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5 AUGUST 2013

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Article from BTNews 5 AUGUST 2013

More Etihad strategic expansion

Etihad, the state airline of Abu Dhabi, is pushing ahead with its strategic expansion plans by securing a partnership with the Serbian national Jat Airways.

Called AirSerbia the airline will be 49% owned by Etihad, who have been awarded a five-year management contract.  It becomes Etihad’s sixth equity partner following investments in airberlin (29.21%), Air Seychelles (40%), Virgin Australia (10.5%), Aer Lingus (2.99%) and most recently Jet Airways (24% – subject to regulatory approval).

The agreement follows the launch of Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade in June and, it is hoped, will significantly enhance trade and investment relations between the United Arab Emirates and Serbia.  Air Serbia will launch fights from Belgrade to Abu Dhabi from October 2013 with an Airbus A319.

Aleksandar Vučić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Serbian Government, said: “Etihad Airways’ reputation, financial strength and stability will be of significant benefit to Air Serbia and we are delighted to launch this strategic partnership.  Air travellers to and from Serbia will soon benefit from an incredible range of new products and services.

“The partnership will provide passengers with an extensive route network and smooth flight connections.  It will also consolidate and enhance both airlines' market competitiveness as the relationship deepens over the comingmonths”. www.etihad.com http://airserbia.com

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