Based on the contract between the Ministry of Economy of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Air Serbia, the Serbian national airline was recapitalized, with the Republic of Serbia increasing its ownership share in Air Serbia from 51 to 82 percent, while Etihad Airways' share was reduced from 49 to 18 percent. The increase of the share capital of the Company was undertaken in order to eliminate the disturbances in the economy caused by the pandemic of the infectious disease COVID-19.
"We are grateful to the Government of the Republic of Serbia for providing support to the national airline to overcome business obstacles caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the most difficult year in the history of passenger air traffic," said Duncan Naysmith, CEO of Air Serbia. He added that "in this way, the foundations have been created for further uninterrupted business and that, with fundamental measures to rationalize the company's operations, which are already well underway, Air Serbia will be able to overcome difficulties, strengthen its position as a leader in the region and continue to provide direct and an indirect contribution to the Serbian economy, primarily transport and tourism."
The recapitalization of the Serbian national airline was undertaken at the request of Air Serbia, in accordance with the decree of the Government of the Republic of Serbia from October 2020, which envisages the measure of recapitalization of economic entities affected by the pandemic. This regulation is fully in line with the European Commission's Provisional Legal Framework, which regulates state aid measures to support the economy during the current COVID-19 pandemic, including recapitalization. At the request of the Government of Serbia, the State Aid Control Commission reviewed the proposed measures and confirmed that the measure of increasing the share capital of the Company was harmonized with the positive legal regulations of the Republic of Serbia, which created the conditions for recapitalization.