Monday, February 22, 2010

Save Our Souls

Union blasts Government exploits
The independent Serbian aviation union has called upon the Serbian Government to help Jat Airways in its time of need. The union states that the Government has acted irresponsibly towards the airline and its employees. “Somehow foreign carriers in Serbia receive better slots, slashed handling prices and discounted fuel. Unlike other Government owned companies, Jat has never had the right to control its own finances”, the statement from the union reads. “The Serbian Government should only look at the way their British and Austrian counterparts have acted by bailing out their respective carriers numerous times. Everyone wants to take something from Jat but nobody wants to give something back. It’s time that the management of the carrier is not chosen purely on the basis of their political affiliation and privatisation is a must”, the statement reads.

Meanwhile, Jat’s CEO Srdjan Radovanović has admitted that his optimistic 2010 recovery plan is unlikely to be carried out in full due to “unforseen circumstances”. Radovanvić states that Jat’s Macedonian subsidiary Aeromak has failed to receive necessary permits from the Macedonian Government, despite being guaranteed such rights in 2009 from the Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communication himself. The Sky Srpska project in Banja Luka, in which Jat will play a part of, has also been delayed. The CEO states that the airline will probably finish the year with a loss and should be happy with anything over 1.2 million passengers.

Despite its troubles, the airline is said to have had a better than expected February with passenger number anticipated to rise. In March, the airline will launch its summer timetable and select a new company to provide its on board catering service. Despite the lack of information, the lease of 2 Boeing B737-700 aircraft has not been cancelled and has so far not been delayed.

41 comments:

  1. loAustralia, Turkey sign air deal
    Australia and Turkey have signed a new air services agreement, allowing airlines from both nations to fly up to five direct flights per week.
    The deal also allows carriers from both countries to enter into a codeshare deal with a third country. An estimated 50,000 Australians travel to Turkey every year.
    Turkish Airlines plans to launch flights to Australia in 2011

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  2. Is this the union allowing the airline to shed the hundreds of excess staff weighing down the carrier in return for a promise of new aircraft and greater autonomy to become?

    No chance of the govt bailing them out on the union's terms. But then we know what a balls up the privatisation process was with government bumblings.

    JU is likely now the most vulnerable ex-YU airline, and these same people who have partly held up the rationalisation of the company will just have to 'go down with the ship'. But no chance of re-structuring aka OA allowed here (or a strike).

    And Radovanović is at least realistic about his recovery plan, but the chances of seeing Aeromak or SkySrpska are becoming ever more remote...

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  3. ^
    If I had a dinar for everytime I said on here that Aeromak had no chance -
    RIGHT MR EX-TY AVIATION?

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  4. As for the rest of that rubbish article - there are still NO 737's in the pipeline. Will be interesting to see if Jat see the light of 2011.

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  5. If you think its rubbish why do you continually keep visiting and reading?

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  6. intresting thing on the JAT website it mentions the leasing of B733 aircraft not B737's ;) i wonder if anyone has noticed.

    The release of schedules are slow from JAT and airfares are still to high. Its cheaper for example to fly TK and EK via IST to DXB than JAT via LCA!!! Flying the same TK/EK combination for example is €300 cheaper than JAT!!! Sydney is supposed to be JATs most profitable office yet 1 p/w is offered to DXB, the fares are high and when you ring the Belgrade office they are unable to confirm additional flights. Will be intresting to see what will come of the summer timetable, i just doubt much will change if anything does.

    @ anonymous

    EK will have some great competition once TK flies to Australia, especially if they can do IST-SYD/MEL nonstop. I can see all the Balkan bound traffic going via IST, and some passengers enroute to Western Europe starting to go via IST.

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  7. Quote:
    "The CEO states that the airline will probably finish the year with a loss and should be happy with anything over 1.2 million passengers."
    By the end of the year, they will be happy if they carry around 1 million as last year and most of all, if they stay afloat.

    Maybe it's time to start thinking of setting up a new Serbian flag carrier, unless something drastically changes very, very fast.

