Smartwings receives new 737 MAX, five more aircraft on the way
The airline expects a one-tenth increase in passenger numbers this season.
Smartwings has added a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 to its fleet for the first time in more than four years. The aircraft arrived at Prague Airport this morning after a 10-hour flight from Seattle. For Smartwings, this is the eighth aircraft of this type in its fleet. The airline has leased it from Irish owner Wilmington Trust SP Services. The aircraft, registered as OK-SWH, is designed to carry 189 passengers.
Smartwings will take delivery of five additional 737 MAX aircraft over the next 12 months. One aircraft will be delivered in August, and four more in the first half of 2024 (January, February, April). Earlier this year, the airline had said it would acquire only three new aircraft.
The newest addition to the Smartwings fleet will make its first commercial passenger flight on Saturday morning, when it is scheduled to fly from Prague to Heraklion in Greece.
Smartwings has ordered a total of 39 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing. After MAX 8s were grounded following two tragic accidents, Smartwings decided to reduce its order and filed a lawsuit with Boeing. The airline had originally planned to convert its entire fleet to the 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Ten aircraft leased for summer
Smartwings will operate a fleet of 53 aircraft this summer season. Due to high demand and an anticipated busy 2023 summer season, Smartwings will add an additional 10 aircraft to its existing fleet of 43. These will be leased from foreign airlines under ACMI agreements. In turn, Smartwings leases part of its fleet for the summer to other airlines such as TUIfly or Jet2.com.
Last year, nearly 3 million passengers used Smartwings Group’s services during the busiest summer months from June to August. For the 2023 season, the company expects passenger numbers to rise by ten percent.
Smartwings will offer flights to 70 destinations from Czech airports during the summer season. Scheduled and charter flights will be offered from Prague, Brno (25 destinations), Ostrava (16 destinations), Pardubice (12 destinations), Karlovy Vary (3 destinations), and České Budějovice (3 destinations).
During the summer season, Smartwings Group will also operate flights from Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, and its aircraft will serve a total of 148 destinations.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková