Balkan Airways

Turkish turning Jat into Balkan Airways?
According to Sulejman Ugljanin, a minister without a portfolio within the Serbian Government, Turkish Airlines is ready to turn Jat Airways into Balkan Airways which would, besides Serbia, be based in several EX-YU countries. Ugljanin says that Turkish Airlines is ready to start talks with Jat from March 1. “There have been no terms or conditions set by Turkish Airlines”, Ugljanin was quoted by the Tanjug news agency. The minister returned from a visit to Turkey where he held talks with several members of the Turkish Government. However, it should be noted that minister Ugljanin is notorious for sensationalist announcements and forming deals with Turkish companies which have not been approved by the Serbian Government.

On the other hand, sources close to Jat Airways say that Turkish Airlines is no longer interested in purchasing Jat. In fact, the Serbian Government will give guarantees for another multi million Euro loan to the Serbian carrier in 2011 to buy Airbus aircraft and does not plan to sell the airline for at least another 2 years. The Serbian Government as a whole is the only one authorised to make decisions about Jat’s future, the daily “Danas” reports, making Ugljanin’s comments more implausible.

Analysts have concluded that the announcement made by Ugljanin is a political stunt and that both the Ministry for Infrastructure (in charge of aviation in Serbia) and Jat Airways were caught by surprise by the recent announcement.


  1. Anonymous09:06

    i think this a stupid plan........hate the name.....still stocked about it....keep the name JAT or get a cool name like Aeroput or some cool modern name this name "balkan airways" show no creatively.....a name tells a lot of the airline and it's a vital part of the airline or any product....

  2. JU520 BEGLAX09:12

    Balkan Airlines...

    if someone is smart he rather doesn t use the name Balcans..

    The best name in the former YU and the only positive to this region is and remains ADRIA.
    If people have a positive remembering to this region it s mostly the adriatic coast. Everytihng else stands mostly negative aspects... sorry to say but it s a fact which can not be disclaimed....

    So if they build a single EX-YU Carrier they should name it ADRIA

  3. Anonymous09:22

    I am still shocked. Balkan Airways is the most stupid name they could choose. Most people in western Europe and abroad have connotations of war, backwardness and poverty when they hear the name Balkans.
    JAT should be renamed Aeroput or Serbian Airlines, Fly Serbia or whatever but not Balkan!!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous09:27

    Excuse me but what do you expect from Sulejman Ugljanin? His daughter is an islamic nationalist who posts things on her facebook like 'зашто да учим Српски а не матерњи' or things like 'зашто да кажем тата а не бабо'...
    If Serbia had any sense of reason left they would remove that pest from the government once and for all.

    Turkish Airlines? No thanks.

  5. Anonymous09:30

    Adriatic Airlines?

  6. Peter from Sydney09:36

    As others have said, 'Balkan Airways' is an absolutely terrible name, not to mention the idea of Turkish Airlines creating a new airline in Serbia. It will become nothing more then a feeder for Turkish Airlines, stupid, stupid idea!

  7. JATBEGMEL09:45

    Sounds like a copy of the former Bulgarian national airline...that went bankrupt. As for TK buying into JAT, i'd rather they not, more cons than pros on TK buying into JAT.

    Other than finalising debts towards Jat Tehnika and Jat Ketering, what else has been done with the USD$51M loan? Its feburary and still no new aircraft and the summer season is quickly coming...

  8. Anonymous09:48

    @jatbegmel You obviously haven’t been reading the news here. The 51 million will not be used for planes. A new loan will be used to buy 4 A319s.

    As for Balkan Airways it’s just Sulejman Ugljanin’s wet dreams.

  9. AirKoryoTU-20410:44

    If this happens say good bye to your aviation industry for ever Serbia! Looks like the only carrier from the ex-yu region to have a damn future is Croatia Airlines, their the only decent carrier in my opinion from the region now.

  10. Dreamliner11:11

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Anonymous11:26


    Have you been living in a cave for the past few months?

    One has to understand that Ugljanin did not speak to the official turkish politicians but was surely going there to lobby for himself.

  12. JU520 BEGLAX11:37

    what s so bad about Turks?
    U need jobs and economical prosperty and if the investments are coming from Turkey, who cares.
    THY has become a terrific carrier and I don t see any objections if they invest into our market...

    the market economy functions without nationalistic ressentiments. it just needs to creat jobs and that s what is needed most in the Ex-Yu area

  13. Anonymous11:49

    Balkan airways is soo cool!!

