Montenegro Airlines ceases operations


Montenegro Airlines has ceased operations this evening with the company to be shut down. The carrier's final commercial service was operated between Belgrade and Podgorica as flight YM103. In a statement, the airline said, "The Montenegrin government's decision to shut down our company  will have a negative impact on the entire aviation sector in the country. We would like to inform the public that starting tomorrow, December 26, 2020, we are completely suspending all operations". The airline carried some ten million passengers over the past two and a half decades, with over 350 people loosing their jobs tonight.

The Montenegrin government has announced that a new carrier will be formed in its place within the next six to nine months. “With the best possible intentions, we spent the last fifteen days seeking a solution for Montenegro Airlines. We looked at all the possibilities, made calls, held talks with the management, the Agency for the Protection of Competition regarding state aid, contacted airlines in the region, consultants from Germany and Austria, and the conclusion was that we can’t make a single decision that would save Montenegro Airlines and be in line with the law. We are fully aware of the consequences of Montenegro Airlines ceasing operations in a day or two”, the Montenegrin Minister for Capital Investment, Mladen Bojanić, said. He explained the government began looking for a solution for the airline even before it was sworn into office at the start of the month but concluded there is “absolutely no way out”. He added, “Our hands were tied by the decisions made by Agency for the Protection of Competition, and Montenegro Airlines’ Board of Directors whose President told me today he could not address the media because of a toothache”. 

The Montenegrin Agency for the Protection of Competition recently ruled that a law adopted in December of last year, for the provision of state aid to Montenegro Airlines amounting to 155 million euros, was in fact unlawful. Based on the law, the carrier had already received 43 million euros. “It took them over nine months to conclude that a law adopted by the former government and parliament was unlawful. We are yet to see if Montenegro Airlines will have to return those 43 million euros it had already pocketed. It is impossible to get a loan for Montenegro Airlines from banks or any other subject because the company is in no position to return such a loan”, Mr Bojanić said. 

Departing Podgorica this morning, a Montenegro Airlines captain drew a heart en route to Belgrade

The government plans to set up a new national carrier. “We plan to establish a completely new airline, with a different structure and business model. We are aware what that means for the upcoming tourism season because it will take us some six to nine months to establish a new carrier. We will do everything we can for the new company to become operative by the start of the next tourism season. We will start work on the new airline immediately”, the Minister said. He conceded the establishment of the new airline will be a difficult process as it will start from scratch, without slots or international agreements and will have to acquire necessary permits. 

The Minister estimates Montenegro Airlines' bankruptcy will cost the country’s taxpayers at least fifty million euros. The company has been facing financial problems for the better part of its existence. In recent years, it was determined the carrier's former management teams had falsified financial reports to show a profit. Furthermore, no benefits have been paid to its employees since 2016, while wages have been late since this September. At the same time, it has been found the airline had received much more state aid over the past few years than initially reported or accounted. Montenegro Airlines has debt amounting to 100 million euros and is expected to file for bankruptcy within days as it will no longer have sufficient funds for fuel and its aircraft may be repossessed due to debt owed to the likes of Frankfurt and Vienna airports. 

The Montenegrin carrier was founded in 1994. It operated its first flight on May 7, 1997 between Podgorica and Bari. As of this morning, the airline is still running services, but it may be its last day of operations. 

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    OS and OU Need to come back ASAP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      In terms of YM's passengers they have nothing to look for. Since JU has a codeshare with YM, they will kind of automatically switch to JU and honestly they deserved it, amazing frequencies, services and transfer times to both Podgorica and Tivat, sometimes even with a A319.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:18

      I might be wrong but now Montenegro will lose flights to LJU, CDG, FCO, VIE which were all operated by YM.

      Delete
    3. Nemjee09:31

      OS currently operates two weekly flights to TGD but the last flight is on 11.01.21. I am sure they will extend them until March otherwise all their passengers who were supposed to fly to VIE on YM will have to be re-routed most likely on JU via BEG.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:44

      OU?

      Really?

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    So Air Slovenia and Air Montenegro in next year

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:02

    Montenegro keeps winn.....
    oh wait -.-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:09

      Getting rid of this parasite is winning. It was an unsustainable vanity project.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      hahhaha I completely agree with you

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 09:09 +1000
      Best description of the situation.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:02

    Good luck YM! And all the best with new company, I wish we had such politicians in Slovenia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Well Air Slovenia will be created, hopefuly

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      I don't such enthusiasm at our politicians, unfortunately. In Montenegro they say that they will start immediately with establishment of new carrier. I hope that this decision will encourage our politicians too!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:15

      There won't be a new YM anytime soon just like we still don't have JP 2.0 or MA 2.0.
      Government will realize that it's cheaper to support airlines and to get it over with. Montenegro Airlines' era is over.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:22

      How much you invest that's what you got! IF they will want a base in TGD or TIV then this will be much more expensive than setting up new carrier. If they want few flights as LJU have then this will be cheaper of course but it will also have effect on total economy.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:04

    "Montenegro Airlines’ Board of Directors whose President told me today he could not address the media because of a toothache”. "

    This is gold haha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    Well, happy Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:55

      A Christmas miracle.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:05

    Sad, whenever an airline goes under.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:09

    This is really sad

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:09

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous09:09

    Big opportunity now for LCCs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:17

