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Name: SMARTWINGS
7JetSet7 Code: SMW
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: PRAGUE
Country: CZECH REPUBLIC
Employees 510
Web: smartwings.net
Email: info@smartwings.net
Telephone: +420 255 700 827
Fax: +420 220 111 833
Sita:
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
SMW-UPDATE-2005-01

Formed and started operations in 2004. Low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary of Travel Service Airlines (TVS). Serves 24 major European destinations as well as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Address:
K Letisti 1068/30, Prague Airport
Prague CZ-16008, Czech Republic

The Czech Republic was established in 1993, it covers an area of 78,852 sq km, its population is 10.5 million, its capital city is Prague, and its official language is Czech.

February 2004: In May 2004, low-cost service Prague to Amsterdam (daily), Beauvais (Paris) (2/day), Copenhagen (daily), Madrid (daily), and Zurich (2/day), using the name "SmartWings" (TVS), initially using a 737-400 and a 737-500. To consider adding service to London, Stuttgart, and Venice.

April 2004: 2 737-530's (24815, OK-SWY; 24816, OK-SWZ) ex-Lufthansa (DLH) for its SmartWings (SMW) operation.

October 2004: In November 2004, SmartWings (SMW), Prague - London Gatwick (6/week). Prague - Dublin, Rome (CIA).

December 2004: In May 2005, SmartWings (SMW), Prague - Heraklion, Crete, Palma de Mallorca, & Thessaloniki (4/week), Prague - Larnaca (3/week).

SmartWings (SMW) will lease 5 737-522's ex-United Airlines (UAL) and return 2 737-500's to Lufthansa (DLH) in 2005.

April 2005: 737-530 (24815), returned to Lufthansa (DLH).

October 2005: SmartWings (SMS), a Czech Low Cost Carrier (LCC) will close its Prague - Amsterdam route on October 31. On November 3, it will launch 4x-weekly service between Milan and Rome.

January 2006: SmartWings (SMS) will inaugurate nonstop service from Prague to Venice on June 1st. The airline will operate 4 flights a week with 737s. SmartWings (SMS) will also inaugurate service from Prague to Barcelona on June 15th. That route will be serviced with 3x-weekly also with 737s. SmartWings (SMS) suspended all flights to Italy until February 17th, due to low bookings.

February 2006: SmartWings (SMS) will move its Prague - Rome route from Ciampino to Fiumicino from the end of March.

April 2006: SmartWings (SMS) announced a number of additional routes for the summer season, mostly operating from June to September as follows:
Prague - Burgas = 2x-weekly;
Prague - Gerona = 1 flight weekly;
Prague - Malaga = 1 flight weekly;
Prague - Thessaloniki = 3x-weekly;
Prague - Varna = 2x-weekly.

All flights will be operated with 737s.

SmartWings (SMS) announced it will open a 2nd base at Budapest in October 2006. This is in addition to its current base in Prague. (SMS) will operate 7 flights a week from Budapest to Paris and 6 flights a week to Milan, Prague and Rome, all with 737-500s.

June 2006: SmartWings (SMS), which just inaugurated service from Prague to Brussels, will suspend service on the route from July 10th through the end of August, due to low bookings. (SMS) plans to resume service in September.

October 2006: 2/2 orders 737-900ER's. The order is valued at $150 million at list prices and deliveries to SmartWings (SMW) will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009. Travel Service (TVS) operates a fleet of 10 737s, including 7 737-800s, offering scheduled services through its SmartWings (SMW) brand and charter services to >230 destinations.

December 2006: Employees = 510.

May 2007: Starts Prague - Budapest - Dubai, - Heraklion; Prague - Ibiza, - Larnaca, - Palma, - Zakinthos. Starting June 2nd, Brno - Gerona, Ostrava - Gerona, Prague - Gerona, - Kavalia. Starting June 16th, Ostrava - Thessaloniki.

The Icelandair (ICE) Group signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire Travel Service (TVS), the largest private airline in the Czech Republic and owner of Low Cost Carrier (LCC) SmartWings (SMW). Travel Service (TVS) operates charter flights to and from Prague and Budapest in addition to SmartWings (SMW). Its revenue in 2006, when it carried >1.8 million passengers, totaled €190 million/$256.9 million. Its fleet comprises 12 737s.

This signing marked the start of the due diligence process, which is expected to take a "few weeks," Icelandair (ICE) said, adding that it aims to sign a final purchase agreement by mid-June. "(ICE) will purchase 50% of the shares before the end of June and the remaining 50% during 2008," it said. (CEO) Jon Karl Olafsson said, "We have been looking towards Eastern Europe, where we think that we have good business opportunities with our knowledge and experience. It is obvious that if the (ICE) Group acquires (SMW), it will grow fast this year. This airline is, regarding number of passengers and fleet, close to (ICE)'s scheduled operations in size. We consider this a good investment."

November 2008: SmartWings (SMV) is a Czech low-cost carrier (LCC), serving major European destinations.

(IATA) Code: QS - 797.

Parent organization/shareholders: Travel Service Airlines (TVS) (100%).

Alliances: Air Europa (ARE).

