Wednesday, April 25, 2018

President casts doubt on Etihad - Air Serbia deal


The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, has offered a less than convincing response as to whether Etihad Airways will retain its investment and management agreement with Air Serbia, which expires on January 1, 2019. Speaking at a press conference, Mr Vučić said, "I would like for Etihad not to pull out of Air Serbia and I hope that it won't. That's all I can say. As far as I am aware, there was a meeting of the Air Serbia Supervisory Board recently and they told me all was well. If they [Etihad] decide to withdraw, Air Serbia will survive and it will be in a much better state than Jat was".

Asked whether the government was seeking a new strategic partner for the airline, Mr Vučić responded, "We are not looking for anyone else, we have a partner. We are not trying to get rid of a good partner". Last month, the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, said that Etihad Airways would continue to be Air Serbia's minority shareholder for the foreseeable future. "Etihad is our strategic partner. It is a devoted partner which has not indicated in the slightest that it plans to divest from Serbia and we are very happy about this". The Emirati national carrier is undertaking a strategic evaluation of its business which has seen it cut ties with Air Berlin, Alitalia and Darwin Airline. Furthermore, it has rolled out a range of cost cutting measures including a downgrade of its on board product, the grounding of some of its aircraft and the discontinuation of some routes such as Perth, Ho Chi Minh City and Edinburgh.

Commenting on Air Serbia's flagship route to New York and the sustainability of the service, the Serbian President noted, "Can you make money on flights to New York? Of course you can't. We will be able to do that in about a year or two when three to five years have passed since the route's launch. However, these flights are important for the country's and airline's branding and image". He added, "Jat Airways was a destroyed company. Air Serbia is a much better airline than Jat, both for passengers and our citizens. This is shown in the doubling of the number of travellers and the significantly improved results".

130 comments:

  1. Surprise surprise. I think they will leave on 1 JAN.

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    1. He doesn't actually say they are leaving.

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    2. He deosen't actually say they are staying either.

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    3. So then upon what do you base your doom and gloom hater scenario?

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    4. So then upon what do you base your optimistic rose view?

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    5. Nothing really overtly rosy that I’m talking about. I am reiterating that he didn’t say that they are leaving. You countered that, so I would love to hear your take on the matter, besides this infantile he said-she said ping pong deliberation you have served so far.

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  2. Did anyone else see the N1 Special program on Air Serbia. You can watch a 3 parts on You Tube. Just search "N1 Air Serbia"
    It doesn't look too good for Air Serbia.

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    1. It is a disaster as we all knew it but some did not want to admit. It is a failed company and the whole deal is a big scam to rip off Serbian tax payers.

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    2. watching it now

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    3. The series is good, though they really need to tone it down with the dramatic background music.

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    4. nothing new, 20% of stuff is real. 80% is complete BS.

      i especially liked the part in part 2 where they where explaining how there was no official transition (primopredaje) and then it was discussed for 10mins with nasty graphics and dramatic music.

      the part i especially didn't like was slamming colleagues, like slavuj did with mišeljić. rarely something pissed me off like that. i was more agitated than watching that moron having a press conference explaining how he saved the world and how other pilots in JU are killers and plains could start falling any minute now.

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    5. Life would be simple if all things are "white" and "black" as TVs "Pink" and "N1" try to show us, and the truth is somewhere in the middle. Everyone decides in what he wants to believe.

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    6. Can't really take anything from N1 seriously, they are the opposite of Informer.

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    7. Petar Celik, apart from the fact that your whole post is utter BS, you could use some spellcheck or something...

      "plains could start falling" - PLAINS? Are you for real?!?

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  3. Honestly I don't see what has Etihad done for Air Serbia in the last 2-3 years. It has just been the government pumping money in the airline and that's it.

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  4. Can it be put clearer than that by a politician? They (Etihad) will withdraw by year´s end.

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    1. They won’t. You wish they will.

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    2. Etihad will certianly withdraw. Question is when. They pulled out of Etihad 18 months before contract expiration..so.

