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Gecic and DLA Secure EC Green Light for Air Serbia

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Gecic Law and DLA Piper have assisted Air Serbia in a European Commission investigation related to Etihad Airways’ investment in the Serbian Airline. According to Air Serbia, Karanovic & Nikolic was also involved in the first year of the process.

Etihad acquired a 49% stake in JAT Airways, Air Serbia’s predecessor, in August 2013. In April 2014, the EC launched an investigation into Etihad’s investments in European airlines to identify whether its foreign ownership of European carriers complies with EU airline licensing rules — relevant to Air Serbia despite the country not being a EU member due to its candidacy for accession. The investigation was concluded in July 2016 with the EC finding that the UAE’s carrier’s investment in Air Serbia is in line with European Union rules on ownership and effective control of airlines. 

The Air Serbia in-house team consisted on Natasa Vuksic — the Air Serbia Head of Finance at the time — and Danijela Popadic, the company’s General Counsel & Company Secretary.

The Gecic Law team was led by Partner Bogdan Gecic and included Special Counsel Jelena Adamovic. 

Partners Mark Franklin, Tony Payne, and Alexandra Kamerling and Senior Associate Geoffrey Deasy formed the DLA Piper team. 

Editorial Note: After the story was published, Karanovic & Nikolic confirmed it's involvement in the matter stating it "played a significant role in this case, as Partners Dejan Nikolic and Marjan Poljak provided their expert help in setting up the initial defense for Air Serbia and represented the company in front of the European Commission in Brussels at the very beginning of the process."

Image source: airserbia.com