Croatia Airlines interested in acquiring stake in Montenegro Airlines – report

By bne IntelliNews April 9, 2015

Representatives of the national carrier Croatia Airlines have met Montenegro’s transport minister Ivan Brajovic, seeking to discuss strategic partnership with the flag carrier Montenegro Airlines and acquisition of a stake in the Montenegrin company, reported, quoting unofficial information of the local daily Pobjeda.

Montenegro plans to offer for sale its flag carrier this year. In February, daily Dnevne Novine reported that, according to unofficial information, UAE’s Etihad Airways has expressed interest to acquire Montenegro Airlines, to move the carrier’s headquarter to Serbia’s capital Belgrade and reduce the number of employees to 120 from 450 in case of acquisition.

The head of tender committee, Branko Vujovic, said the country should protect its interests and keep several key international routes in case it sells Montenegro Airline. In his opinion, the country should preserve the flights to Vienna, Rome, London, Moscow, Paris and Frankfurt.

Montenegro Airlines transported 557,000 passengers in 2014, down 5% y/y, as the company reduced its fleet to 6 planes last year from 7 in 2013. The number of passengers transported to or from Serbia’s capital Belgrade increased 3% y/y to 255,000 passengers, while the passengers to and from Moscow rose by 1% y/y to 95,000.

Montenegro Airlines plans to launch flights to Croatian capital Zagreb by June 2015.

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