Air Serbia's A320neos in limbo


The arrival of Air Serbia's ten new Airbus A320neo aircraft is in limbo with the airline's minority shareholder, Etihad Airways, which ordered the jets among hundreds of others, considering swapping some models, delaying deliveries, as well as making some outright cancellations as it presses ahead with a company-wide review. The Emirati carrier has 160 aircraft up for delivery in the coming period. The Serbian airline secured ten of the narrow-body A320neos as part of a major fleet order by its equity partner at the 2013 Dubai Air Show, for up to 117 Airbus aircraft. They were set to completely replace Air Serbia's existing fleet of A319s and A320s.

The delivery of the neos to Air Serbia has been slated in between late 2018 and 2020. A previous deposit payment made by JAT Yugoslav Airlines for eight A319s in 1998 has been credited against the pre-delivery payment for the neos. According to revised plans from earlier this year, Air Serbia is still expected to take delivery of one aircraft at the end 2018, with several others to follow in 2019, however, the airline is unlikely to take all ten of the Etihad-ordered jets. Another Etihad Airways Partners member, Air Seychelles, which itself announced a major cost cutting initiative recently, has said it will replace its two A320s with next-generation aircraft, presumably the A320neos, that would likely come from the Air Serbia order.

Etihad is expected to make its future fleet plans public soon. The A320neos were to be used to open up new markets for the Serbian carrier. Commenting on the order in late 2016, the airline's former CEO, Dane Kondić, said, "As one aircraft enters the fleet another will exit it. However, these aeroplanes [A320neos] give us the possibility to access new markets, for example Iran or Central Asia or North Africa. These are destinations that are within a two and a half-hour radius. The Far East is also a potential market for us if you consider relations between Serbia and the People's Republic of China". He added at the time, "Within a period of five to ten years I can see us with a fleet of perhaps 25 or 26 aircraft. Based on where we’re located, there are good opportunities for us, and having a new aircraft is a big part of that".

Comments

  1. I think Etihad's order cancellation or deferral will mostly involve larger aircraft and not the A320neos. They said themselves recently they need more smaller planes..

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    1. How many A320neos does Etihad have on order?

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    2. Same. I think Etihad will mostly deffer or cancel some B787s/A350s.

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    3. It will be A350. They dont need new type in their fleet and A350 is not big improvement on their B777 fleet. They need more B787 since it is a best widebody in the world now and suits them more for their route structure and to replace A330. And B777x will replace some older B777 so they wont be canceling those. Only heavy A350 and some A320 family will be axed. So Airbus is only loser here, but thats result of their messy widebody offer. They should be happy that they delivered all the A380 because they would be axed also.

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  2. They will get the neos in this modified way with 1 at the end of the year and 2 next.

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    1. Apparently the lease for the 2 A320s is expiring at the end of the year. They will have to either extend them or replace them. It would fit in with the story if at this time they expect to get one or two neos.

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    2. Well actually during the winter they don't need those two planes. Maybe they will let the lease expire and look to lease equipment next summer. Most of the planes they leased turned out to be garbage anyway.

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    3. They will not need that extra two A320 next summer as well.

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  3. Honestly I don't think JU needs neos at this point. It needs planes of around 100 seats and much more regional aircraft.

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    1. Agree. Focus should be on replacing and expanding regional fleet.

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    2. The current Airbus fleet aren't spring chickens either. They will have to replace them sooner or later.

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    3. What is the average age of the A319/A320 fleet?

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    4. And how old is the A330?

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    5. 10 years.

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    6. You can check the agre of each aircraft here
      http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/Air%20Serbia.htm

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  4. Let's say JU does not get these planes. What happens with the 28 million USD deposit from JAT times that Etihad used for these planes?

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    1. I'm wondering that too.

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    2. Nothing. You can thank Milosevic government for that. That money was lost the moment it was paid in the terrible deal for A319s, which was a political deal more than anything else.

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    3. Money is not lost. It should be used for any future deal between JU or its successor with Airbus.

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    4. Airbus helicopters maybe...?

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  5. lol Dane's comments now look like they were in another era.

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    1. They were - from 4.5 yrs ago ! ^ mths is a long time in this business let alone 4.5yrs ago.

      Who would have thought back then that EY would lose almost $2b and Airberlin and Alitalia would be bankrupt ?

      Just goes to show you that there is no crystal ball for this industry ...

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    2. I remember many foresaw this scenario for Etihad and were warning that they would fall in the same trap as Swissair did. I literally remember this was widely discussed, especially when they decided to buy Alitalia. Seems Hogan and Etihad's famed "KNOW HOW" as they loved to label themselves in Serbia didn't hear the chatter. The result of their "know how" is a dilapidated airline selling water on board.

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    3. +1 last anon. They came in labeling everyone in Jat as idiots and morons, yet they recorded bigger losses than Jat, turned the company into a glorified low cost airline and were more corrupt than their predecessors.

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    4. Every time someone describes Air Serbia as glorified low cost airline, it is easy to tell person making that comment has no clue about aviation. Certified clueless.

