The Serbian government is preparing a restructuring plan for its national carrier to be implemented in 2012. Although the task-group working on the restructuring program has yet to decide whether the state should create a new national carrier to replace Jat or leave the airline with its current brand name, it is believed they are leaning towards the latter. “Since there was no interest earlier in the year for a strategic partner to purchase Jat, we have decided to prepare a development strategy because we believe it is important for the country to have a national airline”, the office of the Prime Minister said in a statement.
The new program outlines that Jat will have 700 employees (down from the current 1.200), but adds that no one will lose their job. Instead, employees will leave by choice and will be offered bonuses and stimulus packages, which could prove worthwhile for employees who have a few years left until retirement. An attempt to forcefully sack employees several years ago ended in failure as all of those dismissed launched legal battles and were returned to work.