Air Montenegro to launch inaugural flight on June 10 – AirlineGeeks.com
By Taylor Rains
Air Montenegro will launch its inaugural flight on June 10
Only six months after the disappearance of Montenegro Airlines in December 2020, the country has a new national carrier ready to fly: Air Montenegro. Incorporated as “ToMontenegro”, but marketed as Air Montenegro, the airline was awarded € 4,000,000 ($ 4.9 million) for start-up costs in January. Now, after a quick setup, the airline has four flights on sale and will launch its inaugural flight from Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, on June 10.
After just six months of planning, Air Montenegro will launch two flights on June 10. From Podgorica to Belgrade, daily flights will leave at 7:05 am and arrive at 7:50 am. The return flight will have a rotating schedule.
Flights between Tivat and Belgrade will operate twice a day: the first departs at 10:00 am and lands at 10:50 am, and the second operates on a rotating schedule. The 50-minute round trip flights will depart at 8:30 am and 11:30 am. On Thursday, only one flight will be operated: a one-way at 10:00 a.m. and a return at 8:30 a.m.
Since December 2020, Air Serbia has mobilized to bridge the gaps between its capital and the cities of Montégren; however, Air Montenegro hopes to fuel the competition with its own service.
In addition to flights to Serbia, Air Montenegro is relaunching two routes initially taken by Montenegro Airlines. The following flights are scheduled to launch on June 27.
Tivat in Ljubljana will operate three times a week with rotating departure times for the outward and return trip. From Tivat to Banja Luka, a bi-weekly service will leave at 4.30 p.m. and arrive at 5.20 p.m., while the return will leave at 6 p.m. and arrive at 6:50 p.m.
Aeronautical publications EX-YU Aviation News Round-trip economy class fares to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana will start at 129 EUR ($ 158) and round-trip fares to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina will start at 89 EUR ($ 109).
“Due to market demand and the strong interest expressed by travelers from Banja Luka and Ljubljana to travel to Montenegro, the management of the company has decided to launch these two routes,” said the CEO of the airline Predrag Todorović.
Before the demise of Montenegro Airlines, Podgorica to Ljubljana was its fourth busiest route, with 55,758 passengers carried between the two capitals in 2019.
Air Montenegro’s ambition to start operations just six months after the fall of its predecessor is interesting, but the question is whether it will succeed. Based on comments in the EX-YU Aviation News article, the public is excited about the airline and expecting good things, but some believe it may have been rushed. Additionally, the carrier’s fares to Belgrade during the week are actually higher than Air Serbia’s, so it may be more difficult than expected to influence passenger loyalty.
Nevertheless, the company wishes to expand its network. Todorović said: “We anticipate the introduction of additional new routes in the coming period.”
According to EX-YU Aviation News, Montenegro’s Secretary of State Zoran Radunović said the airline is planning to launch flights to Frankfurt and is also considering Istanbul.
By the end of June, Air Montenegro’s fleet will consist of two Embraer 195 jets acquired from defunct Montenegro Airlines and which will be painted entirely white. According to CEO Predrag Todorović, while planning a summer launch, the airline had yet to decide on a visual identity. Therefore, to get the plane flying as quickly as possible, the company and the Montenegrin government have chosen to keep the planes bare for the time being. However, the CEO said the original livery was “fantastic” and will be used for Air Montenegro planes.
The brand will be rolled out in phases from October, so passengers should expect to see both Embraer jets sporting the corporate livery later this year or early 2022.
As for the product, Air Montenegro will operate as a full-service carrier, although it initially planned to apply a low-cost business model. Passengers can book economy or business class, which currently only have one type of fare. Economy fares include one 23 kg checked baggage and free date changes up to one day before departure, while Business Class includes two free 23 kg checked bags, free date changes and refunds.
While Air Montenegro’s first commercial flight will take place on June 10, its actual inaugural flight was on June 1. The company chartered the Montenegrin national football team to Sarajevo for a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.