Czech Airlines has officially inaugurated five new Airbus A320/319 aircraft, which have been added to its fleet over the course of the current year. The planes, which provide regular service to passengers flying the airline’s highest traffic European routes - such as to Moscow, Paris, Madrid and London - have been a major upgrade to the airline’s medium-haul fleet.
The five new planes will bear the names of the following Czech mountain ranges: Krkono?e, Beskydy, Jesen’ky, Vysočina and ?umava. Besides representatives from Czech Airlines, the inauguration ceremony will also be attended by the General Director of the Prague Airport, Miroslav Dvořák, and children from the Nové Stra?ec’ orphanage, who participate in the airline’s charity project “Under the Wings of Czech Airlines”. For this project, the company contributes to the teaching of English in Czech orphanages. The official representative of the project is the well-known Czech model Tereza Maxová.
“We want to offer our passengers the most comfortable, fastest, safest and the most environmentally friendly travel experience possible. The aircraft in the Airbus A320 family meet all of these requirements,” said Czech Airlines President, Radom’r La?ák.
These new additions to the airline’s fleet were acquired under the airline’s October 2004 tender for the acquisition of medium-haul, new generation aircraft. The first three aircraft acquired as part of the tender were delivered to Czech Airlines in 2006. Five more were delivered this year and the last four are scheduled for delivery in 2008. Czech Airlines has already announced its intention to take advantage of its option to acquire an additional eight A319 aircraft at special prices with deliveries scheduled for 2011 - 2012.
Czech Airlines has ordered its new airplanes in a two-class configuration - Business and Economy. The A320 aircraft seat 162 passengers and the smaller A319 seat 135 passengers. These new generation airplanes offer a higher level of passenger comfort due to the more spacious and wider design of their passenger cabins and the additional overhead space for luggage. The planes will also be equipped with the latest onboard communications technologies, including equipment providing real-time flight information, and a state-of-the-art audiovisual system with overhead LCD screens for passengers.
All of the new aircraft are powered by engines manufactured by the CFM International S.A. consortium. The new airplanes have a 1,200 km greater range than Czech Airlines’ existing medium-haul fleet and they can fly roughly five percent faster than the older generation Boeing 737 aircraft that they are replacing. The Airbus A320/319 also comes with lower operating costs due to it better fuel economy, reduced maintenance costs and better performance on short runways. The A320/319 is also environmentally friendlier - meeting stricter noise and emission standards - than the planes it replaces. From a commercial perspective, these planes have a substantially greater carrying capacity.
The five new planes from Airbus that were added this year to the airline’s fleet replace previously used Boeing 737 aircraft, which the company returned to the lessor after the end of their operating leases in April and May of this year. The average age of the aircraft in the medium-haul fleet of Czech Airlines has once again been shortened to the current 8.2 years. This makes the Czech Airlines’ medium-haul fleet one of the youngest of any fleet operated by traditional air carriers.