November 17, 2009

JAT Airlines - Design

This post is nothing like an add for JAT I'm rather disappointed about what's going on with this airline, not to mention about the poor service (my friend was not satisfied) and the high prices. But OK, the airline is in trouble and is looking for an economic boost, and it would be fantastic for Serbia if the national air carrier gets its glamour back.

Yes, because JAT Airline , was former called Yugoslavian Air Transport (Југословенски аеротранспорт JAT) and had not only worldwide good reputation (JAT was the first European Airline to buy a Boing 737!) but had a very attractive CI (Corporate Identity, like Logo, Advertising, Uniforms, the Company Image).

When I started flying with JAT, they still had the old logo and because short after the war nobody still had put relooking efforts into the company, it had a lovely almost retro look and you could still feel the glam of the past times.

The glam years

Shortly after the WW II  JAT was founded (1947) from the former airline Aeroput. War airplanes like the Junkers JU-52 were converted into passenger aircrafts.  Multiple international and domestic routes were opened. From the 50's to the 80's JAT was booming.

 The 1951 timetable shows modern airplanes and a traditional peasant in national costume spinning. (source:

During those years, the company carried 5 million passengers annually and served 80 destinations on five continents (19 domestic, 45 medium haul and 16 long haul routes). JAT also constructed a large hangar to accommodate wide-body aircraft and a jet-engine test stand at their Belgrade hub.

Here some of the JAT ads from the 60's.  The colors, the graphics..the composition showed an optimistic and playful style.

But the Balkan Wars of the 90's set an end to the prosperous company. 1992 Germany (the largest market for JAT in Europe, with 7 flights daily and 40 million German marks gross annual profit), followed by Italy and then by the U.S and later Canada interrupted any air traffic with Yugoslavia.  JAT could not really evade to domestic flights instead, as destinations like Nis, Tivat, Podgorica and Uzice (yes, they used Ponikve Airport for a short time) were just money consuming and made no profit.
An attemp of the government to boost the company in 1998 (8 Airbuses were ordered) failled inevitably in 2000 when instead of paying the aircrafts or trying to sell them to another airline Serbia was bombed for 78 days and the CEO of JAT was murdered in front of his house in Belgrade.


Above a plane with the older logo and livery

After the regime's overthrow on 5 October 2000, the FR Yugoslavia was accepted back into international organisations and sanctions were dropped and in 2003 the company name was changed into JAT Airlines and introduced new livery.

The new identity: New livery for the planes and a new corporate design

JAT is not the only airline to operate in the red, so all the standard remedies are tried (alliances, frequent flyer and so on). In 2007 and 2008 the airline received an award as one of the five best brands from Serbia.
It's not enough, after strikes of the staff and a failed privatization an the company is still rum entirely by the Government of Serbia. Can the airline go back to the former impeccable shape?
Researching for this post I run into a great blog:

 A JAT meal, looked weird...but was much better than expected (and it was for short flight Belgrade - Zurich)


  1. very interesting! I didn't know some of these facts!

  2. I flew with jat last sunday; they gave us just a small sandwich.. but the sljivo wasn't so bad ;)
    I love jat!

  3. Thanks Tanja and Beppe for the nice feedback! I love JAT, really, best style, best design, cool planes, ....we just should talk to the CEO....
    I would fly with them...but SWISS is much cheaper (unfortunately without the nice Rakija or Vranac Wine you get on JAT for free....)

  4. Propaganda da collezionisti di alto livello !!!!
    fetish Ms LaRseN

  5. Ms Larsen, vai a visitare i due blog che ho linkato....quelli sono really fetish! :-)

  6. te ghé rasun anca ti!!! ma sono nuovamente in partenza per lavoro!!!
    presto mi perderò tra i blogs che mi hai linkato!!
    c u soon

  7. e lo stuart miro ?
    non viene neanche menzionato ?
    viaggerei giorno e notte solo per vederlo !!!

  8. Scusate cari lettori! Ho dimenticato lo Stewart "Miro" di Lina! A questo punto Lina potrebbe farci un bel post su questo Stewart (quelli della SWISS sono bruttini e nemmeno molto simpatici...anche qui meglio la JAT!)

  9. I remember back in the 80s seeing the JAT DC10 flying over my house in Melbourne Australia every Sunday - heading back to Belgrade via Singapore! It was a lovely sight!