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    5. Of course is not a glorified low cost airline. Especially when you look at their fleet age.

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    6. I like "glorified low cost" expression. :)
      It is really shameful what has happened to the company. It is now so degraded. Senior cabin staff (good old experienced JU people) are ashamed what has company turned into. Selling sandwiches and coffee, fighting to find sufficient change, having to apologize to passengers for not accepting credit cards...

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    7. ....and cleaning the pax cabin in transit, that's their new job. Why not for €1000+ per month, so decent pension for "good old experienced JUs". BTW what's the difference selling catering or duty-free? Hahaha!

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    8. JU cabin crew do not have 1000+ and selling sandwiches on national airline is degrading

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    9. British Airways crew sells sandwiches. Brussels Airlines, Delta, United, American and many other "national airlines" sell food on board for short/meduim haul. Your attempt to belittle Air Serbia backfired. You know what's degrading? Your "knowledge" of the airline business.

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    10. It is really sad what Sabena and BA is degraded too. I agree.

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  6. What other planes does EY have on order?

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    1. 40 A350-900s
      22 A350-1000s
      8 B777-8s
      17 B777-9s
      22 B787-9s
      30 B787-10s

      + the 26 A320neos

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    2. that is actually less what WIZZ has on order

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    3. Yes but almost all of them are widebodies.

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    4. Shame, Etihad would have developed nicely with these aircraft if money from the Sheikh was still flowing.

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    5. Well their fortunes will change when oil prices go up. All they need is a war in the Middle East and with so many countries itching for it in that region I wouldn't be surprised if it happens soon.

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    6. Oil is already at $70-75. Not very cheap

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    7. It's so bizzarre. All airlines in the world except the ME3 want lower fuel prices :)

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    8. ME3 get cheap oil + subsidies from oil/gas rich governments :)

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  7. I don't understand why Air Serbia does not come out and say what's going to happen with these planes? What is the point of keeping quiet and thinking people will forget about it?

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    1. My guess is they don't know themselves.

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    2. Etihad is clueless with what to do with Air Serbia in general.

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    3. "What is the point of keeping quiet and thinking people will forget about it?"

      Exactly that. People will forget about it.

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    4. Because ultimately Etihad will decide where these planes will go. I assume they will ask JU if they need them, but I think the answer will be negative.

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    5. Sorry anonymous 9:49 what people are you referring to ?!! The 0,5% that might go in for aviation like us ? Because most of the population's concern is his economics and way of living . Next time be more specific please .

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    6. Because they are managed from Abu Dhabi and there is no strong leadership in Belgrade to sort this out with Etihad with or without them staying.

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  8. All I can conclude from all the recent news is that all the national ex-Yu airlines are an absolute mess without any clear vision.

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    1. So business as usual then.

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  9. Instead of replacing current decent A319/320 JU fleet, I think they should give priority to the ATR replacement and simply cancel this order. The Airbuses are not so costly compared to the ATRs.

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    1. Well, they are. Just google around some issues and potential accidents that almost occurred w/ those aircraft. Airbuses are old and have been poorly maintained before. They need replacement.

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    2. @AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 11:18 AM
      Really? Gosh. Can you give us some links.

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  10. What is the capacity of the neos?

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    1. 165-195 depends on density. at this point probably only an insider would know did they agree LOPA with airbus

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    2. I can only see them filing this capacity on a couple of routes during high season.

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    3. That is completely unfit for JU needs. But we were discussing that on this forum many times.

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  11. If the A320neos do not arrive, it will be the biggest disappointment. In the end Serbia's 23 million $ deposit will have been used to pay Etihad's pre-delivery payment.

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    1. It will be just one of the many things Serbia has given as a gift to Etihad.

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    2. why to etihad? it would simply be wasted.

      interesting thins is that these 23mil$ were paid to airbus decades ago, when this was much more money then it is now (inflation)

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    3. The deal itself between JAT and Airbus was an absolute ripoff.

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    4. And that all deal is gone. Now we just want to know what happens with $23mil of our tax payers money.

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  12. So what next for Air Serbia? No new routes, no new planes...

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    1. More cost cutting probably

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    2. Bankruptcy?

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    3. This government will burn all the cash they have before they let JU go bankrupt. And besides they still haven't even started selling assets such as Heathrow slots.

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    4. Belly up hopefully

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    5. Why on earth would you hope for something like that?

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    6. so the average flier does not pay 300€ instead of 50€ to reach Serbia

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    7. People can already reach Serbia with 50 euro fares. They can use Wizz Air, Norwegian, Transavia, Pegasus and easy jet for that.

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    8. ok, BEG is the hidden OTP

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    9. OTP is an airport in a country with a population of 20 million people so naturally there will be more choice and options.

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    10. We are still to see financial results for 2017. But they are probably very bad. That company needs proper restructuring.

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  13. Can't they take some loans from the banks and pay for this order themselves if Etihad doesn't want to?

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    1. The question is do they need these planes?

