Jat to close landmark New York office

In an attempt to reduce spending and costs Jat Airways will close its landmark office in New York, open since 1971. The office, located on the famous Fifth Avenue, has been the airline’s office during its golden years as JAT Yugoslav Airlines as well as the not so golden years during the 90’s and more recent years. The airline used to operate regular flights from Belgrade and Zagreb to the largest city in the United States. The office has been host to many distinguished guests over the years including Serbia’s Crown Prince Alexander, the world number three tennis player Novak Djokovic and many others. It is still uncertain if the airline will sell the office or simply lease it. Furthermore the airline’s office in Amsterdam will be leased out with offices to be opened at the airport which will reduce costs. Jat Airways has many offices outside of Europe (with its own representatives from Serbia) including those in Tunisia, Tripoli, Cairo, Dubai, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne. The airline once had offices in many US cities including Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. Just before the civil war Jat was to open an office in Caracas, Venezuela.

Meanwhile the Serbian finance minister has announced that the government will not invest any money in Jat due to EU regulations which outline that governments cannot support the national airline (which is the root of problems for Alitalia and Olympic). The announced purchase of new aircraft will probably be made possible through banking leases. Jat’s development strategy should be made public on October 23.

The closure of the New York office was not met with enthusiasm from Jat’s employees. It should be known by the end of the week if Jat’s current CEO, Saša Vlaisavljević, will keep his job.