The “new Jat” back on the agenda

Etihad solution for the “new Jat”

The creation of a successor national carrier to Jat Airways is once again on the cards after Serbia’s Minister for Finance and Economy, Mladjan Dinkić, returned from an official state visit to the United Arab Emirates. Dinkić said the government will go ahead and create a new airline which would be free of debt. The carrier’s fleet would be comprised mainly of Airbus jets. The government would offer financial guarantees to finalise the controversial 1998 order for the Airbus aircraft. "We have plans to lease twelve new aircraft from Airbus and the new company would receive 140 million dollars worth of guarantees for that purpose", Dinkić told local media.

During Dinkić's visit to the UAE, it was proposed for Etihad Airways to take a stake in the newly formed Serbian national carrier. "This is still an idea, but creating the “new Jat” and a fleet renewal is a definite government decision”, Dinkić adds. No time frame was given for the creation of the successor airline. Earlier in the month, Etihad CEO, James Hogan said, “We see further equity investments only if it's the right opportunity, right partner, right market and right price”. Furthermore, the UAE government is interested in investing into a cargo centre at Belgrade Airport after announcing millions of euros worth of investments into the Serbian agriculture industry.

The idea to form a successor to Jat has been floating around for the past few years. However, the Serbian government has had many strategy back flips when it comes to Jat’s future. Only last month, the country’s Minister for Transport announced that the low cost AirAsia was looking into buying a stake in Jat. Similarly, the Serbian carrier was to be taken over by Turkish Airlines, Baltic Aviation System and even a group of local business moguls. Meanwhile, the company has managed to see a sharp increase in passenger numbers this year despite increased competition, however, it is once again set to end 2012 with multi million euro losses. A new CEO for the airline is set to be named later this week, according to government sources.


  1. Anonymous09:25

    This would be great, although at this point it still sounds like wishful thinking. The problem with fleet consisting of 12 a320 (or a319s) is two-fold: no commonality with existing fleet (all crew needs retraining) and no feeder fleet (this is easy to fix: retain Jat's ATRs). But I'm not exactly sure what is Etihad bringing to the table: if Dinkic is promising 12 leased airbuses from the 98 deal, 140mil in guarantees to secure part of that deal and debt-free (probably overhead-free Jat with only essential personel), why do we need Etihad? Couldn't new Jat be profitable on its own in those circumstances?

    1. Anonymous09:33

      I guess it can't as long as the government and Support are in place. They need someone who will be stronger than they are and who has more experience in the aviation sector (the latter is not that hard to achieve).

      I guess the main interest Etihad has here is to tap into the lucrative and large Serbia-Australia market.
      As was mentioned on Air France is reconsidering the temporary suspension of their BEG route (flights are still bookable). All this at the same time when they signed a major codeshare deal with Etihad. Just my 2 cents.

    2. Anonymous00:42

      As long as it takes the management of JU from the government, that alone is worth 49% of the shares. Seriously.

  2. Anonymous09:38

    And the name for "new Jat" will be????

  3. Anonymous09:57

    It will most likely remain Jat.

  4. Anonymous10:20

    Wait and see!

  5. Kristijan10:28

    The name for Serbia's national carrier should really change - it's about time. Reviving the old "Aeroput" (both name and logo) should be considered as an option. We'll see...

  6. Anonymous11:17

    ETIJAT! Fly by EtiJat!

    1. Anonymous18:21

      Oh my god you should get awarded the Nobel prize for this!
      Haha...Etijat...that sounds so cool.
      Actually that sounds really cool,
      even better than Etihad or Jat!

  7. Anonymous11:21

    Why doesn't Croatia Airlines open a base in Belgrade.

    1. Anonymous13:47

      Because BEG is already connected well with MUC and FRA.

    2. Anonymous14:44

      Maybe it is good idea to move all A319/320 from ZAG so they can fly with proper planes - Dashes to and from Zagreb, and with big planes from BEG.

