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Air Serbia’s $1bn Fleet Expansion ‘Part Of Etihad Order’

Air Serbia’s $1bn Fleet Expansion ‘Part Of Etihad Order’

The carrier ordered 10 A320neos at the Dubai Airshow which are due to be delivered between 2018 and 2020.

The $1 billion order for 10 A320neos from Air Serbia at The Dubai Airshow form part of the overall 117-strong Airbus order placed by equity partner Etihad on Sunday, it emerged today.

The single-aisle aircraft, due to be delivered between 2018 and 2020, will replace eight A319s and two A320s currently operated on lease – which themselves are replacing 10 old Boeing 737-300s.

Etihad bought a 49 per cent stake in Air Serbia in August and will manage the airline under a five-year agreement. The first flight of the new-look Air Serbia between Belgrade and Abu Dhabi started on October 26 – and a host of other routes are pending, including Beirut, Warsaw, Prague and Sofia.

Sinisa Mali, adviser for Economy and Finance, Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia, which owns a 51 per cent stake in the airline, said it was in negotiations over the financing of the 10 planes. Air Serbia will own the aircraft.

He said the Airbus contract was originally signed in 1998. “We paid the deposit and in the last 15 years, for various reasons, that contract didn’t materialise, but together with Etihad, we managed to renegotiate a deal with Airbus, and that deposit will now count again for the new aircraft.”

Mali said it was “logical to part of the bigger deal” announced on Sunday, and was open to any further investments, and further acquisitions, in the region.

Dane Kondic, CEO of Air Serbia, said its goal was to become the region’s leading airline and to that end, it was investing in product and people.

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