Etihad completes Air Serbia takeover

Etihad becomes official part owner of Air Serbia

Etihad Airways has officially completed its 49% takeover transaction of Air Serbia. The takeover agreement was signed by Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan and the Serbian Minister for Transport, Aleksandar Antić, in Belgrade on Tuesday, away from the media spotlight, presumably so as to avoid calls for the secretive deal to be made public. As a result, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has turned the forty million dollars it has invested into Air Serbia since August 1, 2013 into equity. A further 200 million dollars will be invested in the Serbian carrier in the coming period. With the official signing ceremony completed, Etihad now also has controlling stakes in Air Serbia subsidiaries Air Serbia Catering and Air Serbia Ground Services. The Serbian Business Register Agency is expected to record the changes in Air Serbia’s ownership structure in the coming days. The Serbian government remains the majority shareholder with a 51% stake.

Etihad's global ownership structure

Lately, calls have intensified for the agreement to be made public. However, Air Serbia maintains it cannot do so since there is a strict secrecy clause in the agreement. The company says that publishing the agreement would harm relations between Serbia and the UAE and could lead to Etihad pulling out of the deal and filing a complaint against Air Serbia at the London Court for International Arbitration. Earlier this month, Siniša Mali, one of the chief negotiators of the takeover, said the government will discuss with its UAE partners the possibility of making parts of the agreement public.

Meanwhile, the Serbian carrier has created a new leisure subsidiary named Air Serbia Corporate Travel Services. The company will specialise in holiday and tour travel packages. Stevan Šipka from Australia has been named as the subsidiary’s CEO similar to Jat's former Airlift tour operator. In addition, John Earnshaw from the United Kingdom has been named as CEO of Air Serbia Catering. Mr. Earnshaw previously worked as Assistant Vice President at Emirates Airlines Flight Catering.


  1. Anonymous09:17

    As far as understand there is no money in deal, but to use Etihad planes (one of those fly to feed Abu Dhabi), which still are and will be in UEA registration (the same shit as Turkish in B&H Airlines), services, rebranding... But no money... exempt from Serbian side. More than 300.000.000,00 EUR.

    "The company says that publishing the agreement would harm relations between Serbia and the UAE and could lead to Etihad pulling out of the deal and filing a complaint against Air Serbia at the London Court for International Arbitration."
    This needs no comment. That sentence is saying everything! God bless Serbian wisdom. Not just me, but my son and grandson will pay for that deal.

    1. Anonymous09:31

      Have you even read thr post? $40m of Etihad's credit will be converted to to equity. A further $200m (split 50:50 IIRC) will be invested into the carrier. How is Etihad not paying anything here?

    2. "200 million to be invested in the coming period" says the article.

      Not sure what "the coming period" means.

      You seem to forget that Jat was at death's door and facing collapse and a constant drain on the Serbian budget. The money that the Serbian side paid would have had to have been paid anyway.

      Now Serbia has 50% of potentially something rather than 100% of less than nothing.

      Now Serbia has a functioning airline with a proper management.

      I phoned Air Serbia yesterday and couldn't believe how nice and helpful they were on the phone. What a contrast from a few years ago when I tried that.

    3. Anonymous09:44

      treba Arapima ljubiti guzice zbog ovog posla, a ne da kukamo kako ne prikazuju ugovor. mene lično baš briga šta piše u ugovoru, bitnije mi je ono što mogo da vidim i doživim, a doživeo sam. nebo i zemlja su JAT i Er Srbija. tako da, što se mene tiče, neka piše i da je belo crno, baš me briga. leteo sam i uživao sam

    4. JATBEGMEL09:58

      Etihad hasnt given a/c to Air Serbia.

      2 a/c were leased by Etihad (A6-SAA, A6-SAB) and given to Air Serbia for use for a number of reasons. Etihad was able to obtain the aircraft for a much cheaper price than JAT was able to. Also, no crew in JAT had any training for the A320 type. The a/c registered in the UAE are all operated by EY crew with licences issued in the GCAA, and are restricted to be operated on flights ex BEG.

      The other a/c with YU registration were directly leased by Air Serbia with EY guarantees.

