New cabin from this weekSerbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways, will unveil the new look of its business and economy class cabin onboard its Boeing B737 fleet this week. By Sunday, the first Boeing B737-300 will be sporting the new cabins and will be in service. Saša Vlaisalvjević, the airline’s outgoing CEO, confirmed that the B737-300 registered YU-ANJ, which has been at Jat Tehnika for the past few days, will enter into service later this week with the new cabin product. This will mean that Jat will be changing the look of its seats for the first time since 1999. Not much is known about the new look although the current seating configuration with 2X2 in business class and 3X3 in economy class will remain. The finances for the upgraded cabin product have been provided on behalf of the Serbian government which will mark the government’s first investment into Jat in many years. The new cabin product will be installed on all Boeing B737-300s and the B737-400 aircraft by the end of the year. The regional ATR72s will not be getting the new cabin look as the aircraft type is expected to be phased out by the beginning of 2011. YU-ANJ, the first aircraft to receive the new look was also the first aircraft to receive the “flying dots” livery and “Jat Airways” titles in January of 2003.
Jat’s CEO announced that the airline will first purchase 4 ATR72-500 aircraft in early 2010 which will replace the current 5 ATR72-200s. Vlaisavljević says that the 500 series is quieter, quicker and more economical. The airline will then purchase 3 Boeing B737-700 aircraft followed by 3 to 4 regional aircraft with a capacity of 80 to 100 seats. All the funds for the purchase of the new aircraft will be provided on behalf of the Serbian government. After the entire fleet renewal process is complete the government will decide if they will attempt privatise the airline for a second time.
Only a few hours ago it was announced that Saša Vlaisavljević will definitely leave the airline on June 1, 2009. There are currently 3 candidates for Jat’s CEO position. They are Vladimir Ognjenović, Jat’s current commercial director, Stojan Dimitrijević, Jat’s current manager in Germany and Đorđe Brdarsko, Jat’s current director for ground handling. Saša Vlaisavljević will become the manager of the City of Belgrade. However, he will remain in the airline’s board of directors until 2013.