  14. Anonymous12:28

    Beograd -- Odbor direktora Turkiš erlajnsa nije doneo odluku o strateškom parterstvu sa srpskom aviokompanijom Jat ervejz, saopšteno je iz te kompanije.

    Turkiš erlajnz reagovao je nakon izjave ministra bez portfelja u Vladi Srbije Sulejmana Ugljanina da ta kompanija namerava da sklopi aranžman sa Jatom 1. marta.

    "U ovom trenutku ne postoji odluka Odbora direktora Turkiš erlajnsa oko strateškog partnerstva sa Jat ervejzom", odgovorili su u Turkiš erlajnsu na pitanje o planu za osnivanju zajedničke kompanije sa srpskim Jatom.

    Beogradski mediji u ponedeljak su preneli da je ministar bez portfelja u Vladi Srbije Sulejman Ugljanin nakon posete Turskoj i razgovora sa čelnicima turske aviokompanije kazao da Turkiš erlajns namerava da sklopi aranžman sa Jatom od 1. marta, kojim će biti formirana kompanija Balkan ervejz.

    Državni sekretar za vazdušni saobraćaj Modrag Miljković potvrdio je i da se sa Turkiš erlajnsom pregovara, ali je izrazio svoje uverenje da bi turska aviokompanija bila dobar strateški partnert Jatu.

    Koliko je i da li je takav aranžman realan zapitali su se i mnogi stručnaci navodeći da je interes Srbije diskutabilan sa više aspekata, izmeđuostalog i zbog ograničenja koja Srbiji nameće sporazum o Otvorenom nebu.

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  16. AirKoryoTU-20413:24

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. Anonymous14:06

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. JU520 BEGLAX14:26

    Peter SYD:

    the ex Yu Region will remain a feeder until the day will come and we have some kind of a working economy, people have money again to travel, similar to regions like Spain or Northern Italy.
    And with all the overcrowded european hubs, the time will come that secondery or third hubs like BEG will have direct links to important cities on the globe.

    But until then we need to be happy if LH,TK,LX connects BEG several times per day to their hubs....

    u remember 20-25 years ago. We had FRA-BEG and MUC-BEG, ZRH-ZAG-BEG once per day. Today you have 5 LH flights and 2 LX flights per day.

  19. Anonymous14:33

    Well good news is that Belgrade recorded a 14% passenger increase in January! Good start for 2011!

  20. Anonymous14:37


    We indeed have called the Russians, they didn't want to have anything with Jat, invested in OK instead. However, they were happy with taking the oil company for a petty change and beefing up the prices. But hey, at least they're orthodox and their president is so strong. Or, he's a prime minister now?

    I would love the Balkan airlines idea, provided it does not become feeder for THY, and honestly, I don't see how that would not happen. Balkan markets are too small to be sucessuful, but jointly, one carrier could make a difference. Lufthansa has roughly 20 daily feeder flights to FRA and MUC, so there's a potential there. I just don't think another Star carrier will tap into that on purpose, hence, THY is not serious about creating such company.

  21. OT
    New Alitalia routes for ZAG and TIA, operated by Air One :)

    Milan Malpensa – Zagreb eff 25SEP11
    AP530 MXP0700 – 0825ZAG 320 7
    AP531 ZAG0855 – 1025MXP 320 7

    Pisa – Tirana eff 09JUL11
    AP950 PSA1110 – 1245TIA 320 246 -11SEP11
    AP950 PSA1810 – 1945TIA 320 x246 12SEP11-
    AP951 TIA1325 – 1505PSA 320 246 -11SEP11
    AP951 TIA2025 – 2205PSA 320 x246 12SEP11-

  22. Jimmy Wang15:27

    Let's get rid of stupid comments about Turkey.
    The only doubtful point is Balkan Airways name, but these are just rumors of nonsense.
    Despite the long suffered world crisis the turkish economy achieved unbelievable increases, GDP and Turkish Airlines
    for example.
    The Managers of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara are surely more capable than those ones of Zagreb, Beograd, Priština, Skoplje and Podgorica.
    I don't know what about corruption and bribery in Turkey, but personally I never experienced this in Istanbul as I got in the past more business opportunities with turks, fair business, but I don't say the same in some balkan countries whose you may imagine which ones.
    So please do not tryto compare the ottoman empire with modern Turkey.
    Balkan people talk a lot and do nothing, Turks do a lot and talk a little.
    There is no other Kosovo Polje more but just business.
    And business is business. That's all.

