Monday, August 8, 2011

Jat’s Boeings turn 26

The arrival of the first passenger B737 at Belgrade Airport, 1985
Jat Airways’ Boeing B737-300 registered YU-AND today celebrates 26 years since it was delivered to the Yugoslav national carrier. It was the first passenger B737-300 to operate in Europe. The aircraft came during the golden decade of JAT Yugoslav Airlines. The Yugoslav national carrier initially ordered 2 B737-300s on September 1984. A year later the first, registered YU-AND, arrived on August 8 while on August 15 the second, registered YU-ANF, landed at Belgrade Airport. Both are still with the airline. Under the purchasing contract for the Boeing jets, at least 50% of the aircraft’s price was covered by Yugoslav exports to the United States as well as the production of certain Boeing parts in Yugoslavia. The Boeings were deployed to European routes, with the DC9s relegated to domestic and charter flights.

YU-AND on the production line
The Boeing B737-300 today forms the bulk of Jat Airways’ feet with the airline operating 10 aircraft of this type. The last 2 arrived in 1988 (YU-ANW and YU-ANV). Despite their age it should be noted that Jat’s Boeings do not have a great deal of flying time as they were grounded for almost a decade due to United Nations and European Union sanctions. One of its 737s, registered YU-ANJ, was grounded at Istanbul Airport from 1992 until March of 2000 when it was allowed to return to Belgrade after some of the sanctions were lifted.

YU-AND today
Jat’s B737s have, over the past 2 decades, worn several liveries including the silver body egg livery, the flame livery and the current dot livery. Similarly, the aircraft have seen several cabin refurbishments. The airline has acknowledged that its fleet is old and has said it will need new aircraft in 2012 as the cost of maintaining the Boeings will become too expensive in the near future. Whether their wish will come true depends on its owner - the Serbian Government and a potential future strategic partner.

21 comments:

  1. JAT was once a glorious airline . . .

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  2. The best way should be that Jat shoud stay Boeing client and order some new B737-700/-800 a/c.

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  3. JAT was never glorious airline. It was glorious in money sucking of all Yugoslavia.
    It was and still is, joke about time and professionalism.
    Fortunatelly, Never ever again!

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  4. Sticking with Boeing surely would be wise since the whole backend (engineers etc) is configured for Boeing maintenance. I don't know how these things work today, but surely it would be money saving to stick with what you know doing. If they could also get some second hand Boeings, why does it have to be new, things would be good.

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  5. Great detail and record, but that's why i chose OU to fly to the balkans in sted of JAT.

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  6. I could I forget memories of the silver 'egg' livery. I agree a glorious airline.

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  7. Who pay for those planes? Just Serbia?

    Did those others who pay get any of those 737?

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  8. We all paid for the airline but it also paid off for all as it connected everyone in ex-yu with every corner of the world bar South America I think. Just as an example, my grandparents immigrated to Australia and came as often as they could to visit us in Macedonia using JAT. Multiply that by many thousands of Macedonian immigrants and you will get how many flights JAT realized to Melbourne and Sidney with full loads. Europe too was a big market for JAT. It was all in the numbers. About 24 million people using one airline (Adria was an afterthought in comparison). Today, many airlines cannot hope for this kind of market unless they form an SAS like airline which I think will happen eventually. Alternative is bancrupcy for all and a single foreign carrier inhereting the ex-yu land. So, truly, it is JAT or bust in a way.

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  9. I remember buying "Tehnicke Novine" as a mandatory reading in elementary school that had a picture of a brand new metalic 737-300 as the center fold spread. I hung the picture as a poster and admired the aircaft.

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  10. Well, people working there now are everything but customer friendly. Company is not customer oriented.
    You do not need a bunch of CAPEX for that. Only nice people. My last flight was such a disappointment.

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  11. @ last Anonymous

    Where did You fly from/to?

    I'm sure everybody in JU is doing their best to serve the PAX, but as I've realised just a few days ago - you cannot be everybody's darling: There will always be somebody, at some point in time there will be some situation where you will not be able to give your maximum. And I guess that's what you're writing about....

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  12. Tomorrow the Tuesday ,there will be a Strike of the Air Traffic Controllers in the Whole of Germany.
    This will also have Impact on Flights to/from Ex Yu !
    So be prepared !

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  13. Why is this worth any news? This aircraft will turn 27,28 and so on....
    Well and for those who critisize financing of JAT. Don't forget cheapest ticket from Frankfurt to Belgrade was DM 500 in the 80s while the barrel oil stood around 10-15$. Just imagine how much money they made on full flights.

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  14. I have flown from TIV to BEG. The ladies (grandmas) were not interested in pax at all. In one moment me and fellow pax felt cigarette smoke in the cabin. Most probably it was coming from the cockpit. I have complaint to Jat, no one answered. There was only one very old guy who was so nice and good to pax, but the rest of crew was cheap chatting and doing nothing.

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  15. Tuesday will be STRIKE of
    the air traffic controlers !
    Be prepared for complications
    not only in Germany but also the
    Rest of Europe !
    Excuse me for being offtopic .

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  16. Peter from SydneyAugust 9, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    There needs to be an overhaul of personnel that deal directly with customers. I totally agree about the 'old baba' stewards. I think there's also the mentality that because it's a government company, 'she'll be right', I can do whatever I want and know nothing will happen to me, that has got to change!

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  17. I think in many cases it is the lack of job security that causes this attitude. Damned if I do and damned if I don't so I won't.

    The workers in the plane know the managers in the offices are incompetent so why try.

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  18. Hmmm....glorious years. When you look back in the timetables, did JAT really have much competition...the answer is NO...you really did not have too much of a choie of which carrier you were going to fly....If you have an old timetable, you can see what I mean

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  19. That's an awesome looking metallic bird YU-AND, the original silver metallic and egg livery, somewhat akin to AA. Looks better than today's JAT for sure.

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  20. Miss those days, being able to fly the Yugoslav national carrier to all corners of the world in comfort and style, real pride of achievement. All JAT aircraft were paid from the Yugoslav federal budget, therefore all the (ex)country's citizens contributed (by simply paying taxes).

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