  8. BA88811:25

    Following conversation with source close to Serbian government, I can now reveal that JAT rejected firm offer from both Cathay and Qantas and decided to go ahead with negotiation with Etihad…

    (HAHAHAHAHA! Do they really think we are retarded?)

    1. Anonymous13:05

      When did you get that information? As I have a good access to such information as well, I've never heard neither Cathay or Qantas even mentioned as a possible solution.

    2. Anonymous13:46

      Qantas... LOLz... They can't even support their own flights to Europe...
      Cathay Pacific has about 0 need for European hub, especially one based in Belgrade with non-existing transfer facilities... No one would want to buy Jat or any of its incarnations for fleet/personel/slots alone. They all need a carrot such as this agriculture deal...

    3. BA88814:35

      It was a very sarcastic comment to "our" Minister's ideas of grandeur...

      Nothing more...

      (And no intention to stir things up...)

  9. Anonymous11:32

    This is still an idea, but creating the “new Jat” and a fleet renewal is a definite government decision”



    AJDE NE SERI!!!!!

    Seriously so over this topic both a new Jat, potential investors as well as a new fleet.... If the dickheads running the country had 2 mm of a brain they would realise that operational cost of the company is the biggest issue as well as a aging fleet... grow some balls and either move employees to other gov depts, slash working hours by 50% or if either cant be done sack up to half.... Even with a new Jat if the 1000+ employees also transfer then your issue has just got a new name and pissed off stakeholder

  10. Anonymous11:59

    Is this creature Dinkic joking with us or he is just moron?

    After so many nonrealistic "plans" and "information" that were demand next day how can he be minister any more, and how can anyone even talk about this as serous idea?

  11. Anonymous12:24


  12. TiredOfBSReBroadcasting13:00

    Quick question: who does Jat Airways owe the money to? Is it the Serbian government? I want to know what is the magical formula for becoming "free of debt" overnight.

    Also, Jat fleet renewal/restructuring and ZAG new terminal are the most boring news items in the entire Yugosphere and not just in the aviation field. In fact, there is your standard boring new story and then there is Jat and ZAG repeat-every-fortnight-super-duper-boring-non-news story!

  13. Anonymous13:15

    The statement that the "new Jat" should base its fleet entirely on Airbus aircraft is the first and most serious signal that the fellow in question has no idea what he's talking about. One of Jat's main profitability problems is that the 737s have too much capacity for certain routes. Going for the 4 ordered Airbus aircraft and filling the rest of the fleet with the likes of Embraer E195 would be the way to go as far as fleet is concerned. But that would require someone who knows a thing or two about aviation.

    1. Anonymous15:14

      They didn't say entirely, but mostly.... What's wrong with, for ex, 8 A319, 2 A320, and 2 ATR-72-500 aircraft - new... Thn retire more of their Boeing fleet besides 2 737-300's, and keep their 4 ATR's until new ones can be bought / leased..

  14. Anonymous13:51

    This is just a government strategy to lawfully “forgive” Jat its debt. Jat owes most money to the state (NIS, airport, etc). As for the rest, I wouldn’t trust Dinkic to safeguard my 100 euros let alone create an airline. He will just fill it up with his own cronies and fire the people at Jat who actually know how to work (which have been also sidelined for years because of cronies from other parties running Jat at the moment)

  15. Aэrologic15:24

    For Jan-Aug 2012, Jat's revenue dropped by 31% compared to the same period last year, sharpest drop being recorder in April, February and (surprisingly) June: 51, 41 and 38% respectively.

    1. Anonymous18:53

      This is the bigest nonsense I have read on this blog. Jat's revenue rose by 8% for Jan-Aug 2012, number of passengers by 10%. The main problem in Jat is with their high costs owed to the maintenece of old, unadequate fleet with high fuel consumption, more than double, than needed, number of high paid pilots and crew members as well as 400 hundred ground staff in both Suport and Jat. There is no airline in the world that could be profitable with such a burden. JAT Tehnika has a workforce of more than 1100 people, as if they are manufacturing aircrafts not maintaining them, also mostly depending on Jat, cost of 25 mil Euro per year.

