Politics blocked EX-YU airline merger

No political backing for single EX-YU airline

Last year’s initiative to merge the national carrier’s of the former Yugoslavia was blocked by political forces in the region. At a recent Workshop on Southeast European Air Transport Issues in Belgrade, officials from the aviation sector in the former Yugoslavia spoke of the ongoing problems in the industry in the region and touched upon last year’s initiative to create a unified airline which would serve the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Ana Šimecki, from the Southeast Europe Transport Observatory, said that airlines from the former Yugoslavia were determined to create a unified product. However, she noted the plan fell through due to strong opposition from the governments of the former Yugoslavia. Ms. Šimecki said that conditions have since changed due to Etihad’s takeover of Jat and the expected privatisation of Croatia Airlines, making such a project today impossible.

On the other hand, Mirko Tatalović, the Deputy Vice President for Marketing and Network at Croatia Airlines said the Croatian carrier was willing to merge its operations with Adria Airways but also added that politicians were unwilling to carry through with the plan. Mr. Tatalović noted that a merger between Croatia Airlines and Adria would have been natural since both airlines have similar fleets, are members of Star Alliance and are today members of the European Union. He added the second phase of the airline’s development would have included a merger with Montenegro Airlines noting that Croatia Airlines and Montenegro Airlines have a similar passenger structure due to the existing tourism industry in both countries.

The potential merger of the airlines from the former Yugoslavia had the backing from Brussels. In March 2012, the Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines, Ulrich Schulte Strathaus, said that in order for the national carriers of the former Yugoslavia to survive they would need to unite into a single airline. “The once single Yugoslav market is now fragmented and a regional solution is necessary. The region needs an airline that would cover local needs and connect with global hubs”, Mr Strathaus said at the time. The CEOs of EX-YU national carriers held joint talks several times afterwards with the aim to synch operations but no concrete progress was made. All participants speaking on the issue at the Workshop agreed that without the strong political backing and the hostility towards a potential merger from EX-YU politicians, the project was always destined to fail.


Due to popular demand, EX-YU Aviation News has dedicated a special page for all Air Serbia launch related updates. You will be able to read up on all the important and some less important news relating to the new look airline with exactly a month to go until its inaugural flight. At the same time regular news continues to be published here on the main page every day at 09.00 CEST. Important Air Serbia related news will continue to be published on the main page as well. You can view the updates here or by clicking on the link on the right hand side.



  1. Thank God this did not happen, it would have been a disaster from day one. Brussels should stay away from civil aviation. This proposal just proves that most people who work for Fort Brussels are mere dreamers and not realists.
    If Serbia did participate in this proposal we would never have Air Serbia- so in retrospect, we would have been the biggest losers.

    1. JU520 BEGLAX11:37

      as long the mentality stays like this, nothing will ever change in the region. You will remain in the shit like the past decades. But that s the regions destiny. Had it ever really going thru succesfull times. Did they discover the world from Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo? They didnt.
      French, Germans, Vikings, Portugese, Spanish, Italians, Greek have sailed around the globe and made trade throughout the world. The Music was playing already 500 years ago in Rome, Prague, Vienna, Prague, Madrid or London. But it did not in Belgrade, Sarajevo. And if it did, just because some regions of the Region were part of other nations. The Turks, Donaumonarchie or the Venetians.
      Maybe Ragusa (Dubrovnik) was the only real strong and succesful part of the middle Age history.
      The Region will might make some Progress, but here you will never have London, Istanbul, Tokyo, New York or whatever. Why, because of the mentality. As long this is not changing, no success. Why so much diaspora?. Because it has been a messy, unstable and unquite region since centuries.

      If you think that Air Serbia is a success just because of EY Investment and some nice A319s with inflight kitchen shit etc. Than welcome to the world in 3-4 years or even sooner. The best would have been a regional carrier with EY cash, called Adria, or somekind of other neutral Name.
      I personally hope that Air Serbia will succeed, now we have a promising future. But look at the ex YU Region. How much cash was invested by the world into Bosnia, Kosovo etc.
      Where is this money? Do I really see flourishing and prospering regions in Bosnia and Kosovo?

      Fort Brussels might be, I m also no friend of them. But politicians in Ex YU are just a bunch of criminals looking for their own pocket and giving a s.... about the fortune and future uf their society.

      Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, Hong Kong or Norway are not there where they are just by luck or co-incidence. The same counts for the ex YU region.

    2. I am sorry but I do not agree with you. Yugoslavia as an idea failed for a reason. It was a dead project from the start. This airline would suffer from the same fate.

      Furthermore, Etihad-Jat deal is a success because it will finally give Serbia a decent and reliable airline which will make Belgrade more accessible through increased number of flights and lower fares. I do not see what better deal we Serbs would get from 'Adria ' than we got from Air Serbia. It's about time for Serbia to create its own future, independent of those who 'ran away' from us. Time to move on.

