Etihad and Jat CEOs to hold joint press conference
Etihad Airways is expected to shed more light on its plans for Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways, on Monday June 17. EX-YU Aviation News can reveal that the two airlines are set to hold a joint press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade on Monday starting at 13.00 CEST. Speaking at the conference will be Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan as well as his Jat counterpart Velibor Vukašinović. While the agenda of the conference is unknown the airline could announce the 49% takeover of the Serbian carrier. Last week, an Etihad delegation held talks with Jat’s subsidiaries and service providers as well as the Serbian government to agree on the terms and conditions of the planned takeover.
Etihad’s CEO, James Hogan, is set to arrive in Belgrade this Saturday on his airline’s inaugural service from Abu Dhabi to Belgrade along with a high ranking delegation from Etihad, which will spend the weekend in the Serbian capital. Jat Airways has now placed its own flight numbers on the Abu Dhabi - Belgrade - Abu Dhabi service (JU8080/8081), which is to operate on a daily basis. Furthermore, from next Monday, Jat will begin selling Etihad tickets at its offices and via its website to the more than dozen routes it will code share on to China, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Malaysia.
According to Serbian media reports, Etihad is likely to takeover Jat by July 1 but will officially start running the airline on September 1, following the end of the peak summer season. Due to a lack of aircraft, Jat’s summer is unlikely to be a success with a decrease in both passenger numbers and an increase in losses anticipated. In order to avoid being linked with the negative trends, Etihad would take control of the airline from September.