State eyes early launch and LCC concept for ToMontenegro


The Montenegrin government hopes for the country’s new national airline, known under the working title ToMontenegro, to launch before April 1, in time for the 2021 summer season, however, only if it is able to take over commercial agreements, staff and aircraft from the country’s former flag carrier. Otherwise, the process may take up to nine months. Furthermore, the state expects for the new airline to operate under a low cost carrier (LCC) model. “We are looking to transfer everything that we can from Montenegro Airlines into the new company. We are in discussions with Embraer to take over the aircraft which operated at the former airline. In terms of staff, part of them will start work at the new airline, while others will be offered renumeration packages. If we can inherit everything from Montenegro Airlines, including the workforce, interline and codeshare agreements, aircraft and slots, which depends on factors which are out of our control, such as plane manufacturers, then we expect for the new company to launch before April 1”, the State Secretary in charge of Transport at the Ministry for Capital Investment, Zoran Radunović, said. 

The Ministry for Finance has issued a public call for experts to submit their CVs in order to be part of the task group which will work on the formation of the new airline. The requirements can be found here. The Ministry has so far held initial talks with two foreign consultants, one of which is believed to be Knighthood Capital headed by former Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan. This week, the government will launch a tender for an external consultant to aid in the set up of the new airline. 

There is still a possibility for Montenegro Airlines to restore limited operations in the coming weeks until the new carrier is launched with a final decision on the matter to be made early next month. The carrier’s fleet currently consists of four aircraft, two of which are grounded due to technical issues and two which are operative. Commenting on ToMontenegro’s future operations, Mr Radunović said, “The new company will be based on low cost airline principles, with minimal expenses. Operational staff will be at the forefront, while administrative will unfortunately, for the most part, have to be outsourced”.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:01

    Hoping for the best possible outcome

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:01

    LCC as national airline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      No more free food or baggage

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:12

      Well the name fits. To Montenegro or 2 Montenegro sounds very LCCish.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:14

      Well if they want to succeed and make a profitable airline then the LCC model is the best way to go. Besides the lines are very blurred today as to what is an LCC and what is a "traditional" airline in Europe.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:20

      @09.12 FlyMontenegro would be better. Also has an LCC ring to its but sounds nicer, at least to me.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:55

      In the end its better to use the 30 million to fund LCCs.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:01

      LCC is probably the only viable option for a market with few business travelers where the vast majority of travelers just look for the cheapest option regardless of service provided. Even then, I do not think that Montenegro market is big enough for any airline to be able to make a profit alike all other EX-YU market. If sentiment of national pride is so strong that people must have their flag carrier, the only solution is for government to keep injecting money into national airline(s) which permanently lose money.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:03

      LCC is probably the only viable option for a market with few business travelers where the vast majority of travelers just look for the cheapest option regardless of service provided. Even then, I do not think that Montenegro market is big enough for any airline to be able to make a profit alike all other EX-YU market. If sentiment of national pride is so strong that people must have their flag carrier, the only solution is for government to keep injecting money into national airline(s) which permanently lose money.

      Delete
    8. I like more something as - "Balkan express" or air podgorica or Balkan breeze :)

      Delete
    9. Anonymous13:48

      @ano 10:01, a national carrier is not about pride but more national economic interest. Just like many other countries in the world, national carriers are not profitable but they serve a greater purpose. If the direct and indirect benefits are greater than the unprofitability then a national carrier is justified.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:01

    I hope some of the experts that comment here will apply to the government call :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous09:03

    Is it realistic for the airline to launch in 2 months or so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Like they said, if they can inherit everything then yes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:15

      No. We observe a hysteria in Montenegrin society similar to Slovenians had a year ago. It is not so easy for people (especially for the ones who are not in aviation business) to understand the economics of aviation or the airlines' consolidation process, which takes more than decade. And politicians do not prefer to look like accepting the reality while the society don't (otherwise they would be blamed for doing nothing and lose votes), therefore they act as if they're seriously planning something to cool the public down.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:31

      Actually when there is a will you can do that much faster. In Slovenia everything could be established very quickly (codeshares/slots/agreements etc.) if someone would push that. It's much easier when you don't need to do everything from scratch and new airline does not necessarily mean that everything has to be done from scratch.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous09:03

    There are no codeshare agreements they can inherit. All of them have been terminated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:04

    So they want to inherit everything except the debt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:07

      Hasn't the Italian government been doing the same with Alitalia for decades?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:14

      yes but you cannot compare both economies

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:06

    Good luck

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:09

    I really hope they change that name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:15

      Why not call it Montenegro Airways?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:20

      They said the name would change. Even in the article it is written that ToMontenegro is a "working title".

