AirAsia in Jat takeover bid

AirAsia looking for Jat deal
The Malaysian low cost airline, AirAsia, is said to be close to making an offer for the takeover of the Serbian national carrier. Serbian media report that a high ranking delegation from the Kuala Lumpur based airline has been in Belgrade for several days. They are to meet with the Serbian Minister for Transport, Milutin Mrkonjić, today. It is tipped the airline could make a takeover offer by the end of the week.

AirAsia is the largest low cost airline in Asia with a base in Kuala Lumpur. It owns AirAsia subsidiaries in Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. It also has a long haul offshoot, AirAsia X, which operates flights to Australia, Iran, China, Taiwan and South Korea. The Malaysian airline has offered to invest into Jat Airways’ new fleet and turn the Serbian carrier into a profit making business as soon as possible. Today’s talks are set to centre on the way a potential takeover would be carried out.

Media reports suggest AirAsia has decided to turn Belgrade into its European hub point so as to carry passengers to Kuala Lumpur from where they would catch onward connections to Australia and Asia. In return, Jat would carry AirAsia passengers onwards to European destinations. Initial talks between Jat and AirAsia began in June in Singapore. Whether these reports will turn out to be just another in a long list of “interested parties” which never made a move to purchase Jat remains to be seen.

Relations between Serbia and Malaysia have been poor. Since 1991 Yugoslav passport holders, together with Israeli nationals, have been banned from entering the country. The ban for Serbian citizens was lifted only five years ago. The first diplomatic meeting between the two countries since 1991 took place in 2008. The AirAsia Group is owned by businessmen Tony Fernandes. It operates a fleet of 101 Airbus aircraft, with a further 279 on order. This year, Skytrax named AirAsia the world’s best low cost airline.


  1. BA88809:10

    What an excellent news!

    Fingers Xed...

  2. Anonymous09:29

    Please please make this work.

  3. Anonymous09:39

    Well if they are already meeting then I guess it might work, especially since the current ruling coalition has no clue or interest in Jat Airways.

    On another note this might be interesting for AirAsia because their longhaul network proved to be ineffective. I am referring to their flights to London.

    One thing is certain, if this works it will be pretty sweet to have flights from Kuala Lumpur!

  4. Dreamliner09:53

    Excellent news .... Just returned today with them from holiday from Phucket to Sydney d72222 with my family . We bought tickets back in january for 99$ syd-kul-hkt -kul-hkt , onboard airbus a330 , nothing spectacular , but for the price they are ok . going to beg with be good news I recon , but low cost terminal in kuala lumpur what they use is crowded , I will say again for the price people should not expect service what other airline provide . Service to syd was full , I saw only few empty seats . I think Beg is good option .

  5. Anonymous10:15

    Hmm interesting but what interests me more is if this materializes what might happen with flydubai and more specifically Qatar.
    I guess a large part of Serbia-Australia would shift to flyasia.

    flydubai will be ok in the long run because they have a considerable O&D market but Qatar doesn't.

    1. Good question...but i think if Qatar skips stopover in Ankara and switches direct to BEG,then they will have not problems on the Kangaroo-route.

  6. Anonymous10:38

    Oh please.. that would have been the same thing if ryanair wanted to takeover qantas :)))

    1. It is not the same case, Qantas is big on its own and has a sizable first & business class products, but this would perfectly make sense.

      The only real obstacle would be ownership & effective control restrictions, but that can be dealt with too...

    2. Anonymous12:46

      Well, of course its not comparable, I just gave an example: Europe based airline and Asia/AU based airline. It wouldnt be comparable in a million years :)

    3. Anonymous16:09

      By European Union law,
      Serbia as not EU-member is not legally part of Europe...

    4. Anonymous16:15

      Oh smart arse, thanks for that enlightenment! Geography says another thing, so chill, por favor.

    5. Anonymous16:42

      Thank you by calling me smart
      ; )
      As long Serbia is not part of EU, all laws,rules and taxes which Europe can impose on foreign airlines are of NO IMPORTANCE !
      There is an EU-law that prohibits foreign airlines to own more than 50% of an European airline...but Jat legally is NOT an EU-airline !
      Thus foreigners can buy all of Jat legally.
      ETS has also no importance in Serbia !

