New talks for new jets
The Serbian government will resume talks with Airbus tomorrow for the financial lease of four A319s, four ATR72-600s and the purchase of a further four A320s. The meetings are set to be held between the Airbus Sales Contracts Director and the Ministry of Finance. If all goes to plan, a Memorandum of Understanding between Airbus and Serbia will be signed next month, while an official order for the new aircraft will be made in February 2013. The A319s are set to arrive in March, followed by the ATRs in October and the A320s in 2015.
Last Friday the government formed a task group to deal with the creation of a successor national carrier, to be launched at the start of the 2013 summer season and likely to be named Jat Serbian Airlines. They too will be present at tomorrow’s meeting with the European plane manufacturer. Following initial talks between Serbia and Airbus two weeks ago, Boeing itself dispatched a delegation to Belgrade to present its Boeing 737 MAX model to Jat, the “Tangosix” portal reports.
Experts have expressed their concern with the government’s plan to create a new national carrier free of debt by taking over Jat’s existing slots, fleet, international agreements and employees. They believe the project is too costly and the government will in the end have to pay for debts made by the "old Jat" anyway. From the outset, the “new Jat” will have to take out a loan for 140 million euros for the financial lease of new aircraft. As part of its agreement with Airbus, the banks from which the loan will be taken will not be from Serbia itself, rather from Germany and France.
Do you think that creating a new national carrier is a good idea? Should Jat make a deal with Airbus despite its history with Boeing? Send a comment with your thoughts.