Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Etihad disposes of European investments


Etihad Airways has pulled the plug on its third European equity partner in less than six months after Germany's second largest carrier, Air Berlin, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, raising fresh concerns over the Emirati carrier's future involvement in Air Serbia, in which it holds a 49% stake. Etihad yesterday withdrew its financial support of Air Berlin, which will continue flying with the help of a government loan likely to last it until mid-November. Air Berlin has racked up more than 2.7 billion euros in losses in a little over six years and has net debt of 1.2 billion euros. Etihad bought a 29% stake in the company in 2012. Its two board representatives have resigned from the German airline. In May, Alitalia, in which Etihad holds a 49% stake, filed for bankruptcy. In addition, the Emirati airline recently sold its minority share in Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline.

Serbia's Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said last week that Etihad remains committed to its partnership with Air Serbia despite a review of its investments in Europe. Ms Brnabić noted that recent talks between the government and Etihad Airways went smoothly and that "there is no need to fear for Air Serbia". Air Serbia's CEO, Dane Kondić, also noted last week, "We have a clear commercial mandate and are keenly focused on achieving our business targets as set out by both our shareholders, the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Etihad Airways”. The Serbian airline has stepped up internal consolidation measures in a bid to cut costs in what it says is a "changing competitive landscape". Late last year, the Serbian Minister for Transport, Construction and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, said, "Any sort of information we receive is discussed, be it positive or negative. It is important for us to always have a plan in place for the future. We have all possible strategies prepared concerning Air Serbia". The carrier currently has a wide-ranging codeshare agreement in place with Air Berlin, covering over fifty destinations.

The strategic partnership agreement between Etihad Airways and the Serbian government, unveiled in August 2013, saw the Emirati airline make available a forty million dollar loan facility which was converted into equity on January 1, 2014. This was matched by an equal funding injection by the Serbian government. The two sides each provided further funding through shareholder loans and other funding mechanisms of up to sixty million dollars to meet working capital requirements and support network development. As a result, Etihad was awarded a five-year management contract for Air Serbia. Bonds issued by an Etihad-related special purpose vehicle that has raised a total of 1.2 billion dollars on behalf of Etihad Airways and some of its key strategic partners, including Air Serbia, nosedived yesterday following developments at Air Berlin.


Etihad said it withdrew funding after Air Berlin’s operations deteriorated at an “unprecedented pace” in recent months. “This development is extremely disappointing for all parties, especially as Etihad has provided extensive support to Air Berlin for its previous liquidity challenges and restructuring efforts over the past six years", the company said. It added, in April this year, Etihad provided 250 million euros of additional funding to Air Berlin as well as supporting the airline to explore strategic options for the business. However, Air Berlin's business has deteriorated at an unprecedented pace, preventing it from overcoming its significant challenges and from implementing alternative strategic solutions. Under these circumstances, as a minority shareholder, Etihad cannot offer funding that would further increase our financial exposure. We remain open to helping find a commercially viable solution for all parties.

160 comments:

  1. I think this might actually benefit JU. It might get EY to focus more on JU.

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    1. Could go either way. Remember JU cooperates a lot with Alitalia and Air Berlin over codeshares, maintenance and training.

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    2. EY to focus more on JU? Rubbish. At present EY hardly can focus on itself.

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    3. EY will not focus more on JU, but also will not leave JU. They have no costs they have to bear and there is absolutely no reason to leave JU. And let's not forget it as political decision to take over JU and not economical/ strategical as it was with AB

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    4. Reading between the lines I read this as "JU has everything to fear about their future partnership with EY". Next will be virgin Australia. Very sad day re. Air Berlin.

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    5. The survival of Etihad itself is now questionable. Personally I think the might be merged with Emirates or will try to get Emirates to merge with them.

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    6. And what a surprise it would be if EY would merge with LH.

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    7. I think Etihad are up for it but LH.... not too sure.

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  2. Knew the bubble was bound to burst sooner or later.

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    1. All good things have to come to an end. Fairy tale seems to be over soon.

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  3. I don't think this will have an impact on their investment in Air Serbia because A) it is the only one that has had any sort of success since it was taken over B) it was political and not a financial investment

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  4. Air Serbia is one of the best bets they msde.

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    1. You are right. I doubt they have had a more compliant partner than the GoS, wasting tax payers money.

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    2. They got paid by the goverment to take half of the airline. That was a great "investment" by Etihad!

