19. 3. 2007 - CSA’s Latest New Airbus A320 Landed in Prague on Friday
Prague, 19 March 2007
Czech Airline’s (CSA) latest new Airbus A320 landed on friday, shortly after midnight, at Prague Airport. On Monday morning it was off to Madrid, on its first flight carrying CSA passengers. CSA acquired three new aircraft of the Airbus A320 family last year (3x A320); this year, the airline will take delivery of a total of five (3x A320 and 2x A319). In 2008, Airbus S.A.S. will supply Czech Airlines with the four remaining planes (4x A319) of the twelve obtained through the October 2004 tender.
CSA will deploy its new medium-haul aircraft primarily on the routes having the greatest passenger demand, such as the Prague-Moscow route, or the routes to Paris, Madrid, and Brussels. The passengers on Monday’s flight to Madrid were offered a champagne toast and a certificate from the flight. The new Airbuses will replace the existing Boeing 737 aircraft, which the airline will return to the lessor once their operative leasing expires, this April and May.
“The new generation aircraft bring a technological advance compared to the other types we operate,” said Tomáš Heczko, Vice-President for the Technical Division. An example is the new use of long-distance data transfers between the plane and the ground. One of the first applications to be used in the near future is an automatic transfer of the reports on the status of the aircraft’s systems to the ground technical centre. Hence, the maintenance section can address any non-standard behaviour in them before the plane lands. This head start is then reflected in fewer delays and a greater availability of the fleet.
The renewal of the airline’s mid-haul fleet was allowed to continue by the extension of the guarantee for the financing of the purchase of new Airbus A320/319 aircraft, which Czech Airlines obtained in early February from the European Export and Credit Agencies (ECAs). They made that decision on the basis of the presentation of the airline’s results last year, and on the basis of the approved 2007 business plan, drafted by the new management, which expects increased income and a further reduction of expenses.
CSA has had its new aircraft configured for two classes – Business and Economy. They offer 162 seats and are powered by engines produced by the CFM International S.A. consortium. The new generation planes offer passengers more comfortable travel in roomier and wider cabins, as well as larger overhead luggage storage. They also boast modern on-board communication technologies.
The aircraft have a range 1,200 km greater than CSA’s existing medium-haul fleet and, compared to the classic generation of Boeing 737 aircraft, they are approximately five per cent faster. The Airbus A320/319 aircraft are very efficient to operate, due to their lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, and greater performance on short runways. The A320/319s are also environmentally “cleaner” to operate, i.e., they comply with strict noise and emission norms and offer a significantly greater useful load.