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    2. Yes, they do. How else do you think Air Serbia would operate European and Asian flights? Those old aircraft that are currently operating are... well old and more than that, on lease, which means they will go out soon. So, yes ASL needs those in order to save it self.

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    3. Which bank would be willing to lend money to Air Serbia? The only possible source of money is the Serbian taxpayer as always.

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  14. S obzirom da je Etihad u problemu, mozda JU ipak dobije svoje avione, jer ih Etihad nece tek tako preuzeti na sebe. Mislim da bi to bila katastrofa i bankrot kompanije, najbolje resenje bi bilo da ih ne dobiju.

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    1. JU ipak nije u problemima pa su mu ovi avioni super dobrodošli

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  15. JU will bring out one B737 out of retirement this summer because they don't have enough planes.

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    1. Interesting. Do you know which one (registration)?

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    2. Thanks. Good ol' Anica

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    3. No, Anica (MSN ‎23416, first flight‎ ‎11/26/85) is at her best, only 33 years. But some cabin crew are really good ol' - in their late 50s or early 60s...

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    4. 90% of the crew is 30 or younger. You should fly more with Lufthansa, KLM. You might be surprised many crew are in their 60s.

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    5. What would you suggest they do with cabin crew in their late 50s and early 60s? Fire them and replace with yonger ones?

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    6. How old is the oldest cabin crew in Etihad, please?

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    7. You didn't answer my question. Eithad is not the topic.

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    8. @1.12 not very old. Then again you should look up workers rights in the Middle East.

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    9. There is no need to dismiss permanent ex-Jat employees as they can be retired due Law on beneficiary work (+4 months/per year).

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    10. @AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 12:28 PM
      This is ageism and absolutely unacceptable.

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  16. These planes might be tricky to fill.

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    1. If they get them, I see them flying Paris and London with them.

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    2. Are these the busiest JU routes?

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    3. You are forgetting Zurich! That is probably the busiest and most profitable route for JU.

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    4. ZRH can't be more profitable than LHR or CDG. I fly to CDG every two weeks, I never pay less than 350 EUR for the ticket and the plane is always full.

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    5. LHR flights are regularly half empty. That is at least my experience from various flights outside school holidays.
      350 to CDG is just terrible! That is not highly profitable route.
      Have in mind that many pessangers are trasfering from Beirut and the are paying sometimes as Little as 250 and regularly just around 350.
      Finally bulk of pessangers are transfering to AF with North America tuckets costing 400-500 eur. I have no idea how much AS is getting for these seats but suppose not more than 100-150 return.

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    6. The math is simple. Out of 500 EUR, approx. 150 EUR goes to airport and navigational charges. That leaves 350 EUR for RT flight, 175 EUR for one way. This is the fare airlines collect. The share of this amount is done as per the distance flown. In BEG-CDG-JFK example, BEG-CDG leg share will be 1/5 of the total fare, 35 EUR one way.

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  17. something has to be done about the regional fleet

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    1. Agree. They need to replace those ATRs ASAP.

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    2. Embraer would be perfect for air serbia!!

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    3. Why? Introducing a new model, training pilots, paying extra to fly it for maintenance somewhere else. The perfect aircraft would be the ATR, just a newer generation of the plane.

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    4. 70 seats Embraer would be nice. Much more comfortable than ATR and interchangeable with JU airbus fleet depending on demand.

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  18. Do A320-family pilots need additional training for the A320neo?

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    1. No. We don’t. There are only minor changes between the ceo and neo in terms of operating them. Most a pilot has to do is a short online course to differentiate the two but that's it.

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    2. Thank you. That's good. No additional cost for crew training if they do get these jets.

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  19. Well I guess soon we will have answers to a lot of question. Firstly if Etihad is leaving Air Serbia and then if Air Serbia will get these planes, because when EY announces the order reshuffle they will probably state (if they don't cancel the A320neos) where they will go.

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    1. Air Serbia needs to replace old 737 sooner or later. They also need to replace two leased A320. If they want to grow charters or add more destinations they also need more planes. Now that Airbus has C Series, some of the A320NEOs could be swapped for CS order. Long term, Air Serbia needs to figure out widebody ownership for at least two planes, so there are many options A320NEO order could be transformed.

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  20. Ipak verovatno nista od ovih aviona

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  21. Airbus now has C series. CS100 would be a perfect fit for ASL.

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  22. Very good point!

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  23. Dark side strikes again in a serial drive-by shooting fashion:

    AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 7:44 PM
    AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 7:50 PM
    AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 7:53 PM
    AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 7:57 PM
    AnonymousMay 8, 2018 at 7:58 PM and so on:

    Air Serbia "...is now so degraded."
    "Now we just want to know what happens with $23mil of our tax payers money. "
    "Because they are managed from Abu Dhabi and there is no strong leadership in Belgrade to sort this out"
    "We are still to see financial results for 2017. But they are probably very bad. That company needs proper restructuring."

    Mate, you can't do any damage as you are on the wrong side. Force is strong with Air Serbia.

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    1. Ahahahah...dark side :))))

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