Montenegro Airlines suspended operations on December 26, 2020. (Bankruptcy)
Montenegro Airlines, the national airline of Montenegro ceased operations on December 26, 2020. 360 employees lost their jobs. The Montenegrin carrier suffered heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flight YM103 from Belgrade (Serbia) to Podgorica on Christmas Day was the last flight operated by Montenegro Airlines. As a tribute, the pilots drew a heart, partially changing the flight path.
Montenegro Airlines was established in 1994, towards the end of the Yugoslav civil war. The company has been financially supported by the government of the former Yugoslav republic for most of its existence. The fleet consisted of only 4 aircraft: 3 x Embraer 195 and 1 x Fokker 100 (which was 31 years old).
A new airline will be established in the next 6 months.
In 2019, the airline carried 657.276 passengers, compared to Ryanair, which can carry the same number of passengers in just 2 days.
In early March, shortly before the pandemic caused an almost complete closure of aviation across Europe, Montenegro Airlines has announced plans to restructure and close its offices in Europe.
A rescue plan was also being drawn up, which needed state aid of more than EUR 150 million, but the aid was declared illegal by the Montenegrin Competition Council.
Unfortunately, no solution was found to save the airline. The Podgorica government has announced plans to set up another national airline in the next six months.