Serbian government confident in new look national carrier
With eleven days left until Air Serbia’s official reveal and only twelve days until the airline launches operations, the Serbian Ministry for Transport says the Air Serbia project is on schedule and the strategic partnership between the Serbian government and Etihad Airways will be fully functional from January 1, 2014. The Assistant for air transport at the Ministry for Transport, Milutin Popović, says, “The creation of the new company is progressing swiftly. All parts of the agreement are being respected while some are even ahead of schedule”. Mr. Popović adds that the country’s entire aviation industry will profit from the new look company.
Commenting on Air Serbia’s recent decision to hire its own line maintenance staff, making it independent from Jat Tehnika, Mr. Popović believes the maintenance company won’t lose its biggest customer and will continue to provide base maintenance for Air Serbia. The ministry also believes Jat Catering will profit from the rebranded Serbian carrier. “A team from Etihad’s catering division is currently in Belgrade and onboard dining will be significantly above existing standards”, Mr. Popović says. As EX-YU Aviation News learns, Air Serbia will provide three different onboard catering products divided between ultra short haul flights (up to an hour), short haul flights and medium haul flights.
As preparations for the new look airline are underway, all Jat Airways employees will undergo testing this week. Employees will be tested on general knowledge, problem solving, English language and some will be interviewed as well. It is unknown how the testing, or its subsequent results, will affect employees. The Union of Jat Airways Employees has said the testing in unlawful and has asked how it will impact on the status of employees. An external company will carry out the testing which begins today.