Turkish eyes Serbian MRO subsidiary in potential Air Serbia deal


Turkish Airlines is considering opening an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) subsidiary in Serbia, the carrier’s Chairman, Ahmet Bolat, has said. It comes amid growing ties between Turkish Airlines and Air Serbia, as well as strained relations between the Serbian carrier and its main MRO provider Jat Tehnika. Speaking to “Aviation Daily”, Mr Bolat said, “We are working on that [MRO subsidiary] with investors, for example in Belgrade, Serbia. We will make a decision accordingly. We are always open to opportunities and evaluate future prospects. That’s the important thing”. The Chairman added that labour costs are decreasing in some parts of Southeastern Europe, which is why he thinks it is a good area to invest in.

Air Serbia has had tense relations with its main MRO provider, Jat Tehnika, in recent months. As of January, the airline began sending some of its aircraft for maintenance to Turkish Technic, Turkish Airlines’ MRO provider, in Istanbul. In February, Air Serbia’s CEO, Jiri Marek, said, “We currently have our difficulties with maintenance. We are working on much closer cooperation with Turkish Airlines, especially with supply chain issues. If you are doing maintenance in Belgrade and some part is missing and you have to wait a couple of weeks or months to get it, a lot of these parts are being produced by Turkish Technic themselves and they also have certification in place. It was an easy decision to do most of the base maintenance with Turkish Technic”.

The potential set-up of a Turkish Airlines MRO subsidiary in Serbia would likely be tied with Air Serbia having its aircraft maintained by the company. Mr Bolat said that a possible MRO joint venture would not include aircraft engine maintenance. “That will be not a part of it. It requires a network [in terms of spare parts]. You cannot build an engine shop for only the engine you operate. You have to be backed up by other carriers [third-party customers] that have the same engines”. Mr Bolat added that Turkish Airlines itself does not require additional maintenance capacity and that all of its needs are being met in Istanbul.


Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further expand their cooperation last year, starting with a wide-ranging codeshare agreement, which has since been strengthened on several occasions. The two have also introduced reciprocal new routes, with Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines’ lower cost AnadoluJet commencing operations between Belgrade, Izmir and Ankara. Furthermore, Air Serbia has introduced services from both Niลก and Kraljevo to Turkey’s largest city, while its Turkish counterpart added a third daily flight to the Serbian capital. Air Serbia is also exploring the potential adoption of Turkish Airlines’ Miles & Smiles frequent flyer program.

Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines have said they are exploring the possibility of establishing a Joint Venture. A Joint Venture is an agreement between airlines to share revenues on a route. It also involves coordinating route planning and scheduling. These are typically large undertakings, that involve significant negotiations. They also often require government approval due to the potential removal of competition. The two said the Joint Venture “would enable the two companies to offer more competitive and more affordable flights between Turkey and Serbia, improve the quality of service currently offered, as well as expand their offer and benefits for all passengers”.



Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    Interesting development. I wonder if it lead to more than just MRO cooperation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      Seems like it is heading that way.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:26

      It is great that the work towards JV between JU and TK continues. Maybe in this year we might see final JV agreement!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous18:01

      Competition should be a good thing for business, isn't it?

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    What is the issue with Jat Tehnika?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:06

      Numerous. They don't have enough workers, they are focusing all their resources in passenger to cargo conversion of planes, in 2021 they even lost their European permit to service planes although they regained it later.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:08

      It is taking them ages to do maintenance on JU planes.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:13

      Doing due diligence and background checks to who you are selling a company obviously not a thing in the Balkans.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:14

      With no intenetion of defending anyone here, Avia Prime did have purchases in Slovenia (Adria Tehnika) and Poland (Linetech) which are both relatively successful and have had no issues.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:18

      @9.06 they are focusing on cargo to passenger conversion because it is brigning them a whole lot of money.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous09:22

      Used to be a state of the art facility with excellent specialists and was able to service JAT complete fleet and multiple foreign customers.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous19:20

      “ Doing due diligence and background checks to who you are selling a company” - yes in a sense that you want to be paid and you need a liquid buyer. Due diligence is done on the target and not on the buyer, for God’s sake.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous22:25

      Air serbia lost easa certificate soon after Jat tehnika and they never regain it.
      They (air serbia) have problems with their own technics, meny let thencompani so some aircraft aire transfered to aiviostar for line maintenance in Belgrade.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:05

    Shame on Jat Tehnika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:05

      Shame on Avia Prime

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:06

      I agree !

