CSA, the flag carrier of the Czech Republic, has joined the small club of centenary airlines (the fifth airline to do so after KLM, Avianca, Qantas and Aeroflot)
Founded on October 6, 1923, as ČSA (Československé Státní Aerolinie), the national airline of the newly founded Czechoslovak state, operated until 1939, when the country was taken over by Nazi Germany, and was not restablished until 1948, already under the post-War Communist regime.
The airline survived through the transition to market economy and the break-up of Czechoslovakia, but its 100th anniversary arrives at a troubled time, with successive changes in ownership, an insolvency and a downsizing of operations so harsh that nearly put the airline out of existence.
In March 2021, after a period of financial difficulties accentuated by the Covid pandemic, CSA initiated bankruptcy proceedings. Although the continuity of the airline was in serious doubt on several occasions before and during the restructuring period, CSA managed to emerge from bankruptcy in June 2022, alas as a shell of its former self.
While in the early 2000s CSA had operated a fleet of more than 40 aircraft and a network covering dozens of destinations across Europe and even North America and Asia, as of October 2023 its fleet consists of only two Airbus A320 aircraft serving three destinations (Paris, Madrid and Erevan) out of Prague-Ruzyně international airport (PRG).
In June 2023, CSA announced its first fleet expansion in years, with the lease of four Airbus A220-300 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation.