No “new” Jat

Jat brand to live another day
Despite rumours, announcements and plans, sources close to the Serbian government have confirmed that there are currently no plans for the creation of a successor national carrier to Jat Airways, which will continue to operate as normal. Sources suggest that due to the close proximity of the upcoming elections no action will be taken in the privatisation or rebranding of Jat for the time being and that this “hot potato” will be another government’s problem. In a leaked letter to Airbus, Serbia’s Prime Minister, Mirko Cvetković, apologised for his government’s lack of ability to renegotiate a 1998 deal for eight Airbus A319 jets, ordered for the then Yugoslav national carrier. In the letter, the Prime Minister pleads with Airbus for more time. The letter from the Serbian Prime Minister seems to have calmed relations between the two sides. Airbus has decided not sue the government, which it threatened to do so only several weeks ago. It has since emerged that the task group, which was assigned to renegotiate the Airbus deal, has been dismantled under the orders of the Prime Minister. The task group, which was set up several years ago, has not met even once. Instead, the government has now given more power to Jat to head the negotiations.

The Serbian Minister for Infrastructure, Milutin Mrkonjić, has, over the past few weeks, constantly claimed that Jat’s successor will be set up by the start of May. However, experts believe that this is indicative that the Minister is unhappy that the Jat “issue” has been taken from his portfolio by the Prime Minister. Stanislav Novaković, who specialises in airline industry law says, “These stories come from a man who has absolutely no basic knowledge of the airline industry or commercial aviation”, referring to Mrkonjić. “Unfortunately, as a Minister he is not even remotely interested in Jat Airways except when it comes to giving statements to the press. Why would the state set up a new airline when it already has an existing one? If it is unable to deal with its current national carrier it means that the state is incapable of dealing with another. It would simply destroy a new carrier it set up”, Novaković concludes.

Although Jat, as the successor of Aeroput, has been around for 85 years, the actual JAT brand name was set up on April 1, 1947. Its first flight under the name took place that day from Belgrade to Ljubljana on a Douglas DC-3.


  1. Anonymous12:49

    Honestly, I think this is better. I fully agree in regards to Mrkonjic. He is just a drunk that spends more time at the kafana then anywhere else. I just hope that he won’t be the next minister for infrastructure.

    1. There is no means in circumventing his party in forming the next parliamentary majority either way around, so I'm afraid we are stuck with Mr. Mrkonjic...

  2. Anonymous15:14

    I hate airbus there did had the money from Jat in the 90' but there greedy guys and Jat really need the airbus to boost the market

  3. Anonymous16:04

    Jat is so... history. Absolutely no changes and no willingness to change anything. This management is speciallized in keeping the status-quo. Current model will function as long as it functions and when the shit hits the fan, SRB government (srb taxpayers) will pay the bill and everythings gonna be alright. At least they managed to adjust the fare level on *some of* the EU routes, otherwise they would have lost all but the most clueless ethnic pax (no access to I-net or CC, and no knowledge of any other language than serbian)

    Somebody already stated that the government is not interested in changing anything in this JAT business model either. The current prognosis is that NO changes will be made at least for another 6-7 months. And the fleet is getting older and older. We will see more and more AOGs, ad-hoc sched chngs and similar. This will further piss off the pax still flying JU and the decline will continue till the bitter end.

  4. Diaspora16:59

    Can somebody please tell me why this summmer season will be so boring at the BEG airport. Charters will be same like last summer, only CPH will be the new route by Norwegian. ONLY good thing is that JAT is launching flights to Croatian coast. ZAgreb will have a more intresting summer season since Qatar,vueling, and Lufhtansa from Berlin are arrving.Commeny please...

    1. Anonymous17:33

      I don’t think it’s a bad summer. Apart from charters you mentioned BEG will also get Qatar and Air One.

    2. Anonymous18:22

      yes, air one in September, and Qatar did not confirm when they will launch Belgrade, so Qatar should be omitted from the list.

    3. Anonymous18:44

      Qatar confirmed (their CEO). It starts in September.

    4. Anonymous19:35

      Do not forget that unlike last summer we are going to have a 4th daily flight on Austrian, additional frequencies on Niki and most importantly there is flydubai.

    5. Anonymous19:44

      There was a great presentation of QR in Belgrade Continental Hotel last week. Flying days for QR will be Monday, Wednesday,Friday and Saturday.Croatia Airlines will launch SPU route from JUN. Among charters Nouvelair will resume flights, Air Cairo and Freebird Airlines are coming, Sky Airlines is waiting for the license. JAT will fly four times weekly to GRO.

    6. Anonymous19:52

      Thats great!
      Can you provide us with more info maybe, would appreciate it.

  5. Anonymous19:50

    I would really appreciate if you can answer this question to me.
    I have a friend who is travelling with Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Belgrade tommorow at 8. I have now checked BEG airport website and in there its written that THY flight has been csncelled! WHat will happen now?Will he be switched to another flight or what?

    1. Anonymous19:57

      Most likely scenario is that they will be put on the afternoon Turkish Airlines flight to BEG.

    2. Anonymous20:05

      IS there maybe a chance to put them on JAT flight which leaves early?

    3. Anonymous20:54

      nope, i dont think so

    4. kobaja22:58

      Does anybody know the reasons to why this flight was cancelled? Maybe the flights are not going that well...hmmm

    5. Tupolev16002:12

      There were many flights delayed/cancelled in Istanbul today, it could be linked to the weather probably.

  6. Anonymous20:42

    PLEASE let it die and end it's suffering.

    Mrkonjic - joke of a "politician" since he appeared.

    Novakovic - bored model airplane collector and wish-I-was-a-stewardess freak.

    We need a foreign airline here as we have absolutely not a single person capable of running an airline here.

    1. Anonymous04:37

      ^ za Novakovica hahahahhahahahahah sooooo true! ;-)

  7. frequentflyer11:26

    Is a 'new' JAT really needed?

    What is needed is a committed plan to upgrade the fleet to new jets (could a Sukhoi deal work out?), an end to government interference and a shedding of excess staff.

    It's not rocket science, but achieving this list makes flying to the moon seem easier...


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