      Even if Serbia should join EU...which is
      not very would happen most early in ten years !

      So much to chill .

  7. Anonymous10:50

    If this happens it would be a very smart move. We will see Qantas withdrawing from the last route to Europe to Frankfurt due to its codeshare with EK. The announcement is imminent. So, there is just BA left and this is geographically for most Europeans no option. Emirates and the gulf carriers or connections via Asia are then the only option. Belgrade as a hub for south east Asia and Australia is a great idea and will work. I even dare to say that potential is enough to fill an Air Asia daily A330!

  8. but why would they?? they gave up on flying to Paris and London recently, makes NO SENSE at all

    btw. i have flown with them once , much better then any eu-low cost

    1. Anonymous12:00

      It makes a lot of sense, because of ETS (emission trading scheme). All airlines flying to EU should pay for carbon emission. Payment depends of flight duration. If airline flies from KUL to EU it should pay much more than if flies from BEG to EU. In the second case, airline shouldn't pay carbon emission penalty for whole KUL-EU route, but only for the last leg.

    2. Since Serbia is bound by ECAA to implement complete air transport related EU acquis, presumably ETS provisions will start to apply to Serbia in near future...

    3. Anonymous14:21

      Yes but why did they give up London - do a bit of research and you will see that it was related the the UK air travel taxes...

    4. sure, SYD-KUL-BEG-LHR makes a lot of sense, ha

    5. Anonymous16:09

      Νο one said that was their key market. I am sure they are targeting one stop from Europe to KUL. Since you need everything spelled out for you:
      LHR-BEG-KUL; CDG-BEG-KUL; ARN-BEG-KUL; FCO-BEG-KUL... and the list goes on.

  9. Anonymous11:41

    You have more chance to see red snow than this takeover happenning...

  10. Anonymous11:58

    I think they would have more chance in SKP because of teh new terminal and I am sure they would get a better offer.

    1. Anonymous12:10

      They choose airline not airport! Oh, sorry I forgot, what is the name of former yugoslav republic of macedonia national airline?

    2. Anonymous14:29

      Ask your mother!

    3. Anonymous19:59

      Airlines don't fly to airports because of nice terminals... Otherwise Moscow not having any fancy airport would be left empty of airlines, not to talk about places such as India and so on.

    4. Anonymous20:38

      When will you all stop hating Macedonia! You are just jealous that we are the most successful in the region, even more successful than Greece!

    5. Anonymous01:30

      in macedonia there is 30% unemployment! a new terminal that is woo-ing albanians in kosovo and macedonia to flying there instead of pristina... most successful? watch what you say,.

    6. Anonymous18:32

      Macedonia? You mean Srbija, juzna banovina. Macedonia is just another artificial country. There wes NO such country in the history. And for being successful - where do you live?!?

  11. praguc12:04

    BEG +7% for august: 411 340.

    1. Anonymous12:26

      Great news, there were roughly 200.000 more passengers this year!

    2. Anonymous12:47

      I guess BEG wont reach 3.5 mil this year :/

    3. Anonymous12:53

      Seems so, but then again if there was a good response to Jat's sale then we might reach close to the 3.5 mark. It is crucial for them to maintain this growth throughout the winter period.

      I am really curious to see what kind of results BEG will have once the worst of the crisis passes and air travel can flourish.

  12. Aэrologic19:54

    Any info on the Pegasus service, again and again?

    1. Anonymous20:09

      No, take the hint!

  13. Anonymous20:27

    Aha... nice one.

  14. Purger09:23

    - Srbija ne spada u EU i samim time nema onih smjesnih ekoloskih placanja koja opterecuju kompanije, poglavito interkontinentalne
    - iz istog razloga nema ogranicenja od najvise 49,9% vlasnistva neeuropske kompanije u europskoj kompaniji
    - Beograd je vrlo nerazvijen hub bez interkontinentalnih letova i jake konkurencije što je relativno primamljivo
    - dijaspora u Australiji (ne samo srpska, nego i hrvatska, makedonska, bosanska, slovenska, crnogorska, bugarska, rumunjska) uz konekcije via KUL