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    3. Etihad pulled out of Etihad?

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    4. AirBerlin*, you know what I meant.

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    5. We did not know what you meant since they have pulled out of a number of airlines.

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  5. So the "haters" are going to be proven AGAIN right on the whole ASL fiasco/progect?

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    1. That fiasco is handling over 2 million passengers, flying to 35 destinations and employing 1,800 people.

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    2. And losing $$M of (taxpayers' money in the process. Yay!

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    3. Of course you would rather that taxpayers money go to Wizz Air. We know that.

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    4. Oh man. For you everybody who has an opposite opinion is a hater or a troll. Come-on take it easy and try to be as much objectiv as possible and accept critical view. In the end we are here to hear all possible opinions/scenario

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    5. Tens of millions of dollars. Down the drain. It's completely incomparable to any other aviation scheme (scam) on the Balkans.

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    6. I am objective, Anon (the nickname) has said in the past that he worked for Wizz Air.

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    7. Air Serbia itself is making losses (like every other airline in Ex-YU), but indirectly it is helping Serbian economy a lot. Tourists, transfers, Cargo etc. It is not all about direct profit, there is a wider picture that should be considered. And yes, Air Serbia is in a much better shape than JAT was in the last 25 years of its existence.

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    8. Doesn't matter where the money go as it's transparent, on an equal playing field, supports sustainable development and primarily serves *the people*. I understand that achieving even one of these is a dream on the Balkans, but at least you can work to achieve it instead of falling into this black and white trap of 'either you're with us or against us'. This way you just get stuck in a vicious cycle. QED.

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    9. One more thing: You'll often see me being critical of Wizz Air's practices and policies, and add facts and figures to boot. I'm yet to see the cheerleaders around here do the same with regards to Air Serbia.

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    10. Jat made up to 30mio loss depending on the year, less then the GoS is paying now.. think about it

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    11. The taxpayers money need to stay in their pockets.
      Not used by politicians fot political prestige projects.
      No ned to subsidise anyone to fly to BEG. Just don't chase them away with high taxes in order to "protect" some politicians pet project.
      And STOP forbiding airlines from increasing flights, destinations and size of their planes.
      Every other European country manages more than fine with these simple rules, so should we.

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    12. Oh, just stop it with the "haters" part. You sound like a broken record!

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    13. Of course now Serbia put into Air Serbia 68 million EUR per year average, what is much less than 30 million they put into Jat.

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    14. "And yes, Air Serbia is in a much better shape than JAT was in the last 25 years of its existence."

      I like this nice joke. It's fun to read before going to bed!

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  6. If Etihad pulls out, I suppose the Serbian government will buy their share (49%).

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    1. They don't have to buy it. It automatically returns to them.

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    2. Are you serious, Anon 9:13? Hahahahaha!

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    3. Yes. Same way the Italian government didn't buy back its share in Alitalia and same way the Bosnian government didn't buy back its share from Turkish Airlines.

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    4. Also this is a 5 year agreement which stipulates that if Etihad does not extended the shares are returned to the government.

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    5. You honestly think Serbia will pull out just like that? Ok, good luck!

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    6. moment for JP big dreams to come true :D :D :D

      by sloavio

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    7. But in that process they have to pay 40 million EUR of loan to Etihad. Maybe even 100 million god knows as that contract was not presented to public.

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  7. hope they redraw from the fake hybrid model too... they can only distinguish themselves from the lowcosters as a full service airline

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    1. Nothing wrong with their model...or you will starve to death or thirst just because you won't get crackers or coffee. Come on, please.

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    2. you didnt get the point. i will starve but will be flying on a lowcoster for one third of the price travelling with my silly trolley

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    3. We are getting low cost service for legacy airline prices.

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    4. I have recently flown CDG BEG...It was a joke! One, I repeat, one purser was welling food for a full A320. When she finally reached our row I asked her why and she explained only pursers can sell food, while other flight attendants can only sell beverages....It took her two hours to count, recount, repeat again all orders, joggle between dinars and euros...oh, and btw, no credit cards accepted.
      On the top of everything they turned on the heating to the maximum so it wa basically: a gas chamber combined with uncomfy seats, thirst and hunger.
      There were strikes in Paris and we had to leave the flat three hours ahead. The thermometer in a taxi was showing 30° that afternoon. We barely made it. We were really thirsty and hungry + I'm diabetic.
      Once I adored Air Serbia, but this, what they turned into is ridiculous.
      I do hope Air France will start flying again to BEG.

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  8. Etihad je uzeo sta je hteo, sada ce naravno da ode, jer nema razloga da ostaje. Vlada ce da kupi taj udeo od 49% i platice penale.

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    1. Kakvi penali? Procitaj ugovor izmedju dve strane i sta se desava ukoliko se Etihad povuce.

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    2. Po ugovoru ako Etihad ne obnovi ugovor Vlada dobija 49% nazad, ne mora nista da kupuje .... dobijaju svoj udeo nazad besplatno.

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    3. Ništa tu nije besplatno!

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    4. Vlada mora vratiti 40 milijuna USD najmanje pošto isto nije investicija nego zajam. Ako Etihad ode odmah mu se mora platiti taj novac.

      Možda i svih 110 milijuna pošto ugovori koji to definiraju i anexi nikada nisu objavljeni.

      Uz to morat će se platiti A320neo milijardu EUR ili penali da se isti ne preuzmu.

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    5. Platice A320neo i preprodati ih lizoru Ok? Kao i WIZZ. Sta je tvoj problem? Nisi dobio aerodrom za dzabe?

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    6. Odakle će platit A320neo. I kad ih preprodaju lezoru tko će plačati visok lizing za A320neo. Pa ni ovih 22 miliona EUR za sadašnji lizing starijih aviona ne mogu da plaćaju, a plaćat će 100 milliona godišnje za lizing A320neo i ostatka flote (ATR 72-500 i A330)?

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  9. A state company in a market segment where privat sector could/should act is not a wise. If we (I mean the majority of citizens) decide that there is need for a kind of public service in the aviation sector, than that has to be communicated like that and the citizens has to know the options and the cost EVERYBODY has to bear.

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    1. Sva velika tri americka prevoznika su dobili ogroman novac od Vlade i sada se dave u profitu. Niko nije pitao nista americke gradjane. Naucite se da nije to demokratija sto zamisljate.

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    2. Maybe they did, maybe not. It's not about granting subsidies. It has just to be declared like that. And second it is about holding majority shares by state.

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    3. Niko nikada nije pitao ista americke gradjane o tome. Suverenitet glasaca se time ne narusava. To sto trazis nema nikakvog smisla slicne gluposti ovde pisu ljudi koji nikada dinara poreza nisu platili ali traze da se pitaju kako se trosi. Skoro nigde u svetu nije tako.

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  10. if they want to leave they have to communicate this before July, otherwise the contract continues automatically .... just learned this in the N1 series

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  11. seriously, what has Etihad done to make Air Serbia better? They rebranded it (payed by Serb govt), they got rid of the debts (payed by Serb govt, or shall I say, Nikica the taxpayer), they got rid of the surplus working force (payed by Serbian govt), got extra deal for airport and fuel bills (payed by Serbian govt), they installed their "expert" team to lead the company, because Serbs apparently have no idea how to run such company (JAT was destroyed because of politicians meddling with it). At least JAT was flying to all continents! They gave a loan, not injected real money, this could be done by bank and bank would be 49% owner instead. Much better option if you ask me. Etihad is not a strategic partner, it is a strategic rip-off. I hope they go down the drain and that Emirates takes them over.

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    1. Excellent comment! Then they will tell you how horrible JAT was...

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    2. +1000
      But party and company trolls where calling everyone a hater who dared speak these simple truths the last few years.

