Serbia and Etihad in Jat takeover talks

Minority Jat share package for Etihad

The Serbian government will begin talks with the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, at the end of March regarding the takeover of Jat Airways. The move comes after the UAE announced multi million euro investments in Serbia including the construction of a large cargo centre at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. The government has offered Etihad a minority stake in the Serbian airline but is willing for the Emirati carrier to name its own management for Jat (similar to the arrangement B&H Airlines had with Turkish Airlines). As EX-YU Aviation News learns, last week Etihad requested documentation from Jat, asking it to forward all of its international agreements and contracts.

The Serbian Minister for the Economy, Mladjan DInkić, as well as the Deputy Minister in charge of aviation, Milutin Popović, will travel to Abu Dhabi in late March to discuss the potential takeover of Jat and the sale of Jat Tehnika to the Mubadala Investment Company. Etihad is interested in incorporating Jat into its network. It would also take part of Jat’s pilots and base them in Abu Dhabi, according to government sources. Etihad Airways already has minority shares in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus and Virgin Australia. Last year, EX-YU Aviation News reported on the potential interest Etihad Airways has in the EX-YU region.

Relations between the United Arab Emirates and Serbia have been going from strength to strength over the past few months, with a dozen visits from Serbian and Emirati officials to each country in the past few weeks. Only last week, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, holidayed on the mountain resort of Kopaonik in Southern Serbia. Abu Dhabi is believed to be planning investments in Serbia in the field of agriculture, infrastructure and air transportation.

Meanwhile, a final decision on Jat’s future fleet is expected to be announced today. It is believed the task group in charge of restructuring the Serbian carrier is leaning towards Boeing but has been under great pressure from the Serbian government to choose Airbus instead, due to the country’s aspirations to join the European Union.


Jat Airways will lease four Airbus aircraft this summer, to enter service from June 1. Jat Airways’ pilots will be trained for 24 days in Hamburg and London. The training will be paid for by the leasing house chosen to provide the aircraft. The jets (two A319s and two A320s) will be between two to eight years old.


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Ha ha ha! I enjoy the morning joke about jat! No-one is intrerested buying jat, and if Serbia joins the E.U jat will be bankrupt within weeks as it will no longer be allowed state aid.

    1. Anonymous09:46

      The Sheikh during his last visit to Serbia (in Kopaonik) he announced that Etihad would purchase Jat.
      It was a political decision.

    2. Anonymous18:10

      Serbia is not member in EU.
      So the Arabs can purchase a majority of Jat ,
      something they are not allowed with Air Berlin for example.

      Jat Airways is a hidden diamond burried under a deep pile of shit,that nobody wants (or wanted) to touch!

    3. Anonymous16:27

      /I think you're getting ahead of yourself, JAT is a state enterprise in Serbia and thus enjoys state support, if Airline ever gets privatized than it would be up to new owners to decide what course they'll take for JAT, and Serbia is at least 12 years away from any EU membership, if not more.

      EU membership takes decade of talks (adopting EU laws) and new legislative implementations and than there's a referendum by 28 EU member states, not forgetting ratification and other procedures county must go through before it is accepted in to the union.

      And this is if Germany and few other influential members of the EU even agree on further expansion at this point, and everything indicates they want a halt to expansion once Croatia joins the EU.

      Sop Serbia might not be in the before 2030. same goes for the rest of the Balkans.

  2. Anonymous10:08

    There is nothing to purchase, except valuable landing slot's at Heathrow! It would only make sense for someone to purchase jat for 1 euro, and then in return ivest millions into the company and take on it's bad debt's.

  3. Anonymous10:11

    Interesting. Etihad may not be expanding as fast as Emirates but they have this good strategy with code-sharing and buying other airlines such as AirBerlin. The oddest thing is that what interest would they have in buying a carrier like JAT? They already have more than enough money to buy more slots on Heathrow for example.

    1. Anonymous10:35

      It's the geographical location.

    2. Anonymous12:20

      And BEG geographical location is good? By which standard? For transit and deviation? Of course not! Politically? Of course not as Serbia is not in EU so there is no benefit for Etihad? By transit routes? Of course not Etihad has all destinations that Jat flies in their own route map (exempt few unimportant for which no one will invest like TGD, TIV, SKP...) so no one will use transit in BEG instead nonstop flight by Etihad!

      That is as stupid as Croatian sentence "we have most beautiful sea in World".

    3. Dan Syd16:51

      You named it all with "Serbia is not in EU" THE EU deals with strengthening its own airlines LUFTHANSA AND AIR FRANCE!!! Serbia Geographically is in the centre of the balkans and could if done right become a major hub of the balkans traffic. With the current government in place, which is up for whoever is more corrupted EU or Elsewhere will swing all sides this would allow Etihad to enter and strengthen its presence where its basically non existant ... As they have with Virgin here in aus Emirates have always been more present and marketed all of sudden all i see is Virgin and Etihad plastered everywhere .... If done right its a good move for them however Jat will stay a small airline only run correctly and probably for the first time since 80s profitable and basicly will become what croatia is to LH only not as brutal

    4. Anonymous18:24

      Special thing about Serbias geographical situation is that it is in middle of Europe but outside of EU!