      Of course, like that they were scared of YM before. It was the same in Slovenia, everyone predicted that LCC will fight for LJU but in reality we barely had any flights. You need national carrier if you want decent connectivity, don't rely on foreigners!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:25

      @9.17 LJU is an expensive airport maybe thats the reason why

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:37

      could be, but it's obvious that airlines won't fly either to LJU or TGD/TIV if they don't make profit but on other hand that's not in favour of state economy.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:12

      I'm pretty sure LJU is a bargain to fly to today. :D

      Unfortunately, we still have no takers.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:09

    Can we expect a huge drop in passengers in 2021? Will Belgrade proft the most out of this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:14

      Considering what 2020 was like, I don't think we will feel such a huge decline like we saw at LJU. As for BEG profiting, I don't know. Load factors on current flights between BEG and Montenegro are fluctuating between 40 and 50%.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      Passengers who were booked on YM to VIE, CDG and LJU will be routed via BEG so I expect loads to be improved at least 10% to 20%.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:10

    Smart move to make unpopular decisions within the first few weeks of taking office. In 4 years no one will remember it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous08:38

      I don't think I ever heard a more accurate description of local politics.

      But jokes aside if done right it could actually work. A small airline to feed tourist and serve most demanded routs for locals.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:11

    Why do I have a funny feeling that JU will start something there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      Highly doubt it. JU has a lot of its own problems. And you can see in the text that the asked an airline in the region for a solution (can guarantee it was JU) and they obviously turned them down.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      JU will just boost BEG-TGD/TIV flights and that's about it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      I'm not even sure there will be any major increase in frequencies. We will see. Maybe they substitute planes and instead of ATR send A319 but I think that is as much as we can expect considering the current circumstances.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:23

      YM carried around 50 to 70 passengers so those will have to go somewhere.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous13:31

      @sandwich they cannot fly anywhere else except BEG-MNE and BanjaLuka-BEG? Capito?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:31

      They can if they get a permit. Wizz isn't allowed to have a base in Belgrade with a foreign AOC yet here we are.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:48

      Yes, the EU airline Wizz Air can have a base in Belgrade if they fly to the EU/EEA from there. It's if they want to fly to non-EU countries from Serbia that it gets tricky.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:11

    By the time they react, the gaps will probably be filled by other airlines especially FR.
    Also, lets be honest... Slovenia which is bigger and economically more advanced wasn't able to establish an airline for more than 1 year. Again, maybe this will not be the case with MNE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      Government was also different back then. Šarec said we dont need Air Slovenia and we saw the "market will take care". Now that Janša is PM, the new government has plans for new Air Slovenia

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:28

      Where is will there is way! I see that MNE government is already decided to set it up so I don't see issues with that.

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:12

    I feel sorry for the hardworking people in the company. Not only have they been working for free for months and not only have they not received any benefits for 4 years (which is against the law), they also don't know when their last day will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:16

      I feel for them too. It was the same with us in Adria. We weren't paid the last two salaries and we can also forget about getting anything from the liquidator. Plus, they were yanking our chain about a potential new investor for the last two weeks before the company finally ceased operation.

      Delete
    3. Terrible way to treat employees.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:13

    Will be interesting to see how JU responds to this. They were quite fast after JP. This is such a major gift to them, they get the biggest ex-YU market all to themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Situation is very different compared to a year ago. Don't think they need to respond at the moment. Their flights to and from Montenegro are half empty at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:16

      One reaction we will for sure see is fares going up to 400 euros.

      Delete
    3. How does it work with BEG-TGD and BEG-TIV routes now? Can another carrier jump in and replace YM (e.g. Wizz from its Belgrade base), or is it still subject to bilateral approvals?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:21

      What makes you think fares will go to €400? JU isn't that expensive to places where they fly alone, especially in the region. For example LJU flights are regularly around €100.
      JU-YM had a duopoly, it's not like fares were low until now. In summer you couldn't find a ticket for less than €200.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:22

      No they can't. It's limited to airlines registered in the two countries.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:34

      Aren't both Montenegro and Serbia members of the European Common Aviation Area?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:04

      (JU) ... get the biggest ex-YU market all to themselves.
      biggest ex-YU market???

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:11

      He meant Serbia-Montenegro, which is the biggest market out of any ex-Yu country (over 500,000 passengers per year).

      Delete
    9. Anonymous16:12

      548.679 in 2019
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2020/08/serbia-montenegro-service-resumes-sixty.html

      Delete
  17. What those this mean for the people that hold the tickets - total loss of their money or any chance of at least partial refund/tickets from possible new airline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:41

      At the moment - total loss of ticket and its value. No chance to get any refund. Maybe some other airlines will offer discounts if you rebook with them.

      Delete
  18. sad, as always wen it comes to this
    hopefully they will really set up a new carrier. if not, duopoly on 2 serbia -montenegro routes becomes monopoly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Well it's not JU's fault, that's how the ASA is.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:22

    LJU just lost another customer. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      Yes if i remember correct they should fly 8 flights per week in summer if there was no corona. Around 60k passengers on Ljubljana-Podgorica in previous years. So big market for new Air Slovenia and new Montenegro Airlines

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:24

    No one should be surprised.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:24

    This will have a big impact on BEG as well. YM was the third busiest airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:27

      Montenegro Airlines carried locals, they did not rely on transfers. In other words those passengers will still fly so numbers overall should not be affected.

