New deadline October 31The Serbian government has extended a tender call to find a potential strategic partner for a new national carrier, to be set up as a successor to Jat Airways. Although officially the government said the tender is being extended upon the request of interested parties, media speculate that no airline has bought the tender documentation. A similar move was made during the last attempt to privatise Jat back in 2008, when no interest was shown either. The new tender call will last until October 31. The tender originally began back on August 1.
A month before tender procedures began, the Ministry of Infrastructure sent letters to a total of sixty airlines across the world hoping to get companies interested before the tender got underway. Experts say that there are no set guidelines to the tender, that it is unreasonable to ask for an airline company to be a part owner of a still nonexistent future national carrier and that Jat should have been restructured and then put up for sale. Statements made by the government that Turkish Airlines interested in purchasing the Serbian carrier (or setting up a new one) have turned out to be false. The only condition for the future part owner of Serbia’s national carrier is that it must have handled 1.5 million passengers in 2010.
Over the past month, media has speculated that airBaltic was interested in purchasing the tender documentation as well AZAL from Azerbaijan.