Serbia to reject Turkey offer

No go for Turkey’s airport ambitions
Exclusive news, published by EX-YU aviation news on Tuesday, that Turkey has offered to buy Jat Airways if it is granted ownership over Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has made it to the front page of Serbia’s most read newspaper “Blic”. According to the Serbian daily, the Serbian Government has rejected the offer as it does not want to sell one of its most profitable companies, Belgrade Airport, which turned a profit of 21.5 million Euros in 2010. Sources close to Jat believe that without the airport thrown into the deal, Turkish Airlines will end negotiations with the government. A source close to the airline said, “Turkish Airlines wanted Belgrade Airport a year ago as well. That means they want a new Jat and the airport. However, our government doesn’t want to sell a money maker and they will only try and make a new national carrier. I’m afraid this won’t be enough for the Turks. They are interested in the airport and the market, not Jat”. Similar claims have been made in regards to Turkish’s involvement with B&H Airlines, which it partially owns.

The Serbian Government hopes to sell Jat in either December 2011 or January 2012. However, Serbian media have reported that the government is mulling over a decision to call for early parliamentary elections to be held in mid December 2011, which would offset Jat’s sale. Scheduled parliamentary elections are set to take place in March 2012.

The government had already tried to sell Jat once, back in the summer of 2008, however not a single company bought the tender documentation. The government was offering 51% of Jat’s shares for a minimum price of 51 million Euros, with a possibility for the new owner to purchase up to 70% of the airline. Aeroflot, Air India, Icelandair and Turkish Airlines have all been marked as potential buyers at one point or another.


  1. JU520 BEGLAX12:04

    If I see all the comments in regards to TAV and TK possible investing into Serbian aviation market, I m asking my self, are these comments from older generation members, are they from young members. I guess more young members up to 40 years of age. That makes me thoughtful and I m asking my self why the heck the ex YU Region makes progress so slow or no progress at all. Serbia was 25 years ago ahead of Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, East Berlin. What s today?

    Again and I repeat my self maybe the 10th time already: Who cares from where the money comes as long it s clean money and a good investment for the region. Investments means jobs. What does the government of Serbia has to own an airport or an airline? What did they reach that so many of yours want to protect them. Is BEG airport such a state of the art airport?? BEG is just nothing comparing to what you see in other corners of the world.
    TK is one of the most succesful airlines in the past 10 years. The biggest growth worlwide on airports and airlines are reached in Turkey and the Gulf Region and China.
    BEG rather sleeps and protects their own still nationalistic stamped fears, rather than to accept the new global order and to finally go on after been cut away from the rest of the world for such a long time.

    Check out TAV Holding and their projects:

    They run or will run terminals or airports in:

    Istanbul Atatürk Airport
    Izmir, Ankara, Tbilisi, Monastir, Enfidha, Riga, Skopje, Ohrid

    Construction Projects are:

    Abu Dhabi Airport
    Doha Airport
    Cairo Airport
    Tripolis Airport
    Sebha Airport
    Muscat Airport
    Skopje and Ohrid Airport
    Istanbul Atatürk Airport Int Terminal
    EK A380 Maintenance Hangar Dubai Steel Roof Construction

    Abu Dhabi Airport and Doha Airports are huge projects for the new hubs of the emerging airlines Etihad and Qatar Airways...

    But BEG rather sleeps and waits to choose who they will allow to invest into their market. And they are waiting and waiting and almost nothing happens..

    If I compare the airport facilities in Izmir, Antalya, Istanbul with that what I see in ex Yugoslavia, I m questionning my self how long you still want to keep going on in this misery.. will get u more a familiar picture to TAV

  2. off topic but BEG related: NIKI !

    "NIKI in Winter 2011/12 season is increasing flight offerings on Vienna – Belgrade service, which will see the route operating 11 weekly, increase from current 6 weekly.

    With the service increase, operational schedule will be re-timed, with 1 flight each operating at morning and night time, replace existing mid-day flight.


