Government looks to Russia for Jat solutionThe Serbian government will attempt to find Jat Airways’ strategic partner in Russia. It will be the second time Russia has been seen as Jat’s potential saviour. In 2008, talks were held between the Serbian carrier and Aeroflot regarding a possible takeover. However, in the end the Russian national airline said it had lost interest in its Serbian counterpart. The Serbian Minister for Transport, Milutin Mrkonjić, has said that the government plans to retain a majority share in Jat but that a partner is needed as the current status quo is unsustainable.
A high ranking delegation, which includes the Serbian President and Prime Minister are set to travel to Russia soon to discuss economic cooperation. Furthermore, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is scheduled to visit Serbia in December. Some state officials have said, in the past, that Aeroflot’s takeover of Jat in 2008 was a done deal but was blocked by certain politicians. However, inside sources at Jat have confirmed that Aeroflot was never interested in the Serbian carrier.
Meanwhile, Jat is set to get a new management within a month. Local media have reported that the Serbian Socialist Party has been given control over the state carrier and will nominate an acting CEO soon. Since 2008, Jat has been controlled by the Democratic Party. Within the four year scope the company has changed three CEOs. Following elections in May, the Democrats became the country’s main opposition party.