2-Aug-2011 12:01 PM

Serbia launches search for investor to form new national airline

Serbia's Government launched the search for an investor to form a new national airlines to replace JAT Airways on 01-Aug-2011 (The Associated Press/Reuters/Bloomberg, 01-Aug-2011). Airlines who handled than 1.5 million passengers in 2010 or financial organisations with a stake of at least 5% in an airline business are qualified to bid for JAT Airways, Serbia's Infrastructure Ministry said. Investors must also show a consolidated balance sheet of more than EUR200 million. The indebted carrier has reportedly made losses since the 1990s and has recently borrowed more than EUR100 million from the government to renew its fleet of 14 aircraft. The Serbian government hired Deloitte in 2010 to find a strategic partner to take over JAT Airways and build a new airline by the end of 2011. The Ministry said it will coordinate all steps with the airline's potential new partner, including selecting the name for the new company by Jun-2012. JAT Airways failed to sell a majority stake in the airline after lengthy negotiations with Turkish Airlines in 2010. Another tender in 2008 for the sale of a 51% stake in the carrier, set at EUR51 million, also failed. The current tender expires on 30-Sep-2011.

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