      Reguarding EY investments into JU, we also have to include the training that EY have given to the JU crew, sending them to the UAE on training, also in recruiting new staff, as well as sending personelle to BEG to assist in turning the company into something decent from the mess it was.

    5. Anonymous12:00

      All JU crew members that went to Abu Dhabi for training got both a319 and a320 trainijg and licenses.

      i know it because my mother just got both licenses...

      best to everyone

    6. Anonymous12:20

      Ony first four batches of YU FA`s got GCAA licenses. Other batches got type ratings for A320 family but not GCAA. Those 4 batches of FA`s are working on the UAE registered A319`s with cockpit crew`s being from EY.

    7. JATBEGMEL12:34

      A319 and A320 is the one licence and one training as its the same family. Having a licence to operate A320 family means crew are qualified to operate A318/A319/A320/A321, and with minimal additional training, crew can have A330 and A340 licence with very minimal training as they are all similar, difference is in size and minor things. As a matter of fact, GCAA allows crew to obtain a licence for a max of 2 a/c, A320/330/340 is considered as 1 type. This is all cabin crew perspective and not for pilots.

      When it comes time for JU to take on the A330, I think it will be a 1 week process, and I wouldnt be surprised to see it happen during the recurrent courses for crew.

    8. At least the loads of the Abu Dhabi flights are more or less ok. This morning the flight arrived with 92 passengers in economy class while Etihad's flight departed with 90-something passengers. Mind you, most of the passengers onboard JU 801 were O&D, only a handful of passengers connected.

    9. Anonymous16:54

      Doot, thank you, you got it! That's the essence of the deal benefit in a couple of easy to understand sentences, awesome!

      Last year, there were opinions on JAT's liabilities and capital to determine JAT's value in this deal. However JAT's market value was essentially zero as over time, JAT's assets became toxic, so any rational accounting valuation was irrelevant. Airline business is international in nature and JAT's reputation, brand value and reports of corruption and political influences kept foreign investors away. No serious investor would touch JAT and government kept pumping large sums of money to keep it artificially alive. Having a buyer for JAT with a public contract that's "good" for the government would be as ridicoulous as having a "good" public contract with a buyer for subprime mortgage products in US in the fall of 2008! Once you have toxic assets, you have to make some painful cuts, deal with the costs and start anew with a clean slate. That is the essence of what is the (re)birth of Air Serbia. Outcome so far has far better than keeping that economic zombie that JAT was in it's final years alive.

    10. Anonymous19:45

      @DootFebruary 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      "I phoned Air Serbia yesterday and couldn't believe how nice and helpful they were on the phone. What a contrast from a few years ago when I tried that."

      JAT - Sto hoces? Ajde mars u p*ck* ma*er*nu, ma bopli me ako cete leteti sa nama, ma kavkva prtljaga, ovo nije hotel, ma da sti vi hocete ako vam damo malo sira sa crnom mrljom operi ga konju jedan, ma kavva tajmtable to to govoris ovo je JAT mi radimo po nasem rasporedu, ma moze da leti taj avion sa jednim krilom nekoj me zajebavati, kakav sekuriticheckin, ma ovaj pilot koji vozi nas avion nije piajn jebem ti palac, JAT ima tradiciju koju mora drzati znaci kasnit ce 3 sata.


    11. Anonymous20:37

      Anonymous at 9.17am, simply stated, you're a fucking idiot. You, your son and every other taxpayer in this country has already been paying for JAT and its poor and corrupt mgt over the past 15 years for the losses that they have been wracking up ... Never mind about things going forward, at least now, we will be unshackled from the obligation of having to cover these losses and keep unproductive and useless people employed. Halelujah to this deal - a deal after failed 3 privatization attempts - the last of which no one even bothered to get a copy of the tender document - we finally managed to snag a world class strategic partner. What do you think that the other failed airlines across ex-yu would give to be in Air Serbia's shoes ? People in Italy are waiting in great anticipation that Etihad will invest in their airline and the best you can do, is talk through your arse about stuff you absolutely have no idea about. As for no money from Etihad into the deal, who do you think paid for the aircraft leases, rebranding, training, uniforms, renovation of the St Marks retail shop, cutover to Sabre ? A govt which doesn't have money to even pay for hospitals, roads and schools ?? Get back to milking that cow in barnhouse and hope that the horse next to the cow kicks you in the head and puts you out of your misery ...

