Photos © R.Leeuw
JAT officially changed its name in June or July 2003. The names Jugoslovenski Aerotransport or Yugoslav Airlines no longer covered the airline's origin.
Yugoslavia (meaning "South Slavs") started breaking up in 1991, when its northernmost region of Slovenia declared independence. In 1992 the Croatians did the same, sparking a war over the status of Serbs in the territories Croatia claimed. Legally, Second Yugoslavia ceased to exist in April 1992 (just after Bosnia-Herzegovina seperated and plunged into civil war, 1992-1995), when the last remaining territories of the old federation joined to form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
JAT hardly survived the Balkan War of the 1990s, with American and NATO involvement. The few 737s still operated wore simple "JAT"-titles or nothing at all.
JAT changed its name into JAT Airways in 2003. Since Yugoslavia did not exist anymore and the country changed its name into Serbia and Montenegro, the "Yugoslav Airlines"-title was deemed obsolete. The brandname JAT remained because it is widely known in airline business, an asset that has considerable value.
Email exchange with Aleksandar Obradovic
JP Airline Fleets 1987