Etihad - Jat deal on August 1
The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, has confirmed it will sign a strategic partnership agreement with the Serbian government for the takeover of Jat Airways on Thursday, August 1. The signing ceremony will be attended by Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, while on behalf of Serbia the agreement will be signed by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. The signing will be proceeded by a press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Serbian capital where Etihad is set to reveal all the details of the takeover agreement as well as its plans for Jat.
As the takeover date draws near, news has been leaking in relation to Etihad’s intentions for Jat. It includes plans to rebrand and rename the airline, the immediate lease of ten Airbus A319s and the launch of at least ten new destinations this winter. Furthermore, Danny Kondić, an Australian of Serbian origin, who has previously worked for Qantas, British Airways and Malaysia Airlines, has been tipped as Etihad’s choice for CEO. In addition, the Emirati carrier plans to invest fifty million dollars into Jat this year in an attempt to turn the company into a profitable business.
Etihad Airways has proposed for the Serbian government to take over all of Jat’s debt and provide redundancy packages for 250 to 300 employees which would leave the airline. Both the Serbian government and Etihad would share Jat’s profits and losses. Furthermore, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates plans for Jat to operate with a small profit in 2014, while notable gains are projected for 2015. In addition, Etihad hopes it will resolve Jat’s 1998 order for Airbus aircraft by renegotiating the deal and providing financial backing for the delivery of the aircraft.