Jat’s plans and dreams until 2011

Will Jat take over Croatia Airlines’ regional leader crown by 2011?
Jat’s management announced yesterday the airline’s goals within the following 2 years which should see Jat taking over the Macedonian national carrier MAT, commencing services to Split and Dubrovnik and commencing nonstop service from Belgrade to North America. On Friday March 27 new talks will be held in Belgrade between Jat’s management and the CEO of MAT regarding the airline’s takeover. The Serbian carrier is interested in taking over the majority of shares in MAT however this will depend on the verdict of a work group which will suggest whether Jat should require a majority or minority stake in the debt stricken carrier. If Jat manages to receive a majority stake the Serbian carrier hopes that the Macedonian government would take over the rest of the shares. “With the takeover of the Macedonian market which accounts for 600.000 annual passengers we are commencing our plan to start services from Belgrade to North America”, Jat’s management said. The management outlines that this way Jat will once again become the region’s leader. They outline that with the takeover of MAT, Jat will be able to commence services from Priština, located in the controversial self proclaimed independent Serbian province of Kosovo, to Europe and will be able to end the Macedonian and Greek air service dispute.

Key people at Jat also go on to say that from this summer Pula in Croatia will be served 4 times a week while services to Split and Dubrovnik are planned to commence in the summer of 2010. They say services to Zagreb will only be opened when the carrier gains necessary requirements to commence services to North America. The airline’s management expects that passenger numbers will be down by 15% at the end of the year when compared to 2008 due to the financial crisis but that summer charters are seeing a 20% increase in passenger numbers.

As for fleet renewal everything is on track for the carrier to purchase or lease new aircraft in 2010. Nenad Petrović, a long time Jat pilot has been named as the head of a 3 member committee that will lead talks with aircraft manufacturers.


  1. Anonymous11:15

    Joj svake godine ista pesma, Kada ce prestati da sanjaju o direktnim letovima za Ameriku. Da li JAT sem karte na patriotizam moze uopste da cenama parira jednoj Lufthansi ili Air France, koji mogu da putnike prevezu do bilo koje destinacije sirom sveta i to uz nekoliko dnevnih letova iz Beograda, JAT-u je bolje da razmislja kako da se privatizuje nego da trosi vreme i masta. I sta ce im propali MAT sem mozda tog trzista a evropskih gasterbajtera.

  2. Anonymous12:57

    “With the takeover of the Macedonian market which accounts for 600.000 annual passengers we are commencing our plan to start services from Belgrade to North America”

    The two surely aren't interlinked!!

    "with the takeover of MAT, Jat will be able to commence services from Priština, located in the controversial self proclaimed independent Serbian province of Kosovo"

    As domestic flights from BEG? What's REALLY stopping them from re-introducing flights to PRN given that its not a fleet issue?

    "and will be able to end the Macedonian and Greek air service dispute"

    The exYU poll is prophetic! We're either about to see the death of 'MAT' as an independent name/fleet or 1-stop flights introduced to ATH via SKP.

    On a more realistic note, JAT has a long way to claim the #1 spot in the exYU, though it is good to see they have some aspirational intentions, and that they are willing to put them out in the public arena. Let's just hope they don't get the hopes of too many as they have done in the past...

  3. Anonymous20:31

    Speaking of domestic flights, why on earth does Jat avoid doing BEG-INI, instead they actually think of BEG-PRN beforehand?

    I don't understand what a Jat takeover of MAT would mean. Would Jat become the airline of Skopje too? Or would it be more similar to the Turkish purchase of B&H shares? Frequentflyer is absolutely right, the possession of a Macedonian market really doesn't have much to do with flights to America. What are your sources for these management claims?

    As for the flights to America, I'm glad they were still considering it. Even though Malev dropped the long haul, as long as CSA, LOT, Olympic, and Aerosvit are in it, it shows its not impossible for Jat to pull something off too. Are they going to try to get a hand on some older Boeing 767-200ERs in 2011 again? Perhaps from US Airways, Continental, or American?