    2. Aэrologic23:16

      When you look yourself in the mirror, do you also see "nonsense" written on your forehead? I guess you do. It seems you don't have access to Jat's sales real numbers and would be curious to know what your sources are, certainly not from within the company.

    3. Anonymous08:40

      Aэrologic, obviosly neither do you have the real numbers as such are nonsense, indeed. I also would like to know what your sources are, cause I'm sure you have the wrong numbers and I have my sources in Jat as well.

    4. Aэrologic13:00

      Obviously you couldn't have gotten access to my numbers cause they weren't published still or officially released from the concerned department within the company, so just wait and see. By the way i never said that i was happy about those numbers. For other months Jat's drop in sales is not that sharp at all as for those 3 months and revolves around 15 to 20%, which is not so bad. The fact is that JU's finances are dropping despite the increase in pax turnaround. Also if you would have paid some attention you would have realized that those months i mentioned coincide with the February big freeze and June fleet shortage-related incidents.

  16. Anonymous15:27

    This is the critical point where Jat will begin losing ground in Belgrade. They have no new aircraft on order, old aircraft is getting older by the day, who knows how much longer their fleet will be able to last? If one airplane is gone, then the airline would already have a huge gap.

    And while new flights are constantly being introduced to Belgrade by other airlines (i.e. Wizz) , Jat is having the same number of flights and can barely fit anymore in their right schedule.

    And how can their profit be -20%!? Ok but their expenses? Is this included? If it is then damn.. They need to STOP the promotional campaigns, raise the prices a little bit and fire about HALF or more of their workforce immoderately. Yes competition is fierce with prices which a lot of people, especially Serbians look at, but still.

  17. Anonymous16:21

    You cant raise prices when you have nothing better to offer... the only way they have retained market share is by promo sales otherways that number as well would have plummeted to beyond -10% comparable.... Operations cost is there first issues, Fleet 2nd,and there senior mangement need Experienced aviation managers in order to recreate the airline ..... 3 simple steps that have been a talking point for over 5 yrs and which 2 of 3 could be rectified in a 6 month time frame as for fleet the gov was in more of a position 3-5yrs ago to commit to finance leasing or purchase then they are today....

  18. Anonymous18:30

    Why should Etihad buy Jat?
    There is a more simply solution for Etihad :
    Open direct flights to Belgrade!
    They will at once be leading airline towards Asia and could REALLY be an alternative to TK.
    Not QR which flies with stopovers in Anatolia or Hungary and with connections to only two cities in Australia.

  19. Anonymous21:42

    Do not forget SU

  20. Anonymous23:32

    Being serious now..
    nothing will happen at Jat anytime.

    The only thing what will happen is that one aircraft after the other will leave Jat fleet.
    The flight schedule becoming thinner and thinner.
    Jat will finally become a second B&H Airlines.

    Also i doubt we will see any Middle East carrier flying nonstop to any Ex Yu airport in the next years(except the likes of Flydubai).

    I also doubt that anything positive in the Ex Yu will happen in the next ten-twenty years.
    Actually we all lost our future in the nineties..
    all sides!
    The best thing would be to forget Ex Yu and then in forty years take a small look ..maybe then will happen something new but not earlier.

  21. Anonymous01:12

    As JAT depletes its fleet one aircraft at a time, one airline company will look at it as an opening. If Jat disappears, I can see Ryanair moving into Belgrade Airport to fill the void....same as in Budapest after MALEV disappears.....Just A Thought (funny how these three words spell JAT)

  22. Anonymous09:10

    Fly those boeings for an other ten years and do not order Airbus. Let europe suffer...
    Long live JU and gulf carriers.


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