Air Serbia and Etihad extend commercial partnership


Air Serbia and Etihad Airways will be extending their partnership despite the Emirati carrier recently reducing its ownership stake in the Serbian airline. The two have renewed and expanded their wide-ranging codeshare agreement, while Etihad ha said it will continue to work closely with the Serbian airline. The expansion of the codeshare partnership comes after the agreement seemed all but certain to end following Etihad’s exit from the Serbian market. Air Serbia has now placed its designator code and flight numbers onto Etihad’s services from Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, while it has extended its codeshare on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to Manama, Bangkok, Colombo, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Seoul, Karachi, Lahore, Kuwait, Muscat, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne. The agreement now counts over thirty routes.

Following the recapitalisation of Air Serbia valued at 100 million euros, the Serbian state now owns 82% of the airline, while Etihad continues to hold 18%. The Emirati airline said, “The recapitalisation of the Serbian national airline was undertaken at the request of Air Serbia. We are pleased the Serbian government has reinvested in the future of the airline. Etihad continues to work closely with Air Serbia, while we respond to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 crisis on our own business”. The two airlines will continue to share a mutual frequent flyer programme – Etihad Guest.

The strategic partnership agreement between Etihad Airways and the Serbian government, unveiled in August 2013, saw the Emirati airline make available a forty million US dollar loan facility to Air Serbia which was converted into equity on January 1, 2014 for a period of five years. The five-year deal was later extended until further notice, however, Etihad’s involvement in Air Serbia has been significantly reduced, with the state providing subsidies and funds for the airline over the past few years. Air Serbia and Air Seychelles are now the only two remaining members of the Etihad Partners group, with the latter facing significant issues as a result of a loan arranged by Etihad from a group of international investors. The Serbian carrier settled one of the two loans from the funding vehicle last year.


Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    The codeshare to Pakistan might come in handy. I just saw a commercial from a Serbian tour operator advertising tours to Pakistan (no kidding)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Yes, Jungle Travel I believe. However I doubt anyone will fly BEG-ZRH-AUH-Pakiatan when there are QR and TK and FZ.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      They are looking at any market that is open to foreigners. If you ask me, that's smart.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous23:47

      Well that's exotic to say the least.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    I wonder if Etihad will still get some financial profit from this deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      No but I wouldn't be surprised if EY or Air Arabia AUH resume Belgrade flights.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:09

      Considering their loads, I wonder why they discontinued these flights

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:11

      Especially now when Dubai is all the rage in Serbia

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:13

      From what I heard W6 is interested in AUH-BEG.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:14

      That would make a lot of sense actually

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:22

      Actually it wouldn't as the majority of pax on BEG-AUH route were transfer paxs, and W6 cannot offer any onward connections either from Belgrade or from Abu Dhabi. JU or EY need to restart the router to cater for pax to Africa and Far East

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:31

      Wizz Air would be a cheap alternative to those going to Dubai. That's the whole point of their AUH adventure.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous09:46

      I hope Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will be encouraged to launch BEG flights.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous09:47

      There is FZ already for that... Even though every comptetion is beneficial, without JU or EY a major market will be left unserved and passengers will have to travel to IST or DOH to carry on their journey

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:12

      And what EY brings that those two don't already? Much better to have Wizz for more options for locals.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous10:12

      Air Arabia Abu Dhabi would be fine too.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous10:13

      Or Air Serbia which would be best in this case for connecting passengers.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous10:23

      Preferably with an evening departure from BEG.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous10:23

      JU had 23.15 and 23.40 departure from BEG.

      Delete
    15. JATBEGMEL13:33

      The old JU800/801 schedule would work perfect for DXB and complement the FZ flight really well.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous18:19

      Can Wizz fly from BEG to a none EU country?

      Delete
    17. Anonymous18:22

      They can to UAE because of liberal free sky agreement between Serbia and UAE allowing any airline to fly between these two countries. Also Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is registered in UAE and categorised as UAE national airline.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous23:48

      That's interesting about the free sky agreement.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:04

    Good news.

    Many believed that cooperation was over. Fortunately it was not true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:03

      Why is it fortunate? What exactly does JU get from this partnership?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:12

      Because they will get passenger feed.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:02

      "Why is it fortunate? What exactly does JU get from this partnership?"

      Do you ask the same questions for every codeshare partnership around the world?

