Aeroput

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Aeroput
IATA
ICAO
Callsign
Founded June 17, 1927 (1927-06-17)
Commenced operations February 15, 1928 (1928-02-15)
Ceased operations December 24, 1948 (1948-12-24) (as Aeroput)
Six Aeroput Potez 29/2 biplanes at the old Belgrade-Dojno Polje Airport with the Milanković's hangar on the right side, 1929.

Aeroput (Serbian Cyrillic: Aeропут, English translation: "Airway") was an airline and flag carrier of Yugoslavia from 1927 until 1948.

Society for Air traffic AD Aeroput was the first Serbian company for civil air traffic, which was founded on 17 June 1927 as Društvo za Vazdušni Saobraćaj "Aeroput" (Society for Air Traffic "Aeroput"),[1] in the palace of the Adriatic-Danube bank in Belgrade. Aeroput was the national carrier of the Kingdom of SHS, and then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Aeroput was among the first civilian aircraft carriers, as well as 10th airline company in Europe and 21st in the World. The airline ceased to exist during World War II in Yugoslavia, but was renewed after the war under the new name Jugoslovenski Aero Transport (Yugoslav Airlines - JAT) and still flies today as the Serbian national air carrier under the name Air Serbia.

The beginning and development of the Serbian civil aviation[edit]

On 13 February 1913, The Peter I of Serbia adopted the Regulation of the transportation system of devices which run in the air. The Kingdom of Serbia joined the modern air traffic. It is the fifth country in the world (after Germany, England, France and Austro-Hungaria), who regulated legal norms of the air operations. For the Kingdom of Serbia, it was a defense mechanism from austro-Hungarian planes, which since November 1912 flying over Serbian territory, without any permission. Flights was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire pressure on Serbia to withdraw from the coast of the Adriatic Sea, where was stationed the Serb units after the victory over the Turks in the First Balkan War.

The first civilian aircraft flew over Serbian sky before the end of World War I, spreading the mail. In cooperation with the Postal and telegraph department in Thessaloniki organized several flights, where the pilots of the First Serbian Squadron AP 521 transmit mail between Skopje and Thessaloniki. When established the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, two-seaters Breguet 14 almost everyday flew regular route from Novi Sad through Belgrade and Niš to Skopje. After that followed a postal air transport from Novi Sad and Belgrade to Sarajevo, Mostar and Zagreb . Passenger transport began in 1919.

While it did not build an airport at Bežanija in Belgrade, a solution was found: the temporary airfield in the village of Jabuka near Pančevo. The city authorized 500 by 500 meters of pasture by the road that is used for grazing livestock except for the brief period when the airplane landing or takeoff, as it also works in Prague and other places. At this impromptu airport first flight landed on 25 March 1919, operating the Blériot-SPAD S.46 Berline biplane. It was soon clear that the position of airport is not the most convenient for passengers, in the absence of the bridge over the Danube, travel with ship to Belgrade often lasted longer than air travel to Budapest or Bucharest.

First international air line that passed through the territory of the Kingdom of SHS opened by Franco-Roumaine company. In order to compete with famous train the Orient Express, which has long represented the fastest link between Western Europe and the Middle East, this company with their planes introduced the world's first regular night flights on the route Belgrade - Bucharest. Tri-engine Caudron C.61 took off from Bucharest at 4.00 am and landed in Pančevo at 9.00 am on 9 September 1923. That same year, the construction of the airport along the road to Bežanija begin.

Establishment of Aeroput[edit]

At the initiative of the Aero-Club on 6 February 1926 conference was held at which embraced rules in the founding of the air traffic, and all participants have become founders. The rules are sent to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which were approved on 13 March. After this, work on entering of shares. However, the registration of shares went below expectations and it was clear that further work is meaningless unless a sign a contract with the state to guarantee the Company need assistance in cash and goods. This agreement was signed on 25 January 1927, but subscription of shares not still go on wished tempo. The planned and required 24,000 shares (i.e. the then six million dinars required to purchase aircraft) by the end of March 1927, there were subscribed and paid only about 10%, which is in accordance with the applicable law of joint stock companies, threatened danger Aeroput to be abolished.

Adventurous flight[edit]

Transcontinental flight with Potez 25, in 1927: Paris - Belgrade - Aleppo - Basra - Jask - Karachi - Bombay.

