After withdrawing form Alitalia bid, Air One now after

Air India's bid to acquire Serb airline Jat will get more complicated. Italy's Air One, whose owner AP Holding SpA was a leading candidate to acquire Alitalia SpA in a privatisation till a day ago, and whose withdrawal from the bid process has led to the collapse of the privatisation, is also interested in acquiring the Serbian carrier, Italian media has reported, citing sources close to the Belgrade government. Details on the sale are likely be decided by the end of July.

The Serb government is considering two options for the privatisation: a strategic alliance with another airline, and the sale of a significant Jat stake. Apart from Air India, which already cooperates with Jat in training pilots, Aeroflot Russian Airlines is seen as a contender for Jat.

Recent studies by the World Bank found that Jat made a 2006 profit of €3.8 million despite running up $54 million in accumulated losses over 2004 and 2005, owing to low productivity and capacity use.