Adria Airways has sold the last aircraft it owns, a Bombardier CRJ200, ahead of a planned expansion of its fleet and destination network. The eighteen-year old 48-seat jet has been sold for an undisclosed amount to Regional One, a purchaser, leaser and seller of aircraft. The Slovenian airline began phasing out its four CRJ200s in late 2013. Some of the aircraft have been sold, while some have been scrapped. Adria opted for the type in 1997 in order to replace its ageing DC-9s and Dash 7s. However, the aircraft now costs 10% more per available seat kilometre than seventy-seat jets in comparable age profiles. Volatile fuel prices add to the economic challenge because the 50-seater has higher relative fuel consumption compared to larger jets. Furthermore, fixed operating costs for the -200 series, such as dispatch, flight planning, navigation, and pilot costs must be distributed over fewer seats, making these smaller jets more expensive to fly. In addition, analysis has found that the operating costs for the CRJ200 rise disproportionately as the aircraft ages.
Next month, Adria will add a third Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft to its fleet, 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 will carry the registration S5-AAW. The fifteen-year old jet has the capacity to seat seventy passengers. Adria has already added two aircraft 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. Despite plans to wet-lease one of its CRJ900s to Croatia Airlines this winter, the deal has fallen through and the jet will instead remain a part of Adria's fleet.
|Adria's last CRJ200, photo by Miha Žnidar|
Adria Airways will maintain operations with twelve aircraft over the winter, including three Airbus A319s, three CRJ700s and six CRJ900s. One of the CRJ700s is based in the Polish city of Lodz. The airline will boost frequencies to a number of western European destinations this winter before a planned expansion to the east next summer season. Currently, the Slovenian carrier boasts the youngest fleet out of any national carrier in the former Yugoslavia with its average age amounting to nine years. This will further decrease with the retirement of the CRJ200. In 2017, the lease for one of its CRJ700 jets will expire, while leasing arrangements for six CRJ900s, which make up the bulk of Adria's fleet, will end in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Leases for three Airbus A319s run until 2021 and 2024.