Czech Airlines revives with lease of four A220 aircraft

Romain COUPY, CC BY-SA 4.0

Czech Airlines (CSA) seems set to experience a revival, just in time to mark its centenary this October. 

On June 1, 2023 it was announced that Czech Airlines is to lease four new Airbus A220-300 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation (ALC) in order to start rebuilding its network. 

The historical Czech carrier is recovering from a near-fatal experience, which left it a shadow of its former self.

Czech Airlines filed for bankruptcy in March 2021 and entered a restructuring process that saw it shed almost its entire fleet. The airline emerged from this process in June 2022 with only two aircraft remaining and a new ownership structure, with the parent company of Czech leisure airline Smartwings owning 30% of the restructured entity. 

With these four new aircraft, the airline will still be far from the size it was at during its peak, when it operated an extensive European network and even some long-haul flights to the United States. 

As of June 2023, Czech Airlines flies to only one scheduled destination, Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), from its home airport Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG), and of the two Airbus A320 in its fleet, one is on lease to Israeli airline Israir. 

The addition of four A220s will therefore expand significantly the capacity of the Czech flag carrier. The aircraft, which will be brand new fresh from the factory, will join Czech Airlines’ fleet from 2024. They will be able to carry 160 passengers in a two-class configuration. 

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