We want to become a globally recognisable brand in aviation and are ready to put in creative and dedicated work to turn that idea into a new value. These qualities are attracting some of the most renowned companies in this field from Europe and around the world, which are interested in partnerships with, and investment in, Fly Montenegro Group
Over the past 12 years, Fly Montenegro has developed from a start-up company to become a recognised brand in the field of aviation, having established successful cooperation with numerous airlines and aviation operators from around the world. The company has also established strong contacts with potential parties wishing to invest in Montenegro and its further development. Standing behind this great success is one woman, Ana Marojević, the founder and executive director of the Fly Montenegro Group, with whom we spoke about how the company and Montenegrin tourism have grown together by feeding on each other’s successes.
“The company was established with the primary aim of providing aviation services, but also developing tourism and increasing the accessibility of Montenegro by air through the enabling of access to new markets,” explains Marojević.
“From year to year, the company has made remarkable progress by increasing the number of flights and the number of tourists visiting Montenegro. Thanks to a great deal of energy, funding and other resources that we put into our essential activities to attract specific markets, the tourist potential of Montenegro developed more and our company achieved positive results that are present even today.
How has the pandemic impacted on these positive trends?
– Given that Montenegro belongs to the group of countries that generate the highest share of their GDP from tourism, this is an opportunity for serious consideration of the overall national strategy in this field. All our companies from the group have taken advantage of this pandemic period to reorganise their businesses in line with global trends. We have laid the new foundations of a survival strategy for our companies and their future development.
I consider it especially important that during the pandemic – which has been characterised by a huge decline in the aviation industry, increased risks in tourism and air traffic, and a complete lack of interest among large tour operators – we launched the first flights after Montenegro reopened its borders. During the crisis and risky situations, we remained loyal to our country and our partners and were ready and organised to achieve the greatest possible result under the given circumstances.
Many today believe that Montenegro should diversify its economy, and that putting all of it cards in tourism made the country more vulnerable to the pandemic than others. What is your opinion?
– Although the economy of Montenegro will develop through various branches, it is indisputable that tourism and transport remain the main pillars of the country’s development. The competition in this area is really huge and we must do everything to increase the quality of services. That should be our imperative. We must admit that we are lagging behind the European Union when it comes to the development of these services. Therefore, the strategy and development plans, as well as investing in the development of air transport services, are core activities of Fly Montenegro Group’s operations.
As demand for Montenegro grows, it will be necessary to improve the infrastructure and facilities in order to be able to host everyone and offer a quality stay in the country.
Are the activities of the Government of Montenegro well directed towards the further development of tourism?
– If we look back at a long period of time that is behind us, we can state that tourism and transport were fields that the Government paid considerable attention to, which ultimately resulted in high growth rates in both fields and Montenegro becoming a recognisable and attractive destination for travel and tourism.
However, competition is intensifying in these areas. Many countries with economies that rely heavily on tourism and transport have started introducing new strategic concepts based on their potential and comparative advantages in order to better position themselves on the tourism market. Such trends are very present in the immediate vicinity of Montenegro. For instance, Albania has chosen a serious strategic partner for the construction of a super luxury marina in Durres, in the famous and renowned Emaar from Dubai.
Fly Montenegro group in figures
– Fly Montenegro Group today consists of the companies Fly Montenegro Ground Handling, Flystar Flight Support and Fly Montenegro Travel
– 12 years in existence
– 14.1% average growth rate
– 60 million euros paid to Montenegrin Airports for services rendered
– 80-million-euro share in the Montenegrin GDP
– 137 million euros paid to hotels and private accommodation establishments for tourists who’ve visited Montenegro
– 40 airports in the Balkans and Southeast Europe where Fly Montenegro Group services are provided
This is a signal and an incentive telling us that we must quickly redefine our development strategy in the field of tourism, which would ultimately result in having a complete and improved tourist product.
Having prestigious resorts like Portonovi, Porto Montenegro, Luštica Bay and others, on such limited and outdated infrastructure, is proof of dynamic inconsistency and poor planning.
I believe that the Government of Montenegro is aware of these limitations and is already considering improving capacities in terms of infrastructure, accommodation, services and logistics.
In your opinion, what is the most effective way to improve the competitiveness of air transport segments that are vital for raising the quality of Montenegro’s tourism offer?
– A significant increase in business aviation, which will certainly be a trend in the coming years, along with the existing prestigious resorts on the Montenegrin coast, require the improvement of infrastructure at both airports as quickly as possible.
The best way to achieve this is to find renowned strategic partners from the aviation industry, ground handling and business aviation. Bringing such renowned brands to Montenegro would contribute to developing air services in our country in a short period and would provide for the greater air connectivity of our airports. At the same time, it would improve security, logistics, infrastructure, the training of specialised personnel and other high-quality services.
With construction of a modern VIP terminal at the airport in Tivat, Montenegro would become competitive with other well-known VIP terminals and luxury destinations, such as Nice, Olbia, Ibiza and others.
With the implementation of such innovative projects, Montenegro would be branded both as an elite tourist zone and as a destination for top investors.
Where do you see the company in the near future?
– Our vision is to become a globally recognisable brand in aviation. Our goal is to provide high quality services, safety and security levels that are in accordance with EU and IATA standards to all our clients, airlines from all over the world and their passengers.
We are ready to participate significantly to supplementing airports’ infrastructure, with a globally renowned brand. Here we would focus primarily on the much-needed VIP facilities and terminals, to cater for the upcoming traffic increase in general aviation, given that one of our companies, Flystar Flight Support, is the most referenced company in the region when it comes to business aviation. We also provide services at 40 airports in the Balkans and around Southeast Europe.