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  8. well still, I think it's nice that someone has decided to say something. Until now, all we had was silence, at least now we can see that the unions are angry, and for the first time we get a rather realistic prospect of JU's CEO.
    I don't think we need to sell our national carrier, are you really saying that some foreigners are smarter or more competent then Serbs? i think not, all we need is the right people in the right seats and then we will have hings moving in the right direction! I for one would love to see JU stay serbian!

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  9. I do not see any bright future for JAT. Nepotism, cleptocracy, political influence is so deeply rooted that any commercial turn-around is almost impossible. It takes ages to lease 2 lousy planes (that are now cheaper on the market than any time before) or to close useless offices like Nicosia, Toronto, Sydney, NYC, Timisoara, Hamburg etc. - all offline! These days with websites, call centers, nobody needs these expensive office in main shopping streets anymore. Just no concept, no plan, no agenda, simply day-to-day survival. With open skies with CSA going double daily, Malev going double daily, Air Baltic, Fly Niki, Aegean, Cimber Air and more to come- just forget about JAT! Won't make the year 2011.

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  10. Ma...Hajde da se ne lažemo!

    JAT is stuffed and I hope they stop beibg unrealistic and focus on what they have got!

    I am still not sure what will put me in their aircraft...yet...

    Oh, and those "Tito, partija, omladna, akcija" tricks from thr uninon? Maybe they should take a look at BA's strike anounced today...

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  11. @EX-YU Aviation:

    Just source your articles, ok? There are copyright protection rules you must obide by otherwise this site can be shut down.

    There is not one single well run airline in the ex-YU region, so why should it be a given that JU can survive?

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  12. @ anonymous

    Why should JAT close its Sydney office when in fact it is the most profitable JAT office? JAT's Belgrade office isnt in a main shopping street. Just because a Mercator is down the street and a few kiosks that doesnt make it some major shopping street! As for CSA, its about time for more frequencies and wish them all the best. Malev btw isnt going double daily, rather 11 p/w atm. Aegean is not threat to JAT considering JAT is better on the route compared to Aegean, and Olympic has left BEG.

    JAT's timetable needs a major rescheduling. Getting rid of BNX and MLA for example, increasing frequncies to ZRH, CDG, LHR, DXB, ARN, CPH, replace TRS with VCE, downgrade MXP to daily ATR7's, add MAD, TIA, SOF, MSQ, THR to begin. How many slots does JAT have at LHR btw?

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  13. ^
    More complete and utter bullsh!t from JATBEGMEL.

    You make the incompetent people at Jat look like NASA space astronauts in comparison.


    1) How is Jat 'better' than Aegean? Have you ever flown in Aegean?

    2) All city centre sales offices should be shut down and moved to the airport. The only tickets you want to sell face to face are to those who have missed their flights and whom will pay high fares. It's all about cost reduction in an age where internet distribution is king. Do you think anyone in Australia walks into Jat's offices to pay for flights? I'm sure the odd id!ot/peasant does, but not enough to justify the HUGE expense.

    3) Jat have 8 slots per week at LHR, having 2 on Saturday which are about an hour apart from one another, which is rather unhelpful.
    Last summer they requested and received a 9th Sunday night slot.

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  14. Do you think anyone in Australia walks into Jat's offices to pay for flights?

    I live in Sydney and can tell you that 90% of people do.

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  15. "Why should JAT close its Sydney office when in fact it is the most profitable JAT office? "


    I'm surprised to learn that anyone purchases an airline ticket by walking to their office in the city.

    I haven't purchased a plane ticket by any method other than phone or internet since the early 1990s, and then never from the airline itself, but a travel agent that usually has better deals, because they buy in bulk.

    I see no need for airlines to have offices anywhere except maybe the airport.

    Those people who buy at the JAT Sydney office, aren't suddenly going to not buy tickets because the retail office is close.

    You're so weirdly sentimental, Jatbegmel, about an airline that's doomed to die eventually. Better sooner than later, I say.