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:09

      Their Ljubljana base seems to be doing fine. They have a lot of European customers.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:11

      I think it more down to the local level management.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous19:21

      The question is who advised Avia Prime and performed due diligence of this sad company called Jat tehnika.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:37

      ^ Jat Tehnika was far from sad when they bought it. It deteriorated under their holding.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous10:20

      It was actually beyond sad for years, as it is now.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:10

    Easier for Air Serbia considering the number of planes they are now servicing in Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:13

    That's a big development. And it seems more like a done deal.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous09:14

    What is Jat Tehnika going to do if they loose their main customer?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous09:17

    Proof that Jat Tehnika is an absolute mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Has been for some time.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous09:18

    Air Serbia won't depend anymore from slow work at Jat Tehnika and Jat Tehnika will have more time to concentrate on some other projects.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous09:18

    "Air Serbia is also exploring the potential adoption of Turkish Airlines’ Miles & Smiles frequent flyer program"
    Not saying it couldn't, but not sure how this can work as TK is a member of Star Alliance and JU is not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:20

      Why would it be an issue? They said that they have been invited to use Flying Blue (Air France-KLM) and Miles&Smiles but that in the end they will most likely create their own FFP.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:34

      No, they currently use Etihad Airways'' FFP

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:35

      There is more about their plans for frequent flyer in the fourth paragraph of this article
      https://www.exyuaviation.com/2023/05/air-serbia-plans-product-upgrade-rules.html

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:19

      Air Dolomiti and Eurowings use Miles & More as its FFP without being a part of Star Alliance. No reason why JU couldn't do the same.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:10

      Yeah but they're owned my Lufthansa. Also what would happen if Air Serbia were to join SkyTeam or oneworld?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:28

      I hope JU goes for Flying Blue. Best program.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:18

    Jat just lost an important customer there

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:19

    Air Serbia will have better maintenance with Turkish Technic and JAT Tehnika can do their conversions to cargo airplanes. It is a win-win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:26

      Don't think it will be such a win for Jat Tehnika.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:22

    I remember the time when Jat Tehnika wanted to become independent company from Jat Airways as they did not want to be the prisoners of incompetent Jat management and due to fact Jat owned them some money. They even went on strike and blocked Jat Airways from flying. Look at them now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:29

      Increasing manpower would solve a lot of issues at Jat Tehnika.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:29

      ^ easier said than done

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:32

      And I assume many from current Jat Tehnika will move to this new MRO.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:27

    Interested to see how this will work out and if TK does set up an MRO subsidiary.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:27

    What are they going to call it? Turkish Air Serbia Technic lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:28

      No, they will just register Turkish Technic in Serbia.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:33

      Ottoman Tehnika

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:44

      lol

      Delete
  15. Anonymous09:38

    Hopefully this also means that the state of JU's cabins will be in much better shape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:44

      +100

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:44

      Their cabins are fine

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:23

      The interiors really could be better maintained.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous09:45

    Maybe they will get some more customers in Serbia and not just Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:45

      Or they start servicing TK planes in Belgrade too.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:47

      " Mr Bolat added that Turkish Airlines itself does not require additional maintenance capacity and that all of its needs are being met in Istanbul."

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:09

    Wow big news for all involved

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous10:09

    TK coming for cheap labour

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:23

      Well Bolat doesn't make a secrete of it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:22

      "The Chairman added that labour costs are decreasing in some parts of Southeastern Europe, which is why he thinks it is a good area to invest in."

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:38

      Labour in southeast europe is now cheaper than in Turkey?!?!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:44

      No, he said that in relation as to why they are looking at southeast europe and not western europe.

      Delete
  19. Mika10:19

    Zar nije lakse osnovati Air Serbia technik?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:24

      Air Serbia Tehnika already exists. The point is not the line, but the base maintenance - e.g. heavy work on airplanes, structural repairs, everything out of daily/weekly maintenance checks. Those are carried out by Jat Tehnika (Avia Prime).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:22

      Air Serbia Tehnika was shut in 2017 during the cost cutting and everything was transferred to Jat Tehnika right?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous13:01

      Line/Daily, Weekly, and A checks are carried out by AirSERBIA Technical.
      There have been plans to build two new hangars so that AirSERBIA Technical can also work on base maintenance,but unfortunately those plans only remained on paper.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:22

      To add
      Pushback and start up supervision is carried out by AirSERBIA Technical as well as aircraft escorts to unsupported airports

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:18

      Thanks for the explanation. I didn't know that.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous11:08

    2026 - TurkishAirlines completes takeover of AirSerbia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 11:08 Are you mean Air Serbistan in 2026?.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:22

      Increasingly looking that way. @11.08

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:25

      TK hasn't had a great track record with running airlines in the region.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous14:17

      B&H Airlines should not be taken into consideration since it is mostly Bosnia's fault that TK pulled out.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:24

      They are doing ok with Albanian Airlines.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous14:26

      * Air Albania

      Delete
    7. Anonymous15:22

      It's doing anything but ok. The only reason why it's still alive is because the Albanian PM doesn't want to lose face

      Delete
    8. Anonymous15:29

      What's happening with it?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous15:49

