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Etihad gets final nod to seal Air Serbia stake deal

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Staff writer |
Etihad AirwaysEtihad Airways confirmed that government and regulatory approvals, consent and permissions have now been obtained to clear the way for it to take a 49 percent stake in Air Serbia.

As a result, an initial loan to Air Serbia of $40 million will be converted to equity, said James Hogan, president and CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier.

In August, the Government of Serbia signed a strategic, long-term agreement with Etihad Airways, and unveiled a $200 million plan to revitalise Air Serbia.

Mr. Hogan said in a statement: "I am pleased to confirm Etihad Airways is now the shareholder of 49 percent of Air Serbia. This investment represents an important partnership with the Government of Serbia, as we work together to build Air Serbia into the leading airline in the region."

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's deputy Prime Minister, said: "We are pleased to have closed the transaction with Air Serbia's strategic partner, Etihad Airways.

"Air Serbia is the only major airline in the region to have successfully partnered with a leading global airline, Etihad Airways. We are proud the national airline of Serbia now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the world." Dane Kondic, CEO of Air Serbia, added: "Air Serbia has a strong business plan, and a clear Government mandate, to be a safe, best-in-class and profitable airline.

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