The union “Nezavisnost”, which represents all employees at Jat Airways said that the airline’s CEOs have gone from bad to worse. The union criticised former CEOs Nebojša Starčević, Saša Vlaisavljević, Srdjan Radovanović and the CEO in waiting, Vladimir Ognjenović. The union says that the airline has been used as a political tool.
Srdjan Radovanović, a lawyer by profession, came to Jat in 2009 when he was appointed CEO. His grand plans for 2010 included the opening of new bases in Skopje and Banja Luka and the purchase of new aircraft. None of them materialised. During his management, Jat Tehnika and Jat Catering both went on strike. The airline has moved to derelict buildings near the airport, one of which is in such bad state that employees had to move back to the former headquarters this week until it is fixed. Radovanović’s plans to sell tickets in Serbian post offices and provide free taxi services to Jat passengers in Belgrade were strongly criticised by employees. However, during Radovanović’s management some grounded aircraft were returned to the sky and their interior refurbished. The airline launched its first media campaign in decades and employed new cabin crew. Passenger numbers have somewhat improved in 2010.
Vladimir Ognjenović, who is expected to take over the airline, worked as a Jat ground handler at Belgrade Airport since 1995 before being mysteriously propelled to the position of the airline’s representative in Copenhagen and then finally settling for the deputy CEO post. He is also a member of the ruling Democratic Party which named Vlaisavljević and Radovanović as CEOs. Most employees have little optimism he will lead the airline into better times.