Etihad poised to takeover and rebrand Jat into Air Serbia
Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, who is credited for initiating talks between Etihad Airways and Jat due to his friendly relations with the ruler of Abu Dhabi, has announced that the Serbian government has accepted Etihad Airways’ takeover proposal for Jat Airways. According to Serbian media reports, a takeover agreement could be signed as early as tomorrow in which case the Emirati national carrier would take control of Jat on August 1. An official signing ceremony will be held in ten to fifteen days in Belgrade. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the proposed new CEO of Serbia’s national carrier, named by Etihad, has just arrived in Belgrade. According to Etihad’s takeover proposal, the airline will roll out the new Jat brand, along with a handful of new routes, on October 27.
A high ranking, three member, Etihad delegation arrived in Belgrade on Monday. The trio held talks with Jat Airways’ CEO and management on Monday followed by a meeting with the Serbian government on Tuesday. The delegation also payed a visit to Jat Catering and Jat’s ground handling division SU-PORT. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Serbia’s Deputy PM said, “I have good news for Serbia. I anticipate that we will soon solve the problem of Jat and sign a deal with Etihad. Rebranding will occur so we will all be proud of Air Serbia, which will be much more successful and better than Jat in every sense It is hard to imagine a better name than that. The name “Serbia” will be represented on all continents”.
According to the daily “Večernje novosti”, one of the proposed colour schemes for the rebranded Jat, to be named Air Serbia, is visible on the photo above as released by the newspaper. Thus, the Jat brand will disappear after 66 years. Air Serbia would serve as a successor to Jat, rather than a separate new company, taking over all of Jat’s assets, international agreements and codes as a result.