can they survive

  13. Anonymous21:01

    To Anonymous 7:45,
    First I thought you made a joke...
    but Beg-Chicago-Beg,Zag-Chicago-Zag
    and Beg-Toronto-Beg could work with 777-200! Business and economy!

    As I remember there were enough people who booked their flight with Swifty definitely was NOT a problem of too little demand!

    Only problem is to find a decent airline which knows how to do its job right!

  14. Anonymous22:25


    Swift Air* , operated by Air Plus... Yes everyone knows there is more than enough demand for non stop flights,,

    Montenegro Airlines does not have the finances, and the gvt. will not finance them to purchase long haul airplane, and they do not have a big enough network.

    Currently, Air Plus is still trying to find a decent charter airline to begin the flights. As for the big boys, Delta, United, I am guessing that they are waiting for the economic stability in the region to get better. Also, Lufthansa and other airlines just love transfer pax, and get a lot who travel to the balkans. When I was in Chicago boarding at the Lufthansa section, most of the people were going to Beograd, it was quite funny.

    It was rumored that Air Canada wanted to start Toronto - Beograd flights not too long ago, which would work not only with diaspora but transfer pax from the US and other parts of Canada connecting there to BEG, and some continuing to other parts of the balkans if they had code share.

    Its very sad that there are currently no flights from the US to the Balkans!

  15. Anonymous22:36

    personal experiences,,

    ^ also when i have travelled out from Cleveland to Belgrade many years ago, I have seen many Serbs just on that day going on the same connecting flights to Belgrade. Then when we were returning, there was even more of them flying with us, BEG - CDG- ATL and thats where we split off and me and my family and one woman flew to CLE.

    When I was flying last year CLE - ORD - LHR - BEG, in Chicago I saw a Serbian friend from Cleveland on our flight and also many Serbs from Chicago on the flights to LHR, some sitting in the seat right in front of me, and we shared food and newspapers on the flight. On the return flight last year waiting for my flight to LHR, then IAD, then CLE, I met a lady who was also traveling to Cleveland who came from Podgorica. Just some personal experience.

    This year when I went, I was stranded at Rockford airport for a while, so obviously I was stranded with many Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks from Chicago (most ppl) , Cleveland (id say 2nd most), Florida, Indiana, Iowa, and Saint Louis. When we got placed on Lufthansa flights, in Chicago, the Lufthansa check in was A LOT of people flying to Belgrade. One flight left earlier ORD - MUC , with SO MANY people from Bosnia and Serbia I found it very funny. Our flight left a little later for Frankfurt, and we had 2 Serbian sisters sit in front of us, me and my friends, and some elderly Bosniaks.

    In Frankfurt at the gate, us Serbs hung out, and I met many that came from ORD, DTW , CLE, JFK, and one Asian man from Beijing. On the return flight BEG- MUC - ORD - CLE , I met so many people on the flight to Munich that were transferring to Phoenix, Miami, and ORD on our flight. We landed in Cleveland with a Croatian lady sitting behind us from Zagreb who visited friends in Beograd and flew on the same flights as us!

  16. Spoiled Brat00:27

    Oh Alex,nowadays main problem for Serbian aviation i think is that most people in US and elsewhere dont know that Serbia exist and if, they think is somewhere in former Soviet Union ....Bermuda triangle somewhere between aSERBaidshan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan !
    Most people are really bad in geography ..sometimes i make jokes with them ..."hi, i am back from my journey in Ansilvania, Monte Grotto,Kavenistan".
    A lot of them take me serious!

  17. Anonymous00:46

    at spoiled:
    Why do you think it has to be importan for americans to know wer serbia is. for them important is to know if they have the flight for belgrade. they are so openminded and crazy travelers and no need to know about exact situation of serbia or belgrade. cmon, some of americans from montana have never been to florida or texas. do you know where exactly swaziland is? or in which country is 3 mil inhabitants city of Bandung or of which state Windhook is the capital? Cmon, I dont like these BS stories about where serbia or belgrade is... who cares...

  18. Anonymous02:12

    Swaziland..borders South Africa and Mocambique.
    Bandung is a city in Indonesia and Windhoek is capital of Namibia!

    As you say either they dont know or they dont care!

    If i would run an airline i would check every job-applicant about his knowledge in geography....
    especially in leading positions!