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    3. Well if you can remember what state Jat was in, paying someone was the only option. Same way as Slovenian government gave 1 million to 4k Invest to 'buy' Adria.

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    5. Slovenian government indeed payed 1 mio € to 4k invest to buy Adria and in order to avoid bankruptcy. If I remember correctly, Serbian government payed much, much more than 1 mio € to Etihad/Air Serbia.

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    6. You have in the text how much they paid but remember Jat was a much bigger company than Adria with more than double the number of employees and with much more debt.

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    7. also the Slovenian Government gave millions to 4K to buy Adria's Logo

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    8. It was 3 million that Slovanian Government pay on top of 1 million from 4K, so it is total of 2 million.

      Slovenian Government did not pay that 4K can buy Adria's Logo. That was made much after Slovenia got our of Adria.

      Yes, Air Serbia was bigger than Adria. By number of passengers not more than double but some 30% bigger. Same with number of planes in fleet.

      But still Slovenia pay 2 million EUR to 4K what is nothing to 430 million Serbian government pay to Etihad (245 million was for old debts, just like Slovenian 2 millions that were used for old debts).

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    9. Of course Etihad's involvement will cost more compared to 4k invest which was unkniwn until a year ago and no one still knows who is behind them and who is funding them. No one knows who their clients are other than Adria. The money the Serbian government paid went to paying off Jat's debts which was 100% owned to state run Serbian companies anyway.

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    10. AnonymousAugust 16, 2017 at 9:07 PM

      if you do this calculation with debt then don't forget the 50 mio $ that Slovenian government injected into Adria in 2011

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    11. So 5 years before sell. How much money Serbia invest in Jat 5 years prior to sell to Etihad?

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  5. Hypothetically if Etihad pull out from Air Serbia, will that harm BEG airport or it might actually attract more carriers in case AS will reduce their operations? Could we see more low cost action?

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    1. Even it Etihad leaves I doubt the airline will go bankrupt since the government will just continue funding like it has done up until now. Also if Etihad leaves I assume an arrangement would be made for someone else to take over immediately (like with Darwin).

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    2. Etihad seems to be making arrangements with Lufthansa to take over immediately their leftovers.

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    3. I do not think that LH or any other major carrier is interested to take over ASL.

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    4. maybe HNA takes over

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  6. While I don't think they will leave JU this is important news, because it probably means they will be investing less in JU (not more like someone suggested). So no money will be given for lease of new planes, service improvements etc.

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  7. I personally no longer trust EY. The phrase "remain comitted" is rather standard. They are making heavy losses back home in AUH. With no AB and no AZ the network is shrinking, meaning that JU´s market will shrink too.
    The only way for JU is to focus entirely on Europe and Middle East destinations instead of code sharing on absurd markets.
    What a mess really, EY has driven chaos.

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    1. Was it in April or May (this year) that EY released an official statement that they are fully committed to AB and will support it in the future times?

      Whatever these airline officials say can change completely within a few days/weeks and it is nothing but empty words.

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    2. Same as what happened with EK who only weeks before announcing flights to ZAG denied that they were planning to launch flights to any ex-yu city. QR is another one who constantly announced flights to SKP and SJJ only to continually cancel them.

      So things change - quickly - as you said..

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  8. this is how EY alliance is standing at the moment:

    Alitalia - bankruptcy, to be sold

    AirBerlin - Insolvent, falling apart

    Nikki - failed to merge with TUI, god knows what happens next

    Darwin - sold to 4K

    Virgin Australia - posted 180+mil$ loss

    AirSeychells - doing ok, i guess

    Jet airways - apparently the only one making money

    Etihad - posted multi-billion loss, with a lot of writeoffs and manipulations with amortization so the future years profits dont get dwarfed by amortization cost

    AirSerbia - showing 1mil€ profit with 41mil subsidies, meaning it is 40mil in red, or losing about 15€ for every ticket it sells

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    1. I'm not so sure Air Seychelles is doing good either. They recently discontinued several routes including Dusseldorf.

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    2. Alitalia didn't declared bankruptcy.

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    3. It filed for bankruptcy.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/business/italy-alitalia-airline-bankruptcy.html

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    4. You have posted the identical post yesterday. Do you intend to c/p it every day until JU goes bust, or something else happens that could make your day?

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    5. You do not have to repeat yesterday's posts

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    6. Anon 9:26 and 9:29,

      Alitalia did file in for bankruptcy but will never go bust. This will be their 3rd or 4th bankruptcy and they always come back - even with the same brand. Only the legal name changes. Same will happen again, only without EY on board. As long as the largest Italian banks are afloat there will be money to burn in Alitalia.

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    7. ...but it is just so damn good that i had to do repost

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    8. Of course, it's music for your ears. The worse, the better.

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    9. What is good in it? People are losing their jobs and you are happy because of it? Terrible.
      You should better be looking for amount of money your country pays for other airlines to fly to ZAG or why so successful company as OU cannot find strategical partner despite having so many potentials in tourism.
      Also it would be interesting to make bets what will be next property to be sold by OU in order to keep it "profitable".
      Maybe you could repost how OU employees had to threaten with strike in order to get their rights.
      So, look your own backyard.

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    10. Last Anon,

      This guy is in his own backyard when he is so happy about bad news for JU. That is the saddest part. You are wrong to blame the neighbors - it is Serbs who wish the worst to JU.

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    11. i thought i was stating facts that could ignite some discussion, but these days it seems all you can get is just this "hater/croat" stuff.
      a line or two about possible development, future of ey, how much ju will be affected is of the table?

      btw, about a month ago i was first to say that i am sorry about the jobs lost, but then i was called out for not understanding how modern market works

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    12. Pathetic!
      "...but it is just so damn good that i had to do repost"

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    13. It is obvious how exalted you were because of the fact EY leaves AB. And the main point was not AB but theoretical possibility EY to leave JU. That's what would make you extremely happy!
      Have a fun in your own backyard!

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    14. well i guess this news really took the jelly out of your donuts

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    15. Anon @ 9.58 told you exactly what you should be worried with

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    16. it seems to me that you both have some sad problems with nationalism i would say

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    17. Sure, I was the one who posted this:
      "...but it is just so damn good that i had to do repost"

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    18. a comment i made on my account which you are not able to get because probably you never made a single joke on yours account and then posting it against me, accusing me of being a croat... ne bih te više zadržavao, što se kaže

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    19. About Alitalia - I was telling this will happen unless they implement a radical model of recovery. Only intra-European wide-body in the Asian way can be the response to the LCC.

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  9. That is bed news for Air Serbia.

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    1. Yeah, not to mention the sun is up this morning. More bad news for Air Serbia.

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    2. "Bed" news? You mean like sleeping in bed?

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    3. Seeing the situation with rose or red colores glasses does not help JU at all.
      Preperations need to be made for a future without Etihad on board.

      just my 2cents.

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    4. News you get when you get out of bed in the morning :))

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    5. @ 9.51

      from the text

      Late last year, the Serbian Minister for Transport, Construction and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, said, "Any sort of information we receive is discussed, be it positive or negative. It is important for us to always have a plan in place for the future. We have all possible strategies prepared concerning Air Serbia".

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    6. Correct this is bad news for Air Serbia, worse news for AB. Terrible day in the day aviation really. Shame!

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    7. Now that Zorana is preparing strategies we can all relax!

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    8. Zorannah will save the day! :D

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    9. ok, so what if it's bad news for JU? unlike AB, JU won't go bust. plus, EY won't pull back anytime sooner, as JU is so tiny in their expenses, that they don't even feel it

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    10. Anon 10.19AM only problem is that EY has no cash to fund small expenses anymore and let's face it the partnership doesn't really extend much for EY if anything

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    11. To me it seems that all this restructuring at AirSerbia is because they were told months back that AirSerbia can expect little financial help from Etihad into the future. The result is probably a more robust AirSerbia should be safe if Etihad completely pulls out.

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    12. Ju is tightening its belt and started this process some time ago - not because of anything that is happening in the EY world or with the partners - rather, because of what is happening in its home market - the growing threat of LCCs, as well as the growth of Nis airport. They have to do much more and fast.

      Whether they are allowed to do so, will depend on the prevailing political will. Look what happened when they closed 3 of their retail shops outside of Belgrade - such a media storm !

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    13. Don't forget A320neo orders are through EY, and may not happen if EY pulls out.

      Another decade of B737-300s?

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    14. Veri bed njuz

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  10. Things like this have happened before. Remember Swiss? http://www.economist.com/node/705265

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    1. Many drew this parallel when Etihad was on its bankrupt airline spending spree.

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  11. Interesting times ahead. I hope Etihad finds a solution that does not affect Air Serbia.

