Jat Airways privatisation: Air Berlin not interested while the Russians count the rubles

Serbian media today confirmed that Air Berlin, Germany’s second biggest airline is no longer interested in the purchase of the national airline raising fears that the tender for the sale of Serbia’s national airline might fail. Furthermore the before interested Icelandair did not wish to comment on their potential bid when Gudjon Arngrimson, the vice director of communication of the Icelandic airline was questioned about the purchase. Earlier this week Aeroflot announced it most probably wouldn’t compete in the tender due to the current crisis in aviation. However now there are reports other Russian airlines are interested (although we do warn that this news is from a newspaper and sometimes they do not prove to be true).

KrasAir (or Krasnoyarsk Airlines as locally known), one of the leading airlines in Russia and based in Krasnoyarsk, are in talks with Jat Airways in order to discuss a possible purchase. KrasAir was the winning bidder in the tender for the privatization of the Hungarian national airline Malev. In case KrasAir does buy Jat it could do so through Malev which would purchase a certain amount of shares making Jat partially owned by an airline from the European Union, which comes with its own advantages. KrasAir currently has a mix of modern Boeing aircraft as well as Russian made planes. It also owns SkyExpress, the first Russian owned and operated low-cost airline. However, currently being discussed with Jat Airways is the possibility for it to be purchased by AiRUnion, if the members of the airline agree. AirUnion is also owned by KrasAir and another 4 Russian airlines operating to 134 airports.
The Serbian government is preparing for the worst. In case the tender fails the government will opt to delay the privatization and will instead invest in the airline’s fleet. Ironically it is mostly because of bureaucratic missteps and the government’s failure to invest in Jat that the airline is now being privatized. In a poll conducted on this blog 87% of you believe Jat must be privatised as soon as possible.
Official bids
Although last offers need to be handed in by October 24, a month earlier on September 26 the Serbian government will reveal a list of all airlines which have officially handed in their bids for Jat’s. Currently no airline has officially put in a bid to purchase at least 51% of the airline.