    I am convinced..the reason because
    for example United Airlines does not care is simply because they rely on their partner Lufthansa!
    As u s airlines in general, United is a bad run airline with uninspired and ignorant people!
    No concurrence for real airlines the like of Emirates or SIA!

    Forget all those airlines which were big in the 70ies...Jat,Pan Am,

  19. Anonymous02:16

    @ Spoiled Brat

    I know, trust me, I was born here and go to school here in the USA. Here in Cleveland, many people do know where Serbia is, probably because of our large diaspora here and us talking to the Americanos about how awesome Serbia is and them being jealous. My African American friend from England that moved here last year didnt know where it is, but after seeing prices and hearing stories, she wants to visit. There are dedicated tours for travelers to Serbia and organizations, and dont forget diaspora who fly to Belgrade a lot.

    If Serbia ends up joining the EU, which I am hoping will do so in the near future, it will be much more popular for tourists from abroad, especially from the USA, since the older, more educated believe it is more "well known and safer", and will get promoted much more. Also, direct flights will have Americans thinking "wow, this place seems nice". Again, it is WORD OF MOUTH that will get many people going, promotions as well!

    BTW! When I was in Rockford for the Air Plus flight, I met a security guard who said her mother is from Serbia, and now that the flights started, they will be looking to fly on one of them to visit Serbia. She is Americanized and has NO CLUE where Serbia is.

  20. Anonymous02:17

    @ last anonymous

    KLM is still a big airline, especially United!!! United is beast, even though I preder Lufthansa or Air Canada to Serbia when I travel due to lower prices and quality service:)

  21. Anonymous02:18

    prefer* ^

  22. BrainsEvolveRight?05:25

    " awesome Serbia is and them being jealous."
    If so, how come you're living in Cleveland and not in Serbia? Grow up, please. You seem like a premature, ignorant, brainwashed fool who takes every street gossip too seriously. Your "African American friend from England" (whatever that means) has nowhere nice and "awesome" to go within the States or North America, so now that she's a few thousand miles further away from Serbia she wants to visit. Sure. Give me a break.

    Apply some logic to your thinking for once, please. If and when there is enough demand for direct flights from North America to the Balkans there will be direct non-stop flights. There are thousands of available airplanes all over the world for charter flights. But sure, when you want someone else to risk their money the flights don't happen because there is not enough demand (the key words being "not enough," which is different to "no demand" - get that). For them, your "African American friend from England" story holds no water. When someone is ready to sell their house (and land and iPhone and whatever) to back up their theory for direct non-stop American flights that's when these flights will happen. Until then spare us your bullshit.

  23. Anonymous05:43


    Do you have a life? Do you have friends? Honestly, what is so bad with people wanting to go to Serbia over places in America? You are actually the definition of a drop kick and that's exactly why I'm not going to get into how much an idiot you are. But I also wouldn't like your un-evolved brain to blow up.

    Much love from Australia to the people who aren't constantly negative and who have developed business but also social mind.

  24. Brains evolve is right.

    If there were enough demand, the big boys would be doing it already - they just need to look at their sales and ask themselves if people might pay a premium for a direct flight.

    They look at their sales, not at anecdotal stories from their more sentimental customers.

    Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian diaspora travelling once a year isn't enough and people travelling to Serbia on a lark aren't going to pay a premium for a direct flight.

    There's never going to be a regular, direct flight between US/Canada and any ex-yu city. Maybe the occasional summer charter, but that's it.

  25. Anonymous15:50


    Honestly, street gossip? Know. I speak from experience. I was born here and have lived here all my life, aside from being in Serbia all together for about a year of my life. Do you think it is easy to find a job over there, with about 22% unemployment? I am working on finishing my education over here, possibly over in Serbia is the situation gets better. And my friend has been to over 10 states in the USA, and to some countries in Europe, and would love to see Serbia. When I was there last summer, I met 4 groups of Americans travelling with their Serb friends from America in just my small town! Also I met people from Germany and Australia who were not from Serbia. The Australians told me they for sure will look into coming back again in the near future!

    And not enough demand? Look at the charters last summer, the first few were sold out before the first one was supposed to take off, people came from all over. For the most part, a lot of the Serbs I talked to, I would estimate 80% said they were not going to book flights with Air Plus until the plane takes off and they know everything is going well. There is a LOT of demand. Do I have to repeat what the Lufthansa lady told me at Chicago? Combine everything with transit pax from Beograd to SJJ, ZAG, TIV, and Podgorica.

