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Smartwings
IATA ICAO Callsign
QS[1] TVS SKYTRAVEL
Founded1997[2]
Operating basesVáclav Havel Airport Prague
Subsidiaries
Fleet size36 (2024)
Destinations46[3]
HeadquartersPrague, Czech Republic
Key people
  • Jiří Šimáně
  • Roman Vik
  • Jiří Jurán
Employees2,438[2]
Websitewww.smartwings.com

Smartwings, a.s. (formerly Travel Service, a.s.)[2] is a Czech airline with its head office on the property of Václav Havel Airport Prague in Ruzyně, 6th district, Prague.[4] It is the biggest airline in the Czech Republic, and it operates scheduled and chartered flights, mainly to leisure destinations. The airline also wet and dry leases its aircraft to other airlines. It also owns 30% of Czech Airlines and has subsidiaries in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

History

Former Travel Service Boeing 737-800 in 2013

Smartwings was founded in 1997 originally under the name Travel Service and focused on operating charter flights mainly for Czech tour operators. Its first airplane was a Tupolev Tu-154M. In the year 2000 Travel Service received its first Boeing 737-400. Since then the airline has been operating a mainly Boeing fleet.

In 2004, Travel Service launched its low-cost brand Smartwings. Travel Service leased two Boeing 737-500s from Lufthansa which were primary intended for Smartwings flights. Both aircraft were painted in the new Smartwings livery. Former Czech president Václav Klaus attended the opening ceremony, which was held on May 1, 2004.[5]

In 2007, the company carried 2.2 million passengers, and a year later about 2.3 million passengers. In 2014, it carried 4.3 million passengers, about 1.2 of them on regular flights under the brand name Smartwings.[6]

On 18 September 2007, the Icelandair Group acquired 50% stake in the carrier, and purchased further shares to bring its holding up to 80% by April 2008. In December 2008 it reduced its holding to 66% by selling shares to the other shareholders, Unimex.[7][8] In 2009 their stake was further diluted to 50.1% through a new share issue; they also sold a portion of their stake to fellow owners, reducing their holding to 30%[9][10] In 2009 Icelandair spun its 30% stake in Travel Service into a new company, which was taken over by Icelandair's creditors. Chinese investment group CEFC China Energy now holds a 49.9% stake in Travel Service.[11]

Travel Service owned 98 percent of Czech Airlines; it bought 64% from Prisko and Korean Air in 2017. Before, it owned 34%, bought in 2014. After Czech Airlines went through business restructuring Smartwings retained 30% of the company.[12]

In 2013, Travel Service has cancelled their order for Boeing 787 Dreamliner and ordered Boeing 737 Max 8.

In October 2017 it was announced that Travel Service planned to transfer its branding from an airline to a holding company, and would move all of its operations under the Smartwings brand.[13] In 2018, it was announced that the Travel Service livery would be replaced by the Smartwings livery.[14] Also in that year, deliveries of the new Boeing 737 MAX began.

Travel Service was renamed to Smartwings, the name of its former low-cost subsidiary, in December 2018.[15]

In March 2019, Smartwings announced plans to create a German subsidiary by late 2019, and to transition its Czech Airlines subsidiary to an all Boeing 737 fleet.[16] However, as of 2022 these plans have not materialized, and Czech Airlines maintains its all-Airbus fleet.[17]

In February 2021, Smartwings announced the return of their stored Boeing 737 MAX to service by the end of the month, the first European airline to do so.[18]

Business figures

Smartwings head office in Prague
Selected financial results of Smartwings, a.s.[19]
Million CZK 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Operating revenues 15,010 13,992 15,558 16,902 29,864
Operating profit 86 149 274 488 71 223 303
Net profit after tax 47 158 60 192 193 (500) 81
Assets 1,998 2,798 2,993 3,728 4,458 4,342 5,964
Equity 575 735 777 982 1,981 1,443 1,552
Liabilities 593 1,315 1,320 1,470 2,384 2,771 4,174

