|From Switzerland to the UAE - four companies seeking Aviogenex shares|
Four companies from four different countries have expressed interest in purchasing a stake in Serbia’s struggling charter airline Aviogenex. It comes after the government put up 502 state-owned companies for sale in August. JetVision Balkan from Serbia, GLT Overseas (Middle East) FZ LLC from the United Arab Emirates, Euroswiss Investment Holding from Switzerland and Arctica Airlines from Russia have all submitted letters of intent for the purchase of Aviogenex, once Yugoslavia’s busiest charter airline. JetVision Balkan, based in Serbia, is tipped to have expressed the greatest interest in the charter carrier. While the company is not listed in the Serbian Business Registry, it is believed to be part of the Dutch-based JetVision group which specialises in VIP, group and cargo charters as well as solutions for private, corporate and governmental air operations.
Other bids for Aviogenex include GTL Overseas (Middle East) FZ LLC from Dubai. The company operates as an information technology solution provider, primarily in the Middle East. It offers software development, network engineering and various information technology services. From Switzerland, Euroswiss Investment Holding aims to purchase and sell stakes in companies of any kind. It is looking to invest in Aviogenex and then sell it at a much higher price than originally bought. Finally, little known company Arctica Airlines, registered in Russia, has also expressed interest in Aviogenex.
Prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia, Aviogenex was the busiest charter airline in the country, handling over half a million passengers per year in the late 1980s. However, the carrier has fallen on hard times with a single and aging Boeing 737-200 jet grounded at Belgrade Airport and a handful of employees. The four submitted bids represent the most serious chance yet for Aviogenex to be revived, however, employees remain sceptical that any of the bids will be approved by the government. The airline currently employs seven pilots, seventeen crew members, twelve ground engineers and four flight dispatchers, who have not received their wages in months. They will be staging a protest outside the Serbian Government next Tuesday over their unpaid salaries. Aviogenex was set up in 1968. In 1990, its busiest year, it handled 633.932 passengers with a fleet of ten aircraft.