Decision day for future fleet
Today, the task group in charge of restructuring the Serbian national carrier is expected to meet and make a final decision on the type of aircraft Jat will lease this summer. Last Monday, the task group reviewed the seven offers the carrier has received for its fleet renewal. The airline is now considering leasing next generation Boeing jets instead of Airbus as there isn’t enough time to train the crew by June, when the aircraft are scheduled to enter the fleet. Jat’s pilots and crew are already trained for Boeing jets and they could begin operating immediately.
“There are no problems with the lease of two ATR aircraft and they will join the fleet. However, it is now too late to lease Airbus jets. If such arrangements were made in December it would have been possible to introduce the aircraft this summer season. That is why we are now considering leasing Boeing aircraft instead”, a member of the Serbian government says. He adds, “We have received several leasing options and everything will be on the table on Monday. We have to choose the least expensive and best option”.
Jat Airways plans to lease six aircraft this summer. Originally this included two ATR72s, two Airbus A319s and two A320s. It has already been identified from whom the two ATRs will be leased. The airline has been dealing with a fleet shortage throughout the winter, forcing it to downsize its network. New aircraft are needed in order for the airline to be able to carry out its busy summer schedule. Problems have eased recently as the grounded Boeing jets are gradually returning to the air. The aircraft now also feature new, Lufthansa inspired, cabins introduced last summer.
The task group in charge of restructuring the Serbian carrier did not make a final decision on Jat’s future fleet today. It will meet again tomorrow (Tuesday) when it is expected to decide whether the airline will go for either Airbus or Boeing. A public announcement is expected on Wednesday.