    - Air Asia X je prestala letjeti za London i Paris zbog neisplativosti, a kako ce onda isplativi biti letovi za BEG?
    - Iz BEG flyDubai + Emirates i Qatar imati ce 7 do 8 letova tjedno, te Turkish 14 letova tjedno uz daleko povoljnije konekcije i frekvencije prema istom trzistu
    - Broj potencijalnih putnika prema Kuala Lumpuru iz Beograda je ekstremno malen
    - Smatrati da bi putnici iz AMS, LHR, CDG, FCO, CPH... letjeli via BEG za KUL, dok istovremeno imaju direktne linije Malaysiana i do 15-tak konekcija dnevno Emiratesa, Qatara i Etihada iz svakog od tih aerodroma, je više nego smjesno
    - Jos je smjesnije sanjati o putnicima sa dva stopa poput LHR-BEG-KUL-SYD
    - sustav Jat + Air Asia X + Air Asia je ekstremno nekompatibilan
    - u Jat je potrebno investirati enormno puno novaca + katastrofalan image, docim bi bilo jeftinije Air Asiji X stacionirati svojih par aviona poput Wizzaira i pokrenuti vlastitu NTT kompaniju u Europi, a tada bi im bilo daleko isplativije isto napraviti u SKP te postati Makedonski flag carier, obzirom na nedostatak istog i daleko manju konkurenciju
    - za stvaranje imagea BEG kao tranzitne interkontinentalne zracne luke trebalo bi enormno puno novaca (broj P2P putnika je zanemariv a za ostale cijeli Balkan je jos uvijek "egzotika", "rat plemena" i "mjesto gdje ljudi putuju na magarcima bez elektricne energije")

    Sve u svemu jos jedna prica za zamagljivanje ociju javnosti kao "eto mi se trudimo svim silama, ali neide".

  15. Pritom bih samo dodao za ova pravna pitanja - srpski zakon sam trenutno predvidja vecinski udeo i efektivnu kontrolu za domaca pravna lica uz neku klauzulu koja otprilike dopusta da ECAA odredbe to pregaze. ECAA ce dalje za koju godinu to izmeniti u vecinski udeo i efektivnu kontrolu drzavljana potpisnica ECAA (EU+exYU+Albanija+Island i Norveska).

    Dakle Srbija (i ostale exYU zemlje) efektivno ima skoro ista ogranicenja po pitanju vlasnistva, i zato Turci, Rusi i svi ostali ne mogu da kupe celu kompaniju, nego su efektivno zarobljeni da bankrotirana drzava i eventualno domaci "biznismeni" moraju da prate sa ulaganjima isto koliko i "strateski partner", koji mozda i ima novca.

    Za ETS verujem da ce i Srbija to morati da usvoji vrlo brzo.

    BEG-KUL bi dakako bila najnesrecnija od svih ASEAN kombinacija, ali osim putnika za Australiju treba racunati i na putnike iz BEG za Kinu, Tajland, Koreju, itd, a potencijalno i donekle putnike iz regiona za iste destinacije (2 stopa).

    Ako bi ovo nekako uspelo, bilo bi sjajno i za aerodrom i za kompaniju da konacno zaradjuje neki odrzivi novac na long haul letovima, a ne sicu tipa 10e na 100e regionalnim kartama.

    Takodje, ovo bi bio inicijator da se konacno srezu troskovi i svede na recimo 1/3 postojeceg.

  16. Anonymous11:17

    Typical Serb media lies...

  17. SuisseOuest16:26

    Guys, you seem to forget that they care for more than KUL connections. Jat and its collection of good slots on major airports are pretty good on their own and can be profitable with newer fleet. Low cost to Asia can work with 2 stops without problem - target market are leasure travelers who will not mind 2 stops for 20% cheaper ticket. Jat's routes are doing pretty well with very little connecting traffic (since their regional connections are not very practical)...

  18. Anonymous17:31

    Hej, Air Asia X demand this new!

  19. Anonymous19:45

    How nice would that be!

  20. Anonymous23:52


    1. Anonymous09:37

      Thanx for your input mate. Btw captions dont make you look any smarter. I read the news as well and i know its far fetched but what i meant was, IF it happened it would be nice (read GREAT) for us flying from OZ to beg rather then connecting through se asia (HKG, SIN or BKK) and then europe (ZRH, FRA, LHR etc) and trust me its no picnic.

  21. Anonymous00:16

    Znaci da Milutin Mrkonjic laze...


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