ČSA Czech Airlines is satisfied with 2018 so far. In the first half of the year, the airline increased passenger numbers to 1.174 million, a 22% increase. However, management not only wants to grow with its own routes but also emerge in the wet-lease business.
Eurowings will lease up to five A319s from ČSA next year. The agreement will run, depending on the aircraft, between 12 and 18 months. One base for the ČSA aircraft will be Stuttgart. Overall, ČSA currently owns nine Airbus A319s.
However, the A319s should gradually disappear from the fleet of the Czech Airlines starting from December 2018. Ján Tóth, a spokesman of the airline confirmed, “The plan is to phase out the Airbuses from the end of 2018. In time, the group will soon have sixty to seventy airplanes and fly to a hundred destinations in Europe.”
On regional routes, ČSA continues to fly the ATR, while A330s rented from Korean Air are used on scheduled services to South Korea.
“[The A330] contract is still running until the end of summer season 2020,” said Tóth.
Airbus A319s are going to be replaced by Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737MAX aircraft coming from new CSA owner Travel Service. The Czech charter company bought Czech Airlines a year ago.
ČSA and Travel Service (including subsidiary SmartWings) continue to operate as independent brands, and with which strategy, will be announced at a later stage.