Revived interest in Jat?

Deja vu
Serbian media are reporting that Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot and the Greek based Marfin Investment Group, are all interested in becoming partners with Jat Airways. According to media reports, Turkish Airlines is looking for yet another strategic partner in the region and would take over a part of the Serbian Government’s share in Jat, like it has done with Bosnia’s B&H Airlines. Turkish Airlines wouldn’t, apparently, provide Jat with finances but would provide the airline with much needed aircraft.

Russia’s Aeroflot which seemed keen on purchasing Jat in 2008, only to change its mind mid-year, is also interested in a strategic partnership with the Serbian carrier. The Marfin Investment Group, which recently purchased Olympic Airlines (now known as Olympic Air), is also reportedly interested in purchasing Jat and reorganising the airline.

However, in September, the Serbian Government announced that it does not intend to privatise Jat until 2012, by which it expects the airline will be back on its feet. The Serbian minister for infrastructure says that “there are a lot of interested parties willing to purchase Jat. The Government has formed a work group which will evaluate offers and the terms of any possible sale”.

The news should be taken with great caution as often media tend to sensationalise aviation news as was visible during Jat’s privatisation process last year when there were reports of wide scale interest. In spite of this it turned out that no company even purchased the tender documentation for the privatisation of the airline.


  1. JATBEGMEL11:57

    would prefer SU to buy shares in JU rather than TK as they seemed most intrested in JU during the last attempt at privatisation. TK should worry about JA before looking into JU.

    As for the Marfin group thingy, Blic mentioned that they had intentions of joining OA and JU into one big regional company.

  2. Peter from Syd12:11

    I'd probably prefer SU over TK. I don't know how the Serbian public would feel having their national carrier part owned atleast by the Turks.

  3. Anonymous13:10

    I hope some day Croatia Airlines B&H Airlines and Jat Airways become YUGOSLAVIAN AIRLINES SYSTEM with all three flags on their plane as Scandinaviana airlines... Philswe

  4. Anonymous13:31

    YAS..I like that

  5. @ Anonymous

    That's what I've been always wanting too.

  6. Anonymous15:18

    I would rather walk to Paris or wherever than fly an airline owned by the Russians. First of all, this whole BS about Russians wanting to invest 450 million in Jat last year, was just that - total BS! There was never any confirmation from Aeroflot, and it is hard for me to believe that they would value Jat more than NIS. The Aeroflot thing, in my opinion, was a carrot to Serbian people so that they would accept the shitty deal for NIS, all so that one man can continue shouting "Kosovo je Srbija" and pinning Serbia's future on that one issue. Given a plethora of negative experiences from the Russians, I would rather see Jat go bankrupt than have Russians run it. The issue here is not whether I prefer West over East - the issue is that I am yet to see something positive for Serbia from the Russian side.

    I'm not yet sure how to feel about Turkish Airlines - I would like to see what their angle is before I decide whether I like the idea or not.

  7. Aleksandar15:47

    greek company MIG have just made deal today and purchased JAT.
    this comes only from greek media so far, still not officially confirmed from MIG.

    Грчката компанија "Марфин инвестмент груп (МИГ) која на почетокот на годината го приватизираше грчкиот национален авиопревозник, ја купила српската авиокомпанија" Јат ервејз.

    Ова во среда го јавуваат грчките медиуми, иако официјална потврда од страна на МИГ засега нема. Ова во среда го јавуваат грчките медиуми, иако официјална потврда од страна на МИГ засега нема.

    Според информациите во медиумите, грчките авиони ќе опслужуваат внатрешни линии во земјите од просторите на поранешна Југославија, вклучително и во Македонија. Според информациите во медиумите, грчките авиони ќе опслужуваат внатрешни линии во земјите од просторите на поранешна Југославија, вклучително и во Македонија.

  8. ANONYMOUS17:28

    Aeroflot had a concrete plan - they didn't go ahead as they their own business got battered by the recession that really started to take hold in 2008. Had the privatization not dragged on so long, they would have bought JU end 2007/early 2008

  9. ANONYMOUS17:36

    SAS? Please - they are also a hugely unprofitable, horrible legacy airline that will soon go bust or hugely downsize as Norwegian Air Shuttle steals business from them. God forbid anything like SAS/Yugoslavian airlines ever happened...

