Although the national airline Air Serbia ended last year with a 9-billion-dinar-deficit, the salaries the company’s management, which includes certain “famous” names, run from tens of thousands of dinars to thousands of euros.
The majority of the 1,400 employees, as many as there were in the company at the end of last year, have salarie between 50,000 and 70,000 dinars if they are university graduates, or around 40,000 and less if they are in lower positions. However, when it comes to management, salaries can go up to 20,000 euros or more per month.
Since Etihad bought the JAT airline in August 2013, some of the workers have been laid off, those who remained have been sent on forced leave and salaries have been reduced. However, there have always been vacancies for managers. Last year, when the Serbian state recapitalised the airline to overcome the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, new faces came to work for Air Serbia.
Among them are Slobodan Kon, son of chief state epidemiologist Predrag Kon, and Anja Kisic, a relative of Labour Minister Darija Kisic Tepavcevic.
Slobodan Kon was hired by Air Serbia in May as head of internal audit. According to LinkedIn, Kon is responsible for internal audit, strategy and planning of the annual risk-based audit and quality control. Previously, he had worked as a senior consultant at Deloitte for less than a year and a half, and before that he worked for the government as an independent consultant from May 2017 to November 2019, and then head of the Methodology and Quality Control Sector.
From 2012 to 2014, Slobodan Kon worked as a consultant at the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection, and then from 2014 to May 2017, he was an independent consultant at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
After graduating from the private Megatrend University in International Economics in 2008, Kon had worked at Broker, then as an auditor at Finodit, as well as an economic consultant at the Chemicals Agency for close to two years.
Anja Kisić has been employed by Air Serbia since October last year as head of corporate communications. Before that, she had worked for two years in marketing at NEPI Rockcastle, the company that manages the Promenada shopping centre in Novi Sad.
Etihad now owns only18% of Air Serbia, while 82% is in the hands of the Serbian government, i.e. the state, which took over part of Etihad’s shares at the end of last year. At the time, Etihad’s Managing Director Duncan Naismith said that the state’s support enabled the airline to operate normally and that “through fundamental measures to streamline the company’s operations, which are already well underway, Air Serbia will be able to overcome the difficulties, strengthen its position as a regional leader and make a direct and indirect contribution to the Serbian economy, primarily in transport and tourism”.
In the last five years, according to financial reports, Air Serbia has always operated with a profit, except last year, when the deficit was 9 billion dinars. Prior to that, from 2017 to 2019, the net profit exceeded 1 billion dinars, but gradually decreased – 4 years ago, it was 1.9 billion and in 2019, it was 1.1 billion dinars.
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