Czech Airlines is back in business
After nearly going out of business even without the pandemic, one of the oldest airlines worldwide is now back on track of recovery. After an ownership switch, that saw the Smartwings Group overtake the stake that Chinese investors previously had in the airline, the airline is now once again mapping out its future plans. Aside from partly paying back the debt the airline has with creditors like Lufthansa Technik, this also means a careful look at a fleet expansion.
Previously, the airline had plans to acquire A321XLRs as well as 4 A220-300s in order to replace its aging fleet as well as expand on a long-haul basis. During the wake of the pandemic, the airline had to cancel those jets with the final destiny of the order not being revealed. Now, it seems like that parts of that order are back on the table. Besides getting some aircraft from sister airline Smartwings, CSA is also expecting to lease (instead of acquiring) 4 A220s from Airbus, the same that was previously meant to be bought.
Lessor Azorra Aviation firms up their A220 order
Having placed an MoU for the A220 order last December, the Florida-based aircraft lessor has now officially a total of 22 A220 aircraft on order. The order includes 20 of the popular A220-300 variant, as well as 2 TwoTwenties, the business jet version of the A220. According to Scheerer, Airbus has seen growing demand for the A220-family from a wide range of airlines. Azorra sees it the same way, and believes, that the A220 is the new industry standard in its segment. Furthermore, the TwoTwenty will open up new possibilities in the private jet market, with the TwoTwenty offering up to 12 hours of flight time with 785ft^2 of cabin space while only taking as much space as a Gulfstream on the ground. This, combined with the ecological benefits of the A220 makes Azorra believe in their new addition to their portfolio.
JetBlue increases order to 100
Despite only having 8 A220s to date, the airline has been really happy with the customer experience and performance of the aircraft. The A220-300 offers more space (and hence comfort), newer flight and cabin technologies as well as more environmentally-friendly statistics than the E190 it is replacing. It also lowers the operating cost by approximately 30% compared to the E1. According to some sources, the A220 will also be used to replace some of the A320s due to better cost-efficiency on longer routes with relatively low demand. After exercising an option for 30 A220s, JetBlue has ordered a total of 100 A220s, up from the original 70. This makes them the biggest A220 customer worldwide, overtaking Breeze (80) and Delta (95).