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  16. @ JATBEGMEL
    @ anonymous

    Just for fun, I have found more JAT offline offices like Sofia, Malmoe. Did they ever hear about GSA or agencies to sell tickets through, if they really want people to "walk in"? Ridiculous!
    There are dozens of Serbian travel agencies in SYD: give them good rates and they will sell. JAT does not need any expensive, prestigious (NYC located on Madison Avenue !), offline stations except for employing aunts and cousins and ex-station managers. Sorry, but you have to face it.
    Concerning JAT future:
    Step one partial privatization with a foreign partner that will bring in money for the planes and know-how and then revamp fleet and schedules.
    Flying to major cities on a daily or double daily basis only. Close everything below that, cant compete anyway against major players with their fares and frequencies. So its clear:
    LHR/FRA/AMS/DUS/ARN/CPH/SVO/MIL/FCO/ATH/IST/LCA daily
    CDG/ZRH/VIE double daily
    close: GOT/BER/BRU/TRS/LJU/BNX/SKG/TLV/MLA and code share with JP/SK/A3/CY/LH and others. Cooperate with foreign carriers with good prorates like CY/EK/MS/KM...
    I am not sure about the charters, but could imagine a j/v with Kontiki or similar on a 50/50 basis to cover summer destinations.
    Fleetwise:
    6-8x CRJ-9 and 2-4x B737-700 will do it. Completely revamp sales, product, livery, name and website.

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  17. i don't think JU should even consider closing their office here in Cyprus, in Nicosia that is. Most of the Serbs here book their tickets through them. So please don't speak unless you know what you are saying. I know for a fact that Larnaca is going to become one of the better destinations for Jat soon, as more and more Serbs are moving here, and for the first time in my 11 years here, I have seen that their LF is getting better and better. So plese Mr. I know it all, tell me, why should they give the LCA route to some crappy airline a la CY? Have you even flown them? Some of their 320 are the oldest in Europe, even older than some of the JUs 733's! And don't make me start talking bout their cabin crew!!!

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  18. While I agree that in soume countries there is no need for having a physical office for ticket sales in some countries such as Australia, Cyprus, Russia, etc. it might be different as people prefer in person sales transactions. Please keep in mind that Internet shopping culture is not that common everywhere else as for example in the US and Canada. Different countries do business in different way...and it's not only the old and people with lower-education that prefer doing business this way. I have a friend in Sydney, Australia who is a website designer and just recently, he went downtown to Etihad's Office to buy his ticket to Europe. While the credit card culture is very dominant in the US and Canada, this isn't the case with other countries where many still tend to pay their tickets with cash or checks.

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  19. ^ sure. But that doesn't mean an airline office should run a retail store to sell tickets for just their airline. It's an incredible waste of resources and incredibly inefficient.

    Makes more sense to sell tickets in bulk to a travel agent and there you go, no rent, no salaries, no overhead.

    Focus on what you do - flying airplanes. Let your customers who prefer to inconvenience themselves by paying with archaic financial instruments of exchange do so with your travel agent partners.

    It's better for the customer too, as the place they're going isn't just selling plane tickets, it can sell them other things for their holiday - hotel rooms, rent a car, theatre tickets, etc.

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  20. @Doot

    something more logical to you might not be for someone else. Some people are not interested in getting additional things such as hotel or whatever, most of the people who go to these offices go to get their tickets, what I am saying is that those who go, go with a purpose!
    So please, do not insult those who are not acustomed to buying over the internet, like you are. I totally agree with Sam, in different countries its different, and that is why I firmly believe that JU needs that office in Nicosia!

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  21. @ anonymous in cyprus

    Well just read what I wrote.I wrote that LCA should be upgraded to daily!
    CY could take from there JAT pax to BEY/DAM/AMM/TLV/CAI and so on. JAT could take CY pax to PRG/ARN/CPH etc. This is how alliances work for the benefit of small airlines. For all those who think that they need JAT offices just check www.swoodoo.com
    and I bet any flight to/from BEG you will find there with any airline is cheaper than with JAT.
    But it's your money/choice if you wish to subsidise some politians kids that are running these offices, certainly not mine.

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  22. @Anonymous

    No insult intended. Strange that you would feel so.

    I'm saying that JAT doesn't need to run that office.

