Montenegro Airlines could order two larger jets to replace its Fokker 100s as part of a refleeting plan.

Speaking to FlightGlobal in Podgorica on 6 September, chief executive Zivko Banjevic said the flag carrier was considering either becoming an all-Embraer operator or ordering "larger jets", such as Boeing 737-7s, to replace its two ageing Fokkers, which are to be retired in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Taking two Embraer 195s would involve "trying to find additional aircraft over the summer", he indicates.

The airline has not decided how it would finance additions to its fleet, but Banjevic stresses that cost calculations have assumed "operational lease only".

He says the airline has forecast that replacing the Fokkers with 737 Max jets would add €1.5-2 million ($1.8-2.4 million) to annual costs, but believes this could be offset by higher utilisation rates and that, with more seats on sale, the net effect could be "near to zero".

Max jets could open up new markets for the airline, he notes, citing their ability to serve destinations as far as Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia or Halifax in Canada.

However, Banjevic emphasises that final decisions on the fleet rest with the Montenegrin government, which owns the carrier.

Next year, Montenegro Airlines will lease in an aircraft "larger than 140 seats", most likely a 737 Classic or Next-Generation narrowbody, to boost summer capacity.

Banjevic says the aircraft will be leased for six months.

Source: Cirium Dashboard