Big fleet cut for AdriaAdria Airways will be phasing out two Airbus A319s and one A320 as the Slovenian national carrier announces its fleet restructuring programme. The aircraft will leave the Adria flock by the start of the 2012/2013 winter season in another attempt to cut costs. “Our fleet is our biggest challenge. It is not ideal for our market”, Adria CEO, Klemen Boštjačič said yesterday. The CEO emphasised that the carrier’s Bombarider CRJ200 jets are also too costly to operate even with a 100% load factor.
With the three jets set to leave, Adria will no longer have Airbus aircraft in its fleet. In November last year, Adria attempted to sell its A320 to the Iranian airline Yas Air but received a stern warning from the United States to shelve such plans, leaked diplomatic cables show. Over the summer, Adria has been loaning the jet to Croatia Airlines. Following the Airbus phase out, Adria will have four CRJ900s and six CRJ200s at its disposal. Boštjačič says Adria should have the same aircraft model across its fleet, a proven cost cutting measure employed by low cost airlines.
Despite promises that Adria will be put up for sale this July, so far there has been no progress. Yesterday, Boštjačič ruled out a possible merger with Croatia Airlines but says the carrier is looking to improve commercial cooperation with Jat Airways and Montenegro Airlines. Slovenia has been hit by economic problems recently with talk of a possible European Union bailout for the country. The economic climate hasn’t aided the airline in its year of restructuring. It is expected that Adria will take out a nine million euro loan in September to cover its debt.