Thats a nice posting you gave. Unfortunately I was not able to read the article. Perhaps the link is outdated. In any event, I think the new director is just blowing some hot air. It is unlikely that the airline will purchase new aircraft anytime soon. Here is why:
The better side of the fleet consists of the following aircraft:
- 10 B-737-300s (YU-AND
, ANF, ANH, ANI, ANJ, ANK, ANL, ANV, ANW, AON)
- 3 B-737-400s (YU-AOO, AOR, AOS)
- 4 ATR-72-200s (YU-ALN, ALO, ALP, ALR)
The average of the of the above fleet is somewhere around 17 years.
The older fleet consists of the following operational aircraft:
- 1 DC-10-30 (mainly leased abroad)
- 5 DC-9-30 (mainly leased abroad)
- 2 B-727-200 (leased abroad)
I am sure that when these older aircraft approach their next C-check, they will be scrapped. Out of these aircraft, only one or two DC-9s will be active on mainly domestic flights, while the rest will continue their lease abroad. These older planes are essentially making clean profit for the airline, and there will be no rush to get rid of them, as is the case with Northwest Airlines from the United States.
JAT have invested lots in their 737-300 fleet, and it would be pointless to sell them. Furthermore, the 737-400s will be around for at least the next three years, so there will be no replacement for them either. If it becomes necessary for more aircraft, they would readily lease additional 737s (such as the YU
-AON, AOO, AOR, AOS). I anticipate JAT to not make mid-range aircraft purchases anytime soon, other than for deliveries destined for the later part of this decade. In that case, newer generation 737s would be favorable.
Nevertheless, reasons for ordering new Boeing aircraft:
- Ordering new 737s: Boeing would decide that Belgrade is the most favorable location for opening a sizeable Boeing service center, covering the entire Eastern and Southeast Europe 737 market.
- Ordering longhaul fleet: Boeing would probably lobby the U.S. Department of Transport, to allow JAT more favorable treatment. The new management in JAT are perhaps more willing to resume flights to more North American destinations than the one lead by Predrag Vujovic.
- The airline has a long-standing relationship with Boeing and U.S. companies.
- The U.S. and Serbian government are currently conducting a feasibility study regarding a significant expansion of Belgrade airport. The project is known as "Kapija Srbije".
- For political reasons, where the U.S. would be more supportive of the policy of Serbia towards the province of Kosovo and Metohia, drop the criticism in terms of cooperation with the Hague tribunal, would lobby the EU for speedy membership, and perhaps open the door to more investment opportunities.