The Airbus A320 plane, which Air Montenegro leased from Lithuanian Heston, had its first flight to Tel Aviv yesterday and brought the first tourists from that country.
– The A320 plane with 180 seats was rented at the so-called block hour. It is estimated that they will achieve 2,000 flight hours and transport 120,000 passengers from March 28 to November 1 – it was said from Air Montenegro.
They explained that after a public call, Heston’s offer was chosen as the most favorable.
– Aircraft lease contracts have a specific form and numerous elements are specially treated. At the same time, they are international and no matter how standardized they are, they work out numerous details, from commercial to technical-technological. As a rule, lease prices are confidential at the lessor’s request – Air Montenegro answered the question of how much it will cost to rent that plane.
They said that their last year’s partner, Trade Air, did not offer an airplane under the requested conditions this year.
– The offer was much scarcer due to the renewed “boom” of air traffic after the covid crisis, and the aircraft were significantly more expensive – they announced from Air Montenegro and stated that they have a number of contracts with tour operators based on aircraft with a capacity of more than 180 seats. These are tour operators Esheet Travel and Arkia for a series of charter flights to Tel Aviv three to five times a week, Sputnik Travel for a series of flights to Yerevan, with MTO, Luminalis and TUI France for a series of flights to Nantes, Lyon and Paris. In addition, that plane, they say, will fly to Egypt and Poland.
They explained that through a series of conversations with tour operators, they concluded “that the existing fleet of Air Montenegro, with planes with a capacity of 116 seats, is not competitive for the high summer tourist season” and that this was confirmed by experts from Lufthansa Systems, Airbus and Boeing, who were in the situation to analyze processes in the company. They stated that Boeing had also done an analysis of profitability in relation to capacity.
– Based on the analysis of average prices at the level of the network from 2019, and at the level of the average route of the range of 860 km, the current type of aircraft in the fleet of Air Montenegro E195 with 116 seats on long distances, which is the case in summer, has no room for additional income after covering costs, compared to an aircraft with a capacity of 180 seats – said Air Montenegro.
The official statistics of Podgorica Airport show that the average number of transported passengers is 134 per flight (13 more than in 2021), and 119 passengers at Tivat Airport.
– The top 12 destinations by average number of passengers to Montenegro in 2022 were served by planes with a capacity of more than 180 passengers – said Air Montenegro.
The lease of the aircraft to Air Serbia expires on April 18
Air Montenegro said that the current contract for renting one plane to Air Serbia expires on April 18.
– It was not a classic rental, because that plane was always carrying out part of the traffic for Air Montenegro. After the contract expires, it will be included in our summer flight schedule – said Air Montenegro.
20 flights per week to Tivat and Podgorica
They stated that during the summer season they will have 20 flights per week from Podgorica and the same number from Tivat. Air Serbia has 40 weekly flights to Tivat and 21 to Podgorica.
– The significantly higher number of Air Serbia flights, especially to Tivat, is a consequence of their connected flights from other European destinations via Belgrade, which tourists use to come to Montenegro, as well as our need to adequately cover other markets, except Serbia, with our limited capacity. – they said from Air Montenegro.
They added that Air Montenegro plans to transport 450,000 passengers this year, 100,000 more than last year.
2.5 million in minus
At the end of last year, ToMontenegro was in the red by 2.45 million euros, the financial report shows. This is a better business result compared to the previous year, when the minus was 4.96 million euros.
The company earned EUR 42.4 million and spent EUR 45 million, of which EUR 3.7 million on wages.