B737-300 and ATR72-500 arriving next month
Jat Airways is set to take delivery of a Boeing 737-300 and an ATR72 in the first week of July as it looks to ease its ongoing fleet shortage this summer. Recently, the airline welcomed a former Carpatair ATR72-500, now registered YU-ALT, which is already in service. It will soon be joined by another aircraft of the same type, formally used by Executive Airlines from the United States. Both aircraft are on lease from the Nordic Aviation Capital leasing company. As a result, Jat will have five ATRs in operation by mid July, which are utilised on regional routes.
Meanwhile, the airline will also welcome a Boeing 737-300 during the first week of next month. The aircraft is currently based in Bulgaria and is in good condition. The jet will help Jat maintain scheduled flights which have suffered as a result of the airline’s charter commitments. With a leased Boeing 737-200 from Aviogenex, Jat will have a total of nine Boeing 737s in operation next month. As a result, the airline will be able to carry out the rest of the summer season with fourteen aircraft, as was announced last week by the airline’s CEO Velibor Vukašinović. All of the jets have been contracted on short term leases, though they bear Jat’s livery and Serbian registrations.
Etihad Airways plans to retire Jat’s entire Boeing fleet when it takes over a 49% stake in the airline. The Emirati carrier plans for Jat to enter the 2013/14 winter season with ten leased Airbus A319s and a handful of ATRs for regional routes. Some of the Airbuses are likely to be leased from Air Berlin, another one of Etihad’s equity partners, while others will be leased from other companies, with Adria Airways still seen as a potential leasing partner.
Jat has faced a fleet shortage since January with many aircraft undergoing scheduled maintenance. At the same time the airline has created an ambitious summer season network and tied itself up with a significant number of charter flights which cannot be cancelled. Similar problems were experienced during last year’s summer season.