Government writes off debtThe Government of Montenegro has announced it will write off 3.2 million Euros of debt amassed by the national carrier between 2002 and 2006. The government said the cash injection will be treated as state aid. Earlier in the year it was revealed that Montenegro Airlines has significant financial problems and was forced to terminate flights to 2 destinations as a result. More recently, the operator of Montenegro’s two international airports said that the national carrier owes 6.2 million Euros to Podgorica and Tivat airports. The airline has already received 9.6 million Euros from the government this year (4.6 million for opening new destinations, 4 million for the purchase of new aircraft and the rest for the overhaul of a grounded Fokker F100).
The President of the Financial Board of the Montenegrin Parliament criticised the government’s action stating, “This is the government’s most beloved company and it will always come out and help it. This is bad news because 3 million Euros will be paid by someone else; by the citizens, unemployed, workers and other companies in need of aid”.
Zoran Djurišić, Montenegro Airlines’ CEO, was elected for another term at the helm of the national carrier by the Montenegrin government earlier last week. He has led the airline for the past 17 years.