Open call for Jat bids this summerThe Serbian State Secretary for Aviation, Miodrag Miljković, announced yesterday that the Serbian Government will call for bids for the purchase of the national carrier Jat Airways in August. It was originally planned for the tender to open in June. The call for bids should last until the end of September. The new owner would set up a new national carrier which would take possession of Jat’s aircraft, routes, international agreements and employees. The Serbian Government would also retain some shares in the airline.
The government tried to sell Jat during the summer of 2008, however, not a single airline expressed interest. It is expected that the same will happen this year. Asked if Turkish Airlines was still interested in purchasing Jat, Miljković answered the media, “I hope so”. At the beginning of July, Turkish Airlines CEO, Temel Kotil, said, “There’s no progress in talks to buy a controlling stake in Serbia’s Jat Airways. There are several carriers in Europe and the Balkans that are seeking partners but our board hasn’t made a strategic decision to look for a partner at the moment”.
If the tender fails, the government has said it will provide the finances for Jat to purchase new aircraft. In 2008 it offered a 51% share of the airline for 51 million Euros.