Czech Airlines orders A220 and A321XLR aircraft, making New York–Prague flights possible
Czech Airlines, a member of SkyTeam along with Delta Air Lines, plans to modernize 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 bigger, longer-range A321XLRs.
The aircraft will join Czech's existing fleet of six A319s and one A330-300. 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.
Czech will take delivery of the A321XLRs in 2023. With a range of up to 4,700 nautical miles, it could possibly bring back the carrier's Prague to New York nonstop. Czech previously operated the transatlantic route with one of its Airbus A310s before suspending the route in 2009. The PRG-JFK nonstop is 3,547 nautical miles, making the option well within the new jet's reach. Additionally, the XLR puts other U.S. cities and destinations in Africa and Asia within reach. (The airline's lone Airbus A330 would also have the range to serve the U.S., but is used to cover flights to Seoul, South Korea, plus occasional charters.)
We have reached out to Czech to see if the airline intends to relaunch its New York to Prague nonstop, though we 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 commercial aviation, 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 lie-flat configuration like JetBlue Mint, it could prove to be a very comfortable passenger experience. Delta's SkyMiles can be collected and spent on Czech, making a possible New York flight very interesting for Delta flyers.
Renderings courtesy of Airbus