      Just for the record, politicians in Brussels are as corrupt as those in ex-Yugoslavia.

    3. Anonymous13:07

      decko, napunili su ti glavu teskim nebulozama. jugoslavija je bila odlican, kako ti kazes "projekat", sa kojim se identifikovala vecina njenog stanovnistva i 90% elitnih strukura. kao sto i vaza kada padne ne razbije se zato sto je lose izrade, nego zato sto neko na nju ne pazi ili je namerno baci, tako se i jugoslavija nije reaspala sama od sebe, zato sto je bila pogana, nego su je rasturile sasvim odredjeni ljudi i grupe ljudi, koje se i u Hrvatskoj, i u BiH, i u Srbiji mogu najlakse dovesti u vezu sa najneobrazovanijim slojem stavnistva, sa kriminalcima, sumnjivim tipovima iz porodica i krajeva sa fasistickom prosloiscu. Jugoslaviju nije prestala da radi na sred puta, kao sto se auto pokvari zbog nekog loseg dela u motoru, nego su je nemilosrdno rastrgle zveri koje i danas i propagiraju mrznju na ovim prostorima, ne podnose razlicitosti, nemaju ukusa i smisla lepo, bave se sumnjivim biznisom i politikom za licni racun.

    4. Anonymous13:13

      "Thank God this did not happen, it would have been a disaster from day one. Brussels should stay away from civil aviation. This proposal just proves that most people who work for Fort Brussels are mere dreamers and not realists.
      If Serbia did participate in this proposal we would never have Air Serbia- so in retrospect, we would have been the biggest losers."

      And now what? They will build up a regional company without Serbia, probably under the cover/name of Adria airways which acceptable for all countries of ex-yu. So either, we will continue to whitness a semi-disaster of all those national carriers ingoring the economy, or we will have Adria advanced, flying as the carrier of Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Slovenia, mabye even Montenegro on one side, and JU with one airport. It´s difficult to me to see where do you find the reason to thank the God for leaving Serbia and JU out of the margening. If the rest of ex-yu achieve to build up a regional carrier, we can say goodbye to JU:

    5. AnonymousSeptember 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Али како не схваташ да баш то што ти пишеш су небулозе. Да је Југославија била тако стабилна и јака држава не би неколицина људи успела да сруши цео систем. Баш из тог разлога Југославија ће остати само племенита идеја а не стрварност. Елем, ово није политички блог тако да нећу даље расправљати о овим стварима.

      AnonymousSeptember 26, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      What is there not to understand? This Yugoslav carrier would have been a disaster because it would be an amalgamation of ALL managements from all these airlines. So tell me, if all these people did not manage to run their own respective and small carriers, how will they run a multinational one where some branches of it would be subject to EU rules and regulations while the others wouldn't? Putting a bunch of incompetent people together will not make them competent all of a sudden.
      I am optimistic when it comes to Air Serbia because Etihad did the right thing. They fired everyone and they allowed for new people to enter the company. I am especially referring to the young managers programme. Anyway, time will tell who was right in the end.

    6. Anonymous13:47

      To sto ti pricas, to je ko tebe da neko ispremlati i polomi, pa kaze da imas 5 preloma i podlovie jer su ti slabe kosti i losi krvni sudovi. Ma to su gluposti. Niko nije rekao da je Jugoslavija bila "stabilna" drzava - ima i stabilnijnih koje opstaju, a ima i manje stabilnih koje vrlo fino opstaju. Ali je Jugoslavija bila i za onovremene svetske prilike i u poredjenju sa ovim bananama mnogo bolje resenje i sjajna drzava. Solidno i besplatno obrazovanje, pristupacna zdravstvena zastita, nulta stopa ulicnog kriminala i sto je najvaznije - slobodan put svakom kome se ne svidja da spakuje kofer i ode u Nemacku, Kanadu, gde god hoce - nesto u sojvetskom bloku nezamislivo.

    7. JU520 BEGLAX13:54

      Nemjee: focus on the region does not needs to end at the borders of former YU.

      Also the name can be any name. Does not needs to be geographicaly connected.

      One strong carrier for the region is probably already enough. If two can be succesfully Exit , I don t know. I rather doubt. Analyzing the current situation in Europe, where legacy carriers loose more and more on ground and some airlines will have to disappear it s just a question who can hold their breath the longest.
      Means def two carrier would not be needed in our region.

      anony some blocks down: u mentioned Tesla. Good example. the music for Tesla played only 24 years in the former YU region, the rest abroad, either Prague, Budapest, Paris, the States..

      for example Croatia and Slovenia have a joint tourist board approach in markets like China, Japan and Korea. Next approach is Brazil. That s the way to go. Or Slovenia/Austria and Hungary Joint promotely their spa business.
      Wine producers in Colio and Brdo joining forces to have a chance against the big competition from other parts of Italy.