    They can sell tickets through a travel agent. If someone wants to just buy a plane ticket, fine. It doesn't diminish them or their purpose if the agency also happens to be selling other things that they are not obligated to purchase.

    They won't make more money setting up a store that only sells their own tickets.

    What matters to someone if the office they are going to is run by JAT or by someone else.

    More importantly, what does it matter to JAT?

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  23. In summer Larnaca is going 5 times a week. However LCA is only O&D. Most of the transit passengers to lets say PRG or Scandinavia are taken by Lot, Malév, CSA and Lufthansa which operate the night flights into LCA, then you have Austrian which brings most of the Scandinavians and Russians on their daily flight. I do not think that there are that many passengers to the Middle-East from Belgrade in order for them to set up a code-share. The only way that JU could profit from the numerous foreigners here is to have a deal and operate the night flight into Larnaca. But the JU068/069 is just retarded, I do not understand why didn't they push it a bit later so that the plane arrives back to Belgrade at 06:00 so that people can connect! And not like now when it arrives at 02:30 or something, the same with Tel Aviv's JU 070!
    The market is there, and the market is BIG, but JU and CY need to make a deal and work together. It wouldn't be a bad thing if CY did launch some flights to BEG (code-share) with JU. A few years ago there was an airline here called AeroTrans which flew to Belgrade with their BAC 1-11's, I believe it was in 2004, and they wanted to make a deal with Jat, but their 'seljacina' of representative arrogantly refused it! But then again it was the time when they flew full 727's into the island...
    We have a new ambassador here, and I am actually thinking of talking to him of trying to propose to Jat to just push back their flights so that people can actually make a decent connection. He seems like a cool guy, I just hope he is up for it...

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  24. Oh and I forgot to add, the best thing for JU's flight to Larnaca is if the 737-700's do not arrive. Simply because then we have the morning (10:30) departure out of Larnaca,the flight that arrives from Dubai, and then the Serbs who live here do not complain of the night flights. So we are going to have 3x a week flights from Dubai, 1x direct and 1x Tel-Aviv. But guess that the Tel-Aviv and the direct one can be delayed by a few hours so that people can actually make on to a decent connection in BEG.

    *oouf* :)

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  25. @ anonymous

    JAT fares are generally better than Aegean on the route, and JAT fills better on the route too. Have you flown Aegean? JAT isnt exactly soo bad to fly with. i find them quite intresting to fly with. gotta love the crew :)

    Ive been to the JAT ticketing office in Melbourne on a few occasions. I find it better than doing things over the phone and get a better deal than via the net.

    @ doot

    In Melbourne, agents dont tend to sell JAT tickets. Ive been to agencies such as Flight Centre etc, they generally offer the option of TG/SU, QF/BA or CX/LX. I was even offered to fly QF MEL-SYD-BKK, AY BKK-HEL-LHR and BA LHR-BEG!!!

    @ anonymous

    JAT should keep TXL, and upgrade it to daily. BRU should stay as well, along with LJU.

    would be stupid cooperating with CY on ME routes, that wouldnt do much. JAT could try reopening a couple ME destionation and being more competitive, offering good connections via BEG to help boost extra frequencies on Western Euro destinations.

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  26. Some people that want to see offices closed worldwide should speak for themselves. The JU office here in Sydney is much more than just for selling tickets. They sponsor every event in the Serbian community which is extremely tightknit. Their representative has to show up to the Serbian church, go to every Serbian event and fundraiser (examples: the fundraisers for the construction of St. Sava College, the huge Serbian Film Festival and so on). If they don’t show up, if there is no personal contact and advertising then no one in the Serbian community in Australia will use JU. It was like that before they signed the EK agreement in 2003. When they started with EK, JU became extremely proactive. Even now they advertise in Serbian newspapers, their banners are at every event, they play their commercials at fundraisers. Travel agencies here look to Jat’s office as God. They ask them everything from how to process passengers and how to sell tickets and so on.

