Montenegro Airlines outlines 2018 recovery


Montenegro Airlines anticipates for a strong year during which it will launch new routes, stabilise its finances and carry a record number of passengers ahead of the planned renewal of its fleet in 2019. This summer, the airline will introduce new seasonal services from Tivat to Leipzig, Munich and Copenhagen, and operate a series of charter flights to the Iranian and Jordanian capitals of Tehran and Amman, as well as Tel Aviv, Helsinki, Oslo, Bari, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Napoli, Bratislava, Linz, Salzburg, Kosice and Ostrava. Furthermore, it will add frequencies on its services between Podgorica and Lyon. The airline anticipates handling some 620.000 passengers this year, representing an additional 51.000 travellers on 2017. The carrier has been buoyed by its best January results in six years, during which it welcomed 29.335 passengers on board its aircraft. Over the peak summer months, from June until the end September, it plans to handle 360.000 travellers.

Montenegro Airlines' planned summer network

The company's CEO, Živko Banjević, recently said, "Soon we will see a revitalised and healthier Montenegro Airlines, with a new business and commercial strategy, which will enable the company to secure its place on the market, increase passenger numbers and give it a chance to launch operations to new and far-away markets, which is especially important for the tourism industry. We will also become much more aggressive in our commercial policy towards competitors on existing markets". Over the last year, the airline faced issues with its workforce and fleet after posting a record 11.4 million euro loss in 2016. However, it also embarked on a restructuring process involving the reduction of its headcount, cutting back costs, drafting a long-term business and commercial strategy and acquiring modern software solutions for sales and revenue control.

Montenegro Airlines considering B737 MAX jets

Montenegro Airlines plans to purchase new aircraft through operational leases in order to replace its two remaining Fokker 100 jets in 2019 and 2020 respectively. It is eyeing either Boeing 737 MAX or New-Generation aircraft. Alternatively, the airline is also considering becoming an all-Embraer operator by taking on additional jets from the Brazilian manufacturer to join its three E190s. "By promoting Montenegro in the best possible way and linking it with the rest of Europe, Montenegro Airlines contributes to the country's European integration process. The company was and remains one of the pillars of the tourism industry, tourism development and our country as a whole. In accordance with these principles, we will continue to develop and adjust our future growth", the airline said in a statement.

Comments

  1. Seems like every airline in the region is growing except Air Serbia.

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    1. Sad but true

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    2. It is curious indeed that the most subsidised airline in western Balkans (ASL) is the only one shrinking instead of growing its operations.

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    3. As far as I remember Adria received huge subsidies from the government just a few years ago to the point that the EU launched an investigation. I also remember Croatia Airlines receiving a huge subsidy just a few months before the country entered the EU and it continues to have its entire domestic network subsidised. Montenegro Airlines constantly receives subsidies and in December got another 5 million to keep it flying to the end of that month.

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    4. @Anonymous February 17, 2018 at 9:41 AM

      I think that is why Anon 9:38 AM wrote about the MOST subsidised airline in our region.

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    5. Without proper figures I highly doubt you can make such assumptions. In fact I'm sure that when you would put it down on paper you would find Montenegro Airlines being the most subsidized in proportion to its size.

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    6. YM could well be the most subsidised for its size/fleet/staff.
      JU is the most subsidised, period!

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    7. Since you have no proper numbers to display for each airline your period and exclamation point is highly irrelevant.

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    8. Well, we have a pretty good idea about JU. I highly doubt that YM is more subsidised in absolute figures.

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    9. Proportionally to its size it is more subsidized than JU.

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  2. Interesting they will be flying charters to Amman. I think it's the only charter flights from Jordan to ex-Yu.

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    1. They are. I notice though there will be no charters to Baku and Yerevan which they operated last summer.

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  3. Great but all of this should have been done 5 years ago. They are facing a lot of competition now. Wizz Air is constantly growing, Adria is going after them on the Ljubljana route by increasing frequencies significantly, TUI is taking part of the cake from France and the UK, Pobeda will launch low cost flights to Podgorica...

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    1. Had they not opened up the market we would never have seen MGX try and do something new and focus on development so it's a good thing.

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    2. I realize it's a good thing and didn't say otherwise. I was just pointing out that all of this might come too late.

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  4. They will increase frequencies to Dusseldorf and Zurich as well.

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    1. How will they manage to increase all these frequencies if they have the same number of aircraft?

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    2. Better fleet utilization.

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  5. That B737 looks great in MGX livery.

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    1. Indeed. In my opinion they have the best livery out of the ex-yu national airlines. The best overall would be Trade Air.

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    2. For me the nicest are Air Serbia and Trade Air.

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  6. It would make more sense for them to become an all Embraer operator in my opinion. It would reduce costs.

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    Replies
    1. They need planes with greater capacity than the EMBs during the summer, especially for chartes.

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    2. I would have thought that they would need smaller capacity aircraft, not larger ones.

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    3. Ideally, CS100/300 combination would give them flexibilty, commonality and increased capacity.
      They could potentially still get a deal, although less likely with recent win for Bombardier.

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    4. What about Sukhois? They are quite cheap and would suit their capacity needs. Perfect replacement for Fokkers.

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  7. Nice to see recovery on the horizon for MGX. Seems like the new management knows much better what its doing than the previous one.

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    1. I'm not a big fan of theirs but I'm happy they are trying to improve. Let's hope their costs have gone down too.

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  8. I think the best development here is that they are starting to focus more and more on charter flights. This is essential for getting easy money. I hope Croatia Airlines does this one day too.

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  9. Anyone know how they performed financially? Have they managed to decrease their losses?

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    1. Dobili su pare od Vlade da malo zakrpe troskove. Ko ce njima vise dati kredit za nabavku novih aviona? Polovne ako nadju bice dobro.