Fleet

Current fleet

Smartwings Boeing 737-800
Smartwings Boeing 737 MAX 8

As of March 2024, the Smartwings fleet consists of the following aircraft:[20]

Smartwings fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-700 2 148 148
Boeing 737-800 23 18 150 168 3 aircraft are leased to Sunwing
189 189
Boeing 737-900ER 2 212 212
Boeing 737 MAX 8 10 3[21] 189 189[21]
Total 36 3

Business jet fleet

Smartwings Cessna Citation Sovereign

Smartwings also operates business jets that are available for private air charter.[22] As of January 2017 the business jet fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Smartwings business jet fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Cessna Citation Sovereign 4[23] 9
Cessna Citation Sovereign+ 1[23] 9
Total 5

Previously operated

Accidents and incidents

References

  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". iata.org. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Výpis z obchodního rejstříku - Smartwings, a.s." (in Czech). Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic.
  3. ^ "Smartwings (Czechia) on ch-aviation". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  4. ^ "Travel Service Contacts". Travel Service, a.s.
  5. ^ "SmartWings Příjemná překvapení". iTEST.cz. May 5, 2004.
  6. ^ "Travel Service hlásí za loňský rok skoro o pětinu víc cestujících" (in Czech). Novinky.cz. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  7. ^ Annual Report of Travel Service 2007
  8. ^ "Icelandair Group signs LOI to acquire Czech airline operator Travel Service". Air Transport World. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  9. ^ "Icelandair Group hf. Prospectus - October 2010" (PDF). euroinvestor.dk.
  10. ^ "Icelandair Group sells 20% of its share in the Czech airline Travel Service". euroinvestor.dk. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Chinese-backed firm Travel Service to take over Czech Airlines". Reuters. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  12. ^ "ČSA oslavily 99 let. Až překonají stovku, chtěly by létat i s Airbusy A220-300". Airways.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  13. ^ Travel Service Rebrand
  14. ^ "Travel Service mění nátěr letadel. Místo červené bude oranžová a logo Smartwings". Zdopravy.cz (in Czech). 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  15. ^ "Konec éry Travel Service. Akcionáři schválili změnu jména na Smartwings". Zdopravy.cz (in Czech). 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  16. ^ austrianaviation.net - "Smartwings establishes German subsidiary" (German) 7 March 2019
  17. ^ "Aircraft Fleet". Czech Airlines. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  18. ^ aero.de (German) 9 February 2021
  19. ^ "Annual Report — Zpráva nezávislého auditora — k účetní závěrce a výroční zprávě — za období od 01.01.2017 do 31.12.2017". eJustice. Rödl & Partner Audit, s.r.o. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021.
  20. ^ "Smartwings fleet details and history". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  21. ^ a b "Smartwings mají po čtyřech letech další 737 MAX, převezmou ještě pět". zdopravy.cz. 5 May 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Business jet". jet.smartwings.com. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Travel Service rozšíří flotilu business jetů, první v Evropě kupuje novou Cessnu". E15.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  24. ^ "Planes.cz".
  25. ^ "Planes.cz".
  26. ^ "Engine of a SmartWings Boeing 737-800 shuts down in-flight, crew continues to Prague for another 2 hours and 20 minutes on remaining engine". Aviation24. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Smartwings probed for continuing flight after engine failure". Reuters. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  28. ^ a b Gibertini, Vanni (26 July 2020). "Investigation Blames Pilot Error For Smartwings Engine Shutdown Incident". Airline Geeks. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Final Report: expert investigation of the causes of a serious incident Boeing B737-800 aircraft, license plates OK-TVO flight TVS1125 from LGSM to LKPR of 22 August 2019 [google translation]" (PDF). Mentourpilot. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  30. ^ "The captain made 21 mistakes. The investigation into the flight of Smartwings on a single engine is over". mbs.news. July 24, 2020.

Media related to Smartwings at Wikimedia Commons