Category Archives: SmartWings

Smartwings and Czech Airlines file for protection against creditors as flights continue

Smartwings Group has made this announcement:

Members of Smartwings Group including Smartwings, a.s. (Smartwings) and České aerolinie, a.s. (Czech Airlines, CSA) today filed request to the Municipal Court in Prague to declare an extraordinary moratorium under the so-called Lex COVID legislation. This new law introduced the moratorium as a tool to alleviate the impact of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. The need to apply for the moratorium is solely driven by the impacts of the pandemic that has caused the largest crisis in aviation history. Both companies had been profitable before the pandemic broke out and they are expected to return to profitability once it subsides. The extraordinary moratorium will provide protection to both Smartwings and CSA at a time when their revenues have reduced significantly. Both companies will also obtain time to develop and negotiate a long-term sustainable financing solution that would benefit all concerned parties, i.e., creditors, employees, and passengers.

 

“Smartwings and CSA continue with their standard operations. Both companies operate all scheduled flights and have been resuming additional routes as the epidemiological situation and travel restrictions in the respective destinations allow. Smartwings Group, like other air carriers, has implemented restructuring measures to achieve operational efficiencies and savings. The extraordinarymoratorium is only a temporary measure that grants Smartwings and CSA the time they need to achieve their financial stability in cooperation with financing banks, aircraft lessors and other creditors. We believe that the steps we are taking today will help us to successfully overcome this unprecedented crisis,” says Jiří Šimáně, Board Chairman, Smartwings.

Due to the state of emergency declared by the Czech government and the adoption of special measures in response to the coronavirus breakout, Smartwings Group recorded a year-on-year decrease in air traffic volume of 95 percent between April and June 2020 and more than 80 percent in July and August. Since the onset of the epidemic, Smartwings and CSA have implemented a cost saving program and adopted every possible measure to mitigate the negative financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. Air carriers around the globe, including the largest players (such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, KLM, easyJet, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Emirates, American Airlines, etc.), have adopted similar measures. While many airlines have already benefited from the support from their national governments (e.g. in the form of capital injection or provision of state-guaranteed loans), Smartwings and CSA have not received any state-support to date.

A support program for large businesses active in the field of transportation and tourism was not implemented in the Czech Republic in the first months of the coronavirus crisis. The COVID Plus program aimed at such businesses that have been affected by the pandemic was launched by Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation (EGAP) only in the second half of July after notifying the European Commission. Smartwings and CSA are taking steps now to benefit from this program.

“The loan guarantee application process is a complicated and lengthy procedure requiring the agreement of multiple parties. This is one of the primary reasons why Smartwings Group has resorted to the extraordinary moratorium. We are exploring all potential financing options to ensure business continuity of both companies. Throughout the process, we will be cooperating closely with our finance providers and other stakeholders. In this context, we have also mandated an international advisor EY, which has extensive experience in the field of restructuring and finance raising as well as the necessary aviation industry expertise,” adds Jiří Šimáně.

Smartwings currently operates flights from Prague to 25 destinations, from Brno to 9 destinations and from Ostrava to 2 destinations. CSA operates flights to 12 destinations and is planning to resume flights to Barcelona, Madrid, Budapest, Goteborg, Bucharest, Brussels, Warsaw, and Milan in September. Other routes are expected to be resumed depending on the coronavirus situation in the respective countries and applicable travel restrictions.

Smartwings was a successful business before the coronavirus crisis, reporting earnings before tax in the amount of CZK 183 million last year despite problems caused by a global grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. CSA reported earnings before tax in the amount of CZK 79.2 million in 2019 and has been profitable since Smartwings assumed partial management responsibility. Smartwings Group reported revenues of CZK 28 billion in 2019. Smartwings and CSA transported more than 9.6 million passengers in total last year.

Travel Service takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

First Boeing 737-8 MAX 8, delivered on January 30, 2018

Boeing, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and Travel Service Airlines, the largest carrier in the Czech Republic, celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 737 MAX airplane.

Travel Service is leasing the airplane – a more fuel-efficient, quieter, and longer-range version of the 737 jet – from GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric.

The new type will be operated under the Smartwings brand.

Copyright Photo: SmartWings (smartwings.com) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 OK-SWA (msn 43555) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 940838.

Smartwings aircraft slide show:

 

Travel Service finalizes its order for five Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes

Travel Service, the Czech airline company that operates scheduled flights under the SmartWings brand, has finalized an order for five Boeing 737 8 MAX airplanes, valued at $550 million at current list prices.

Travel Service previously placed an order for three 737 MAXs at the Paris Air Show in 2013 and currently operates a mixed fleet that includes 32 Boeing 737s.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service.

Travel Service is the largest Czech airline company, operating regular flights under the SmartWings brand, charter flights and private flights in the Business Jet category. Travel Service planes are flying to more than 300 airports on 4 continents. Travel Service is present on market not only in the Czech Republic but also in Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, where the company has its subsidiary companies.

Image: Boeing.

AG Read the Real WAN

SmartWings to add three new routes from Bratislava in June, will also start Prague-London Gatwick flights

SmartWings (brand of Travel Service Airlines) (Prague) is adding three new holiday routes from Bratislava starting in June: Olbia (June 14), Palma de Mallorca (June 13) and Rhodes (June 9) per Airline Route.

Routes from Bratislava:

Smartwings 1.2015 Bratislava Route Map

Smartwings logo-1

In addition, the carrier will also start seasonal service to London (Gatwick) from Prague from April 2. The route will be operated four days a week with Boeing 737-800s.

Routes from Prague:

Smartwings PRG 1.2015 Route Map

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8S3 OK-TSA (msn 29250) taxies at Zurich.

Smartwings aircraft slide show:

 

 

Smart Wings also adds two Boeing 737-700s, revises its livery

Smart Wings (smartwings.com) (Prague), the low-fare brand of Travel Service Airlines (Prague), has taken delivery of its second Boeing 737-700 (pictured). Smart Wings accepted the first Boeing 737-700 (OK-SWX) on March 3 followed by the pictured 737-7Q8 OK-SWW (msn 28254) on June 1 with a third copy due shortly. The new type also ushered in this revised livery. Smart Wings also operates two Boeing 737-800s as previously reported.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez.

Hot New Photos:

Smart Wings paints the first Boeing 737-800

Smart Wings (smartwings.com) (Prague), the low-fare brand of Travel Service Airlines (Prague), has painted the first Boeing 737-800 in their colors. The pictured Boeing 737-8K5 OK-TVP (msn 32907), formerly in Travel Service livery, was leased from Aircastle on April 19, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle. OK-TVP is pictured at Dublin on May 19, 2012 operating a rugby charter to London (Luton) with Leinster fans on board for the Heineken European Cup Final which was played at Twickenham.

Travel Service Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Smart Wings/Travel Service Prague Route Map:

Click on the map to expand.