Czech Airlines orders A220 and A321XLR aircraft, makes way for possible New York–Prague relaunch

Oct 23, 2019

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Czech Airlines has plans to modernise its fleet and potentially expand its route network. On Wednesday, the carrier announced that it had ordered four Airbus A220-300 aircraft and upsized its previous order of three A320neos to the longer-range A321XLRs.

The aircraft will join Czech’s existing fleet of six A319s and one A330-300. Inside the aircraft, Czech will feature 149 seats on the A220 in an all-economy configuration. The A321XLR, which will fly longer routes, will be outfitted in a two-cabin configuration with a total of 195 seats.

“The A220 and A321XLR fit well with our long-term business strategy in terms of network expansion”, said Chairman of the Board Petr Kudela.

With the A321XLR, the upsized aircraft has the range to be able to bring back the carrier’s Prague to New York nonstop. Czech previously operated the transatlantic nonstop route with one of its Airbus A310s before suspending the route in 2009.

Czech will take delivery of the A321XLRs in 2023 with a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles. The PRG-JFK nonstop is 3,547 nautical miles, making the option well within the airline’s reach. Additionally, the XLR puts other U.S. cities and destinations in Africa and Asia within reach.

TPG reached out to Czech to see if the airline intends to relaunch its New York to Prague nonstop, though did not receive a response by time of publication.

If the carrier does decide to relaunch the route, it would fit one of the latest trends in the commercial aviation sector, as more airlines are turning to narrow-body aircraft for medium- to long-haul routes. It remains to be seen exactly which seats the carrier will opt for in the A321XLRs, but if it chooses a configuration like JetBlue Mint, it could prove to be a comfortable passenger experience.

Photos courtesy of Airbus.

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