New fleet members expectedNext week a delegation from Boeing will meet up with the Serbian government and Jat Airways, upon their request, in Belgrade. The talks will revolve around the purchase of new aircraft for the troubled Serbian carrier. As a result, the Serbian minister for infrastructure, on Friday, requested Jat to formulate a new business strategy. EX-YU Aviation News blog can exclusively reveal that Boeing has visited Jat Airways in the past weeks for informal talks. An unnamed source from Jat says that consultations were held on Friday with Jat’s CEO Srđan Radovanović and that it has been agreed that the airline should purchase four or five new aircraft as the airline does not have the finances for more. Boeing will arrive next week in Serbia for official talks and will present the terms for the purchase of new aircraft.
Jat’s “blast from the past”, that is Airbus, won’t be too happy with the planned meeting. The Serbian carrier has a 24 million deposit for the purchase of 8 aircraft ordered in 1998. If Jat was to cancel the order it would loose all 24 million Euros. The unnamed source states that Jat is in talks with Airbus, as well, in order to resolve the problem. Although there is also the option for the purchase of the newly manufactured Russian Sukhoi jets, Jat is not interested at the moment.
We can also reveal that a major reorganisation inside the airline is also about to start. Srđan Radovanović has said that he hopes that in 2010 the airline will carry 1.5 million passengers, while this year the number will most probably stand at 1.1 million due to the financial crisis and the greatly reduced flight offering Jat has had this year. Last year the airline carried 1.3 million passengers. Radovanović also draws attention to an extremely damaging move the previous Jat CEO had made. This is the agreement with Montenegro Airlines where Jat handed over most of its Montenegro bound passengers to its rival. This has hurt Jat greatly this year with passenger numbers on flights to Podgorica and Tivat declining dramatically, while Montenegro Airlines sees a big passenger increase. Another damaging agreement is that with Lufthansa, also ordered by the previous Jat administration, which handed over many of Jat’s passengers to the European giant Lufthansa.
In July, Srđan Radovanović scraped the plans by the previous administration to lease 2 next generation Boeing B737-700s.