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Adria seeks to acquire ex-Darwin Saab fleet

Adria and an undisclosed lessor are in talks to acquire former Swiss carrier Darwin Airline’s fleet of six Saab 2000s.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at the Routes Europe conference in Bilbao today, Adria's chief commercial officer Christian Schneider said that the two parties were "keen" to integrate the turboprops into the airline's fleet and were in contact with the administrators.

In July 2017, the Slovenian airline acquired a 99.1% stake in Darwin, including the 33.3% share held by Etihad Airways, but in November that year the Swiss airline sought protection from creditors under the country’s insolvency laws.

Darwin was subsequently liquidated in December 2017.

Schneider does not discuss the process in detail, but says Adria is approaching the discussions as a "new customer" rather than as a creditor of Darwin, adding that the talks are with the "manager running the entity right now".

Schneider states the intention is that the lessor in question, which he declines to identify, will acquire the turboprops, which Adria then intends to operate.

He says Adria sees an opportunity to operate the aircraft in Ljubljana, as well as in Switzerland and Germany.

Flight Fleets Analyzer data indicates that the Ljubljana-based carrier has a fleet of 13 aircraft in service and one on order. The in-service fleet features three Airbus A319s, two CRJ700s, seven CRJ900s and one Fokker 100.

Schneider says Adria will add a third leased Bombardier CRJ700 to its fleet in the coming weeks.

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