      Delete
    4. JATBEGMEL13:36

      JU would get better pax feed with a direct flight, rather than multi-stop interies that all other competitors can do in 1 stop.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:26

      Useless deal. Etihad is just allowing Air Serbia to add codeshare to existing flights which have nothing to do with Serbian market. If they were truly interested in Serbian market there would be a direct flight BEG-AUH and codeshare from there to other parts of the world, as well as other Balkan countries, so Air Serbia can use those to feed AUH hub.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous23:48

      ^Well this was the case up until corona.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:07

    JU, EY and BEG need all the help they can get now. Situation in Serbia is not that bad. For example Switzerland introduced mandatory PCR testing for those entering the country so LX will operate just 10% of their last year's network in February.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:08

    Hi everyone -
    Little off topic question, I'm due to travel to Belgrade airport tomorrow from Macedonia.
    If I want to escape the E75 route through the city and avoid potential morning traffic jam, is the "obilaznica" from Bubanj Potok all the way to the airport fully operational? I'm estimating to reach Belgrade around 9AM for my 11:45 flight to Doha, and I'm not sure which way to go. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      One part is still under construction but about 70% of it is completed. However the rush hour is over by 08.00 so you can just drive straight through the city. Worst traffic is from 06.00 to 07.45.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:42

      obilaznica iz open, but it's not highway and it's under heavy construction and traffic. so, it's still faster to go directly through city. just leave 1 hour earlier. and traffic is not as crowded as was earlier, due to current corona situation

      Delete
    3. I would suggest to avoid 'obilaznica'... It's not completed 70% as mentioned... in some parts road is very bad, there are often huge traffic jams due to the trucks which drive very slowly.... generally whole area is one big construction site... I travelled there couple of times a few months ago and it wasn't faster than going via E75 through the city (in some parts of the road I even drove 20-30 km/h because of the trucks)... as for the city, even with biggest traffic jam during the morning rush hour, you would need max 30-45 min from entering the city to Gazela bridge... after Gazela, things are much better, and from this point you would need around 20-30 min top to get to the airport (depending of the traffic).... this is in my opinion the worst case scenario...

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:02

      Thanks guys!
      I'll be travelling all the way from Gevgelija, leaving home at 3:30AM so this info is very helpful to me. Based on your comments I'll be using E75 through the city to reach the airport. Are the private parking locations around the airport secure enough to leave the car for 5-6 days or I should stick with the official airport parking? Thanks again

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:13

      The official airport parkings are much more convenient and reliable. The price difference is quite minor.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:13

      From what I saw they are safe enough, they have security and a fence

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:08

      As regards parking, I would suggest using Google Maps and keywords 'aerodrom parking' - there are many solutions close to BEG, a lot cheaper than anything available at the airport itself (and perhaps even safer, as airport parking lots are not guarded as such). There is parking available starting at 250 RSD/day, while P7 at BEG starts at 800 RSD/day, and the garage goes for 1,000 RSD/day. Then again, if you're travelling for just a couple of days, perhaps proximity to the terminal would justify the price difference. Just my two cents.

      Now, for the traffic on the E-75 during the morning rush hour... perhaps it would be wise to leave early, but not too early. By 8.30-8.45 the worst will be over and it will maybe take extra 5-10 minutes to drive through the city because of traffic. But only 30 or 45 minutes earlier, it might add 30 minutes to the trip. I do agree avoiding the bypass is a good call - it's a gamble, really, and you are very unlikely to save any time going that way.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous09:09

    Maybe it's time for Air Serbia to start flying to the Gulf again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:49

      I agree. In my opinion Abu Dhabi, which will allow for connections with Etihad. At the end of the day it would make sense.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:50

      They already tried that and failed.

      Delete
    3. JATBEGMEL01:19

      EY in their best of days didnt have many waves (2 if I remember right) that were of use, hence why their 2am flight used to spend 6 hours on ground in BEG, with 2 flights departing back to AUH at similar times.

      One of the better performing Jat routes was DXB before they cancelled it in 2011.

      Besides, tourism from Serbia to the UAE is almost always for Dubai.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:11

    Thank goodness the government was able to help with that loan otherwise JU would be in a mess Air Seychelles is now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:50

      Agree. Seems like Air Seychelles will be reduced to a domestic airline.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:12

    I'm sure they will continue to reap some financial benefits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:13

      I don't think so. I think their 18% share is purely just a formality on paper.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:17

      Their 49% share was also purely for show over last few years. They were asked to give money, they said they didn't have any and the government then gave all the money and increased its share.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:18

      But can they use the Etihad Guest program for free?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:24

      It's probably included in those 18%

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:45

      @9.17
      They stopped investing in JU when Hogan was chased out.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:14

    Is EY flying to IST? why not make it through there or Athens at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous23:51

      Yes they do fly to IST.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:18

    "We are pleased the Serbian government has reinvested in the future of the airline."