      Delete
  22. So they contacted airlines in the region. It probably went like this: Air Serbia would you like to buy YM? Why not?

    If YM had less or no debt, would Air Serbia's response have been different?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      I doubt it went like that. And who knows if they offered them cooperation in the new carrier.

      Delete
    2. Honestly, new government couldn’t afford that at this moment . They are already being accused of being anti-Montenegro and pro-Serbian. Having JU take them over in some form would just add fuel to the fire.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:26

    You would expect YM would publish a statement on its website about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:31

      They really should. Especially since they keep selling tickets on their site for flights that will never happen.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous09:26

    I expect JU to earn some serious cash on Belgrade - Podgorica/Tivat flights this summer season. I imagine they will have to fly 5 times a day. People are hungry for summer vacation travel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:34

      BEG-TIV is the one to watch, I think in summer 2020 they planned up to 7 daily on some days. I expect the number to go to 10 daily now that YM is gone.

      Maybe Wizz Air should consider BEG-DBV as an alternative to BEG-TIV especially if JU goes crazy with fares. Then again don't know how attractive DBV's price list is.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:36

      JU had 5 daily flights at regular times with YM present.

      There will either be a boost in capacity or 7-8 daily flights

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      Friday and I think Sunday suppose to have 7 some from ini base.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous09:31

    Open Sky and the tourism will be booming.* subject to Corona conditions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:33

      Isn't Montenegro already a member of the European Common Aviation Area, meaning it already is Open Skies with the EU and other ECAA member countries?

      But I agree with you; a liberal regime woll ensure that the market is well-served at no cost to tax payers, and in case the government identifies any important unserved market, there is always the PSO path.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous09:33

    With FR operating to 8 different destinations, I think they might consider either basing an aircraft or adding TGD from other bases.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous09:38

    If they are going to run out of fuel soon, you know the situation is bad.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous09:43

    They are packing their stuff at the BEG office. I guess today is the day.

    Greetings from BEG and Merry Christmas to our Catholic and Protestant friends.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous09:46

    Great news
    Finally is over for this kind of fake airlines... time is over
    Few airlines better service

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Ironically, Montenegro Airlines offered the best on board service out of the ex-Yu airlines. Free food and drinks, actual meals, no baggage surcharges...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      I also had a great experience every time I flew. Their staff at the Knez Mihailova office in Belgrade were also extremely kind and accommodating.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:59

      Don't worry, you will get 2 new airlines in ex-yu very soon. I hope you will survive that..

      Delete
  30. Anonymous10:09

    What can future airline of Montenegro do to ensure profitability? Otherwise it will end up just like YM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      what would be if every hotel, restaurant, store etc pay a share to national carrier because it brings them tourists. Would it be profitable then?

      Delete
    2. Vlad12:07

      Every hotel, restaurant, store etc. already pay for their national carrier through a little thing called taxes.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:41

      In Austria for instance all related activity companies are paying to Ski resorts additional taxes so they can do business with profit. Otherwise ski resorts would make loss and eventually they would have to close their doors. Do you think all related activites would remain profitable as well? Something very similar is happening in aviation as well. According to study from Oxford universities, JP demise had impact of over 20.000 jobs in Slovenia. That's huge impact to national economy.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous10:13

    Bye bye.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:18

    I know this is an aviation blog and we are all aviation fans but we must also be realistic. Looking at the situation in ex-YU I have a feeling in the end the market will be served by Air Serbia, Wizz Air and Ryanair with Eurowings taking crumbs or maybe thanks to a government deal taking over ZAG when OU is shut down.

    The market was overcrowded, it depressed yields and made a bad situation very difficult. I know we don't like that but that's how it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:26

      +100 happened here in the US a few years ago (consolidation) and airlines like Delta became truly fantastic carriers. Not so much before the consolidation process.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:29

      All airlines in ex-yu are more or less in same situation. It just depends if your government stands behind you or not. Currently OU and JU are (and I'm glad for that) just lucky because they get funds from government, otherwise none of it saw profit in decades. I still believe that each country need it's own based airline (national or foreign) in order to maintain decent connectivity.

      Delete
  33. Air Serbia should station one or two planes there and start a base. Same applies for Banjaluka.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:32

      @sandwich they cannot fly anywhere else except BEG-MNE and BanjaLuka-BEG? Capito?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:03

      Wut?

