Adria Airways has leased a Bombardier CRJ900ER aircraft, making it the seventh jet of its type in the carrier’s fleet and the second plane to join the airline this year. The aircraft, registered ES-ACB (pictured above), was previously operated by the now defunct Estonian Air and has been stored in Tallinn since November. It operated its first revenue service on Adria's behalf yesterday, between Ljubljana and Vienna. The 88-seat aircraft is five years old and will be leased by the carrier throughout the summer season. Its addition is in line with previous statements made by Adria's new owners, 4K Invest, that the fleet would be expanded with the addition of "several Bombardier jets" during the year. In January, the Slovenian carrier added a second CRJ700 to its fleet.
Despite Adria's plans to retire its aging CRJ200 aircraft during the first quarter of the year, the jet is now expected to remain with the carrier until further notice and has been scheduled on several routes this summer. The airline's former CEO, Mark Anžur, recently said that Adria was looking to add two planes during the year, indicating that one would be a Bombardier and the other an Airbus aircraft. However, he added that the airline needed to strike a balance between demand for more seats in the summer and weak winter demand. With the latest addition of the CRJ900, the Slovenian carrier plans to operate a total of twelve aircraft this summer - one CRJ200, two CRJ700 s, six CRJ900s and three Airbus A319s. An additional CRJ900 is being leased out through much of the season.
Last month, Adria concluded a short-term wet lease of one its CRJ900s to Air Serbia. The jet will operate for the Serbian carrier with Adria crew from June to September. The aircraft in question, registered S5-AAV, is just three years old and is currently being leased to CityJet, which is using it to operate flights on SAS Scandinavian Airlines' behalf. Adria Airways boasts the youngest fleet of any national carrier in the former Yugoslavia, with its average age at 9.3 years old. The airline recently announced the suspension of three routes and the cancellation of its planned new service between Ljubljana and Cologne. However, it will launch two new services from Poland, from Lodz and Olsztyn respectively.
Photo credit: Miha Žnidar