      People in the region must come away from the national thinking and find ways for supraregoinal cooperations.
      And one thing is clear from Zagreb over Sarajevo, Podgorica to Belgrade, the same language is spoken. Look at other places where same language is spoken. Most parts take advantage of it as they have a common room to exchange and find synergies and develop.

      in our regions this still lacks behind, except maybe for the cultural scene where usually border, limitations, diversity play less of an role.

    8. Anonymous14:15

      Well now seems to be to late for such kind of smartness. Someone wanted to collect some political point, maybe to express a national loyalty in his own way, and came up with an idea to rename JU into "Air Serbia"... being at the same time totally blind for all those huge changes in Europe, putting the meaningfull geographically connected regions rather than icnidential national boards in the first front. We just see that each business sector, including travel agencies, hotels, havy industries, even theaters and universities has achived remarkable advance one the actors have changed the old fashioned national impressionism with logics and regional cooperation. - But as I said, the mistake was with JU is already done, now we have to see how to make best out of that.

    9. JU520 BEGLAX16:16

      Nemjee, there u re right, how to manage one single big carrier if they can not even manage their small sized carriers. But there we would exactly Need the same what s Happening now: EY in the back, foreign CEO, later on also Managers. I m sure Kondic will not remain the only foreigner in Air Serbia. Also These EK, QRs, EYs had to use the help of german,swiss, american, british, australian aviation specialist.

      But as above me anony is saying, done is done, now we hope for Air Serbia to go the right way and I wish them good luck. Maybe in a decade they are the only one left in the Region and People from ATH,BUH,LJU,ZAG,SJJ,SKG,PRN will fly BEG to the world. who knows. But it would be nice if at least one of our horses would remain in the game :-)

    10. Anonymous16:52

      I wish all the best for Air Serbia in the very same way. ETihad, foreign management with Mr. Kondic - it´s a big progress for JU, not to speak about better network, better service and so on. But something else makes me sick: few people that are obviously ready to ignore all economical facts, just in order to obtain their narrow national mind-set. Those commentators don´t want to make national proud out JU within the boarders of economical decissions. Rather than that, they focus on some national(istic) dream, and are ready to take losses and cuts in JU, just to feel that dream in the reality. - That´s what the whole ex-yu market should be afraid of: JU, OU, YM... in the very same way.

    11. Nemjee,
      No one would have been legally allowed to 'run away' from Yugoslavia if Milosevic did not destroy the constitution to create Greater Serbia! All those who you think ran away were forced to leave their homes who did not agree with the notation of Serbia and how many Serbs feel what their position in the region should be as a mini super power controlling and or influencing other nations in the region. All that resulted from them to now was and is a direct result of Milosevic’s and his buddy’s actions!
      Even today when I speak to Serbs at work for example, they would thump their chest and talk about how great Serbia was under the czars 700 years ago but will completely deny that Croatia or Bosnia existed pre 1918 in any form.
      So please Nemjee, no more attempts to twist the truth of our recent history.
      For the rest of you, I have no idea how you can continue to defend Yugoslavia, a country which had no problem using it military against its own people on no less than 5 major occasions. Yeah Yugoslavia was great!
      As to the topic of a unified regional supper carrier, not for a long time, as you can all probably guess, in my opinion. With all the talk about why our airlines have been failing, no one has asked the question of what these airlines really were set up to achieve? Maybe they were never meant to be profitable.

    12. Like I said it before, this is not a political blog so I will not bother with political comments, even if what you wrote was pure nonsense and resembles typical Tudjman propaganda from the 1990s (or 1960s for that matter). It would be a great pleasure to prove you wrong but I do not want to give the admin a headache.

    13. Anonymous08:16

      'All those who you think ran away were forced to leave their homes who did not agree with the notation of Serbia and how many Serbs feel what their position in the region should be as a mini super power controlling and or influencing other nations in the region.'

      Oh honey, that's not Serbia you are referring to. That's Croatia during WW2, the only difference is that you killed 800,000 Serbs in Jasenovac... let's not forget Oluja as well.

  2. Anonymous10:14

    Belavia is sending its B737-500 into Belgrade once again, it seems that the route is doing well.

  3. Anonymous12:40

    1. Knowing Nemjee and his serb-centered duscussions and opinions I didn't expect sth. else
    2. And you BEGLAX you're just with biased views. Just a single information cause I was living for 2 years in CH when Swiss were crying and bleeding when their national pride symbol LX was preparing to be sold to the "bad" Germans. Swiss politicians were blocking the project for 3 years and only when LX was on the very brink to fail for the second time they let it go.. So this is not an exception to ex-yu but rather a rule! And yet I don't know a single famous Swiss person, neither a scientist nor an artist, but I know many Serbian, Croatian scientists like N.Tesla!