    12. zoran J20:39

      To @DooFebruary

      have You ever fly with JAT? Or get any operator by phone? I've travelled at least couple of hundred times and never heard of that. But I've heard something similar on FCO and LIS. In my career only one time JAT lost baggage. To compare with Lufthansa, at least 4-5 times, AL ITALIA every time when I've been transferred on Italy airports, even EK at least twice. The rude and arrogant KLM-Air France attendants in addition. I'm not saying that JAT was excellent, it was below average European carrier, but to say about rudeness of employes it is shameful and disgusting.

    13. Anonymous23:45

      @Anonymous at 9:17 AM:

      "Not just me, but my son and grandson will pay for that deal."

      After 2008 US financial crisis, US national debt went from $10 trillion in 2008 to $16 trillion in 2012. That's the increase of $6 trillion in debt, of if you prefer zeroes: $6,000,000,000,000.00.

      Some US taxpayers feel that not just them, but their kids and their grandkids, will have to pay off that debt. In today's world almost every government has debt.

  2. Anonymous09:22

    Ive been lead to believe over the last six months in this forum the whole thing was fantastic and any criticism was frowned upon and not tolerated.

    1. Anonymous17:09

      Criticism is awesome! It helps improve the service. For example, if customer had a nasty check-in experience and complained to airline about it, airline could then use it to make changes to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Criticizing an airline for lack of online and mobile check-in gives them an opportunity to change reservation system and implement online/mobile check-in in the future, so customers will all benefit from criticism.

      Complaining about some other things, such as investor’s contract or low load factor is not really a criticism, it just another load of FUD as it doesn’t affect customer’s experience.

  3. Purger09:30

    As in your Graf you miss most of data of Etihad investments in companies in last 2 years, I made little investigation, here are details:

    Air Berlin:
    105 million USD for 29% of shares
    266 million USD for credit
    252 million USD for 70% ff program

    330 million USD for 24% of shares
    150 million USD for ff program

    Air Serbia
    100 million USD (40 million immediately)

    32 million USD for 4% more shares (to come to 10%)

    Aer Lingus:
    21 million USD for 3% of shares

    2,2 million USD for 33% of shares

    Air Seychelles:
    20 million USD for 40% shares
    25 million USD for credit



    Koliko je zapravo Etihad ukucao u kompanije tijekom 2012. i 2013.

    U Air Berlin:
    - 105 milijuna USD za 29% dionica
    - 266 milijuna USD kredita
    - 251 milijun USD za 70% ff programa

    U Jet je uloženo:
    - 330 milijuna USD za 24% dionica
    - 150 milijuna USD za ff program

    U Air Serbiu još nije ništa uloženo, ali se planira investicija od
    - 100 milijuna USD (40 milijuna odmah)

    U Virgin Australiju:
    - kupili su dodatnih 4% dionica za oko 32 milijuna USD (istime su povećali udio na 10% dionica Virgin Australije)

    U Aer Lingus:
    - 21 milijun USD za malo manje od 3% dionica

    U Darwin
    - 2,2 milijuna USD za 33% dionica

    U Air Seychelles:
    - 20 milijuna USD u 40% dionica
    - 25 milijuna USD kredita

    Obzirom da je profit Ethida u 2012. bio samo 170 milijuna USD, a 2011. 137 milijuna USD, te kako prije nisu poslovali profitabilno, dakle govorimo o oko 300 milijuna USD profita, opravdano je upitati se odakle novac za 4 puta više investicija, tj. za milijardu USD investicija više od profita (ukupno 1,3 milijardi USD investicija)? Ogromni krediti, državna pomoć, trošenje prihoda i prolongiranje plaćanja obveza...?

    U 2014. Etihad planira investirati u 22% dionica Aer Lingusa (već najavljeno), te je u završnim pregovorima za 410 milijuna USD investicijom u 40% dionica Alitalije. Navodno pregovaraju i sa LOT-om (isto su demantirali, no demantirali su i neke realizirane investicije u prošlosti poput Jeta), a obzirom na brze, iznenadne i nenajavljene investicije u Darwin i Jat, za očekivati su i ekspresne investicije u manje kompanije.

