Friday, July 24, 2009

Radical moves

The new sheriff, Jat’s Srdjan Radovanović is not winning any fans
Jat 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?


  1. OK, he's done the wrong thing with the Egypt saga... hardly a sackable offence given the other blatant corruption around the place!

    But given what's written there, has he really made the wrong decisions for the airline? And is the title 'Radical Moves' really warranted as he hasn't done anything THAT drastic yet?

    Perhaps he is the breath of fresh air that JAT needs: someone who's not on the inside, whose willing to ask questions, and wield the axe where necessary. But he has to ensure he doesn't get everyone offside in a short period of time - and could do that with a round of sackings and getting in some compotent, fresh staff.

    He hasn't got long though to come up with a comprehensive plan to see the airline enter its next phase of existance: it could end up a smaller, leaner fleet (say 12 aircraft: 5/6 props, rest jets), or replacement of what's currently there. Either way, there's not a chance there'll be a sudden expansion plan on the cards...

  2. Further to the above post:

    Guessing the two -700s were to replace the two leased a/c, but this doesn't explain the ATRs, which are probably going to be more of the future of JAT if it keeps cutting back...

    Anyone know the years these leases are due to expire? And the Airbus deal would get the airline how many new AT7s??

  3. ^
    There are 2 leased ATR's, ALR and ALS, lease expired Dec '09 and June '11 respectively.

    leased 737-300 expires Feb '11
    leased 737-400 expires June '10

  4. Such a bad, bad moves as usual by Jat Airways... RIP Yugoslav Airlines, you were a great airline, Jat Airways is a joke, not an airline!

  5. I wonder when he was deciding to bring in the new aircraft, the beginning of the summer season? The timetables offered are a joke, air fares with JAT are very very high, the aircraft are not clean and their former Belgrade to Dubai flights were very uncomfortable. The new connections to Australia via Abu Dhabi are a joke, with a 12+ hour stop over in Abu Dhabi for those bound to Melbourne, and going via London say with Cathay Pacific is much much better choice.

    I think JAT should bring in 90-100 seater aircraft and increase the frequencies of current routes, like to London, Paris, Zurich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, offer its passengers more choice on departure times and making JAT a more convenient airline to travel with.


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