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    3. Jao. Jat and JAT were horrible. It is easy to fly to every continent when you don't have to care about costs or anything. Airlines governed by the governments have no incentives to do anything. Many examples around the world.
      It is true that Etihad does not have any expertise when it comes to airline management (multiple examples Air Berlin, ALitalia, Air Seychelles), but neither the Serbia (nor Balkans) has more to offer.

      Delta

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    4. We had an airline established and growing since 1927. (Aeroput) then JAT and so on. Meanwhile, expert airline from UAE could not even be imagined because people over there were sure that the only way to fly is on magic carpet.

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  12. Hmmm...
    When are the financials coming out?

    I estimate the total bill will come out to eur 250 million since the start of Air Serbia.

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    1. 2017 financial report comes out in July. Under Etihad - Serbia agreement, 2017 should be the first year without any state support.

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    2. I highly doubt that they could have 'shaved' eur 40 million of costs.

      July ?!?!?! Delaying the truth won't help.

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  13. there is a lot of stuff circulating about JU in domestic media now and i am sorry to say but most of it is completely false and half-information.

    biggest problem is that serbia doesn't have good journos understanding the financials and then they interpret data in a manner they like. the second part of the problem is thirst for sensationalism, and then they would print anything against JU, tilting the story in their direction.

    we examined "insajder", and somebody noted that there is too much dramatic music with little content.

    latest example is this article about alleged abuses of broker contracts in JU.

    http://javno.rs/istrazivanja/direktor-er-srbije-bio-u-sukobu-interesa-

    if there was ever a definition of a nothing burger this is it. new JU COO, which already fired most of the directors under him that were from previous era, tried to find a way to fire head of fltops. so he launched the internal investigation against him. when investigation found squat he found a way to fire him because he didn't punch his card on the entrance to the building.
    now somebody has leaked that document and journos are interpreting it in all sort of ways. but the fact remains that nothing came out from that report and that they made up a reason to fire that person. it says right there in the article.

    what i especially found unprofessional was the illustration of pilot with dollar and euro signs on his cap and blazer pocket, suggesting that pilots stole some cash. that is the blunder of level when bbc put picture of jeremy corbin in front of kremlin and painted it dramatically red.
    this is so unnecessary tarnishing the entire industry with many good people working in it.
    highly unprofessional.

    and there were all sort of stupid things coming up in the newspapers.

    for example here, the ex-JAT director, who very frequently appears on media made a claim that A330 rent costs 4-5 mil$/m, something about 10 times more than its market price (this fact can be chencked by simple search). then he further goes on to say that the real money lies in short hauls, while the longhauls are used to fill the SH planes.
    reality is of course a complete opposite.
    this is his interview
    http://www.vreme.com/cms/view.php?id=1370282


    then miša brkić articles... the man simply cannot write an honest & sensible line.

    mahmud bušatlija is especially very funny to me. the moment i most liked with him was when he explained that serbia maybe needed to try to turn batajnica into cargo and LCC airport and keep ANT for legacy carriers. on the newsman question was that possible he replied that he called some of the companies which told him that there is not enough volume of traffic in serbia for that.
    so he was for entire interview advocating one option and then in the said it was not possible.
    brilliant moment.

    also, most of the stuff i read about niš is pretty crazy, especially in a sense of economic analysis with claims that niš could support investments on his own.

    and all of this is happening in opposition media. i am personally against vučić, but atacking him with this sort of semi-information is ridiculous. the problem is that they just want to attack, not to give objective infromation. all they need to do is to open the debate about the unprofitably of JU, putting pressure to make it more profitable and sensible, instead they are finding these unimportant details and blowing them out of proportion.

    most of you know me as someone who was called JU hater hundred of times. i was pointing out subsidies and unprofitably of JU, having arguments about semantics with JU lovers if those are subsidies or "investments"... and now time has come for me to defend JU.

