Adria Airways is set to continue growing its fleet with the addition of a further three Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The Slovenian carrier has signed an agreement with lessor Regional One to acquire the jets, with their arrival scheduled for 2019, "Ch Aviation" reports. The airline is also considering adding more of the seventy-seat CRJ700 aircraft to its fleet. Adria's CEO, Holger Kowarsch, said in April that the airline's fleet is too small and needs to grow in order to support its expanding route network. "I think critical mass for us would be in the range of 25 to thirty aircraft in the future. We're a small carrier, we have to grow, strengthen our operations and improve our connectivity ", Mr Kowarsch said.
Adria added two CRJ900s to its fleet this year. It currently utilises three Airbus A319 aircraft, three CRJ700s and nine CRJ900s. Out of those, Adria operates two Bombardiers for Austrian Airlines and one for Luxair under ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance lease) long-term contracts. Apart from its growing fleet, Mr Kowarsch recently said the carrier would look into adding new destinations in the future on top of its current summer expansion, which has seen it add seven new routes. The company has also outlined that its future focus will be on three key pillars. These include the addition of new routes from Ljubljana, the provision of flights for other carriers through ACMI and charter flights.
Adria Airways previously unveiled plans to add the fifty-seat Saab 2000s to its fleet in March, but later pushed back their entry into service to June. However, the deployment of the aircraft was recently differed again to September. Despite this, Mr Kowarsch believes the turboprops will likely arrive before the third quarter and will be utilised on Adria's new routes this summer, as well as several other services within the region. The aircraft will arrive from former Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline, which was declared bankrupt in December 2017. It was partly owned by 4K Invest, Adria Airways' owner, and branded as Adria Airways Switzerland.