Jat turns 85

85 years in the air
Jat Airways is today marking its 85th birthday as the airline is the successor to Aeroput and JAT Yugoslav Airlines. The Serbian national carrier is today the eighth oldest airline in the world still in operation behind only KLM, Qantas, Aeroflot, Czech Airlines, Finnair, Delta and Tajik Air. However, it’s been a tough ride and the carrier still faces tremendous challenges. Following World War Two Jat struggled to get aircraft in the air and was banished by both the East and West. However, its major rise would begin in the 1960s as foundations were laid for Jat’s “golden years” which took place during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1987, Jat carried the most passengers in its history - 4.531.000 (2.255.000 on domestic flights). The number has never been surpassed.

Since 1927, Jat has had 26 CEOs with the first one being Tadija Sondermajer. However, it will be Vidomir Krunić, who led the company from 1963 to 1975 that will be remembered for building Jat into a brand and revolutionising the airline at the time. The first scheduled service by Aeroput was operated on February 15, 1928 between Belgrade and Zagreb. 84 years later there are no flights between the two cities. The first international service was launched in 1929 from Belgrade to Graz and Vienna via Zagreb.

Today, Jat will be marking its anniversary by rolling out its new frequent flyer programme - Extra Flight Club. Gifts will also be issued to passengers onboard. Jat has survived World War Two, the 1970s oil shock, the loss of more than 40% of its market, international sanction and the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. Today, it is still has to battle with political interference, corruption and managerial incompetence. What lays ahead remains to be seen as Jat Airways enters its 85th year.


  1. Anonymous11:38

    Long live <3 JAT <3

  2. Anonymous12:05

    JAT Airways should rebrand itself as Aeroput.

  3. Anonymous13:17

    congrats to JAT!

  4. Anonymous13:24

    Happy Birthday JAT Airways.....

  5. congrats.. and soon RIP i'm affraid.

  6. Anonymous17:13

    Everyone has to retire or die some day.

    You had a long and interesting life.

  7. Anonymous18:32

    Wish you all the best Jat!
    Good luck!

  8. JU520 BEGLAX19:12

    happy Birthday to JAT and especially to all the workforce behind the scenes who have made this possible. The years 1970-1990 will always be in my memory. 1990 was the last time I flew JU.

  9. Anonymous01:28

    15 more years and after that r.i.p

  10. JATBEGMEL05:30

    its dissapointing to see JAT go worse and worse each year. 2 weeks ago had the worst service I have experienced with them. The cabin was untidy, chewing gum stains on the floor, was without the JAT cabin, aircraft came in late from FCO which delayed my FRA departure (YU-AON in question). Not many ground staff are pleasant, the crew have the 'i dont give a sh!t' attitude...the age of the crew for me is not in question, its there level of professionalism and the way they present themselves on the aircraft which is the issue. The catering is now by far the worst ive seen on JAT flights. If the airline is going to be low cost, so be it, but as a national airline its nothing less than pathetic.

    A suggestion to JAT management: a cost saving initiative is to have auditors on JAT flights and to terminate the contracts of underperforming crew, which I think is both legal, will save on wages, and will help step up the level of service seen on flights.

    congradulations to JAT? for what?

  11. Igor S.05:43

    Congratulations JAT. The airline carries the memories of millions of citizens of ex-Yugoslavia. My childhood memories are of JAT flights to Belgrade and the Adriatic coast. It is why I decided to go in aviation and enrolled in a military school. My lifelong love of aviation comes from JAT. From my heart congratulations.

  12. Anonymous08:54

    It's Jat Airways people, not JAT.

  13. Congratulations and many more years of flying!

  14. Anonymous23:06

    There is no more Yugoslavia. Time to change the name back to Serbian Airways (Srpski Aeroput).

  15. Anonymous18:33

    Congrats to JU. But, the information that JAT and Jat Airways are legal successors of Aeroput are false. JAT is established in 1947 while Aeroput was still operating. So, JU is turning 65 not 85. Try reading more at: http://sr.wikipedia.org/sr/%D0%94%D1%80%D1%83%D1%88%D1%82%D0%B2%D0%BE_%D0%B7%D0%B0_%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B4%D1%83%D1%88%D0%BD%D0%B8_%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%9B%D0%B0%D1%98_%D0%90._%D0%94._%D0%90%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BF%D1%83%D1%82

  16. Anonymous20:22

    Gongratulations and may always good winds be with JAT.

  17. Vassili20:30

    All the best!
    Unforgettable memories as a foreign student in Yugoslavia flying with Jat.
    Sve najbolje i hvala za neke od najlepsih putnickih uspomena kao strani student u Jugoslaviji.


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