Etihad visits Jat and its subsidiaries
Etihad Airways will today begin final takeover talks with Jat Airways as it looks to acquire a 49% stake in the airline. A three member delegation from the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates will arrive in Belgrade today where they will meet with the acting CEO of Jat Velibor Vukašinović. Furthermore, Etihad will hold talks with officials at Jat Tehnika, Jat Catering and SU-PORT (Jat’s ground handling division). In addition, talks will be held with Jat’s fuel provider NIS (The Petroleum Industry of Serbia). From June 15, Jat will begin selling Etihad Airways tickets to cities where the Serbian carrier will place its flight numbers. Tickets will also be available for purchase on Jat’s website.
According to the Serbian daily “Politika”, Etihad will take over the airline on July 1. However, it will officially begin running the carrier from 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 associated with negative trends, Etihad would take control of the airline from September. Etihad is to name its own CEO for Jat while the President of the airline will be named by the Serbian government, which will continue to hold a majority 51% stake. Mr. Vukašinović notes that talks with Etihad are progressing and are “excellent”.
Meanwhile, Jat’s fleet situation is improving after another Boeing 737 joined the fleet over the weekend following regular technical checks. The airline now has one Boeing 737-200, six Boeing 737-300s and two ATR 72s operating in its fleet with another ATR72 and B737-300 to join in two weeks. “We want to end the previous management’s practice of cancelling and delaying flights”, Mr. Vukašinović said to the “Tanjug” newsagency yesterday. He added, “Talks for the lease of two Airbus A319s from Adria Airways are in their final stages and we plan to lease a ATR72 soon”.