Lufthansa Group subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has added three Saab 2000 turboprops to its fleet, wet-leased from Slovenia-based Adria Airways, and will end the wet-lease of one Austrian Airlines Bombardier Q400, all as of Oct. 28.

Starting then, Adria will take over SWISS’ wet-leased Zurich-Lugano route from Austrian for economic reasons, a spokesperson in Zurich told ATW. Adria will operate a 50-seat Saab 2000 that is better suited to this domestic route than Austrian’s 76-seat Q400. Lugano will be the only destination that Adria serves for SWISS.

“The number of wet-leased aircraft from Austrian, operating for SWISS, will be reduced from four to three Q400s,” the spokesperson said. 

Adria said that about one-third of flights in the 2018 first half were wet-lease services. It flew close to 10,000 flights in the 1H, up 2.4% from the year-ago period, of which more than 3,300 were aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) services.

Adria this fall added six Saab 2000s to its fleet from Miami-based lessor Jetstream Aviation Capital.

Adria CEO Holger Kowarsch told ATW recently the market is showing a strong interest in Saab 2000s. “Part of this fleet will operate in our network. Other aircraft are available for charter and our ACMI business, which is growing in Europe,” he said.

Adria Airways’ fleet also includes three Airbus A319s, three Bombardier CRJ700ERs and nine CRJ900LRs.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at