Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) will likely not renew the management contract with Air Serbia (JU, Belgrade) once it expires at the end of 2018, leading to probable deep changes in the Serbian carrier's management team, EX-YU Aviation has reported.

Under the terms of the 2013 investment deal, Etihad Airways secured the right to appoint key executives to Air Serbia's board. Currently, the Serbian carrier's CEO Duncan Naysmith, CCO Joost den Hartog, and COO Declan Keller are all Etihad appointees. Once the current management contract ends, their terms are unlikely to be renewed as the carrier will look for Serbian nationals to replace them.

However, according to report, Etihad Airways will keep its 49% stake in Air Serbia. The carriers will also continue their commercial partnership.

Under Etihad's ownership, Air Serbia first changed into a full-service premium carrier, only to recently revert towards a hybrid model.

Etihad bought a 49% stake in the Serbian carrier, then known as Jat Airways, in mid-2013 as a part of a bigger global shopping spree, which also saw the Emirati airline becoming an equity partner in Air Berlin, Darwin Airline, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Alitalia, and Air Seychelles. Most of these undertakings, particularly those in the European Union, have failed to provide a satisfactory return on investment. Both Air Berlin and Darwin have already collapsed, while Alitalia has been insolvent for around a year now.