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Good ideas and investments lead to high aviation standards

28/12/2021

We are creating better conditions for employees and investing in educating people who shoulder the burden of everyday responsibilities. We connected the Airports of Montenegro with European partners and brought large companies to the Montenegrin airfields, says Mr. Jandreoski

The Airports of Montenegro are very important for tourism and the economy of the country, because we are primarily air destination and the focus should be on the activities which bring revenues to Montenegro and our company, such as the development of new routes i.e. destinations. The priority of the Airports of Montenegro is to increase the number of passengers, improve the infrastructure in order to meet this goal and improve the service. In cooperation with the line ministry we are creating support measures for our partners so as to be attractive during the winter season and next year, says in the interview for Glasnik Mr. Goran Jandreoski, the director of the Airports of Montenegro.

Glasnik: Mr. Jandreoski, you have been the director of the Airports of Montenegro for six months. We would appreciate if you could evaluate the results achieved in the short period and, as a man who has been engaged in the aviation for many years, share your impressions of the situation and perspectives of the company you run.

G. Jandreoski: The results I have achieved with my assistants, associates and in cooperation with the Board of Directors will be evaluated by the employees of the Airports of Montenegro, the users of our services and the citizens. I can say that I was putting efforts to pass my knowledge on them and by my personal example to demonstrate that we must work dedicatedly, because, in my opinion, if employees see diligent work of the director, they will follow his example. During my professional engagement in the company, the cooperation has been established with key managers of the business processes and in all organizational units. From this position, I can also notice that the employees at the Airports of Montenegro are not accustomed to an honest and fair attitude towards them. Being fair and honest is not appreciated, which makes me very sad. In such circumstances, it is difficult to work for the benefit of the company.

Certainly, under the circumstances in which we work, such as the coronavirus pandemic, dealing with the remaining issues and daily exposure to attacks, which are not motivated by professional but some other type of reason, I think that the results achieved during this time are more than good.

We are creating better conditions for employees and investing in the education of people who shoulder the burden of everyday responsibilities. We connected the Airports of Montenegro with European partners, brought large companies to Montenegrin airfields.

When it comes to the technical conditions of the Montenegrin airports, we must divide them into two segments - airside and landside. According to my criteria, on a scale from one to five, the airside in Podgorica is currently rated third, and in Tivat second. Therefore, I have a very ambitious technical plan for both airports. 

The situation is much worse if we talk about landside - roofs are leaking on both terminals, electrical installations are in good condition, the IT infrastructure needs to be upgraded, energy is at an enviable level. My associates, the Board of Directors and I are trying to eliminate all the shortcomings and bring Montenegrin airports to the position they deserve.

Unfortunately, I must also mention very important factor for the work environment. Interpersonal relations in the company are at a very low level, which disappointed me, because I come from a world where coworkers are true colleagues, always ready to share the burden. Such a situation is unusual for a company where there are excellent working conditions, but one encounters new challenges every day. Therefore, I believe that I will successfully cope with this issue, together with people from the Airports of Montenegro, who recognize unhealthy work environment as a challenge which is to be overcome by achieving the best results.

Glasnik: To what extent is it different to manage the Airports of Montenegro compared to the Skopje Airport? Are there similar challenges and opportunities to apply similar solutions in order to overcome them?

G. Jandreoski: Personnel policy solutions are quite different, as well as the capacity of personnel, especially their knowledge of aviation. This primarily refers to the staff that I encountered in the Airports of Montenegro, which is several hundred employees, some of whom do not have enviable international experience and knowledge of aviation. However, I think that this can be corrected by investing in education. The principle of the challenge is completely different - in Macedonia, aviation comes first. Unfortunately, priorities in Montenegro are quite different.

Glasnik: This was another year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the business challenges it brings. How do the Airports "overcome" the pandemic crisis which, at least in the first year, caused a significant drop in the company's revenues?

G. Jandreoski: For the second year in a row, the coronavirus pandemic has been disrupting the lives of all mankind, and thus business operations. Despite that, the Airports of Montenegro in 2021 reached 50 percent of flights from the record 2019, we generated about 45 percent of revenues, brought several large airlines to Montenegro and we do not stop. We are trying to make these results even better. We are financially stable, thanks to the activities undertaken before my appointment, which relate to the state's debts to the Airports of Montenegro. I take this opportunity to remind you that we are the second most successful company in the country.