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:09

    I don't see how this will work any differently than Montenegro Airlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:11

      well they seem to be much more mindful about costs.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:14

    Hope it works out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:16

      They seem determined and realise the importance of having a national airline so this is a good start.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:19

      They should have prepared everything before they grounded YM. That would have been impressive. Not adhoc like this.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:15

    Well at least Montenegro Airlines has finally stopped selling non existent flights on its website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:27

      Is anyone going to compensate all those poor people that had tickets with YM?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:27

      And also many people who had vouchers because their flight got cancelled because of Covid.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:16

    New chance for a new airline with a clean slate. All the best.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous09:26

    I wonder if all this would have happened were it not for Covid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      Definitely. The airlines was chronically indebted and loss making.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:35

      Everyone was saying MGX was next after Adria went bankrupt. It was just unsustainable.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:28

    They are just calling it LCC because it sounds better when you present that to public, but on other hand I am really curious how LCC model will work with E-195!? And why do they need codeshares if it's meant to be LCC. At the end everything will be the same

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:28

    The saga continues

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:35

    I'm not too optimistic about this airline. Especially if James Hogan is involved. Let's see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      Hogan just had talks with the government. He still has to win the actual consultancy tender.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:38

    Livery wise they should just change the blue with royal red, turn the eagle logo from white to gold and it's done (even though I prefer the blue).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      I think the livery is the least of their concerns at the moment.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous09:39

    I think they are doing the right job. They seem to be engaged in this new airline and are not just talking about it to animate the masses. They seem committed to this project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      Let's just hope they keep it professional and don't employ friends and family.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous09:47

    How much will all this cost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:54

      Government will give 30 million.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:55

      New airline with just 30 million euros?? Good luck with that.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous09:56

    Whatever airline they create it will be money loosing. There is just no point.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous09:56

    Which routes can we expect from this new airline?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:58

      Belgrade, Zurich, , Paris and Ljubljana. My guesses

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:12

      Not sure about LJU. Was it really profitable?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:06

      Doubt any of them was, except BEG and Tivat-Moscow

      Delete
  22. Anonymous09:56

    They really shouldn't waste their time with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:59

      No, better to have no flights or three airlines serving the country, like Slovenia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:23

      And how many airlines do you need in the middle of pandemic, when nobody can travel anyway? 20?

      Delete
  23. Anonymous09:58

    But how will YM restart flights even for a limited time until April? I mean they didn't clear their debt so I don't understand how it will start operations again.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous10:10

    Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous10:11

    So the new airline should have a fleet of three planes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      Yes

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:12

      2 Embraers and 1 Fokker.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:13

      Fokker is very old and its resources are running out. I think it will be retired.

      Delete
  26. Vlad10:12

    An LCC that wants to codeshare with other airlines and have an Embraer-based fleet. The expertise is clearly there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:15

      Well this is just some state secretary talking off the top of his head. Let's see who they choose for the task force and what they propose.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:11

      ekspertiza sta da ti kazem

      Delete
  27. Anonymous10:12

    Expect one year round route (BEG) and the rest seasonal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:13

      With 3 planes, don't think so.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:19

    Is it possible to create an airline in the region like Air Baltic for countries where a profitable airline is difficult to reach ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      It would be nice but I think because of politics it's impossible.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:11

      @10.19 that will have to include all exyu-countries im afraid (lmao) if you stick to your "profitable" criteria and nope they will not move further from negotiating the name of the company

      Delete
    3. We had an airline in the region for all ex-yu countries. It was called JAT Yugoslav Airlines, it flew to 70 destinations on 5 continents, it had fleet of 36 planes, was bigger and better than Austrian or Turkish at the time, and getting better and better day by day quality - wise, with big plans for future. And it was profitable company. Not the biggest contributor to national budget, but definitely not one of its major users. Self sustainable. And I will refrain from writing why it disappeared because if I write it my post will be erased, which happened before already.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:40

      JAT was profitabile? Yeah one or two years out of 45 i think.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous12:09


      Air Baltic is not a joint owned airline between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is not even a national carrier of all 3 coutries. BT is Latvian owned airline and national carrier of Latvia. It has not any connection with goverments of Estonia or Lithuania neither is payed by them. BT has only bases in these coutries which is possible because of EU membership. Something like Air Baltic in ex yu can only be made by Croatia Airlines with establishing a base in Ljubljana.

