Interest in MAT

Potential foreign investor?
Three major international carriers and one American investment foundation are interested in investing into the Macedonian national carrier, with a possibility to purchase some of the airline’s shares. MAT’s management has confirmed the news however it declined to give more details to local media. A foreign investment fund or airline could help MAT very soon, especially with the current debt the airline has towards EUROCONTROL, Macedonian Airports and the Macedonian Civil Aviation Authority which is threatening to ground the airline as of January 15. Analysts claim that the interest in MAT is mainly due to the country’s position, being close both to Western Europe and Asia. MAT also controls most of the Macedonian aviation market and has very little competition or a complete monopoly on most destinations. 60% of passengers leaving and entering Macedonia do so with MAT. However, passenger numbers have been sliding recently and MAT has been banned from flying to Italy and Germany, one of its biggest markets. Analysts believe the Macedonian government is franticly trying to find a partner for MAT so it could avoid the prospect of the carrier being grounded and eventually filing bankruptcy. MAT has been operating for the last 15 years, originally set up by Serbian Jat Airways. Now being completely Macedonian owned it has 3 aircraft in its fleet – 1 Bombardier and 2 leased out Boeing B737-500 jets which entered the fleet in 2008.

Note: Soon there will be a series of articles relating to annual passenger figures from the EX-YU region.