Air Berlin and Jat to codeshare to the United States
A large scale delegation from Air Berlin will jet into the Serbian capital this afternoon to formalise ties with Jat Airways, the German airline has confirmed to local media. The news comes a week after the Serbian carrier signed code share agreements with Etihad Airways. Etihad owns a 29% stake in Air Berlin, Germany’s second largest airline. The delegation, which will arrive on an Air Berlin Airbus A330 in Belgrade, will meet with Jat Airways CEO Vladimir Ognjenović. The two sides already cooperate and have a special prorate agreement in place.
Jat and Air Berlin will sign codeshare agreements which will come into affect over the course of this summer. Air Berlin will place its own codes on Jat flights to Berlin and Dusseldorf. In return, Jat will place its “JU” code on several Air Belrin flights within Europe as well as Chicago and New York. The United States is a major market for Jat due to a large Serbian diaspora residing in the country. Chicago has the second largest Serbian population behind Belgrade. Stephan Nagel, Senior Vice President for Alliances and Cooperation at Air Berlin said, "Codeshare agreements allow airlines to realise mutual synergies and to extend their global coverage by means of their combined route networks. Our guests thus benefit from a more attractive route network and a comfortable and seamless travel experience". Air Berlin has codeshare agreements with fourteen airline partners worldwide.
Serbia currently holds a category two rating from the United Sates Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), barring carriers from the country from operating services to the States. However, according to FAA guidelines, an airline from a category two country can place its codes on a foreign airline which hails from a category one country holder (though it cannot place its codes on a US carrier). Croatia Airlines successfully placed its codes on US Airways flights last summer. Serbia is currently in the process of obtaining a category one ranking from the United States, which it held until 2004.