    I'm sure you are

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:25

      Typical airline PR.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous09:18

    So what next for Air Serbia now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:21

      Weathering the crisis like all airlines out there. Future plans will depend on what kind of restrictions they are faced with. Having MNE all for themselves helps a lot.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:36

      Restructuring.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:37

      I'm surprised that JU has not cut a lot of routes for this summer. Of course depending on restrictions but I think only 2 former routes are not planned to return.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:18

      Well yeah, they sure have some nice plans, but we'll see if xenophobic EU decides they do not want them to grow and continues banning us.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:52

      yeah, I'm sure EU shutting borders to literally everyone outside of EU is all a masterplan to destroy Air Serbia.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:25

    This is very good news. Ending the codeshare would have ahd a negative impact on JU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:32

      I think suspension of nonstop flights to BEG hurt them more than a random expensive codeshare with a massive detour. Seriously, whoever signed and approved this in JU needs to get fired right away.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:59

      It's probably Etihad's request.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:29

    So what happens with the ARA contract? It expires in May. Are they thinking of an extend or a possible A350 upgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:40

      Hope to see YU-ARB

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      A350? Are you kidding? They have like 60% of LF on 2 weakly A330 flights during most of the winter? Do you really want to see JU bankrupt?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:25

      Why would they consider upgrade to A350?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:41

      ARB should be arriving in April once the ARA is returned.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous15:15

      Source?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous16:34

      internal...sorry

      Delete
    7. Anonymous16:45

      ARA is being returned at late April, with the replacement coming at the same time.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous16:47

      Will it have a different product. Seats?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous16:49

      Will the replacement be A330-200 or A330-300?

      Delete
    10. Anonymous17:47

      Nobody knows nothing so i doubt we know what is really going to happen. But i dont see why would they replace current widebody. It is perfect for JU and i think they will just extend its lease.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous19:58

      The resources on ARA are expiring soon, something to do with engine overhaul which is quite expensive apparently. So when the lease expires, another 330 will arrive presumably at lower leasing costs. Makes total sense to me.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous23:52

      Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous09:44

    Etihad is focusing on itself at the moment and could not care less about any partners.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous09:44

    This is a very good development.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous09:45

    I guess these 18% are to keep the frequent flyer program.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:05

      Unexpected that they kept 18%.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous09:46

    This is nice. I just don't understand why they stopped flying to BEG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:47

      Etihad I mean

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      EY obviously lost money on the route despite the high load factor.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:19

      Or maybe it wasn't profitable enough

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:22

      Etihad is in deep financial problems. They are cutting routes left and right.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous16:50

      Interesting how QR can make it profitable.

      They're flying almost every day.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous12:03

    So Etihad might not leave after all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:26

      They have 18% share

      Delete
    2. Anonymous13:42

      They have more than 18% share - their people still hold the important CEO and CCO roles ... probably others as well

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:11

      >They have more than 18% share

      is that a fact? or just more fantasy?

      Delete
  19. Anonymous15:17

    What about the cargo devision of Air Serbia? Why aren't the 737s turned to cargoes? There will be a HUGE demand for cargo at least until 2023. It is high time to look into that direction as well as charter summer and charter winter flights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:45

      Converting 35-year old flying museum to cargo? That has less than 0% of chance of ever paying for the cost of conversion.

      For comparison, 737 fleet of Amazon's airline Prime Air is NG only, and aircraft are between 15 and 20 years old.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:16

      Then what is the solution to do some cargo? One of their A319 operated cargo flights a couple of days ago.

      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2021/01/photos-air-serbia-delivers-another.html

      In stead of leaving some airplanes on the ground, they can operate some cargo flights.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:52

      I doubt there is any profit to be made with flying cargo alone on a narrowbody passenger aircraft.

      Widebodies, with their large containerised baggage comparments are different story.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous16:16

    JU's codeshare with Turkish Airlines is now much more competitive and convenient than Etihad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:28

      The only issue is that JU does not have a codeshare with Turkish that includes 30+ routes like it does with Etihad.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous17:00

    Have there been any changes to the supervisory board since Etihad reduced the share?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous20:37

    How can they both codeshare if Etihad stops flying to Belgrade ?
    That doesnt make sense at all .
    The same nonsense like Air Serbia codesharing with Air New Zealand ...

    ReplyDelete

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