Saturday, July 16, 2016

EC clears Air Serbia after investigation


The European Commission (EC) has completed its investigation into Air Serbia's ownership structure, determining that Etihad Airways’ investment in the Serbian carrier is in line with European Union rules on ownership and effective control of airlines. The ruling comes just a month after the United States Federal Aviation Administration also found that effective control at Air Serbia lies with the government and not its part-owner Etihad. The EC launched an investigation into Etihad’s investments in European airlines in April 2014 as part of a wider examination into whether foreign ownership of European carriers complies with EU airline licensing rules. While Serbia is not an EU member state, as a candidate country it must adhere to the Union’s pre-accession policies and guidelines. Following Etihad’s takeover of Jat Airways, the EC requested for Serbia to clarify the airline’s new ownership structure. While a carrier from outside Europe can hold a minority stake in an EU airline or a country aspiring to join the block, it must prove that the effective control is still in the hands of the majority shareholder.

The EC had previously issued suggestions to the Serbian government in order to deal with the matter, which have since been approved and implemented. In 2014, Siniša Mali, the President of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board, said. “The European Commission, in a way, did us a favour, by reducing Etihad’s participation. Etihad now doesn’t have the right to decide but only gives suggestions for preparation of the business plan”. He added, “None of the agreements signed between the Serbian government and Etihad Airways are contrary to the European Common Aviation Area Agreement, including those concerning corporative control. The most distinguished lawyers from London drafted these agreements and they wouldn’t make an oversight”. Etihad Airways has maintained that the effective control in each of its investments lies with the majority shareholder “I can’t sit in Abu Dhabi and manage a Swiss, German or Serbian business but I can be a strong and responsible shareholder. There is a strong local team running each airline”, Etihad Aviation Group's CEO, James Hogan, previously said.

Other airlines can influence the Commission to open formal investigations into cases concerning fair competition. Low cost airline Rynair made it no secret it played a major role in the EC’s decision to investigate Adria Airways over state aid and went as far as publicly criticising the Commission for being too slow to rule on the case. It is believed Lufthansa played an instrumental role in the EC's decision to investigate Etihad’s investments in Europe, irked by the carrier’s plans to increase its capital in Germany’s second largest airline Air Berlin and its investment in Alitalia. As a result, Air Serbia found itself in the crossfire of Lufthansa’s dispute with Etihad. Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr, recently said, “Etihad should respect European laws and engage in more due diligence in order to avoid clashing with the EU in relation to its purchase of equity stakes in European airlines. In Germany and Europe we believe in the law and whatever the law allows to be done shall be done, like it or not … if it’s illegal it shall not be done”.

43 comments:

  1. Good. Now people can move from this. Lufthansa better take care of its own investment then complaining of others'.

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    1. Lufthansa is trying to maintain its dominance over European air-transport sector. This farce directed against Etihad is nothing more than that.

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    2. Their ultimate goal is to funnel passengers from Asia and Eastern Europe westwards. That's why they complain. At the same time the rules are regularly bent for their "investments".

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    3. EU Commission is German Commission.

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    4. if that is true, Air Serbia would find guilty.

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    5. They wouldn't because our national papa is in an open relationship with mutti

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    6. Anonymous @ 7:00 PM

      Don't be ridiculous! Do you honestly believe Merkel would tell the commission to falsify their own document just because of small Serbia? Jesus people, think before you comment.

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  2. Will silence the haters temporarily...

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    1. Don't worry, JU provides us with enough information to 'hate.'

      But we will give you today so that cheerleaders and celebrate.

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    2. Comments when it was announced that the EC was investigating Air Serbia from our self-proclaimed online experts:

      -Bye bye, long-haul flights
      -Americans already are trying to limit the ME carriers and their subsidiaries to fly to the US. Every argument in that direction counts. The EU commission is just giving them another one.
      -Bad news for Air Serbia...
      - I believe that EU commission will back-up the European carrier, rather to allow Etihad to take over the European market.

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    3. AnonymousJuly 16, 2016 at 9:48 AM

      Good. It seems you are having to do that more and more lately.

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    4. No, not really. There haven't been any good news recently. Winter is coming. Brace yourselves.

      Enjoy the sun cheerleaders, teh winter breeze is already here.

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    5. New York flights, plans for more long haul flights, new short haul flights launched... Yep, not good news for you that's for sure.

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    6. I just have one question to the same anonymous - 9.48, 12.23. Why do you despise Air Serbia much? Are you from a neighboring country, did you lose your job? What's the problem. I have never seen a person eaten up by so much negativity. In my time aviation enthusiasts use to be just that. Not scathing with hate and in eternal bliss when something bad happens.

