Adria’s A319s moving to Belgrade
Jat Airways CEO, Vladimir Ognjenović, said yesterday that the Serbian carrier will take delivery of two Airbus A319s and two A320s in the last week of May and early June. The arrival of the leased aircraft should ease the carrier’s fleet problems which have forced it to cancel numerous flights throughout the year due to a shortage of aircraft. According to Mr. Ognjenović, two Airbus A319s will be leased from Slovenia’s Adria Airways. BOC Aviation, Asia’s largest aircraft leasing company will provide one A320 each. The arrangement raises questions as to how Adria will be able to lease both of its A319s and maintain its summer schedule with a fleet of smaller Bombardiers and a single A320. The aircraft are to be on lease to Jat until 2016. One of Adria’s A319s (registered S5-AAP) has been operating ad hoc charter flights for British car manufacturer Land Rover over the past few motnhs.
Last week the Serbian government cleared necessary funds for the lease of the new aircraft which will also include an ATR72-500. Originally, two ATRs were planned to join the fleet, however, currently there are not enough available on the market. As a result, one ATR will be leased, while the second once it is available. The ATR in question is likely to be leased from the ILFC leasing company and was formerly owned by Azerbaijan’s AZAL Airlines.
Jat’s cabin crew and pilots will begin training for the new Airbus aircraft next Friday. The training process is set to last for a month. Mr. Ognjenović yesterday expressed hope that Jat and Airbus will resolve their issues relating to the 1998 order for eight Airbus aircraft. “We wish to continue our fleet renewal process and we hope to finalise a contract with Airbus for the purchase of four aircraft”, Mr. Ognjenović said. He added, “With that, we would completely renew our fleet by 2015”. Jat has made a 23.5 million dollar advance payment on the aircraft.