Jat sale - take twoThe Serbian Government has confirmed that its tender for the sale of Jat Airways will begin on Monday, August 1. The terms of the tender will be extremely flexible. The conditions are that the new owner must be an airline or aviation consortium. Once they take over Jat they must continue cooperation with Jat Tehnika and Jat Catering, which were separated from Jat several years ago. The new owner will be required to buy Jat and set up a new national airline, to be operational by the beginning of 2012. The new owner will also be a majority shareholder and it will be up to them to decide whether to close Jat or keep it as a charter airline. The new national airline would take over Jat’s slots, employees, route network and so on, while the new owner will be required to purchase new aircraft. All other details will be negotiated directly with the government, including the price.
Companies have until September 30 to purchase the tender documentation. A similar sale ended up in failure in 2008 as no companies answered to the government’s call. If history repeats itself the government will not set up a new airline, rather, it will keep Jat Airways in its current form.
Currently, the only national EX-YU carrier successfully privatised is B&H Airlines, with Turkish Airlines having a 49% share in the Bosnian carrier. Montenegro Airlines’ sale failed last year as no one was interested in the 30% of shares offered by the government. There are increasing calls for the debt ridden Adria Airways to be sold as well.