The government will pay USD 5.2 million to the Brazilian BNDS bank for the purchase of Embraer registration number 4O-AOC, code name Charlie, the Ministry of Capital Investments announced to Pobjeda.
At the Government session on Thursday, it was announced that representatives of the Montenegrin and Brazilian governments have completed the negotiation process and determined the price, which they did not specify at the time.
– The established amount of the amount to be determined is 5.2 million USD, and the funds will be settled from the budget reserve – Ministry said.
The State Secretary of the Ministry, Admir Šahmanović, announced on Thursday that he is now just waiting for the opinion of the protector of property and legal interests, in order to move to the second phase and propose to the Government to purchase the aircraft. The Ministry Informed the Pobjeda newsroom that after the purchase, the owner of this plane will be the Government.
– The government will look at all possibilities to consider the option of renting the aircraft, that is, leasing it to the company ToMontenegro, after the service and putting the plane in airworthy condition – the Ministry said, but they did not specify how much it will cost to return the plane to airworthy condition.
Charlie has been parked at the airport in Podgorica for the last two years and is in a bad condition, and it was previously said that at least eight million USD is needed to restore it to airworthy condition. Airplane Charlie was used by the former national flag carrier Montenegro Airlines (MA) on the basis of a financial lease with the Brazilian BNDS bank.
In 2010, the government guaranteed the Brazilians that, in the event that MA does not settle all obligations, it will provide them with the redelivery of the aircraft. As MA owed four installments, the Brazilians demanded that the Government pay them 5.2 million USD, or deliver the plane, which would cost the state 12 million.
In 2021, BNDS, which owns the plane, unsuccessfully negotiated with ToMontenegro and the Government of Zdravko Krivokapić about the purchase of Charlie, asking them to pay them USD 5.3 million in three annual installments. The government of Krivokapić approved the purchase of the plane in June 2021, but the ToMontenegro company later gave up and informed the government on November 16, 2021 that it did not have the money for it.
Pobjeda previously announced that Charlie was missing one engine and that his landing gear had failed. The former bankruptcy administration of MA, while the bankruptcy administrator was Saša Zejak, previously claimed that ToMontenegro was removing parts from Charlie without authorization and installing them in its two Embraers, which the state company denied.
As a result, the bankruptcy administration filed a criminal complaint with the Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica against several unknown persons. On Thursday, the government decided to pay ToMontenegro EUR 113.95 thousand from the budget reserve for the insurance of that plane.