      Delete
    6. Yes, JAT was profitable. Not talking about post-war time when it was established, or periods of development, but last 10-15 years of its operations, JAT did not receive one single cent/dinar from the budget. It was on opened market, it had competitive prices, it carried millions of foreign transit passengers, had hub and spoke system, developed national network, numerous additional services, excellent inflight service, and not one single "political" service except Tirana. JAT flew full planes on profitable routes, tourists, diaspora and business people. I know some of people, especially younger, cannot understand that Yugoslavia had in its last two decades, market economy, with some particularities, and some very successful companies who were able to make business on international market, as for example Elan, Gorenje, Hidroelektra, Energoinvest, Prva petoletka. And one of those successful companies, after 1970, was JAT

      Delete
    7. @An12.30
      They were not protected by govt. They had direct competition on domestic market from Adria, Panadria/Transadria and Aviogenex. Hub and spoke system with proper waves existed, domestic services, Eastern and Southern Europe services and Middle East services were feeding Western and Northern Europe and North America network, and it functioned both ways. Also lot of European passengers used its long haul flights to the Far East and Australia. The best proof for that is DC-10 operating to LHR on days when flights were departing/arriving from Australia. Once again, the only unprofitable route was Tirana. If you don't understand the difference between overall profitability and prices structure, I will tell you that you are partially right because domestic services did have lower prices than needed to be profitable, as a general rule, but "euromediterranean" and long-haul income was such to cover all the losses made on domestic services, which were simultaneously helping "feeding" international ones, and in that way, "repaying" for its losses. So looking strictly and only on domestic services, yes, they were not profitable, but the whole system was profitable. And hub and spoke. To which extent you have no idea what you talk about is example of the service that never existed and it shows how correct are the stories you are told

      Delete
    8. Anonymous14:02

      Service between OHD and DBV existed so i dont know what are you talking about. But i never flew with them, never expirience them so let we say that i will b you same as i will believe you same as i would belive Alen Scuric and his expiriences about JAT and their hub&spoke model.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:03

      *believe

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:38

      Re: pozdrav iz Rijeke

      Everything you mention seems correct (although I didn't live at that era or have a chance to glance at JAT's financial reports, I know the aviation economics and it was the golden age for hub&spoke model when LCCs did not exist in Europe), but let me correct one term. Transit passengers are the ones arriving and leaving the airport with the same flight number (i.e. passengers flying from Beijing to Belgrade on Hainan Airlines flight PEK-PRG-BEG are considered transit in Prague, as they arrive and leave PRG with the same flight number), but the passengers arriving and leaving an airport with different flight numbers are called "transfer passengers". I believe your message @12.19 refers to transfer passengers, not transit. These two terms are highly confusing as many countries' aviation glossaries do not even differentiate two terms and use both words to define "transfer passengers".

      Delete
    11. Anonymous14:50

      airBaltic is successful project only until Latvian taxpayers are willing to pay for it.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous15:43

      Airbaltic is succesulf because they got 132 million of capital from private investor for 20% of shares. And they didnt even got any aid from 2012. to 2019.

      Delete
    13. @An.14.38
      Always willing to accept justified criticism. Transfer was the term I should have used. Thanks!

      Delete
    14. Anonymous17:13

      "Something like Air Baltic in ex yu can only be made by Croatia Airlines with establishing a base in Ljubljana"

      Wrong. For example, Slovenian airline Solinar could buy a passenger aircraft and base it Zagreb, but that act would make Zagrebers (correct demonym for but it sounds horrible - Purgers sound better) really terrified.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous18:39

      No. I gave you an example how would airline like BT look at ex-yu. Air Baltic is state owned national carrier. Solinair is neither of that.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous18:59

      LOL If you followed the news: Solinar asked for Slo govt financial help to start passenger ops, which would likely mean some govt equity in Solinar, i.e. partial govt ownership. Anyway, private or not, Solinar could start ops in ZAG and that's something like Air Baltic did in other countries.

