Grounded fleet soon in the airIn the lead up to the 2010 summer season, Jat Airways is making changes to its fleet with grounded aircraft expected to be in the air by June. Most of the grounded fleet needs engine overhauls. These problems are now expected to be sorted. Currently, Jat Airways has a total of 17 aircraft (5 ATR72s, 1 Boeing B737-200, 10 B737-300s and 1 B737-400). As it stands now, a total of 4 aircraft are grounded, 1 ATR72 (registered YU-ALN) and 3 Boeing B737-300s (registered YU-AND, YU-ANF and YU-ANH). A fifth grounded aircraft, an ATR72 (registered YU-ALR) has resumed operations as of early March. The airline had plans to return its sole B737-400 to its owner in May, however Jat has managed to extend the lease on the aircraft, the airline’s CEO Srdjan Radovanović said at a press conference last week. The aircraft has left the fleet for regular maintenance but will return in April. The airline’s grounded fleet has posed major problems for the carrier in the past year and, as a result, has been forced to reduce operations. Two of the grounded Boeing B737-300s will be repaired by a foreign company by June 1. The other 2 aircraft will be repaired by Jat Tehnika by May 1, which will lead the airline to increase frequencies on most of its services from that date.
The arrival of 2 Boeing B737-700s has been delayed until later this summer, Jat Media Centre reports. The delay has been caused because the airline's failure to secure necessary funds for a financial lease. With a 51 million Euro loan expected to be granted to the airline within the next few months, the new aircraft will be leased for a period of just under a year. At last week’s press conference Radovanović noted that 3 of Jat’s Boeing B737-300s have received a new look interior with new economy class seats and that a further 2 will be refurbished by June. The airline plans to refurbish its entire Boeing 737-300 fleet. It also hopes to end its 12 year feud with Airbus over an order of 8 Airbus A319s this summer.