    Uz to kompanija je naručila stotine aviona, među kojima velik broj širokotrupaca, vrijednih milijarde USD-a, a sa isporukama u idućih par godina, koje također treba platiti.

    Stoga je više nego upitno postaviti pitanje isplativosti i izvora financiranja ovih silnih investicija.

    1. Imaju oni novca na pretek. Pored udela u aviokompanija, imaju sponzorstva na sve strane kao sto je F1, fudbal itd. Neverujem da su ludi da se samo razbacuju, sigurno imaju neki cilj, nama nepoznat. Pa zasto ne zele da objave ugovor?

    2. Anonymous10:54

      Imaju za cilj da naprave ogromnog avio prevoznika na Bliskom Istoku centriranom oko globalne equity alijanse. A to da im vlada Abu Dabija daje novac, to ne treba da čudi. Da ih interesuje čist profit, kupovali bi avione od jedne firme, ne bi se razbacivali sa stvarima poput "flying nannies", ne bi sponzorisali F1 i FC Manchester City. Etihad je stvar prestiža za Abu Dabi.

    3. vili_s11:43

      UAE nija na Balkanu, znaci da novac ne daje vlada... Ne razumijem ovoliko "jahanje" po ugovoru, ne sjecam se da neka druga kompanija objavljuje ista vise od najosnovnijih podataka iz ugovora. Bilo bi lijepo za vidjeti da se jos kompanija u nasim krajevima na ovaj nacin transformisu, da sistem poslovanja i mentalitet tipa Jat ode u historiju...

    4. Anonymous11:49

      UAE nije na Balkanu, ali se globalna alijansa ne može napraviti na Bliskom Istoku. Vlada UAE (tačnije Abu Dabija) očigledno finansira Etihad i njegovu astronomsku ekspanzija. Etihad sam po sebi, po kvalitetu usluge i nerealnim sponzorstvima, predstavlja više stvar nacionalnog prestiža, da ne ispadne sa Abu Dabi ima lošiju avio-kompaniju od komšijskog Dubaija. Equity alijansa je više odraz arapske megalomanije, mada u ovom slučaju treba biti zahvalan na tome.

    5. Anonymous20:54

      Government has been spending millions of tax payers money for ages. For ages. Their moral obligation is to give some details of the contract. Some of you guys do not see the big picture. And this is the government of a country you live in.

    6. Anonymous23:07

      By far the best way to find out the details of the “secret contract” is to buy the ticket and fly Air Serbia at least once. If that experience doesn’t make you fully aware of what the goals for Air Serbia deal are, you are probably expecting some sort of conspiracy theory contract where Abu Dhabi gets one million virgins for each Airbus they give to Air Serbia. I can’t help you in that case.

  4. Anonymous10:31

    Sjajna vest! Sa velikom nadom da ubuduce jos privatnih kompanija iz Srbije i izvan Srbije otkupe jos cetvrtinu akcija ER SRBIJE. Da ljudi privatnog biznisa upravljaju, vode i podnose racune onima koji su ulozili novac, ER SRBIJI rezultate, a drzavi Srbiji da placa porez! Tim putem da krene ANT Beograd i... Da drzava bude apsolutni vlasnik zakona u svakom slovu, sprovodjenju, potpunoj primeni. Rool of Low. Da ljudi I kompanije zive, rade I rastu pod zakonom. Iznad zakona nikad! Ljudski je se nadati a jos vise voleti. Leteti znaci voleti, a voleti znaci postovati zakone. Novi horizonti uspeha se otvaraju sa velikim radom. Ne krvavim radnicima vec pametnim ljudima pod zakonom. Mnogo srece novoj kompaniji AIR SERBIA. "Svima Dobro a nikome zlo"! Vas Rod. Marinkovic, Kraljevo / Sydney-Griffith

    1. Anonymous11:23

      Rod your should be a proud man!!! You radiate with your positive energy and knowledge!!! God bless you!!