  23. srbmania15:31

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  24. Anonymous15:43

    Keep JAT (Juzno Evropski Aerotransport) but use the English form South European i.e
    JAT - Southeuropean Airways.

  25. JU520 BEGLAX16:37


    every company or country will only invest there where it suits best to them and where their own interests are met.

    in ZRH we will get a new boutique hotel with a terrific restaurant. Investment comes from where? Turkey and it s designed by a Istanbul architect...
    guess what: we don t care, we re happy about one more nice hotel and restaurant
    as Jimmy Wang said: Business is Business

  26. Nezavisna Republika Srpska17:38

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. srbmania19:08

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Anonymous19:23

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. Anonymous19:34

    You say you are not racist, but all the words you type are racist.

  30. Only one or two posts here touched the issue - and that's the fact that Star Alliance only ( plus others), has more then 20 daily feeder flights from/to ex-yu. At least half of the passengers on those flights (aprox. 1000 daily), continue/arrive, to/from, other continents. It's 4 DAILY flights on B767, or 3 flights on A330, with 90-100% cabin load factor.

    THY, at which most of you spit that much, flies to all continents except Australia (probably opens soon, too), and has long-haul A330/A340 fleet of over 10 units.

    And you argue here about the stupid or less stupid names, color of passenger seats, white or brown rolls in passenger meals, racism, nationalism....

    At the same time, somehow, general opinion here is that an ex-yu airline with long range operations would be failure. I really don't know who is crazy here.

    And about Balkan Airways: We don't need it definitely. We already have at least 5 Balkan airline companies. They just have different names.

  31. srbmania22:20

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. JU520 BEGLAX23:03


    • Turkey is the fourth-largest investor in Bosnia, behind Austria, Slovenia and Germany.
    • In late 2008, Turkey bought 49 percent of Bosnia’s national carrier, BiH Airlines. Turkey and Bosnia have also signed several bilateral agreements.
    The total amount of Turkish investment from May 1994 to December 2009 is estimated at 115m euros ($151.9m), according to the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    • Trade between Ankara and Pristina has almost doubled in the past two years, rising from US $120m (90.8 m euro) in 2008 to $210m (158.9m euro) in 2009.
    • Key investments include the contract to run the capital’s international airport for 20 years, the building on a key highway linking Kosovo to Serbia and Albania, and various interests in the banking, insurance and education sectors

    •Turkish investment in Macedonia has risen sharply in the last five years, says Fatmir Besimi, the economy minister.
    •Key contracts include the running of two airports – Skopje and Ohrid – for the next 20 years, on condition of investing 200m euros ($264.2m) in the country’s airport infrastructure.
    •Besimi believes that Turkish investments in Macedonia will grow but not outstrip EU investment.

    •Ankara and Belgrade sign a free trade agreement in 2010
    •Three major Turkish construction firms will build part of the planned 445km highway stretching from Belgrade to Bar in neighbouring Montenegro.
    •Turkish companies have expressed interest in the debt-ridden national carrier – JAT Airways, retail and leisure industries.
    •Despite this, 80% of investments in Serbia come from EU countries

  33. JU520 BEGLAX23:07


    here some latest facts on the Turkish shopping tour in the Balkans

  34. Anonymous03:20

    A zasto da se zove Balkan Airways bolje je Sandzak Airways....

  35. Anonymous09:44

    From the page JU520 BEGLAX send; "free market does not recognize ideology or politics"
    As a Turkish aviation fan I want to discuss with you the possible successful structure;
    -The name: to keep JAT, Regional name as Balkan Airways or a Historic Name any opinions.
    -The structure; Is it possible to form a structure like SAS. Scope should be the region not only Serbia or Bosnia Herzegovina.
    -Possible shareholders; JAT, B&H airlines, and more such as Montenegro Airlines, Adria or MAT under TK's umbrella.
    -Possible routes; Is it possible to open Long Haul routes from the region. How are the numbers and the distribution of diasporas of the region. Possible tourist attraction sites in the region.
    -Fleet structure; Regional jets, Narrow Bodies or Wide Body aircrafts.
    You should discuss these items, all parties should earn from this deal, and region needs a large and successful airline, instead of small companies fighting themselves.
    Forget about the TK's plans to feed its network from the region. Don't forget that TK is about to sign an agreement with PIA, which leads more load. Also TK is working to form subsidiary companies in Russia and Tanzania. And TK has opportunity to feed its network from its eastern neighbors where the aviation industry is not developed.

