Air Serbia launched and expansion plans to come after profitability

By Marc Castro

Oct 27, 2013 09:44 AM EDT

Air Serbia, with its 49% owned by Etihad Airways, is looking into the acquisition of stakes in other European carriers once it reaches profitability in the next twelve months. This was confirmed by senior government officials, as Serbia owns part of the Eastern European air carrier and the Gulf airline's executives told ArabianBusiness.

The UAE's air carrier Etihad announced last August it had bought 49% in JAT Airways. In the announcement, it had unveiled a USD200 million program to revitalize and rebrand the European airline. One of the recent moves was the unveiling of the first Air Serbia-branded A319 aircraft in Belgrade on Friday, marking the launch of the newest airline in Europe. 

In order to sustain the airline, both the Serbian government and Etihad would pony up USD100 million into the airline. Belgrade for its part also agreed to write off debts it had absorbed from the JAT Airways era.

The new carrier is projected, which was established in 1927, to become profitable in the next twelve months, From there, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic did not discount the idea that the new financial muscle of the airline would have as against European national carriers and expand its presence in the region.

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