A new deal on the horizon?Serbia’s troubled national carrier Jat Airways is negotiating with one of the world’s largest banks, the American Citibank. After a meeting with the Serbian national carrier yesterday, Citibank officials say that they see Jat as a potential new partner. It is believed Jat would request a multi million dollar loan from Citibank to cover outstanding costs and would invest left over funds into its delayed fleet renewal programme. In the past, Jat had extreme difficulty in obtaining loans from banks because the Serbian government would never guarantee that Jat would return the money and thus banks were not intent on helping Jat. However, the government recently announced that it guarantees the return of all of Jat’s loans, reiterating again that it will firmly stand besides Jat. Jat is also negotiating with Banca Intesa, Komercijalna banka and another Serbian bank for a possible loan.
Last week, on Thursday, the Serbian president and prime minister met with the CEO’s of Serbia’s government owned companies and agreed that all loans Jat has to the Serbian National Petroleum Industry and Belgrade Airport will be written off. Jat pays some of the highest prices for the use of kerosene in Europe.
Meanwhile, in 10 days, a Boeing delegation will arrive in Belgrade for a fresh round of talks with Jat. The news comes only a week after Jat officials met with a delegation from Airbus.