Easier said than doneMilan Jovanović, the president of the Jat Airways Pilots Trade Union has said that a new fleet is necessary so that the airline can adequately recover. He believes that extending the lifeline of the current fleet will cost the carrier more than investing into new aircraft. The pilots union welcomed news from the management that the carrier will be leasing 2 Boeing B737-700 next generation aircraft which are expected to enter the airline’s fleet during September. He also stated that the Serbian Government has neglected the national carrier for many years and that it must make a decision whether it wants the airline to survive.
After last year’s privatisation fiasco, Jovanović said that the airline should not be sold in the near future because many issues within the airline still need to be settled before the carrier can look for a partner. He also commented that the situation within the union is stable and that Jat’s pilots are currently happy with their conditions however he noted that many pilots are leaving the airline because they receive better offers from East European and Asian carriers. Despite the fact that Jat has too many employees, the only area it does not have too many employed is the pilot sector. He says that new pilots have been recently employed at Jat. The airline pays its pilots 3.000 Euros per month, which according to Jovanović is quite low when compared with other airlines in the region.
Jat Airways currently has 1.200 employees. The airlines downsized its workforce in the last 12 months by 600. Just before the collapse of Yugoslavia, the airline had nearly 9.000 employees.