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  12. When Etihad announced it was "reviewing European investments" I expected this would happen. I also expected consolidation in JU and I think they should survive in the current form with current measures until 2020. The big elephant in the room is JFK flight which should be suspended to reduce costs but I doubt the government (ie President) will ever allow this.

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    1. How big is this elephant exactly? I mean everyone talks about JFK as if it costs JU $100 million every year but so far I haven't seen even an attempt to calculate the loss on the route. But everyone knows it is a giant killer elephant. Can someone provide something specific?

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    2. 100 million sounds a bit exaggeration but it should be somewhere between 20-50M range.

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    3. You are not going to get exact reply on that question. Everyone will just repeat it all over again without having any idea how big this elephant is.

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    4. So your estimation is that JU's JFK route loses between $20-50M per year. Can you please provide any calculation of costs vs income?

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    5. I think a lot have made logical assumptions and guesstimates about the loss on the route. Why can't JU be more transparent? I suspect a massive loss maker as is the JU group

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    6. What we can't calculate of know, is what revenue JFK brings to JU - costs on the other hand are somewhat easier to guestimate.

      Lease alone costs approx USD7M pa. Add to that another 4-5M in operating costs - so probably in the vicinity of USD11-12M.

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    7. How come the loss will be 20 mln. if the cost is only 12 mln. LOL

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    8. I never said 20M - let the person who did throw it out there to give their rationale. What I said is that by my guestimate it is USD11-12M - it could be more or it could be less. USD20M does sound on the high side.

      What we also don't know is how much are the costs in leasing the slots they currently have. They can't be USD8M, so my guess is that it is a maximum of USD15M all up.

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  13. I wonder what the future holds for Etihad itself. Merger with EK?

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    1. EK already have refused it...

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    2. Interestingly it was Etihad which in 2009 was suggesting to Emirates to merge with Etihad because of the impact the financial crisis had on Dubai (and no doubt Emirates although they probably displayed record profit). But that was a pill too hard to swallow for Dubai Emir. He already had to name the tallest building in the world in his city after Abu Dhabi Emir. He could not give up Emirates too.

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  14. At this stage everything is a guessing game when it comes to EY-JU. I doubt they will pull out before 1st January 2019 when their management deal expires.

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  15. Replies
    1. "That's all folks!" (for your next attempt to be funny).

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    2. Maybe he meant: That's it for JU, too, folks!

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  16. Neka se pripremi Er Srbija, ili jos neka stotina miliona evra. Dace Gazda, ima se moze se.

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    1. You forgot to add "Idi Dane da nam svane" or some similar chant.

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    2. HAHHAHAHHHHHAHAHAHAHA

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  17. Etihad still has a stake in Nikki which is not affected by Air Berlin bankruptcy. We will probably see more cooperation between them and Air Serbia.

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    1. I don't see what they can really do. Niki aircraft will probably be leased to Eurowings.

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    2. Since this year Niki is only operating holiday flights (both scheduled and charter) from DE/AT to Mediterranean and Canarian destinations only.

      I don't see how JU and HG could possibly cooperate?

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  18. Quite interesting what Ryanair has to say on this which I just read on the left hand side, and I tend to agree with them.

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    1. If Ryanair says it, it must be true. I wonder how competitive is when they say they will set aside a couple of millions specifically for price dump and destruction of smaller competitors. They even publicly brag about this! Gosh, for once I hope the mighty Germans will give them a lesson on who really rules the EU.

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    2. of course it's true. but it's Germany, and they can do that

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    3. What is wrong with what Ryanair said? For goodness sake Air Serbia and Alitalia has to cut frequencies between BEG-FCO when Etihad bought Alitalia so there is no distortion of competition but Lufthansa can buy every airline in Europe without an issue and scrutiny.

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    4. The only reason German government put the 150 mio loan is so Eurowings operations is undisturbed (AB operates plenty of aircraft for EW), and LH has couple of months to transfer the aircraft and crew to Eurowings.

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    5. I read today that U2 is interested in most of the AB fillet pieces, LH only interested in a few areas.

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  19. I came, I went, I laundered money.

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  20. Having a boutique European airline is very expensive - those days are gone for Air Serbia.

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    1. They were gone when they started cutting down on service. Their only 'boutique' service offering is BEG-JFK-BEG.

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  21. EY will remain partner of JU if Serbian government offer lucrative incentives to UAE, and that's likely to happen.