The decision to accelerate the registration of shares found the aeronautical engineer Tadija Sondermajer, a member of the Company, a reserve captain and pilot of Salonika Front. He suggested that along with the pilot Leonid Bajdak, perform staged plane flight from Paris to Bombay, and thus to prove the value and ability of Serbian pilots count thereby the effects of propaganda to make the local aviation and faster registration of shares.[2] After a short preparation, Sondermajer and Bajdak flew from Paris on 20 April 1927. Finally, after covering 14,800 kilometers, 14 stages and 11 days of travel, on 2 May 1927 landed in Belgrade . The welcome was magnificent and more than 30,000 of Belgrade citizens hail to their heroes at the airport under Bežanijska Kosa. After this achievement of the pilots Sondermajer and Bajdak, subscription of "Aeroput" shares grew over all expectations. Aeroput was established with a capital of six million dinars, collected by 412 shareholders. Packets of shares was have: Vračarska Zadruga (Vračar Cooperative), Economic Bank, Postal Savings Bank, Gateret, Serbian bank of Zagreb, American-Serbian bank in Sarajevo, Teleoptik, Velauto, Ikarus from Novi Sad, Technical Society Voks and others. A total of 412 shareholders paid the 14,000 shares at 250 dinars, or 3.5 million dinars. Aeroput with that capital started to work and on that occasion they purchased four airplanes. For the three months were enrolled over 30,000 shares, which enabled the new company to overcome the crisis. Already on 17 June 1927 was performed a promotion of the Society in the Belgrade Commercial Court and from that day the Company for Air Traffic "Aeroput" is legal entity.

Construction of the airport[edit]

The airport was officially opened on 25 March 1927, with the joy of a great stunt and a total of 25 fighter aircraft of type Dewoitine. Opened building of the first civilian airport - Belgrade Airport. The hangar was designed by Serbian scientist Milutin Milanković, which had until then been abroad reflected in the development of similar properties and performed the world's first basic equation for determining the reinforcement of concrete beams. The airport is built on a meadow called Dojno Polje between Bežanijska Kosa and left bank of the Sava River, about two kilometers from Zemun. Airport disposed of four grass runways. On it in 1931 was built modern terminal building, and in 1936 was built equipment for landing in poor visibility conditions.

The first promotional flight[edit]

The first Aeroput aircraft arrived at Belgrade's airport in early February 1928. Aeroput management bought four Potez 29/2 biplanes from the French company Potez. The choice of this type of aircraft management of Aeroput decided because the domestic factory Ikarus in Zemun produced planes under license from the same French company, the aircraft of type Potez 25, for Air Force Command and its air force units. Aeroput was important to in the immediate vicinity of airport is a factory that is capable of servicing their new aircraft. Biplane Potez 29/2 in that time had good characteristics for a passenger plane, the crew made up of two members, had five seats for passengers, range up to 500 kilometers, with a 450 hp engine, flying at a speed of 210 kilometers per hour, and the trunk is receiving load of 250 kilograms.

The first promotional Aeroput's flight is done on the line Belgrade - Zagreb on 15 February 1928. Aircraft Potez 29/2, with license plate X-SECD, called "Belgrade" takeoff from the Belgrade Airport near Zemun, at 9 o'clock in the morning. The pilots of the plane were the Director of the Aeroput Tadija Sondermajer and Vladimir Striževski Striž, chief of pilots, and while the first passengers were five journalists and photo reporters from Belgrade media. After a two-hour flight by overcast sky and low clouds over the Sava River, which is a major landmark for pilots, noticed the towers the Zagreb cathedral. The plane landed at the airport Borongaj in 11 hours and 25 minutes, earlier making a couple of passes over Zagreb. The plane was greeted by a large number of citizens and representatives of the civil and military authorities. On the same day in the afternoon a group of journalists flew from Zagreb to Belgrade. With this flight by Aeroput has been promoted future first regular line of domestic air traffic. On the line Belgrade - Zagreb Aeroput's aircraft during the first year flying every day, except Sundays, until November, when due to the winter conditions, air traffic disrupted. Despite the high ticket prices and passenger fear of flying, the number of passengers has been higher than expected, so it was more than 80 percent of the seats filled.

History[edit]

The first line Belgrade - Zagreb became operational on 15 February 1928. The following year, 1929, the company joined the International Air Traffic Association (IATA). The first international flight Aeroput recorded on the 7 October 1929, the aircraft that flew from Belgrade via Zagreb to Vienna was Potez 29/2 with five-passengers. By 1930, Aeroput airplanes had regular flights from Belgrade to Graz and Vienna (via Zagreb), and to Thessaloniki (via Skoplje). Thus the shortest air link between Central Europe and the Aegean area was formed across the Yugoslav territory. At that time Aeroput with several local lines connect Belgrade and Zagreb with the major centers in the interior of country and along the coast of the Adriatic. Initially the fleet consisted of three Potez 29/2 biplanes with five passenger seats. In 1932 "Aeroput" broadened its fleet with Farman F.306 aircraft, and in 1934 the company purchased three Spartan Cruiser II planes. In the company bought two Caudron C.449 Goéland planes, one de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide and six mid-range Lockheed Model 10A Electra aircraft. Relying on its renewed fleet, the company greatly expanded its list of destinations in 1937 and 1938. Regular flights to Sofia, Tirana, and Budapest were introduced, as well as a seasonal-tourist flight Dubrovnik - Zagreb - Vienna - Brno - Prague. In cooperation with Italian and Romanian companies, the Bucharest - Belgrade - Zagreb - Venice - Milan - Turin line was introduced.