    Last Anonymous

    Peace out brother!


    You can never say never, especially when there is a lot of demand. Especially now with Croatia having increased business pax from America and the EU especially. The potential for Serbia will grow dozens of times larger when unemployment goes down, and when America does more business with Serbia, and Serbia also with the EU. We will have to see, do not say never. If Pristina and Tirana can get summer charters to NYC, Im pretty sure in the future Beograd can manage direct scheduled flights to the USA.

    Once a year? No. There is a lot of diversity in travelling methods. Ok yes many do go during the summer. But many go during the spring, fall, and winter as well, also people from Serbia. I had a friend from Serbia visit this past summer, and many elderly people travel to Serbia, Bosna 3-5 times a year... Especially people with a lot of money, they go frequently. My godmother (kuma) just went in October and is coming back in December. I know people traveling for New Years, also dont forget people who want to travel to visit passed away loved one for their 1, 2, 10 year anniversaries. AirPlus/ Swift Air saw that, and thats why they considered flying during the winter season as well if the service proved popular, which it did, sadly though it never took off.

  26. Anonymous17:52

    To BrainsEvolveRight?
    Obviously your brain not!
    What a bad manner you have to be
    so rude against Alex N. only because he has an opinion?
    Premature ,ignorant and brainwashed fool...that are bad words for describing

    Well maybe that is because ...because he maybe IS A TEENAGER ?
    Ever thought about this
    possibility ?

    And if not...who cares!
    Everybody has right to say what he thinks....this is all about opinions not the ultimate Truth!

    I wish i could be young again...
    to have so much ENTHUSIASM !

    So dear Alex dont get pissed off
    by those grumpy old farts
    (I am myself no more SO young,but not grumpy and farting!) !

  27. I just don't see it.

    As it's been mentioned before a few times here, stories about how everyone wants to visit Serbia and how many Serbs are in Chicago isn't what airlines look at when deciding to make these kinds of business decisions.

    Serbs need a visa to travel to Canada or the US. Croatians don't need one to visit Canada.

    Maybe when visas are cut, which will be not anytime soon.

    If it were a good idea, someone would be doing it. and "if it's a good idea" means "if it would be profitable".

    I just don't see it in the facts.

  28. Anonymous22:41

    Doot,in general i would say that youre right...but there are also exceptions.

    Look at destinations like Timisoara, Cluj and Trgu Mures.Nobody ever thought about flying to there till...till Wizzair came and made them their hubs.
    With flights to London,Spain and so much places everywhere in Europe!
    Of course customers were and still are primarily Romanians .

    NEVER British Airways ,Air France or any other airline in Western Europe would have only considered to fly there...never!

    Then Wizzair came first ...and the winner takes it all!
    Maybe NOW the others would like to fly there...but they are too late!
    Their product and prices can not compete with Wizzair.

    Commercial succesful aviation also means to hear round,not to sleep,
    looking always for new opportunitiesor destinations ,seeing where could be demand....being pioneers.

    Of course direct flights to Ex Yu could be a failure if...but there is only one single way to find it out trying it first!

  29. Anonymous22:49

    @ 2nd last anonymous

    thanks for the back up, i know i dont give a shit about people bs-ing all the time, i have had enough of that in my life. and YEAH obviously when i say i am in school doesent mean im 90 years old.

    @ Doot

    the point is with all the diaspora, tourists, and business pax, not JUST from chicago , but if an airline like lets say United started Chicago - Beograd , people from all over US, LAX, LAS, JFK, CLE, DTW, would fly to ORD to make the flight to BEG and from there they could connect to skopje, sarajevo, tivat, podgorica etc.... yes, trying it out would be good! at least for them to try during a summer season...if it proves successful and profitable, keep it! if not, they could cancel, we would see it was not working well. I believe the situation in Kosovo, the political/ economic instability scares airlines from US to fly there. The VISA needed also is a setback, and how many illegal serbs people claim live in the USA.

    HOpefully soon enough flights will start so everyone can clearly see how successful they will be. Nobody knows exactly until they start and last for at least a few months. Its just weird when many times it was rumored Air Canada, Delta, United was interested in commencing flights and nothing has started yet. We shall wait and see!

