Latest Czech Airlines News
May 28, 2021
The growing ULCC has released its Winter 2021/22 schedule for sale with fares starting from as low as $19 Edmonton, Alberta, May 27, 2021 – Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), has expanded its schedule with flights to domestic destinations now on sale until March 2022. With 24 routes and over 650,000 seats on sale, Winter 2021/22 will be Flair’s biggest ever winter schedule. The winter schedule is part of Flair’s expansion of service to bring low fare air travel to more Canadians. The airline has 13 new aircraft on order joining the fleet in 2021 and 2022. “We understand how keen Canadians are to travel again and our winter schedule will provide affordable air travel options to help connect the many families and friends who have been apart for the past year,” says Garth Lund, Chief Commercial Officer. “With fares available from as low as $19 and new aircraft joining the fleet, Flair will continue its expansion into the winter season.” Bookings are now available for travel through March 26, 2022. It is the end of an era in Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines has officially decided that it will not restart its ‘Ohana by Hawaiian passenger or freighter turboprop ATR service. This service ran intra-island flights from Honolulu to Moloka’i and Lana’i. It is the end of the line for ‘Ohana turboprop services. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines ends ‘Ohana services ‘Ohana by Hawaiian was a turboprop service that ran small inter-island routes in Hawaii. Like how major US airlines contract with airlines to run regional flights, Hawaiian Airlines had a contract with a third party to run the operations. Before the suspension of ‘Ohana services, the flights most recently ran from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) to Molokai Airport (MKK) and Lanai Airport (LNY). The airline ran ATR 42-500 services for Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines has begun transporting the turboprop ATR fleet to the US mainland . There, the jets will be stored and eventually sold. Meanwhile, some of the ground support equipment is being lent to Mokulele Airlines, which continues to fly to Moloka’i and Lana’i from Honolulu. Hawaiian also marketed freighter flights using ATR cargo turboprops under the ‘Ohana banner. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram stated the following on the end of ‘Ohana services: “This is a heartbreaking decision, particularly for those of us who were involved in launching the business in 2014. We took a hard look at the service and could not identify a way to restart and sustainably operate.” Hawaiian is ferrying the aircraft to the mainland US. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines ‘Ohana by Hawaiian was operated by Empire Airlines. At its peak, Empire employed 82 pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance personnel in the state of Hawaii. Another 15 were based in Idaho. All 97 of these supported the ‘Ohana operation. ‘Ohana has not flown for a few months Hawaiian Airlines suspended freighter service using ATR 72 aircraft in November 2020. Passenger service with ATR 42 jets was halted on January 14th. Service between Honolulu and Kapalua Airport (JHM) ended at the start of the crisis in March 2020. As a result of the crisis, Hawaiian Airlines had to cut services after triggering a labor provision that led to the suspension of passenger and cargo flights under the ‘Ohana banner. After assessing the airline and program’s viability, Hawaiian decided it was time to end the services. Hawaiian Airlines will not offer other services to ‘Ohana destinations. Mokulele Airlines will continue to serve the destinations. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian reached this conclusion after conducting an in-depth assessment of the ‘Ohana operation and its long-term viability. One of the barriers to ‘Ohana’s return was the cost and obstacles in bringing the current fleet of aircraft back to service. According to Hawaiian, restarting flights would not be possible until the end of the year. Will Hawaiian bring these services back? Hawaiian cited the restrictions state and counties placed on intra-island flying as a reason it suspended flights. The incredible decline in travel demand for inter-island travel has led Hawaiian also to reduce its mainline services. However, Hawaii is gearing up to bring back inter-island travel. Just a few weeks ago, individuals fully vaccinated in the state have been authorized to travel inter-island without pre-travel testing or quarantines 15 days after their second dose of the vaccine or first dose of the one-shot options. Hawaiian Airlines prefers to fly the Boeing 717 on intra-island legs under the mainline operation. Photo: Getty Images In the coming months , Hawaii will likely also remove requirements for tourists from the mainland to travel to Hawaii and inter-island without needing to quarantine or engage in pre-travel testing. However, it is not clear exactly when that date will arrive. In Hawaii, the ‘Ohana destinations were not the massive tourist destinations that Maui or Honolulu are. As a result, Hawaiian Airlines is not necessarily missing out on a large slice of revenue. Perhaps with a next-generation turboprop or efficient regional jet, Hawaiian could bring back the services in the coming years. For now, however, Hawaiian Airlines has decided it was not worth the costs and overcoming the burdens of bringing the service back. Will you miss the turboprop ‘Ohana services? Let us know in the comments! Czech Airlines (CSA), the flag carrier of the Czech Republic that is in bankruptcy proceedings, has a new creditor on its insolvency register: Airbus. Airbus wants almost CZK 17 billion ($815,000,000) for four A220-300 and three A321XLR aircraft that Czech Airlines ordered in 2019. Czech Airlines was due to receive three A321XLRs. Photo: Airbus Airbus is seeking financial compensation of CZK 17 billion The flag carrier of the Czech Republic, Czech Airlines (CSA), could soon be facing a financial burden that it cannot possibly overcome. Airbus