The impressive development of the company and of the newest transport sector was interrupted by World War Two. Aeroput suspended all services after the April War at beginning of the World War II in Yugislavia in April 1941. After occupation of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the airline effectively ceased to exist, and its aircraft seized by the Axis powers.[1] After the war, a new airline was established in 1947 as JAT Yugoslav Airlines, continuing the tradition of Aeroput as the beginning of civil aviation in Yugoslavia.[3] JAT was established with the assistant of the Yugoslav transport regiment and former Aeroput pilots and aircraft mechanics.[4]

Establishment of Aeroput Technical service[edit]

Aeroput MMS-3

In the first three years, while in the fleet was the only Potez 29/2 biplanes, major aircraft maintenance for Aeroput is performed by aircraft factory Ikarus in Zemun, who have then the French licence for the Royal Yugoslav Air Force (JKRV) produced a similar plane Potez 25. Engine maintenance is performed at the factory Jasenica AD from Smederevska Palanka, which was produced under licence aircraft engines of the Lorraine brand. Early in 1931, the Aeroput buys a workshop for the repair of the aircraft from the French - Romanian company CIDNA, which was located at Zemun airport and assembly organized with the mechanics of Ikarus and the Air Force, and on that way organized its own technical aircraft maintenance service. Maintenance department was located in one of the large hangar at the civilian part of the airport, it was a modern and possessed a test stand for aero-engines. Since then, all the revisions, and airplane engines overhauling that had Aeroput was performed in they own technical service. How it was the good service, show fact that they are made in the service aircraft of domestic design, the Aeroput MMS-3.

The World War II and after the war prohibition[edit]

The bombing in 1941 was destroyed almost the entire property of the company. Due to the outbreak of war never come ordered and paid load of 500 tons of fuel. Aeroput submitted to the competent court for punitive damages on 31 October 1941. In 1942 year commissar administration has banned Aeroput to work. German occupation authorities nationalized the property of the Aeroput in Knez Mihailova Street 32, where they moved their national airline D. H. N. - Deutsche Luft Hansa.

After the war the Aeroput renewed work on 2 July 1945, when the general meeting of shareholders elected the first post-war management of the company. Meeting was attended by delegates of the new government of Democratic Federative Yugoslavia (DFY), and with the participation of then the Head of State Ivan Ribar, who was a pre-war shareholder and board member. The work permit was a farce, since April 1947 was created JAT who only started to perform air traffic. Communist government adopted a decree prohibiting private joint-stock companies, pursuant solution, on 24 December 1948 the Aeroput was liquidated.

Fleet[edit]