  36. JU520 BEGLAX11:20

    @last anonymous (Turkish Aviaiton Fan)

    In Ex Yu all would be possible if you would have professionals and keep out the corrupt politicians. As sooner as better for all of them, but as they are, they will dickhead such projects as long as possible and time will swimm away.

    Probably best would be to find a name not being linked to the region. Look at the Swiss Pharma Industry: Ciba Geigy and Sandoz were transformed into Novartis. A complete new name and today a worldwide brand. Something like this could be found for an ex YU Carrier.
    If this would ever happen again, you def could start long hauls again and I would place them in BEG with maybe seasonal flights from ZAG/DBV to the US.
    But u can t just build an airline, u would also need the infrastructure. BEG,LJU,ZAG would need to see an expansion which fullfills todays needs
    And as before I would have HUB BEG, smaller European hub for Zagreb and some direct links from LJU as no one wants to travel from LJU via BEG to FRA.
    Coststructures would need to be on a very low level to compete with LCC carriers and others. (there I already see a problem, how they wll find ways to cut pilot salaries in all these different countries with different laws etc)

    with if, if, if and one YU market it def would be profitable to run an airline but until we are there, it probably will take too many years..
    ex Yugoslavia is like Cernobyl, it s a contaminated area and until the clean up is reached it will take decades..

    the potential for ex YU is here, look at the flights, every year more and more.... imagine where we would be today without war with still one single market
    unfortunately most of the growings are reached by foreign operators such as Ryanair,Easy,Wizz Air,Air Berlin,LH,TK or look how the spanish Carriers were invading Croatia and BEG: In Summer IB and Air Nostrum/Spanair are operating flights to BCN,BIO,VLC,MAD from DBV and ZAG-BCN/MAD, BEG-BCN/MAD where OU has 2 weekly BCN flights. I think BCN-DBV in Summer is at least daily..

    I still have good rememberings to the 80s with one single market. I don t care if a hub is in BEG or ZAG, I love both of them, I just would love to see to come back what could be possible if all would pull on the same cords

    BYTHEWAY I LOVE TK AS WELL. I m very happy about their progress and what I like most, they still serve hot meals from ZRH to IST (Swiss had to reinvent hot meals because of TK on this leg) and TK is still having printed versions of Timetable!! all the best to them and lets fight EY,EK as much as possible!

  37. At above,

    Ex Yu Airlines maybe????? :)

    Friends, don't forget Yugoslavia does not exist anymore and both Croatia and Serbia are different countries now working to satisfy there own interest just as Zagreb and Belgrade airports are COMOETING to make themselves more attractable for investors (full stop)

    This is a good because it will inevitably result in lower prices for air travel in the region.

    But I can't see a joint airline being established or successful in the region especially with the name 'Balkan Airways'. Not any time soon that’s for sure.

  38. Nezavisna Republika Srpska17:38

    @ exyu aviation

    You have recently removed some of my comments. In a previous post, you removed my comment for insulting somone who had already insulted me. Was his comment remmoved??? No I understand that I went to far with what I said a few days ago but I am angered by the fact that you allowed his comment to. second of all the comment I made today was in no way political it was the upmost truth. Or is it the name/ULR that you have something against. Unfortunatley we live in a society where it is ok to support Kosovo's independence and you are critisiced for supporting Republika Srpska

  39. frequentflyer23:37

    As JU520 has rightly pointed out, anything can be successful so long as the politicians keep their grubby hands away!

    While I feel this is not going to happen, this plan *could* have legs due to: combined scheduling, common fleet type, reduced costs, new infrastructure and staff.

    TK already owns JA and is on the prowl in the region with double-daily flights to most destinations.

    The likely countries involved would be BiH, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. (Note: this is NOT a political argument). Croatia is likely not to join, Slovenia I see choosing the same path. Montenegro's approach is unknown, there is much Russian investment happening at present.

    We could get to a stage of just 3 airlines in ex-YU soon: whilst they all appear basket cases in one form or another, who will remain?

