Montenegro Airlines sale to begin in SeptemberThe Government of Montenegro will make a second attempt at privatising its national carrier Montenegro Airlines. The tender will begin next month, according to the Montenegrin press. The government attempted to sell a 30% share of the national carrier last year. Although El Al Israel Airlines, Etihad Airways and Arkia Israel Airlines all purchased the tender documentation, none of them made an offer. The tender outlined that the company which purchased the 30% stake would have the opportunity to be a majority shareholder within 2 years. It is unknown whether the government will offer a bigger stake in the airline this time around. The Montenegrin Tender Commission began preparations for Montenegro’s sale this July.
Since the first failed sale attempt it has been revealed that Montenegro Airlines, a star performer amongst former Yugoslav national carriers, was making big financial losses in proportion to its size, which led it to terminate several routes. A few months ago the Government of Montenegro wrote off 3.2 million Euros worth of debt made by the national carrier. Montenegro Airlines says that a new tender won’t impact on its operations or plans to expand its fleet in the hope of cutting losses. The airline recorded a loss of 3.6 million Euros in 2010 which is expected to rise this year.