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    1. very good petar celik

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    2. Petar, good overview of many "experts" showing up in media. Insajder approach was far more ambitious but still fell flat as it ignored key insights that worked against their preconceived notion of JU/EY being a bad deal. They could have engaged respected international airline experts with no conflict of interest to talk about following items:

      When new investor makes a significant investment in airline or any other business in Western economies, previous executives get purged as a norm. Giving them a voice is not a balanced but one sided view of the transition. They were not trusted to handle the transformation based on their miserable record. Outside experts could have confirmed low utilization, on time performance, load factor, leasing decisions and even bad service from FAs.

      Ignoring wider airline landscape in CEE is another Insajder failure. LH drive to control that space by owning or influencing key airlines while driving others out of business is critical to understanding why Jat could not have been successful in finding other partners or getting a better deal. LH feeding their lines from key airports in the region and ULCCs bullying airports for other routes was not a good option for both JU and BEG airport, so external investor had to be found. Not just that combined value of Air Serbia and Belgrade airport now far exceeds what could have been expected before Etihad deal, but ability to influence the fate and direction of aviation and tourism in years ahead has been restored. Insajder could have experts confirm this key finding, but decided to ignore it.

      Insajder also minimized the impact of Air Serbia transformation. Service levels from friendly staff to online check-in to buy on board are far superior to previous levels and fully in line with other airlines are doing. Any airline consultancy could have confirmed Air Serbia transformation was successful, although not without hiccups and questionable decisions along the way.

      That’s the similarity between other “experts” and Insajder reporting: focusing primarily on the negative side while deliberately ignoring or minimizing the positives. While other “experts” are clueless, Insajder could have done much better.

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  14. And on 1.1.2019 when Etihad will leave Air Serbia will:

    - pay 40 million USD loan back to Etihad
    - pay loan of 56,5 USD from 2015 (interest was 6,96% + 0,17% for each year more + transaction costs of 6,55%)
    - pay loan of 63 millon USD in 2016 with interest of 6,75% and transaction costs of 4,1 million USD
    - will loose 23,5 million USD as deposit for A319 from Milošević time (by contract if they will not take A320neo that money goes to Etihad)
    - will pay penalties for A320neo that will not be supplied
    - pay for departments that were transferred to Etihad and will have to be established again in Belgrade

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    1. all good questions

      points 2-5 are certainly one of the companies biggest problems.
      the funny part is that they were mostly not using the money loaned and put it into the bank on 2% interest rate, while borrowing it on 7%

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    2. A320neo ako neće da dođu (a neće osim dva) Srbija će po ugovori da izgubi 23,5 miliona dolara koje je imala kao depozit i još će da plati penale. Pročitaj ugovor.

      Dva A320neo će da dođu, a za ostalo će Srbija da plaća penale i Etihadu će da ostane tih 23,5 miliona dolara.

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  15. In start investment was not near equal.

    Serbia
    - 2013. 3,1 million EUR
    - 2014. 71,5 milion EUR + 17,6 million Belgrade Airport
    - 2015. 49,3 million EUR + 22,0 million Belgrade Airport
    - 2016. 41,5 million EUR

    = 205 million EUR
    # Etihad 60 million EUR (+40 million loan)

    + 248,5 million EUR of all debts to Serbian government
    + 177,7 million EUR of JAT estimated velues (9 planes, slots in LHR, real estate...)

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    1. Just SMFH how much money we threw into that bottomless pit...

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  16. JAT was subvent from Serbian government 15-28 million EUR per year

    Air Serbia 68 million per year.

    No need for conclusion.

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    1. Nije imao je 248 milona dugova koji su se gomilali 25 godina (iliti 10 miliona godišnje).

      Air Serbia ssda ima 159,5 miliona duga prema Etihadu i 16,5 miliona dugova prema Srbiji iz kredita 2017, što je 176 miliona u samo 4 godine!

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    2. Source/izvor please/molim?

