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I'm thinking about flying from Zurich (Switzerland) to Belgrade (Serbia). The Serbian national airways offers some good deals, but some searching revealed that not all customers were really satisfied with Jat Airways. Especially, the flights were late and the service wasn't good and the planes were old.

So I have doubts if it is a really good choice. Are there any more reliable references that tell me if Jat Airways is a good choice?

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I took that same JAT flight from Zurich to Belgrade in July 2011, and there was no problem. By the way, I loved Serbia! It was an unexpected delight. – Byron Schmuland Oct 16 '11 at 21:01
up vote 11 down vote accepted

If in doubt, as I was with several Central Asian airlines over summer, I head to Wikipedia.

In this case, my favourite part is that their slogan is "In Safe Hands" ;)

But seriously, Wiki reports that the airline has had 3 incidents and 2 accidents in its history, with a total of 68 fatalities.

Other comments (with citations in the article):

  • In 2004, Jat Airways was named one of the safest airlines in Europe by IATA. Jat pilots are among the best trained pilots in the world.

  • Former JAT flight attendant, Vesna Vulović, holds the world's fall record when she fell from 10,160 metres (33,333 ft) with no parachute and survived.

UPDATE: Note that as of 26 October 2013, they ceased operations, becoming "Air Serbia" instead.

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Note that both fatal accidents were before 1974, and one of them was a bomb (so only one was the airline's fault). JAT flew a lot in the 1980s. – dbkk Oct 2 '11 at 11:36

Serbians say that JAT stands for "Joke About Time"... but their on-time statistics are not so different than major European airlines (73% on time vs 75% for BA/AF/LH).

JAT has been through awful times financially, cabin interiors are a bit scruffy, and their network is 1/10th of what it used to be, but the airline is safe. No fatalities since 1973.

Service was OK the few times I flew them -- my expectations were low since I mostly fly on U.S. carriers.

If getting from point A to B safely is your main concern, I would not hesitate to fly JAT... but then, if Swiss flies your route for the same price, I'd pick Swiss.

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