  40. Purger08:52

    I find the most real scenario:
    - Serbia, Macedonia, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia = Turkish

    - Slovenia, Croatia = Lufthansa

    ...but one can be surprised...

  41. Adria - Croatia merger makes a lot of sense but I don't think it will happen any time soon.

  42. Purger15:07

    I agree, but if Lufhansa take them bouth, then they will not ask!

  43. JU520 BEGLAX15:16


    would def make sense and having LH capital involved with LH people in the member of board to have an eye on them..

    both names could live on, same as KL/AF..
    most important cities would have direct links, for the rest, HUB in Zagreb they could build a rail link LJU to ZAG airport with an express train running LJU-ZAG Airport in 40 Minutes. Check-in of bags at LJU downtown station as it is everywhere possible in Switzerland at railways stations.

    that's the future and would give ZAG def long haul ops to the States and probably Gulf Region Airline

  44. @ JU520 BEGLAX

    Back in 1994, flights by Croatia Airlines to NYC, CHI and YYZ were published in ABC/AOG, and it's timetable. They were to be operated by ex-LH DC-10's(time when LH had been changing DC-10 fleet to MD11/A340). Ticket sales was about to start, experienced flight and cabin crews and maintenance staff (previously working on DC10 in ex-JAT), were just about to start refresher courses, and then, literary overnight, ATR42 arrival to fleet was announced. Everybody in company were thoroughly shocked.

    This "slight change" in policy and aims which were proposed in CTN's start-up, enabled 2 former CEO's of CTN , latest being big personal friend of LH's CEO, positions in european airline associatons, as well as yachts, villas, top US universities for children, and financial resources sufficient for easy life of 5 next generations.

    That's about the "EYE" which LH should have to CTN board members, and the capital. Dear friend, it proved during last 20 years that LH has no interest to place any capital in OU, but unfortunatelly, just to squeeze it out, as much as possible, and in multiple ways.

    I agree absulutely with you that ZAG as hub has potential, due to SLO, coast, diaspora, other ex-yu (possible feeding) countries... I really hope, and think it's not only hope but logical continuation, that, within 3-4 years, new ZAG terminal will be completed, visa not required for HR citizens travelling to US, and no more borders between HR and SLO.

    What I don't believe, and don't expect, based on what was happening previously, is LH to allow CTN, EVER, even, or especially, if merged with Adria, to spread the wings overseas.

    That's why I always point out necessity of a brand new airline, which will not be controlled by LH. And I strongly believe that such an airline in any of ex-yu states, but especcially in Croatia, if run properly, could have success, competing even with the Star Alliance

  45. Anonymous06:39

    If you ask me, the Turkish takeover has a 50-50 chance of being good or bad. If Turkish simply buys JAT in order to get its slots and positioning, then it is horrible for Serbia. If Turkish is serious about making JAT the Ex-Yu airline, then go for it.

    The problem with this deal is simply that Serbs do not trust Turks and vice versa. Someone made a key point by stating that Turkey's investments are centered in Sandzak, and since then, it has become increasingly unstable. I am not directly relating that to Turkish investments, but where and why they are investing is not primarily in the interest of Serbia. Serbia is just too desperate for money that it will sell anything.


    Do not be surprised to see Aeroflot renegotiate with JAT. Even though they struck an important deal with Alitalia, if the Ex-Yu market becomes stronger, they could easily get in on the action. And I would also not rule out the Chinese. They have begun to invest more and more into Serbia, and I would not be surprised if they decided to purchase JAT. In my opinion, if the Chinese are willing to buy JAT, that would be wonderful and no better deal could ever be made. However, Turkish is the current frontrunner and looks to be the one to get the edge when it comes to JAT/MAT.

    Croatia Air and Adria are like you said, slaves of Lufthansa, and I also see no change in the near future. Maybe Austrian Airlines could try to get something, but once again it is owned by Lufthansa. Either way, they will remain feeders.

  46. Purger09:05

    3 years ago:
    - situation in air traffic was much better
    - there was much more money for investments
    - Jat has younger fleet than today (than it was old and today it is...)
    - Jat has much less debts
    - Jat has property that it does not have today (like building in Belgrade, offices abroad...)
    - Jat has more passengers and bigger share in market

    And there was no interest from any airline.

    To make this clear Croatia and Adria are even in worst position because of Lufthansa. As you said they are salves of Lufthansa.


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