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  17. whole story reads something like this: you own a car, an old mercedes, but it still runs, you can go wherever you want, you do owe some money for the petrol, but your dad says he will take care of that. Then dad gets this brilliant idea, that he will give you to foster parents, this step dad tells you you need a brand new Volvo and that you look messy. But you don't have any money. So step dad lends you some money and says: until you repay me, I own your ass. He also sends you to the beauty saloon (compliments of now proud dad), makes you lease 20 years old Volvo, and he is now telling you where and how to drive - always from the back seat. New car is far more expensive to run than the previous one, so dad again steps in and is paying for all your bills. Then step dad comes to brilliant idea, he just orders you brand new Volvo, because he know what is best for you. New Volvo is very expensive, but dad is so proud of you, that he just swallows that and hopes that step dad will stay for ever. Step dad uses his influence, cuts the list price of that Volvo a bit and when they need to sign for the papers he is just standing there with his hands in his pocket. Shop owner calls dad and he has no other option as to sign the papers with tears in his eyes. But who cares, his son now looks astonishing and he of course needs new car. Then the financial state of step dad becomes dreadful to say the least and dad is in panic. Money is no object, he is just throwing it into your pockets, hoping that you will one day become big and important lawyer, although your aspirations are much less. Step dad starts sending weird signals, saying between the lines - you have a nice TV and stereo, you have to repay my loan you know. And you have a nice sister too.....

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  18. I am giggling reading comments on here. People pulling millions and billions out of their sleeves, everyone coming up with different numbers, no source stated etc. Guys, calm down, as we like to say, "bice kako mora biti" and you can not change anything about it and please stop guessing.

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    1. So not true. All those number about loan, investment and debts are from Air Serbia financial report from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

      Please do read it.

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    2. Which means there’s nothing dramatic to write home about. The minus has been supplemented by government injections. Nothing illegal or out of the ordinary in the aviation sector. So what is your point? Yes, it indicates current non-profitability, the margin of which is being reduced each year. But that egg has not hatched yet. It almost seems that certain characters go into a frenzy on this forum, trying to channel though the demise of JU. C’mon. These shady dealings are modus operandi of all the neighborhood carriers. And further afield as well. The show is definitely going to go on, so no need to dramatise things beyond logical limits. We are aviaton enthusiasts, not playwrights.

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  19. If they just had a sence of honesty - current Air Serbia’s fleet an image are not comparable to the sad Jat’s image for the past 20 years.

    Jat started the summer season timetable in 2013 with a sad 4.75 operating aircraft while having 9 planned. Interesting how Slavuj forgot this little peace of information. Then, they borrowed two broken Bulgarian planes for some ridiculous time period. I can imagine how he is sad about the “good old times”.

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    1. In 2013 Jat had 5 operational 737-300 and 4 ATR 72-200 (out of which Air Serbia used 4 737-300 and 3 ATR 72) + 2 737-400 and 2 ATR 72-500 on lease. So it is not true what you try to implement here.

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    2. JAT hadnt operated a B734 since 2007 if im not mistaken, with YU-AOR the last to leave.

      JAT in 2013 leased 2 x B733: LZ-BOT (YU-AOU) and LZ-BOO (YU-AOV).

      I believe summer 2013 was the last season JAT was using the B732 from AGX.

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    3. No, last 737-400 left in 2010, YU-AOS.

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  20. I forgot to add, that his dad is fascinated by your step dad, he is deeply in love, and you just ignore those people around saying there is something weird with him, and of course dad doesn't give a s... that step dad's interest rate to son's loan is far steeper than in any commercial bank. But, step dad knows some celebrities and our family is now part of that gang you know!

    it is so sad, that JAT has become insignificant figure in somebody else's chess game...that hurts me a lot. And I'm not even from Serbia....

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  21. "Can you make money on flights to New York? Of course you can't.-

    aha ok. Good to know they are planning to start another long haul route which will be burning millions - at least in the first 7-8 years..

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    1. You have taken that out of context. Humorous comment, nonetheless.

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  22. "these flights are important for the country's and airline's branding and image."

    This statement just shows the banal/weak perception of Serbian leaders have when it comes to branding. Smart Branding doesn't work by just saying "look we fly to NYC, so we must be cool". Good ideas don't have to be expensive. This is just a waste of money.

