BELGRADE, SERBIA — Turkish Airlines in talks with Serbia over joint MRO operation in Belgrade.

Talks are underway between Serbia, Turkish Airlines, and its maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) subsidiary, Turkish Technic, regarding the potential establishment of a joint MRO operation in Belgrade, according to Serbian aviation news outlet, Tango Six.

The prospect of such a collaboration is viewed in light of Turkish Airlines' expanding relationship with Air Serbia, the national airline of Serbia, ch-aviation reports. It's likely that Air Serbia's fleet would also be serviced by the proposed MRO. The relationship between Air Serbia and its primary MRO provider, JAT Tehnika—a subsidiary of the Poland-based Avia Prime Group—has allegedly been under strain recently due to bottlenecks. As a result, the airline has started sending some of its planes to Istanbul for maintenance.

Aviation Week previously reported that Turkish Airlines was working with investors to outsource a portion of its MRO operations beyond Turkey. The airline says it remains open to opportunities and continues to evaluate future prospects.

Bolat pointed out that labour costs are declining in areas of southeastern Europe, making it a more attractive region for investment. Nevertheless, he also mentioned Kazakhstan and Indonesia as potential locales for Turkish Technic's expansion.

Bolat emphasized that such a venture would need the support of other airlines with similar engines to maintain low costs. He suggested the MRO would focus on repairing parts, engines, and components, stating, "then it is possible to make value, then you can make profit from an aircraft hangar."

Air Serbia and Turkish Airlines share a codeshare agreement, and last summer, the airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding to broaden their cooperation on codeshare operations, cargo, and frequent flyer program integration, possibly through a new joint venture.