MAT takeover a step closer

Zlatko Petrovski (centre left) and Saša Vlaisavljević (centre right) sign a new cooperation agreement in Belgrade
Serbia’s Jat Airways and MAT Macedonian Airlines representatives yesterday signed an agreement in Belgrade on finding the best business solution involving the payment of the overall debt with interest rates that Jat demands from Macedonia's national carrier. The agreement was signed by Jat’s outgoing CEO Saša Vlaisavljević and the president of MAT’s Board of Directors, Zlatko Petrovski. Both airlines state that interest was shown for establishing various forms of cooperation between the two, from technical and commercial aspect as well as a majority takeover of MAT on behalf of Jat Airways. “By improving the companies’ partnership, Jat Airways is once again confirming its goal to become a regional leader and is showing willingness with its presence on the market to improve the services for passengers from Macedonia”, the MAT CEO stated. Jat management states that Skopje Airport served 660.000 passengers in 2008, 35% of which travelled with MAT and another 10% travelled with Jat.

On April 14, 2009 Jat representatives will travel to Skopje where they will determine the financial situation at MAT and what has to be done to renew the airline which has been riddled with problems in the past few months. Within the next 15 days a group of experts will determine the amount of shares Jat could buy from MAT while the takeover documentation is expected to be signed just prior to summer which could make Jat Airways the new owner of MAT Macedonian Airline bys August.

It now seems imminent that Jat will once again play a big part in MAT’s future. It was Jat Airways, then known as Yugoslav Airlines, which established the national Macedonian carrier in 1994.