Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

JAT Yugoslav Airlines has signed a preliminary agreement for eight Airbus A319s in anticipation of the end of trade embargoes with the rump of Yugoslavia.

JATsays that contracts will be signed only when the embargoes are lifted, but anticipates delivery of the first two aircraft in 2000, with the rest to be in service by 2005. A similar preliminary agreement has been signed for CFM International CFM56-5A4 turbofans.

JAT says that it wants the new aircraft to replace its ageing fleets of eight Boeing 727-200 Adv and five McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s, although some of the DC-9s may stay in service longer with Stage 3 hushkits and cockpit upgrades. An agreement is in place for two ABS hushkits, with options on additional shipsets.

The remaining fleet consists of nine Boeing 737-300s and two Aero International (Regional) ATR 72 turboprops. One McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 is operated on services to Beijing, and more long haul aircraft will be required if the airline carries through its plans to revive its long haul network. This could see the re-introduction of services to the Near East by year end, and the airline hopes that services to Canada, the Far East and the USA will be restored as soon as the "international diplomatic situation" allows.

The airline expects to carry more than 1 million passengers and 8,000t of cargo this year. It predicts rapid growth once trade embargoes are raised, aiming for 1.5 million passengers and 13,000t of cargo by 2000.

Source: Flight International