Czech Airlines is continuing with its renewal of its aircraft fleet in accordance with its development strategy. As part of this process, the Czech Airlines fleet is undergoing optimisation with the aim of strengthening the position of Czech Airlines as a continental European carrier.
Czech Airlines will therefore be acquiring two new Airbus A319s, which it will use mainly for European routes. The first will be incorporated into the fleet in 2009 and the second in 2010. This means that in 2010 the medium-haul fleet will be composed of 18 modern Airbus A320s and 17 Boeing 737s. The new aircraft will be used on regular routes. The first aircraft will be replacing one of the oldest Boeings in the fleet, which will be returned to its owner. The second new aircraft will replace one of the Airbus A320s, which will be incorporated into the Czech Airlines charter fleet. This means that tourists on medium-haul routes travelling to their holidays will also be able to enjoy the advantages of modern Airbus aircraft.
The two Airbus A319s, each with a capacity of 135 passengers, will be acquired by Czech Airlines through operational leasing. Thanks to the further rejuvenation of the fleet, passengers on medium-haul routes can look forward to a more-spacious cabin and more luggage space above the seats. Another new feature will be modern on-board entertainment systems that will provide, among other things, up-to-date flight information. Operation of the new generation aircraft is also more economical and ecological when compared with the old generation.
Czech Airlines has been adding Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet since 2005 through tenders for the replacement of medium-haul aircraft. At present there are eight Airbus A320s, five A319s and two Airbus A321 charter specials in the fleet. This September, the company will be taking delivery of the last new Airbus A319 from a tender for the delivery of 12 new aircraft of this type. Last year, Czech Airlines took the decision to use an advantageous option in the contract of sale it signed with Airbus in 2005 and has reserved eight Airbus A319s with delivery dates in 2011 and 2012.
This gradual replacement of the Boeing 737s that currently form the backbone of the fleet with more modern, new-generation A320/319s, will lead to the unification of the Czech Airlines fleet, and will significantly reduce both the costs for maintenance and also for operations. Thanks to the planned renewals, the average age of our medium-haul aircraft should be under eight years by 2012.
As part of the fleet modernisation and in view of the restrictions on operations to long-haul destinations in Canada, Czech Airlines has also put two of its Airbus A310s up for sale. The aircraft are 17 years old. The first should be withdrawn from the fleet this year, and the second in mid-2009. The sale of these older aircraft was approved by the company’s supervisory board at its session today.
The reduction in the number of Airbus A310s in the fleet will have no impact on the current long-haul fleet operations model. Czech Airlines will use the remaining third aircraft on its regular daily route to New York, while in the winter the fourth aircraft will be used for charter flights to exotic long-haul destinations and, during the peak summer season, regular flights to Canada and, potentially, Florida.
Czech Airlines currently operates 51 aircraft. The backbone of the fleet is currently composed of Boeing 737 medium-haul aircraft, which however are being gradually replaced by new Airbus A320s and A319s. Apart from medium-haul aircraft, Czech Airlines operates ATR42s and ATR72s on short-haul routes and Airbus A310s on long-haul routes.