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  23. GoB (Government of Belgrade) will keep AS alive, otherwise VINCI will lose its transfers and will need to get some low-costers instead, c'est un probleme

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    1. Governments of Serbia kept JAT flying for 25+ years even tho it was unprofitable. So, saying Government will keep AS alive just because of VINCI is BS. Serbia needs an airline, like every bigger European country and they will keep it alive no matter what.

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    2. It does not need an airline, however I agree it will have an airline no matter what.

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    3. Anon 2.58
      yeah sure, a country of this size, population and wealth surely needs a national carrier, for the pride of the nation and the sake of the taxpayer

      But you are right, it will be kept afloat whatever happens, not only because of the Balkan hub lullaby but mostly for political reasons

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    4. I would love to hear what are your parameters when determining which country deserves and which doesn’t deserve to have a national carrier. I think Serbia’s size, population and wealth definitely warrant one. So, other than the cynical, defeatist local mentality, which often equates mental capacity with amount of negative spats against the State per day, what other reasons have determined your point of view?

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    5. Well Hungary got rid of Malév and now look how BUD is booming like crazy with 13 million pax. All thanks to W6!
      If JU gets bust, the big vultures will IMMEDIATELY attack because the news spread really quickly in the aviation industry and the weaker gazelle will be eaten by the lion.

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    6. W6 is a Hungarian registered carrier, though. Do you get my drift?

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    7. Hello guys I'm from Greece and all this image and prestige matter you know what reminds me..... Olympic airlines ten years ago..... You all know what happened ! I trully hope things will get better for Air Serbia.

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    8. Your comparison with Olympic is realistic but the final outcome might not be. The problem is, in Serbia is that there is no domestically based, privately owned company like Aegean. To add to this problem, I see no one locally (I mean private businessman) that would have what it takes ($$$) to run airline business.

      More realistic situation in the case of ASL failure is that existing players (LH, OS etc. + low costars) would ascend to this market by initially increasing frequencies and then adding some new destination. Would that replace ASL’s current offer? At the beginning probably no, but after some time probably yes. Market would stagnate for a while but over time, market forces always prevail. If there is a demand there will be supply. Also, Serbia would lose some jobs, but also would get rid of subsidies and risk associated with owning airline business. What’s better for local economy, it’s very hard for anyone to say since there is so many factors in play (taxes, salaries paid locally vs more pax, more tourists etc.), none of which we have insight in.

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  24. Does anyone honestly believe that BIG decisions involving huge sums of money could have been taken by the management WITHOUT Board approval - especially where there are 5 Govt of Serbia representatives, especially the role of the Chairman ????

    C'mon ... get real people

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  25. I have watched the N1 report- Insider and besides the dramatic design and music and some stupid remarks of the interviewed persons, the facts and infos presented are all correct and well done for someone who is outside the airline business.

    Fact ist: JAT was destroyed and finished by 2013. However with the very huge sums of money spent on the ASL project, the old JAT could have been turned around by any other entity as well. I personally think that Etihad was a very bad choice and that Etihad is the only one who benefited during the whole project. That's why thay didn't pull the plug like with AB and AZ. We would say in Serbia "dobro su nas nasamarili". Yes for the "branding" of the country and for strategic reasons it may have appeared a good idea to try something new. But it turned into a giant sinkhole with open and hidden budgets that are beyond imagination for a poor country like Serbia. I don't want insinuate that behind all wrong and costly decisions curroption is involved, but I strongly believe that Mali, Vucic and Mihailovic have no clue how any airline works/ functions and that they have been dazzled by the shows, the livery the names of the aircraft and some balance sheets that were fabricated. The one who should have known better are Hogan and Kondic. Just for info, there is a multi billion lawsuit against Etihad in Germany due to Air Berlin. Maybe not a bad idea to check what's possible after 01.01.2019 in Serbia. I am sure that Hogan and Kondic once forced to witness at court could be very valuable to find out what really happened.....?!

