JAT had no choice but to go with Etihad

„The official story was that JAT Airways had been negotiating with Etihad, but the truth is that JAT did not participate in these negotiations at all. We did not know the details of these negotiations until the end of July, practically just before the contract was about to be signed“, says Velibor Slavuj, who was the Traffic Director in JAT at the time of signing the partnership agreement with Etihad.

Slavuj points out that, because of this kind of negotiations, the Serbian national airline had no choice but to sign the agreement with Etihad in 2013.

JAT’s management saw the draft of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with Etihad only seven days ahead of the signing ceremony, which took place at the Hyatt Hotel, on 1st August, 2013.

 Prior to the signing, JAT’s legal team was supposed to analyze the document that had hundreds of pages.

Velibor Vukašinović, JAT’s acting Director General at that time, said that the company’s legal team worked tirelessly on trying to improve the draft. Asked whether he was satisfied with the contract, he just said that that JAT did everything it could.

“I’m not completely satisfied, but the decision to enter into a strategic partnership is something that was not my business, but the government’s. We made the best we could out of the given situation“, Vukasinovic says.

JAT’s legal team analyzed in detail the draft of the basic contract and gave a number of remarks and objections. According to an analysis carried out by the Insider website, one of the objections to the the contract pertained to the benefits that the new airliner Air Serbia was supposed to get, which is 51% owned by the state, and 49% by Etihad.

“We believe that JAT Airways, with the financial assistance stipulated in this contract and with all the offered benefits, such as a discount on the prices of airport services and fuel prices, would have successfully operated without forging the strategic partnership with Etihad in the form provided for in the proposed documents”, the analysis states.

(Insajder, 10.04.2018)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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