  10. Anonymous17:58


    If there ever was any confirmation from Aeroflot that would back up what you're saying, I will admit that I was at fault. However, aside from statements from Ilic, Dinkic, etc., I'm certain that there had never been any concrete plans/offers.

    For the amount of money that was speculated in the media, Serbian gov't would have allowed them to go ahead without tender...not like it hasn't been done before. Think about it...their initial asking price was 150 mil, which was dropped to 51 mil, and here were Russians with their 450 mil plan.

    Jat is not the only example. There are plenty of examples where. the moment some company would ask a few questions about a Serbian company, media and the politicians would start talking about enormous investments that company is to bring to Serbia. That is why I don't buy the story about Aeroflot.

  11. Anonymous19:23

    Also in Slovene media about Greeks buying JAT:

  12. Anonymous20:52

    Slijep vodi slijepog ;)

  13. frequentflyer07:48

    If the media reports that Marfin have bought JAT are true, then good luck to them as they've done the hard work to turn Olympic in the right direction (albeit with lots of help from the Greek Government who is left holding unused, ageing planes).

    Both Turkish and Russian investments always carry a degree of skepticism with them - but they can be both beneficial or disastrous (casing points: BH Airlines and Hungarian carrier Malev).

    The main questions any company wishing to buy the airline are going to ask:
    - How much is the sale price?
    - How much do we need to invest in this company to bring it to profit?
    - What can we do to offload debt/dead weight?
    - Will we be supported by government for this purchase?
    - What red tape (a HUGE problem in ex-YU) is in the way of us making money?

    The renaming of JAT could have something to do with the declaration of bankruptcy so the airline can start afresh also hasn't been discussed, though unlike OA JAT really hasn't got the excess fleet to downsize (though it could solve the problem of the ageing fleet).

    @ Philswe

    ANONYMOUS is spot on the money with this one. Three carriers combined in Scandanavia to survive, and they're on the ropes again! Why would we want to see the same thing happen in ex-YU?

  14. Anonymous08:30

    If the rumours that Marfin is interested in buying Jat are true, then it would be great news! They turned around the airline, gave them new planes and started a new advertisment campaign!
    Best of luck to Jat and Serbia

  15. JATBEGMEL09:59

    @ Aleksandar

    интересантна е тоа што член не се спомнува Аеромак...

    @ frequentflyer

    i dont think JAT will declare bankrupcy, afterall, it really isnt that far down into debt? Im sure the whole Air Serbia thing would be like what they did to Jugoslovenski Aerotransport in 2003 by rebranding the company into Jat Airways.

    @ anonymous

    There already was a "Yugoslav" carrier, still exists today. That airline is called Jat Airways, otherwise once known as Jugoslovenski Aerotransport ;)

  16. Aleksandar11:59

    Interesting with the greek group now what they will to Aeromak???
    they are paranoic with everything regards to Macedonia, when we know Aeromak will have to be registered in Macedonia.
    i think this will be just one more dream in ExYu Aviation...
    aeromak will stay on the papers only.


  17. The news regarding the overnight purchase of Jat by MIG have been denied by the ministry of infrastructure in Serbia and Jat.

  18. ANONYMOUS18:42

    Yes, I'm sure Mr. Mrkonjic is a good personal friend of yours, right? ha ha ha ha

    As for Anonymous on Aeroflot - there WAS a plan, I've seen it with my own eyes, so yes, you're incorrect.

  19. ^ It was in the media and no it wasn’t Mrkonjic rather some spokesperson gave a statement and thankfully I’m not friends with the minister. Try not to jump to conclusions.

  20. Anonymous09:49

    Back into the ottoman empire after 20 dec 2009-turks to counqer jat

  21. Turks are not Ottoman. One should know that by now..
    I think that Marfin Group is affiliated to the money that was moved from Serbia to the Cyprus in the 90s? Am I right?


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