Release #14.07
January 17, 2014

DOT Sides with ALPA, Rejects JAT Application to Operate Air Services with Etihad to/from the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) hailed a decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today to deny an application by JAT Airways (now Air Serbia) to provide code-share service on Etihad Airways flights just as Etihad was negotiating for a 49 percent ownership stake in the Serbia-based airline. The United States and Serbia do not currently have an air services agreement.

“We are pleased that the DOT agreed with our view and dismissed this application,” said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “ALPA successfully made the case that a possible ownership/management relationship between JAT and Etihad would provide effective control by Etihad and, thus, would not be in the public interest. We applaud the DOT’s action because allowing the proposed arrangement to go forward would have created an even more unlevel playing field for the U.S. airline industry.”

In its filing, ALPA opposed JAT’s application on the grounds that JAT noted in its application that the airline is in negotiations to sell a 49 percent stake in the company to Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates based in Abu Dhabi. In its answer to the application, ALPA also asserted that this ownership stake, along with a publicly reported pending agreement by which Etihad would manage JAT, would allow Etihad to control JAT’s operations.

The DOT agreed, finding that JAT had responded to specific allegations of ALPA and other objecting parties about potential control with “generalities” that did not refute the allegations. The department also denied JAT’s request for a waiver of DOT’s ownership and control policies because the record did not allow the DOT to find that the waiver would not be “inimical to U.S. policy or interests.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440,

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