2 Flag Carriers: Montenegro Airlines Returns To Contest Air Montenegro

Montenegro Airlines is coming back: the restructuring plan submitted by the airline’s bankruptcy manager has been accepted, so the company will now resume some of its operations. It is also hoping to regain its EASA Part 145 Approval. At the same time, Air Montenegro, the new national airline set up only recently, will keep flying.

Montenegro Airlines Fokker 100 Frankfurt Airport
Montenegro Airlines, the old flag carrier, will now co-exist with Air Montenegro, the new flag carrier. Photo: Tom Boon, Simple Flying

Montenegro Airlines is back

Montenegro Airlines, the flag carrier of Montenegro that was shut down in December 2020, has had its restructuring plan approved. This means the airline will slowly begin resuming many of its previous business activities and re-hiring some of its former staff.

The assistant to Saša Zejak, the airline’s bankruptcy manager, revealed to the Vikend newspaper that Montenegro Airlines’ first business activity to resume will be the re-opening of its offices. Once they re-open, Montenegro Airlines would be selling flight tickets there – including for the new flag carrier of the country, Air Montenegro.

The assistant, Dina Šabotić, named Air Montenegro as a strategic partner for Montenegro Airlines, but she also said that Montenegro Airlines will be selling tickets for flights of “all airlines.” It remains unclear what this means in practice.

She also said the following (translated):

“A portion of our staff will be returned to work. Along with re-opening our offices, we will be offering passenger shuttle services, just as Montenegro Airlines used to do before thanks to its large fleet of vehicles that are on average just a few years old.”

Air Montenegro
No Air Montenegro officials have so far commented on this news. Photo: Air Montenegro

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What else will Montenegro Airlines do?

Notably, it was also revealed that Montenegro Airlines is in the process of regaining its Part-145.

Part 145 Approval is a certification awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency for companies that meet the European Commission Regulation standards of design and maintenance of aircraft components.

If Montenegro Airlines is re-awarded its lost Part-145, it will start offering aircraft maintenance services to the new flag carrier, Air Montenegro.

The business offices formerly in use by Montenegro Airlines, located in Belgrade and in Podgorica, will be rented out. The assistant to Montenegro Airlines’ bankruptcy manager said there is much interest in these offices.

2 Flag Carriers: Montenegro Airlines Returns To Contest Air Montenegro
Montenegro Airlines wants Air Montenegro to stop using its logo with immediate effect. Photo: Air Montenegro

Will Montenegro Airlines fly again?

Despite calling Air Montenegro a “partner”, Montenegro Airlines is not on good terms with the new flag carrier of Montenegro. It recently launched a court case against Air Montenegro for using a component of its logo in its new corporate branding.

Montenegro Airlines is no longer in possession of its Embraer aircraft because these have been transferred over to Air Montenegro.

However, Montenegro Airlines remains in possession of a Fokker 100 aircraft which may well end up taking off at some point. This is highly unlikely, but with all the developments surrounding this story over the last seven months, even this remains a possibility.

What do you think of the news that Montenegro Airlines now exists at the same time as Air Montenegro? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments.