|Adria to add “five or six jets” by 2016|
The CEO of Adria Airways, Mark Anžur, has announced plans to expand the carrier’s fleet in the coming year by “five or six jets” while continuing to phase out its gas guzzling Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft. Speaking at the General Assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Barcelona this week, Mr. Anžur said Adria will record a 10% increase in passenger numbers this year, with additional aircraft needed in order to accommodate the growth. Adria currently operates a fleet of eleven aircraft with a pair of Airbus A319s, a single A320, six Bombardier CRJ900s and two CRJ200s. The CEO notes Adria will need higher capacity aircraft in order to keep up with expected growth trends next year.
In the short-term, Adria plans to wet lease several A320-family aircraft in 2015 while a total of five or six jets will join the fleet by 2016. Mr. Anžur says Adria is also considering leasing aircraft larger than the A320. Meanwhile, by March next year, the Slovenian carrier will phase out its two remaining CRJ200s from scheduled service. The airline will scrap one of the jets while the other will be used for charter flights. Ealier, Adria’s CEO said the carrier’s fleet will consist of sixteen CRJs and Airbuses by 2020. Adria has been a long time Bombardier customer, ordering its first aircraft from the Canadian plane manufacturer back in 1997. Adria Tehnika, which was once a subsidiary of the Slovenian carrier but is now an independent company, serves as the regional Bombardier maintenance centre.
Earlier this year, Adria purchased and then sold two new CRJ900s through a sale and leaseback arrangement. “Our Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets are providing excellent cost efficiency, network flexibility and have been very well received by our passengers”, Mr, Anžur said. As the carrier’s fleet grows so too will its network. Adria plans to hit two million passengers and see a 220 million euro turnover by 2020, supported by an expanding fleet and several new bases across Europe. Mr. Anžur is confident the airline will reach its goal within six years by reducing frequencies, increasing capacity and serving “unpopular routes”.