09. 09. 2008 - Czech Airlines Continues to Invest into its Assets – In September, It Will Take Delivery of Another Airbus A319

Prague, 9 September 2008

At the end of September, Czech Airlines will accept from the manufacturer the last Airbus A319 from the tender for the supply of 12 new aircraft, which took place in 2004.  The Airline will thereby complete a major stage of investing into its own assets.  Since 2006, Czech Airlines has invested 10 billion crowns into new aircraft; in this year alone, it will be 3.5 billion crowns.  The upgrade of the Czech Airlines fleet is, however, not over.  The Airline will lease another two modern Airbus A319 aircraft in 2009 and 2010, and it has also already booked eight entirely new aircraft from the manufacturer, to be supplied between 2011 and 2012.

The last aircraft from the supply of the 12 new aircraft will arrive from the Airbus aircraft production centre in Hamburg, Germany, on 30 September.  In October, once the aircraft has undergone a standard pre-deployment check, passengers will first encounter the aircraft with the matriculation OK-NEP on the most sought-after routes, such as Brussels, Madrid, and Amsterdam.

This will be the last aircraft from the supply based on the medium-haul aircraft tender held in 2004.  By this means, Czech Airlines has obtained a total of 12 brand new aircraft – six Airbus A320s for 162 passengers, and six Airbus A319s for 135 passengers.  In addition, the Airline leased two Airbus A320s in 2005, as well as two charter specials Airbus A321s for 212 passengers.  Following the supply of the newest Airbus A319, the Czech Airlines medium-haul fleet will comprise 16 new-generation aircraft from the Airbus A320 family and 20 classic-generation Boeing 737s.

Czech Airlines continues to renew its medium-haul aircraft fleet.  Next year, the Airline should acquire one Airbus A319 through leasing, and another one of the same type a year later.  Furthermore, at the end of last year, Czech Airlines decided to exercise an advantageous option, flowing from the 2004 purchase agreement with Airbus, and booked eight Airbus A319 aircraft, to be supplied in 2011 - 2012.  The conditions for the acquisition of the eight new aircraft from the option are better than those on the original 12 aircraft, due to the development of the market situation.

Czech Airlines needs new aircraft,” said Czech Airlines’ President, Radomír Lašák.  “All the steps that we are taking at Czech Airlines, from realising savings and restructuring, to the sale of non-essential assets, are being taken with the aim of assuring the Airline a good starting position for further development.  An integral part of that is a competitive aircraft fleet,” added Radomír Lašák.

The continuation of the gradual replacement of the fleet’s present backbone type aircraft, the Boeing 737, with modern generation A320/319 aircraft, will lead to the unification of the Czech Airlines fleet, which will significantly reduce the costs of maintenance and operations itself.  Thanks to the planned replacement, the average age of medium-haul aircraft should reach approximately seven years in 2012.

Czech Airlines deploys Airbus A320s and A319s, i.e., its most modern aircraft, on its priority routes, such as the service between Prague and Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Milan, as well Odessa, Sofia, Riga, and Samara.  These aircraft also fly to the new destinations which Czech Airlines opened up in 2008, such as Tbilisi, Rostov-on-Don, and Damascus.

New Aircraft
Czech Airlines acquired the new aircraft in a two-class configuration – Business and Economy Classes.  They offer seats for 162 passengers.  They are powered by engines made by the consortium CFM International S.A.  The aircraft have a 1,200 km greater range than the present Czech Airlines medium-haul fleet aircraft, and compared to the classic-generation Boeing 737 aircraft, they are about five percent faster.  Airbus A320/319s are very economical to run, due to lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, and better performance on short runways.  In addition, Airbus A320/319s are also environmentally “cleaner”, i.e., they comply with tighter noise and emission norms and offer a far greater possible load.

Czech Airlines presently operates 51 aircraft.  The backbone of its medium-haul fleet are Boeing 737s, which are being gradually replaced with new Airbus A320s and A319s.  In addition to medium-haul aircraft, Czech Airlines also operates ATR42 and ATR72 aircraft on short-haul flights, and Airbus A310s on long-haul routes.

Daniela Hupáková
Ředitelka Komunikace
Tisková mluvčí Českých aerolinií