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    1. That is a very accurate description of the whole situation-fiasco of ASL.

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  26. what about an airline for some exyu-states togheter? so there would be enough planes for the summer-season for the croatian coast and in winter the planes will flight to zagreb/belgrade/ljubljana etc.

    so you have one big airline wich can save money.. you also need just one CEO etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We got enough other problems to solve before getting involver into another story ... joint-venture rarely ends up in a friendly way, less possible among ex yu countries (we got one JV between slo and cro - NEK and we r not able to manage it, so lets stop dreaming)

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    2. as long as politicians are involved in them, forget it

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    3. we should revive Yugoslavia :)

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    4. Well, the break of Yugoslavia only weakened the six main republics. Unions have always proved to be effective.
      Ukraine was one of the richest countries when it was part of USSR and now look where it is.
      JU can merge with YM amd buy Icar Air to backup regional flights.

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous at 6:10 PM
      LOL, the complete classlessness of this post is just EPIC!

      Delete
    6. Well, Slovenia and Croatia are part of a union, European one. And its citizens can even travel to exotic places like UK without visas.

      And nobody is trying to invade UK for leaving the union. What a strange place this is.

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    7. What a pathetic comment!

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    8. Some people prefer Moscow or Tehran to the UK

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    9. Yugoslavia ended in an ugly war. If we are dumb enough to try it again then it would eventually end again in another war. Let each republic go their own way and be responsible for themselves. This way we can't blame another group for our problems and will eventually realise that its up to us as individuals to change for the better. I truly believe that each individual republic from the former Yugo will do better. We just need to find a way to respect each other which unfortunately looks a long way off.

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    10. An multi hub airline serving ex-yu wouldn't be successful either...

      Mihael

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  27. Does that mean that flights to YYZ will not be materialised in 2019 as previously mentioned? If yes, which aircraft are they going to use? I checked that JFK will be flown 2 weekly in winter...

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    1. JFK 2 weekly? WTF is wrong with these people???

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  28. I think people are generally overestimating Etihad's role in Air Serbia.
    Don't forget, Etihad is the same airline that destroyed Air Berlin and Darwin. That kept on mismanaging Alitalia while Jet Airways was saved only because they stopped listening to AUH.

    Even if EY leaves, some aspects of JU's business might actually improve.

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    1. In the real world, Air Berlin was a loss-making airline well before Etihad bought it, same as Alitalia and JAT. And the reason why the latter two weren't much changed is because governments of both countries tried to still run it the old (political) way.

      I think they've seen it doesn't make sense to invest time in money in these loss-making airlines, but perhaps rather start projects from scratch.

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    2. I agree and that's the exact point I am trying to make. JU struggled before Etihad came and they are still struggling.
      I doubt much will change even if they leave.

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    3. JU before EY was hopeless basket case with horrible service and no future that needed cash injections to survive. JU in 2018 may also need cash injections, but what you get in return is far better service, more destinations, more passengers, improving financials and better outlook. You may call both a struggle, but this time they have a fighting chance.

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    4. I never said they are as bad as Jat was but the truth is that there are still a lot of issues they should have resolved like the retirement of the Boeing fleet or the replacement of older Atrs by new ones, introduction of online check-in for all of their destinations and so on.

      I flew on YU-AND last Sunday and even though the cabin is relatively well preserved, the aircraft does show its age, especially when compared to the Airbus aircraft.

      Overall Air Serbia is much better than Jat was but as far as service goes, at least Jat offered free drinks and a snack. This whole buy on board switch is disastrous and it seems like it's not working that well especially since they have to make two rounds of service, first for those whose fare includes a snack and then for the rest of the cabin.

      Anyway, like I said it before, Air Serbia today is run by people in Belgrade who make all the decisions. If Etihad leaves then nothing will really change. At least JU will get control of its pricing policies which would be great. AUH is clueless ... as we've all seen from the 30.000 RSD white tariffs.

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