A Boeing delegation, headed by Tom Vanderhoven, has visited Jat Airways in Belgrade. Boeing apparently presented four aircraft models, including the 737-600, 737-800, 767-200 and the 7E7. Some reports conflicted between the 737-600 and the 737-700. Out of all the aircraft models, Jat Airways should be most interested in the Boeing 737-800, while they have also voiced their interest in getting newer long range planes. No specific details were announced to the public whether Jat Airways will purchase or lease any new aircraft produced by Boeing, nor was there any indication of the value of any possible aircraft purchase. In the meantime Jat Airways has indicated that they will conduct a study where technical issues, crew training, and a model for fleet renewal will be analyzed. Boeing is expected to give Jat Airways its first concrete offer within two weeks. After receiving the offer, Jat Airways will be required to consult with the Serbian government, as the airline is state owned.
Apparently a delegation from Embaer have also visited Serbia; however, no concrete results have been released to the public thus far. In my opinion JAT are in need of new aircraft, but any concrete deliveries would be unlikely to take place before 2007.
I think that there are two foreseeable possibilities where new planes would be needed prior to 2007:
(1) A replacement for the DC-9 will be necessary. The Boeing 737-600, 737-700, or ERJs should replace the Douglas birds, otherwise JAT will have to add more Boeing 737-300s or ATR-72s to offset their needs in the short run.
(2) Should Jat Airways decide to once again fly on its own to Canada and the United States within the foreseeable future, long range aircraft will be necessary.
At this time there is no particular need to replace the 737-300s or regional ATRs, therefore, I do not expect a concrete order for the Boeing 737-700 at this time, though options for their long-term replacement will be certainly considered. One thing is certain, JAT has not proclaimed any interest for the Boeing 717.