4. 5. 2005 - Czech Airlines holds ceremony for its first new generation Airbus aircraft

Prague – May 4, 2005

Today, at Prague-Ruzyně Airport, Czech Airlines is celebrating the occasion of two new generation Airbus A320’s joining the CSA fleet.  The aircraft are to be named after the Czech towns of Strakonice and Rožnov pod Radhoštěm.  Another two new aircraft, ATR 42-500’s, are going to carry the names of Benešov and Přerov.  The ceremony was attended by representatives of the towns the airplanes are named after, by CSA management, and by other important guests, such as the finalists of the beauty contest – Miss Czech Republic 2005.

“CSA sees this ceremony as a mile-stone in its history.  The new generation Airbuses signal the beginning of a further phase of our fleet modernization.  The A320 brings a higher level of technology, more efficient operations and above all, more comfort for our passengers,” says Jaroslav Tvrdík, President of CSA and Chairman of the Board.

Together with CSA President Jaroslav Tvrdik, Vaclav Mikusek – the Mayor of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, and Pavel Vondrys – the Mayor of Strakonice played roles in launching the two Airbuses.  The role of “godfather” to the two airplanes was adopted by Martin Kačur – the General Director of the Czech Airport Authority.  Not only will the new planes bear the names of the towns in question but they will be painted with the towns’ coats of arms as well.

The new generation Airbuses mark a significant step for CSA.  This aircraft type, with a capacity for as many as 156 passengers, features a wider cabin and bigger storage space for passengers.  As far as technical characteristics are concerned – the aircraft has a longer range – 1 200 km more than the current middle-range fleet – and it is also faster by approximately 5 percent.  The A320 complies too with all current noise and air pollution norms.  The new A320 will fly on many regular routes, e.g., from Prague to London, Amsterdam, Rome, Moscow, Baku, Barcelona, Yerevan and Yekaterinburg.

ATR 42-500
The turbo-prop ATR 42-500’s will bear the names of the towns of Benešov (in Central Bohemia) and Přerov (in Moravia).  The airplanes were given their celebrity launch by the President of CSA together with the Mayors of the towns – Petr Kouba and Jindřich Valouch respectively.   These aircraft too have their own “godfathers” – Petr Materna – General Director of Air Traffic Control, and Jindřich Ploch – Director of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The ATR 42-500 represents the latest generation of this type of turbo-prop aircraft. Apart from a modern interior design, which is highlighted by blue leather seats, the aircraft feature better, more efficient operations, a longer range, and a higher cruising speed and less noise.  46-seaters of the ATR 42-500 type are used for short-haul flights, primarily on domestic routes and routes to Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia.

The CSA fleet will continue to grow this year – by 5 airplanes, 4 of which will be from the newly introduced A320 aircraft family.  The fifth aircraft delivered was a classic Boeing 737.  This airplane strengthened the CSA fleet in April, mainly for the purpose of ensuring a medium-range fleet reserve for the new EU order concerning passenger compensation.  Apart from expanding the fleet in general, CSA is continuing with its project of ATR-family modernization which was begun last year.  This plan will be completed when 4 brand new ATR 42-500’s will be in operation in the year 2005.
In the spring of 2006, CSA will receive the delivery of a new A320, which is the result of last year’s tender for new aircraft.

Some notes regarding newly introduced CSA aircraft...

The first CSA aircraft to have their own launching ceremony were Tupolev Tu-104A’s in the fifties.  CSA was among the first airlines in the world to enter into the jet age.  The planes were named after the Czechoslovak towns of Prague, Bratislava, Brno, Pilsen, Ostrava and České Budějovice.  These towns lend their names to the third generation CSA fleet as well.

The selection of CSA aircraft names was not, and is not, limited only to town names.  In the middle of the sixties an AF-14 aircraft was named after the then-popular children’s television show “Vlaštovka” and an ljušin Il-18 aircraft were named after the “Vysoké Tatry” mountains.  The only current exception to using the names of towns is the CSA turbo-prop ATR 42 with the name “Nebeský jezdec” (Sky Rider) which was given this name to commemorate those Czechoslovak pilots who fought with the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Jitka Novotná
CSA Spokeswoman