    HG8026 VIE0615 – 0715BEG E90 x67
    HG8028 VIE1955 – 2055BEG E90 x6

    HG8027 BEG0800 – 0900VIE E90 x67
    HG8029 BEG2135 – 2235VIE E90 x6"

  3. Anonymous12:28

    @JU520 BEGLAX any JP numbers for LJU-SKP by chance? lol, cheers

  4. Peter from Sydney14:37

    @ JU520 BEGLAX - "Who cares from where the money comes as long it s clean money and a good investment for the region." I think that's the main point alot of people are making here, it's not a good investment for Serbia or the region. You only have to look at B&H Airlines to see how little TK have done with it.

  5. It was the matter of time when Niki would have introduced second daily flight to BEG. :)
    BEG is really becoming real small European hub :)

  6. JU520 BEGLAX15:54

    anonymous: I come back with flight dtls LJU-SKP, usually they are quite ok.

    Peter from Sydney: BEG and JU are not SJJ and JA. BEG is a complete different story. And don t forget in Bosnia the 3 ethnical parties are doing more to work against each other than to find common solutions and I do not want to know how much stones are thrown into the way of TK.
    Let the turks have JU and BEG, establish a new carrier located in BEG with a state of the art airport, good aircrafts, close down JA and operate flights via BEG, IST and maybe some gastarbeiter Charters to Scandinavia. That s it.

    If you have the honour and confidence that u are allowed to build airports in Doha or Abu Dhabi or Hangars for Emirates in Dubai, u bet they are not a bad company and it is serious business.

    What Serbia needs is investments from serious partners, jobs, infrastructure updates and not fears of Otomans or whatever sh..
    Wake up, come back and don t waste your time with old ressentiments. Look at China what s going on there. 20 years ago, what s today?
    Serbia, Belgrade has a future too..

    It s also just a common habit, that investments lot of times are done thru regional or neighbouring countries

  7. Anonymous16:08

    Nobody has against Turks or turkish investments.I personally do think that they are more capable than west europeans-Tukrey had an 8.9 percent economic growth last year.They will be the next european economic leader.
    But their offer is like something for nothing: Consider you want to sell your old machinery but the potential buyer says to you: I will buy your machinery but only if you give me the whole factory.
    I do not see any reason why you should sell a facillity in the middle of a boom.Besides because of the profitability of the airport Serbia can easily get a loan from EBRD or other investment banks in order to expand the airport

  8. JU520 BEGLAX17:42


    the government doesn t has to own an airport, let the economy run the airport but not politics.
    BEG and the EX-Yu market will become very interesting once you guys have more money to spend, the economy goes well etc etc.
    But u need help. If the help is a nice package which at the end of the day is a win/win for both sides, I would go for it. U can t have it all. The Turks are smart enough to give u enough freedom in order to develop and not cut all frequencies and route all the EX-Yu traffic thru IST. (same story LH with SN,OS,LX) None of the hubs were cut, the contrary is happening all three airports have even more longhauls again as before...

    Regarding JP figures:
    In general we can say that the BEG pax figures are much better since JU stopped. Also the TLN flights are doing very well. Most flights are operated with 319 and are full.
    SKP as follows:

    01APR SKP-LJU 15 Pax CRJ2
    01APR LJU-SKP 41 Pax CRJ9
    01APR SKP-LJU 63 Pax CRJ9
    01APR LJU-SKP 43 Pax CRJ2
    02APR SKP-LJU 32 Pax CRJ2
    02APR LJU-SKP 43 Pax CRJ2
    02APR SKP-LJU 39 Pax CRJ2
    03APR LJU-SKP 37 Pax CRJ2
    03APR SKP-LJU 50 Pax CRJ2
    04APR LJU-SKP 46 Pax CRJ2
    04APR SKP-LJU 31 Pax CRJ2
    05APR LJU-SKP 42 Pax CRJ9
    05APR SKP-LJU 65 Pax CRJ9

