Strategic partnership approved between Air Serbia, Etihad

Strategic partnership approved between Air Serbia, Etihad

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE) national airline Etihad Airways announced on Tuesday that required official approvals had been ensured that confirm a strategic partnership between Air Serbia and Etihad Airways.

On August 1, 2013, the Serbian government signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement with Etihad Airways and announced a plan for Air Serbia's recovery worth USD 200 million, Etihad stated in a statement.

Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan said that, based on the received confirmation, the initial USD 40 million loan to Air Serbia will be turned into equity.

“I am pleased to confirm Etihad Airways is now the shareholder of 49 per cent of Air Serbia. This investment represents an important partnership with the Government of Serbia, as we work together to build Air Serbia into the leading airline in the region,” the company quoted Hogan as saying.

Serbia's First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said: "We are pleased to have closed the transaction with Air Serbia's strategic partner, Etihad Airways."

"Air Serbia is the only major airline in the region to have successfully partnered with a leading global airline, Etihad Airways. We are proud the national airline of Serbia now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the world," the release quotes Vucic as saying.

Air Serbia CEO Danny Kondic said that Air Serbia has "a strong business plan, and a clear Government mandate, to be a safe, best-in-class and profitable airline".

"We have already achieved a remarkable transformation of the national airline of Serbia and are looking forward to the journey with our new shareholder and strategic partner, Etihad Airways," Kondic said.