    2. Anonymous19:25

      Dear Anonymous of 11:23 AM. Thanks for you generous note. Kako bih srecan bio da razgovaram, razmenim rec sa malom grupom ljudi koji vole ovo sto i ja. Za pocetak vi ste verovatno svi profesionalci. Sto se mene tice, pored na prvom mestu Lubavi prema Gospodu
      postovanja prema Ljudima, a posebno prema onima koji lete, opsluzuju avione
      aerodrome. Iz Srbskog sam roda, ali moj narod je od Sydney-a, Beograda, do Ancorage, Johannesburg-a, Tokyo,
      Dallas-a, Shangai-a, Toulluse-a, Ria...
      Svuda je moj narod gde strobe light para nebesa i tockovi ljube piste. Kada bi imao nacina znanja i snage da bar malo pomognem razmenom mojeg svedocenja letova od iznad
      rada u QANTAS-u i neprestalnim druzenjima sa mnogo iznad 130 aerodromima i priblizno 50 godina izmedju Polarisa i Juznog Krsta. Kako voleti ljude i kompanije, postovati i biti
      srecan sa sobom, prenositi na druge pa
      spontano sluziti avijaciji. Na ovome pociva komercijalna avijacija. Ko ovo ne prihvata promasio je posao na aerodromu. Ako me nagrdite zbog ovakvog teksta, necu vam zamerit. Okrenucu i drugi obraz.
      Rodney Marinkovic, AME. KVO/SYD.

  5. Those A319s from 1998 are still in Airbus order book under Air Serbia. If i remember correctly, there were talks about Etihad assist on that affair. Does it have something to do with A320NEOs order from Etihad?
    Sorry if it was mentioned somewhere, but i couldn't find information on it.

    1. Anonymous13:33

      That payment for A319s was credited to pre-delivery payment for A320 NEOs. It was announced when the NEOs were ordered.

    2. Thank you for the response!

  6. Purger13:01

    Ali ovo je još uvijek 51% vlasništvo Srbije. U najmanju rukuk bi se trebalo znati koliko je Etihad uplatio i koji su iznosi novaca za "usluge" te po kojoj cijeni.

    Uz to moralo bi se znati:
    - što će se desiti nakon 5 godina i ako Etihad ne produži ugovor, kome idu avioni, dugovi, krediti, leasing...

    - što ako Etihad odustane od ugovora

    - što ako projekt ne bude profitabilan nakon 2 godine, tj. ako presuši izvor od 200 milja EUR, hoće li nakon toga Srbija ponovo morati upucati novac u "zajedničku kompaniju".

    Da i to prikažem na jednom primjeru:
    - jedna europska institucija je sa Hrvatskom vladom ulatjela u jedan projekt, 50:50, uz uvjet da se oprema nabavlja preko neke agencije, poduzeća ili što koju odlučuje ta institucija

    - cijena kompjutera i druge opreme je bila 300% viša od realne

    - ispada da je 50% hrvatskih novaca platilo cjelokupan iznos opreme + 100% zarade te institucije

    Što ako su ti avioni Etihada ušli u "investiciju" a leasing im je 300% viši od ostalih? Isto tako školovanje, rezervacijski sustav i sve ostalo? Onda ispada da Srbija sa svojih 100 milja zapravo plača Etihadu skupe usluge i profit, a Etihad ništa. A onda tome dodaj vrtoglavu ekspanziju koja će napraviti samo to da će se još više morati Etihadu zaduživati... I onda nakon 5 godina? Tko te drži za jajčeka?

    Dat če Bog da ovdje nije takav primjer, no, nažalost, velik broj najgorih primjera u regiji nas tjeraju da "pušemo i na hladno". Jer koga jednom zmija ugrize...

    Za sada sve izgleda bajkovito... nekako sam naučio da kada u zemljama u tranziciji stvari izgledaju bajkovito zapravo jako nahebemo! I kad slijedeći puta stvari izgledaju bajkovito opet se nadamo da neće biti kao prošli puta...

    1. Anonymous13:31

      U tekstu jasno piše da se Etihadov kredit od $40m konvertuje u equity (udeo u firmi). Isto tako, piše da će biti investirano još $200m (50:50, ako se ne varam, što je ranije najavljeno). Dakle, Etihad će imati 49% i Vlada RS 51% na osnovu ovih uslova.

      To da će Etihad varati srpske poreske obveznike na takav način, zaista ne verujem, jer im to baš i ne priliči i kompaniji koja ima Abu Dabijeve milijarde tako nešto zaista be treba. Mislim da što se tiče nekog vrsta hedgea za potencijalni scenario gde se nabave avioni koji ne mogu da se napune može da se desi da JU dobije T1 koji će služiti kao auxhilary revenue od transfer paxa i koji može da kompenzuje za neke gubitke od flight opsa.

    2. Purger

      Iako je sve sto si rekao vrlo validno, ja se nadam da se u slucaju Air Serbia se nece obistiniti (iako nema apsolutno nikakvih garancija). Iz mog iskustva, iako se i oni prije svega vode profitom u biznisu, kod Arapa, Japanaca itd. ima cini mi se i nesto drugo sto oni gledaju. Mozda nesto povezano sa religijom, prijateljstvom itd. Da je u pitanju neka zapadna kompanije manje bi se nadao sigurno. Na kraju krajeva zasto smo ratovali nego da bi zapadnjaci imali otvoreno trziste na kojem rade sta hoce a mi kao ovce samo pratimo I sve zivo uvozimo od njih sto smo prije sami pravili.

    3. Purger14:25

      No da... upravo zato javnost mora biti kontrolor takvih velikih poslova. Da se premoralnim i nekorumpiranim politicarima ne bi zalimilo... a upravo su Arapi poznati po tome da vole da im se zalomi...

      A sto se tice toga sto u tekstu pise ili sto izjavljuju politicari i interesno involvirani akteri ipak tome ne vjerujem bas previse. Vjerujem papiru i to cijelom bez skrivenih dijelova u kojima uvijek pise "ali u slucalu... se prethodna odredba..." i bez mogucnosti anexa za mjesec, dva, tri...

    4. Bolje policija i tuzilastvo nego javnost.Nema samoupravljanja vise, hajde da se ponasamo kao normalne, uredjene zemlje gde se javnost pita samo na referendumu.Koja javnost?? Nasa javnost je zainteresovana kako ce da prezivi od meseca do meseca i da joj na vrata ne zakucaju sudski izvrsitelji jer nisu izmirili dugovanja

    5. Anonymous09:56

      E da smo normalna i uređena zemlja gde policija i tuziteljstvo rade svoj poso, i gde mito nije prvi princip, ja bi se prvi složio sa tobom. Ali daleko smo od toga.

  7. I'm glad they are getting into leisure bussines. There is some money to be made there + you fill your own planes.

    1. Anonymous17:26

      Article says "Air Serbia Corporate Travel Services". Does "Corporate" mean they also plan to offer private jet charters or some other corporate services in the future?

  8. Anonymous14:34

    Speaking of AirSerbia and transition to SabreSonic: it seems like they made it a big deal with million warnings (why did I get multiple emails about it when I don't have a ticket with JU this week at all?) to hide an important change (from may 1st): JU is transitioning to baggage rules using piece concept common with European legacies: 1 bag 23kg for economy only (no more as many bags as you want as long as they weigh below 30kg).
    This is pretty disappointing and I'm not even annoyed that I'll get to carry less stuff for free, I'm pissed that I found out from the comment on their official Facebook page. Really unprofessional.

    1. Anonymous22:50

      It was announced on their web site two days ago:

      and here:

      I am disappointed you chose to read facebook comments instead of their web site.

    2. Anonymous09:46

      Ooops, I totally missed this, thanks for pointing out the links and sorry for my baseless rant. Still, I would prefer to get an email informing me of the baggage policy change over email about sabresonic implementation...

  9. Anonymous14:36

    My feelings about this so-called investment are mixed at times. The only things I come up with are that Etihad will have more than a 49 per cent say in the dealings of ir Serbia. The 49 per cent is only on paper but what happens behind closed doors, no one will never know. Secondly, I also feel that in the future Air Serbia may just become a low-cost carrier for Etihad and to make up for the low fares passengers may see many service charges in a year or too, after customer confidence and loyaty has been gained.

