The decision to retire the DC-9 and Boeing 727 fleet came for several reasons. The first was because of strict European regulations that have now been enforced regarding emission and noise levels. The second reason attributes to the cost of maintenance. Last year to simply keep a handful of these two models in operation cost 9.8 million USD. Since 1992, it was estimated that the airline invested 120 million USD to maintain these two aircraft types. The final reason associated with the decision extends to fuel efficiency.
With regards to the DC-10, Vujovic stated that the airline requires about 2.5 million USD annually to maintain the YU-AMB. Furthermore, since the resumption of transatlantic flights to North America were not realised last year, it was decided that JAT should instead focus on the Euro-Mediterranean market for the time being. Vujovic also confirmed that JAT will not make any new aircraft purchases from short term perspective, and will instead look at either leasing or purchasing used aircraft which have flown less about ten years. Thus JATs fleet will comprise of three different aircraft types (Boeing 737-300, Boeing 737-400, and ATR-72-200).
JAT DC-9-32 History:
- April 1969: the first DC-9-32 landed at Belgrade Airport to join the JAT fleet. This aircraft (I-DIKY) was under lease agreement until the summer of 1970.
- January 1970: the purchase agreement for five DC-9 planes already under construction was singed by JAT General Manager Vidomir Krunić.
- January 1972: a bomb exploded on the JAT DC-9 (YU-AHT) flying over Czechoslovakia. Twenty seven passengers and crew members died, while stewardess Vesna Vulovic survived a fall from an altitude of nearly 10 kilometers and was included in the Guinness Book of Records.
- End of 1973: the last five JAT DC-9s were delivered.
Photo © Eduard Marmet
JAT Boeing 727-200 History:
- June 1974: welcome ceremony for the first JAT B-727-200 (YU-AKA) at the Belgrade Airport.
- November 1974: JATs first round-the-world flight, using a B-727 on the route Belgrade-Beirut-Bombay-Singapore-Tokyo-Honolulu-Los Angeles-New York- London-Belgrade.
- December 1981: JATs last two B-727s arrive (YU-AKK and YU-AKL).
Photo © Remi Dallot
JAT DC-10-30 History:
- May 1977: JATs management board approved the purchase of a wide-body aircraft for intercontinental operations. The DC-10 was chosen.
- July 1977 in Long Beach, California, a purchase agreement is signed for JATs first wide-body plane, the DC-10-30.
- September 1978: JATs first DC-10 (YU-AMA) underwent its first test flight at Long Beach California.
- December 1978: JATs first DC-10 (YU-AMA) lands at Belgrade Airport. The aircraft is named in honor of Nikola Tesla.
- May 1979: JATs second DC-10 (YU-AMB) lands at Belgrade Airport. The aircraft is named in honor of Edvard Rusjan.
- February 1996: the overhauled and modernized DC-10 (YU-AMB), renamed after Beograd.
Photo © Trevor Ogle