Montenegro Airlines a.d., operating as Montenegro Airlines, is the flag carrier of Montenegro, headquartered in Podgorica. The company is currently completely state-owned and enjoys financial and protectionist support from the government. It operates scheduled services in Europe, as well as charter flights throughout Europe during the summer months. Its primary hub is Podgorica Airport, and a second base is maintained at Tivat Airport. There are no domestic flights because the two airports are too close to each other, with only 80 km (50 Mi) keeping them apart.
The airline was founded on October 24, 1994 by the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The first aircraft, a Fokker 28 Mk4000 (nicknamed “Lovćen”), was purchased almost two years later in 1996. The first commercial flight took place on May 7, 1997, at exactly 10:30 between Podgorica and Bari, Itália. Montenegro Airlines became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Montenegro Airlines’ pilots were the first in the region to be granted the IIIA certificate. On July 2 of the same year the airline carried its millionth passenger. After the Montenegrin independence referendum, Serbia became an international market for Montenegrin companies. Montenegro Airlines had to cease international flights from Serbia to countries other than Montenegro, thus losing the profitable Niš – Zurich line, due to lack of Seventh Freedom policy. In an effort to circumvent this, Montenegro Airlines registered a separate airline in Serbia called Master Airways, but it was denied an operating license allegedly due to Serbian Government protectionist policies.
Montenegro Airlines registered a separate airline in Serbia called Master Airways, but it was denied an operating license allegedly due to Serbian Government protectionist policies.
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