      Delete
    3. Its a legitimate question. Air Serbia could become a strategic airline for Montenegro and Srpska... Cant see the reason why not?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:50

      JU would have to get special permission from MNE or RS (BiH) to fly anywhere other than SRB.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:46

      ...AND also a special permission from every country they would serve from MNE, don't forget that.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:46

    I remember their Fokker F28s heading to Podgorica always being packed to the grills unable to take all the baggage. Their station manager paid the loaders to push on board as much as they could. Occassionally he tried to bribe the ramp agent as well to turn a blind eye on the overweight. Their take-offs during the summer were a spectacle amongst airport staff, bets were made whether they could climb out. Sometimes they sent an L-410 to carry the baggage of the passengers travelling on the F28. An utterly unprofessional outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous12:12

    Incredibly sad :(

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous13:30

    Seems like Belgrade-Podgorica this evening will be the last flight.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous13:31

    Anyone flying with them in the next few days? Have you received any info about your tickets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:43

      I am. Still no word from them about any cancellations.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:49

      Maybe try calling them. I think the problem is, they don't know themselves.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous14:53

      From what I heard from one of the pilots, he said his last flight was this morning from BEG to TGD. Not sure if the afternoon flight today will go ahead.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous13:32

    The government really should have handled this better and set a date when the airline will close. Imagine all those poor souls working at the airline, not knowing if they should come to work tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  39. its very simple: Montenegro should copy the macedonian model
    (you have Austrian, Turkish, Alitalia and JU for connections which is totally sufficient)

    i dont really buy the legend that YM contibuted sooooo much to the tourism sector in MNE
    (just look at the list of airlines that are flying to TIV)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:51

      Alitalia?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous15:46

      No, no thanks. Please keep your super successful model to yourself.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:45

      Who said anything about a super successful model?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:14

      SKP: 2.36 mio pax in 2019. go and figure out why

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:46

      Anonymous @22:14 - you didn't follow the thread carfully. Reread, I'm with you bro.

      Delete
  40. Anonymous13:47

    When i see you again...

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous14:26

    Are they still flying today and tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:31

      Read the article...

      Delete
  42. Anonymous15:56

    And then there were two ...

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous16:36

    I enjoyed flying with YM and I am sorry to hear this.

    Anyhow this is good chance for JU and much bigger than for any other carrier. Taking in consideration how big the traffic is between SRB and MNE and that all of it will belong now to JU means that JU will step in with more flights and better LF.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Montenegro is to small market for national carrier , they need to collect royalty from operating carriers and use for incentives to boost traffic to TIV and TGD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous18:01

      agreed.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:36

      Like we (Slovenians) burned 5 mio for how many, 2-3 flights per day? Both, Montenegro and Slovenia needs national carrier otherwise we/they will feel consequences for many years...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:37

      The worst thing is the Slovenian government just gave MGX money for flying to Ljubljana 2 weeks ago!

      Delete
    4. Bakan Boyz20:58

      Both Montenegro and Slovenia do not need national carriers. When Covid passes, free market will fill the gaps left by YM & JP. It may take a few years but eventually it will happen. If the free market does not fill routes to some cities that MNE & SLO deem important, then they will subsidize either i LCC, or OU or JU to fly those few routes for them. And this subsidy will be much much less than starting and maintaining a new airline.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:10

      Bakan Boyz +1000

      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:19

      We saw "market will take care" in LJU. National airline is still the best option

      Delete
    7. Bakan Boyz21:33

      LJU needed more time to get a more flights. It did start with Luftika announcing the more flights. JU started 3x daily on some days. Then came Covid ...

      Delete
    8. Anonymous21:45

      Yeah Lufthansa, Swiss, Brussels flights at the middle of the day, Austrian didnt even launch flights, plus all other cities Adria flew to. And with Air Slovenia we would have way, way better connections.

      Delete
    9. Bakan Boyz22:01

      Yeah OK, but at what price?

      Start up cost 50m€. Yearly subsidies 10m€. Occasional, Oh we didn't/forgot to calculate this & that cost 10m€. Oh flights to Brussels only have 30-40 pax, well, here come additional subsidy. EU says we cannot subsidies JP anymore, OK, let's call 5G international expert consultants to run the show.
      Shall I continue the story?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous00:11

      Hah you are funny, you are talking about costs as we would have airline size of Lufthansa. Don't be ridiculous, 50 m for start? 20 m yearly loss? Adria even with really incompetent managers (politicaly appointed ones) had 5 mio loss with 15 aircrafts. And now you are talking about 20 m for 5 aircrafts. In addition you are talking that in few years we will get some destinations back, are you serious? while other airports in region will have 100% increase, we will be happy to get some routes back on track? That's a suicide for state, both Slovenia and Montenegro need national carrier!

      Delete
    11. Anonymous00:44

      OK, take all of my figure and cut them by half. You still get big time losses.

      And Slovenia still has connections to everywhere in the world, you just have to take an extra flight.

      Totaly agree with Bakan Boyz @20:58. He said it best.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous08:39

      Oh really, we have connections to all over the world. Please enlighten me how you will catch morning connections in EU hubs if you have departure from LJU in the middle of the day? People need to have an extra overnight in EU to take a connection flight next day.
      I really don't know why we put so much effort and money building highways and better road connections, we were connected even before with side paths. By your opinion it's really not important if you need 5 hours or 2 days to get from LJU to BEG as long as there is any connection.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous12:50

      Come on, you can't complain about the timetables of the airlines that hurried to fill the gap after JP and claim that it was a long-term solution. In a non-Covid environment, airlines need to plan their schedules far ahead in time since you sell tickets 1 year in advance and submit airport slot applications well in advance. Complex overnight patterns (i.e. evening arrival to LJU and morning departure from LJU) aren't added quickly or easily. It either means making major changes (cuts) to existing routes or sourcing additional aircraft and hiring more crew, something you of course won't do until the market has proven itself worthy.

