Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Farewell Jat Airways

The “Jat” brand in its various forms
Last Friday, via a telephone conference, the Serbian Government decided to create a new national carrier which will succeed the debt-ridden Jat Airways. Within the next 70 days the Serbian Government will create a new carrier, setting it up with 400.000 American Dollars. The airline will immediately be privatised. Jat’s successor will take over its aircraft, half of its employees, assets, slots, destinations, memberships to international aviation bodies and code share agreements, the “Tanjug” news agency reports. The restructuring model is similar to that of Greece’s Olympic Air. Although the airline will be formed in 70 days, it will take time before it takes to the sky, analysts predict. After its formation, a privatisation advisor has to be found through a tender and the airline then has to be successfully privatised.

The Serbian Government announced that together with a new strategic partner it would name the new carrier. It is believed that the Government’s rash decision to form a new airline is a result of Turkish Airlines’ demands which will most likely take on the new Jat. Since Turkey is not part of the European Union Turkish Airlines would most probably take over 49% of the new airline while the Serbian Government would own the other 51%, in order to avoid membership problems in the future.

The CEO of Jat Airways said that none of the airline’s passengers will be affected by the change and that Jat will do everything for the transitional process to pass by as smoothly as possible. However, the airline’s workers union “Nezavisnost” was shocked by the news. The union leader told the country’s public broadcaster RTS, “This is very bad news. Many will loose their jobs. We have learned that the Government made such a monumental decision via a telephone conference. They might as well have sent SMS messages to each other”. The pilots union welcomed the news.

Nevertheless, it is expected that Jat Airways will celebrate 83 years of existence under this name in June.

Ash cloud update

Today all airports across the EX-YU are open. Flights are operating to unaffected areas of Europe. A small number of flights have taken off in northern Europe after five days of inactivity caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland.


  1. I think this good move for JAT and Government, as well as for Serbian tax payers on medium run on. Much better solution than current quazi-status-quo which is heading toward very known negative outcome, or simply to put it in bankruptcy.

  2. But will this restructuring really solve the problems and issues with the airline? The answer is a resounding NO if the same staff are kept, and the same clapped-out old planes are to be retained. This and this alone is the reason why the new OA works.

    Perhaps we might finally see those 8 319s on order at Airbus come in handy!

  3. Hmm...if Turkish takes over JAT as well, it would have sense to combine JAT and B&H into one airline and that way become a strong regional carrier with potential of having some cross-atlantic routes as well. Croatia Airlines is going to be privatized soon too. If doesn't LH show any interest, I think Turkish might grab this opportunity too and that way we want it or not, we will have miniature pre 80's JAT again :)

  4. I think that Emirates should take over the JAT :D That would be the best solution! :) BEG could be their regional hub and I bet that they would revive Serbian airspace making it the best in the region :D

  5. I don't the EU will allow TK to buy both JU and OU. That would decrease the competition potential of the region, not to mention the other Star alliance members around.

    However I am happy that this is taking place. I am sure that TK will make sure that the new venture works. After all I am sure they know what they are getting themselves into.
    I dont think they will keep the 8 319's for JU, but might go through with the order and simply have them delivered to TK.
    Let's wait and see what happens!

  6. ^ The Airbus order would most probably stick with the old Jat which would eventually announce bankruptcy.

  7. @ JU500

    I like Emirates, but I have never heard anything about them buying any other airline. It seems as all the money they have, they invest back into their company and fleet revival.

    Where have you been this past weekend??? :)

  8. I was just looking at this article's photograph of JAT airplanes and was wondering, how many time have they painted those airplanes since they got them. Starts looking very worn out

  9. JAT is dead. Long live JAT!

  10. @ JU 500

    I agree with you, but I don't think that that is realistic for Emirates, because Emirates is too large company to deal with companies like Jat, but more realistic are Qatar and Ethiad Airways. In my opinion government should try to make a deal with team, for Jat that would be great opportunity for future business. Off course if Qatar and Ethiad are interesting.

  11. Still, I would definitely like to see Emirates taking this thing over :)
    At least to start direct DXB-BEG flights for the beginning :)

    BTW - in all this chaos, Aviogenex managed to pull out it's first charter flight this year :) AGX 703/704 BEG-SSH. As I was looking for some hot deals on the websites of some local tourist agencies, I came across some AGX (charter) flights to some Greek islands, Girona, Egypt and Turkey. Are they launching their new charter services for the first time, in this year? I don't recall seeing them last year...


  12. It was about time to do something with Jat! They were in a desperate need for new planes and it is obvious that everything is going towards a sale of newly formed airline to THY.
    Hopefully it will work out...lets wait and see. They are in big expansion and it might not be a bad move.
    Although we may think that some other airlines could be a better choice as potential investors, they seem to be the only one interested so far.
    Current status quo was not leading anywhere anyway.


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