The new sheriff, Jat’s Srdjan Radovanović is not winning any fansJat Airways’ new CEO, which has been at the job for less than 2 weeks and has avoided media exposure, unlike his predecessor, has made some radical moves in the shadows and has also managed to land himself in a large scale scandal.
It has been revealed that Jat’s new CEO Srdjan Radovanović was the one that ordered the end to all operations on services between Belgrade and Dubrovnik after an agreement was struck between the aviation agencies of the two countries. Furthermore, Radovanović has cancelled the process of leasing 2 next generation B737-700 aircraft. The lease of the two aircraft was supposed to mark the beginning of phase four of the airline’s restructuring programme which was to last until 2013 and outlined the purchase of new aircraft. In his defence, Radovanović states that he asked the previous Jat management a series of questions. He asked if it is rational to lease the two aircraft for 650.000 Euros per month, is it necessary to pay a 1 million Euro deposit for the aircraft and were 2 new aircraft, which would have entered service in September, necessary as the winter season, when airlines reduce capacity and services, starts in October. Radovanović states that he never received an answer from the former Jat CEO Saša Vlaisavljević who is now on the airline’s board of directors. Therefore, Radovanović cancelled the acquisition process. Furthermore, he says he has delayed the entire Dubrovnik service plan for next year. It is obvious that there is bad blood between the previous and current CEO of Jat Airways. Radovanović has never worked in Jat nor does he have any experience in the field of aviation. He was appointed as the CEO of the airline by the Serbian government.
The CEO has also managed to tangle himself in a scandal. Serbian print media discovered that he managed to get his brother, Radovan Radovanović, a news editor at the “24 Hours” newspaper, onto a special government sponsored Jat flight carrying the grieving family members of Serbian tourists who tragically lost their lives in a bus crash on July 16, 2009 en route from Hurghada to Luxor in Egypt. The flight took off from Belgrade to Hurghada on July 20, 2009 in order for the families to claim the bodies of their deceased loved ones. Apparently, despite explicit orders from the Serbian government that no one except for the grieving families should be on the flight, Radovanović got his brother a free ticket thereby bypassing the added security checks. According to the news story the Serbian president was extremely angry at this development while Radovanović refused to comment on the issue. Will this scandal claim any victims only time will tell?