      I work in the Network department of a major European airline and I found it really impressive how well LJU got served at such short notice when JP suddenly was gone. By that, I don't mean good timetables, but something to start with. When there is demand for business timetables, the market will of course make sure that they are in place in due course.

      That grown people with the right to vote argue for setting up new, tax payer subsidised national carriers in Europe in this day and age is incomprehensible to me. In my ears, it means that the person doesn't understand European airline economics. Otherwise, it's as bizarre as proposing Zimbabwe as the ideal society.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:46

      I can't complain??? Everyone who wants to travel to/from Slovenia complains! Ok let's leave aside months after Adria demise, It was disaster but let's say that mayor airlines did not have 1 spare aircraft to fly to LJU (or insteady of operating 18x times between MUC and LH, they could do it 16x times and fly to LJU instead but ok. What about summer schedule, before there was any sign of Covid situation. LJU would have 50% compared to 2019. So more than 6 months in advance is not enough to plan your schedule? Someone from "network department" would know that this is not true, sometimes schedule is changing even one month before a season start.
      From taxpayers perceptive I am happy to help my country to invest in strategic important projects (road, rair, sea or air connectivity) because I know that this will bring money to our economy. Of course I would rather see 2 LH, 1 AF, 1 SK, 1 SN, 1 SK, 2 JU, 2 W6/FR aircrafts base in LJU but that is not going to happen or we would have spend much much more then national carrier would cost. So yes both Montenegro and Slovenia needs national carrier and I'm really happy that both will get it soon. I just hope that you will survive that news when it happens...

      Delete
    15. Anonymous17:44

      I didn't write that you can't complain about the timetables. I wrote that you can't complain about them and claim that they were long-term. Of course it was a problem for the passenger/consumer that the air connectivity suddenly was radically inferior to what it used to be, but my point is that the problem was temporary and was going to get better with time. It is ill-advised to resort to populist, easy-sounding solutions proposed by nationalist politicians with no knowledge of the airline industry instead of following the advice of industry experts and academic researchers that conclude that the market will solve the problem in a better way, with historic evidence to back it up.

      It is correct that "more than 6 months" is not enough to realistically achieve what you are asking for. Plan a schedule, yes, but one with complex timetables, no, not unless you are lucky enough to have a suitable replacement case. In the specific case of JP, I would have said approximately one year would be realistic. You need to take into consideration the timing of JP's demise in September and how airlines had already finished or were close to finishing the Summer 2020 schedules due to slot application deadlines. By comparison, I suppose it would take a similar amount of time to set up a new national carrier (and slot application deadlines for that airline would be no different).

      All of this supposes Covid-19 never happened, of course, and we are obviously not talking about replacing 100% of the capacity. JP didn't go bankrupt without reason. A lower capacity level is to be taken for granted (I'm not sure if I have misunderstood your list of airlines as aircraft you would expect to be overnighting in LJU or if you are joking).

      If you wish to invest tax money in increasing your air connectivity further, if you are not happy about what the market has offered you at no cost to tax payers, there is a legal way to do that (as opposed to setting up a state-owned airline without commercial merit, which is illegal). It's called PSO, Public Service Obligation. That's a way for tax payers' money to be used efficiently, not by some inefficient (even corrupt?) government airline prestige project. The tender process ensures that it is a cheaper option than setting up a national carrier.

      I'm not sure I would survive as awful news as you suggest might happen. It is quite possible that I have a heart attack if Slovenia and Montenegro would establish new national carriers, especially Slovenia that is an EU member and has agreed to act in a civilised manner. You see, I truly care for these countries and hate to see them fail to rise above nationalistic, economically inefficient foolishness. Instead, I wish both countries to be well-connected with the rest of the world by well-functioning airlines that compete fairly and are incentivised to be efficient, not merely existing at the expense of passengers (high fares) and/or owners (tax payers subsidising losses).

      Delete
    16. Anonymous20:59

      I am really curious which industry experts you have in mind? Krasnja, Skobir? Because those two clowns are only"experts" which are against establishing a national carrier. So I don't buy that market would solve our problems neither will solve Montenegro's issues with air connectivity.

      Also I would like to know which airlines currently operating to LJU are competing fairly? If you think that LH is not receiving any help you should think again.

      Maybe you are right and eventualy LJU would get to same figures as we had with JP, but at that time other airports will have more 100% increase. I think that is the risk which should not be taken by any country.

      Delete
  45. Anonymous18:26

    Last YM flight took off from BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:42

      No, it took of from Belgrade right now, a bit after 19:30.

      Delete
  46. Merry Christmas everybody!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Any idea what YM owes to BEG and SMATSA?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:18

      I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the tens of millions of euros.

      Delete
  48. Anonymous20:08

    Their website is still open for booking! They are trying to take advantage of the very last moment to collect the last eurocent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:17

      I think it is more like, laziness, who cares about the site, no one is responsible anymore. But somebody will have to 'turn off' the site soon.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:07

      They put up info on their website that they have ceased operations (although you can still buy tickets :D)

      Delete
  49. Very much a political move despite the losses. A very large number of airlines across the world are not profitable and still operating. What this national carrier brings to the country in terms of tourism, is going to be felt for years, in regards to the tourism economy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bakan Boyz20:52

      Point is that MNE as a country has no funds to pay for constant loses of YM. They have budget shortfalls every year. They are spending great deal of money on road infrastructure. Soon they will have to start repaying loan to Chinese for Motorway project which leads from north of Podgorica to middle of nowhere in north of country.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:18

      Montenegro Airlines? Tourism? I thought the vast majority of foreign tourists to Montenegro flew in on foreign airlines since YM, an operator of regional aircraft, hasn't really been suited for that market segment.

