Direct Flights Serbia – USA Soon

Airports in Serbia should receive the “category 1” mark by the American Federal Aviation Administration, which means that carriers will get permission to fly directly from Serbia to America. Economists in Serbia think that this chance should be used, because besides local population, these flights will be used by passengers from neighboring countries who have a strong diaspora in the US.

Air traffic with the American continent was stopped in 1992, with the beginning of the war in Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. However, Serbia had the “category 1” until 2002, which it later lost. National airline “Jat” tried to renew the USA route two times (in 2004 and 2006), but without success.

During the 1980’s, Boeing DC-10 flew once a week to Chicago and New York. Passengers from the region would come to Belgrade for their transatlantic flight.

British Company Helps Serbian Airline

British company “AJ Walter Aviation” wants to take part in solving problems in JAT, said representatives of that company in talks with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.

“Serbian government is making an effort in renewing JAT’s fleet and engineering, with the goal of our national airline meeting standards expected in 21st century”, said PM Dacic, expressing satisfaction that “AJ Walter Aviation” wants to help in improving JAT engineering.

President of the British company, Christopher Whiteside, director Roger Maynard and marketing director David Brown said that “AJ Walter Aviation” is considered one of the top five biggest companies in the world which provide these kinds of services in airline industry and that they want to be part of solving the problems in JAT

Minister of traffic in Serbian government Milutin Mrkonjic also took part in the meeting, Serbian government’s press office released in a statement.

Funny Jat Airways Pre-Flight Safety Instructions

On Monday flight Belgrade-Milan, Jat Airways cabin crew decided to entertain the passengers by giving out not so common pre-flight safety instructions.

The passengers were at first surprised when a flight attendant started to make a following announcement: “In case of losing cabin pressure, our fantastically designed golden masks will magically appear above you.”

While the passengers looked at her with amused looks, she continued: “First of all, stop screaming. Then apply the mask on yourself first, and then on children, and then on all those behaving as children.”

The instructions did not end there. Next one related to emergency water landing and said: “We know you are well-dressed, but in the case of an emergency landing, please wear our latest security vest from the spring/summer 2013 collection.”

After the last instruction: “In the case you are not satisfied with our service, you can leave the plane using side exits which are clearly marked. To all those who listened to these instructions carefully, we wish you a pleasant flight. To all others, we wish you all the luck,” the passengers broke into applause.

Passenger Srdjan K. says that in the beginning the passengers were caught by surprise, but quickly got the joke.

It remains unknown if this was an independent gesture made by the cabin crew on flight Belgrade-Milan, or a marketing gimmick which should help Jat regain its former popularity with the passengers. In any case, it worked.

Jat Airways At The End Of Runway?

Serbian government is planning to restructure and rebrand the national air-carrier Jat Airways by the end of the year.

Serbian Finance Minister, Mladjan Dinkic, says that the current situation in the company is unsustainable. He sees declaring bankruptcy of Jat Airways as a necessity.

Serbian Transport Minister, Milutin Mrkonjic, says the government has already decided to form a separate company that would carry Jat Airways debt load in order to allow a new national air carrier to start afresh.

Serbian Finance Minister is to present a comprehensive plan for Jat Airways at one of the forthcoming government sessions. The government has refused a request from Jat Airways for further 35 million euros worth of subsidies.

According to Minister Dinkic, there are two possible scenarios for resolving the issue. If Serbia decides to form a new air carrier alone, it will have to provide the state guarantees, worth 140 million dollars in order to fulfill the existing obligation to lease 12 Airbus planes.

However, minister Dinkic says the preferable option would be a partnership with the United Arab Emirates state-run airline Etihad. He says that the principle objective of the cooperation would be construction of a cargo terminal at “Nikola Tesla” Belgrade airport, which would serve as a springboard for Serbian food export.

In 2011, the estimated loses of Jat Airways were 27 million euros. In 2010, Serbian government failed to sell the company to both Turkish Airways and Baltic Aviation Systems, while two years prior an auction collapsed due to lack of interest.

Serbian media recently reported Belgrade was negotiating to sell the airline to Air Asia. However, the Malaysian company denied its interest in the purchase.