On the day Tito’s widow was buried, another symbol of Yugoslavia was buried – Jat, the Yugoslav Airlines.
Jovanka Broz was our first lady, Jat was our first window into the world. Jovanka was irreplaceable, Jat has been replaced by Air Serbia.
Serbia wept for Jovanka, no one wept for Jat.
From the ashes of Jat rose a powerful company, the pride of Serbia and all its citizens since the very first day it was founded.
Jat, may god have mercy on its soul, had been a nuisance in the last few years, and had caused us much anguish and devoured so much money, that we couldn’t wait to bury it.
Now, although it is dead, there is still a certain amount of fear that it might remain a burden on tax payers for a little longer.
These days, “the usual haters of Serbia” were around with their inclination to ruin the happiness of the creation and the beginning of the work of the new Serbian airline together with the reputable and powerful Etihad. Without the intention of joining such disruptive factors, and in order to preserve the most beautiful memories about the recently deceased Jat, the representatives of the state and of the management of the late company should still give tax payers answers to certain questions regarding the business activities of Jat in the last days of its life.
– Has the m person in charge of international contracts in Jat been replaced a few days before the company was shut down because this person refused to sign the contract under which Jat rents planes for Air Serbia?
– Does Jat have to pay around 800,000 EUR of expenses for the group of Etihad experts who have been spending time in the Hyatt hotel since June, or will these expenses be covered by someone else?
– Did Jat pay for the new (and really high-quality) uniforms of Air Serbia staff, or were these expenses paid by someone else?
– Did Jat pay 300,000 EUR for the (truly amazing) interior decoration of the first Air Serbia plane, which was done in Lufthansa, or were these expenses paid by someone else?
– Did Jat pay for the training of Air Serbia cabin crew which was carried out in Etihad, or were these expenses paid by another company?
– Will all these expenses, if they are charged to Jat, increase the losses of this company for the current year, and what if, at the end of the year, Jat has the losses of 80 million EUR, instead of the planned 20 million EUR?
– Will these losses have to be covered from the Serbian budget, since its partner Etihad, when signing the contract on founding Air Serbia, stated that the debts and the social program will be the responsibility or the Serbian state?
These questions have not been asked in order to hinder the new company on its road into glorious future, and cast a shadow on its announced success. On the contrary, a clean slate should make it possible for the new company to soar into the sky without the burdens of the past.
The tax payers in Serbia, as well as its officials, have the right to rejoice the new successes of their state and the Serbian economy.
This intoxication, however, must not be used as an open surgery on Serbian tax payers’ wallet aimed at providing the means for Jat to pay for its own (maybe a little too expensive) funeral.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic