Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

GERMAN REGIONAL carrier Eurowings is planning to expand its charter operation to account for around one-third of its turnover by early in the next century, based around its acquisition of Airbus Industrie A319s.

With its recent order for three A319-100s and three options (Flight International, 24-30 April), Germany's third-largest airline is for the first time buying aircraft substantially above the 100-seat class. The CFM56-5-powered aircraft will be flown in a single-class 142-seat configuration.

Eurowings chairman Reinhard Santner says: "With the new order, we are following the trend towards the regionalisation of tourist traffic by tour operators."

The company adds that increasing numbers of holiday passengers want to fly from regional airports, but it believes that there is overcapacity in the market for aircraft with more than 150 seats.The first two A319s are to be delivered to Eurowings early in 1997.

Up to now, the airline has served mainly European scheduled routes from Germany to 30 destinations. Turnover amounted to $280 million in 1995, when it handled 1.8 million passengers, 140,000 of them on charter operations. Its fleet includes ATR 42s and 72s and BAe 146s.

The first A319 was delivered to Swissair on 30 April. The handover took place at Daimler-Benz Aerospace Airbus' Hamburg site, where the A319 and A321 final-assembly lines are located.

Source: Flight International