    1. I agree with you about percents, Serbia has not money to run such airline like AirSERBIA should be, perfect comfort , excellent catering and very high skilled crew members well payed. I think percents are much more in Etihad stake than papers show, but i disagree with you about possibility that Air Serbia would become LC airline, it will never happen!..Future has two ends, bright and optimistic, and the other might be the end of Serbian civil aviation. Hope is only we have now, nothing else.Lack of public information is normal in every business, and i am understand why AirSerbia ( Etihad ) insists in secrecy, we don't live in samoupravljanje any more, thanks God.

    2. Anonymous17:24

      There are no indications things are moving in a low cost direction. Service changes will and should happen, but not in the low cost direction.

    3. Doot09:45

      They own 49% of the company but the management is from Etihad. IE, Etihad is making all the decisions.

      This is a good thing. When you have a company that was being run into the ground because it was run like some sort of communistic part social services project, part airline, you end up with a culture that's not exactly conducive to running a successful airline in a global environment.

    4. I would not go as far as to say that the management is from Etihad. Key people were appointed by Etihad but the rest are old Jat Airways employees (the good ones before bashing starts).
      For example, top management at Air Serbia Ground Services is made up of old Jat Airways people but Etihad has its team in Belgrade teaching them all about their standards and what's expected of them.

  10. Anonymous16:42

    I cannot skip the new baggage policy that Air Serbia introduced. There is something in marketing called unique selling proposition. And thats what JU had. It was amoung the reason why many ppl chose JU over LH or OS or TK. Ppl did not really think about the baggage when travelling to or from BEG. Now things are different.

    1. If you see the amount of luggage Balkan people bring with them, you would understand. Many regional destinations which are operated with the Atr suffer because because of this.
      Quite a lot of these regional passengers are connecting from intercontinental flights and their carry-ons do not fit in the overhead compartment. This is forcing Air Serbia to place them in the baggage hold which is small as it is. As a result, many bags are off-loaded which causes problems for both the passengers and the airline.
      Back in the day when the loads were lighter this could be dealt with. Today the situation is different.

    2. Anonymous20:49

      When you have nothing else product wise and have to create a USP by giving generous baggage allowances that no one else gives, then it saus it all. Old JAT had to create a USP thru a generous baggage allowance, bcoz it had nothing else to compete with against the premium carriers like LH or TK. Having significantly invested in product to match or now better these companies, it doesn't need to dilute it's brand through crazy baggage allowances that no one else gives ...If you don't like it, fly with an LCC or another carrier - that's the beauty of consumer choice ... AirSERBIA now has to make money and ancilliary revenues thru excess baggage are smart, bringing it in line with quality carriers. Bravo to the new mgt team. It shows they are serious abt turning things around.

  11. An interesting thing I noticed is that Air Serbia has some lucrative mail and cargo contracts.
    I will give you two good examples:

    1. The reason why the early afternoon flight to Podgorica is operated with the A319 and not an Atr is not because there is passenger demand (ok, not primarily for that reason) but because of cargo demand. You can't imagine the amount of cargo that is loaded into that aircraft. Another interesting thing is that the Austrian diplomatic mail travels between Vienna and Podgorica on Air Serbia via Belgrade and not directly on YM or OS.

    2. Another interesting contract Air Serbia has is with the Slovenian government. In addition to Ljubljana flights being full (return flight today had one empty seat) the airline also carries roughly 500 kilos of top priority mail heading to London.

    All of these are generating some nice extra income for the airline.

  12. Anonymous17:07

    Izdate dozvole Turcima i Grcima za čarter saobraćaj.

    Zaključak- šut s rogatim ne može

  13. JU is returning to Malta market with 2 weekly flights and with lots of connecting options ex BEG, though I don't understand the numeration - JU690/691!? Like it's regional route..

  14. Anonymous23:32

    Good news they are returning to MLA ;)
    While I totally agree numeration for Malta is strange, JU6XX are not regional although some flights with those numbers are within a wider region indeed, basically JU1XX are pure regional, JU6XX are Central and Eastern Europe, and JU5XX are Southern Europe and Mediterranean therefore following the usual JU numeration Malta should be numbered as JU590 for example and JU690...Strange numeration as you correctly noticed ;)

  15. My thoughts exactly... strange numbering. Shouldnt those flights be numbered something like 594/595 for the afternoon Friday flight and 596/597 for the overnight one on Monday?

    Excellent timings for a weekeng in Malta, hopefully the prices will be affordable.


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