18. 05. 2009 - Czech Airlines to Introduce an Airplane in the SkyTeam Alliance Livery
Prague, 18 May 2009
Czech Airlines will introduce an aircraft in the colours of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. The silver ATR 42 with dark blue panes on the tail and the alliance’s logo on the rear section of the fuselage is decorated with the wave pattern that forms SkyTeam’s symbol. At the front of the aircraft is the name of the alliance and logo of the Airline, i.e., Czech Airlines.
Nine of the main airlines associated in the alliance have undertaken that at least one aircraft from each of their fleets would bear the alliance’s livery. At this point, for example, the fleets of Delta Air Lines and Aeroméxico already include an airplane in the SkyTeam livery. Both carriers chose a Boeing 767. Czech Airlines has decided to “dress” its smallest and most efficient aircraft, an ATR 42. Another six airlines will present their aircraft in the SkyTeam livery over the next five months.
Passengers will first encounter the Czech Airlines aircraft with the matriculation OK-JFL in SkyTeam livery on 20 May, on the flight to Munich, which is one of the two main airports of the competing STAR Alliance. Czech Airlines deploys this type of aircraft on short-haul routes, primarily on flights to neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, France, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.
Czech Airlines has operated ATR aircraft since 1992. Presently, the fleet has a total of 12 turbo-propeller ATRs, of which four are from the 72 line, which accommodate 64 passengers. The remaining eight are from the 42 line and provide carriage for 46 passengers.
Number of ATR Aircraft in the Czech Airlines Fleet, 1992-2009
Compared to jet aircraft of a comparable size, turbo-propeller aircraft have lower operating costs, primarily due to lower fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. They are also more reliable in operation and have lower requirements as to airport equipment and the quality of landing runways. Last year, when the entire aviation sector was plagued by the record-high prices of fuel, Czech Airlines therefore intensified the use of its most fuel-efficient aircraft, the ATRs.
In terms of the cruising speed, turbo-propeller aircraft are slower than jet aircraft; nevertheless, on short-haul flights, on which ATR aircraft are normally deployed, the difference compared to jet aircraft, of several minutes, is erased by the less demanding and therefore faster ground handling.
Czech Airlines expects that due to the advantageous geo-political situation of the Czech Republic and its accession to the European Union, the proportion of short, so-called feeder lines, which bring passengers to Prague Airport for transferring to connecting flights, will continue to grow in the future. There will also be more short regional lines with a strong local clientele. The efficient turbo-propeller aircraft will consequently continue to be an irreplaceable member of the Czech Airlines fleet.
Czech Airlines has been a member of the SkyTeam Alliance since 2001. The eleven members of the alliance carry 462 million passengers every year, on 16,700 scheduled flights per week, to 905 destinations in 169 countries around the world. In addition to this extensive offering, Czech Airlines passengers can, thanks to the airline’s membership in the alliance, take advantage of a number of other benefits, such as the joint crediting of miles in frequent flyer programmes, 24-hour guaranteed booking, only one check-in on transfers, and last, but not least, a guarantee of the same quality of service with all SkyTeam airlines.
Czech Airlines is gradually converting its fleet into its new corporate livery. The first aircraft from the Czech Airlines fleet of 51 arrived painted with the new logo and in the new corporate livery – white, red, and grey – in October 2007. By now, 22 aircraft bear the new colours. The re-painting of an aircraft in SkyTeam livery does not entail any special financial burden for the Airline. An airplane must be repainted approximately every five years, and an aircraft that had been scheduled for a paint job was chosen for the new SkyTeam livery. The SkyTeam livery will constitute an exception in the Czech Airlines fleet, as it will be borne by only one aircraft. In the past, colours other than the traditional ones were borne, for example, by a Boeing 737, from 2003 to 2007, when it flew in a special livery with a depiction of the airline’s very first aircraft, commemorating Czech Airlines’ 80th anniversary.
Czech Airlines Communications