As of today, Montenegro Airlines ceased operations. This is because the government will not support the financially the company.
An announcement on the carrier’s website reads:
“We inform you that as of December 26, 2020, we will completely suspend all flights. The safety of passengers, crew and aircraft has been a priority for the company from its inception until today.”Montenegro Airlines
A new company coming in 9 months
Montenegro’s new government on Thursday ordered the closure of national airline, citing debts racked up under previous governments. Earlier, Capital Investments Minister Mladen Bojanic said it would cost 50 million euros to close the flag carrier. It would take take up to nine months to create a new one.
“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. We contacted airlines in the region. We had consultants from Germany and Austria. But we can’t make a single decision that would save Montenegro Airlines and be in line with the law.”Minister Mladen Bojanic
The announced closure triggered criticism from company management and opposition parties. They warned of the impact on the vital tourism sector.
In a statement, the airline says:
“The Montenegrin government’s decision to shut down our company will have a negative impact on the entire aviation sector.”Montenegro Airlines
The airline carried some ten million passengers over the past two and a half decades. Now over 350 people are losing their jobs.
The Montenegrin carrier foundation dates back in 1994. But the first commercial flight took place on 7 May 1997, at exactly 10:30 between Podgorica and Bari, Italy.