Etihad Airways has bought 49% from Jat Airways (Air Serbia)
Etihad Airways, the national company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has bought 49% from Jat Airways. The acquisition is subject to terms and conditions: Etihad Airways will acquire 49% from Jat Airways; Jat Airways will reboot in Air Serbia; Etihad Airways and the government of Serbia will make a capital infusion of 40 millions of dollars each; Other 60 millions of dollars will come from loans; Air Serbia will launch flights to Abu Dhabi from October 2013.
As a result of the transaction, Jat Airways will reboot in Air Serbia. The strategic partnership includes the acquisition of new aircraft for Serbia's new airline, but also a new operational network. In addition to flights to Abu Dhabi, Air Serbia will open routes to Banja Luka, Beirut, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Kiev, Ljubljana, Prague, Sofia, Varna and Warsaw.
In june, Etihad Airways has launched daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade. Flights from Abu Dhabi to Belgrade are operated by Airbus A319 aircraft configured in two classes and with a maximum capacity of 106 seats. This will enhance the economic relations between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as stimulate the tourism sector in both countries.
In addition to Etihad Airways flights, Air Serbia will operate four weekly flights between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi from October 2013. As the fleet grows, Air Serbia will fly daily between the two capitals. Airbus A319 aircraft will be used, with the current Boeing 737-300 being withdrawn from the operating system.
The rebranding of Jat Airways into Air Serbia marks an important moment in the history of the Serbian national carrier. Jat Airways was established in 1927, being one of the first airlines in the world. After 86 years of operation, Jat Airways had reached a critical situation and had to choose between privatization or bankruptcy. I think the right decision has been made, even if the name "Jat Airways" will remain just a memory.
Regarding the color scheme, it was designed by a mixed team, with members from both countries, and the aim was to provide a new unmistakable identity. On the tail of the Air Serbia aircraft will be the coat of arms and the state colors of Serbia.
Jat Airways is the sixth airline to invest in Etihad Airways after: Airberlin (29.21%), Air Seychelles (40%), Virgin Australia (10.5%), Aer Lingus (2.99%) and Jet Airways (24%).
Regarding the Belgrade - Bucharest route, there is still not much information, but I don't think it will be open before 2014. I think it will be a competitor for TAROM, and the flights will not be operated in codeshare mode. Greater competition, lower ticket prices and new opportunities to travel :).