Déjà vu?Adria Airways CEO, Klemen Boštjančič, has announced that if Adria Airways’ pending privatisation process fails, a single airline for the former Yugoslavia will need to be created as no carrier in the region has the chance to survive in the current economic climate. “If the sale of Adria to a foreign partner fails, then our last chance is for regional integration with Croatia Airlines, Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines”, Boštjančič told one of Slovenia’s most popular web portals - “SiOL”. The news comes a week after the Association of European Airlines urged Adria Airways to take a leading role in the integration of the former Yugoslav aviation market.
Adria’s CEO notes that Brussels has already shown support for the creation of a single airline for the former Yugoslavia. “Croatia will soon become an EU member and Serbia and Montenegro are not far off”, Boštjančič adds. However, Adria will first attempt to put itself on the market to foreign airlines. By the end of the month a financial consultant will be chosen to assist the Slovenian carrier with its privatisation process. While Boštjančič says that there is interest in Adria, he notes, “We and the government have to do everything in order for Adria Airways to get a new owner but I do not know whether we will succeed”, adding that regional cooperation must develop simultaneously with the privatisation process. Currently, many bigger players in Europe such as LOT Polish Airlines and Czech Airlines are awaiting privatisation.
Adria Airways already enjoys cooperation with airlines in the former Yugoslavia. It has code share agreements with both Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines. Klemen Boštjančič says that regional integration could fail out of purely political reasons. All of the national EX-YU airlines ended 2011 with multi million euro losses. Once again the debate over a single national carrier for the countries of the former Yugoslavia reopens, 21 years after its break up.