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    2. Financial results will probably be out in May.

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    3. Ne treba to da cekas. Samo pogledaj ko je najveci duznik za proslu godinu poreza i doprinosa u CG.
      MA sa 17 miliona evra. Na exYu prostoru avijacija i ekonomija nemaju veze.

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  10. I also don't get how they will lease planes when they are having troubles repaying current loans for the Embraers they got. They even returned one of the planes.

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    1. The state can give guarantees.

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  11. Great news. Nice to see some growth.

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    1. +1
      I'm just glad that there is finally some positive news from MGX not relating to their impending bankruptcy.

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    2. I honestly hope their consolidation works out.

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    3. Airline has potential. Just needs good management.

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  12. I think they will be the only ex-yu airline flying to Leipzig. Eastern parts of Germany finally getting some attention.

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  13. They should choose Embraer planes. Getting other types will increase their costs since it will require crew training, purchase of new aircraft parts etc

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  14. So 3 new seasonal routes and a couple of new charters this summer? Not bad.

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  15. I really hope they reconsider flying to INI. The good old days.
    That 737 would fit nicely in INI

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    1. Didn't they already fly to INI? What were their loads like?

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    2. They used to but were suspended back in 2013:

      http://www.exyuaviation.com/2013/09/montenegro-airline-considering-nis.html

      Factors seemed to be good as YM was INI´s gateway to Europe.

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    3. INI could definitely work again in summer with tourists and transfer passengers combined. Considering the number of flights INI now has, what markets would be most interesting for transfers - Russia and Italy?

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    4. INI transfers mainly Germany, Holland and Sweden.

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    5. INI worked for YM as long as there were subventions.

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  16. OT: Just compared for the first time fares on Belgrade-London since JU introduced no luggage fares. JU is GBP 70-100 more expensive, when comparing no-luggage fares However, if travelling with a luggage, the difference is much smaller. W6 luggage fees are ridiculous, GBP 33.5-42.5 one-way vs GBP 18 for JU.

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    1. Really insane luggage fees for Wizz.
      Hope for more competition on Belgrade- London route

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    2. JU's higher fees are justified because LHR is ripping airlines off. What's Wizz Air's excuse? They provide no service and no convenience for their passengers.

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    3. LHR fees can't justify GBP 100 difference.
      The main point here is that one needs to pay GBP 200 to fly between Belgrade and London with a luggage. It is about half that from Sofia.

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    4. SOF being cheaper than BEG can't justify GBP 100 difference between Wizz from SOF and from BEG to London. Why is Wizz overcharging Belgrade customers? Why is Wizz luggage fee double that of Air Serbia?

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    5. Because there is less competition. More competition, lower prices. In BEG they only have to compete with JU, in SOF they have to compete with FR, FB, BA and EZY.

      LCCs charge more for luggage, because it increases risks of delays (more luggage to be loaded) with short turnaround. With 1+ hour turnaround, everybody can bring a bag and there will be no problems keeping up with the schedule.

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    6. Today 17.02, SOF has 13! flights to London...

      https://www.sofia-airport.bg/en/passengers/flight-information/search-flight

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    7. If anyone comes I hope it will be easyJet. They seem to be expanding in Belgrade. Three weekly from LGW could work just fine. JU will keep its clientele so they will mostly affect W6.

      I hope BA stays away. Flew on them recently and they are just horrible. Such degradation, it's crazy.

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    8. Why just three weekly from LGW?
      With resonable fares there would be much more UK tourists coming to Belgrade. They could easily have a daily frequency

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    9. Does anyone have LF stats on BEG LDN for JU and W6. Or perhaps the total number of passengers between the two cities?

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    10. Until visas are abolished I think three weekly is more than enough ... would love to be proven wrong though

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    11. I agree, three weekly with good schedule, late PM Fri, Sun and Tue/Wed, either from LGW (Easy/Norwegian) or Stansted (Ryan).

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    12. No way FR would come. Best case scenario is INI and I don't really see that happening.

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    13. Ryan is unfortunately not likely, they are avoiding Belgrade.

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    14. They are avoiding BEG because they realize they missed their opportunity. With Wizz Air and easyJet there I don't see what they could do.

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    15. This didn't stop them with SOF...

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    16. Costs are much lower in Sofia and they avoided it for a very long time. They only launched it now when they decided to wage war on Wizz Air.
      On top of that, besides SOF there are not many airports around from where they can fly. They tried Plovdiv and that didn't work out for them.

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    17. FR has added 3 destinations from PDV last year, I wouldn't call that "not working for them".

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  17. Good luck to Montenegro Airlines. Finally on the right track.

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  18. Hopefully YM will recover soon, Retiring the F100s is smart move in my opinion. They are becoming an increasingly uneconomical aircraft.

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  19. Politics....as usual. Nothing will change until adequate management with aviation experience take over not just YM but all Balkan airlines. And even then, they have to have accountability. Not to governments but to shareholders, employees and customers.

    Now honestly, which one of these airlines has showed that responsibility so far?

    Thank you

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    1. No, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Do you know that professional management of one airline wanted to acquire another regional airline but politics prevented it? Do you know that same airline was being sued just because they wanted to offer transfers to underserved coastal airports?

      There is no need for adequate management, just for less politics.

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  20. off topic:

    i love small articles that are on the left sideline.
    this norwegian thing is very interesting. according to the cited analyst it seems that o'leary will have the last laugh.
    however, the article disregards the operational & staffing problem norwegian had due to faulty engines on their 737maxs

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  21. There are cycles in every company. When AS had huge expansion, everybody else was in a problem. It is not a sicret that AS in trying consolidate its finances and I am sure they will start new expansion cycle in the Winter 2018. and Summer 2019. season.

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  22. when we start fly to Malta?

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