Adria Airways will add a third Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft to its fleet within the next two months, becoming the third jet to join the airline this year. The carrier has arranged a lease of the aircraft which was formerly operated by the Air France subsidiary HOP!. It has been stored at Ljubljana’s Jože Pučnik Airport since August. The fifteen-year old aircraft, registered F-GRZC, has the capacity to seat seventy passengers and will likely be used as a replacement for the carrier’s CRJ200, which has been earmarked for retirement. Adria has already added two jets to its fleet this year, including a CRJ700 and a CRJ900. At the same time, it has wet-leased some its aircraft to other carriers during the summer season.
Adria first began operating the CRJ700 aircraft last year with the lease of a former Lufthansa CityLine jet. Nicknamed Lodz, it is now based in the Polish city. A second CRJ700, also previously operated by Lufthansa, joined the airline in January. The lease agreement for one of the aircraft expires next year, but can be renewed. With the addition of a third CRJ700, Adria will boast a fleet of thirteen aircraft, however, it is expected to lease out at least one jet to another carrier during the upcoming winter season. The Slovenian airline currently owns only one aircraft, the outgoing CRJ200, with the rest on lease.
4K Invest, which took ownership of Adria earlier this year, has said it intends on growing the airline’s Bombardier fleet. Earlier this month, the management outlined plans for the carrier to increase scheduled services by expanding its network, which will include the development of secondary airports, as well as growth in charter traffic and ad hoc charter services. Furthermore, the airline intends on putting a greater focus on Ljubljana as a transfer hub for passengers from the Balkans and eastern Europe towards the continent's main airports in the west. Additional emphasis will be put on management costs and cost reduction, including cuts to unnecessary passenger services and aircraft handling services. The carrier’s maintenance provider and former subsidiary, Adria Airways Tehnika, serves as the regional Bombardier maintenance centre.