  30. VisitBengaluru!23:03

    I completely agree with you Aleks !

  31. "people from all over US, LAX, LAS, JFK, CLE, DTW, would fly to ORD to make the flight to BEG and from there they could connect to skopje, sarajevo, tivat, podgorica"

    Why do you think people would do this when it would likely be cheaper to fly from wherever they are directly to Frankfurt and then transfer to Belgrade?

    Once again, if this were a good idea, someone would be doing it.

  32. Anonymous05:02

    not if prices are set at right price, thats why nobody knows until it is done. people would like to travel on their home airline straight to serbia, and not transfer what feels like a billion times, just how people did up till the 90's w/ JAT's charter flights..... Chicago - BEG would do it, people would fly from all over... like i have been explaining a million times.

    not true. like i have mentioned, Kosovo situation, HUGE economic / political instability in serbia will not be so "friendly" to foreign airlines. i do not have the exact answer, neither do you, so like i say, we can be optimistic and hope for flights in the near future. they are very expected by many people considering how many people would fly on them.

  33. you're proposal is that they transfer in the US instead of Frankfurt. They're transferring the same.

    "the right price" is the price that's going to make the airline money. This means more expensive than an indirect flight.

    Look. It's clear that you are an enthusiastic teenager, and your enthusiasm is great.

    There will be no direct flights to Serbia, except for occasional charters, for reasons that have been hashed over a lot now.

    But hey, if it somehow excites you, sure.

    Direct flights from the US anytime now!

  34. Anonymous17:07

    @ Doot

    You do not know that they will not happen, nobody does. And by the right price I mean not $4,000 round trip for economy. Even if it matched Lufthansa's pricing (for CLE - BEG next summer I found cheapest $1,521) , that would be really good and many people would use the service. Again, we shall wait and see. How can Budapest have AA and Delta flying there, and Serbia cannot in the future when it has better economy/ political stability?

  35. Anonymous17:40

    just a side not, Dacic was in Cleveland yesterday talking to us about cooperation with Serbia and tourism. He said besides Chicago, Cleveland has the most # of Serbs in the USA.

  36. Anonymous17:40

    & my friend arrived in beograd today (from cleveland obviously) and it staying for 3 months in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Germany.

  37. VisitBengaluru!20:52

    American Airlines ends direct flights JFK to Budapest from 1 december on-
    Maybe flights resume next year april,
    but nothing is fixed yet.

  38. @Alex, I like your enthusiasm and wish that direct flights do indeed commence from North America to Zagreb and Belgrade but we also need to take into consideration Doots opinion. If it were profitable someone would already done so.
    Well, maybe that 'someone' is not fully aware of the potential. If CA is a feeder airline for Lufthansa (and even JAT to a certain extent) than what economic initiative would some other big players have here?
    What have we done in order to attract those players?
    Let's look at the situation as it is now; there are only two major hubs in former YU, Zagreb and Belgrade with extensive European networks.
    Now, how many flights do we have, for example, from Nis to ZG or to BEG? Or from Ohrid, Mostar, Podgorica, Banja Luka, Osijek, etc., to those 2 cities?
    How come we have 3 buses from Nis to Zagreb every day but not a single flight? Could some of these people take the plane instead? Or, how many people would travel from Nis to some European destination (that Belgrade doesn't cover) through Zagreb?
    I am using Nis as a good example how little or not at all exYU airlines cooperate. If they were better organized and if they developed a better inner exYU network the big players would might really come, such as United, Delta, Emirates, Quantas, etc.
    The exYU market is extremely fragmented and disorganized so the big players only see a small potential instead of the big picture. Why the hell do we have so many airports which are not utilized?
    Why rely on low cost airlines and beg them to come to those airports (while making major concession to them instead of using our own resources)?
    I cannot see a reason why Croatia Airlines does not send Dash to Ohrid or Banja Luka or Nis?
    Time those flights with links to Fra, Lon, Paris, Madrid, and other major centers and 'voila' - everybody profits.

    Just a thought....

  39. Croatia Airlines in the first nine months of this year reported a loss of 5.3 million euros, according to financial reports published on the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

    These results represent a strong reduction in loss compared to the same period last year, when it amounted to 14.6 million euros. Total revenue of Croatia Airlines in the first nine months increased annually by 17 percent to 168 million EUR and total expenditures of 173.500 million, an increase of 9.6 percent.


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