      In Serbia Etihad can act independent from EU-law,what is positive because EU-law is hindering its efforts.
      EU-law is dicriminating foreign carriers to profit the likes of AF;KLM and LH.

    5. Dan Syd08:53

      THANK YOU 1+

  4. Anonymous10:17

    The emiraty investment company MUBADALA will change its name to MABUDALA afterwards.

  5. Anonymous10:54

    I think jat has potention to become srong airlines in the region once fleet is renewed. It's obious they couldn't grow unil now because their decades old boeings, atrs and soo many workers which they don't really need. I do also expect some atrs at least at KVO and INI after take over and investors to realize that BEG is not serbias only Intl.aiport. Cheers from LJU

  6. So do JAT AIRWAYS gonna have better airplanes like a321 a330 777-200

    1. Anonymous12:21

      Sure, and A380 also!

    2. Anonymous16:35

      You forgot B747-8, they prefer Boeing :)

  7. Anonymous12:26

    Let me remind you of history of 100% sure investments in Jat:

    1. Air France
    2. Aeroflot
    3. Air Berlin
    4. Air Baltic
    5. Turkish
    6. group of Serbian businessman
    7. Air Asia
    8. Etihad

    ...fairy tales for semiliteral people

    1. Anonymous17:36

      It's "semiliterate".

    2. Anonymous15:30

      It's "businessmen"

  8. It's Prishtina13:23

    Control of the airline by citizens outside the ECAA area would be in violation of the ECAA Agreement and would get the same kind of treatment by EU as CSA Czech got with Aeroflot. Just saying.

    1. Anonymous13:28

      No, that would happen if Etihad had a majority share in Jat. Here is says minority so 49% or less.

    2. Anonymous16:31

      Do you really think Arabs are that stupid to pump money into company in which they don't have majority of shares = control; with or without EU regulations?

    3. Anonymous18:26

      Serbia is not in EU,so EU-laws are meaningless in that case...

  9. BA 88813:32

    Great news!

    Can't wait to see A380 flying JU colours on daily BEG-BNX-INI-BEG route!
    (With added A340 during summer peak!)

    Oh...and pigs also fly!

    1. Anonymous15:35

      Really "funny".

  10. Anonymous13:47

    Most probably JAT will get two Adria's A319, dry lease, 2 years 9 months old, lease period three years at least.

    1. Anonymous15:31

      Who will fly on those A319 if they will be dry lease?

      Three years - expensive! 5 or 6 years is good price, less than that expensive. But, in same time Adria is desperate to lease those...

  11. Anonymous18:31

    Thats why Germany and the others want Serbia in EU:

    Serbia will loose Kosovo.

    Serbian airline JAT can not get bought and saved by foreign airlines like Etihad.

    When Serbia enters EU then JAT goes bancrupt and Lufthansa and Ryanair takes over like in Croatia.

    1. Anonymous20:04

      A lot of Morava waters will be flowing under Morava bridges until Serbia enters EU, even if it signs Kosovo agreements tomorrow.

      "Losing", or "not losing" Kosovo, or joining or not joining, EU has nothing to do with serbian national airline.

      There are plenty of good airlines outside EU, and there are bad airlines in EU too, not only "new" but old members as well.

      Ryanair and Lufthansa DID NOT take over in Croatia simply because OU is not bust (at least yet).

      And I agree, serbian airline cannot get saved by foreign investors, if thier final offer for take over is 49% stake.

  12. Anonymous20:10

    Ako nije Boing mi ne idemo nigde! Dajte nam Boing, Srbi vole Boing!

    1. Anonymous22:26

      When you have money, you get your Boeings. For now, until you have money for it then put up or shut up!

  13. Anonymous20:10

    That and 500 000 croats leaving croatia every ten years.

    1. Anonymous21:12

      Jats boeing 737-300's will still be in service in ten years time!

    2. Anonymous23:29

      I hope so. Why not?

  14. Anonymous21:31


    1. Anonymous00:25

      Najjace je ono "obuku pilota platice lizing kuce" :) A mozda im i po jedan plac sa kucom pored Surcina svakom poklone, da ne putuju jadni dugo do posla hahahahahahaha

    2. Anonymous08:59

      Ако немаш информације да докажеш да није иситина оно што пише у тексту онда боље ћути.

    3. Anonymous05:15

      Управо тако!!!

  15. Anonymous09:16

    Nadam se da ce avioni biti malo ljepse pofarbani, umjesto one tri tocke na repu :)

  16. Anonymous09:51



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