is seeking as much as CZK 17 billion ($815,000,000) from the airline as part of the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. The insolvency administrator, Michael Šefčík, is now assessing this claim, along with over 5,000 other ones. The $815,000,000 claim is for the unpaid order of seven aircraft that CSA made in 2019, but never ended up paying for. The seven aircraft are four A220-300s and three A321XLRs. The A220s should already have arrived at the end of 2020, but the ongoing pandemic came as such a severe blow to CSA that the airline declared bankruptcy last year. The Smartwings Group, the owner of Czech Airlines, has not received financial assistance from the Czech government, unlike the flag carriers of other countries worldwide. Czech Airlines also had four A220s on order. Photo: Airbus What is Airbus claiming for? In documents supplied as part of the bankruptcy proceedings for review by the insolvency administrator, and as seen by E15 , Airbus is claiming CZK 8.5 billion ($407,000,000) of unconditional receivables from Czech Airlines. This is exactly half of the total amount of $815,000,000 that Airbus is claiming for. The other half is contingent receivables, so funds that Airbus wants Czech Airlines to pay if it withdraws from the purchase agreements made in 2019. The amount includes interest payments and arrears fees. Given that it is certain that Czech Airlines will not be honoring the original purchase agreements since it has no financial means to do so, Airbus is really claiming for $815,000,000. This amount vastly outstrips the total value of CSA’s assets. Czech Airlines already had a CZK 1.8 billion ($85,000,000) debt when it was placed in bankruptcy proceedings. If Airbus’ claim is approved, even partially, then Czech Airlines is almost certainly not going to succeed in its attempt to reorganize itself, and will definitely be shut down. Czech Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world. Photo: Getty Images What order did CSA place in 2019 with Airbus? In October 2019, when it was still a profitable airline, Czech Airlines ordered four Airbus A220-300 aircraft and simultaneously converted its order for three A320neo aircraft to three A321XLRs. Petr Kudela, the Chairman of the Board of Czech Airlines, commented on the order at the time by saying: “The A220 and A321XLR fit well with our long-term business strategy in terms of network expansion. These aircraft will definitely give Czech Airlines a competitive advantage, and will increase the capacity of our regular flights.” But these seven aircraft never arrived. Czech Airlines, one of the world’s oldest airlines, may be destined for history books without ever having received them. Do you think Airbus will be successful? Let us know in the comments below. Over the next few months, Qantas plans to make the most out of the domestic regional market. Earlier this week the Australian airline announced plans for seven new routes across Australia. The flag carrier has been forced to act due to growing competition from domestic rivals such Rex Airlines and Virgin Australia who have also announced a host of new routes over the course of 2021. Qantas also appears to be utilising its new partnership with Alliance Airlines with five of the seven new routes planned to be operated by the carrier’s Embraer E190 aircraft on behalf of QantasLink, while the remaining two will be operated by Qantas’ Boeing 737-800 aircraft. According to its latest route announcement, Qantas appears to be focusing on underserved regions in Northern and Central Australia with cities such as Townsville and Adelaide, in addition to holiday destinations like Uluru (Ayers Rock), which are all set to benefit from these new routes. Interestingly, earlier in the year Virgin Australia also announced a host of new routes and frequency increases on routes serving Northern and Central Australia. However, due to a lack of a dedicated regional fleet, Virgin Australia was unable to expand in the smaller regional sectors, unlike Qantas and Rex. As part of the flag carrier’s route expansion announcement, the South Australian capital of Adelaide will become connected with Tropical Northern Queensland for the first time with routes from Adelaide to Townsville and Adelaide to Cairns set to begin in August 2021, initially 3 times weekly and 4 times weekly respectively. Qantas will also begin connecting Adelaide with Hobart daily and is set to commence in September 2021, a route which previously was only operated by budget airline, Jetstar. These new routes from Adelaide will be operated by Alliance Airlines using its two-class Embraer E190 aircraft. The far north Queensland city of Townsville is also set to benefit and will have a daily service to Melbourne and Sydney, marking the first time these destinations have been offered by a full-service carrier. These routes will also be operated by Alliance Airlines on behalf of QantasLink using an Embraer E190 and should commence by September this year. Qantas Domestic and International Chief Executive, Andrew David believes these planned routes will support the growing demand for domestic tourism. The CEO added that he believes the “new direct flights between key tourism destinations will be popular with travellers.” In addition to these partnership routes with Alliance Airlines, Qantas will also launch two new routes using its domestic Boeing 737-800 aircraft between Sydney and Uluru (Ayers Rock) five times a week beginning in March 2022 and from Perth to the Gold Coast three times a week beginning in September 2021. In other related news, Qantas stated that it plans to operate a select number of domestic routes using its widebody aircraft. On May 26th, the airline started using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on flights from Sydney to Perth up to nine times a week. The Australian airline also plans to use its Airbus A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft on more domestic flights across the country with routes from Sydney to Perth and Darwin, Melbourne to Perth and Brisbane to Perth and Darwin all set to benefit from the carrier’s Airbus A330s.