Czech Airlines confirms A320 fleet sale

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Czech Airlines has confirmed it is selling its Airbus A320 fleet as part of its cost-cutting programme.

“We are in the final stage of selection process for the purchaser of our A320s,” says the SkyTeam carrier.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that Czech Airlines operates two aircraft of the type and subleases another four to Smartwings and Travel Service.

The carrier’s A320s, built between 2006 and 2007, were part of a 12-aircraft order placed in 2004. That deal also included six A319s.

The new fleet replaced six older Boeing 737s under the Prague-based airline’s fleet modernisation and development programme.

The first three units were acquired through a 12-year financial lease, funded by a consortium comprising BNP Paribas and Natixis, in addition to Czech bank Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka.

In August 2008, a loan facility for €60.9 million ($94.4 million) was agreed with the European Investment Bank, bringing to €210 million the total committed by the institution to help finance the airline’s acquisition of 12 Airbus A320-family aircraft.

The total project cost for the 12 aircraft and associated equipment was estimated at €420 million.

Czech Airlines posted a Kc993 million ($48 million) operating loss for the year 2013 and a Kc922 million net loss marking a fifth consecutive year of losses for the airline.

Ascend Fleets shows that, aside the A319/320s, Czech Airlines also operates an Airbus A330-300 transferred last year from shareholder Korean Air, three ATR 42s, and five ATR 72s.