Jat’s management unfazed by latest problems
An ongoing fleet shortage continues to plague the Serbian national carrier, with the airline forced to further rationalise its operations during the winter period. Jat Airways has cut down on its frequencies to Stockholm and Copenhagen, with services to both cities now operating only once per week. A second weekly flight will be reintroduced at the beginning of February. The nonstop Belgrade - Stockholm service will now operate via the Danish capital. On Friday the airline suspended its two weekly flights to Brussels. They will resume at the start of the 2013 summer season, which begins on March 31. Other destinations have also been affected by the ongoing fleet shortage with frequencies to Berlin and Milan also slashed.
Over the weekend Jat rescheduled many of its flights with several of its aircraft now out of service. Passengers were informed in advance of the changes. Further scheduling chaos was seen on Friday when one of the airline’s ATR72 aircraft was out of action for the entire day, carrying the Serbian President on an official visit to Podgorica. As a result, the carrier was forced to operate its regional flights with Boeing 737-300s and major delays were experienced across the network.
The ongoing fleet chaos doesn’t seem to have phased Jat’s management duo - CEO Vladimir Ognjenović (pictured on the left) and his Chief of Cabinet Stanimir Jovanović Slavinski (pictured on the right). Ognjenović, who was named CEO thanks to his political affiliations, is unlikely to face any consequences for running the airline into a worse state than it was two years ago when he took office. Since the CEO is reported not to be spending much time at the company, his Chief of Cabinet is effectively running Jat. Recently, the newly named deputy in charge of aviation at the Ministry of Transport, a former Jat employee, drafted a plan for the lease of six new aircraft for the upcoming summer season, including two ATR72s and four Airbus jets. The plan has the support of the Minister of Transport Milutin Mrkonjić. Serbian media have been tight lipped on the ongoing problems at the national carrier.