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    7. @anon 9:48 | 12:23

      It's not a problem having a critical opinion but you pretty much kill any sort of normal discussion about Air Serbia. Each time with your tone. You provide no evidence to any of your claims and then attack everyone who thinks differently then you. And it seems you only come here to comment about Air Serbia and Serbia which pretty much shows you are not interested in aviation at all. All your comments are pretty much the same. It's about how Air Serbia is bad, falling apart, everything is gloomy... Give it a break for a few weeks and let some normal discussion to develop. You are ruining it for everyone remotely interested in aviation. While I realize that this is probably the only place you get a platform to release your negativity and hatred - I can't call it any different since you never provided any rational explanation behind any of your attacks - it would be nice that you let others who might be critical but can actually back it up do the discussing. Everyone pretty much losses interest when they see your daily dose of bile.

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    8. You do realize that this whole discussion was started because a fanboy decided to provoke the other clan? Maybe you should kindly ask your buddies to chill so that others can discuss as well.

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    9. "Winter is coming. Brace yourselves"

      We heard that last winter after seasonal JU retreat from LCA. Hater brigade described it as defeat of Air Serbia in face of Wizz and beginning of the end for JU. Now that JU is going back to LCA during winter haters are nowhere to apologize for their incorrect conclusions. They should now brace for well deserved shaming.

      "There haven't been any good news recently."

      Thank you for opening your state of mind for all of us to see.

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    10. Air Serbia failed in LCA because of W6 why else would they suspend it? They are keeping it because of JFK

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    11. Also, did anyone apologize when B733s were not retired on the announced date?

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    12. Air Serbia : You score is 75 (positive things JU did) : 1 (737 not retired)

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  3. What would have been the consequences had they ruled the other way? Anyone know?

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    1. Probably would have given some recommendations or required changes to the management board.

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  4. Good to know. Btw they seem to be leasinh an Aviolet 737 to Montenegro Airlines for a week.

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    1. Interesting. I heard one of MGX's Fokkers needs heavy maintenance and they can't pay for it. Is that why they are leasing the 737?

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    2. First signs of cooperation between JU and YM?

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    3. This morning MGX Fokker100 4O-AOM flew from Podgorica to Norwich (GB). YU-ANJ was supposed to perform flights to Lyon and Dusseldorf. After returning from LYS YU-ANJ is parked at TGD and the flight to DUS is late for hours.

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    4. Yeah, but funny thing is that Aviolet Boeing broke down after carried out the flight from Lyon. So, at the moment, Montenegro Airlines is still one aircraft short and their flights from Podgorica are heavily late one by one.

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    5. Please do not troll. ANJ is ok. The truth is somewhere else. Try to find, it is not hard.

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    6. Why you all write in cipher, what is the point ?

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    7. Because he doesn't know either, he just wants us to believe that it's something else than a technical malfunction. The issue is that they are waiting for a mechanic and spare parts to come from BEG.

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    8. Because not all infos are for the public. Anyhow, MGX102/3 is on ANJ (beg.aero)

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    9. But was the point of such short-time wet-lease ? Today MGX has had three planes at TGD which is quite enough to carry out all their flights on time. Still, ANJ was parked for seven hours, TGD-DUS was late three and a half and TGD-CDG four hours. Weird, be it for the public or not.

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    10. Aviolet 737 YU-ANJ is in the air right now operating TGD-BEG for Montenegro Airlines as YM102.

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  5. Odlicne Vesti za ASL koje su se znale da ce takav ishod biti.
    Nadam se da ce ovo biti povod za jos vecu ekspanziju ASL.
    INN-NS

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  6. OT: SPU 1.7 - 15.7 250000+ pax

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  7. OT: BEG 1.7-15.7 275000+ pax

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  8. Any info about BEG 1.6-30.6 ax results?

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    1. Bahato, može im se. Tako do 2018 a onda šut karta.

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  9. OT Just did the Split Saturday departure... Weather is pretty cool here, cooled down the last few days.

    Not that bad of an experience, plenty of room to sit and get a drink plus the viewing area is pretty good too.

    Once you pass security it is a bit of a different story with not much seating and ammenities.

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    1. I mentioned the weather because I guess it could be worse if it hot. Just curious if it can be chaotic at time because it didn't have that feel.

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  10. Wonder if the FAA decision to ban TK from flying to the US will have any impact on JU's BEG-JFK load factor. It's a lot of capacity that is been withdrawn from the market, and those pax need to be rebooked elsewhere. At least for the next couple of days.

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/FAA-Bans-Flights-Between-the-US-and-Turkey-387101501.html

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