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  22. Not sure what 'plug' people are talking about. Government covers all JU's losses, JU pays market rate ( or perhaps even more) on aircraft leases. They seem to pay for all the services they need from Etihad.
    What 'skin' does Etihad actually have in JU ?
    Eur 40m debt to equity conversion, ok. What other investments has Etihad made, and I mean actual cash out of the pocket ?
    As long as they are not asked to cover losses, as in case of other partners, Etihad will stay.

    my2cents

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    1. Completely agree. That's the main difference between Air Serbia and their other investments.

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    2. Good post, EY can not lose any money in ASL. We cover all the loses.

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    3. The question is how Etihad itself is performing. Rumour has it that they are very very far from being a solid company (similar to the state of AB itself) And I do not mean the recently published official loss of 1,9 Billion $

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  23. Lets be realistic, we all knew Alitalia and Air Berlin were EY's biggest problems. Now that they are getting rid of them, I think EY might focus more on smaller carriers, like AS, and actually do something positive with them. I personally think they will not ditch AS, but you never know. It is obvious AS is doing everything they can to reduce costs, including cancellation of strategic important routes that are making losses.

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    1. I think their biggest problem is Etihad itself.

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  24. Seems like Air Serbia is heading to Star Alliance.

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    1. Not sure if Lufthansa is interested. They already have two feeders in the region. No ned for a third.

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    2. Lufthansa is not interested in that kind of business!

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    3. And you know it...how?

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    4. If they are not interested, why then do they fly to BEG at all ?

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    5. They are interested in BEG and Serbia, but not AS(JU). Why would they be?

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    6. But they have much less routes to Serbia than to Croatia. LH groups have 7 daily flight to Serbia, and 30 daily flights to Croatia. So, again what you thing are they interested so much compare to Croatia?

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    7. Bcoz AS flies to 5 german cities, which means they have over 30 flights per week to Germany, 14 flights pw to Austria and Switzerland - so that's over 60 flights pw to mkts that cover the core LH group...i think that's more than enough reason to be interested

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    8. So, what is your point. Croatia in same time has 121 flights to Germany per week and still LH group has 210 weekly flights.

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  25. Agree with some others here. There is no good reason for Etihad to divest from Air Serbia.

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    1. As long as they do not have to give a single penny to JU, they will remain committed.

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  26. Fairy tale seems to be over soon.

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  27. "Serbia's Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said last week that Etihad remains committed to its partnership"-

    Thats what Etihad has been saying until last week for Air Berlin as well! They said two weeks ago in an interview that they are fully committed to Air Berlin. This is how the world lokks only a few weeky later. No single penny.
    Etihad will only remain committed to Air Serbia, if they DO NOT have to give a single penny.

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    1. The only difference being thta EY has been funding AB while the Serbian government has been paying ASL's bills.

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  28. The only bad news for JU is that it has lost a partner for north American destinations. I guess we might additional cuts to DUS and TXL this winter season.

    Also, this doesn't necessarily mean AB will go bust. They have to undergo a restructuring and might still be around though I personally doubt it.

    I don't see a good enough reason why EY would leave Air Serbia but the AB and AZ scenario should force the Serbian government to find ways in which to bring ASL closer to real profitability.

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    1. i don't think so. they have good codeshares with AF, KL and LO, so North America is covered well

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    2. Problem is that AF-KL have Transavia which also carries the DL code. Why would they need JU which is highly unreliable When it comes to its schedule?

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    3. EY will keep Air Serbia as long as Serbian government is paying 40 mil $. That means they will pay 400 mil $ in 10 years?! I doubt in this scenario, but who knows, sometimes there is no economic logic when politic is involved.

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  29. News that Etihad's partner Air Berlin has followed Alitalia into a formal restructuring process on top of the Gulf carrier's own exit from holdings in Darwin Airline and, before that, Aer Lingus leaves its European investment strategy in a state of disarray.

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  30. Let's just hope it does not end up like Turkish Airlines' exit from B&H Airlines.

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  31. Can anybody explain why potential EY withdrawal from JU could substantially harm JU ? Maybe one's had enough of their decisions, vocabulary, consultancy and advises.

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    1. Maybe because we remember how it looked like with Jat before EY entered

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    2. JU before EY: millions of losses.
      JU with EY: millions of losses.

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    3. JU before EY: 6 planes
      JU after EY: 21 planes

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    4. Yet all those new planes were paid for by the Serbian taxpayers. Plus, ju is leasing out three planes this winter. Seems Jat management knew better how many planes they realistically needed

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    5. JU before EY: relity.
      JU with EY: putting makeup on a pig

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    6. They are not leasing three planes. Do you people read the news posted here? They pulled two planes from the market and are leasing only one.