      Delete
    3. Bakan Boyz21:30

      I would love it to hear how many peeple come to MNE by YM and how many with all other airlines combined. This would be a telling statistic.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:16

      @balkan go and see wiki page for Tivat airport (airlines and destinations) and you will see how invisible YM was in bringing tourists. only the fanboys and paid trolls were singing that song here all the time

      Delete
    5. Anonymous07:23

      OU is going the same way, their network on the coast is shrinking each season. Once they are almost completely pushed out that's when their losses will become unbearable for the government. Aviation is like a shark, you have to keep on swimming in order to survive.

      Delete
    6. Fully agree. And precisely what I 'be been talking for decades, and not only here : OU, if not already too late, needs to grow dramatically, and change completely, in order to survive. Unfortunately, some "experts" /uhljebs/"domoljubs", happy with feeder role making fun of me not being aware the end is coming, and probably soon...

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:11

      pozdrav iz Rijeke:
      Have you thought about the very seasonal nature of the coastal tourism business? If OU would grow in that segment, what would they do with the fixed assets (aircraft, crew etc.) off-season?

      Also, the timetables OU would offer when flying from HR are inferior to the ones offered by the airlines in the tourists' country of origin. Who wants to return back from holiday early in the morning? It means more hotel cost/less holiday time.

      Delete
    8. I was not referring to tourism only. It should be just one segment of operations, from the coast, in the summer. Majority of operations should be concentrated in ZAG hub. And if there is one country in ex-yu with overall biggest potential for developing its airline(s), it is Croatia. Unfortunately, with vision missing, and lethal politics influence. Also, by your logic, Greek or Spanish companies don't bring foreign tourists to Greece and Spain because of inconvenient schedule? I wouldn't say so. And to answer your coastal seasonality question:Avion Express from Lithuania or Smartlynx from Latvia lease out permanently their entire fleets of over 20 aircraft. Even now, during covid crisis time, and in winter, Avion Express, for example, operates in Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic...

      Delete
  50. Anonymous21:09

    at least there is finally an official announcement about the suspension of all flights starting from Dec. 26, 2020 published - yet only in Serbian but still better than nothing.
    Good luck to the former employees and their families...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:13

      where was it officially announced?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:15

      For starters you have their statement in the first paragraph of this article.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:15

      According to Google:
      Montenegro Airlines a.d. was the flag carrier of Montenegro ...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous21:16

      You have it on their website now and social media.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous21:27

      Yep.

      Delete
  51. Anonymous21:58

    JU da zagreje motore i krene da uzima lovu. Ovo će im biti neplanirani plus u prevazilaženju kovid krize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:04

      Will MNE gov allow JU to fly routes from TIV and TGD directly to euro cities?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:07

      Why would JU bother to relocate aircraft/crew to MNE? They can just siphon the pax through their hub.

      Delete
    3. But then JU/BEG becomes just another competitive airline/hub. Someone from MNE could fly via ZAG, VIE, FRA, just as they could from BEG.

      With direct flights to a few cities from TGD, JU would have the competitive egde. Plus any subsidies MNE would offer for such flights.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous22:32

      Čeka se reakcija JU,možda već sutra.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:43

      Imaš insajd info?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous22:46

      Neće biti nikakve reakcije osim rescue fares. JU avioni za/iz Crne Gore su polu prazni (LF jedva 50%) sa trnutnim smanjenim obimom saobraćaja. Ovde mnogi kao da žive u nirvani i ne shvataju kakav je kolaps na svim tržištima.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous22:50

      Značu JU dobija dobar PR za prenošenje YM putnika iz BEG za MNE. A to košta JU skoro ništa, jer već lete poloprazni avioni.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous22:52

      I "rescue fares"je reakcija?Smirite živce,loše je po zdeavlje.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous23:06

      Ide razmak posle " ? i ,. A ja ću da čuvam 'zdeavlje'.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous07:26

      Charlie, unlike other airlines in MNE, JU has massive local demand which makes them the only airline there that can have multiple daily flights. No one can come close to that in either Podgorica or Tivat.
      JU seems to be slowly consolidating its position along the Adriatic coast, I think SPU is next. They already retired the ATR from there and replaced it with A319 and A320.

      Што се ЈУ тиче, евентуално ће повећати капацитет на летовима и то је то. Србија је друга у Европи почела са вакцинацијом што значи да ћемо међу првима почети да путујемо.

      Delete
    11. Vlad10:19

      "Србија је друга у Европи почела са вакцинацијом што значи да ћемо међу првима почети да путујемо."

      Someone needs a reality check... We got fewer than 5.000 vaccines out of the promised 1,8 million. Serbs will be among the LAST to start travelling en masse.

      Delete
    12. @Anonymous 07:26

      "JU seems to be slowly consolidating its position along the Adriatic coast, I think SPU is next."

