The mysterious recapitalization of Air Serbia, experts say

The mysterious recapitalization of Air Serbia, experts say
The mysterious recapitalization of Air Serbia, experts say

Air Serbia does not only have problems with the technical correctness of the aircraft, but also with finances. The state pays a little more than 15 million euros to that company through a new recapitalization. Experts say that there is no explanation for that move, but they are convinced that it is a classic subsidy, which is just not presented like that.

They present her as successful. It is often described as a company that brings a lot of money to the state and is responsible for the influx of a large number of tourists to Serbia. It is also known for the fact that, little by little, it receives financial assistance from the state. In less than two years, a second recapitalization was agreed for Air Serbia. This time for slightly more than 15 million euros.

“We will probably not find out why this recapitalization was actually done, it’s certainly not to increase the company’s capital, it’s certainly not for the state to acquire a little more, because there is already a lot in that company over 80 percent, so it’s probably some kind of aid for he didn’t want it to be seen as a subsidy, but it was slipped through recapitalization,” says Goran Radosavljević, professor at the Faculty of FEFA.

“The Government’s conclusion by which the decision on this recapitalization of slightly more than 15 million euros was made is not publicly available, it is available on the APR website among the published documents of Air Serbia, the decision of the Shareholders’ Assembly is available – two decisions – one relates to the recapitalization, the other refers to the cancellation of the right of pre-emption to the second shareholder Etihad Airways”, points out Daniela Ilić Krasić, a journalist of the N1 portal.

Air Serbia received the first aid of 100 million euros through recapitalization from the state in 2020. Despite this, the company made a loss of slightly more than five billion dinars in the same year. She had a minus in the cash register even a year later. Then the loss was 2 billion dinars.

“Before the pandemic, Air Serbia operated positively – in 2019, it recorded slightly more than nine million euros in profit, however, that year it received state aid of about twenty million euros, some analyzes show that in those five years before the pandemic, the state in Air Serbia poured in about 200 million euros from the budget,” says Ilić Krasić.

Through certain grants, the state increased its ownership in the company itself, which is currently 81.97 percent. Thanks to the second recapitalization, Serbia’s ownership increases to 83.58 percent, while Etihad’s share falls to 16.42 percent. FEFA faculty professor Goran Radosavljević says that he is not in favor of the state taking over the company completely, because it could suffer the fate of EPS. He also says that Air Serbia must be removed from the state budget as soon as possible.

“Because that habit when you know that the state will add to you when you need something and does not force you to be excessively market-oriented, in the past we had some lines that were opened, which were not market-oriented, but let us expand the number of lines , then if we have a loss, the state will fill it, in that sense, I would like the company to be market-oriented and to start being profitable, and that this is significant for all of us,” emphasizes Radosavljević.

And how the company really operates is not known. Because, unlike most of the world’s air carriers, Air Serbia does not publish its financial reports on its website.


The article is in Serbian

Tags: mysterious recapitalization Air Serbia experts

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