    other destinations doing well PRN,IST,SVO and of course the hub feeders to ZRH,MUC,VIE,FRA
    PRN-Germany flights doing well on the weekends. Today 81 and 86 passengers PRN-MUC-PRN for example
    In Summer most of the dest are quite ok: BRU,BCN,CDG,LGW,AMS,MAN,DUB,ARN,ATH.. still ridiculous and complete waste of tax money of Bosnian citizens is the investment of the government of Rep Srpska on the BNX flights.... most flights still around 00-10 passengers... (that s what I mean, keep the politics out of the economy)

    have a good weekend

  9. grobari ma to su puzevi sundjerbobevi17:52

    You know, it's really amazing how I remember how this blog was started from scratch by some dude(s) from the airwise forum (it doesnt work anymore i think), and now Blic is taking news from this very blog! It's grown so much. good job

  10. Anonymous21:17

    What about the loads on the LJU-BEG route? Have they improved since Jat withdrew from the market?

  11. @JU520 BEGLAX thanks for the numbers

  12. Aleks Nikolic USA03:18

    JU520 , where do you get the numbers?

  13. Peter from Sydney04:24

    @ JU520 BEGLAX I have absolutely no problem with foreign investment, however if you are to sell key infrastructure then surely there needs to be agreements on what's expected from the new operators in terms of further investment, and operation. You can't just sell something as important as an airport and then have the new operators strategically neglect it to further its own interests elsewhere. I'm not sure how sell offs work in Serbia, but this is how important sell offs work elsewhere in the world.

    Going back to your first point there's a HUGE difference between TAV building airports and terminals, I don't think anyone would object to that, and owning a critical piece of infrastructure especially in a still developing country.

  14. Anonymous04:45

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. JU520 BEGLAX08:11

    LJU-BEG stats:

    03APR LJU-BEG 31 Pax CRJ2
    03APR BEG-LJU 30 Pax CRJ2
    04APR LJU-BEG 23 Pax CRJ2
    04APR BEG-LJU 22 Pax CRJ2
    05APR LJU-BEG 31 Pax CRJ2
    05APR BEG-LJU 34 Pax CRJ2
    06APR LJU-BEG 39 Pax CRJ2
    06APR BEG-LJU 45 Pax CRJ2
    07APR LJU-BEG 21 Pax CRJ2
    07APR BEG-LJU 24 Pax CRJ2
    08APR LJU-BEG 34 Pax CRJ2
    08APR BEG-LJU 26 Pax CRJ2

    The loads have improved since JAT withdrew from the market, still JP operates only 6 and not 8 weekly flights to BEG yet.

    Aleks from USA: get them from the flight ops system of JP

    Peter Sydney: there is so many business models of getting such a deal thru, important would just be that at the end of the day both side are having a win/win situation. For example instead of selling, you could give them 30 years contract to operate the airport and so on....

  16. Aleks Nikolic USA09:29

    ^ and where is that exactly?

  17. Peter from Sydney09:30

    @ JU520 BEGLAX, oh I totally agree, long term leases, which stipulate exactly what's required, I'm perfectly happy with. I think the bigger concern here, atleast for me, is not so much the sell off, which I'm against, but the way politics is done in Serbia. I can just imagine the minister responsible for the sale giving it away for top dollar with no strings attached, just as long as he gets a decent chunk into his back pocket. I think Serbian citizens have seen so many of these privatisation sell offs go bad for the country that I'm not at all surprised people are up in arms.

  18. Anonymous16:31

    question to all who know;

    what is JET2 airplane doing at BEG? I was not aware they were flying to Belgrade? Does anyone know anything about it?

  19. Some charter flight.
    Jet2com doesnt have scheduled routes from/to BEG ;)

  20. Anonymous15:26

    @ JU520 BEGLAX
    I couldn't agree more about serious investment at BEG but unfortunately is unlikely due politics. I'm really said to write this since I sincerely think BEG can do quite a lot!
    @ EX-YU
    I am quite sure that something like is missing at the photo covering this news.


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