registration type of plane introduced in the fleet re-registration name excluded note/coment
YU-SAB Potez 29/2 10 February 1928 X-SEBC UN-EBC UN-SAB YU-SAB Aeroput „Beograd“ 1937
YU-SAC Potez 29/2 10 February 1928 X-SECD UN-ECD UN-SAC YU-SAC Aeroput „Zagreb“ 1937
YU-SAD Potez 29/2 23 March 1928 X-SEDF UN-EDF UN-SAD YU-SAD Aeroput 1937
YU-SAE Potez 29/2 23 March 1928 X-SEFG UN-EFG UN-SAE YU-SAE Aeroput „Skoplje“ 1937
YU-SAF Potez 29/2 7 May 1929 UN-EGH UN-SAF YU-SAF Aeroput 1937
YU-SAG Potez 29/2 7 May 1929 UN-EHI UN-SAG YU-SAG Aeroput 1937
YU-SAH Farman F.306 31 December 1930 UN-SAH YU-SAH Aeroput „Podgorica“ 1933 Crashed near Ljubljana on 12 September 1933
YU-SAA de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth 1 June 1931 UN-SAA YU-SAA G-ACDU Aeroput 1933
YU-SAI de Havilland DH.60M Moth 29 July 1931 G-ABXM UN-SAI YU-SAI Aeroput 1941 Destroyed in April War on 6 April 1941
YU-SAK de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth 5 October 1932 ZS-ADE G-ABZA UN-SAK YU-SAK Aeroput 1941 Destroyed in April War on 6 April 1941
YU-SAN Spartan Cruiser II 2 October 1933 G-ACJO YU-SAN Aeroput „Ljubljana“ 1941
YU-SAO Spartan Cruiser II 9 May 1934 G-ACMW YU-SAO Aeroput „Sušak“ 1941
YU-PCJ Breguet 19/10 10 May 1934 YU-PCJ Aeroput 1937
YU-SAP Spartan Cruiser II 24 May 1935 YU-SAP Aeroput „Niš“ 1936 Built under Spartan's licence for Aeroput by Zmaj aircraft company in Zemun. Crashes on 15 July 1936.
YU-SAS de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide 28 July 1936 G-AEKF YU-SAS Aeroput 1941 Captured in April War on 1941
YU-SAR Aeroput MMS-3 1936 YU-SAR Aeroput 1941 Prototype. Destroyed in April War on 1941
YU-PEB Farman F.190 1937 F-AJIA YU-PEB Aeroput 1941
YU-SAT Caudron C.449 Goéland 29 April 1937 F-APKT YU-SAT CJ+XM? Aeroput 1941 Captured in April War 1941
YU-SAU Caudron C.449 Goéland 22 July 1937 F-APKU YU-SAU Aeroput 1939 Damaged in 1939
YU-SAV Lockheed Model 10 Electra 26 July 1937 YU-SAV AX699 Aeroput 1941 Joined to the RAF on 5 May 1941. Written off (damaged beyond repair) in Ismailia, Egypt on 23 December 1941.
YU-SBA Lockheed Model 10 Electra 26 July 1937 YU-SBA Aeroput 1941 Joined to the RAF on 5 May 1941. Written off (damaged beyond repair) in Kinci, Nigeria on 15 April 1941.
YU-SAZ Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1 June 1938 YU-SAZ Aeroput 1941 Destroyed in April War on 15 April 1941
YU-SBB Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1 June 1938 YU-SBB AX701 Aeroput 1941 Joined to the RAF on 2 May 1941. Damaged during landing on 25 August 1944 in Matariya, Egypt.
YU-SBC Lockheed Model 10 Electra 20 March 1939 YU-SBC Aeroput 1940
YU-SBD Lockheed Model 10 Electra 4 April 1939 YU-SBD Aeroput 1941 Destroyed in April War on 1941
YU-SBE Lockheed Model 10 Electra 29 April 1939 YU-SBE Aeroput 1940
YU-SDA Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1 July 1939 YU-SDA AX700 Aeroput 1941 Joined to the RAF on 5 May 1941. Crashed during forced landing on 14 June 1946 in Barrackpore near Calcutta, West Bengal, India.

Exhibits from this period can be found in the Aeronautical Museum-Belgrade (with a collection of over 200 planes, gliders and helicopters).

Destinations[edit]

Regular flghts were made from Belgrade and Zagreb to domestic destinations such as Skopje, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Sušak (Rijeka), Split, Dubrovnik, Borovo, Niš and Bitola, and international, to Thessaloniki, Graz, Vienna, Athens, Sofia, Triste, Venice, Rome, Prague, Brno, Budapest, Klagenfurt and Tirana.[5]

Destinations by the year they were introduced

1928:

  • Belgrade – Zagreb

1929:

  • Zagreb – Belgrade – Skoplje

1930:

  • Belgrade – Zagreb – Graz – Vienna
  • Zagreb – Sušak
  • Belgrade – Sarajevo – Podgorica
  • Belgrade – Skoplje – Thessaloniki

1931:

  • Belgrade – Sarajevo – Split – Sušak – Zagreb
  • Vienna – Belgrade – Thessaloniki

1933:

  • Belgrade – Skoplje – Thessaloniki – Athens
  • Zagreb – Ljubljana
  • Ljubljana – Sušak

1934:

  • Ljubljana – Zagreb – Sušak
  • Ljubljana – Klagenfurt

1935:

  • Belgrade – Borovo – Zagreb – Graz – Vienna (Borovo was added to the Belgrade – Vienna route)
  • Belgrade – Niš – Skoplje (Niš was added to the Belgrade – Skoplje route)
  • Belgrade – Skoplje – Bitola – Thessaloniki (Bitola was added once a week, on Sundays)
  • Belgrade – Sarajevo

1936:

  • Belgrade – Sarajevo – Dubrovnik
  • Belgrade – Borovo – Zagreb – Sušak – Ljubljana

1937:

  • Zagreb – Sarajevo – Dubrovnik

1938:

  • Belgrade – Sofia
  • Dubrovnik – Sarajevo – Zagreb – Vienna – Brno – Prague
  • Belgrade – Dubrovnik – Tirana

1939:

  • Budapest – Zagreb – Venice – Rome
  • Belgrade – Budapest

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]