      Nothing, it's just barely surviving serving a couple Italian gasto routes and the IST flights that they took over from TK. Further expansion attempts have failed miserably. No strategy to battle against FR and Wizz and no vision for the future. Just another vanity project and God knows who's paying for it

      Delete
    10. Anonymous15:52

      Thanks for the information. Wasn't aware of it. I thought they were expanding their fleet.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous16:11

      No problem. And yes they did expand their fleet and here's the best part about it: the 2 A320s that joined the fleet this year were supposed to arrive in 2022 so they programmed the entire schedule for last year's summer with 4 planes. Of course, they never arrived which resulted in numerous cancellations, reschedules and even leasing an ancient Bulgarian 737 for a while. Now that they finally arrived this year, they are serving less flights which means they don't even need that many planes and one A320 is now stored in Istanbul. You just can't make this up

      Delete
    12. Anonymous16:22

      Wow thanks. In all honesty with Wizz and now Ryanair, I think they are toast anyway.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous16:31

      The truth is that they've always been worthless, nothing will change with or without Ryanair. As long as the current party stays in power (which it will for a long time) they won't pull the plug

      Delete
    14. Anonymous16:56

      Tbh both Albanian and Bosnian adventures for TK always seemed a political move promoting Turkey's image as a great friend and savior. Partnering with JU would be more of a business decision for TK if it were ever to happen cause JU is a serious carrier compared to those two with a combined fleet of 5 aircraft between them. There's definitely space for them to cooperate, but it has it's limits cause they do compete for the same passangers

      Delete
    15. Anonymous16:58

      That's true

      Delete
    16. Balkanistan Hava Yollari to include Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia (with or without North), Kosovo (with or without snowflake), Montenegro, Bosnia Hercegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, which all proved to be extremely successful in aviation field, with honourable exception of Air Serbia, which could be project leader and coordinator ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Delete
    17. Slav.Man07:55

      Serbistan air on the way ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚.

      @pozdrav maybe Jasminee has a Serbian cousin over at Jat Teknika and ots a family business for them to destroy everything

      Delete
    18. Hahahahahahahaha, just read, you made my day ๐Ÿ˜…

      Delete
  21. Anonymous12:23

    When can we expect them to do this? This year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:25

      They first have to decide if they want to do it.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12:51

      Looks like a done deal.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:20

      Hopefully this year

      Delete
    4. Anonymous16:20

      I doubt it is easy to get all necessary licenses, equipment and approvals in such a short period of time.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous12:24

    First MRO then the airline.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous12:51

    They are not going to like this over at Jat Tehnika.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:17

      It's a free market. They should do more to keep them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:18

      Like getting planes back on time to their main customer.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous12:52

    The question is how much will this cost JU financially

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:17

      Probably less than flying planes to Istanbul to get them services.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:18

      *serviced

      Delete
  25. Anonymous16:19

    To me it seems like this was something suggested to TK by Air Serbia.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous16:21

    Did not see this coming to be honest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:33

      Well they did announce last year that they are working towards a JV and this is certainly an aspect of it.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous16:27

    can anyone explain to me the role of SR Technic in Serbia? They have been thehre for years but do they actually service aircraft there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous16:33

      I believe they just outsourced their office staff. I don't think they do any maintenance in Serbia but I might be wrong.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous16:45

      Exactly, the Belgrade office mostly does administrative services and some engineering services in a Shared Service Center. Several hundred roles that were previously performed in Zurich were offshored here 2015-2016 due to lower salaries. The company really struggled throughout Covid with the HNA Group not being able to refinance the company. They received massive Covid assistance from the Swiss Federal Government back in 2020 with about 120mio CHF injected.

      Overall, the company, after changing ownership several times after the grounding of Swissair, has shrunk massively and can't be compared to what it once was. In Switzerland, they are down to providing Line Maintenance only, whilst Base Maintenance is performed in Malta. On the former SR Technics hangar there now is a gigantic Swiss logo and LX does its maintenance in ZRH. However, Base Maintenance is being performed externally in Jordan and some other locations.

      In ZRH SR Technics successfully focus on Engine Maintenance, and they finally caught a break recently after signing an agreement with CFM for the maintenance of Leap engines.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous16:59

      Thanks!

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:58

      Where at the airport they gonna be located?

      Delete
  28. Slav.Man08:07

    Turkish airline takeover for air serbia will be soon coming.

    This is just embarrassing. They have a company in Serbia to do this work and to provide jobs and they keep failing. They could have built it up to become a successful company to provide services for the entire region and even airlines from abroad but they decided to be a failure.
    And even if they do create this company with Turkish Airlines it will only eleviate a few problems si ce it won't be able to work on the engines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous06:15

      Jat tehnika is dead in the water from now on.

      Delete
  29. Anonymous09:24

    Where does THY Technics want to be located at the airport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:54

      There is sufficient space in the existing maintenance area. https://ibb.co/M8K16w1

      Delete

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