      What do you mean SPU is next? JU will never have more flights to SPU than OU.

      Delete
  52. Anonymous22:03

    A bittersweet day, but hoping that the Montenegrin government will start procedures for a new carrier as soon as possible in 2021. Ideally, the airline should gradually acquire around 6-7 regional aircraft. Plenty of them in the used market nowadays, for a decent price so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. First thing would obviously be to launch the core routes, TGD & TIV-BEG. It will not be easy to compete against a strong JU as a brand new airline, but if they will offer reasonable prices i think they will surely attract many potential passengers. We all know how expensive the prices were with YM and JU for such short distances. From TGD ensure a mix of good connectivity to major hubs and O&D such as FRA, CDG, AMS, VIE, FCO, LON, ZRH and why not even IST. Codeshare with LH, OS, AF, KL, TK. In TIV implement a summer base with summer flights to western Europe and let's not forget Russia year round or Ukraine. Charters for travel agencies will be very important as well. Now whether they will choose to be full legacy or hybrid would depend if the government is willing to spend more money for better reputation. If the right competent management and staff is chosen, i would be very optimistic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What makes you think this government will be able to do what previous governments were not able to do for decades? That is, maintain a successful, reliable, and reasonably affordable airline flying to all of the cities you list?

      as Bakan Boyz wrote above for JP applies for YM as well

      Both Montenegro and Slovenia do not need national carriers. When Covid passes, free market will fill the gaps left by YM & JP. It may take a few years but eventually it will happen. If the free market does not fill routes to some cities that MNE & SLO deem important, then they will subsidize either LCC, or OU or JU to fly those few routes for them. And this subsidy will be much much less than starting and maintaining a new airline.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:30

      ''Free market will eventually fill the gaps''. And tell me one European country where this has worked? Every country has a national airline and is willing to fund it despite everything. Even in Estonia and Lithuania you have their neighbour national airline airBaltic which is serving many important routes. End up like Bosnia with SJJ, LJU, or North Macedonia where a foreign LCC has 65% of the market share and is slowly growing even more? Or Czech Republic and Slovakia which are already working with LOT for a new flag carrier? BUD which is a hot touristic spot and major EU city combined with W6 which was heavily funded by an American company can hardly be compared.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:46

      You don't think the N Macedonian model would work in Montenegro?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:10

      The N Macedonian model is great for gastos and travellers, nothing else. National carrier is essential for development of aviation industry in the country, important connections, employs hundreds of people, and if well managed can postiviely contribute to economic sectors such as tourism. Not to mention in case of rare events such as Covid. What did Wizz do for NMK? Meanwhile national airlines where flying vital cargo and repatriating thousands of people all over Europe

      Delete
    5. Anonymous00:23

      N Macedonian model can also be used for tourists, not only gastos.
      And who are travelers? Are they not tourists?
      Is it essential for Montenegro to have aviation industry? How large can the aviation sector be in a country of 600,000 people? With weak industry in general.
      In cases of Covid, why can't gov. pay Wizz to do repatriation flights? Do you think JU and OA did those flights for free? Same for vital cargo, DHL does a great job. Nothing is for free even with a national airline.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous01:29

      It is not essential to have aviation industry, but a national airline is essential for its development. Adria was a great example, with their maintenance center and flight school to mention a few. Some people here fail to recognize the importance of this industry. Then we ll be forced to employ Ukrainian and Polish crew. In cases of Covid, i would rather pay the same price for my own airline which is in full availabilty for my country and citizens, which pays taxes in my country,which employs locals rather than some Hungarian LCC. And it seems as the rest of Europe shares the same opinion

      Delete
    7. Anonymous01:51

      You can't have it both ways in Slovenia. You want the benefits of EU membership, but if that means we get Polish crew, then no. Doesn't work that way.

      I think you have to be realistic. Not every country needs to have a national airline, for some, like small countries MNE and SLO the cost outweighs the benefits.

      Covid and similar events are once in 20-30 years. So you can't really use that as an excuse to have a national airline.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous01:57

      "Adria was a great example, with their maintenance center and flight school to mention a few."

      The MRO is still there, doing much better than when it was part of Adria, and there are other flight schools in Slovenia.

      "Meanwhile national airlines where flying vital cargo and repatriating thousands of people all over Europe"

      I'm pretty sure if governments approached LCCs, they would be happy to transport cargo for them as well. It's not like airlines prefer to have their aircraft grounded and losing money, you know.

      "Then we ll be forced to employ Ukrainian and Polish crew."

      What's wrong with employing Ukrainians or Polish people. Also, let's not kid ourself, Slovenians are not exactly the adventurous people, many would work for peanuts (and they did for last couple of years before Adria went bust, compared to the EU market), just so they can be home.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous02:31

      You keep beating a dead horse. "You can just pay LCCs to fly", when the benefits of a national airline have been discussed a thousand times in this forum. Look at the state of LJU and SJJ. SKP is looking like some western European village like BVA or FMM that are solely served by Wizz. SKP has become their playground. Let's shut down every national airline in Europe. Let's fly like cattle and fill O'Leary's and Varadi's pockets. I really wonder why Italy never gave up on Alitalia after all these years, while they could just trust free market. Well, as it seems, the new government will begin working on the new airline next year, so im not too worried. Hopefully Slovenia does the same

      Delete
    10. Anonymous08:44

      +100 last comment!!

