Airbus offers Jat four A320sAirbus is threatening to take Jat to court after its offer to the government to finally settle the dispute with the airline went unanswered. Airbus is looking to resolve a 14 year old quarrel with Jat. In 1998, the Yugoslav government ordered eight Airbus A319s for its national carrier, a highly unfavourable and politically motivated deal worth 560 million dollars at the time. Despite a deposit of 23.5 million dollars, the aircraft were never delivered. The latest problem came last week after a draft Airbus proposal to the Serbian government was publicised. Airbus is now offering four A320s to Jat for delivery until 2015. Under favourable terms, the European plane manufacturer would be inclined to even deliver all four aircraft immediately from its stockpiles. However, even after eleven attempts to contact the government, the State Secretary for Aviation, Miodrag Miljković, member of the United Regions of Serbia Party, didn’t bother to answer.
The Serbian government formed a task group two years ago to resolve the issue. However, they have never even met up. The TangoSix portal reveals that Miljković, instead of bothering with the Airbus deal, is hard at work lobbying in the interests of Wizz Air and is actively seeking for the low cost airline to be granted a bigger share of the Serbian aviation market.
Since, the latest row hit the media, the government has been in damage control saying at first that such pressure from Airbus is unnecessary ahead of parliamentary and local elections which are to take place in the country this May. Later the government said it needs more time to study the draft proposal. It seems that once again a complete disinterest in Jat on the part of the ruling elite has been shown. Airbus has given the government until March 30 to respond, either it will take Jat to court.