Main Base: Prague Ruzyne airport (PRG).

International destinations: Amsterdam; Budapest; Burgas; Dubai; Dublin; Gerona; Heraklion; Ibiza; Kavalia; Larnacca; London; Madrid; Ostravia; Palma de Mallorca; Paris; Rome; Thessaloniki; Zakinthos; & Zurich.

February 2009: A huge 4th-quarter loss related to the collapse of Iceland's banking and financial sector last fall dragged the Icelandair Group to a -ISK7.47 billion/-$65.9 million full-year deficit, reversed from a +ISL257 million profit in 2007. With Iceland's economic meltdown, came a rapid depreciation of its currency, meaning fewer locals could afford international travel.

The Icelandair Group owns Travel Service (TVS) which is the parent of low cost carrier (LCC) SmartWings (SMW) and a variety of other business units. Icelandair (ICE) itself, connects Europe with North America, and accounts for just 35% of the company revenues.

September 2009: SmartWings (SMW) will start flying to Madrid and Milan next spring.

October 2009: SmartWings (SMW) started new flights to the Canary Islands. (SMW) will fly to Las Palmas and Tenerife from Prague, each one day per week with 737-800s.

August 2010: SmartWings (SMW) introduced new seasonal services this summer season:
Brno - Ostrava - Preveza - Brno: weekly, 737-800 service until September 28;
Prague - Malta: weekly A320-200 service between June 27 and August 29;
Prague - Palma de Mallorca - Menorca - Prague: weekly 737-800 service until September 23;
Prague - Preveza: weekly 737-800 service until September 28.

January 2012: Travel Service Airlines (TVS) has returned 1 of its 2 737-500s mainly operating for its scheduled flights division, SmartWings (SMW) to the lessor.

March 2012: 737-76N (29885, OK-SWX), (GEF) leased, ex-(G-STRF).

June 2012: SmartWings (SMW) has started 2 new seasonal routes from Budapest (BUD) to the Greek island airports of Heraklion (HER) and Rhodes (RHO). Heraklion will be served 2x-weekly and Rhodes weekly until the end of September, with both routes also being launched by Wizz Air (WZZ). (SMW) has also launched a weekly service from Ostrava (OSR) in the Czech Republic to Split (SPU) in Croatia.

October 2012: Russian and Czech aviation authorities have signed a new air service agreement (ASA) and added +1 more designated carrier from each country on the Moscow - Prague route.

According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concluded by the countries' aviation authorities this September, the new document will be signed in 2013. It was decided that from the date of signature of the new (ASA), each country may designate a 2nd airline to operate scheduled services on the Moscow - Prague route with up to 7 weekly frequencies. Now, only Russian Aeroflot (ARO) and Czech Airlines (CSA) can perform the flights between these cities. Both of the carriers are SkyTeam (STM) Alliance members.

Authorities of both countries also agreed that if they fail to sign the new agreement by September 1, 2013 they will hold a consultation by September 15, 2013 to review the status of internal procedure relating to the new agreement and to designate the second airline from each side.

Market experts say that the countries will not sign the agreement before September 1, 2013 because the document needs approvals from different organizations, including the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The second designated carrier is therefore unlikely to start earlier than the fall of 2013.

Russia’s main carriers, including TransAero (TRX), (S7) Airlines (SBR) and UTair (TYU) are expected to apply for the rights for the Moscow - Prague route. On the Czech side, SmartWings (SMW) is expected to apply.

August 2013: Dunlop Aircraft Tyres will provide new and retread tires to Czech Republic carrier, Travel Service Airlines (TVS) for 23 737NGs and 4 737NGs operated by (TVS)’s low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, SmartWings (SMW).

November 2014: SmartWings (SMW), the subsidiary of Travel Service Airlines (TVS), increased its Spanish seasonal offering from Warsaw Chopin (WAW) in Poland, with 2 new routes, both of which are operated using its 189Y-seat 737-800s. On November 4th, (SMW) inaugurated the 4,035 km sector to Gran Canaria (LPA) with weekly flights (Tuesdays), a sector served until April 28th. In adition, on November 6th, SmartWings (SMW) commenced weekly services (Thursdays) to Tenerife South (TFS), which will be flown until April 30th. (SMW) will face direct competition on both new routes from Norwegian (NWG)’s weekly flights.

January 2015: News Item A-1: TransAero Airlines (TRX) will launch daily, Moscow - Prague Boeing 737 service from March 29.

In September 2014, Russian and Czech aviation authorities signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreeing that both sides will add one additional carrier on the Moscow - Prague route beginning in the 2015 (IATA) summer season. Each carrier will operate up to 7x-weekly services with any airplane type. A 2nd (MOU) designated additional carriers.

In November 2013, the countries had agreed to authorize 2nd carriers on the Moscow - Prague route in the 2014 (IATA) summer season, but it did not happen because of changes in the Czech government.

It is expected that Travel Service (TSF), which works under the SmartWings (SMW) brand, will become the 2nd designated airline from the Czech side, although the flights launch has not yet been announced.