    1. Anonymous12:54

      The fact that you don't know any doesn't mean there aren't any, it just means you are uneducated.

  4. Anonymous13:11

    You, the well educated, tell me and we'll discuss the cotribution later on!

  5. BA88814:05

    For country like Serbia, corrupt to the core, without any visible values apart from self sorrow and flooded with turbo-folk tat populated by generations that grew in that environment it is hard to see anything else than twisted "national pride".

    Same goes for (ANY) diaspora that finds itself loud on this blog.

    Same goes (less often though) for Croatian, occasional Macedonian hot heads on this blog.

    This blog and its comments are becoming boring and unpleasant to read and have NOTHING to do with aviation.

    (Oh, PS- I do come from Serbia)

    1. Anonymous14:07


    2. Anonymous15:34

      Funny. You complain that this blog has little to do with aviation yet you are yourself contributing to the 'problem'.

    3. Anonymous15:50

      @anon 3:34: My point exactly, you know these people who only say something when they want to complain, or when they start reminiscing why is this why is that.. And all that from a safe distance... ergo, they do not live in either of the countries mentioned... And their contribution is one big zero.

    4. Anonymous23:26

      You people just hate anyone who writes down how ignorant and chlidish some of your thoughts and approaches are. Nationalists tend to spoil towns, companies, states, funds the same way parents often get to spoil their children. With no intention, but with a big lack of feeling for reality.

  6. Anonymous14:19

    Politika je demontirala ex drzavu a ex avio kompanija se demontirala takodje. Obadve u muzeju. Brisel zeli da se ponovo formira zajednicka avio kompanija za bivsu drzavu.
    Sve je ostalo, bivse. Brisel je na istom mestu I neka ostane.
    Psi laju karavani prolaze. Uvek bilo. Bivse je bivse!.
    Rod. Marinkovic AME(ret.) Griffith AUSTRALIA

    1. Anonymous14:51

      Prolaze karavni, ali para vrti gde burgija nece.

    2. Anonymous14:53

      .. razmisli dvaput ko su u odnosu brisel/ex-yu karavani, a ko su psi...

    3. Anonymous15:37

      Karavani su politicari a psi su iza njih ljudi koji ubijaju. Brisel je glavni rrad Belgije.
      Laku noc. Na 150 uporedniku vec je prosla ponoc. Laku noc Srbijo!
      Rod. Griffith AUS.

    4. Anonymous16:55

      ja pre mislim da brisel ima karavane, premestaju nas, mustraju, usmeruju, prekrajaju vec 20 godina kako hoce. U sloveniji i hrvatskoj vec je odavno samo mig da daju, u Srbiji je uglavnom potreban stap, ali njima stapa i motika ne fali. - A ti psi sto laju, to su nasi politicari. Uostalom, i u tom citatu karavani su turski, a psi su srpska raja.

  7. Anonymous17:42

    Someone already uploaded a video on Youtube.
    Type in on Youtube:
    Abu Dhabi - Belgrade,Etihad

    The flight seems to have a good pax load to me.
    But what is with the fume on the ceiling...?
    There where the lights are?

    1. Anonymous18:43

      It’s not fumes it moisture so the air in the cabin isn’t too dry :)

    2. zoki20:36

      ^ Yes,it is the air conditioner !
      The air is so cooled that it looks like smoke .
      Thats why the passengers also get blankets !
      And its wonderful to see their plane nearly full !

  8. Anonymous21:06

    From 27th october Lufthansa will operate its second daily flight
    Frankfurt - Chicago with the 747-800 !

    1. Anonymous23:03

      Whats that got to do with the article?! And who cares...
      Admin please erase these off-off-off topics

    2. Anonymous23:36


    3. Anonymous00:04

      it's not off topic - not only is it related to aviation (ex Yu writes about other airlines outside of the former ex Yu to the side of the main page) but many Ex - yu passengers fly on the Chicago - Frankfurt route...

    4. Anonymous07:58

      Actually, Lufthansa operates a single daily flight between Frankfurt and Chicago in winter time. They go double daily in summer only. Still, good news for all those flying from ex-YU to Chicago. Though I believe most will fly on Austrian's flight from now on. At least they will from Belgrade.

  9. Anonymous00:37

    ^ Well said!
    Some people want to erase everything that does not fit in their narrow world view.

  10. Anonymous00:37

    With the logic most are using that people wouldnt fly with a certain airline because of its name or past history of that nation. Then no one would fly Lufthansa due to Germany's actions during the last world wars. yet many ex yu nationals fly Lufthansa & is strong in many of these countries. Sorry I forgot they were with the germans during ww2 & 1