23. 8. 2004 - Czech Airlines continues its fleet expansion – 2 more airplanes to come this year

Prague, 23 August 2004

At its meeting on August 19th, 2004, The Supervisory board of Czech Airlines approved the decision of the Board of Directors regarding the further expansion of cities served by Czech Airlines as well as an increase of its fleet size. One Boeing 737-400 and one ATR 42-400 will be added to the fleet as of November 1st, 2004. The CSA fleet will then have a total of 45 airplanes with an average year-on-year growth of 10 airplanes.

“The management of the airline intends to take full advantage of the rapidly growing air travel market as well as interest in CSA services in order to fulfil its strategic objective of a 55% share of the number of passengers transported at the Prague Airport”, said Jaroslav Tvrdík, President and Chairman of the CSA Board of Directors.

The Plan for CSA network development envisages among other things, the creation of an additional link to Scotland – Glasgow, a new flight to London/Gatwick or possibly a third connection to Brussels beginning with the winter schedule. Flights to Slovakia will also see significant changes; there will be additional flights to Sliač and a new morning service to Košice where a medium-haul airplane will initially operate due to expected increases in passenger interest.  CSA expects these new flights to substantially improve services for passengers travelling between Košice and the USA or Canada.

The recently approved plan for CSA fleet development forecasts fleet expansion by one medium-haul Boeing 737-400 and one ATR 42-400 airplane. CSA has enlarged its fleet by 8 airplanes – 5 Boeing 737’s (medium-haul), 2 ATR 42’s (short-haul) and 1 Airbus A310. The Airbus will be added to the fleet before the coming winter season.

The decision to increase the airline’s fleet size is a result of CSA’s long term strategy.  It is the key factor in fulfilling the goals of the company and supports the efforts of management to increase the long-term growth of revenues as well as the company’s market value. CSA’s Strategy focuses on the reduction of each business unit’s costs and on significant increases in labour productivity.  In practice this strategy will lead to a significant growth in the number of travellers while simultaneously maintaining or lowering existing costs through audits of business processes, changes in organisational structure and a reduction of staff.  In the first six months of 2004, year-on-year growth for the airline has been running at 27%, for a total of 1.95 million passengers.

The measures taken by CSA are also in reaction to the strong competitive environment they are operating in, marked not only by competition among carriers, but as well heightened competition among alliances. As of the winter schedule (1-Nov-2004), code-share cooperation with Lufthansa on flights between the Czech Republic and Germany will be terminated. While CSA is a SkyTeam alliance member, Lufthansa belongs to the Star Alliance.

“We’ll expand our cooperation with SkyTeam partners in flights to Germany so our customers will not notice any changes in either our standard of high quality service nor attractive selection of destinations”, says Zuzana Řezníčková, Vice-president for Marketing and Sales.

CSA will continue to offer an extensive selection of flights and connections to Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne, Dortmund, Stuttgart and Hanover.

Jitka Novotná
CSA Spokesperson