1. 3. 2005 - CSA plans to increase the number of its transported passengers by a million this year
Prague, 1 March 2005
In 2005, Czech Airlines plans to continue its period of growth. One of the objectives for this year is to increase the number of transported CSA passengers to 5.4 million. In operations regularity, CSA wishes to continue the very positive results shown in 2004 and move up to 7th place among members of the AEA (Association of European Airlines).
The company plans to use, according to the IATA rating, one of the fastest growing markets in the world and continue its ambitious expansion programme. Fleet expansion is among the most important things planned. This year, CSA will acquire five new airplanes: two new generation Airbus A320’s for regular services, two new generation Airbus A321’s for charter flights and one Boeing 737-500. Within the first six months of the year, CSA will launch four new flights: to Sarajevo, Minsk, Skopje and Riga-Rome service, and will add flights to 30 already-flown routes. Further important projects are: the building of a multi-purpose maintenance centre, the further development of the CSA training centre and improvements to in-flight services.
“This year, we wish to match our success of last year, validate our position on the market and continue to build on our position as a leader among the airlines of Central and Eastern Europe,” said Jaroslav Tvrdík, CSA President and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
The setting up of a multi-purpose maintenance centre
This year, CSA will initiate preparations for a multi-purpose maintenance centre to provide maintenance services for ATR, Boeing, and Airbus aircraft. The complex will fully satisfy the highest demands regarding maintenance technology for both current and future generations of passenger aircraft.
Hangar G, the home of the new maintenance centre, will significantly expand the current CSA technical facilities at Prague Ruzyně Airport. It will provide high-tech maintenance services not only for CSA, but also for several important European airlines, such as Air Berlin, Deutsche Lufthansa, Transavia Airlines, Fischer Air, and others.
The total volume of investment in the centre and the adjacent parking areas will reach 1.35 billion Czech crowns.
Tomáš Heczko, Vice-president, Technical, CSA says: “The new multi-purpose maintenance centre will be a unique facility of its kind in the new EU countries.“ The construction itself should be completed in 2006-2007, and CSA plans to open the centre in the first half of 2008.
The new maintenance centre will offer employment opportunities to about 400 highly qualified aircraft engineers and other specialized professions.
The project has applied for state support from the Programme for Technical Centres and Strategic Centres in cooperation with CzechInvest and the Czech Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Construction of a top-of-the-line training centre
In connection with CSA’s fleet development and the increased need for air crew training, CSA plans to significantly expand its training centre this year. This expansion will especially include two new simulators – a Full Flight Simulator and a Flight Training Device for Airbus and ATR airplanes, and will significantly increase CSA’s amount of simulator hours. Available simulator hours will also be offered to other airlines for their pilot training.
One of the important elements of development of the new training centre will be a flight simulator for new generation Airbus A320 aircraft (worth 250 million crowns), which CSA will acquire free of charge next year, as a part of its contract with Airbus and the delivery of its new airplanes.
Peter Jusko, the CSA Vice-president for Flight Operations says: “Acquiring the simulator will double the current capacity from 6 600 to 13 200 simulator hours per year, and out of this we will be able to sell up to 6 000 hours annually for pilot training for other airlines.“
Currently, CSA Catering is going through an extensive restructuring period which will bring several improvements and innovations. One of the important changes is the development of its in-flight catering services. The modernized CSA Catering will be able to dispatch up to 18 000 meals per day. CSA’s ambition is to acquire an 80% share on the airline catering market in Prague. Among the innovations: cocktails will be served in Business Class and a new gastronomic programme will be introduced in Economy Class. In addition to the improvement of the current selection of refreshments, a complete selection of dietary food will be available.
In-flight entertainment will also undergo a few changes. New programmes for children will be made, and there will be a wider selection of periodicals and movies.
Meal production and new logistics will allow CSA to meet not only the demand of potential airline clients, but also of the non-airline transport market. The CSA Catering restructuring period is also aimed at compliance with all EU requirements regarding safety and hygiene in the area of meal production and distribution in international transport.