    If you have no idea how a community works then you cant just shoot your mouth and say how they should close everything. Australia is VERY DIFFERENT from Europe. The make up of the Serbian community is different. It’s not young people who arrived here 5 years ago and don’t want to have any contact with other Serbs. It’s people who arrived here after WW2 and after the Yugoslav wars. You can’t get it if you haven’t lived here. Closing Jat’s office here would be a major mistake and you can ask any Serb living here and they will give you he same answer. I’m certain its the same in USA and Canada.

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  27. "In Melbourne, agents dont tend to sell JAT tickets. "

    That's Jat's fault, not the agencies.


    @ anonymous

    They can still do all that without having a physical office.

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  28. JU should cooperate with CY, but not on the ME routes, but on the LCA-BEG route, in order to feed JU it's flights, since they are not really doing that for anyone now

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  29. DOOT!

    Thank GOD you've arrived on here, someone who speaks sense and understands the aviation industry as it is in the 21st century, not like it *WAS* in 1991 like almost everyone else who contributes to this forum.

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  30. @ JAT nostalgics in Australia

    You still do not understand the purpose of an airline. It is to fly. And airlines have representations where they fly or have general sales agents. Everything else is the job of the embassy, consulate general, chamber of commerce or similar.
    Its not their job to drink coffee with the diaspora, attend church services or to sponsor football games in the Serbian community.
    We are in the year 2010 and not 1977....... millions of $ spent on useless offline Station like SYD, NYC, YYZ should be invested in better prorates, so that the diaspora can fly more often to Serbia!

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  31. ^
    Amen indeed.

    Thanks for the injection of common sense anonymous.

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  32. Oh my God, I shall say AMEN too! That is so good!! Pozdrav svima iz Londona!

    Regarding that: Jat, Croatia and Montenegro have their offices in London, of course in the most expensive areas... Maybe the rent they pay for their offices jat(Mayfair!!) and Montenegro Airlines(Just off the Piccadilly Circus!!)could invest in something else or make their tickets cheaper and full up those planes!!! Once again, AMEN to comment above! Pure true, nothing else!

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  33. Classic Balkans' neurosis.

    The appearance of something is more important than the thing itself.

    One must *LOOK* successful (ie, have an office in the most expensive place in London), more than one must BE successful (do a good job at your core business)

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  34. @doot

    Exactly, god point well made! the problem of ours(Balkan) for centuries I think!

    For example YM has ONLY 2 weekly flights from London to Podgorica and that's it, and because of that they have an office in London with God knows how many employed(drinking coffee all day lond, girls polishing their nails etc...) and regarding the rent I think the most of you have no even idea how much it costs at Waterloo Place where they are located! Ludost!!!!!

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  35. Wow, 35 comments... I think this thread is the one with the most comments ever :)

    Ah, koliko rasprava na temu JATa :)

    Pozdrav iz BEGa! :D

    BTW-did you hear the news? - apparently some Serbian millionaire (who preferred to stay anonymous) would like to buy 51% of JAT Airways, rename it in JAT Airlines, buy 10 new aircrafts (keeping only 1 out of 15 a/c of JATs fleet) with a possible start of that new airline in March 2011.
    Any comments about that? :))))

    And regarding JATs offices abroad - the best thing JAT should do now is to buy at least two new 788s/789s and restart (at the beginning) one weekly flights to:
    - SYD, MEL, PER via BKK and SIN
    - HKG, PEK and DEL
    Plus daily flights to DXB.
    What do you think?

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  36. @ JU500 -

    You're living in dreamland. There won't be 787s flying for Jat in the foreseeable future. If Jat make it to the end of this year, it will be a miracle.

    As for the article in Blic about a tycoon taking over Jat - just ask yourself: who controls Blic?

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  37. @ANONYMOUS
    Yeap, I'm a dreamer, but still.. :)
    Don't know who controls Blic...certain politician?

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  38. Isn't blic controlled by Szoros and the gang

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  39. hahahah, a millionaire taking over 51% of Jat Airways. umm...maybeee not!

    As for the comments about the airline offices, most of the Serbian diaspora I know here purchase their tickets from other travel agencies, not the actual Jat Airways Representative Office here in Melbourne!

    btw, Sretan Dan Nezavisnosti Bosne i Hercegovine :)

    Pozdrav svima!

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