Jat Airways hopes to regain market dominance

Jat Airways, Serbia’s national carrier will be poised after privatization to regain the market dominance it once had in Eastern Europe, its chief executive said Saturday to the Associated Press. "Our strategic plan is to become a regional leader," Saša Vlaisavljević said. "We're convinced this is an achievable goal." Vlaisavljević said that Aeroflot and Icelandair are among the half dozen airlines that have expressed a "strong interest" in buying a controlling share. "According to our information, both have signed letters of intent" with the privatization agency," he said. "But that doesn't mean there won't be more interested parties." In Reykjavik, a spokesman for Icelandair said the airline had not yet made an offer for JAT. "It is common knowledge that we have expressed an interest in the company in the past," spokesman Gudjon Arngrimsson said. Media reports have suggested that Italy's Air One could also bid for Jat. "It's difficult to believe we could again have the 5 million passengers we carried with a fleet of 36 aircraft in the late 1980s," Vlaisavljević said. "But we could still be a very successful European company carrying 1.5-2 million passengers annually, and a very strong regional hub."