      Delete
    17. Anonymous19:16

      Government equity in Solinair would require approval from their owner, which is unlikely to happen. Anyway, IF plans about Solinair becoming involved in passenger operation, it will likely be with a new company, to minimize exposure to risk in highly likely case of it becoming a failure.

      Solinair in ZAG? There's not even a single aircraft in LJU, where there is almost no competition, and you want them to start competing with the bottomless pit, serviced by taxpayers that is OU?

      Delete
    18. Anonymous19:26

      Who says I want Solinair to start competing against OU? Fact check please. I just said "Something like Air Baltic in ex yu can only be made by Croatia Airlines with establishing a base in Ljubljana" is not true. And it isn't.

      Delete
    19. Anonymous19:49

      Again, they are not national carrier so they cannot be a equivalent to BT.

      Delete
    20. Anonymous20:22

      Again, Slo govt is planning a new govt airline and that one can base an aircraft in ZAG. It's 100% not true only OU could do it.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous23:05

      But that "new" airline does not exist so currently only simliar concept to BT can be made by OUl.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous10:25

    Kad preprodaju E195 koga su platili za Beograd ce im odraditi Er Srbija, za ostalo samo da placaju LCC kompanije za jedan let nedeljno u vansezoni. Pametnima dosta.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous10:41

    Bravo Montenegro!!
    1:0 vs Slovenian government and other smart guys...
    Learn from them!..and shame on you to let Adria perish

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:49

    @9.28 and @10.12 said it best - an LCC model that also wants to run with Embraer's, interline and codeshare ... er, not gonna happen (and perhaps this "expert" is at best, talking about a hybrid model).

    That is why it is best for politicians and bureaucrats to refrain from making public statements beyond their area of expertise or knowledge. It sets unrealistic public expectations, which brings unnecessary pressure on those who are trying their best to do the right thing (behind the scenes).

    They should - at most - set the high level agenda (which they have already done) in stating their desire for a new airline and then leave it to their consultants to flesh out the detail around what this might look like and what they believe will best serve their needs.

    They should refrain from any further "shooting from the hip" .... it will otherwise, only serve to embarrass them.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous10:52

    Let's see if they consider LIS and resume flights as it was quite a potential route.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous11:07

    there has not been a lcc with embraers. what are they talking about

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:50

      Jetblue has embraers, what are you talking about

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:09

      they are gonna retire all of them

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:13

      But they still have them

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:29

      But they don't have 1 or 2 or 3 of them.

      Can't be an LCC with 3 aircraft, even if they are the A320/B737 like other LCCs have.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous11:09

    This is all so fishy. It gives me those vibes when someone has a bakery called xxx and then they close it and open the same banker called xxx011, just to avoid creditors.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous11:12

    im afraif they are bigger amateurs then YM were

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous18:00

    A low cost national airline in ex-Yu. That I've gotta see.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous18:01

    Could there be any truth to stories of zee Germans trying to destroy new Montenegro airline like 4K did to Adria??? Nooo way:

    Nemci zainteresovani za novu crnogorsku avio-kompaniju: Ambasador Nemačke Robert Veber posebno je zainteresovan za aktuelnu situaciju u vezi sa Montenegro erlajnsom kao i za dalje planove vlade koji se ticu osnivanja nove nacionalne avio kompanije
    https://www.rtv.rs/sr_lat/region/nemci-zainteresovani-za-novu-crnogorsku-avio-kompaniju_1193899.html

    Ko će biti konsultant za To Montenegro: Na pitanje da li je tačno da će konsultant za ovaj posao biti iz Nemačke, iz resora Vlade je odgovoreno da je moguće, ali da konačna odluka o tome još nije donesena
    https://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/region.php?yyyy=2021&mm=01&dd=20&nav_id=1798127

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous19:24

      LJU Fraport is not supportive of new government airline in Slovenia so similar attitude against ToMontenegro should come as no surprise.

      Other countries like Russia and Serbia send more tourists to Montenegro than Germany but those countries didn't show same interest in new airline as Germany did.

      Delete
  38. Anonymous17:15

    They should collaborate with Izet Rastoder who bought Adria AOC.

    ReplyDelete
  39. April 1 launch date, doesn*t anyone see ... April Fools !!!

    ReplyDelete

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