|Adria expands its fleet to twelve aircraft|
Adria Airways has confirmed it will lease an Airbus A319 aircraft this summer, making it the third jet of its type in the carrier’s fleet and the third plane to join the airline this season. The aircraft will enter the fleet in late May. Earlier this month, a high-density A320 joined Adria on a short-term basis (until late October), while a Bombardier CRJ700, nicknamed Lodz, also entered into service. As a result, the Slovenian carrier will operate a total of twelve aircraft this summer - one CRJ200 and CRJ700 each, six CRJ900s, three A319s and one A320. All of the jets with exception to the CRJ200 are on lease.
The airline’s fleet expansion is in line with statements made by Adria’s CEO, Mark Anžur, late last year when he announced plans for up to six aircraft to join the carrier by 2016. “In the short-term, Adria plans to wetlease several A320-family aircraft with a total of five or six jets to join the fleet by 2016. We are also considering leasing aircraft larger than the A320”, Mr. Anžur said. The CEO noted that Adria will need higher capacity aircraft in order to keep up with expected growth trends this year. The Slovenian carrier will inaugurate flights to Stockholm tomorrow and services to Berlin on Friday. Earlier this month the airline introduced new flights from Tirana to Paris and Brussels and from Lodz to Amsterdam, while seasonal services from Maribor to London Southend Airport will be launched in June.
The Slovenian carrier has recorded a strong start to the year, handling 203.633 passengers during the first quarter, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2014. Last year, Adria carried 1.113 million passengers and managed to emerge from the red. Its net profit topped 921.000 euros, with a net operating profit of three million euros. The Slovenian carrier plans to hit two million passengers per year and see a 220 million euro turnover by 2020, supported by an expanding fleet and several new bases across Europe. In January, three state-owned asset management institutions signed an agreement on the joint sale of a combined 91.58% stake in the flag carrier.