      Delete
    11. Anonymous11:18

      "I really wonder why Italy never gave up on Alitalia after all these years, while they could just trust free market."

      Because no politician wants to make tens of thousands of people unemployed, as it's bad optics and bad for the next election.

      Alitalia isn't even the largest airline in Italy. After this restructuring they are likely to settle in 3rd place. Have a look at MXP, VCE, CTA, PMO, NAP, CAG and you will see who has the most routes. I don't think you can argue that Italian people will have no connections if their government would finally close Alitalia for good.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous12:17

      LOL somebody is comparing Italy or any other country with MONTENEGRO which has 630.000 POPULATION!!!!

      that is less then Palermo !

      Montenegro doesnt need an airline

      Delete
    13. Anonymous13:16

      For argument's sake, let's say that the make-believe Montenegrin airline starts serving lots of hub airports (even though it won't be able to get slots in an airport like for example AMS). Then the plan collapses at the next step; "Codeshare with LH, OS, AF, KL, TK." Why would these airlines want to codeshare with this new little airline?

      It will first of all take time for the new airline to show that their operations meet the safety standards for the major airline to even consider codeshare, but even then, why would any of these airlines go through the trouble of creating complexity by having a partnership with another small airline to fly to a single market instead of doing it themselves? It won't happen.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous13:22

      @anon 12:17

      size of italy could only be advantage for foreign airlines start flying. By your logic Italy could easily save billions of € not having national carrier and foreign carriers would fill the gap. That's not how aviation works..

      @anon 13:16

      Because it's much cheaper for foreign airlines to have codeshare with local airlines rather than flying on its own and making loss. Otherwise all mayor airlines would cover all route around the world and only few airlines would exist. It's not going to happen, if foreign airlines won't make profit then there won't be flight. Is that really good for state economy, I doubt so!

      Delete
    15. Anonymous18:05

      @anon 13:22

      Why is it not how aviation works that Italy could save billions of euros by letting the market take care of Italy's aviation connectivity instead of subsidising Alitalia? Hasn't that been shown by the fact that easyJet, Ryanair and Volotea are huge players in Italy, both domestically and internationally? The reason why Italy keeps reinventing Alitalia is that it is a poorly run country. If the country lacks certain vital routes when the market has done its work, there's always the PSO path.

      If a route would be loss-making, I agree with you, then it's cheaper for the major airline to codeshare rather than fly themselves. But if the route is loss-making, why should a local airline be set up to fly it?

      Should the new Montenegrin national carrier fly daily to for example all capital cities in Europe? Of course not, but where do you draw the line for the foolishness if passenger demand and airline economics aren't criteria?

      Delete
    16. Anonymous20:33

      @anon 18:05

      In my opinion some routes are vital for country progress even if thouse routes are not profitable. I never understood why YM was fighting with JP for LJU, while they did not have covered many major EU cities which could (in my opinion) bring them much more money. Maybe I'm wrong but I think that they did not have any flights to ZRH at all? I believe that every and each airline is making money on ZRH route.





      Delete
    17. Anonymous21:16

      Are you suggesting that every country who is continuing to fund their national airlines is poorly run? ''Free market, free market'' What free market will there be left, if every country decides to be smart like you and shut down their airline? Ryanair and Wizz? Is that your free market?

      Delete
    18. Anonymous09:24

      Some of you really are fuc*ers. How on Earth can you be cheerful about people losing their jobs and suggesting countries shut down their national carriers so you can continue flying for a few euros.

      Damn shortsighted, selfish people. Do you realise that most of guys and gals won't be getting any job anytime soon? Who on Earth will employ a pilot in their 40's with no other work experience other than flying a plane? And fu*c off with those "friendly" suggestions about becoming a truck driver or a cleaner. Being a pilot requires a substantial financial investment and it's a highly skilled profession.

      Delete
  53. Anonymous22:53

    Can someone please explain how this bankruptcy will cost 50+ milions€?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:17

      Short answer. YM has debt. Some of that debt has to be repaid to creditors. MNE gov. is the one who will be doing the repaying.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:15

      The essence of bankruptcy is liquidation, including selling of assets, for example planes. The creditors will get back the proportion of the total sum collected with remaining assets, whatever this proportion is. Could be very small. But if the same owner is serious with owning a new company then is better to pay the debts of previously owned (and bankrupted) company since the new company will “meet” the same partners in the field (for example airports). Otherwise they might simply refuse to offer “services”.

      Delete
  54. Anonymous07:33

    The new government is about to continue the pre-1945 national policy, that is to deepen ties with Serbia as it's main partner. I do not see a new YM coming back as if there is a need JU can always step in and operate some key routes as a W pattern. I could also see JU station one A319 in Tivat in summer to operate charters from there.
    Montenegro Airlines doesn't fit with the new national course of the country. It's much easier to work with JU to get what they need.

    After all, both TIV and TGD are within SMATSA, there is massive demand between the airports so for JU these will be treated as part of its domestic market. After all, TGD and TIV have no other choice as they live from Air Serbia and the demand between Belgrade and Montenegro.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous08:47

    Only two government supported legacy players left.

    Join us to see who will be the next weakest link!

    ReplyDelete

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