Montenegro Airlines on sale

Government approves Montenegro Airlines privatisation
The Montenegrin government decided yesterday that Montenegro Airlines will be privatised during 2012. It follows a difficult year for the national carrier in 2011. Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Lukšić said that the airline will be offered to investors through a public tender. Montenegro Airlines has become a costly business to keep running after the government agreed to provide 400.000 Euros to the carrier each month to cover operational costs and write off the airline’s debt to Podgorica and Tivat airports. In order to cover the debt owed to the Serbia and Montenegro Air Services Agency the government has offered them ownership of the Park Hotel in Bijela on the Montenegrin coast. Earlier in 2011, the government wrote off a further 3.2 million Euros in debt and ordered the country’s two international airports to lower its fees to the national carrier. Recently, there has been discontent amongst pilots unhappy with late wages. Unlike its regional rivals, the global economic gloom did not have an effect on Montenegro Airlines in either 2008 or 2009.

The Montenegrin carrier has faced sliding passenger numbers, handling under 600.000 passengers last year, although is reported to have had strong growth in January 2012. This summer the national airline will introduce flights to London from both Podgorica and Tivat and has announced plans to purchase another Embraer jet.

It will be the second time the government has attempted to privatise Montenegro Airlines. In 2010, it unsuccessfully tried to sell a 30% share in the airline. Although El Al Israel Airlines, Etihad Airways and Arkia Israel Airlines all purchased the tender documentation, none of them made an offer. The CEO of the airline, Zoran Djurišić, is firmly against the sale. Late last year he told the media, “The government knows my stance regarding the privatisation which is why I have been completely excluded from the process”. He added that privatising the airline will have long term negative effects on the country. Instead, Djurišić says the government should cover the airline’s losses and pressure Montenegro’s largest petroleum company, Jugopetrol, to reduce its unreasonably high costs.


  1. Anonymous11:27

    The problem with Montenegro Airlines is that it is a highly seasonal airline. During winter it has few passengers. It tried to change that by getting transit passengers from PRN, SKP and INI but had to suspend PRN and SKP because of debt. Their only saviour would be if they were to be allowed to have a hub in BEG like they did pre-independence. Otherwise I don’t see anyone being interested in such a small market unless the airports are thrown into the package.

  2. Anonymous13:12

    OT: B&H has cancelled its flights to Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Istanbul today!

  3. Observer13:21

    ^So they cancelled all of their flights for the day? Why do I have a feeling this isn't going to end well.

    As for Montenegro Airlines, it is definitely the most protected national airline in ex-YU and yet they still can't operate without huge subsidies and aid. I hope they manage to sell it. The state budget is already strained enough as it is and the IMF is on their backs as well.

  4. Anonymous14:44

    The only reason Djurišić is against privatization is because it will not benefit him. This is a poorly run airline that would not be around today if it wasn't for the government's backing. The first thing that a new owner would do is fire Djurišić.

  5. Anonymous15:02

    :( Sad picture, and not a good futur for MGX and also for every former EX YOU airline..:/ I see in a near futur that these airlines will be gone, and that the situation will change in Croatia Airlines when they join into EU, cous they will see the same faith as Spanair.:/ regulations, and politics thats all.:( Rimmember all good times when JAT operated whole YUGOSLAVIA.. I confess it has a monopol on market..:/ But futur is not so good,look at BH, Adria, Jat, MGX, not to mention Macedonia, Turkish airlines has got the advantages in that country.My pint is, that LH or BIGGER airline will swallow EX YOU AIRLINE MARKET..:/ Cous this small airline will go bankrup if they dont join and creat a big,strong market with proffesional managment.Greetings to all AVIATORS.Hope that u all understood me.

  6. Anonymous15:10

    Sa ove vremenske distance mislim da mogu da kažem da je napuštanje tranzitnog tržišta Skoplja i Prištine bilo velika greška, jer je sada Montenegro u mnogo većoj dubiozi.
    Te 2010 godine gubitak na kraju godine je bio oko 4-5 miliona evra. Ali je Montenegro prevezao preko 700 000 putnika sa 8 aviona. Punjenje Prištine i Skoplja je bilo preko 60% (Niš oko 40%), sve evropske destninacije (izuzev Londona) takodje su išle iznad 60%, ali kažu da je minus napravljen niskim cenama karata (ispod 200 evra povratne karte za sve evropske destinacije), što je u prvo vreme bilo nephodno u osvajanju tržišta...

    Mislim da je sada gubitak mnogo veći uz plan letenja koji van sezone mogu da pokriju 3 od 8 postojećih aviona. Kompaniju je napustilo izmedju četvrtine i trećine pilota i mehaničara, a administracija ima još najmanje 150 ljudi viška upošljenog u periodu kada je kompaniji dobro išlo. Tih ljudi je veoma teško rešiti se i kad nisu zaposleni za stalno, jer su svi nečiji kadar. Iznajmljivanje aviona tokom zime jeste bilo jedno od rešenja, ali nema dobre volje za neke Afričke kombinacije, a nema više onog zlatnog posla u Albaniji.

    Moj je utisak da je menadžment Montenegra do 2010 imao ideju i viziju, ali da se u medjuvremenu situacija promenila.

    Sada će od aprila do septembra, kompanija malo živnuti kada krene prodaja karata na ruskom tržištu, ali to dugoročno neće rešiti probleme Montenegro Airlinesa

    1. Anonymous10:37

      Very good comment. Good luck YM!

    2. Anonymous10:45

      Пошто Монтенегро циља да привуче путнике ниским ценама, онда предпостављам да би било боље да су изабрали Даш 8 модел, кој је брз али пошто је турбо елисан троши знатно мање горива него Ембраер.
      Комбинација ове две летелице би направила ваздушну команију знатно конкурентнијом. Огромна грешка је та што су поручили Е-170 модел кој им ништа неће помоћи.

  7. Contrails16:19

    Noone in the right mind would allow them to open shop in Belgrade (or Zagreb for that matter). They should continue to exist as a subdiside airline while they can and then focus on routes where they can make money, pehaps with smaller planes, flying business focused routes in close cooperation with larger airlines. But then, the schedules would have to be reliable and planes on time...

  8. Montenegro Airlines = Jat Mach 2

    ista jada!

    1. Anonymous10:42

      Свака ваздушна компанија на простору бивше Југославије је јадна на свој начин. Та титула није ексклузивна само за Србију и Црну Гору.

  9. frequentflyer13:35

    Maybe we on 'exYU aviation' should offer to buy the airline and run it... chances are it might be a little more successful, and definitely would be without government interference!

  10. they did a big mistake by running away from PRN there is a big business and destinations like Zurich, Munich and Stuttgart can bring a big business and yes you should play with prices almost daily and im sure if they would have kept this destination the way other companies care about it Montenegro Airlines would have taken about 5-9% of the market share.


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