  4. The information was given by JAt’s outgoing CEO. Regarding flights to Priština I should clarify that he said that they are hoping to introduce flights from PRN to other European cities. Since flights to Niš take 25 minutes I don’t think it is very profitable to operate such a destination.

  5. Anonymous22:19

    Flights to Sarajevo take 30 mins, sometimes less. Your point?

  6. Sarajevo is in another country and people usually fly from Sarajevo so they can transit through Belgrade. Nis has proved very unprofitable to European countries when they started flying to Vienna and Dusseldorf. Flights to Belgrade could only be worse.

  7. Anonymous04:22

    Re: Nis - surely Jat Airways must be doing it wrong as it's approx. 1 million catchment area we're talking about. First of all, Jat keeps servicing the airport with a 737. If it's so darn hard to fill the planes, why not send a smaller ATR-72? Or (God forbid) buy something of a reasonable size for the INI market, like an ERJ-145. I think regionals are in trouble all over the world and it must be that ERJ-145's can be had at a good price these days.

    What Jat should do with Nis is enter into a marketing/revenue-sharing agreement with Austrian or Swiss and provide daily morning feeder flights from Nis to their hubs. (Like the ones they used to have with AF and KL from BEG, don't know if it's still around with AF.) They could negotiate for themselves a slice of the ongoing segment revenue (including interconinental - juicy) with little/regional risk, plus build a better position inside *A.

    I'm sure INI could sustain one profitable daily feeder into BEG and VIE/ZRH each, in addition to the current 2-3 direct weekly flights. INI-BEG doesn't have much O&D traffic, but it would be a fantastic feeder - instead of 2-2.5 hours driving plus guesswork with Belgrade's traffic and a big mess at BEG, you take a 5-minute taxi ride to INI, you do a 5-minute check-in 30 mins ahead of your 25-minute flight, and connect airside. Just imagine if you lived an additional 1 hour away from Nis - the current setup is immensely inconvenient. It's a no-brainer. The problem is, Jat figures these people have nowhere else to go anyway and they'll just swallow cr*p. What Jat doesn't figure is that this way these people can fly with anyone from BEG, while with a feeder Jat would have a foot in the door for their flights.

    Why BEG-SOF or ESPECIALLY BEG-BUD are not operated is beyond me. There is no civilized transport option on either of these routes - there is a rather uncomfortable minibus ride to Budapest, and totally unreliable trains coming straight from Middle Ages. I can't believe they wouldn't be able to sustain a daily flight to Budapest.

    Connecting 600K Macedonian passengers with a relaunch of North American flights makes sense (you need a criticial mass in your catchment area to make it work) but the problem with US routes has always been lack of real effort from Jat, and I don't see that changing. Have they even considered a codeshare with some US airline for connecting flights, to make it more viable? Why did it take them until 2009 (and the world economic crisis) to consider leasing a widebody?

    All of this makes me think nothing's gonna happen, once again. The guy's just making it look like he's leaving the company in a more respectable shape than he really is.

  8. Very interesting observations. Still I’m not sure about Nis. ATR72s are planes that operate with the smallest turnaround times and they are constantly in the air. If anything JU needs more of them from BEG so I doubt they would be sending it to Nis soon, although it would make more sense than the current 737. I agree about the convenience flights from Nis would have for entire Eastern Serbia. As for Budapest, JU avoids it because of Malev because Malev offers nearly all of the services Jat already offers but probably with lower prices so they are avoiding flights to a city which would only feed its competition. JU considered leasing wide body aircraft for more than 15 years (most recently in 2006). Serbia is currently in Category 2 meaning airlines from the country are banned to fly to the United States (although this is mostly due to political reasons). Similarly Croatia also found its name in Category 2 recently. In theory JU can not fly to the USA until this is lifted however there are various ways it could get around this.


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