Air Serbia will receive a share of the US $500 million raised on international markets by Etihad Airways, its airport services business, the Serbian carrier itself and four other Etihad partner airlines (Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, and Jet Airways). It marks the second platform financing transaction, following the success of last year’s bond which raised $700 million. The funds raised by the transaction will be used for capital expenditure, purchasing new aircraft and refinancing debt, depending on each individual airline’s needs. Last year, Etihad Airways, Etihad Airport Services, Air Berlin and Alitalia each received almost 20% of the funds. A further 16% was given to Jet Airways, while the remainder was divided between Air Serbia and Air Seychelles. The exact share each carrier will receive this time around has not been specified.
The additional funds for Air Serbia come in the lead up to the airline's launch of transatlantic flights. Furthermore, the carrier recently finalised the operating lease of an Airbus A330-200 from Jet Airways and Etihad Airways (as the sub-lessee), with the partaking of foreign export credit agencies and banks that provided financing for the lease which is said to be on a five-year term. Air Serbia recorded a net profit of 3.9 million euros and 305 million euros worth of revenue in 2015. The carrier's CEO, Dane Kondić, recently said, "Our strategy in 2016 is to strengthen the network further by taking advantage of Belgrade’s position as the gateway to the Balkans and capturing regional traffic flows to the United States".
Commenting on the latest transaction, James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “With this second successful transaction, the international financial markets have continued to show their belief in the Etihad Airways Partners story". He added, "Our equity partner strategy is creating a total which is greater than the sum of its parts, a grouping which can work together to improve revenues, reduce costs and uncover exciting new business synergies. This transaction shows the strength of that grouping, as well as the strength of the individual members. This second tranche of combined fund-raising is part of our long term capital strategy".