Despite the fact that local media has been ripe with suggestions that Turkish Airlines is keen on purchasing Jat Airways or a new national airline Serbia might create as a substitute for Jat, the CEO of Turkish Airlines , Temil Kotil, said that the airline has little interest in acquiring airlines and wants to concentrate on its own operations. “We are not as interested in acquiring airline investments as suggested by media reports”, Kotil told the “Wall Street Journal”. He outlined that the airline prefers organic growth rather than growth based on airline takeovers.
The Serbian Government has sent out facts and figures about Jat to 60 potential bidders but the exact way in which Jat will be sold depends on what the airline’s privatisation advisor, Deloit, suggests. If all goes to plan a tender for the privatisation of Jat Airways could begin in August. However, there is little hope the airline will be sold, as was the case in 2008 when it was also put up for sale. “If this tenders fails Jat will stay in government ownership but the Serbian Government will have to find a way to renew the airline’s fleet”, a government source told the “Novosti” newspaper.
Turkish interest in Jat has been speculated over the past 2 years, with various ministers, Jat CEOs and even the Serbian Prime Minister saying that the Turks are keen on purchasing Jat. One government minister went as far as saying that Turkish Airlines wanted to set up an airline called Balkan Airways which would be the national carrier of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia. However, this most recent statement from Turkish Airlines’ CEO is just the latest in a string of similar announcement denying the airline’s interest in Jat. Turkish Airlines flies to every single EX-YU country and owns 49% of B&H Airlines .