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    7. Yeah but only because they couldn't find a company to lease them to. Look at their winter schedule, extremely pathetic.

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    8. And who paid extremely high leasing prices for very old, technically questionable, Bulgarian B733 in the very last moment?
      Better to have younger A319 + A320 + A330 than old and used B733.

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    9. The best solution is to fire that incompetent Dane and bring a professional CEO who knows how to turnaround a failing airline. Dane has been around since the beginning and all he has done is increase the airline's problems.

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    10. Sounds like you want Kučko...

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    11. I don't want either one of them. I want someone competent and smart enough. Neither one of the two is that.

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    12. Not true

      JU without EY: 15 planes mostly JU owned
      JU with EY: 21 planes but most of them not that JU owned

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    13. What JU planes? Jat had 8 operational planes in June 2013. Remember how many flights were cancelled because of fleet shortage and how many routes went as triangle flights because of lack of aircraft? Do you know only 1 B737 was allowed to fly to Paris because it was the only one that met all standards?

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    14. Well, thanks to Dane, ASL has been cutting lot of flights as well. CDG and ZRH were reduced to 13 this summer. That man has no clue what to do. New management is needed.

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  32. The one patern we can be Curtain of regarding EY, and its equity partners is no more financial support, period.

    Its all about learn how to be profitable, and beneficial or else you will get the ax.

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  33. Air serbia zatvara poslovnice u Nišu, Novom Sadu i Užicu

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    1. Zatvorili su sve poslovnice 1 avgusta, osim one u Beogradu. Objasnjenje je da prakticno niko ni ne dolazi u njih jer svi kupuju karte online, osim ljudi koji se nesto zale, a to im ne donosi profit.

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    2. To je već objavljeno ovde. Klikni na link u tekstu.

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  34. I realy don't understand why everybody is worried ???!!! As we all know JU is 100% state owned company and likely Serbia is not a EE member.The bottom line is : may god give to all the serbian people their health so they can pay JU debts by their taxes .... so simple !!

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  35. If you think Etihad is in trouble just look at Cathay Pacific. They just posted a 2 billion $ loss for the first half of 2017!

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    1. that is in HKG Dollars = $262 US Million

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  36. The EY disposal of it's european investments has to be seen in a wider context. Mrs. Merkel was together with the minister of transport in AUH in May. The future of AB and the LH involvement was discussed for sure. EY promised to help AB until early 2018 to keep the bancruptcy out of the election campain 2017 and to leave time for the AB CEO Winkelmann (former LH employee) to finalize the AB-LH deal behind the curtains. However the AB losses were too high and the "bomb" exploded now, leaving the Merkel government in "nebrano grozdje". So they decided to help out with a loan of 150 million Euros to keep AB afloat for the next 3 months. Several hundred thousand of holiday makers are abroad with AB and with an immediate grounding it would have created a gigantic cry out and media campain against the government. Now back to EY-JU relations. One can bet that LH will not tolerate a mini-hub in s/eastern Europe harming their strategic interests. So there are twi exit scenarios. EY disposes of JU and LH buys the 49% stake and merges with Adria or the government arranges the 49% EY stake to be sold to HNA group, being part of a wider deal. I think, that knowing the ties between Vucic and Merkel, ASL will go to LH (through Adria holding) and the Chinese will be getting the airport to keep the calm.

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    1. Might be true, but up to now (even before EY entered JU) LH showed actually no interest for JU.
      Let's not forget that, similar like OU, JU was offered couple of times, but it was not sold until Vucic negotiated it with decision makers in AUH.

      I believe the alternative with HNA Group is more realistic, but in that case LH would again have competitor in south east Europe.

      It seems to me that LH wants to kill competition in this region, but without taking them over / having any cost. They simply want it to dissapear in order they could step in once it happens.

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    2. When the subsidies by Serbian govt stop, be it by injecting the money directly or indirectly via BEG, fuel pricing policy etc...Etihad will pull the plug imediately. And JU should prepare for that scenario realy soon, because if they are cought off-guard, it is going to be very rough.

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    3. How/why would you merge JP and JU? Where would the aircraft be registered, which AOC would the airline hold? Traffic rights ? It's a no-brainer, until Serbia joins EU - that might take a while.

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