Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Etihad to invest in Jat Airways?

Yesterday saw the announcement by Etihad Airways, national airline of the United Arab Emirates, of a potential investment in struggling Serbian carrier Jat Airways.

Following the launch of Etihad’s daily service to Belgrade which allows Jat Airways to put its JU airline code on the Etihad flight will connect passengers in Serbia with a number of worldwide destinations, including Australia, Asia and the Middle East.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, and Velibor Vukasinovic, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer, celebrate the signing of an Initial Memorandum of Understanding (IMU) in Belgrade 

In the Initial Memorandum of Understanding between Etihad and the Serbian Government allows both parties to advance discussions regarding the possible equity investment in Jat. The move, which is welcomed by many will add yet another airline to Etihad’s expanding equity alliance, having recently announced the purchase of a 24% stake in Indian carrier Jet Airways, the first foreign investment in an Indian airline following the government’s announcement to allow foreign investors to take up to 49% equity in the country’s airlines.

Talk of a possible investment has been floating around for a while and would make sense as the next step for both Jat Airways to help relieve its financial issues, and for Etihad who looks to increase its equity alliance.

Velibor Vukasinovic, JatAirways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s our great pleasure to establish this cooperation between Etihad Airways and JatAirways. We are honoured that Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and one of the best companies in the world, has established direct air traffic between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade.”

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