The Czech national carrier CSA Czech Airlines has signed a firm contract for the purchase of twelve Airbus single aisle aircraft. The signature follows a preliminary announcement made last year that CSA Czech Airlines had selected the A319 and the A320 to replace the older generation aircraft in its core European fleet, after an exhaustive evaluation of both the A320 Family and competing types. This agreement renews the partnership between CSA Czech Airlines and Airbus that began in 1991, when the A310 became the first Airbus aircraft to be operated by the Prague-based airline. Today CSA Czech Airlines has chosen to move forward with the modern and efficient Airbus family products, by acquiring six A319s and six A320s.

With deliveries scheduled from March 2006 to September 2008, the airline plans to use these new aircraft on longer range routes in Europe and to open up new markets. CSA Czech Airlines has selected the CFM 56-5B6/P engines for the A319 and the CFM 56-5B4/P for the A320. In terms of cabin configuration, the airline has chosen a two-class configuration for all aircraft, offering not only a comfortable business class but also the advantages of a wider cabin and therefore more personal space in economy class.

On the occasion of this signing, which took place in Prague today, Mr. Jaroslav Tvrdik, CSA Czech Airlines President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “The purchase of aircraft is another step to fulfil the CSA Strategy for the 2004 – 2014 period. The new aircraft will enhance the competitiveness of CSA on the market, offer customers farther destinations and enhanced travel comfort.”

Airbus’ A320 Family features the most modern design, the widest and most comfortable cabin, and the highest degree of operational commonality of any single-aisle aircraft. It also has great economics through lower fuel burn and maintenance costs, superior short-field performance and proven worth as an excellent financial investment.

“We understand that customers such as CSA Czech Airlines want to offer their customers the benefits of using a young and dynamic range of aircraft,” says Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard. “We are delighted that CSA has chosen Airbus aircraft to modernise its fleet and this agreement confirms the extensive popularity of the A320 Family.”

All of the Airbus A320 Family, which comprises the A318, A319, A320 and A321, feature the same type-rating for pilots and comprehensive commonality, delivering important cost-savings in training and unmatched operational flexibility.

Airbus’ A320 Family is the most successful aircraft family in the world, having been chosen by more than 185 customers and operators around the world. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at some 3,400 aircraft, more than 2,300 of which have been delivered to date.

Czech Airlines (CSA) is the largest national carrier among the new EU member countries according to number of transported passengers. In 2004, the airline transported a record 4.34 mil. passengers. Since 2001, it has been a member of SkyTeam, one of the leading global airline alliances. CSA currently offers connections to 123 destinations in 48 countries worldwide.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.