JAT was a state-owned Yugoslav airline formed after WWII.

Before we get into what widebody aircraft Yugoslavian national flag carrier JAT used to operate, let’s first take a look at how JAT came to be. In 1927, a group of aviation enthusiasts got together and raised money to start Europe’s tenth airline. Based at a new airfield on the banks of the Sava River, Aeroput began life with four French-built Potez 29/2 biplanes. Throughout the 1930s, Aeroput continued to grow, expanding its network as far north as Prague in Czechoslovakia and as far south as Thessaloniki in Greece.

With WWII raging in Europe and the Germans preparing to invade the Balkans, Aeroput managed to fly many of its aircraft to England, which the Royal Air Force (RAF) used during the war. When the war finally ended in 1945, Yugoslavia had a new communist government led by Josip Tito. After coming to power, the first thing Tito did was nationalize all the county’s private businesses, including Aeroput.

JAT was started after WWII

The result of this was the formation of Jugoslovenski Aerotransport (Yugoslav Air Transport), abbreviated as JAT. The new national airliner commenced flights on April 1, 1947, with three Douglas C-47 Skytrains and three Junkers Ju 52’s. Faced with sanctions from the West and having drifted away from the influence of the Soviet Union, JAT struggled to operate internationally and was restricted to mainly domestic flights.

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A JAT DC-10 at adelaide airport

Eventually, relations with the West thawed, and JAT was able to fly internationally within Europe with a fleet now made up of Sud Aviation Caravelle’s, Douglas DC-9s, and Boeing 707s. During the early 1970s, the first two of nine Boeing 727s arrived, and by the end of the decade, JAT’s Boeing 707s were replaced with the airline’s first widebody jet, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30. JAT was also looking at the Boeing 747-200, but was able to get a sweeter deal on the DC-10s.

JAT’s McDonnell Douglas DC-10s

  • The first DC-10 to arrive at JAT was YU-AMD, built in 1973; the plane had been delivered new to KLM and then went to SAS before being acquired by JAT.
  • The second widebody to arrive was YU-AMC, also built in 1973 and acquired from Swissair.
  • The next DC-10 was TU-TAL which was leased from the Ivory Coast carrier Air Afrique.
  • The next DC -10 to arrive was acquired new from McDonnell Douglas on August 12, 1978. YU-AMA flew with JAT for 15 years before being sold to Florida air charter company Express One.
  • Named the “City Of Belgrade,” YU-AMB was delivered new to JAT in May 1979 and served with JAT for 26 years before being scrapped at Nîmes Alès Camargue Cévennes Airport (FNI) near Nîmes, France, in 2005.
  • Built in 1973, OO-SLA was delivered new to the Belgium national flag carrier SABENA. The plane was then leased to JAT between June 12, 1987, and October 23, 1989, before being returned to SABENA,
  • Another DC-10 JAT leased was OH-LHA from Finland’s national flag carrier Finnair. The plane was delivered new to the Finnish airline in January 1975 and served with JAT between April 1987 and October 1988 before being returned to Finnair.

JAT became Air Serbia

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A JAT douglas DC-10

JAT also leased a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar from Royal Jordanian for a brief period. In 2013 JAT was rebranded to become Air Serbia.

Source: simpleflying.com

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