Glasnik: What are your business forecasts for 2022 and what are the planned activities regarding the work improvement of the Airports of Montenegro? From how many destinations do you expect airline companies next year and can we expect flights of some new airlines to and from Montenegro?

G. Jandreoski: We have set a number of goals, which we are working hard to achieve. The most important goal is certainly to improve and achieve high aviation standards and to receive a certificate for the Airport in Podgorica in the first half of 2022 and for the Airport in Tivat by the end of the year. We plan to invest in infrastructure in a reasonable way, because these are the funds of the citizens, not our own. It is important to note that our infrastructure is used not only by civil aviation, but also by the Ministry of Interior and the Army of Montenegro, so with them we will plan investments and maintain the level of security, which is our motto. The equipment and infrastructure on the airside must be at a very high level, which are not cheap items.  

Glasnik: What are the company's plans for improving the airports in Golubovci and Tivat?

G. Jandreoski: With the support of the Board of Directors, we have changed the public procurement procedure for all important infrastructure projects for Tivat and Podgorica, which concerns the international certification of these two airports. In cooperation with the Air Montenegro, the Ministries of Capital Investments and Economic Development, we are planning to attract low-budget companies from new strategic destinations. We are planning to invest in the infrastructure improvement and rehabilitation of terminal buildings in Tivat and Podgorica. We have many more projects, which are in the conceptual design phase and when we get closer their implementation, it will be our pleasure to make them public.

Glasnik: Foreign tourists perceive Montenegro primarily as an air destination. In your opinion, how can we improve the airline destination and thus attract more guests who come to our country by plane?

G. Jandreoski: Good ideas and investments bring improvements and we have the support of the line ministry to work on increasing the number of air lines from Podgorica and Tivat. The Airports of Montenegro are very important for tourism and economy of the country, because we are primarily an air destination and the focus should be on activities which bring revenues to Montenegro and our company, such as the development of new routes i.e. destinations. Our priority is to increase the number of passengers, improve the infrastructure in order to meet this goal and improve the service. In cooperation with the line ministry we want to create support measures for our partners to be attractive during the winter season and next year.

Glasnik: The Airports of Montenegro would like to participate in the project European Connectivity for Regional Airports ECRA. We would appreciate if you could tell us more about this project and its importance for the Montenegrin Airports.

G. Jandreoski: The Airports of Montenegro are part of the ECRA project in EUROCONTROL. Unfortunately, the capacities of our staff are currently weak and we are trying to keep up with the global trends. ECRA is a process contributing to the European concept of cooperation and coordination with airports and airline companies, first of all with EUROCONTOL. In addition to 14 Greek airports, our two airports are now part of the ECRA project, which is very important, because that connection will bring us benefits.  

Glasnik: Turbulence is a term which refers to aviation, but it is very present in everyday public life in Montenegro. You are successfully defending yourself from the statements that you came with the mission to sell the Airports of Montenegro. Is there any truth in these stories and what is your vision of the company development in the medium run?

G. Jandreoski: Of course I did not come with that mission, I came to work the way I know best - professionally, as I worked everywhere and to represent the interests of the company and the state. The stories that I came to Montenegro to sell the Airports are not true and that’s only talk, as it is said in Montenegro, malicious nonsense. After all, let me remind you that the decision on a possible concession is not made by the executive director or the Board of Directors, but by the Government. Whether and what kind of decision will be made has nothing to do with my engagement, because I am engaged to take care of the best interests of the Airports of Montenegro and I am doing so.

In addition to increasing the number of connections, which is our priority while ensuring maximum safety and security of passengers and aircraft, supported by employees and having the understanding of the Board of Directors, I am working hard on establishing potential strategic routes, which are very important for the economy and citizens of Montenegro. This is the focus for next year, during which, I believe, both airports will be awarded with a certificate. In Brussels, we took the first step towards making Montenegrin airports green and expressed interest in making the Tivat airport an airline drone station. I am also thinking about creating conditions for employees to get uniforms for the first time after 17 years, instead of buying them themselves. It’s just part of what I do. 

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