Currently, only SkyTeam (STM) Alliance carriers, Aeroflot (ARO) and (CSA) Czech Airlines can serve on the Moscow - Prague route. Transaero (TRX) has been operating flights to Pardubice, near Prague, since 1996.

At the end of 2014, the European Commission (EC) approved plans for Travel Service (TFS) to take a 34% shareholding in national carrier (CSA).

April 2015: Czech airline company Travel Service (TVS) has completed acquisition of a 34% stake in Czech Airlines (CSA), becoming (CSA)’s newest and 2nd largest shareholder. The deal was approved by the European Commission (EC) in December 2014.

As a result of the transaction, Korean Air (KAL) remains the major shareholder, with 44%, followed by Travel Service (TVS) (34%), Czech Aeroholding (19.735%).

Czech Airlines (CSA) said it viewed “the entry of Travel Service (TVS) into its management structure as an important step towards enhancing the management principles of a private business entity and an opportunity to continue transforming (CSA) into a modern European air carrier.”

(CSA)'s board of directors remains unchanged, and the restructuring process approved by shareholders in September 2014 continues, with the emphasis on increasing operational efficiency, and changing the company’s business model and routes management.

Travel Service (TVS) was founded in 1997 and operates scheduled and charter flights under the SmartWings (SMW) brand (since 2004) and private business jet services (since 2007).

September 2015: News Item A-1: "China's (CEFC) Adds to Czech Buying Spree with Airline, Brewery Deals" By Jason Hovet, "Reuters" September 05, 2015.

China's 6th largest private company (CEFC) added to a week long buying spree in the Czech Republic on September 5, 2015, announcing deals to buy a majority stake in a top brewery group and a share in an airline company in the central European country. The Czechs have sought more investment ties with the world's 2nd largest economy. This week, President Milos Zeman was the only Western leader to attend a massive military parade to mark the end of World War Two in Beijing. (CEFC), which counts energy and financial services as its core businesses, had already announced a series of deals, including taking a majority in Slavia Prague, 1 of the oldest Czech soccer clubs. On September 5, 2015, the China Energy Company (CEFC) said it had acquired a 10% stake in Travel Service (TVS), operator of airline Smartwings (SMW) and the 2nd-largest shareholder in Czech Airlines (CSA) after Korean Air (KAL). (CEFC) said it planned to acquire a further 39.92% stake in (TVS) at a later date.

"An investment into the largest Czech airline operator is a big opportunity for us to develop our business in Europe," (CEFC) President Chan Chauto said. "We chose Prague as the headquarters of our European activities and plan to invest in all areas." (CEFC) will also be the lead investor in a 1.9 billion crown/US$78.46 million deal to buy a 79.4% stake in brewer, the Pivovary Lobkowicz Group by taking 70% control of the special purposed company buying the share. The Czech investment group (J&T) will hold 20%.

Lobkowicz (CEO) Zdenek Radil, who had agreed to buy the brewery stake in June, will have 10% in the new shareholder and an option to buy another 10% from (CEFC).

Lobkowicz is the 5th largest brewer in the Czech Republic (home of the original Pilsner lager and the world's highest per-capita annual beer consumption rate. It said (CEFC)'s involvement will create opportunities in Asian markets).

The (CEFC) had already announced this week it would buy 2 buildings in Prague's center and double its stake in (J&T) Finance Group to 9.99%, aiming to grow that to 30%.

It also said on September 5th, 2015 it would buy minority stakes in communication firm, the Medea Group and media company, Empresa Media, which owns television channel TV Barrandov and publishes weekly magazine "Tyden."

January 2017: Czech leisure carrier Travel Service (TSF) has finalized an order for +5 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8s, valued at $550 at list prices.

(TSF), which is the Central and Eastern European launch operator for the 737 MAX 8, is scheduled to receive 30 direct-purchased and leased 737 MAX airplanes starting in 2018.

(TSF) placed an order for 3 of the type at the Paris Air Show in 2013 and operates a mixed fleet that includes 32 737s.

In January 2016, Travel Service (TSF) leased a further 16 737 MAX 8s. A (TSF) spokeswoman said it aimed to operate 40 737 MAX 8s by 2025.

The (CFM) International (LEAP-1B) is the sole-source engine for the MAX, which is scheduled to enter service in mid-2017 with launch customer Southwest Airlines (SWA).

Travel Service (TSF) operates scheduled flights under the SmartWings (SMW) brand.

Fleet:
(definitions)

January 2017:

2 737-7Q8 (CFM56-7B20) (1264-29346, /03 OK-SWT; 1283-28254, /03 OK-SWW), EX-(EI-EUV & EI-EUU) 2012-06. 140Y.

1 737-8K5 (CFM56-7B27) (1117-32907, /02 OK-TVP), EX-(D-AHLR) 2012-04. TRAVEL SERVICE (TVS) LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.

1 737-86Q (CFM56-7B26) (1600-30295, /04 OK-TVW), EX-HB-LLR) 2012-06. TRAVEL SERVICE (TVS) LSD. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.

Management:
(definitions)

RADECK MULLER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

JIRI SVOBODA, DIRECTOR.

VACLAV ZAJICEK, MANAGER PRODUCT & DISTRIBUTION.

 
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